Five Venues That Will Make the Event Manager Look Like a God
You can always recognise the event manager. They’re the one looking tense until the night is over or the CEO is drunk (and, depending on the CEO, it might not end there). Either way, there is no other person with so much riding on a single night. Make one wrong choice and there’s a prolonged and painful chat with your boss, about the concept of brand alignment, in your future.
We’ve worked in practically every venue in the country and thought it might be fun to look at a few London offerings that are currently hotter than the sun and have the potential to turn an event manager into a God, and ensure that if you must have a long chat with your boss, then it’s about how exactly to pronounce the word ‘awesome’ when describing you.
1) The Corinthia
Choosing this venue means you begin with a serious backdrop. It’s a grand hotel, fantastically central, with feet firmly in the present; think Victorian excess meets modern luxury and with just a splash of cheek and sauce for good measure. This is, after all, a hotel that features a Rock Star suite over two floors with a lift to the upper level in case the superstar finds themselves incapable of climbing the stairs. The interior won’t disappoint either, fresh flowers, marble inlaid with gold, up-lit doric columns and cornicing that looks like a Venetian master just popped in for a spell. This is a venue where history isn’t dusty or starched but alive and winking at you.
2) The Bluebird
In a glistening white, art-deco, former garage set behind a summer courtyard in the heart of Chelsea, this is an event space with unending charm and a great sense of humour; transforming the courtyard into an ice rink for one vodka brand, and a tennis court for Wimbledon. With space for 20 to 230, it’s chic, yet relaxed, with an island bar perfect for arrival drinks, a facade that can be lit any colour you wish and an interior that just cries out to be played with and turned into your own personal Narnia. These days, they regularly play host to Golden Balls and the gang – and as we always say, if it’s good enough for Posh and Becks…
3) The Emin Room at 34
Just off Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, here lies a location where the venue will definitely set conversation alight. Hosting receptions and events for up to 80, it’s intimate and sleek, with its own bar and lounge for arrivals. However, the most striking element is the collection of art by Tracey Emin (for whom it’s named) on the backdrop of oak panelled walls. It almost feels like you’re inside a piece of her work; provocative, occasionally controversial, cheeky, and with her neon pieces on the wall, actually lit by art. We love it.
4) One-O-One Restaurant
If you want your event to revolve around food, then you’d be hard pressed to beat Breton chef Pascal Proyart’s fish and seafood restaurant in the heart of Knightsbridge, but only if you can accept that the smell from the kitchen will have your guests salivating over each other as they sip a welcome cocktail in the bar. It’s now rated one of the top five restaurants in the UK, and that’s a serious statement considering it’s in a post code where Michelin star restaurants spread like rabbits in mating season. It’s a simple, serene space, suitable for up to 80 – everything is set to let the kitchen sing to the rafters.
5) Grosvener House Hotel
The granddaddy. This is a venue that doesn’t meet, but masters expectations, and certainly one to consider if your event is, let’s say, a touch on the large size. Just walking through the door is like stepping into a palace, one in which the Great Gatsby might have had a hand in designing; a land of chandeliers and sweeping staircases, gold gilt and understated 1920‘s glamour. Even if there isn’t a classic car out front, by thunder you’ll think there should be. Their signature event space is the Great Room – its vast overlooking balconies are truly iconic (it was originally an ice rink, one in which the Queen herself learned to skate). In the last few months, we’ve had 10 West End stars sing Skyfall as aerialists drop from the ceiling for a Bond themed extravaganza and have showcased the best of Broadway for an all singing all dancing Hollywood extravaganza. If the question is – how big? – here’s your answer.