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Top Drinks Reception Venues in London

Seeking an ideal drinks reception venue for hire? 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.

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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.

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

Drinks Reception Venues in London FAQ

What kind of venues are good for a drinks reception?

When hunting for a good venue consider an event space with enough room for 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

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.

Guests Reviews of Drinks Reception Venues on Tagvenue

Cécile Mayorga Poati
Booked Josephine Room at The Jugged Hare
Excellent level of service throughout! Thank you for your attention to detail, your good planning, it really made the evening a smooth success!
Emilia Spitz
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 Roberts
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 Baldwin
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 Boxall
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 Whitten
Booked Music and Function Room at Pushkin House
Very helpful staff, lovely elegant room.

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