Great places in London for a birthday party
Celebrate your coming-of-age – whatever your age – with a memorable birthday party at one of these top venues
AlbertGorgeous 1920s-themed venue which boasts a great soundsystem. Simply roaring, darling. Capacity 50. Minimum spend £500.Albert & Pearl, 181 Upper St, N1 1RQ (020 7352 9993/www.albertandpearl.com). Highbury & Islington tube/ rail.
Barrio NorthA smart, street-culture themed bar where the multicultural spirit is represented by bold mosaic patterns. Will also appeal to fans of ‘Tetris’. Capacity 175. Min spend £2,000. Private areas free-£500.Barrio North, 45 Essex Rd, N1 2SF (020 7688 2882/www.barrionorth.com). Angel tube.
Bea’s of BloomsburyThere’s no better place to administer a birthday pampering than this fabulous boutique cake shop. Smother your guests in multi-coloured sugary delights, but don’t get carried away – cake fights are strictly prohibited. Capacity 30. Minimum spend £15 per person. Bea’s of Bloomsbury. 44 Theobald’s Rd, WC1X 8NW (020 7242 8330/www.beasofbloomsbury.com). Holborn tube.
Dalston Jazz Bar
Local hipsters flock to this cluttered slice of ’60s Americana for its late kick-out time, cheap-and-cheerful cocktails and eclectic DJs. If you hire the whole venue – bang on for pointy-shoed guys and dolls – Champagne and cake is included. Capacity 200. Free hire if full capacity Mon-Thur, Sun; from £4,000 Fri, Sat.
Dalston Jazz Bar, 4 Bradbury St, N16 8JN (020 7254 9728). Dalston Kingsland rail.
High Road House
Soho House’s latest venture is a pretty members' club and 14-room hotel in Chiswick. It’s as hip as you might expect, and offers a variety of partying possibilities. Upstairs, a private dining room holds 14 for bijou celebrations – it’s for hire to non-members and has a soundsystem. Downstairs, there’s the ‘Playpen’ (a bar) and the ‘Playground’ (a TV and games room). Hire any or all, and you can welcome 150 guests to nibble and dance (there are DJ facilities), or 50 for a sit-down meal from the extremely capable in-house team. Capacity 150. Hire charge from £300.
High Road House, 162 Chiswick High Rd, W4 1PR (020 8742 1717/www.highroadhouse.co.uk). Turnham Green tube.
BEST FOR DEBAUCHED SWANKERY
To celebrate your birthday like a millionaire, come here. Take your pick from the art deco cocktail bar, the wrought-iron garden or the loft-styled dancefloor upstairs. You can book an area with no charge for up to 40 people, while in the week you can hire all of the top floor, or even the whole place. Capacity 280. Min spend £2,000-£3,000 Mon-Thur, Sun; £15,000 Fri, Sat. Private area £150 refundable deposit. Top floor from £500.
Lost Society, 697 Wandsworth Rd, SW8 3JF (020 7652 6526/www.lostsociety.co.uk). Clapham Common tube or Wandsworth Rd rail.
BEST FOR KARAOKE
This Soho crooners’ favourite has hi-tech karaoke rooms (touch-screen tracklistings; drinks at the push of a button) which have been known to generate near-hysterical enthusiasm – and feedback. Capacity 130. Private rooms from £5 per person per hour.
Lucky Voice, 52 Poland St, W1F 7NH (020 7439 3660/www.luckyvoice.co.uk). Oxford Circus tube.
Party BusLegendary Party Buses can be hired in their entirety (you’ll need at least 55 people on a Saturday) for birthdays, or you and your mates can simply join one of their regular tours. Great for a no-trainers, no-sportswear trip back in time to the suburban clubs of your youth. Capacity 55-70 (minimum 20 Mon-Fri). Cost £29.95 per person.Party Bus (0845 838 5400/www.partybus.co.uk).
Rosemary BranchFamed for the quirky theatre upstairs, this venue also has a beautifully redecorated function room with an ornate bar. It’s fully equipped, with a banging sound system, film-screening facilities and decks upon request. Those stuck for ideas might want to theme a party around the theatre’s current performance. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, why not put on a show of your own? Capacity 200. Hire venue from £5,000; private room £200-£500; theatre £1,200 per week or £200 per night.Rosemary Branch, 2 Shepperton Rd N1 3DT (020 7704 2730/www.rosemarybranch.co.uk). Old St tube/rail, then 21, 76, 141 bus.
Tooting Tram and SocialBEST FREE HIREThis grandiose former tram-shed is perfect for those craving a dramatic yet intimate party setting. The downstairs bar has areas that can be reserved, but the back area of the mezzanine level, which looks out over acres of chandeliers, is ideal for sophisticated birthday celebrations. Capacity 60. Free hire, no min spend. Tooting Tram and Social, 46-48 Mitcham Road, SW17 9NA (020 8767 0278/www.antic-ltd.com). Tooting Broadway tube.
TroubadourBEST FOR ROCK ’N’ ROLL CREDThis is one of Earl’s Court’s original folk coffee shops with an unrivalled rock pedigree, having played host to Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix back in the ’60s. The club is designed for live music; it has a fantastic PA, stage and lighting. The high-ceilinged art gallery space is also available for private dining, while the charming Shackleton room in the café can also be reserved for special occasions. There’s a secret garden upstairs too. Take advantage of the fantastic catering and book in-house finger food. Capacity 72. Hire charge £250-£600 club, £200 gallery. Minimum spend club £1,000-£1,800.Troubadour, 263-267 Old Brompton Rd, SW5 9JA (020 7370 1434/www.troubadour.co.uk). West Brompton tube/rail.
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