Finding a Christmas party venue in London is no mean feat, so we’ve taken the pain out of it by compiling this handy list of the best and quirkiest venues in London. Whether you’re looking for a low-budget boozy bash or a classier affair to impress your colleagues, we’ve picked a selection of London’s most memorable, unknown and unusual venues to book your gang into. We’ve even divided the list into north, east, south, west and central London for ease – just flick through the tabs below. Merry Christmas, and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do…
RECOMMENDED: London’s best party venues
Best Christmas party venues in central London
A central London venue that’s all about throwing parties on a big scale. You can host parties for up to 1,000 guests, from Christmas dinners to drinks receptions. This year there are two festive themes to pick from: The Enchanted Forest, where the The Ballroom is draped with hanging lanterns and snowy foliage and House of Clues, which sees The Old Billiard room transformed into a ’20s Cluedo-esque mansion.
The venue accommodates up to 1,000 guests, using a variety of spaces: The Ballroom (up to 700), The Old Billiard Room (up to 500), Annex (up to 225), Salon (up to 100) and Victoria (up to 100).
Contact email@example.com or 0207 808 3340.
Once an illegal drinking den and favourite of the Krays, The Arts Theatre Club is now an homage to the Prohibition era. The venue has an extensive cocktail menu and a vintage piano-turned-DJ booth for dancing the night away. They can help you plan your festive party - and even organise photo booths or burlesque performers.
You can hire an area (up to 55 guests) or the entire venue (110.)
The 1950s Americana-themed Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes come complete with reclaimed furniture, a sleek retro bar and a shabby-chic diner that all stand up gallantly to the far more sterile chain, All Star Lanes. East End kids can be found hanging out in this central venue, but don’t let that put you off. Pop in to practice your swing in one of their eight bowling lanes, nibble on some tasty ‘Lane Snacks’ (burgers, fries, grilled chicken), sip a speciality beer, have a boogie or play a little pool.
You can hire The King Pin Suite (up to 280 guests) which includes five bowling lanes, karaoke and a private bar.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0207 183 1979.
Venue says: “Every Friday from 10pm we host huge games of 'Round the Table' with up to 30 people playing at once, completely free to play - get involved!”
Allegedly located on the very spot that the game was invented, Bounce is a ping-pong bar that serves up a night of competitive fun in an edgy industrial-chic space. The restaurant, safely out of reach of wayward ping-pong balls, is raised on a platform overlooking the drama unfolding on the 16 tables below. A selection of antipasti and pizzas (straight from the wood-burning oven) provides players with ample sustenance.
You can hire private rooms (up to 120 guests) and exclusive areas (up to 110 guests).
Contact email@example.com or 020 3657 6521.
This is probably the closest you’ll get to a proper speakeasy in London. You have to book in advance for a two-hour slot at this tiny candlelit space beneath a juice bar in Covent Garden (there's also a second branch in Camden). The concept is ‘Bring Your Own Cocktail’ – or rather, bring your own bottle of spirits, and the bartender will create bespoke cocktails for you from his old-fashioned drinks trolley. For your festive party, BYOC can put on events and workshops like Martini Masterclasses.
Contact 0203 441 2424.
Tally ho, old chap! Channel London’s Blitz spirit at this vintage tube-themed boozer. The Soho cocktail bar is a fun venue for a 1940s-style knees-up, with an extensive cocktail menu (printed on a newspaper – where else?), a retro swing soundtrack and suitcases full of nostalgia.
You can hire the Train Carriage (up to 40 guests) or the entire venue (150 guests).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 352 6200.
As bar after bar opens using the rather tired ‘Brooklyn Prohibition’ template, Experimental Cocktail Club seems ever more original – it’s hard to find, sure, perhaps more so than any other ‘speakeasy’ in London, but inside remains opulent and elegantly aloof to trends. It’s arranged over three floors of an old Chinatown townhouse, flatteringly lit and expensively decorated.
The National Theatre's rooftop venue The Deck has been transformed into Moonshine Micky's Speakeasy this Christmas. The prohibition-era drinking den comes complete with Southern-style food, clever cocktails and a photo booth.
You can hire the venue exlusively for a drinks reception (up to 130 guests) or dinner (up to 70 guests).
