“Is there a view?” is one of the most common questions asked when booking a hotel room on holiday or making restaurant reservations, and this requirement extends into the events sphere as well.
When organising any kind of gathering, from wedding receptions to conferences, Christmas parties to product launches, a view of the outside world may be that one aspect that takes your event to the next level.
There are numerous unique venues across London that offer stunning views of the capital, some, perhaps, never before seen by your guests. These include the city skyline viewed from 80 metres up in the air to piazza courtyards only accessible within the venue itself.
Here are eight special venues whose views will take you to new heights and ensure your event is remembered for years to come…
Credit: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
For an event with a serious ‘wow’ factor, journey 80m into the clouds at the ArcelorMittal Orbit and explore London’s famous skyline as you dine, dance, launch your new product or even get married at this award-winning events venue.
With its enviable location in east London’s spectacular Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, guests will have the opportunity to see London like never before, from the east, where the whole of the city stretches out in front of you. They will enjoy mesmerising skyline views of up to 20 miles across London and discover sights including Wembley Stadium, St Paul’s Cathedral and The O2, as well as an exclusive bird’s eye view of the iconic sporting venues where the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games came to life.
You can make your event truly unique by hiring The Slide, the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide and the perfect experience for ice-breaking and team-building. Get your guests’ blood pumping and adrenaline jumping on a hair-raising thrill ride that’s not for the faint-hearted. With light and dark sections, your guests will catch glimpses of the Park and the London skyline before being plunged into darkness where they’ll be left guessing which way they’ll drop next.
The medieval tower at the Garden Museum, built in 1377, is the oldest part of the building. It was repaired in 1834-1835, but is otherwise intact and visitors can climb the tower for views across London.
The venue has now opened the tower for venue hire events on a case by case basis and can comfortably accommodate 25 guests for an intimate experience with a fantastic panoramic view of Central London.
The London Eye is truly unlike any other venue in the city. A nice view is always a sought-after feature, but it’s something else for an event space to have been solely created for delivering one. The Eye can be hired exclusively with capacity for up to 800 guests, while more intimate affairs can be catered for too, with individual capsules available for two to 25 special guests.
Not only does it offer a genuinely unique perspective of the city and beyond, but that spectacular perspective is always shifting. The wheel is constantly on the move (a full rotation takes about 30 minutes) and with 360-degree capsules there’s always a new slice of city skyline for guests to see. In fact, as the only moving view of London, there’s nowhere else guests can enjoy the same incredible scenery or experience from a venue.
Having been built to mark the new millennium means 2020 is set to be a very special year for the Eye as it gets ready to celebrate a landmark 20th birthday. It is fitting for such an incredible piece of design to offer a view of the city as unique as the structure itself.
Imagine your guests dining and dancing underneath the RAF’s iconic Sunderland in its brand-new Hangar 1: Sunderland Hall event space which is capable of holding up to 400 people for a dinner dance or 500 for a cocktail reception.
Alternatively, both the dinner and drinks could take place in the venue’s modern and stylish Mezzanine area with your drinks reception overlooking the new exhibition 'RAF Stories: The First 100 Years, 1918 - 2018' before guests move to the other end of the Mezzanine and enjoy dinner with views of the stunning Sunderland flying boat.
The Science Museum officially opened its brand-new dedicated events space, Illuminate, in March 2018. Situated on Levels 4 and 5 of the museum, this multi-functional venue has dynamic light and dark theming with a blackout space on Level 4 and a larger space on Level 5 framed by a stunning view of London’s skyline - the panoramic window was a conditioned precedent of the whole project.
The view from Illuminate is unlike any other. From South Kensington, the main view looks eastward over the rooftops towards the city skyline. From the fifth floor you get the real impact of the London skyline with highlights including Harrods, the Shard and the London Eye; however, the venue is low enough to still see and appreciate the idiosyncrasies of London street life.
Located on London’s bustling Bankside, the Balcony Room at Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe benefits from beautiful riverside views. This top-floor private events space is a beautiful and versatile blank canvas, with stripped-back dark wood floors and white walls and panelling, whilst floor-to-ceiling French windows perfectly frame St. Paul’s Cathedral and the striking river view, opening the whole space up onto a large balcony. From here, guests can take full advantage of the riverside vistas which also include the City of London, the Millennium and Southwark Bridges and the bustling Bankside below.
A second balcony offers guests a unique perspective of the timber-framed Globe theatre and the piazza courtyard below.
During the day the space is filled with natural light, making it a refreshing venue for board meetings and corporate away days and as dusk begins to fall and night draws in, Southwark Bridge is lit up in pink and purple, and the iconic city skyline is illuminated. The views are beautiful throughout the year, from the balmy summer days to the sparkling winter nights.
Comfortably accommodating up to 70 guests for a sit-down affair, or up to 120 for a standing reception, the Balcony Room is also fully licensed for weddings, and clients can take advantage of the enviable backdrop for ceremonies and photographs.
HMS Belfast is permanently moored on the River Thames next to the iconic Tower Bridge. On board the warship, guests can view in the distance the renowned Shard, Gherkin and historical site, Tower of London.
Guests are also entertained by celebratory special events which take place on the Thames throughout the year, such as state visits. A little closer to home, the scenery at night is beautifully lit up with the city's lights; the gentle sway of the glistening river and atmospheric elements make visiting HMS Belfast an experience guests will never forget.
Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre is a Grade-1 listed building right by the river Thames, and fantastic meeting spaces are available for hire with capacity for 20 to 200 people at the very top of the venue.
These include the Weston Roof Pavilion, which offers an ideal vantage point with iconic views of the London skyline, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye; St Paul’s Roof Pavilion, which offers unrivalled views across central London; and the Level 5 Function Room, the venue’s largest private reception room, which offers striking views of the London skyline.