Make a splash on the Cutty Sark or retreat to a Bedouin tent. Here are eight amazing meeting spaces...
1 Freemasons Hall, Holborn, WC2
Also known as the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons Hall is one of the finest Art Deco buildings in London. It is also one of the capital’s most popular film and TV locations, having featured in Sherlock Holmes, Johnny English and Spooks. The building can accommodate anything from a company meeting to an AGM, and, it’s claimed, the attached Freemasons Tavern hosted the meetings that saw the formation of the Football Association in 1863.
Capacity: 50–1,600 people
2 The Cabinet War Rooms, Westminster, SW1
This is the very site where Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his cabinet plotted the strategies that led Britain to victory during World War II. You can walk the same corridors as Churchill and peer into the room where momentous decisions were made. This once-secret underground wartime HQ also offers excellent modern meeting facilities.
Capacity: 12–200 people
3 Wellcome Collection, Euston, NW1
If you want to have your mind blown (in a strictly figurative sense, of course), then the extraordinary exhibitions at the Wellcome Collection will do just that. Medicine Now is the Collection’s latest work, offering a fascinating look at modern science around the world. The exhibition space can also be used for private events.
Capacity: 200 people
4 The Bedouin Tent, Bishopsgate, EC2
Made in Saudi Arabia and covered in woven goats’ hair, the Bedouin Tent can be hired for workshops and training sessions, providing an oasis of calm within the hustle and bustle of the City. Part of the St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, the tent has cushioned bench seating around the edge, but they do insist that you remove your shoes before entering.
Capacity: 25 people
5 Victorian Bath House, Bishopsgate, EC2
Turkish baths have sat in Bishopsgate’s churchyard for 200 years and this particular bathhouse, which is a Grade II-listed building, dates back to 1895. It’s an underground venue that has been described as a ‘hedonistic hideaway’, but can also be booked for rather more formal team meetings and away days.
Capacity: 20–60 people
6 Abbey Road Studios, St John’s Wood, NW8
The legendary recording studios can also cater for meetings and events with a difference. For example, you can take part in what some would call the ultimate team-bonding exercise with the ‘Record a Song Experience’ – so long as you don’t fall out over musical differences – and make music in the rooms used by artists such as Pink Floyd, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Jay-Z and, most famously of all, The Beatles.
Capacity: up to 300 people
7 The Postal Museum, Farringdon, WC1
This is one of London’s newer venues – and certainly one of its most memorable. If you attend an event here, then you simply must ride the Mail Rail, a miniature train that takes you on a journey under the streets of London through the original tunnels of the Post Office railway. We guarantee it will get your, ahem, stamp of approval.
Capacity: 50–275 people
8 Cutty Sark, Greenwich, SE10
Since she first sailed the seas in 1870, Cutty Sark has faced storms, war and fire. Yet incredibly, she still retains around 90% of the original hull fabric with which she first launched. The world-famous ship moored in Greenwich has a host of event spaces available, including the Masters Saloon, the Dry Berth and the Weather Deck.
Capacity: 12–400 people