It seems never-ending, the amount of obscure games that are turned into immersive drinking and dining concepts in London. Bingo is now the latest fad and Dabbers Social Bingo is the newest venue to open with group and corporate hiring options. It also claims to be the first dedicated immersive bingo venue in the UK. Jackpot!
With a 160 capacity in the main bingo hall and a 100-person standing capacity in the upstairs bar, you can hire the entire venue exclusively. Not that many? Smaller groups can go, too. The hire fee (between £8k and £10k, depending on day of the week and time), will cover both food and drink as well as entertainment.
So what’s ‘immersive’ about it then? Dabbers promises to take guests on ‘an adventure unlike anything seen before’. This includes flamboyant acts as entertainment and comedians replacing the bingo callers. You can truly be a Dancing Queen (that’s 17), as founder Ed Wethered has teamed up with the people behind Musical Bingo, Gospeloak and Comedy House Party to bring it all to life.
There are two party packages you can Pick and Mix (that’s 26) from. If you’re hungry (and thirsty), we would go for the ‘All the Fives’ package (£55pp). It includes cocktail jugs, beer pitchers, and bottles of wine or prosecco – your Cup of Tea (that’s 3) is definitively replaced by booze. This comes alongside tonnes of food, delivered in four categories (nibbles & mingling, balls & sauces, fillers, and sweet dreams).
Expect delights such as prawn skewers, buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese dressing, parmesan-crumbed mini macaroni cheese balls and angus beef steak balls with marinara sauce. With the ‘Jump + Dive’ package (at £35pp), your drink offering is half a cocktail jug, two pints and half a bottle of wine, and a set of fewer dishes.
Appreciating that December is a hectic month filled to the brim with end-of-year parties not just for the office, Street Feast has decided to extend its offering to 2019.
The people working to organise and carry out Christmas parties for others, too (so you’re hospitality and retail staff), usually don’t have time to have their own do until the new year anyway. This is a golden opportunity for them to celebrate.
Hawker House has a 2,000 capacity and comes with the option of bringing in a pool table or beer pong table, for a bit of added fun. The venue is split into two rooms, so groups of up to 200 can gather for a smaller party.
is often dubbed one of the most famous entertainment venues in the world. The luxurious, Grade II-listed, Moulin Rouge-esque immersive nightclub has hosted celebrity parties with guest lists boasting Elton John, Andy Warhol, Prince, Mick Jagger, Frank Sinatra and Cher.
Disco54 is the venue’s latest concept, which is – you guessed it – themed around disco. Available for group bookings (but not exclusive private hire), the concept will run every Friday and Saturday night from 12 January.
The first-class sound system makes this spot suitable for a whopping party, and the main Ballroom impresses with its grand chandelier and sweeping staircases.
But Bourne’s 21st century take on the classic Russian performance has since collected more than thirty international theatre awards, and has earned Matthew Bourne both his OBE and his knighthood.
The famed ballet now returns to Sadler’s Wells
for the festive period and until the end of January, and pre-theatre dining is back on the menu. Commencing on Friday 14 December, the supper will take place on the venue’s Mezzanine Level with a variety of dishes. We especially like the sound of the free-range chicken with bacon, hazelnut and celeriac tart with truffled veg, and the gin-cured smoked salmon with smashed beetroot, fennel, watercress and horseradish cream.
The Royal Ballet’s newest Principal Dancer, Matthew Ball, will be joining New Adventures for the entire London season of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake at Sadler’s Wells in the role of ‘The Swan’. We cannot wait to see what this talent will bring to the performance.
One for the techies: 30 Euston Square gets a full-scale technical upgrade
The Grade II*-listed 30 Euston Square
will be one of the first conference centres in London to offer a laser 4K cinema projection system with its comprehensive tech-spruce. The new digital cinema package and video wall installed in the venue’s auditorium and exhibition event spaces will give new opportunities for event planners in terms of video, audio and lighting solutions.
