Aspiration: Christmas Venues - The funky place to party

Looking for the perfect venue for your 'Christmas do'? Jeremy King has some ideas.

NAMCO STATION

Based in County Hall, Namco Station offers guests more than 200 games and simulators while they enjoy a festive party. Situated on three floors and including a ten-pin bowling alley, seven full-size pool tables and bumper cars, this venue is ideal for a Christmas party.

Namco event manager Edward Stoddart explains: "We offer an exciting venue for all types of corporate creative events."

The venue also offers a choice of its corporate buffet or something a little more unusual from its preferred list of caterers. There is also a fully licensed bar and a DJ. Namco Station is popular with companies as diverse as Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Sainsbury's, Universal Studios, Microsoft and Virgin.

Contact: Edward Stoddard (020) 7967 1067

Web: www.namcostation.co.uk

Address: Namco Station, County Hall, Riverside Buildings, Westminster

Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB

Info: Party and dance among motorbike and surfing simulators

FASHION AND TEXTILE MUSEUM

The Fashion and Textile Museum, created by zany designer Zandra Rhodes, debuts as a Christmas party venue as part of Launch Pad Events' festive party programme. Launch Pad will transform the museum into a sleek modern party venue. Titled "Think Pink", the packages will be available for 150 guests for a sit-down meal or 400 for a buffet. The venue's striking exterior was created by renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta.

Aiming to provide a fresh alternative to the festive season, Launch Pad Events sales director David Stringer says: "The Fashion and Textile Museum provides an unprecedented opportunity to combine style and design in an approach not seen before. We will be offering our clients exceptional value for money with no compromise to quality."

Contact: James Wallingford (020) 7613 5533

Web: www.launchpadevents.com

Address: Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1

3XF

Info: The museum plays host to modern and vintage fashion exhibitions

from Vivienne Westwood, Jan Muir and Ossie Clark.

RAINFOREST CAFE

Bring a tropical touch to a Christmas party by hiring the Rainforest Cafe for a festive event. Experience the sounds and atmosphere of the tropical rainforest throughout the venue.

Available for exclusive or part hire, the venue offers a tropical-style waterfall, a mosaic cocktail bar, animated animals and international cuisine.

The entire venue can cater for up to 620 people, or smaller parties can be staged in The Forest Floor, ideal for 85 for a buffet or 100 seated guests. This area is used as a dance floor when the whole venue is hired.

The Butterfly Room lies just off the main room and provides a more intimate dining area for smaller parties, with seating for 20 or standing room for 30.

Exclusive Christmas parties can also take advantage of a late licence until 3am and enjoy cocktails at The Mushroom Bar.

Contact: Hazel Tan (020) 7437 1799

Web: www.therainforestcafe.co.uk

Address: 20-24 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7EU

Info: Exclusive hire of the venue can accommodate 320 for a sit-down

meal and 650 for a buffet or cocktail party.

CHELSEA VILLAGE

Soak up the atmosphere at one of the country's most impressive football stadiums with a Christmas party at Chelsea Village. This year its traditional Christmas Join-a-Party theme is "Footballer's Wives".

On Wednesday 15 December and Thursday 16 December partygoers can live the fantasy of how the other half live, in the Galleria overlooking the famous Stamford Bridge pitch.

Chelsea Village marketing manager Carolyn Anderson says: "If fun is what you are looking for this Christmas, what could be more appealing than our glamorous Footballer's Wives themed party at the home of one of the most glamorous football clubs, Chelsea? All you need to do is dress to impress and enjoy the festivities."

The Galleria can hold up to 400 guests for a dinner and dance, and guests can also take advantage of preferential accommodation rates of £80 a room at the Chelsea Village Hotel, also located on site.

Contact: Alicia Anderson, (020) 7915 1989

Web: www.chelseavillage.com

Address: Chelsea Village, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS

Info: Footballer's Wives party is £55 per person, which includes

arrival drink, a three-course meal, half a bottle of wine and a disco

PEACOCK CLUB

Set in Finsbury Square just minutes from Liverpool Street station, the Peacock Club is hoping to bring a touch of sophistication and chic to festive celebrations. Guests will be welcomed with a choice a cocktails and a venue themed with the use of theatrical lights and shapes. These are complemented by extravagant surroundings including mirrored columns and gauze screens.

