London: unusual event venues

London boasts a fabulous array of deliciously different event spaces

Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, London
Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, London

As featured in C&IT's Venue London guide


The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town

This quirky nightspot is among a number of speakeasy bars popping up in London. The Twin Peaks-style basement bar is beneath the new Breakfast Club in Spitalfields and opened its doors - or rather fridge, since access is via a Smeg fridge in The Breakfast Club - in 2011. The bar, with moose heads and mirror balls, requires visitors to call or email ahead, and once they arrive, ask to see the mayor to gain entry. However, the bar is available for exclusive hire for groups of up to 60.

House of Wolf

 This three-storey Victorian lair, as it is being described, will open for business in a listed music hall in Islington in October and can be hired exclusively for up to 200. The House of Wolf will feature a permanent series of monthly pop-up chef residencies, showcasing dynamic chefs and culinary artists. Dining will be available in the Attic Room and Parlour, with the latter available for private dining for up to 20 people. The Apothecary Bar will serve experimental elixirs, with other spaces including the Wolf Den, for groups of up to 40, and the Music Hall for up to 120, which will run a programme of creative events from vaudeville cabaret to literary salons.

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising, London

This venue is a quirky option for corporates wanting to push a brand message through an event. Just off Portobello Road in Notting Hill, the museum features more than 12,000 original items spanning 150 years of consumer culture, including packs, posters and adverts, fads and fashions, toys and games. Tesco, KFC and L'Oreal are among the brands to have used it for events. A conference space can be used during the day for up to 70 people theatre-style, while the museum is available evenings and all day Monday for drinks receptions, dinners, parties and launches.

Graffik Gallery

This urban contemporary art gallery dedicated to street art in Notting Hill is an ideal setting to get creative juices flowing. Groups can hire the whole gallery for up to 200 people or one of three individual spaces for smaller groups: the main Street Art Gallery, Basement Arts Boutique and a unique Graffiti Garden. Delegates can literally brainstorm on the walls of the gallery, while Banksy-wannabes can take part in artist-run workshops and create their own mural for a unique team-building activity.

Dans le Noir

There's nothing like being thrust into utter darkness to get delegates acquainted with one another. Located in Clerkenwell, near Holborn and Farringdon, Dans le Noir restaurant, where diners looked after by blind guides eat in the pitch black, certainly fits into the category of weird and wonderful. The restaurant can be hired out for private events, dinners, parties, product launches or team-building exercises. The dark room fits 60 people, and the lit bar and the lounge can be used for cocktails before and after dinner, or during a break between sessions in the dark.

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