Not only will the 300-capacity auditorium offer impressive 4K and HD possibilities; the adjacent networking and exhibition area will come with increased sponsorship opportunities. The new five-metre wide 4K video wall made of 8x55” display screens give event organisers the chance to colour wash the wall with their brand or sponsor material.
There are also options such as a new 84” 4K LED portrait welcome screen where key messages or branding can be displayed. This comes on top of four mounted exhibition screens that have been upgraded to 4K screens.
Back in the auditorium, it’s worth noting that the new digital cinema surround processor will provide an incredibly pure sound. The fresh seven-meter wide screen doesn’t go unnoticed either. The technical advancements come with a new digital support team, too, to ensure everything will run smoothly. Film screenings and event presentations will be a breeze from now on.
30 Euston Square
features a formidable portfolio of other event spaces, too. Its 24 meeting rooms all benefit from natural light and range in style from traditional to contemporary. The two State Rooms on the fifth floor give access to the Rooftop Terrace, with views across London. With Searcys leading the catering, you can expect high-quality food and service.
Laura Ashley The Tea Rooms opens at The Chase Hotel in Coventry
Floral print purveyor and textile design company, Laura Ashley, has won the hearts of the British people with its luxurious, country-home shabby chic style. This lends itself nicely to country-side hotels and estates, which is why the company has also launched its own hotel range
, as well as put up tea rooms in various establishments across the country.
The most recent opening is the one at The Chace Hotel in Coventry
, following the success of the Solihull and Burnham rooms. The Tea Room is decorated in signature Laura Ashley style, featuring products from the company’s home furnishing and accessories range.
Our favourite part is the Belvedere Midnight wallpaper and how it’s married with walls painted in pale silver colours and pistachio green. Other fresh, green hues and accents of blue complete the space, which is light, summery and formal. The Tea Rooms also overlooks the hotel’s garden. Afternoon tea is naturally served here, from noon until 4pm with prices starting at £20pp.
Otherwise, The Chase Hotel
is an ideal place for meetings and events with as many as seven spaces, including the London’s Restaurant. Here, mullioned windows and open fireplaces create an impressive backdrop to dinners and receptions.
Striking mock Tudor Victorian-era architecture defines hotel, and other smaller function rooms can accommodate meetings or private dinners. Our favourite space, and the largest for sit-down affairs, is the Carnegie Room, which features exposed beams and has its own private bar.
Philanthropic inspiration for the winter months from the QEII Centre
Did you know there are more than 300,000 people recorded as homeless in Britain today? According to homeless charity Shelter, the problem of homelessness is especially rife in London, where as much as one in every 59th person is homeless. What responsibility do venues, party planners, or indeed the events industry have in this?
They have the same responsibility as everybody else, but are blessed with the arena and medium to do something more than the average Londoner. Take the QEII Centre
, which has collected more than 700 coats and items of winter clothing over the course of two weeks.
The award-winning venue collaborated with charity campaign Wrap Up London, who has been organised by homeless charity Hands On London for the past eight years. Hundreds donated old, unwanted or unused coats and other clothes to distribute to homeless people across the capital. This happens via homeless shelters, refugee centres, organisations supporting the elderly and children’s centres.
Want to get involved? Find out how here
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There’s a new party bar in London – and it’s huge! Welcome, Soho Residence
You know the iconic Roundhouse in Soho
? It’s now reopened as Soho Residence, an exclusive hire night club, following a £1m restoration. Running over three floors, there is a 350 capacity, with the option of hiring out the entire club or two of the three rooms separately.
The Wardour Street venue will have a soft launch on 28 November, but will officially open in December. The two most exciting spaces are the first-floor Gin Parlour and the basement Festival Club, which are both available for private hire.
The 60-capacity Gin Parlour is the place for a casual drinks reception or party. It features high ceilings and tall windows overlooking the Soho streets below and snug sofas in rich fabrics. Gin will obviously be the tipple to go for here.
