One benefit of working as a corporate event magician, is that I get to see some amazing venues. I’ve lived in London for my whole life, but I’m still surprised and delighted by the hidden gems that I discover.
With summer approaching, many of you will be searching for corporate summer party venues for your mid-year celebration. Here are some ideas for inspiration. I’ve entertained at all of the venues featured and can wholeheartedly recommend any of them.
Splendid views of London, outside space, but with the option to take cover if the British summer weather doesn’t deliver. A venue with a roof terrace is a great choice for your company summer party. Here are a few options.
High up on the roof of the Montcalm Royal London, Aviary is a bar and restaurant with a terrace that offers an excellent panorama of The City of London. Don’t look down if you’re afraid of heights though!
The perfect location for city-based firms to host a summer evening’s drinks party
Fun fact: Aviary Bar overlooks Finsbury Square, which is believed to be the first public space permanently lit by gas.
Soho Sky Terrace
Location: Soho/Oxford Circus
This hidden spot is nestled on top of the Courthouse Hotel, right in the heart of Soho. The views are not quite as spectacular as some of the others in this post, but it’s a great location and has a good vibe. An ideal summer party venue for Soho or West-End based companies.
Fun fact: The Courthouse Hotel was originally an actual courthouse. It still has the judge’s stand, judge’s bench and dock in its restaurant!
The Nest at The Treehouse
Location: Oxford Circus
Just north of Oxford circus, this cocktail bar on the 16th floor of Treehouse London offers 360 degree views across The West End. As the name suggests, there’s plenty of greenery too. If you’ve got team-members from out of town, book some rooms and they won’t have far to go to sleep off the celebrations.
Fun Fact: “The Queen’s Hall”, a 2500 capacity concert hall used to be on this site, until it was destroyed in World War 2.
The Blue Fin Building
Location: South Bank
Just behind the Tate Modern, the 10th and 11th floors of this impressive building hosts a huge outdoor space for summer events. Enjoy the architecture and panoramic views while you drink and dance the night away.
Fun Fact: The building’s name comes from comes the 2,000 vertical blue fins that line the facade, which provide solar shading for the offices inside.
Location: Tower Bridge
That’s the bar at the top of the DoubleTree by Hilton, not the 90s pop duo!
Billing itself as “London’s wildest sky-high destination”, Savage Garden offers 360 degree views of London in a prime location. With a capacity of up to 380, plus smaller spaces for more intimate events, this is a great choice for your mid-year party.
Fun Fact: DoubleTree hotels are famous for giving guests a cookie when they check in. In 2019, a Doubletree Cookie was the first cookie baked in space on the International Space Station!
Sabine at Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s
With brilliant views of St Paul’s Cathedral and a glass-roofed indoor space if it rains, this cocktail bar is a perfect spot for team summer events. I’ve worked here a few times, previously when it was called The Grange St Pauls’ Sky Bar, and I’ve always enjoyed it. The glass lift on the way up is a fun ride too.
Fun fact: St Paul’s Cathedral was almost blown up in 1913. The suffragettes planted a bomb to raise awareness about equal voting rights, but it was faulty and failed to go off.
Summer Party Venues with outside space
You don’t have to be high up on a roof to enjoy sunshine and great views in London. Stay firmly on the ground for a great summer bash at these venues.
The Gun Docklands
This lovely 18th century pub boasts an impressive history and lovely river views. It has a private dining room, a riverside terrace and a large garden with outside bar. Ideal for team summer events of various sizes.
Fun fact: Apparently, Lord Nelson used to have “secret meetings” with Lady Emma Hamilton here!
Location: Liverpool Street
This is a useful spot if you don’t trust the British weather. While it’s “outside”, the terrace is covered so you don’t have to worry about being rained on.
There’s a restaurant, private dining rooms and cocktail bar all of which can be hired for corporate events.
Fun fact: Devonshire Square dates back to the 1800s when it housed warehouses that stored goods shipped from Bengal, including silk, ivory and mother-of-pearl.
Location: London bridge
If you need a HUGE venue, Vinegar Yard could be the ideal spot. Located right next to London Bridge station, it holds up to 900 standing at full capacity You can also hire part of it if your team isn’t quite that big!
Fun fact: if you want to snap up a bargain, Flea London hosts a vintage market at Vinegar yard every weekend.
Summer makes me think of picnics and time in the park. If you want a slightly more extravagant summer party with lush surroundings, a marquee and great food, here are some ideas for you.
Location: Regent’s Park
This is a stunning space for larger events. Four acres of landscaped lawn, with a marquee available from May to September. They have an in-house catering team offering a range of menu options including Italian, Greek, Asian, Caribbean, plus more. There’s huge scope to go creative with your entertainment options here too (don’t forget to hire a magician while you’re at it!)
