Unusual Venues for Hire in London

Unusual Venues for Hire in London

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Top Unusual Venues in London

From gritty Shoreditch to posh Mayfair, London’s vibrant neighbourhoods reflect the city’s exciting cultural mix. Want to stand out from the pack? If you’re looking to host an event with a lot of personality, then you’ve come to the right place. Here at Tagvenue we list some unusual venues that are seriously out of this world. Whether you’re after a hidden gem or a one-of-a-kind concept space, you’ll be surprised what you can find here in the city. Dreaming of a chic cocktail emporium or an old school bowling alley? Maybe you prefer modern venues and an industrial-chic warehouse space is what you're after? Tagvenue is sure to have an unusual venue that’ll get your guests talking. 

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Unusual Venues Hire Guide

How unusual do you want your event to be? At Tagvenue we have ballrooms, gardens, boats, special stables and more funky venues. The spaces are able to host any type of gathering - from small to large. Just take a look, pick one, book it and enjoy the event.

When it comes to unusual venues in London, our top picks include:

  • Museum venues – The capital has a thriving museum scene that reflects the country’s rich cultural history. Never-before-seen objects from a niche museum will guarantee to get your guests talking, or maybe you’d prefer a historic space that’ll strike just the right note?
  • Hotel venues – London is home to some of the best hotels in the world, many of which are tourist attractions in their own right. From iconic hotels like Claridge’s and The Ritz Hotel, to beautiful boutique hotels and cutting-edge concept hotel venues, you’re spoilt for choice.
  • Wet hire venues – Wet hire venues take care not only of the space but also of other aspects of the event – such as the staff, the audio-visual equipment, the catering and the decorations. Choosing a wet hire venue makes the whole event planning process much more efficient and less stressful for you.
  • Dry hire venues - Dry hire venues are simply just the space for your event, providing a great blank canvas for your unique party. These are great for hiring a room on more of a budget and also if you have preferred caterers and decorators for your party. London has an abundance of theatres, cinemas, art galleries, industrial and underground spaces. Why not transform these into your dream party venue? 
  • Venues with a view – We all know how beautiful London is, especially from above. An event with a view is definitely going to be a crowd-pleaser. If you choose this option, make sure the weather is appropriate for being outside on a terrace or on a boat. You can also pick a venue that is heated. After all, you don’t want your guests getting cold.
  • Historical – Picking a historical venue for your party kills two birds with one stone. You will not only provide an unforgettable night to your guests but also support London's historical heritage. You'll find the biggest concentration of grade I and grade II listed buildings in Westminster, Mayfair and Covent Garden.

Hiring an unusual venue is a sure way to make your night unforgettable. When looking for the perfect quirky venue for your event, here are a few things to consider:

Type of Event – The desired vibe for your evening is a key thing to consider when hiring a venue. Studios and galleries are great places to host events like weddings, birthdays, and corporate events alike. These spaces offer plenty of space to spread out for activities like dancing and socialising and are a great option for any event. If you’re curious about this type of venue, check out Aures London. Having an event in a space such as a museum or church is a great way to have a party with a classy and elegant atmosphere which is also great for weddings.

Theme - Want to feel like you've been transported back to the roaring twenties or the disco-loving seventies? No need to look for a time machine, because there are many venues styled in a theme of another decade. Spice up your party by introducing a dress code and voilà, you've travelled back in time! The first step is understanding the general vibe you are going for with your party. If you are hosting a Christmas or winter-themed party, then go for a Santa’s workshop theme or a venue with outside tents that look like igloos. If you are hosting a Monte Carlo party, then you should try and find a venue that looks like it was straight out of Casino Royale (and make sure everyone dresses the part too!).

Size of the Space – This largely depends on the number of people you have. Many of the quirky rooms available are designed around smaller to medium-sized parties. The kind of hospitality and entertainment you have in mind for your event will play a role as if you have a band or a planned dinner service, you will need more space. The size of the space will also be a determining factor for the price of the event, as larger spaces will often cost more per session.

Food & Drink – Having food and beverages at your party is a must. Not all parties have to have an elegant sit-down dinner as often a buffet or shared plates will suffice for snacking throughout the evening. Having a bar available is always welcome, and there are many types of bar packages to choose from when planning the party. Cash bars are the most affordable option on the side of the party planner, as the guests cover the cost of alcohol and they will pay for only what they use. Open bars, however, are great options when planning a party. Here you can choose between a beer and wine option and also have a full bar service with liquor and cocktails. This decision will come down to the type of event that you are holding. For instance, at weddings, it is great to have an open bar for the evening, but at a corporate event or less formal gathering, a cash bar will often do the trick.

