London has some of the most unique venues in the world for private events, from dining underneath the Natural History Museum’s blue whale to meeting at the top of the Shard. In this post we share our top 10 hidden venues; the concealed entrances, the forgotten gems and the ones that aren’t quite what they seem…
Built in the 17th century, The Stafford Hotel’s wine cellar is a beautiful atmospheric backdrop for an event. After being used as a WWII air raid shelter, the cellar became home to over 8000 bottles of the world’s finest wines and has space for up to 44 guests. The cellar is also one of London’s top locations for wine tastings and wine-pairing dinners, held by Master Sommelier Gino Nardella who has over 40 years of experience at The Stafford, trying every bottle in the vault.
For a venue of mystery, arrive at the secretive doors of The Magic Circle where guests will be invited up a floating helical staircase. Each of the four rooms available for hire are themed with magical artefacts, with room for 6 – 162 guests. The best kept secret of all is the Magic Circle Theatre, where hundreds of famous magicians have wowed audiences over the years.
What began as an electricity generating station in 1896 is now home to the National Centre for Circus Arts with a collection of unique spaces for private hire. As well as the industrial Combustion and Generating Chambers, a number of studios and outdoor courtyard are available.
A Georgian townhouse on the corner of Soho Square offers six unique floors of event space. A vintage study accommodates meetings for 24; a French Parlour offers views for 50 and the top floor Loft looks out over the West End for up to 80 guests. Of course the entire venue can be hired, with space for 300 guests.
Beneath the Grade II listed Ivory House at St Katherine Docks is an exclusive collection of vaulted cellars reaching over 10,000 sq. ft. The 200 year old brick lined space devises of 9 individual areas, interlinked by an open passageway. The entire venue can accommodate 450 guests with an option for onsite theming or dry hire, perfect for immersive events.
London’s most scandalous underground nightclub is mysterious to most, but beyond the plain entrance is a theatrical production one might imagine from the Moulin Rouge, with a guest list including Prince Harry and Jude Law. As well as the secretive acts that take place at midnight, the venue is also available to hire. Three floors accommodate 288 guests with somewhat promiscuous onsite entertainment.
The headquarters of the Last Tuesday Society (an eclectic group of partying artists) is an all-encompassing museum and bar crammed with bizarre objects, a taxidermy zoo and ancient exhibits, each collected by its founder Viktor Wynd. The two floor space can be exclusively hired with carefully crafted cocktails for 80 guests, as well as private dinners in the ‘Spare’ Room or Sarcophagus Table, which seats 10 guests around a human skeleton, suspended sea monster and caged lion.
London is flooded with underground bars with hidden signage, but perhaps the least tell-tale of all is The Bootlegger. The dark stairwell might seem sinister but it in fact leads to a prohibition inspired cocktail lounge, adorned in authentic décor and bow tie wearing bartenders. The space is additionally available for private hire every day of the week.
Among Bishopgate’s Churchyard is the Victorian Bath House, one of the original Turkish baths from the late 19th century. Among the grandeur and decadent décor, up to 150 guests can dine, dance and drink with indulgent menus including hot suckling pig and Victorian cocktails.
London’s 100 year old Mail Rail tunnels are a truly hidden space, descending to 21 metres underground of the city’s streets. The Postal Museum’s various event spaces offer extraordinary backdrops including the 275 capacity depot with historic arches and railway features.
If you need help sourcing a venue for your next event then don’t hesitate to contact the Banks Sadler team on +44 (0) 207 424 3333