Self Catering Venues for Hire in London

Search and book one of our 795 event venues that allow outside catering

UK > London > Function Rooms > Self Catering Venues

Top Self Catering Venues in London

Planning an event but want to keep your costs low? Alternative options to consider include self catering venues that allow for non-traditional catering (like food trucks), sponsored catering or DIY catering. It's worth remembering that town halls, libraries or other local community organisations are often much cheaper than a banquet hall, hotel or conference centre, and are ideal for self-catered events. Here at Tagvenue, we showcase a variety of alternative hire spaces, so it's easy to find a self-catering venue for your next celebration.

1 of 22

Self Catering Venues Hire Guide

Self catering at your event is not just about cutting expenses. It gives you freedom of choice and it’s a brilliant creative opportunity as well. Tagvenue comes in handy when searching for the perfect self-catering venue in London. Book with us and see how quick and easy it can be!

Self Catering venues require a bit more planning than your run-of-the-mill party or banquet spot. These venues are a great way to keep costs low as you are able to handle all the catering in any way you wish.  So whether you want to prepare the food yourself or hire a caterer you have the opportunity to create an event that is truly DIY.. When planning an event at this type of venue, always keep in mind:

Preparation – Whether you or your vendor will be preparing the food, always make sure that you have all the supplies that you need. The food may need to be brought to the venue, or you may be able to cook on site. Whichever the option, make sure you have all the supplies you need, e.g. aluminium trays or sternos. These allow for an easy buffet set up, where people can choose what they want and how much of it. These also make cleaning up an absolute breeze. 

Serving – Using recyclable plates and utensils will also add to the ease and affordability of your self catering event. These are an easy way to save money and are also a more environmentally friendly option than plastic plates and cutlery. These are also significantly easier to transport. 

If you have a more elegant party in mind, there is also an option to rent conventional glass plates and metal cutlery. Depending on the size of your party, you could also bring your own, which will help reduce costs as well. The biggest issue with these methods is the transportation aspect. Glass plates and metal silverware are significantly heavier than their paper counterparts, but also produce much less waste. 

Dry Hire vs Wet Hire – Self catering venues are an excellent choice for affordable weddings and birthday parties. Utilising a dry hire venue is a sure way to keep costs down and also ensure that everything is set up just as you like it. Here you will have the freedom to orient the room and adorn it with the decor of your choosing. There are plenty of low cost party rental companies in London that will give you high quality rentals and also help with transportation.

Wet Hire venues are the most convenient in terms of having to transport furniture or worry about the set up of your party as much. These are great for weddings and parties where you expect a larger turnout, as you will only have to worry about managing your own food and beverages. Having a venue take care of the table arrangements for your party will allow you to focus your energy on planning a delicious menu for your guests!

Bars – No party is complete without a bar. You don’t need an elaborate bar with a bartender and every soft drink, beer, wine, and liquor under the sun, or even a traditional bar for that matter. If you’re planning a party on a budget, you can set up a self-service bar on a table where guests can prepare their own drinks. All you will need are some coolers for the beer and sodas, ice, and cups and your guests will be able to get whatever they need when they need it.

Self-catering venue hire tips:

  • See if the venue has a special space for preparing food – Like a kitchen or a kitchenette. Such facilities allow you to prepare tasty, fresh nibbles and serve them right away.

  • Plan the menu carefully – Keep in mind that some of your guests may have special dietary requirements (gluten free, halal, vegetarian). Because of that, having a variety of entrees, main dishes and snacks is the key to a successful self-catered party.

  • Use seasonal produce – Think Eton mess with summer berries in June and spicy pumpkin soup in autumn. It’s not only cheaper, but much more delicious!

  • Manage your time wisely – If you’re thinking about a self-catered wedding, remember that it can be really time consuming. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your menu. You can use food trucks as well as DIY food stations and dessert bars. After all, there are many different self-catering options for your big day.

The most popular self-catering venues in London include community centres, halls, and warehouses. You can also take a look at our dry hire venues, many of which are happy for you to organise your own catering. Hiring a venue that allows outside catering is one of the best ways to organising affordable wedding or party event.

Planning a party at a self catering venue does not need to be a  stressful endeavour. Enjoy exploring your creativity and bringing a personal touch to your event as you plan a menu that you love. The savings are a big plus as well. Fortunately for you, Tagvenue is an excellent resource for finding the perfect venue for your party. Browse through our selection of amazing venues and book with us today!

Self Catering Venues in London FAQ

What is included in a self catering venue?

This largely depends on the type of venue you hire, such as dry hire vs. wet hire venues. Some venues will have a kitchen or kitchenette food preparation or simply offer a catering or warming kitchen for you to heat up food. You should always  make sure that you have the catering supplies on hand to serve your guests.

What are the advantages of self catering venues?

The biggest advantage of self catering venues is the money that you can save by providing your own food and drinks. There is more work involved, of course, but you also have the enjoyment of creating a more personalised event. This is especially good for more creative types and those who love to get stuck into a project. It can also be enormously helpful for people who need to prepare a menu that takes into account allergies or intolerances.

Can I hire outside catering?

Of course! This is always a viable option as there are plenty of ways to cater a party in London in non-conventional ways. A crowd favourite are food trucks, which are perfect for summertime parties and even wedding receptions.

What are some of the best self catering in London?

Some of our favourites are:

bbodance – This is a sleek, modern studio space with enough space for 30 guests offers a very reasonable hire fee. This is a perfect place for smaller, casual parties.