Contact 0207 452 3796 or email@example.com.
The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, England’s first hospital for abandoned children, founded by Thomas Coram in 1739. It houses a fine collection of paintings by artists including Gainsborough, Reynolds, Hogarth and Hudson, as well as grand interiors - and it can be hired for a range of events, including festive parties.
Hire the Musuem (up to 250 guests), Picture Gallery (up to 150) or Court Room (up to 80).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 841 3616.
This not-for profit members' club is a grand old Grade 1 listed house slap bang in the middle of Soho. It nails a nice line between distinguished and arty, and the beautiful interior never feels formal or stuffy. Music and arts figures like Andrew Weatherall, Jarvis Cocker and Gilles Peterson have strong ties with the club, so you might well catch one of them performing there if you're lucky, but if not, just enjoy the upmarket food and drink, or simply lounge around and soak up the atmosphere.
You can hire a number of different private rooms.
Contact email@example.com or 0203 011 1852.
Best Christmas party venues in north London
Ally Pally sits high on a hill with views over the city, and is fully licenced with in-house teams who can transform the huge space into countless guises. You can organise events for up to 10,000 guests, so the possibilities are endless (as long as your budget is).
You can hire The Londesborough Room (up to 200 guests), Palm Court Suites (up to 75), Palm Court (up to 2,000), West Hall (up to 2,500), Panorama Room (up to 700), The Palace Suite (up to 400) or The Great Hall (up to 7,250).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 365 4314.
The name sounds pretty creepy, right? But while there is a certain subtle Addams Family-do-Hoxton air to The Dead Dolls Club, the vibe of this classy restaurant and bar is definitely more cool than creepy. The aesthetic comes from the artfully created marker pen drawings that cover most of the walls of the former textile factory, giving a kooky-yet-upmarket DIY feel, which is balanced by the ornate, vintage-style furniture inside.
Contact 0207 288 1470.
Venue says: “Drop in for a coffee by day, stay for drinks and party vibes by night, then return for a chilled bottomless brunch at the weekends!”
By day, this King’s Cross venue is a girly sweet-shop café. By night, it’s a cocktail bar and club, which also plays host to all sorts of crafty activities. When it comes to Christmas parties, Drink, Shop & Do can provide buffets, sit-down dinners, drinks receptions, DJs and dancing. You can also opt to play party games, design festive jumpers or play musical bingo.
You can book The Bar (up to 130 guests), The Dome Room (up to 45), The Steam Room (up to 110) or the whole venue (up to 240).
Contact email@example.com or 0207 278 4335.
Eco-sustainable building The Forge is a music and arts venue in the heart of Camden Town, but it’s also geared up for private events. At Christmas they can provide the perfect space for anything from a formal dinner to a live music night. They also offer a number of party packages including a Cuban carnival and a funk and soul evening.
You can hire The Main Space (up to 100 guests), The Foundry Room (up to 80) or the full venue (up to 300).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0759 659 2156.
The people, vessels, trade and wildlife of the capital’s canals are explored in the London Canal Museum. The museum is housed in a former nineteenth-century ice warehouse, used by Carlo Gatti for his ice cream, and includes an exhibit on the little-known trade in ice imported from Norway and once stored in two huge wells beneath the museum.
This good-looking new dining room and bar can be found on Granary Square in King’s Cross. Set over three floors, the swish space can be hired for private parties overlooking Regent’s Canal.
You can hire an area or the entire venue (up to 100 guests).
Contact email@example.com or 0203 815 6700.
Venue says: “Soak up sunshine vibes with our beautifully seasonal spring menu. Three courses and a glass of bubbly for £28.00.”
Oh the glamour of the railway. This 1920s art deco-style restaurant and champagne bar can be found above St Pancras International station. The champagne bar, the longest in Europe with fun ‘press for champagne’ buttons, is under the curved glass ceiling with panoramic views of the historic station.
You can hire the Champagne Bar (up to 400 guests), the Brasserie (up to 250), the Oyster Bar (up to 120) or a private dining room (up to 20)
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 923 5455.
Best Christmas party venues in east London
Venue says: “Resident DJ every Friday and Saturday from 8pm until late. To book a table, email us or visit our website.”