Fun fact: The Regent’s Park used to be part of Henry VIII’s hunting ground!
Nestled between the impressive historic halls of the Lincoln’s Inn are these beautiful gardens which are available to hire for company summer parties.
Fun fact: There is debate as to where the name “Lincoln’s Inn” comes from. It might be from Henry de Lacy, third Earl of Lincoln. Or it could be after Thomas de Lincoln, one of the sergeants at law during the fourteenth century. We don’t know for sure.
Middle Temple Gardens
Another one of the Inns of Court, this time with a slightly larger garden – once again a stunning, well-located location, steeped in history. There’s an all-weather marquee in case it rains too!
Fun fact: In the Great Hall, there is a table which is said to be made from the timbers of the Golden Hinde, the ship used by Sir Francis Drake to circumnavigate the world.
I’m on a boat!
Why not spend your company summer party on the open water? There are a bunch of companies that offer cruises along the Thames; here are a few that I’ve worked on can recommend.
The Pride of London can host parties for up to 245 people across both of its decks. Gin lovers will appreciate the the bar – it boasts 20 different varieties.
If you’ve for a much bigger group, West End on Thames can cater for up to 500 on its largest vessel.
Have an even larger party? Thames Luxury Charters has one boat that can host up 620 guests. They have smaller vessels too if your summer party isn’t quite as massive.
All of the boats are covered, so you’re safe from the elements if the British summer doesn’t deliver. It might get a bit choppy on the water though!
If you like the idea of a boat but don’t want to get sea-sick, Cutty Sark at Greenwich is available for private events. it holds up to 450 inside, with plenty of space on the upper deck to take in views of the city while the sun sets.
Fun fact: The Thames is long, but not the longest river in the UK. First place goes to the Severn at 220 miles long. The Thames is 215 miles long and comes in at second place.
Upmarket Summer Party Venues
For those with a big team and decent budget.
Capacity (River Terrace): 500
Capacity (Fountain Court): 1500
If you’re looking for a prestigious, central location for your company summer party, look no further than Somerset House. The famous 18th Century building has a range of spaces for events. For outdoor summer parties, the River Terrace can host up to 500 people standing, while the main Fountain Court can host up to 1500!
Fun fact: Somerset House has been used as a location for loads of Hollywood films, including two James Bond movies, Harry Potter and several Sherlock Holmes flicks.
The Hurlingham Club
This exclusive members club in South-west London is also available for private hire. A Georgian clubhouse situated n 42 acres of grounds, it’s a brilliant spot to enjoy the summer sun while sipping cocktails with your colleagues.
Fun fact: There used to be a 30 year waiting list to become a member of The Hurlingham Club. It got so long that it was closed down in 2018. If you’re not related to a current member, it’s unlikely you’ll get membership now!
A couple of slightly more unusual venues for your summer event.
Capacity (Terrace): 600
The Oval isn’t just for playing and watching Cricket. They also host a bunch of corporate events throughout the year. The main terrace overlooking the ground is a great spot for an outdoor event with cover to keep you dry if it rains.
Fun Fact: The name “The Oval” comes from the oval road which was originally built around a cabbage patch in the late 1700s
OK, this one’s also a boat, but I’ve included it here as it’s quite quirky as well! Described as a “floating pub”, it’s a 1930s Dutch barge permanently moored on the south side of the Thames near Vauxhall. There’s a covered lower deck and open upper deck, with great views of Parliament, The London Eye and Battersea Power Station.
Fun Fact: “Thames” derives from the ancient Celtic word “Tamesis”
A huge conservatory in the heart of London – who knew? Located on the 3rd floor of The Barbican, this unique space is available to hire for your corporate events. Enjoy a summer party under the glass roof, surround by 2,000 species of plants and trees.
Fun Fact: The Barbican Conservatory is the second largest in London, after Kew.
Get Out of The City.
If you want to escape the hustle-bustle, but don’t want to trek too far, here two brilliant venues within a stone’s throw of Central London.
Just on the outskirts of London, this historic “great house” has a Conservatory and Gardens which are a perfect spot for a summer party.
Enjoy beautiful surroundings steeped in history while you party the summer evening away.
Fun fact: Syon House is the London home of The Duke of Northumberland.
Just 27 minutes by train from Moorgate, Hatfield House is a short hop from the city centre and a great choice for corporate events.
It hosts a range of outside spaces with in-house catering providing BBQs, sit-down meals and a wide drinks selection.
Fun fact: During World War I, trenches and craters were built here to test the first British tanks, complete with barbed-wire to represent no man’s land.
Don’t forget the entertainment
That’s it for the corporate summer party venues, but it would be amiss of me not to mention entertainment, considering it’s what I do.