In the basement, the Festival Club is the space for a full-blown party with dancing, cocktails and big lights for up to 150 guests. The latter is guaranteed with high-end lighting instalments, and huge screens ensure personal branding, bespoke imagery or digital art can be displayed.
You can hire the spaces from 2pm to 11pm every day. There are hire fees for each of them, which are available upon request.
It’s worth noting the 120-capacity ground-floor room too, The Botanical Bar. The art deco-styled space, complete with giant windows (allowing lots of natural light in), is decorated generously with shrubs and hanging plants. Although not available for private hire, the casual banquette-seating, DJ and sophisticated vibe make it ideal for client drinks or a smaller gathering. This bar will be open until 3am.
Winterville is officially open for the festive season
If you went to Winterville in Clapham Common
last Christmas, we know you’ll want to go back. Well, you’re in luck, as it has now opened for 2018 and corporate bookings are available.
The alternative Christmas playground brings something new to the scene. What else can you expect from the creatives behind Street Feast? In other words, you’re guaranteed tasty food, festive drinks, live performances and fun entertainment.
Thinking big? Large-scale hire of up to 4,000 people is possible with private food traders and activities. Bigger parties can cherry-pick their line-up of food vendors, choosing from London favourites such as White Men Can’t Jerk, Raclette Brothers and Chin Chin Labs (you know, the ones with the eccentric nitro-frozen ice cream creations?). For smaller gatherings, private tents are available for over 50 people, and you’re free to explore the many food stands.
What about drinks? Don’t worry. Fifteen different bars will be onsite, including an American whiskey bar, a wine bar, and a Craft Brew Camp. A wintery Christmas lodge will also be serving hot chocolates, frozen pumpkin spiced rum and hot buttered bourbon.
A range of entertainment is on offer too – how does plonk golf, ice skating, roller disco or a fairground sound? And nothing gets the crowd going like karaoke, and Winterville offers ‘Massaoke’ – karaoke en masse with a live band!
This is a great opportunity to make your office Christmas party a more informal and fun gathering.
Get in touch with the team now to tailor your event.
Searcys becomes official caterer for The Alnwick Garden and Treehouse – the company’s spiritual home
Searcys returns to where it all began by becoming the official caterer of Alnwick Garden and its iconic Treehouse. In 1837, Searcys’ founder, John Searcy, started working as the official confectioner and pastry chef at Alnwick Castle, where the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland resided. After working there for 10 years, the Northumberlands loaned John the money to set up his own business – nearly 150 years later, Searcys is one of the UK’s most successful catering companies and restaurant operators.
Continuing to establish its brilliance across the country, Searcys will launch a new set of hospitality offerings at the gardens. This comes on top of enhancing the menus available in the Treehouse’s restaurant, meeting room and coffee shop.
In true Searcys and Alnwick style, the focus on sustainable and locally sourced produce and seasonal cooking will be kept intact. The hospitality packages and menus (designed for weddings and corporate and private events) will showcase this, too. Keep your eyes peeled for more details on pricing.
Matt Thomas, managing director of Searcys, said: ‘Together we are committed to sourcing sustainable ingredients, working with British farmers to ensure that up to 90% of all seasonal fruit and vegetables we use are grown in the UK.’
Alnwick Gardens and Treehouse (which hosts up to 120 guests in the Treehouse and up to 500 guests in the Pavilion), opened in 2001 and has since grown to become one of the UK’s most thriving attractions. This is much due to the Treehouse being one of the largest wooden restaurants in the world. Now, Searcys will make the food an attracting factor, too.
Twickenham’s new East Stand finally opens
The wait is finally over – the much-anticipated East Stand at Twickenham Stadium
has opened, and it is huge! Stretching the entire length of the East Stand, the new space thoroughly enhances Twickenham’s
new hospitality and events offering.