Entertainment – Entertainment is always great to have but not always necessary. DJs can serve a double function as both music curators and also MCs for the event. Many venues will have preferred contractors for entertainment services, but more often than not, you will have free rein over who you choose to hire to provide entertainment and MCing.

Venues are our business so we’ve already done most of the work for you, just click and see for yourself what we have. I think we will surprise you and it’s easy to book, just a few clicks and you will be talking with one of the unique venue managers and booking the perfect room for your event right here in London. From the small to the large we make sure the details are right. Our focus is on you the customer, so making sure you have all the information you need is key. We’ve already done the hard work, you can sit back put the kettle on and let your imagination go wild, just a few clicks and you’re away.

Artistic Venues: Where Creativity Meets Celebration

London holds a treasure trove of unusual event spaces ready to transform your gathering into a masterpiece of memories. These special venues, ranging from contemporary art galleries to historic studios, offer a special setting that infuses your celebration with creativity and flair. Here’s how to find and make the most of London’s artistic venues for an event that stands out from the crowd.

Discovering the Perfect Canvas

  • Explore the Spectrum: London's artistic venues span a wide range of styles and atmospheres. From avant-garde galleries in Shoreditch to the timeless elegance of studios in Kensington, the city caters to every artistic taste. Begin your venue search with an open mind, and reflect on how the aura of each space aligns with the theme and tone of your event.
  • Historical Charm Meets Modern Art: Some of London’s most sought-after venues are those that offer historical architecture mixed with contemporary art. These locations offer a dialogue between the past and present, providing a rich, layered experience for your guests. Look for venues that showcase emerging artists alongside classical features for a truly dynamic setting.

Tailoring Your Artistic Venue

  • Custom Exhibitions: Collaborate with the venue to curate an art exhibition that complements your event's theme. This could range from abstract paintings that echo the emotions of your celebration to sculptures that challenge and engage. Personalising the space with art that resonates with your story adds depth and personal touch to the occasion.
  • Interactive Art Experiences: Elevate your event by incorporating interactive art installations. Invite a local artist to create live art, offer a workshop where guests can craft their own souvenirs, or set up digital installations that react to movement or sound. These experiences not only entertain but also immerse your guests in the creative process.

Logistics and Layout

  • Versatile Spaces: The beauty of artistic venues lies in their versatility. Many art spaces offer adjustable lighting, movable exhibits, and flexible layouts to accommodate everything from personal gatherings to grand celebrations. Ensure the venue can adapt to your specific needs, whether it’s setting up a performance stage, arranging seating, or facilitating catering services.
  • Accessibility and Amenities: While the focus may be on the art, don’t overlook practical considerations. Ensure the venue is accessible to all guests, including those with mobility issues. Check for available amenities like sound systems, projectors, or kitchen facilities, which are essential for a seamless event.

Making Memories in Artistic Venues

  • Capturing the Moment: Artistic venues provide great opportunities for photography and videography. Use the art as a background for photoshoots or incorporate the venue’s design elements into your event's visual theme. Encourage guests to share their photos on social media with a custom hashtag to capture the collective experience.
  • Leave a Lasting Impression: The success of an event in an artistic venue isn’t just in the moment but in the memories it creates. Offer guests parting gifts inspired by the art or the venue itself, such as prints, artist-designed keepsakes, or a catalogue of the exhibited works. This not only commemorates the occasion but also supports the local art community.

Outdoor Unusual Venues: Exploring London's Hidden Gems

The sprawling urban landscape of London harbours outdoor spaces that offer a great twist to conventional event hosting. These hidden gems provide an exceptional setting for events seeking a special outdoor feeling, taking advantage of the city's allure of nature. Discover how to unlock these outdoor unusual venues in London for an event that stands out with its distinctive charm.

Unveiling London's Secret Gardens and Courtyards

  • Secret Gardens Tucked Away: In London’s bustling streets you will find private gardens, remnants of the city's past or innovative modern green spaces designed for tranquillity and escape. Hosting an event in one of these secluded gardens offers guests a rare glimpse into London's quieter, greener side, perfect for smaller gatherings, weddings, or corporate retreats seeking a serene atmosphere.
  • Historical Courtyards with Modern Twists: Many of London's historical buildings and institutions feature courtyards that have been modernised to host events. These spaces often retain their original architecture, providing a striking contrast against contemporary event setups. Think of courtyards within ancient castles, refurbished warehouses, or behind the façades of classical London townhouses for an event that marries history with modernity.

