SPRING AND SUMMER
Catch spring in full bloom at Kew, which has a number of spaces for daytime and evening corporate events. Designed by Sir William Chambers in 1761, The Orangery provides an impressive reception and dining venue, with space to seat 200 for a dinner-dance from 7pm. For daytime events, try the historic Nash Conservatory, a 19th-century glasshouse in Greek temple style, with space for 200 theatre-style.
The Trafalgar Hotel
The Trafalgar in London has doubled the size of its rooftop Vista bar. Total capacity is 200 and the al fresco space has been furnished with monochrome furniture and splashes of pink throughout. The bar can be hired exclusively but there are options to take over parts of it, including the Vista Gallery for up to 70 people, which offers views of iconic landmarks including Nelson's Column, Big Ben and the London Eye.
The Terrace, Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel
For small events in the heart of the city, try the Belgravia hotel's Terrace restaurant, which opened for private hire for the first time this year. It is available between May and September for up to 60 delegates to enjoy al-fresco dining. Add a team-building element with a barbecue masterclass in April and May, or network over the signature Terrace Breeze cocktail - a mix of mango juice, Tanqueray gin, Smirnoff vodka, orange juice and grenadine.
ZSL London Zoo
London Zoo's outdoor options include making the most of the lighter evenings, with a Pimm's reception at its newest attraction, Penguin Beach. Up to 250 delegates can enjoy a barbecue before an exclusive penguin show, with 12 invited onto the beach to see the birds up close. The Prince Albert Suite Lawn and Terrace can hold 300 for a picnic, and, for inclement weather, the Grade II-listed Mappin Pavilion can seat 80 for dinner, and has a double patio door with views of the wallabies and emus.
Blue Fin Venue
The South Bank venue has a variety of spaces, from modern meeting rooms to a contemporary reception area, but in warmer months consider its landscaped East Terrace on the tenth floor for a breakout space or drinks receptions. With bench seating and views of the City, Canary Wharf and the Thames, it is ideal for summer parties for up to 400 guests. Former corporate clients using the venue include Lloyds Banking Group, Orient Express and EDF Energy.
AUTUMN AND WINTER
Tucked away in Mayfair, Rocco Forte's historic London property has a variety of cosy spaces to welcome delegates in the colder months. The ground-floor Byron and Graham Bell rooms each boast fireplaces, which can be filled with candles for a festive glow, or make the most of the natural light with the 90m2 Kipling Suite's floor-to-ceiling-windows. For a more indulgent affair, the 60-delegate Roosevelt Room's features include ornate ceilings, chandeliers, high windows and antique furnishings.
Sea Life London Aquarium
Make the most of rainy days with a water-themed event at Sea Life London Aquarium. Ideal for large events, it can hold up to 500 for cocktails across its various zones, where delegates can view more than 500 species of marine life, including sharks, rays and penguins. Areas can also be booked for smaller events, with space for up to 200 for sit-down dinners. Highlights include the refurbished Shark Walk.
Gladstone Library, Royal Horseguards Hotel
Perfect for atmospheric events in the winter months, the 280m2 Gladstone Library is the Royal Horseguards Hotel's largest event space. With space for 350 people for a drinks reception, the impressive Victorian ballroom boasts high ceilings, shelves filled with 30,000 volumes and a minstrel's gallery. The space can be interconnected to The Reading and Writing Room to hold up to 450.
With event space both above and below deck, the three-masted ship is ideal for turn-of-the-season events in Britain's changeable climate. The maritime icon relaunched this year, fully restored following a fire in 2007. All three decks will be available for exclusive hire from October onwards, in addition to a new space in the dry berth. Now raised 3m above the dock, a 1,000m2 gallery directly beneath the ship's hull can hold more than 200 for dinner or 300 for receptions.
Ideal for small groups, the Gore Hotel provides a cosy 19th-century setting near Hyde Park. Try the Tapestry Room, which can hold up to 57 for a private dinner - think stone fireplaces, panelled walls, gilded mirrors and French Verdure tapestries. The smaller, wood-panelled Mulberry room can hold 12 for a boardroom meeting or 24 for dinner. The Green Room can also hold up to 24 people and features large sashay windows, an imposing pediment bookcase and an original ornate fireplace.
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