Ian Lapworth and Louis Ramsey, our UK destination experts, love exploring London and take regular site trips to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and venue offerings.
Discover some of their favourite, show-stopping London venues by land, sea and sky!
A River Tour
Let’s set the scene, the sun was shining and it felt like summer had arrived with such glorious weather!
The day began at Tower Walkways. We met at London Bridge Station – a short walk from the Walkways, although in the rain you would probably want to take a taxi.
After a quick stop at a local, well known sandwich shop, PRET A MANGER, we arrived at the north Tower of Tower Bridge.
The site visit took place at the Tower Walkways, right at the top, which offers stunning views of the surrounding London skyline and river, including our next site visit the HMS Belfast.
A site visit is not for the faint hearted – especially if you’re not wearing appropriate footwear – as one of us soon found out. HMS Belfast is on the way back to London Bridge and after a brief visit here looking at the fantastic 1930s venue space, we made our way back to the station.
We made our way to the Cutty Sark making sure to tap our Oyster Cards for the Docklands Light Railway. Arriving at the Cutty Sark, with another stop off at said sandwich shop for a thirst quencher, we conducted the site visit at the Cutty Sark.
Greenwich Pier is a short walk from the Cutty Sark, with views of Greenwich’s famous buildings on the way. We caught a Thames Clipper boat along the river to take us back into the city. As it was a Friday, we celebrated the week and met up with a few colleagues for a drink in The Fire Brigade Station (a pub, there wasn’t a fire).
The Dorchester marked the final stop for the day. We enjoyed a lovely, hosted fam trip which started with a show around followed by pre-dinner drinks in the kitchen at the chef’s table, and dinner in the magnificent Penthouse Suite.
Tower Bridge Walkways
The Walkways offer a fantastic, first impression.
The bridge is a spectacle and stands proud in the middle of the Thames.
Upon arrival, you are within the ticket office; it has a glass exterior protruding out from the tower itself and traditional bricks walls.
The lift (or the stairs for the energetic) takes you up to the ‘reception’ of the walkways where you are greeted by a traditional decorated room of London and a video showing the history of the bridge.
The Walkways themselves offer great alternative views of the city and also allow you to see the people walking on the bridge below from a bird’s eye view. However, during the day this is all there is to offer.
In the evening it is a different story altogether – make use of the LED lights on the wall, add some visual effects and this space can be transformed into a really breathtaking venue with incredible views of London at dusk.
HMS Belfast offers a great piece of British history moored on the equally famous River Thames.
For guests that have not been to London before this location offers the ‘wow’ factor. The boat still sails a few times a year and the interior décor paints a picture of the ship in years gone by.
Arrive at the ticket office (on land) then make your way down the gangway towards the bow of the boat.
With three levels to the ship, there are plenty of hosting options and spaces to choose from.
One thing you can guarantee – whichever level you choose – is that your guests will feel like they have been transported back in time to the 1930s, making it the perfect location for a nautical 1930’s themed party.
Here lies another great piece of British history dry birthed in London.
The Cutty Sark is a much more classical sailing yacht, originally built for use as a tea clipper.
Upon first sight, the illuminated masts shine like beacons in the night – impressing new and returning visitors alike! Whichever way your guests walk, whether that’s from the station or if they arrive into Greenwich Pier by the Thames Clipper riverboat service, they are sure to be amazed.
Walk in through the venue’s shop and make your way up to the top deck of the boat to understand what it would have been like to sail upon the boat. Head down a level to find yourself at the museum part of the ship and take time to learn about the deck’s interesting history.
Climb down another level to the spacious cambered tween deck – a great for a drinks reception.
Finally go down below to the main event space. There’s nothing quite like holding an event in the hull of the boat, a large space open for your creative license.
All in all the Cutty Sark is an incredible venue and it’s perfect to pull in entertainment, props and lighting to create an unforgettable gala dinner evening.
The Fire Brigade Station Pub
This quirky pub has been located in Waterloo for over a century and is therefore considered a landmark of Waterloo. As the name suggests it was originally a Fire Station and the theme still runs through the venue with old fire buckets dotted around.
Being completely open planned, we would not recommend holding a group event here as they do not offer private dining and it would be difficult to even have a semi-private dining area.
However, after a day of meetings it’s an ideal spot for a de-brief over dinner or drinks before walking to Waterloo station for the journey home.
This venue does not need a lot of selling. A grand entrance littered with expensive cars grabs your attention whether you are visiting or just walking past.
Enter this magnificent building through the revolving doors and you’ll be taken back by the stunning reception area which looks through to the main restaurant. This part of the building can only be described as an indoor terrace with comfortable seating and carpet surrounded by luscious botanicals.
There are two hidden gems in this building.
The first is the top level suite. Three rooms (not including the bedrooms) decorated in a traditional British theme topped off by an outdoor terrace looking out across the London skyline.
The second is the Chef’s table, a small frosted glass room in the kitchen. There’s enough space for 12 diners to enjoy Michelin star cooking, preparation and exclusive tasting.
The Dorchester provides an ideal location for an incentive group who want to experience a traditional London hotel – we promise you will not be disappointed.
If you want to discover more about London don’t hesitate to contact our local experts by visiting the page: Ovation UK DMC