This slick little bar at the unfashionable end of Brick Lane hosts club nights, live acoustic music, comedy, film screenings and variety events. They can arrange DJs or live music for your Christmas party, as well as canapes or drinks packages.
You can hire the whole venue (up to 160 guests), the lounge bar (up to 100), the basement (up to 80) and the beer garden (up to 40).
Contact 0207 247 7717 or email@example.com.
A popular laidback, lived-in basement bar that originally helped Hoxton earn its hip title. It's kitted out with low-level furniture and a small bar stocks bottled beers, classic cocktails and champagne, while upstairs is a modern Brit menu for the hungry. Disco-ing down is common on the weekends, but whenever you go TBC really specialise in unique and unusual nights out.
You can hire a semi-private area, a floor or the whole venue (up to 500 guests).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0207 784 8618.
A new nightspot in Hackney from the team who run the Shacklewell Arms and Lock Tavern, Moth Club is a former trade hall that houses a military veterans’ club alongside its hipper clientele. It's a quirky, kooky and thoroughly glittery little space, hosting suitably leftfield events and music, such as oddball karaoke and bingo nights, plus plenty of live bands.
Contact 02089857963 or email@example.com.
There's a real buzz along the west bank of the Lea, with Hackney Wick's Yard theatre and numerous galleries supported by a growing number of café-restaurants. But we're taken with the 2014 newcomer Number 90, which is a higgledy-piggledy mix of gig space, bar and restaurant – with a cracking Lea-side terrace, where you can even lounge in a moored narrowboat, at least until that afternoon's alt-folk combo appears to perform from it.
Contact 0208 986 0090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s fitting that such an impressive venue should sit beside a giant landmark that marks it out dramatically in the skyline. Located at the base of a disused gasworks off Hackney Road, this enormous hangar-style space is 6,000 square feet of fun and was one of the most impressive and exciting additions to London nightlife when it opened. A mix of ace one-off parties and regular events quickly marked OS as one of the most innovative venues around.
Venue says: “Brace for the bank holiday! Live music non-stop from noon-1am, DJ to 4am. Tickets: http://bit.ly/2q6IwaF”
A live music venue in Farringdon, where you get to request every single song. You can start your night with a sit-down meal while the band sing, and later tables are pushed aside for some serious dancing. You could even turn your party into a singing lesson; they boldly promise to transform your group into a choir in just 60 minutes.
You can book a function room (up to 75 guests) or the whole venue (400) for your event.
Contact email@example.com or 0207 278 1966.
This industrial-ish space in Tower Hamlets is owned by the same team that run Oval Space. Sitting directly opposite that venue, TPF did indeed used to operate as a working pickle factory, but recently launched as fully operational music and nightlife venue, but also available for one-off parties and private events. It's a big space with plenty of room to create and decorate, allowing those with a vision for a party a blank canvas.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 183 4422.
Up the spiral staircase from the bustling downstairs bar, the dining room at this 250-year-old corner premises is a good-looking, cosy space, making for a high-end gastropub.
You can hire the dining room (up to 40 guests).
Contact 0207 729 9270 or email@example.com.
This winding gallery space in the heart of Shoreditch hosts everything from pop-ups and live bands to club nights, exhibitions and pop-up parties like Summer Tales and Street Feast. It can also play host to your festive soiree.
Contact 020 7613 3620, firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form on their website
Best Christmas party venues in south London
Tucked away at the wrong end of Chelsea, this intimate jazz club is a badly kept secret. Catering to a diverse crowd of serious jazz types and partygoers in search of late-night nibbles and sounds, the 606 Club has been part of London's musical landscape since 1976. One of the busiest jazz clubs in Europe it has live music seven nights a week. The 606 Club's stage is almost exclusively limited to British jazz musicians, which might sound like a recipe for commercial suicide, but the longevity of this club speaks volumes.
You can hire the entire venue (up to 140 guests).
Contact 0207 352 5953 or Jazz@606club.co.uk.
This friendly boozer is a great place to check out comedy (particularly at the regular Banana Cabaret Comedy Club) and music (folk, blues and rock, from both new acts and rising talents) or just kick back and enjoy a few pints.
