We’ve rounded up our top ten picks for places to have spectacular drinks receptions in the City, for any kind of occasion.
USP Its historic feel
Saddlers’ Hall is constructed in the classical style, with period details and furniture. Best are the stately floor-to-ceiling hung curtains, which give way to natural light. With five different rooms to choose from for your reception, the venue can host everything from a blow-out event to something more intimate and feels like bang for your buck.
UPS Skyline views of St Paul's and more
This spectacular terrace’s panoramic views take in iconic landmarks the Oxo Tower and London Eye. Several rooms and its terraces are available for hire, all year round (the good news is they’ve got heaters). Moving inside, the contemporary monochrome décor makes this space ideal to impress clients.
USP The famous food and cool vibe
The trendy Nobu Hotel boasts a series of event spaces called Kaijo, which can be divided into six for smaller gatherings or hired out exclusively. If you're looking to extend the evening beyond a drinks reception, there are sake-tasting and sushi-making masterclasses which fuse contemporary Asian cooking practices with traditional ones.
USP Tropical plants in a historic rooftop Conservatory
The Barbican’s best-kept secret is without question its rooftop Conservatory, a delightfully incongruous space that houses exotic fish and more than 2,000 species of tropical plants under its glass roof. There is a large, privately-bookable Conservatory Terrace, while the Garden Room on level three (a more contemporary space with views across the City of London) works really well for drinks receptions too.
USP Its homey, loft-like interiors
This spot is ideal for drinks receptions with a creative edge. The different lofts at Lumiere London are actually used by professional photographers, but also make for savvy spots for product launches and the like. Sophisticated, but with a casual, residential feel, the spaces have brick walls, wooden beams and comfy seating.
USP River views in a design-heavy space
This new event space opened at the top of the popular Mondrian Hotel in 2017. The Cucumber restaurant is the standout area, which has an adjoined private dining room with its balcony and sight line to St Paul’s Cathedral. Those cityscape views get even better out on the roof terrace. Simple furnishings keep the emphasis placed on the views over London.
USP Grand architecture by a famed architect
The Gibson Hall has a steep history. Built by architect John Gibson in the mid-19th century, this striking venue lends neoclassical charm to your reception. The art deco-style Garden Room is a relatively modern edition, and opens out onto a spacious outdoor space. The building's grand detailing is ideal for formal, celebratory affairs, although the Garden Room feels more casual.
USP The double-height bar, which offers fine City views
This ultra-modern and design-driven hotel is nirvana for those tech-geeks in the office. With a big focus on art, the space is covered in interesting artefacts, intriguing paintings and stylish furniture, some of which has a 'best of British' feel to it. The decor is striking and unusual, and contrasts the classic views out the window.
USP Its central Shoreditch location
In the new Principal Place development in Shoreditch, The Allegory has a modern, industrial look (exposed pipes, lots of concrete) and a buzzy vibe. Our pick is the outdoor terrace (let’s pray for no rain). Pick The Allegory for its sprightly, modern feel which will encourage guests to relax more, and maybe undertake a cocktail masterclass behind the bar?
USP Its environmental focus
Built to showcase green technologies, the venue generates its own energy and provides an impressive talking point to guests as they arrive. The venue also boasts a range of privately bookable areas great for drinks receptions. Visiting the adjoined exhibition on the sustainable future of cities makes for an intriguing addition to your reception.