We’ve dug deep to unearth London’s lushest locations for outdoor entertaining

The Roof Gardens - guide 2016 photo

Capacity 500

Real, live flamingos are the USP at this west London institution. The famous pink avians occupy the English Woodland area, but look out too for the Tudor and Spanish gardens. They can also be hired all day every day, and on Monday to Thursday evenings. 

Skinners Hall - venue hire

Capacity 200

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.

Summer parties at No 11 Cavendish Square - venue hire

Capacity 120

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.

Ironmongers Hall

Capacity 40

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.

Royal College of Physicians - venue hire

Capacity 200

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.

Inner Temple - venue hire

6. Inner Temple, EC4

Capacity 600

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.

Westminster Abbey - venue hire

Capacity 500

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.

Stationers Hall - courtyard

Capacity 250

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.

Royal Hospital Chelsea - venue hire

Capacity 400

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