You can hire The Ballroom (up to 200 guests), The Harlequin (up to 20), The Tavistock (up to 80), The Map Rooms (up to 80), The Side Bar (up to 70) or The Theatre (up to 250).
Contact email@example.com or 07956530894.
The artistically inclined may take a liking to this Battersea bar overlooking Ransome's Dock, where visitors are invited to scribble and doodle to their heart's content all over the place. Beers and wines are reasonably priced while street food is on offer too. The venue also plays host to crafty workships, film nights and art exhibitions.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07710390991.
Venue says: “Elevate every Sunday from 3pm. Live DJs, garden party, £5 cocktails.”
This Balham hotspot describes itself as ‘a youth club for adults.’ It’s a bar, restaurant, cinema, gallery, comedy club and yoga studio rolled into one. But the focus is on good food – you can book your own private dining room – and good music. The bookable spaces have their own sound system, dance floor and disco lighting, plus a 2am licence.
You can book The Studio (up to 50 guests), The Gallery (up to 120) or the entire venue (up to 500).
Contact 0208 772 6556 or fill out their online booking form.
Located roughly around half way between The O2 and the Thames Barrier, Greenwich Yacht Club stands above the river on stilts. The largely glass building is large enough to cater for all kinds of meetings and dinners and even has its own moorings, what with it being a yacht club and all.
You can hire The River Rooms (up to 250 guests), The Clubhouse (up to 150), The Committee Room (up to 30) and the Boat Yard with a marquee provided (up to 500).
Contact email@example.com or 020 7952 2410.
Tucked away down a residential street, Simon Drake's House of Magic lies in wait. It looks like a disused pub, and it is in a sense, but inside, it's a veritable lair of magic. Simon Drake – star of Channel 4's 'The Secret Cabaret' – has decked the place out in red velvet curtains, mismatched wallpaper and mood lighting. Creepy props sit among decadent furnishings, where you can sit and get your fortune told, try out the 'whispering chair' and tour the Haunted Cellar, as well as, of course, witnessing Drake's 45-minute 'Magical Extravaganza'.
You can hire the entire venue (up to 150 guests.)
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 735 4777.
A beautiful 1930s green and yellow Dutch barge moored between Lambeth and Vauxhall bridge. It's a modest space – only room for 150 max – and most of the time their events are free, so entrance is on a first-come-first-served basis. Visitors here can enjoy a social drink, a gig or hire it out for a personal party.
A bar-restaurant offering all-day dining, a lengthy cocktail list and decor inspired by an old-fashioned gymnasium. Food is described as 'a contemporary take on comfort food', with typical dishes including crispy spam fritter and piccalilli, and liver, bubble and squeak croquettes and onion gravy. Breakfast and brunch menus are promised too. The restaurant's name and the leather aprons worn by staff are a nod to the area's past as the location of many of London's tanneries.
You can hire the venue for events for between 50 and 450 guests.
Contact email@example.com or 0207 357 0244.
Hard to spot but impressive once you find it, this converted tram shed incorporates a cavernous, chandelier-lit main bar and a smaller mezzanine, filled with decorative quirks and televisions for football viewing. Don’t expect a too laddish crowd, though: the offbeat tone is set by a pair of winkle-pickers displayed under glass as you walk in, while Lionel Ritchie beams a Lionel Ritchie smile from an album cover mounted on the back bar.
Best Christmas party venues in west London
This duck-egg blue, nineteenth-century former Welsh Presbyterian chapel may look odd next to a west London housing estate, but once inside it’s delightful, with a wood-panelled gallery, complete with its own pipe organ. It’s a dramatic setting that can be dressed up and themed – Caribbean, gothic and sci-fi have all been done here. You can also hire the Lower Hall – the former church crypt has a low ceiling and solid soundproofing, so live bands sound amazing here.
You can rent the entire venue, The Upper Hall (up to 180 guests) or The Lower Hall (up to 80).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 286 1686.
A historic venue in Shepherd’s Bush, Bush Hall has been the setting for a soup kitchen, a dance hall, a bingo hall and a snooker club. It’s now a popular music venue. Folk, blues, country, alt rock – you name it, Bush Hall does it. And it can play host to your Christmas get-together too.
