Private Rooms and Great Venues In London For Corporate Drinks & Canapé Receptions
There’s nothing we love more at privatediningrooms.co.uk than a cracking drinks’ reception where the canapés are loaded and the bubbles keep flowing. But we also like to go to interesting venues, not just a big bland function space – so even if the networking falls flat, the architecture won’t be.
So if you’re planning a reception, here are 11 fascinating Central London venues guaranteed to entice your guests, as well as provide memorable drinks & nibbles.
Take the Big Easy in Canary Wharf. Add to its amazing location directly above Crossrail terminus, the brilliantly stylised Rum Bar has a live band every night, a heated terrace balcony and their trademark surf n’ turf canapés aka bar bites such as popcorn shrimp and brisket sliders. With room for up to 100, there’s also plenty of spillover room at the main bar.
Also in Canary Wharf is Tom’s Kitchen where the bar area and outside terrace can be hired for private receptions of up to 100. Unsurprisingly, the former Michelin starred Tom (Aiken) takes the food very seriously with bowl food, canapés and sharing platters available for standing receptions so your guests are guaranteed to be well fed.
We’ve been to various receptions at Aubaine Marylebone and whether it’s day or night they’re always crackers. Walk up the stairs to the private room for 100 and its French chic décor mixed with modern double height windows overlooking the square give the space a relaxed yet stylish ambience in which to nibble canapés (starting at £2.50 each) and sip bubbles or even some delicious rosé from Provence.
Over in up-and-coming King’s Cross, The Driver offers a mix of gastropub, bar, penthouse and rooftop terrace with space for up to 100 in various configurations of their five floors of private rooms. With a late license and each room boasting an independent sound system and private bar, the terrace also offers the option of BBQ food in summer months. Canapé menus begin at £17 per person for five.
Another great restaurant/bar combo for receptions is Percy & Founders. Its modern chic-styled Reading Room and Dining Room combined can host up to 100 for a standing reception and also has views over Pearson Square.
Having celebrated my engagement (many moons ago) in Balthazar New York, it’s fair to say I have a soft spot for this delightfully exuberant restaurant. With dainty canapés at £2.50 each, substantial canapés at £4 each and bowl food at £6.50, up to 80 guests can enjoy the special ambiance that this iconic American import provides.
For art lovers and the creative types, the Gallery Mess Room at the Saatchi Gallery can host receptions for up to 80 in its versatile light bright space, with acclaimed caterers Rhubarb offering mouth-watering modern canapé menus starting at £2.20 + VAT each.
We love an event in a wine cellar and Berry Bros & Rudd’s various private room options range from their original vaulted cellars for 100, to a totally brand spanking new reception space, the Sussex Cellar spread over two floors for 40. Expert tutored tastings are available as well as canapés with menus starting at £29 per person.
A reception in a members club always brings a certain je ne sais quoi to proceedings. At the Sloane Club, cocktail parties and receptions for up to 100 are held in the elegant and versatile New Chelsea Room with menus starting at £27 per person for 9 sweet and savoury canapés. Similarly, The Army & Navy Club, with its 180-year heritage and myriad of artefacts from the Commonwealth provides a fascinating backdrop to any event. With three large rooms for between 100 and 200 guests in the Library, Drawing Room and Pall Mall room it’s one of the best spaces for large receptions in St James’s and with Club Canapés starting at £9 per person, it’s also incredible value.
Finally, three venues for seriously large receptions can be found at the quirky London Wall Bar & Kitchen which can host a substantial 400 in summer (200 in winter without the terrace), The Lounge at the BFI for 200 guests or its Bar & Kitchen for smaller events up to 50. For even larger events, the BFI’s Riverfront bar and Kitchen can host a staggering 700 guests or a more intimate 120 within its private terrace. Catering by Benugo at all three sites adds a touch of extra flair to proceedings.