Grand galas and extravagant events aren’t the only gatherings for which unique venues are ideal. Companies can benefit from the more discreet spaces that a variety of museums, cathedrals, palaces, sports grounds and historical landmarks provide for professional meetings.
From modern, recently refurbished boardrooms to halls boasting marble flooring and vaulted ceilings, an array of options exists for board members, staff and everyone in between who are looking to do business, day or night.
Here are seven special venues in which you can hold smaller meetings while still feeling greatly inspired by your surroundings:
Located in trendy Notting Hill, the Museum of Brands is one of Unique Venues of London’s quirkiest member venues and the world’s only museum that explores how brands shape our world. The museum’s collection showcases the evolution of everybody’s favourite brands over the past 150 years, providing a unique insight into consumer culture. Its variety of creative event spaces host over 240 events a year in this tucked-away-gem of a venue. From a boardroom meetings of 6 to 15 people, to an exhibition hall hosting intimate dinners for 10 to 80, the museum is an excellent place for small to medium-sized groups.
The museum’s conference space comfortably seats up to 42 people cabaret style without feeling cluttered or tight. This grass-floored room is filled with natural light, making it a brilliant place for all-day workshops and meetings. With the draw of its collection making the venue a one-of-a-kind destination for teams involved in marketing, design or development, the Museum of Brands’ modern and up-to-date spaces work well to complement it. With a great selection of daytime and evening spaces, the Museum is an amazing setting for discovering the history of brands while looking toward the future of your own company.
Following client feedback, the wood-panelled Desmond Tutu Room (capacity 10 boardroom) on the Ground Floor of the Millennium Buildings at Southwark Cathedral, previously in a fixed boardroom setting, can now be used more flexibly as a break-out space for team building sessions (capacity: 15 seated with 2 facilitators).
The Desmond Tutu Room is so named after Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a curate in the Diocese of Southwark and a student at King’s – the Cathedral’s neighbours and friends – as well as the President of the Millennium Appeal at Southwark Cathedral.
An interesting fact is that whenever Desmond Tutu is in London he visits the Cathedral.
The Great Hall of The Queen’s House is a stunning space with a large vaulted ceiling and a 400-year-old black and white marble floor. The space is perfect for lunches and presentations or panel discussions. With an abundance of green space, there are opportunities for outdoor drinks receptions and evening soirees following daytime hire as well.
The Endeavour Room at the Royal Observatory is also a striking space for intimate meetings. Located at the top of the late-Victorian Astronomy Centre, it has a large domed ceiling and a large amount of natural light which makes it perfect for boardroom meetings. The purpose-built round boardroom table and in-house AV means it is equipped for daytime meetings for 12.
The Albemarle Suite is possibly the most significant non-royal space at Hampton Court Palace, which was designed for Arnold Joost van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle from 1699-1701.
Today, this unique apartment can be used flexibly to accommodate a range of daytime events. Seating 16 boardroom style or up to 24 banqueting style, there is an exciting amount on offer to keep your meeting or event interesting and engaging. With beautiful views of the gardens and in the centre of the palace, you will be well positioned to explore the venue.
Some highlights include private morning carriage rides around the palace, formal gardens and deer park (Henry VIII’s old hunting ground), followed by a delicious breakfast within the suite itself. Alternatively, you can use the space, which is enhanced with an exclusive rooftop tour offering spectacular views of the surrounding area, for a private meeting; or, you can indulge in a special afternoon tea, followed by a tour of the palace state apartments with a private guide.
Steeped in history, Tower Bridge North Tower Lounge shows off the iconic and original architecture, in addition to exhilarating views, of Tower Bridge and the River Thames through the dramatic Victorian neo-Gothic style windows.
The room features high ceilings, providing an airy feel with plenty of natural daylight. It truly is a stunning backdrop for meetings of any kind. The space can be set up in a variety of layouts: theatre, cabaret or boardroom style. Furthermore, your guests receive complimentary entry to the Tower Bridge Exhibition.
The Science Museum in South Kensington recently opened its doors to the Smith Centre for both daytime and evening hire. Located on the ground floor of the Science Museum, the Centre was originally constructed in 1890.
Recently refurbished, many of the building’s original features have been elegantly preserved to present four spaces of varying size, with the Boardroom and Large Meeting Room perfect for meetings with capacities of up to 30 people boardroom style.
Among the original features is an open-plan courtyard area which can be enjoyed in conjunction with daytime hire of a larger space, the Salon. This space is also enhanced with a range of hand-picked historical objects from the Science Museum collection, including a replica pressure suit from the last mission to the Moon and the stunning Electrical Engineering Workshop painting by Terence Cuneo.
Conveniently located in the heart of central London, with stunning vistas of the hallowed turf, Lord’s Cricket Ground is a unique choice for any event.
The Lord’s ethos is all about exceeding expectations. Combining flexibility with creativity, the venue can provide anything from an intimate meeting room to a large banqueting space - all accompanied by outstanding catering provided by the experienced in-house team, flawless service and a warm welcome.
The venue’s Tavern Boxes with views of the pitch can accommodate 18 in Boardroom style, or if you are looking at something truly special, Lord’s can accommodate a meeting for up to 32 in Cabaret in its intimate Writing Room in the famous Pavilion.