You can hire the entire venue (up to 350 guests) for your event.
Contact email@example.com or 0208 222 6955.
Fancy something a little bit different this year? The Electric Cinema’s restored auditorium in Notting Hill is a unique space available for private hire. The retro cinema serves food and drinks and boasts plush leather armchairs, sofas and comfy double beds.
You can hire the entire Electric Cinema for private screenings and parties (up to 83 guests).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 908 9696.
This gastropub on the outskirts of Hammersmith is as pretty as a picture. It’s all flowers, fairy lights and distressed furniture. The Hampshire Hog boasts a big beer garden for summer months, but the pub’s cosy corners and function rooms are ideal for wintery soirees. Chefs cook up seasonal food all year round but they have special party packages for big groups.
You can hire the entire venue or The Pantry (up to 35 guests), The Mirror Room (up to 30), The White Room (up to 55) and The Dining Room (up to 70).
Contact email@example.com or 0208 748 3391.
The Museum of Brands is a nostalgia-fest just around the corner from Portobello Road. It’s home to over 12,000 retro items and oddities, from First World War Oxo Cubes and 1930s Mars Bars to the very first Rimmel cosmetics. The venue would make a quirky backdrop to any festive gathering, but would be perfect for a more corporate affair.
You can hire the whole museum for evening events (up to 250 guests).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 243 9610.
MODE offers an experiential and relaxed restaurant, inspired by eclectic culture and music, nestled in the vibrant hub of Notting Hill. Split across a variety of spaces, the Cocktail Lounge, main restaurant, mezzanine and private dining room, diners can choose from MODE’s contemporary Britsh a la carte menu. Completing MODE’s experience is the bar, offering an innovative selection of classic and contemporary cocktails, alongside a sophisticated wine list and house beers.
You can hire the entire venue (up to 650 guests), The Cocktail Lounge (up to 150) or Main Floor (up to 500).
Dedicated to polymorphic pleasures of very much an arts-based kind, this scruffily chic basement centre is home to regular live gigs, DJ nights and one-off parties, and is available for private hire. They'll also help you plan your Christmas party.
You can hire a booth (up to 15 guests) or the entire venue.
Contact email@example.com or 0207 460 4459.
Paradise makes decorative use of its name, taken from GK Chesterton’s poem ‘The Rolling English Road’, by filling its high-ceilinged interior with religious icons, angels, cherubs and flowery chandeliers, even extending the effect to two huge stone vases of flowers on the bar counter. With its banquet-sized dining hall, courtyard garden and roof terrace, Paradise does a roaring trade in private dining. The rest of the time the Paradise, whilst frequented by more DJs than you can throw a bootleg at, is more friendly boozer and restaurant than DJ bar.
You can hire private dining rooms (up to 50 guests) as well as private rooms and the entire venue.
Contact 0208 969 009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book yourself a festive gathering with a green-fingered twist. This Richmond venue is so much more than a garden centre. Former Hix Soho chef Damian Clisby serves up a seasonal menu in the venue’s greenhouses, which are decked out with flowers, candles, Indian furnishings and rickety tables and chairs. It’s a little slice of rustic charm in the city.
You can book large parties into the restaurant or exclusively hire Glasshouse III (up to 40 guests) and Petersham Nurseries Café (120 guests).
Contact email@example.com or 0208 940 5230.
Booking Kensington Roof Gardens is a sure way to guarantee a spectacular event. During the chillier months, it’s transformed into a ‘magical winter garden’ with a marquee and heaters so you can still enjoy the outside areas. It’s a memorable location for a sit-down dinner, a drinks party or even your own club night. The Roof Gardens also offers Christmas party packages, which include food, entertainment and DJs.
You can hire the entire venue, the gardens or the Clubhouse (up to 500 guests).
The 50 best Christmas songs
As Noddy Holder once screeched dementedly: it’s Christmas! You might have heard some Christmas songs enough times to make you want to perforate your eardrums with a candy cane, but many festive pop songs are great works of art. Here’s our countdown of the Top 50 Christmas songs, from ancient carols to the best Christmas Number Ones. It’s the perfect soundtrack to your Christmas party – and since New Year’s Eve isn’t far behind, don’t forget to check out our list of the best party songs too.