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Drinks Reception ideas

Who doesn’t love cocktails and canapés? While it’s traditional to host a drinks reception where guests are served by waiters, you can also create a more relaxed atmosphere by setting up a table of drinks and nibbles so guests are free to help themselves. From classy cocktail parties in Westminster to pre-dinner events in Waterloo, a lively atmosphere and flowing drinks are the signs of a great get-together.

 

Hosting a London drinks reception but haven’t found a venue yet? Whether you’re after a local hangout where everyone knows your name, a traditional British pub to knock back the perfect pint or an upmarket bar when you can live it up like an A-lister, we can point you in the right direction. What are you hosting and when? See how fast you can book one of London’s hottest drinks reception venues today.

 

Popular drinks reception ideas:

  • drinks and dessert reception (because who doesn’t love cake?)

  • seasonal drinks reception (strawberry and basil margaritas are perfect for a spring drinks reception, while spiced red wine sangria is something a little different for cocktail hour in autumn)

  • sky-high food and wine pairing (an after-work drinks reception at a rooftop venue with panoramic views over the city will have your coworkers feeling on top of the world)

  • breakfast drinks reception (anyone for champagne and croissants?)

  • sunset river cruise (blow your guests away with an unforgettable twilight cruise along the Thames)

  • stylish summer party (pair drinks with crowd-pleasing BBQ fare, like mini pulled pork sliders and brown sugar-glazed turkey meatballs)

  • Christmas cocktail party (serve mulled wine or Christmas punch alongside festive fare)

  • garden party (treat guests to vintage champagne cocktails, cupcakes presented on tiered stands and fun lawn games)

  • wine tasting (hire a sommelier to guide the tasting or book an elegant wine bar for a private tasting session)

  • posh champagne reception (because who doesn't love splashing out?)

 

Drinks reception tips and tricks:

  • welcome guests with a signature drink (think Pimm’s in the summer months and  hot apple ciders spiked with rum for chillier days)

  • provide plenty of water, soft drinks and juices for designated drivers and non-drinkers

  • if you’re hosting a drinks reception outside, make a contingency plan for bad weather

 

Things to consider when hiring a drinks reception venue:

  • your budget (know where you can splash out and where you can make savings)
  • your guest list (choose a venue that’s just the right size for the number of guests you anticipate – getting this right will help create a ‘buzzed’ atmosphere)

  • the location (north, south, east or west London) and accessibility (parking, public transport connections, disabled access)

  • the atmosphere (do you need a chic bar near Liverpool Street for a corporate drinks reception, a classy cocktail lounge in Mayfair for a wedding reception or a casual rooftop space in Shoreditch for graduation drinks?)

  • the rules regarding bubbly and drinks (some venues provide the drinks while others charge corkage)

  • the sound system (prepare a playlist in advance and check the music’s not too loud on the day)

  • entertainment options (don’t forget to speak to the venue manager about what you’re planning, whether it’s hiring a band or setting up a photo booth)

  • cancellation fees

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It’s no secret London has one of the best drinking scenes in the world. From boundary-breaking cocktail bars to cooler-than-cool hipster joints, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to drinking in the capital. Planning to host a drinks reception in the city but aren’t quite sure where to start? Here at #tagvenue we have a great selection of London bars, pubs and cocktail lounges for your next event.