Venue Files: London - Classic to cutting edge

A blend of history and contemporary style makes London irresistible.

CONGRESS CENTRE

Where is it? On Great Russell Street in the heart of London's West End, a short walk from Oxford Street, Covent Garden and the capital's theatreland.

What is it? A recently refurbished, purpose-designed conference and event venue, located within an architecturally renowned 1950s listed building.

What's it got? A total of 20 flexible, state-of-the-art spaces, from small meeting rooms to large spaces that can accommodate a wide range of events. Congress Hall is the largest room and has capacity for 850 standing or 500 theatre-style. It has a 1950s space-frame ceiling that lets in natural light without glare, and benefits from air conditioning, a contemporary stage with drop-down screen, sprung floor and the latest AV and lighting equipment. It has also recently benefited from a £30,000 intelligent lighting installation.

Who do I talk to? Ruby Lyall on (020) 7467 1318

Web: www.congresscentre.co.uk

Largest space: 850 (standing)
Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Postcode: WC1B 3LS
Cost: Room hire from £200

BUSH HALL

Where is it? In the heart of Shepherd's Bush, west London.

What is it? This venue has assumed numerous guises, including a dance hall, bingo hall and amusement arcade. It now serves as a live music and entertainment venue.

What's it got? A main hall, two bars and a lobby. As a former Edwardian dance hall it features chandeliers and ornate decor. The venue can cater for 350 guests for a drinks and canape reception or 180 for a dinner. Hire includes bar staff, a duty manager, security and a PA system. All manner of events are welcome, from informal drinks to silver-service dining, and clients so far have included the BBC, Endemol and Nintendo.

Who do I talk to? Kath Borer on (020) 8222 6955

Web: www.bushhallmusic.co.uk

Largest space: 350 (standing)
Tube: Shepherd's Bush
Postcode: W12 7LJ
Cost: From £1,980

IMAGINATION GALLERY

Where is it? At the top of communication agency Imagination's headquarters in the heart of London's Noho area.

What is it? The building is seen as one of London's architectural landmarks and has won several prestigious awards.

What's it got? Suspended aluminium bridges lead visitors through a five-storey atrium, which can be used for events, into the Imagination Gallery. It is a huge, glass-walled white space, covered with a dramatic fabric canopy roof, and guests can enjoy views of Bloomsbury Square from a spacious balcony. Because of its modern, clean styling, the venue works as a perfect blank canvas that can be transformed by lighting and projection.

The gallery space can hold 200 people, and the atrium accommodates 300, or 350 if combined with the venue's restaurant. These areas can be hired out individually or together to create impact for any high-profile launch, dinner, party or conference.

Who do I talk to? Chris Pugh or Gill Van Zwanenberg (020) 7323 3300

Web: www.imagination.com/gallery

Largest space: 350 (standing)
Tube: Goodge Street
Postcode: WC1E 7BL
Cost: POA

ANDAZ

Where is it? Adjacent to Liverpool Street station in central London.

What is it? The former Great Eastern Hotel, which was acquired in 2006 by Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. The hotel is the first to launch globally under the Andaz brand, which fuses contemporary boutique culture and a luxury five-star hotel experience.

What's it got? As well as its 267 rooms, which include 23 suites, the hotel offers 14 private dining and event rooms that are available to corporate organisers. The Gallery, which is situated on the first floor, can be combined with the Great Eastern Room - the largest of the hotel's spaces - to cater for a 700-person cocktail event. The venue's showcase area is the Andaz Studio, which focuses on providing effortless luxury and personalised service, and features an open kitchen and a discreet entrance. Its private dining space can cater for up to 100 guests for a cocktail reception or 50 for a dinner.

Who do I talk to? Events team on (020) 7618 5618

Web: www.london.liverpoolstreet.andaz.com

Largest space: 700 (standing)
Station: Liverpool Street
Postcode: EC2M 7QM
Cost: POA

SIXTY ONE WHITEHALL

Where is it? As its name suggests, the venue can be found at 61 Whitehall in the heart of Westminster.

What is it? A Victorian Grade II-listed building that sits on the site of what was once Henry VIII's private bed chamber, in the Tudor wing of the old Whitehall Palace. Most of the original palace was destroyed in the London fire of 1698.

What's it got? The Duke of Wellington Hall is situated on the ground floor and shaped like a shield. The space can accommodate up to 200 guests for a reception or 100 for a banquet. The Library can be found on the second floor, above the Duke of Wellington Hall, and is accessed via a stone-and-marble staircase. The space can accommodate up to 100 people for a reception event. The Reading Room overlooks Whitehall and sits adjacent to the Library. With space for a maximum of 80 guests it can be hired exclusively or as a suite in conjunction with the Library.

Who do I talk to? Helen Wood or Sabrina Downey on (020) 7747 2643

Web: www.sixtyonewhitehall.co.uk

Largest space: 200 (standing)
Tube: Embankment
Postcode: SW1A 2ET
Cost: POA

FASHION AND TEXTILE MUSEUM

Where is it? On Bermondsey Street, in the lively fashion quarter of London's Bermondsey Village.

What is it? Founded by Zandra Rhodes, the FTM is an education, exhibition and visitor centre for contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery. The venue re-opened for events last November, having been closed for refurbishment.

What's it got? The FTM is a colourful venue for events. When used in its entirety it provides a versatile space for up to 300 people. The high-ceilinged Ground Gallery can hold up to 160 guests for a reception or seated presentation, or up to 100 for dinner; the Learning Suite can seat up to 50 guests theatre-style; and the Long Gallery, on the mezzanine level, can accommodate a maximum of 60. The FTM also boasts a 12-seat Conference Room, featuring a select display from the FTM collection as a backdrop.

Who do I talk to? Events team on (020) 7407 8664

Web: www.ftmlondon.org

Largest space: 300 (standing)
Tube: London Bridge
Postcode: SE1 3XF
Cost: From £75 per hour


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