Maximising London's Open-Air Unusual Venues

  • Transformative Decor and Theming: The natural beauty of outdoor unique venues in London provides a versatile canvas for event theming. Whether opting for minimalistic elegance to complement a garden's floral abundance or incorporating colourful decor to contrast a historic courtyard's stone walls, the key is to enhance rather than overshadow the venue's charm.
  • Embracing the British Weather: Planning an outdoor event in London requires a nod to the city’s unpredictable weather. Innovative solutions such as transparent marquees allow for rain-proofing without losing the outdoor feel. Consider offering branded umbrellas or pashminas as thoughtful touches that keep guests comfortable, no matter the weather.

Discovering London's Outdoor Unusual Venues

  • Rooftop Terraces with City Skylines: Beyond London's historical and green spaces lie rooftop terraces that offer panoramic views of the city skyline. Just imagine an event in a beautiful venue with a view of the London Eye or the London Bridge! These venues range from high-end restaurant rooftops to more laid-back, garden-style settings atop cultural institutions, providing a variety of atmospheres suitable for any event.
  • Floating Venues on the Thames: For a truly outstanding outdoor experience, consider hosting your event at one of London’s floating venues. From great boats anchored along the Thames to modern barges designed for events, these floating venues offer guests an unforgettable perspective of London from the water.

Crafting an Unforgettable Outdoor Event

  • Local Flavours and Sustainable Catering: Enhance your outdoor event by partnering with local caterers that specialise in British cuisine or offer sustainable, farm-to-table options. Food trucks or pop-up kitchens can add an element of surprise, seamlessly blending into the outdoor setting while offering guests a taste of London's diverse culinary scene.

Entertainment Al Fresco: Leverage the open space of your outdoor venue with live entertainment that resonates with the setting. Acoustic performances, open-air theatre productions, or interactive art installations not only entertain but also encourage guests to engage with the venue in memorable ways.

FAQs about Unusual Venues in London

What are the perks of hiring an unusual venue in London?

A unique or quirky venue will offer your event a huge dose of character, and a huge shot of fun. Whether you hire a railway arch or a bedoiun tent in the heart of London, a cool and unusual venue will get your party off on the right foot. Many unique party venues are playful takes on your run-of-the-mill bar, pub, or club. They offer a vibrant atmosphere for all of your guests to enjoy and often serve plenty of fun cocktails and menu items. And don’t forget all of the photo opportunities a unique venue offers! These venues are a sure way to take your event from average to unforgettable.

How much does it cost to hire an unusual venue in London?

When hiring an unusual venue in London, you will find that prices can vary substantially depending on the venue type but you can be sure that you will definitely get what you pay for. The easiest way to book an unusual venue is to choose a minimum spend venue and expect prices in the range of £100 to £1000. For a flat hire fee, most venues will charge between £50 to £1500 per session. (All data from Tagvenue.com)

What kind of unusual venues can I find in London?

London has so many unusual venues you will be spoilt for choice. Look to certain unusual venues for a unique event space, including museums, railway arches, boats, buses or guildhalls.

  • The Lower Deck – Tamesis Dock – Hire a beautiful converted 1930's Dutch barge for your next event.
  • Garden Tiki Huts at Hope and Anchor – Book a private Tiki Hut in the garden of this Hoxton pub.
  • Vauxhall Arches – Book one of this venue’s 9 separate event spaces tucked away in vintage railway arches.

What are ways to make hiring a venue more affordable?

Ways you can reduce costs are by inquiring about dry hire, which is when you just rent the space. You can also choose a minimum spend option, where your party will be required to spend a certain amount of money on food and beverage. Inquiring about outside catering and a BYOB option are also alternatives to reducing overall costs.

Where in London can I hire an unusual venue?

Here are some of our favourite quirky locations you should consider while looking for your favourite venue:

  • City of London – The financial district is home to many interesting and unusual venues. Many venues have their own themes, such as outer space or the Victorian era, and alluring underground spaces.
  • Shoreditch – It’s full of hip places with a quirky vibe for you to choose from. There are cool cocktail bars and reimagined industrial spaces on every corner!
  • Battersea – This area is also known for its industrial venues; including its iconic Battersea Power Station. It’s the perfect destination for an unusual party or a live music event. Just decorate with your preferred theme and you're ready to go!