Sizona – This space embodies feng shui and features minimalist design cues. This is a great venue for more relaxed parties.

Eastside Shoreditch – This is a classic studio space. You can set this venue up however you like, making it perfect for a great DIY party, conference, or art show.

Guests Reviews of Self Catering Venues on Tagvenue

Edward Hutt
Booked The Bedouin Tent & Garden at St Ethelburga's Centre
We booked St Ethelburga's for a 21st birthday tea. Alastair was very helpful with the booking, and Nelson (the caretaker on the afternoon of the event) couldn't do enough for us. The colourful patio garden, with a wide awning to protect us from the sun, and the separate Bedouin tent provided plenty of space for different groups to chat. The internal lobby area with the glass front onto the garden gave helpful extra space for setting out the food. This tranquil spot in the heart of London was perfect for our needs.
Sophie Amsata-Awani
Booked The Library at The Hearth
The Hearth's Team (Angie & Vivian) were super kind and helpful! The venue is beautiful and well-equipped. We will definitely be using this venue again! They really took their time to help us understand the seating plan, and logistics --- this is something you do not usually experience. super grateful!
Beatrice Mary Blackett
Booked Sky Loft Thames View at Altitude London
I really wanted to write a little something to acknowledge the fact that not only was Altitude London an amazing venue with jaw dropping views and a lovely sleek feel but the staff at Altitude literally saved our wedding! My husband and I fell in love with the venue when we attended the viewing, the fact that our top table overlooked an amazing view of the River Thames embankment with the main London landmarks behind us as we raised our glasses, was already incredible, however the main star quality of the venue, and the thing that will stay with us forever is the warmth and general loveliness of the staff. My husband and I were bringing over a lot of relatives from Spain and so in order to incorporate our own Spanish touches we decided on a dry hire. We also used an external caterer as we wanted a very specific type of food. When our external caterer let us down catastrophically by arriving after our guests (over 3 hours late), we can genuinely say that Altitude´s staff´s flexibiliy, and quick thinking literally saved our wedding! We had a lovely experience from the word go! The first person who we dealt with was Aneeza from the Sales team who was lovely and really understood what we wanted, as did Jess who was our next point of contact, then when you go for the ´Dry Hire´option with Altitude they provide you with an Event Manager, ours´ was Sophie and from the onset she was an absolute joy to work with: getting back to us immediately with answers to all of our many questions regarding storage and loading bays and other logists prior to the day itself, setting up a second site visit at short notice because we had to travel, and together with other Altitude London staff members such as Patrick, Sophie and the rest of the staff went far beyond the what you could expect from them, especially on the day before the wedding, when we left all of the stuff and we were running around trying to get everything sorted, they were just fantastic and effecient and they really helped us get on top of it all, all of which was above and beyond the remit of what the were obliged to do. We can genuinely say that rather than going the extra mile for us, they really went the extra 1000 miles for us! Apart from the Event Manager with whom you liaise backwards and forth prior to the event, Altitude also provide all of their customers, (even those who have opted solely the ´Dry Hire´option) with an ´Event Supervisor´ who is on hand, on the day itself, simply to oversee things and to ´supervise´ the event. Our’s was a lovely lady called Tabata. When it became clear to Sophie and Tabata and the rest of the Altitude staff that our caterers were getting later and later and that there was an issue, they all rallied round and made sure that THEY themselves and their staff started putting out all of our welcome drinks, this, of course, not being their task at all, but rather, that of the caterer. Rather than merely supervising, the first time I saw Tabata, our Venue Superviser, I assumed that she was a member of the waiting staff as she was running around serving drinks! Together with the on-the-day wedding coordinators that we had hired to take care of the running order and décor, Sophie and Tabata were also extremelly pro-active and proceeded to plate up and take out the snacks that we had bought for later on in the evening so that our guests would not go hungry in the absense of the planned cannapés. They also contacted their own Altitude Chef, who had just finished working on another Altitude event in the building and was heading home for a family party, and he also stayed on in order to muck in and actually helped the hapless caterer when she did finally arrive and was completely out of her depth in the kitchen. Tabata then continued to help by liaising with the kitchen and helping serve the food when she saw that the caterer’s waitresses were swamped! Had it not been for Altitude, it doesn´t even bear thinking about what our wedding day would have been like! We were already well into the crisis zone, and were it not for the ingenuity and good will of Altitude there would have been no food until that evening! I think that the ultimate testimonial to the fast thinking, on the ball approach and sheer kindness of Altitude London´s staff, is the fact that, thanks to their tireless efforts, even in the thick of that disastrous scenario, our guests had no incling at all of the catering mishap that was taking place! Altitude stepped in and averted disaster so brilliantly that all of our guests actually even commented on the smooth running of the entire day!
Naomi Osei
Booked Whole Venue at Bellavita Academy
Friendly and helpful staff - nothing was too much to ask. Beautiful and clean setting. Mariella was very accommodating and went above and beyond the vision for my event came to life. My expectations were exceeded!
Gabriela Stripoli
Booked Wollstonecraft Room at Newington Green Meeting House
Great space, good location, it was perfect for a dinner party for ~30 people that I couldn't host in my house because I live in a small flat. It looks very home-like. Price is really good for what it offers.
Michelle Davies
Booked FIREBAR at ICEBAR London
I could not have had a more perfect venue for my 25th! Honestly had no idea there were even private rooms for the Ice Bar. The decor/style in there fit just right for my theme and the bar staff added just the right touch! Really happy I found the venue and they even gave me a gift for my birthday!!

Used by over
really smart customers