Herbert Berger at Innholders Hall
Like so many livery halls, The Innholders Hall is essentially a tardis hidden behind an unremarkable front door, just moments from Cannon Street tube station.
But don’t be fooled, this building dates back to 1670, having been rebuilt after the Great Fire of London and, while many features are modern there’s a timeless elegance to the venue that pervades throughout. Traditional features are also dotted about with cabinets showcasing antique silverware and glass, while original fireplaces and wood panelling provide a feel of understated luxury.
There are three private rooms: The Great Hall and The Old Courtroom on the ground floor both flanked by a lobby area ideal for pre-event receptions and The New Courtroom on the first floor – there is a lift for disabled access.
The Great Hall seats up to 80 on round tables, (87 in a U-shape, 36 boardroom or 150 standing) and is a vast room with a double height ceiling and wood panelling throughout. One end is dominated by a stunning glass window with the livery hall coat of arms engraved on it, while the opposite end features a minstrel’s gallery complete with piano– where bands and singers can perform. The room itself has three striking gold chandeliers which can be height adjusted to change the mood of the event, while comfy wooden armchairs with blue padded leather seats have their backs stamped with the innholders coat of arms.
Next door, The Old Courtroom can seat up to 40 standing or 26 seated, although the venue is happy to do events for smaller, more intimate dinners in this room. The oak panelling is broken up by large sash windows overlooking the neighbouring church, while inside three cabinets display antique spoons and glassware dating back to the 1600s. An original fireplace and sky-blue carpet which matches the padded chairs gives the room a warm and cosy feel, while the gilt ceiling rose, grandfather clock and coats of arms are constant reminders that this room is steeped in history.
Upstairs, The New Courtroom also overlooks the church and small courtyard. Set up as a C-shape for up to 25 guests, it’s popular for working lunches and daytime meetings as it’s ideally configured for presentations. A stunning pink and while ceiling rose is a key feature of the room, as is the fireplace.
But the room descriptions alone will not do justice to this venue: yes it is a livery hall – and in that a lovely one: well-maintained and large enough for big parties, but not ostentatious or overly grand – but it’s the cooking that really needs pause for thought. Former Michelin starred chef, Herbert Berger (think Claridges, The Connaught and most recently One Lombard Street) has recently taken on the catering operation here and is changing the face of livery hall dining. The team will arrange anything from a buffet for a christening, to classic meals with the ‘old’ favourites or traditional game dishes as well as more modern European cuisine or even 9 course gastronomic dinners.
Events are priced on a package basis, which include hire, menu, gratuity, ½ bottle of wine, water, coffee and petit fours (plus VAT) and start from £60 pp upwards for the Courtrooms and £74 pp for the Great Hall.