This is a guest by Beth Kruszynskyj, editor at HeadBox, a network for creative, inspiring and off-site meeting spaces. You can follow them @headbox.
There are thousands of venues in London, from colossal conference centres to elegant private dining rooms, practical hotel boardrooms to corporate party places. You name it, there’s a venue for it.
But here we’re thinking outside the realms of the usual, we’re looking for the most exciting, inspiring and creative spaces we can find in London. The types of venues that make you say “wow” the moment you walk in.
Extraordinary can mean those places right under your nose in the centre of London, but hidden from the masses; it can mean the railway arch, warehouse backdrops that are nothing short of spectacular; or the spaces that you see every day, but you never knew could be transformed in the evening for private events.
When looking for a venue that is totally unique it can be tricky to know where to start. We’ve put together some of our favourites from our collections at headbox.com to make the search a little bit easier. They’re our little London secrets that we’re going to share with you…
The Pool at Haymarket Hotel
A swimming pool. We repeat – a swimming pool! There are not many places that offer poolside glamour and sophistication as the backdrop to your drinks reception or party. Especially not in the heart of London. Embrace the holiday vibe and give your guests something to talk about.
Lights of Soho
Bursting at the seams with creativity and neon lights, this recently opened members bar has got the cool decor nailed. It’s a bold, bright, arty venue – and probably unlike anything you have seen before. Not only this, but it’s right in the middle of Soho.
Now, you wouldn’t normally think to use bandages as an interior design material, but something about the final finish is rather chic. If your event is all about making a statement, this Space will certainly help you along the way.
Lush and green, the epitome of a summer escape. Sometimes it’s a relief to escape into nature at this private paradise for any plant-lovers. Hidden away in Little Venice, Clifton Nurseries provide the garden you always dreamed – without the effort of either growing it yourself, or leaving central London.
Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness
‘The Cage’ is a completely unique private dinner party Space. The size of the room changes depending on the number of people, as the retractable walls move in or out. The grill-like walls allow this Space to feel discreet, yet still be in the midst of the bustle. And . . . it’s in Soho, in striking distance of Oxford Circus.
Secret Garden, South Place Hotel
From the lush green gardens at Clifton Nurseries to the more urban kind. But don’t be misled into thinking this secret garden is anything less spectacular. Waterfalls and palms give a tropical feel and a unique ambience alongside the sophisticated seating and decor. Usually reserved for members only, it’s an exclusive Space to hire for private parties.
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Sometimes cool, urban and industrial just won’t cut it and only the most grand, elegant and historic will do. Top it off with the knowledge that you’re sitting in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on Parliament Square and . . . wait, maybe that is pretty cool after all.
There are plenty of times when a creative event needs an open space, a blank canvas that you can put your own stamp on. But when looking around London that can sometimes feel impossible, or simply wildly out of budget at some vast conference venue. But nestled in East London are some stunning, versatile spaces, like this one in Whitechapel.
Another venue with East London classic decor. You could probably walk by this railway arch a dozen times and be none the wiser that you have just passed something so steeped in history and character, dating all the way back to Victorian times. Kachette is a breathtaking space for all kinds of events.
The Collective, Old Oak
When the sun comes out (if the sun comes out), hordes of Londoners go crazy for the rooftops. Finding one that isn’t teeming with people is impossible. So, our gift to you is this lesser-known rooftop venue at The Collective, Old Oak. And just in case the rain starts (we hate to say it) those igloos are like giant umbrellas you can crawl in to.
What are your favourite, lesser-known venues in London for event hire? Let us know in the comments!