Find your Drinks Reception Venue in London

Find your Drinks Reception Venue in London

Find the ideal setting to impress your guests.

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Top Drinks Reception Venues in London

Seeking ideal drinks reception venues for hire? It’s no secret that London has one of the best drinking scenes in the world. From boundary breaking cocktail bars to cooler-than-cool hipster joints, you’ll be 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. Hire online today!

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Drinks Reception Venues Hire Guide

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.

Popular drinks reception ideas:

  • Drinks and dessert. Because who doesn’t love cake? Look out for some incredible combinations, such as champagne and berries or carrot cake with sherry.
  • Seasonal drinks. Think about it - strawberry and basil margaritas for a spring drinks reception, and spiced red wine sangria for autumn or winter? It just makes sense!
  • Sky-high food and wine pairing. Nothing makes food and drinks taste better than beautiful views from a London rooftop. You’ll have your co-workers feel like they’re on top of the world!
  • Breakfast drinks. Anyone for champagne and croissants? A sip of wine or an aperitif will excite your palate for some delicious breakfast foods.
  • Sunset river cruise. Blow your guests away with an unforgettable twilight cruise along the Thames! Here’s the list of boat venues available on Tagvenue if you want to check out central London from a completely new angle.
  • Stylish summer party. Pair refreshing summer drinks with crowd-pleasing BBQ fare, like mini pulled pork sliders and glazed turkey meatballs. That’s a definite crowd-pleaser!
  • Christmas cocktail party. If you’re looking to spark that Christmas cheer, serve some mulled wine, eggnog or punch in a festive Christmas venue in London.
  • Garden party. Want to take a breath of fresh air? Treat your guests to vintage champagne cocktails, cupcakes presented on tiered stands and fun outdoor activities.
  • Wine tasting. Why not hire a sommelier to guide the tasting or book an elegant wine bar for a private tasting session? Drinking wine is so much more interesting when you get to compare different flavours and get to know about the history of some of the most iconic wine varieties.

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. You don't need alcohol to have a good time, after all.
  • Get a venue with a nice atmosphere for chatting. Themed venues are the best for this!
  • If you’re hosting a drinks reception outside, make a contingency plan for bad weather.
  • Learn something about cocktails yourself! Mixology is a very interesting hobby and you could entertain your guests with info about the drinks you’re having.

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 where 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.

Things to consider when hiring a drinks reception venue:

  • Your budget - You have to know where you can splash out and where you can make some savings. Depending on what services you want to have covered, your hire costs will be a big part of your budget, so split it accordingly.
  • Event date - When will your drinks reception take place? Most party venues are usually more available on weekdays, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re asking in advance. Remember to check if venue prices vary based on time - some venues have a larger hire fee for the evenings.
  • 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 and friendly atmosphere.
  • Location and accessibility - Pick a location that’s easy for the guests to commute to by car or the tube. You should also check for things such as parking, elevators and access ramps.
  • The atmosphere - Do you need a chic bar near Liverpool Street for a corporate drinks reception, or a casual rooftop space in Shoreditch for graduation drinks? Take advantage of a unique interior for a themed party or get a blank canvas space that you can decorate yourself.
  • Terms and conditions - Some venues allow BYOB and charge a corkage fee, while others allow only drinks and food provided by the venue. Make sure you know everything you need to know before signing the agreement.
  • The sound system - Prepare a playlist in advance and make sure the music’s not too loud on the day of the hire. You can also check the venue’s policy on loud music if you want to get a party going.
  • Entertainment options - Don’t forget to speak to the venue manager about your plans, whether it’s hiring a band, doing some games or setting up a photo booth.

Interactive Drink Experiences: Mixology Classes and Wine Tastings for Your London Drinks Reception

Elevate your London drinks reception from merely memorable to genuinely engaging with interactive drink experiences! Incorporating mixology classes and wine tastings entertains your guests and fosters an environment of participation and learning. Here's how to seamlessly integrate these elements into your event:

  • Partner with Expert Mixologists and Sommeliers: Begin by finding skilled professionals who are not just experts but also possess the charisma to engage an audience. London’s rich culinary scene is home to many talents eager to share their knowledge and passion.
  • Tailor the Experience to Your Theme: Whether your reception has a specific theme or you're just aiming for sophistication, customise the mixology or wine tasting to fit. For a summer garden party, consider fresh, floral cocktails. A deep dive into rich red wines or whiskey varieties can add warmth and depth to a winter gathering.
  • Interactive Stations: Set up dedicated areas where guests can gather, watch demonstrations, and try crafting cocktails under professional guidance. For wine tastings, create stations for different regions or types, each hosted by a sommelier who can share fascinating insights about the selection.
  • Educational Yet Fun: Balancing educational content with entertainment is key to these activities. Encourage the experts to share fun facts, personal anecdotes, and easy-to-remember tips that guests can take home.
  • Customise Takeaways: Provide guests with recipe cards or tasting notes as mementoes of the experience. These serve as a practical take-home and a personalised touch that will remind them of the unique experience at your reception.
  • Incorporate Competitions: Inject a dose of friendly competition by hosting a cocktail-making contest among guests, with small prizes for the best concoction. Similarly, a blind wine-tasting challenge can be both amusing and enlightening.
  • Advance Notice: Ensure your invitations highlight these interactive experiences. It serves as an exciting preview that helps guests know what to expect, especially if they’re keen on participating.
  • Feedback Loop: After the event, consider gathering feedback on these experiences. This not only helps refine future events but also gauges which are the most enjoyable for your guests.