Guests will be treated to various dishes, which have been created by MECCO for either buffet or a sit-down meal. However, all of the menus can be adapted to suit individual requirements. After dinner, partygoers can strut their stuff on the club-style dance floors or unwind in the chill-out zones.

Clients can also choose from a selection of entertainers and take advantage of having exclusive use of the veune.

Contact: Events team (020) 8682 4900

Web: www.planitevents.co.uk

Address: Planit Events, 15 Nottingham Road, London, SW17 7EA

Info: Available during November and December for between 350 and 2,500

guests, with 1,200 being the maximum for a sit-down meal

MADAME TUSSAUDS

It can cost a fortune to ensure the world's celebrities arrive as guests at your party, but at Madame Tussauds celebrities are everywhere - all be it wax ones. Parties can be staged in a number of themed areas, ranging from a contemporary party space featuring Hollywood celebrities to a temporary attraction space, which currently stars people such as Johnny Wilkinson.

Guests can also take advantage of the Iconic Stars section that represents waxworks including Marilyn Monroe and Superman, while the World Stage is home to heads of state and royalty.

The venue can host up to 320 guests for a dinner-dance, 350 people for a dinner and 600 for a cocktail party. It also offers a full event management service, waiting staff and essential technology facilities.

Prices for a full themed dinner-dance start from a £120 per person. The venue has played host to creative events for the likes of Goldman Sachs and Barclays. Head of events Paul Aldridge explains: "We are constantly updating the venue to make it always appears fresh."

Contact: Paul Aldridge (020) 7487 0216

Web: www.madame-tussauds.co.uk

Address: Marylebone Road, London

Info: Madame Tussauds' neighbour the Planetarium will be re-launching as

a party venue that will include a gladiator-style live action show.

MERMAID THEATRE

If you fancy an underwater theme for a Christmas party while overlooking the Thames, the Millennium Bridge and the Tate Modern, then the Mermaid Theatre's newly refurbished River Rooms are an ideal location.

The Blackfriars Room, the larger of the venue's two rooms, can play host to up to 400 guests for a reception, 150 for a dinner and 60 for a theatre-style creative event.

Slightly smaller and directly below Blackfriars is the River Room, which is decorated in warm, calm colours and holds 200 guests for a reception, 100 for a dinner and 50 for a theatre -style party.

Both rooms are linked by a stairway and can be hired together or separately.

Contact: Conference team (020) 7236 1919

Web: www.the-mermaid.co.uk

Address: The Mermaid, Puddle Dock, Blackfriars, London, EC4V 3DB

Info: Christmas parties start in December. After the festive period,

clients can create their own bespoke theme.

CAFE ROYAL

The Cafe Royal is a dedicated events venue in London's West End that boasts elegant suites spread over eight floors.

For this year's festive season it is providing menus for parties of up to 600 guests. Banquet rooms range from the Empire and Napoleon suites, which can host up to 540 guests, to the hidden wine cellars, which can accommodate up to 40 for private dining. The venue is also offering packages that include all food and beverages, festive table decorations, private room hire, live disco and dance floor.

It also offers clients the opportunity to add their unique touch. The events team will work with each client to provide the appropriate support for the big day.

Contact: Susan Darla Stan (020) 7025 7069

Web: www.lemeridien.com

Address: Le Meridien Piccadilly & Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London

Info: £75 per person for a celebration package or £95 per

person for a deluxe package.

THE BREWERY

Celebrate Christmas in your own style by creating a bespoke party for the festive period at The Brewery. Titled "For One Night Only", the venue's Christmas package allows clients to provide drinks and canapes receptions or seated dinners for between 50 to 600 guests.

Lunches and dinners start at £55 per person and include three courses with coffee and petit fours, half a bottle of wine per person and seasonal novelties. For unlimited drinks, packages start at £85.

The Brewery's size also allows for the simultaneous staging of parties in a variety of rooms, without any overlap of events.

The Brewery's director of operations and marketing Nick Rudlin says: "We are giving clients what they want - a simple yet versatile space to create their own themes."

Contact: Event team 0800 968 1288

Web: www.thebrewery.co.uk

Address: Chiswell Street, London EC1Y

Info: The Brewery has a dedicated team on hand to help organise any type

of creative event.


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