What are some of the best unusual event venues in London?

Here are some of the best unusual spaces that London has to offer:

Bar Elba – This is the place for quirky Christmas and winter-themed parties. To say they have decked the halls would be an understatement, and renting out the entire venue gives your party plenty of room both inside and outside to bring in the Christmas spirit. Hiring the entire venue gives you access to the main bar, the terrace, and the outside area known as “The View” to take in London’s incredible skyline.

Blame Gloria – If flowers are your thing, then look no further. Blame Gloria is a cool underground space with interesting wall decorations and plenty of room to dance the night away.

Sugar Cane – Few things are more fun than taking a trip down to the islands, and Sugar Cane can help get you there. This is a Polynesian themed bar and has all of the fun cocktails to match the island vibe. This is a great spot for birthday parties!

Guests Reviews of Unusual Venues on Tagvenue

Booked Lower Ground Floor at Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus
The whole process of dealing with the team at The Hard Rock was super from beginning to the end. I dealt with 3 people in the venue sales & marketing team and each was as professional as the next. The food served was superb, the feedback from our guests was that there was always food on offer and it was great quality. The welcome reception cocktails were superb, and the venue included non alcoholic cocktails which enabled our inclusive approach for our guests. Narrisa and her team were able to connect us with some great live musicians who delivered incredibly for us. So, from location, which is amazing, to delivering an amazing guest experience, I can wholeheartedly recommend this venue.
Miss R.
Booked The Orangery at TT Liquor
Firstly, I would like to say a HUGE thank you so all the staff at the venue on the evening of the party. We literally couldn't fault them, and the service was outstanding. I would like to mention Rhiannon who was in charge of the event as she was in control, calm, accommodating, flexible and seamless in everything. The bar staff were amazing too, they made so many cocktails! The sound guy was super helpful and the kitchen staff made the most amazing pizzas! The space is really versatile, we took some fairy lights and candles and made the space really warm. The L shape works really well so one section is the dance floor and one section people could mingle and enjoy their pizza and cocktail. Thank you all for making the night so special.
Deborah A.
Booked Full Venue Hire at Victorian Bath House
I held a 60th birthday party here for 130 people. Close to capacity - but you wouldn’t have known from the way the team managed everything. Five stars are half the number the team deserves - and the venue is stellar! A million thanks for making this occasion so special.
Jade A.
Booked The Bedouin Tent & Garden at St Ethelburga's Centre
The tent is beautiful, views are incredible. Claire - was super sweet and helpful. I really do recommend.
Rubina C.
Booked The Ballroom at Upper House
We hired the Ballroom pretty last minute for our office's summer party. Nadine was great at helping me organise it and explaining everything to me. They were very flexible with our various dietary requirements and also with how we paid for the event, they were able to adjust to suit our processes which meant that we were actually able to go ahead with the event. I had been worried the food might not be enough for everyone but it definitely was, everybody also thought the food was delicious. The staff on the night were very helpful and went out of their way to make sure our night went well and everyone had fun and this was definitely noticed and appreciated amongst staff. Everybody said they had an amazing time and they loved the venue and food, I can't recommend this venue enough.
Lidia S.
Booked Downstairs Lounge at Esquires Coffee Balham
I absolutely loved the place as it suit my personality. An unusual quirky venue with crazy furniture and decoration and the best smoothies I've tried in a long time. The hired space (basement) was big enough to host my 20 people party and the flexibility of the venue was appreciated (we were allowed to play music, instruments and bring our own food and drinks). The young lady that stayed until 8pm in the Cafe was very nice. A smile in a customer facing job is always appreciated by the customer.
Joe C.
Booked The Space & 1/4 of Terrace at Big Chill Kings Cross
Everything was awesome at Big Chill House, the event went really well with Anita and Alice's great help on the day. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the team were there if we needed anything, they checked in with us throughout the night on food/drinks and if we needed anything, we all had such a top night, thanks Big Chill House team!
Lucy A.
Booked Martha's Bar at The Washington
Great venue for a 20s themed party, barely needed any additional decoration as it looked great already. Price very good (£500 minimum spend reached easily) for what you got, and the bookcase entrance unique!

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