8 Unique Venues in London
London, as England’s capital city, has so much heritage and culture on offer it is not surprising that it is home to some of the best conference and dining venues in the country. From the huge and grand to the small and cosy, there will be something on offer that suits you. However, London is also home to a wide selection of venues that cannot be found anywhere else, to venues that have historical significance, a unique-selling point or are just something fresh and different. Here are a selection of 10 unique venues for those looking for a more unusual venue or for those who simply like to peruse and imagine what kind of event they would hold.
1. The Royal College of Physicians
The Royal College of Physicians is England’s oldest medical foundation and is well known for its high standards of medical practice. However, a lesser known facet of the College is its conference and dining facilities. The building itself is in the modernist style but the rooms on offer vary in décor and style. The Censors’ Room features a much more classic style with wood panelling while the Council Chamber is a modern circular hall with an impressive ceiling. The decoration is not the only draw, the College also has a collection of artefacts, portraits and manuscripts on display throughout the building making it a stand out venue. Events can also be held in the Medicinal Garden which is home to over 1,300 plants from the history of medicine.
2. 'The Gherkin'
30 St Mary Axe is a skyscraper in the financial district of London that has been nicknamed ‘the Gherkin’ by Londoners in a reference to the building’s distinctive shape. The Gherkin is 180 metres tall, was opened in 2004 and has since won a number of awards for architecture. For those that want a spectacular view the Gherkin is the right choice. Searcys Restaurant and Bar covers the top floor of the building and offers fantastic 360 degree views of the London skyline. The venue is only available to members and tenants during the day but is available for hire in the evenings and at the weekends.
3. The Roof Gardens
The name of this venue is not just a misleading misnomer, the venue is actually comprised of a roof garden that covers 6,000 square metres on top of the former Derry and Toms building in Kensington. The gardens are Grade II listed and are divided into three themed gardens; Spanish, Tudor and English Woodland. There are not just a vast variety of plants to see but the Gardens are home to fish and wildlife, including four resident flamingos. The Roof Gardens are open to the public but can be hired out for private events in the daytime or the evening all week excluding Saturdays which are only available during the day.
Ladurée are a French patisserie company that specialise in making luxury cakes and pastries and are famous for their macarons. The Ladurée premises in Covent Garden are designed to look like a vintage Parisian tea house and are available for private hire. This venue is the perfect choice for those with a sweet tooth and a love for pastels, but savoury items are also available.
If you are looking for somewhere cool for your event, look no further than the ICEBAR. The very unique selling point of this venue is the fact that everything is made from Swedish Torne River ice. The bar is kept at -5 degrees Celsius and everything, from the glasses to the tables and the bar itself, are made from ice. Sessions in the ICEBAR last for forty minutes and each guest is given a designer cape and gloves. The venue is completely redesigned with a new theme every year. The venue also hires out heated, and less icy, dining rooms and lounges.
6. The Folly
The Folly is an aesthetically unique venue that brings a feeling of the outdoors to London. It describes itself as London’s secret garden and has a six foot Norwegian tree trunk as a focal point. The Folly offers food and drinks but also has flower arranging classes in its flower shop and butchery classes in its deli. The Folly has a distinctive bar styled like a beehive and is decorated with a variety of plants and flowers.
7. The Tower of London
For those looking for something different for their event or party the Tower of London may be the perfect choice. Although hundreds of years ago the Tower was a place that many people feared to go, now it is a historically fascinating and wholly unique venue. The Tower has six function rooms available for hire, these include the Martin Tower – home of the Crown Jewels – and the New Armouries. As well as having an exciting place setting for events, you can also choose to have a private viewing of the Crown Jewels or a Yeoman Warder tour as an extra.
The Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark is probably one of the most famous, and sole surviving, clipper ships in Britain. It was built in 1869 and was used in the tea trade. The ship was badly damaged by fire in 2007 and has only recently reopened to the public after a huge restoration project. The ship has been suspended from the ground, allowing visitors and guests to walk around the ship and get the full effect of its brass hull. The huge space around the ship can be hired out for events, but spaces on board the ship, the Tween Deck and the Master’s Saloon, are also available for smaller parties and events.
Max. Capacity - Reception
Max. Capacity - Dinner
Royal College of Physicians
The Roof Gardens
The Tower of London