Spread across six floors, event spaces of varying size and flexibility in terms of configuration are now available. The East Wing, The Gate, The Lock and British Airways Rose Garden make up the new offering.
The East Wing is the most impressive of the lot. The contemporary setting is reminiscent of a private members club and aims to provide guests with a feeling of exclusivity and intimacy. The venue can accommodate intimate bespoke dining experiences for 30 or, in its entirety, could host 800 diners seated restaurant-style.
The Gate is the chop-house style restaurant on the ground floor (level one), which aims to bring a high-street dining outlet feel to the stadium. This is to demonstrate the different ways there are of doing hospitality. With its own wine room, it provides space for 48 private diners or a 500-guest restaurant-style banquet.
Staying on level one, there is a large-scale pub setting, The Union Ale House, which would suit an informal post-conference gathering for 300. This is also a more intimate and fun area, ideal for Christmas parties, with room for a dancefloor and an informal pub feel.
The British Airways Rose Garden is the open-air roof terrace, complete with rotisserie-style catering and a pizza oven. The food served here will endeavour to reflect the culinary culture of the country England is playing that day. When we went there for the launch, head chef Thomas Rhodes was cooking up kangaroo pizzas – England went head to head with Australia that week.
The new East Stand is not just a new space that the guys at Twickenham
are bringing to the market, though. The team there is working hard to get the industry to think differently when it comes to stadia event possibilities. By offering a diverse range of settings, catering options and themes, they want to encourage event professionals to approach meetings and events with fresh eyes and try something new.
Etc.venues’ largest conference and exhibition space to open in the City this spring
Etc.venues 133 Houndsditch, which will open in spring 2019, will not only be the group’s 16th UK venue, it will be its largest conference and exhibition space to date. Margaretha Welsford, sales director at etc.venues
, calls the opening a ‘game-changer’ for the industry in London, as conference suites of this capacity with large break-out areas all on one floor is hard to come by in the capital – especially in the City
The new venue will be located mere minutes away from both Liverpool Street
stations, and will have a total of nine event spaces to choose from. The stand-out is the Enterprise Suite, which can seat 700 people theatre-style or 500 cabaret. This space also benefits from an adjacent open-plan galleria, which offers 1,400sq m of catering or exhibition space.
When Etc.venues went global this summer
Elsewhere, there are seven large break-out rooms with a capacity between 50 and 200. The beauty of it is that all the spaces are located on the same floor, making it convenient for combination-hire and configuration.
In true Etc.
style, the design will be modern, bright and tech-driven. There will be, among other things, multiple media walls (providing branding opportunities), built-in audio and visual technology, colour-changing lighting and laser projectors on built-in screens.
The in-house chef team will be on hand to offer bespoke menu options, too. Watch out for pricing and packages being announced soon.
Market Hall Victoria now open
Some of London’s most exciting restaurants will come together under one roof at the new Market Hall that’s opened in Victoria
– and it’s available for exclusive hire! Minimum spends and hire fees are still being finalised, but we know there’s a 400-person dining capacity spread across three floors.
Are you a smaller group? Don’t worry, as there are booking opportunities for groups of as little as eight. There will be drinks packages as well as dedicated Christmas packages too, so keep your eyes peeled.
In addition to two main bars championing independent British-made beers, spirits and soft drinks, you can find restaurants such as BaoziInn, Monty’s Deli, Flank, Gopal’s Corner by Roti King, Super Tacos by Breddos, Nonna Tonda from Fat Tony’s, Squirrel
, Kerbisher + Malt, and Koya Ko from the team behind Koya. Excitingly, there will be a roof terrace launching in the spring, too.
Where is it? You might remember the massive nightclub in Victoria
, Pacha – it’s in its old building. But don’t be fooled by its former resident – the site has a rich history. Since 1909, the space has housed an Edwardian shopping arcade, a restaurant and was a canteen during World War I.
