The UK's national library opened in 1998 at a cost of pounds 511m. As
well as its collection of 16 million books, 500,000 newspaper titles and
four million maps the venue near King's Cross also has a purpose-built
conference centre. Alongside this is the Terrace Restaurant, which can
host formal evening dinners for up to 150.
The restaurant is one of the brightest areas of the building with a
curved wall of glass that makes it one of the venue's most striking
rooms. During the summer the restaurant can be coupled with the terrace
for a pre-dinner drinks reception.
The conference centre has a 255-seat auditorium with audio-visual
facilities and a suite of four meeting rooms.
Tel: 020 7380 1916
The attraction in Great Russell Street in central London has a host of
galleries giving clients plenty of options if they want to host a
corporate dinner. And the museum's inner courtyard, known as the Great
Court, had been hidden for 150 years until it was transformed with a
pounds 100m renovation, opening at the end of last year.
This mix of modern and traditional architecture as well as the
opportunity to hold events alongside exhibits has made it a popular
choice for some. 'It has majestic surroundings,' says Fisher Productions
sales and marketing manager Emma Jeynes. 'The glass and steel roof in
the Great Court is stunning.'
Tel: 020 7323 8779
32 Craven Street
This Georgian house is in the heart of London near Trafalgar Square. Its
tiled roof helps to give it a unique look and the venue is suitable for
smaller events for up to 80, such as lunches, dinners and elegant
parties. Six rooms are available, the largest two being the William
Craven Room and the Benjamin Franklin Room.
The 250-year-old venue has retained many of its original features
including timber wall panelling, the fireplace and staircase, which are
only found in Mayfair houses of the Georgian period.
Tel: 020 7930 1110
'Most people associate the venue with Henry VIII,' says Hampton Court
function manager Andrea Laird. 'But it has 500 years of history with
many historical periods.' The venue is available for corporate and
charity events, but does not stage product launches. One of the rooms
available is Henry VIII's Great Hall, while during the summer, the
gardens can be used for receptions.
'We have had a whole variety of events including awards and concerts,'
adds Laird. 'We also offer tours in the evening. One of our biggest
events was for 3,500 guests with a marquee in the gardens.'
Prices for the hire begin with a facility fee, which starts at about
pounds 4,000 and can rise as high as pounds 9,000 although it depends on
the number of guests and what form the event will take.
'We want to dispel the myth that Hampton Court is miles from London,'
explains Laird. 'There are regular trains from Waterloo and you can also
arrive by boat on the Thames.'
Tel: 020 8781 9508
A corporate event here is not cheap - it will set you back pounds 8,000
plus VAT to hire the facilities. But companies of the calibre of Goldman
Sachs, ITV and BT have all splashed out on hiring the venue.
The west London attraction, once the home of Princess Diana, offers
private tours along with any dinner and reception. Clients wanting to
dine in the Victorian Garden Rooms have the option of using the Red
Saloon room where Queen Victoria held her first Privy Council meeting in
'People like something different which is why we offer the private view
of the venue and dinner,' says Kensington Palace business development
manager Charlotte Baker. However, anyone wanting to hire the venue will
have to be quick as it is nearly booked up for the year.
Tel: 020 7376 2452
London's most popular paid-for visitor attraction was named Venue of the
Year at the Corporate Hospitality & Event Association awards in
Madame Tussaud's can be hired for events with between 50 and 600
The Baker Street venue aims to provide 'evening events with a
Guests can start the event with cocktails in the Garden Party area
alongside waxworks of the stars of stage and screen, followed by dinner
in the Grand Hall. Here, people can dine alongside models of the Royal
family, heads of state and politicians from Tony Blair and Bill Clinton
to William Hague and Saddam Hussein.
Tel: 020 7487 0264
New Armouries, Tower of London
This is a relatively new addition to the venue scene having opened in
February with a glamorous corporate launch, hosted by Moving Venue
Its banqueting hall can accommodate up to 240 seated or 300 for cocktail
receptions. Seated dinners can be accompanied by a walk-through tour of
the Jewel House or a cocktail reception in the White Tower. The central
London venue was built in 1663 and originally contained arms and
'It is a case of a new venue being created at the oldest venue in
London,' says Moving Venue Caterers managing director Richard Beggs. 'We
hit on the idea of a partnership for the launch evening so our clients
could see the new venue as it would look when functions are held
Tel: 020 7488 5762
Old Sessions House
This venue in Clerkenwell Green, east London opened in 1782 as a
courthouse and soon earned a reputation for harsh sentencing. It
continued operating as a courthouse until 1920, but it wasn't until 1981
that the venue was restored and able to cater for events.
The Old Sessions House can cater for groups of up to 180 for a
theatre-style product launch. It has seven large function rooms and
claims it 'can be adapted to suit almost all requirements'.
A range of entertainment is on offer from cabaret singers and discos to
comedians and Scottish highland dancers.
The largest room is the Westminster room. Its 128sq m of space can cater
for 130 for a dinner or 170 theatre-style.
Tel: 020 7250 1212.