We’ve dug deep to unearth London’s lushest locations for outdoor entertaining
Over in the City, the Grade I-listed home of the Skinners’ Company hides a secret. Through its ceremonial gates, across the courtyard, and above the Great Hall, its crowning glory is an Italianate rooftop garden, where olive trees will make yours a particularly summery party.
No.11 Cavendish Square is a Georgian townhouse with a rare asset. Its tranquil courtyard garden is scattered with informal seating areas, barbecue facilities and a statement water feature. Hire it together with the adjoining Orangery, a modern dining space of glass, light wood and exposed brickwork.
A filming location for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, this 20th-century hall with Tudor styling has an intimate courtyard. Hire it for smart drinks receptions or laid-back barbecues around an ornamental pond and fountain.
On the edge of Regent’s Park, this modernist masterpiece offers up some more conventionally beautiful green space. Its medicinal garden is a living museum of more than 1,300 plants and herbs where guests on picnic blankets can enjoy top-notch sustenance from caterer Fare of London.
There aren’t too many three-acre gardens in central London, yet Inner Temple’s even comes with views of the Thames. Available for evening hire in May, June, July and September, it’s a serene spot with ample room for a marquee.
The 900-year-old green space that surrounds Westminster Abbey might just be the nation’s oldest continually cultivated garden. In June and July, party guests can soak up the history – and perhaps just a few glasses of fizz – from a smart, glass-fronted marquee.
A new build after the Great Fire of London, Grade I-listed Stationers’ Hall has a capacious garden furled around a venerable centrepiece: London’s oldest plane tree. In case of rain, the Court Room is but a wrought-iron staircase away.
Once a year, the extensive grounds of Sir Chris Wren’s Royal Hospital Chelsea are a generous host to the Chelsea Flower Show. From July to September, its picturesque Ranelagh Gardens are given over to private celebrations from straight-up drinks receptions to sports-based activity days.
For more summer party destinations in London, click here.