This means the interiors are impressive, which has been taken into consideration during the repurposing of the building by architects FaulknerBrown. Only discreet and minimal alterations have been made to both respect and enhance the original features, especially with the Grade II-listed façade.
Idris Elba's The Parrot opens at The Waldorf Hilton
Looking for a cool and edgy place to host a drinks reception, office party or product launch? We highly recommend trying out the new cocktail bar and live music venue at the Waldorf Hilton, launched by Luther-star Idris Elba.
The tropical-themed bar can host up to 50 guests, so it’s rather intimate, but its fiery cocktails and exotic small plates – not to mention the stylish interior – make it a funky backdrop for an event.
Our favourite part has to be the chauffeur-driven branded car, though. The Parrot is the first bar to ever offer this in London. Imagine offering your VIP guests the option of arriving to the event in a luxury Aston Martin.
The bar’s concept is inspired by the history of the building (the Waldorf Hilton has been a London entertainment hub for more than 100 years), and the exoticism of the Palm Court. Both the food and cocktails reflect tropical flavours with small plates such as Wagyu beef with pickled enoki, wasabi and pineapple, and poached lobster with mango, chili, coconut and lime. The plates will be served in repurposed seashells, and each of the cocktail glasses takes inspiration from a different member of the parrot family.
The interiors are tropical, too, with bespoke, hand-painted palm wallpaper, an abundance of plants, rich turquoise velvet seating and a bar front decorated with teal fish scales.
Idris Elba (who is also a DJ) is rumoured to appear in a number of secret and unannounced DJ sets and live performances, so maybe he will surprise you by playing at your event. Hire fees and packages are still being finalised.
READ MORE: The best party bars is the City
You might know this iconic 1937 cinema as the site of red-carpet premieres of the world’s biggest blockbusters. Did you know though that it’s also available for private events? This offering will be further enhanced when the cinema reopens after nearly a year-long refurbishment this Christmas.
This lovely Christmas present comes with lots of extras. The multi-million redesign has entirely transformed the venue. Not only is the cinema now a luxe one – luxury recliner seats and the works with just the push of a button, loads of leg room and retractable tray tables to keep your popcorn (or cocktail) on hand. It also has renewed branding opportunities in its central 800-capacity theatre-style premium venue. This is the place for receptions, conferences and parties.
If you’re looking for a more intimate screening experience, there are a further four new rooms (also with luxury seating). The whole cinema has revisited its 1930s roots and restored heritage features (such as the original premiere screen organ), while adding new ornate interior. This includes a new glass-fronted Oscar's cocktail bar – very swanky.
Why not plan your next event here? Get in touch with the team by pushing the button below.
Need to organise an out-of-town conference or corporate retreat? Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa
in Dartford, Kent has long been a sought-after place for that, but with its newly refurbished events space, it’s even better.
The Terrace Suite, the hotel’s largest meeting room (there are six in total), has been completely renovated – we’re even talking new doors and windows. Other new instalments include woodwork on the walls, furniture, LED lighting and carpets. The result? A light and airy space.
Other key upgrades are the new layout (which provides delegates and organisers direct access to the suite from the car park – ideal for carrying in external equipment), and new double doors leading out to the patio and lawn – great when delegates need a bit of fresh air.
The hotel’s pre-function space has also been given a face-lift, so pre-registering and reception drinks will be a much better experience. The hotel bar and lounge adjacent to the Terrace Suite have been modernised, too, while respecting the original features of this four-star Georgian mansion.
Interested? DDRs start at £45pp and there’s a 160-delegate capacity. This will get you the suite for eight hours, refreshments, snack breaks and a seasonal lunch.
Want to spend the night and take advantage of the hotel’s 38 bedrooms, award-winning spa and two AA Rosette dining room? For £145pp, you will get a 24-hour overnight stay and dinner in the restaurant on top of the above. You can always upgrade it further to a 32-hour stay at a 20% discount, making the price £181pp.
Get in touch with the team now to get booking!
