Venue hire in London (and countrywide in fact) is big business. There are literally thousands of spaces available for hire in our capital city, from vaulted ballrooms in royal palaces, to small intimate restaurants or private dining rooms.
There is certainly no doubt that one of the most crucial ingredients for a really good party is the venue. The venue can create a cosy candlelit ambience for a dinner for eight, or jawdropping wow factor for a celebrity studded charity gala. Whether in a private house or garden in one of London’s swankiest squares, or at a famous and awe-inspiring London landmark, a party venue can make or break a party.
Believe it or not, hiring a London party venue doesn’t have to be hugely expensive either – some, of course, can cost thousands, but others allow you to use their event space free of charge, as long as you use their own food and beverage suppliers. Others will allow you to use your own caterer, and have free use of the space, as long as a guaranteed amount is taken over the bar. The venue hire deal simply varies from place to place.
Museums and monuments often make great venues, and of course lots of London tourist attractions can double up as great venues too. Popular London party venues include the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, as well as Madame Tussauds or The London Aquarium.
More often than not, these larger party venues have their own events teams, staff whose sole job is to sell and market the venue’s hire to the events industry. These events teams will often try to work with a list of preferred suppliers – the florists, party planners, caterers,
DJs, bands, and lighting & production companies that they feel do the best job of creating parties and events in their spaces. Some of the best catering companies for example, such as The Recipe, Moving Venue and Alison Price are all experienced in working in the biggest and best London party venues.
Sometimes an event calls for a really unusual venue hire, and of course London party venues are just ideal for this as the scope is so enormous. How about a luxury super-yacht cruising the Thames for a beauty product launch, or for a Halloween party why not try the London dungeons? You can even hire a pod on the London Eye for a wedding if you like! Again, good event caterers such as Rocket or “rhubarb” (the official caterers on the Silver Fleet and at the London Eye) can bring their skills to each and every one of these venues.
As for the process of finding the perfect venue, the Internet has made that much easier. There are now a variety of event-led venue-hiring websites and organisations, which allow you to browse through all the venues located in a city - just don’t forget the golden rules of venue hire when you are finding one:
Always check the date availability and time slot – some venues might want you out by 10pm when you want to party all night long!
Always check the cost breakdown in full - will you have to pay for lighting costs for example on the night?
Establish what you are tied to – do you have to use certain suppliers for food, staff and drink or are you free to choose your own?
Will the venue be decorated for you? And if not, are you allowed to decorate yourself?
And what happens if you have to cancel – always check the terms and conditions!
Once you have chosen your party venue and ticked all these boxes, you’re practically ready to send out the invites!