Unusual and Unique Events and Venues in Central London
Central London has just about every type of event and venue that you could think of. No matter what kind of event you are planning, or on what kind of theme, the right venue can be found to suit the style. For those just visiting London, there are some unique events in the central part of the capital, often in venues that you might not expect, so before booking your attendance at a festival, fair or social gathering consider some of these options - all of them in the heart of the city.
One of London's most attractive buildings laid out in the neo-classical palatial style, Somerset House is used for a range of unique cultural events including outdoor summer movie screenings, pop culture exhibitions, art installations and even an ice skating rink in the winter. However, it can also be hired privately for a unique function. Guests can number anything from a handful to 1,500 depending on the space in the building that is engaged.
Situated in Holborn, Bounce is a relatively new bar in a smart part of central London. Of course there's nothing particularly special about that in this lively city. However, at Bounce, one has the opportunity to play on a genuine Olympic table tennis table. Taken from the Olympic site after the Paralympics ended in 2012, Bounce's tables are arranged around a curving bar. What's more - there are no less than seventeen of them, making the bar a social sports club right in the centre of the city. And they serve pretty good food to boot, with a restaurant that boasts a wood-fired pizza oven.
London Transport Museum
Right in the heart of Covent Garden, there is nothing like the London Transport Museum anywhere else in the capital. Although it is open to the general public on a daily basis, the venue is also available to hire for a wide number of events. The museum has a theatre space that is ideal for conferences, film screenings and even modest performances. There is a well-appointed boardroom for events that include business meetings. Dinner and dance functions for about a hundred guests can be catered for, but if used for a standing reception 500 invitees can be accommodated comfortably.
St Paul's Cathedral
The only domed cathedral in the city, St Paul's is one of London's most iconic landmarks and a significant tourist attraction as well as being a busy place of worship. However, few people know that it can also be hired as a venue. There are no less than five separate spaces, including some underground, which are ideal for private lunches and receptions.
Sir John Soane's Musuem
Tucked away in Lincoln's Inn Field, this museum is something of a hidden gem. When hired for a private function, guests can enjoy canapés and aperitifs whilst hob-nobbing around the museum's fascinating collection of Greek and Roman marbles as well as artwork by the likes of Hogarth and Canaletto. The building is relatively small and can only hold about 80 for a reception or a maximum of 30 for a seated dinner.
City of London Festival
This annual event is held each summer in a few different venues throughout the City. Promoting arts events in and around the Square Mile, the Barbican Centre's Children's Museum is a venue which has been used by festival organisers many times in the past. The Bank of England's Museum, located on Bartholomew Lane, also opens its doors to the festivities each summer.
There are some people for whom nothing less than a royal palace will do for their special celebrations. If that's you, then the Banqueting House in Whitehall fits the bill. Used since 1622 for feasting, the glorious main hall is hired for wedding receptions, dinners, conferences and private parties. The main hall is capable of accommodating 380 at a seated dinner and there is a smaller space - known as the Undercroft - which can hold 120.
Even many of London's own inhabitants may be surprised at the range of venue options and special events that happen right next to the thriving London City business area.