READ MORE: All the out-of-town inspo you need
Get the party started with Bottomless Bedrooms at Home House
‘Brunch’ is usually the ‘B’-word associated with bottomless offerings in the capital. But have you ever heard of Bottomless Bedrooms? No, us neither.
Home House marks its 20th birthday this year and to celebrate, the hotel has launched two overnight packages offering free-flowing Moët & Chandon champagne. The best bit? It’s available for groups.
The Party Package is available for up to 12 people, where two guests staying in one of the hotel’s suites can invite 10 friends for one hell of a party. Bottomless brunch, who?
suites are made for luxurious partying. Spacious separate living rooms? Tick. King-sized beds? Tick. In-built sound system? Big tick. The one rule? No champagne showers (or baths) allowed.
It comes with a price tag though. The Party Package is available for £1,400 per night for members, and £2,100 per night for non-members. Unlimited champagne will be served from 6pm-12am. The package is bookable on Fridays and Saturdays in the resplendent George Hanbury suite, with views over Portman Square, and the James Wyatt suite, which offers private lift access.
Guests will have a dedicated member of staff on hand throughout the evening to top up flutes, replenish ice buckets and ensure the bubbles (and the revelry) keep flowing.
Interested? Yeah, we thought so. Get in touch with the team by clicking the button below.
Trio of new members for Westminster Venue Collection
The Westminster Venue Collection contains some of the most iconic venues in London within its portfolio. With another three venues joining the collection, its total number of members goes up to 36 – one of the strongest in town.
The additions are the Royal Over-Seas League
, 110 Rochester Row and Dartmouth House, which all fit the Westminster Venue Collection’s ‘brief’ of prestigious and unusual spaces, both modern and traditional – all within the City of Westminster
, the clubhouse home of the Royal Over-Seas League
(pictured above), is a Grade I-listed members club in St James’s
. Within its period function rooms, you can plan events ranging from small workshops and private dinners to large conferences and corporate dos. It has a private garden and terrace, too, which is a lovely for summer drink receptions. Graysons Venues is in charge of catering, too.
110 Rochester Row, between Westminster
, has seven flexible event spaces. The technology is what makes this place stand out, as well as its blank canvas set-up, allowing bookers to add their personal branding and touch to the space. With award-winning Eden
as caterer, the food will be stand-out too.
Dartmouth House, a Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse in Mayfair
, is just the spot if you’re looking for a backdrop of original period features. The original Adam’s fireplace, the marble staircase and the beautiful chandeliers all make for an impressive backdrop for events. Up to 300 people can be hosted across its five dedicated event spaces, including the outdoor courtyard.
Thought you knew everything about the Westminster Venue Collection? So did we
Looking for somewhere futuristic to hold your next event? The new photography gallery at The National Maritime Museum
is now available for private hire. The gallery is currently hosting the ‘Insight Investment Astronomy Photography of the Year’ exhibition, which will run until the end of May next year.
The gallery is designed to celebrate the very best in astrophotography from around the world. The images on display, matched with the illuminated features of the gallery make the space an interesting place to host reception drinks.
Tours of the gallery can also be implemented into events, with space to host up to 100 standing guests. If you have more people to entertain, you can always make use of the museum’s four other event spaces (which can host between 130 and 1,500 people), and use the Photography Gallery as a VIP pre-event reception area.
The size and character of this Greenwich venue, along with its fascinating range of artefacts, make it ideal for large, upmarket events. The Upper Deck, a dramatic gallery in the glass-roofed Neptune Court, is made for gala dinners and awards ceremonies. Elsewhere, the Sammy Ofer Wing works well for standing receptions, allowing guests to enjoy the surrounding exhibition areas. The AV-ready Leopold Muller Lecture Theatre is the spot for conferences.
Need some more reading? In our November interview, we meet Samyukta Nair, the entrepreneur behind female networking initiative Jamavar Women’s Club