Just by following these simple steps, you can offer an extraordinary experience that is something more than the traditional stand-and-sip format. It’s an innovative way to make your event stand out, ensuring your guests leave with new skills, knowledge, and, most importantly, delightful memories!

Non-Alcoholic Delights: Building an Inclusive Drinks Menu for Your London Drinks Reception

Embracing inclusivity at your London drinks reception means ensuring that every guest, regardless of their drinking preferences, can enjoy the festivities with a delightful beverage in hand. Non-alcoholic options have evolved far beyond soda and juice, offering sophistication and complexity to rival their alcoholic counterparts. Here’s how to craft an inclusive drinks menu that leaves all your guests feeling properly taken care of:

  • Sophisticated Mocktails: Collaborate with mixologists to create a range of mocktails that are as visually appealing and complex as traditional cocktails. Ingredients like fresh herbs, exotic spices, and homemade syrups can elevate these drinks, making them a highlight of your event.
  • Non-Alcoholic Spirits: Leverage the growing range of non-alcoholic spirits available on the market. These products mimic the flavour profiles of gin, whiskey, and other spirits, allowing you to offer non-alcoholic versions of classic cocktails without compromising on taste.
  • Craft Sodas and Tonics: Source artisanal sodas and tonic waters that offer unusual flavours, such as elderflower, lavender, or pomegranate. These can be enjoyed on their own or used as mocktails mixers, providing a refreshing alternative to standard soft drinks.
  • Infused Waters: Offer beautifully presented infused waters as a hydration option. Cucumber, mint, citrus fruits, and berries can create visually stunning and refreshing drinks that are a far cry from plain water.
  • Specialty Teas and Coffees: A selection of high-quality teas and coffee can be a wonderful addition, especially for events extending into the evening. Consider including a range of herbal teas, matcha, or cold-brew coffees for a sophisticated twist.
  • Themed Non-Alcoholic Stations: Create interactive stations where guests can customise their non-alcoholic beverages. A build-your-own mocktail bar, for instance, can be a fun and engaging element of your reception.
  • Tasting Notes: Just as you might provide tasting notes for wines or spirits, do the same for your non-alcoholic options. Describing the flavours, ingredients, and preparation methods adds an element of interest. It shows that these drinks are crafted with as much care as their alcoholic counterparts.
  • Signage and Menu Descriptions: Ensure your non-alcoholic options are clearly marked and enticingly described on your menu. This not only makes it easy for guests to make their selections but also highlights the thought and creativity that have gone into these offerings.
  • Training Staff: Brief your service staff on the non-alcoholic menu options so they can provide recommendations and answer any questions guests might have. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff can enhance the overall experience for your guests.

By curating a diverse drinks menu, you ensure that all guests, regardless of their alcohol preferences, can enjoy the celebration to the fullest. Non-alcoholic delights offer a way to make everyone feel included and appreciated, adding an extra layer of thoughtfulness to your London drinks reception!

Music and Entertainment: Setting the Tone for Your Drinks Reception in London

Setting up the perfect atmosphere for a drinks reception in London is more than just selecting a great venue and exquisite drinks menu. The entertainment and music you choose play pivotal roles in defining the mood and making the event memorable for your guests. Here’s how to set the tone for your drinks reception with the right mix of music and entertainment:

  • Live Music: A live band or musician adds a touch of elegance and excitement. Consider the theme of your reception and select a genre that complements it, such as a jazz trio for a sophisticated soiree or an acoustic guitarist for a more laid-back vibe. London's huge music scene guarantees you can find live acts to suit any taste.
  • DJs: A skilled DJ can adapt to the mood of your event, ensuring the music evolves with the evening. Providing your DJ with a playlist that reflects your preferences allows them to read the room and adjust accordingly. A DJ booth or set-up in a corner of the venue can become a focal point of entertainment.
  • Themed Playlists: For a more budget-friendly option, curated playlists can set the mood without live performers. Streaming services offer a vast array of playlists that can be tailored to your event's theme or you can create your own for a personal touch. Ensure the venue has a quality sound system to make the most of this option.
  • Ambient Sounds: If you're aiming for a relaxed atmosphere, ambient sounds or instrumental music can add a subtle background without overwhelming conversation. This can include nature sounds, light classical music, or soft jazz, enhancing the venue's atmosphere without becoming the focal point.
  • Performances: Incorporate short performances throughout the evening to entertain guests. This could be anything from a magician mingling with guests to a brief set from a stand-up comedian. These performances can provide memorable moments and conversation starters.
  • Sound Checks: Sound checks are crucial regardless of the type of music or entertainment you choose. Visit the venue beforehand to test the acoustics and ensure the music will be audible without overpowering guests’ conversations.
  • Volume Control: Keep the volume at a level that encourages conversation. A drinks reception is as much about mingling as it is about enjoying the music. The aim should be to enhance the atmosphere, not to overwhelm it.
  • Transition Music: If your drinks reception is part of a larger event, plan the music transitions carefully. For example, softer background music can gradually give way to more upbeat tunes as the event progresses, subtly encouraging guests to move from conversation to dancing.
  • Licensing and Permissions: Ensure that any live music or entertainment complies with the venue's regulations and that all necessary public performance licences are in place.

Selecting the right music and entertainment for your drinks reception in London is about more than just filling the silence, it's creating an experience that stays with your guests long after the last note has faded. If you’d like to make sure your party is nothing short of excellent, see our Party Planning Checklist: A Step-by-Step Guide to Putting on an Awesome Event!

FAQs about Drinks Reception Venues in London

What kind of venues are good for a drinks reception?

When hunting for a good venue consider an event space with enough room for the guests to circulate. Also, an open layout that will keep guests together in one area will facilitate a great event atmosphere. Check out some of our favourites:

  • SAMA Bankside – A long-time London favourite, enjoy this quirky and industrial themed venue with its fantastic drinks.
  • Bird of Smithfield – Plan your drinks reception in the City at this modern British restaurant in a stunning Georgian Townhouse.
  • Clerkenwell and Social – A specialist in private hire, this venue features an eclectic design and literary theme.

How much does it cost to hire a venue for a drinks reception?

The average cost for minimum spend for a drinks reception will range from £250 to £500. You may encounter more expensive options as well, with minimum spend ranging from £800 to £2000 or more. Hire fee is the second most popular model for this type of event and venues are available for around £2000. (All data from Tagvenue.)

Will I be charged if I bring my own alcohol to a drinks reception?

Many venues able to host a drink reception will allow you to bring your own alcohol. Some venues will charge a corkage fee for BYOB. Make sure to check this detail with the venue manager and get all agreed terms and conditions in writing before you finalise your booking.

Should I hire a bartender separately?

This depends on the type of venue you’re dealing with. Typical cocktail bars will obviously include services of their mixologists, but some venues for weddings and other parties will have you hire a pro bartender separately.

Guests Reviews of Drinks Reception Venues on Tagvenue

Ferhat S.
Booked Basement Bar at The Oxford Market
Craig was super helpful and quick to respond to any of my questions and needs. On the actual night, the bar staff were very nice and made good drinks/cocktails. Bar service was super fast. The basement bar its self is a hidden gem. Good space/layout with own bar, entrance, cloakroom and toilets. Good venue capacity. Highly recommended!
Amelia B.
Booked Great Hall at Apothecaries’ Hall
Great service and organisation. They went out of their way to accommodate allergies / dietary requirements and last minute changes to the order of the day. It also rained on the day and they were happy to move the event indoors - a lovely touch. Rosie and Katie were delightful and we would organise more events here.
Kirsten B.
Booked First Floor at The AllBright Mayfair
The venue, service and food is amazing. Classy with character. A real hidden gem and a must-visit again.
Emilia S.
Booked First Floor Bar at The Walmer Castle
Fantastic venue for celebration drinks with friends, having the entire first floor bar and dedicated service was perfect and the entire team were super professional. Everyone had a great time, many thanks!
Jan R.
Booked The Chesterfield Room at The Market Tavern
This was a fantastic venue in a great location for my daughter's 21st birthday celebrations. Chris was hugely helpful with the planning of the event and then on the night he and his team were brilliant and very friendly. Phoebe really enjoyed the evening. Thank you
Thomas B.
Booked Soda Room at The Botanist Broadgate Circle
Very professional staff, both in preparation and on the night. Food was top-quality, I recommend the Beef Wellington!
Claire B.
Booked Private Cocktail Lounge at Patch St Paul's
Fantastic venue, friendly staff, wonderful location, exactly the right place for our networking drinks event.
Helen W.
Booked Music Room at Pushkin House
Very helpful staff, lovely elegant room.

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