Feb 27, 2019

Coolest Wedding Venues in London (Part One)

Just as “every accent is a New York accent” – every type of building is a London building. Whether you’re a lover of art or food, quiet or bustle, modernism or history – there is a place for you to call home away from home.

I’ve always lived in big cities, and one of the most wonderful things about them is the diversity of experiences you can unlock – unexpectedly, like a secret bonus level of a videogame.

I’m starting a new series today to share with you some of the places I’ve most enjoyed discovering since living here in London – all and any of which would make awesome venues for parties, weddings, photoshoots, or brand events. They aren’t in any one particular style, but I hope you’ll feel the common thread they share: one minute you’re on a busy, modern London street, the next you’re through a door and being transported into another time and place.

I’m calling this Part One, because there’s so many more to mentione – and I know this city will never stop surprising me. Here are the first ten, in no set order:

 

Ennismore Sessions House

Ennismore Sessions House

Ennismore Sessions House

 

Old Sessions House is a Palladian-style building steeped in history, with the dome and staircase inspired by those of the Pantheon in Rome. Once the largest and busiest public courthouse in England, this building saw thieves, murderers and revolutionaries passed through its hallways – sentenced before the magistrate and sent down to the basement cells. It’s where Oliver Twist, framed for the acts of the Artful Dodger, was taken for pickpocketing in Dickens’s London. This beautiful space then became the headquarters of Avery Scales, a manufacturer of weighing machines, in 1931 – and shortly after, in 1994, a Grade II-listed building. The building will blow you away through multiple floors, grand mezzanine areas, tall stone columns and a restored eighteenth-century glass atrium – each full of decorative, deeply stylish details, and flooded with natural light. A must-see.

Find out more here.

 

Wilton’s Music Hall

Wilton's Music Hall

rikpenningtonphotography.com / Via Rik Pennington

 

Built in 1858, this auditorium is actually the oldest surviving grand music hall in the world. Though no longer a home to all the glorious decorations of its day, the dereliction of its original features makes it a deeply atmospheric and magical venue to step into.

Hire of Wilton’s for a wedding includes the whole building, covering the bars, the Victorian staircase, and the Hall with its famous barley-twist columns – perfect for your ceremony, wedding breakfast and with plenty of space for dancing. This means closing it to the public and is therefore a very exclusive opportunity, with only a select number of dates available a year.

Find out more here.

 

Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries

www.ireneyapweddings.com / Via Irene Yap

This venue is nothing short of magical – a garden centre, meets restaurant, meets floral hideaway. Dine amongst flowers and plants at antique tables in the main glasshouse, brimming with fragrant bougainvillaea and jasmine – and enjoy seasonal, produce-led, Italian-inspired cooking in every season of the year. The main space in Richmond is a tranquil sanctuary, a place of calm in tune with nature and positive living – and their newly opened sister venue in Covent Garden is truly an unexpected oasis. With space for up to 14o guests to celebrate in the cafe, and more intimate option available in private glasshouses, this is one for the lovers of nature and slow food.

Find out more here.

 

Institute of Contemporary Arts

Institute Contemporary Arts London

www.robbattersby.com / Via Rob Battersby Photography

Nestle between number 10 Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus and Buckingham Palace, let’s say that London locations don’t come more iconic that this: the Institute of Contemporary Arts is a hidden gem with views over The Mall, Big Ben, the London Eye and St. James’s Park. With two main rooms filled with original plasterwork, floor-to-ceiling windows, a fully equipped theatre, studio, bar, balconies, and two classic cinema spaces, there is plenty of room to create an exciting guest journey through the spaces. This versatile venue can play host to civil ceremonies and weddings for up to 150 guests – and the garden located next to the private entrance is also available for drink receptions, for those unexpected flashes of sunshine.

This is one for those looking for a vibrant and effortlessly stylish affair, right by Buckingham Palace.

Find out more here.

 

One Friendly Place

One Friendly Place

One Friendly Place is simply an awesome melting pot of cool stuff. This space was originally built in the 1930s as a spice warehouse, and spans 7500 sq ft over four floors, including a 1500sq ft secret rooftop. This warehouse / studio is the epitomy of industrial chic – a space for rockstars and hip, wild parties until the early hours, mismatched furniture, unexpected artwork, and making new traditions.

Find out more here

 

The Ned

The Ned London

The Ned is a venue near Bank that simply cannot be missed – with echoes of Grand Central and the golden days of Hollywood. The building was recently restored by the design teams from Soho House & Co and Sydell Group, and opened its doors two years ago as part private members’ club, part hotel, part restaurant collection, and fully one of London’s most exciting new venues in the wedding scene. It’s a perfect combination of luxuriously grandiose, city-chic trendy, and carefully curated.

The private events floor features the iconic Tapestry Room (for up to 120 people seated and 200 standing) and the swish Saloon (which fits up to 70 people seated and 120 standing). The Tapestry room is full of jaw-dropping period features, with walnut panelling, crystal chandeliers, and pastoral tapestries wrapping around the upper walls. As you step inside the Saloon, the story unfolds into a very different, bright, airy space. This room’s pièce de résistance is the 18th-century chandelier, shimmering with reflections of the natural light streaming in from the large domed windows. As I explored the floor I discovered four more small rooms, each with their own character and historic features (all Grade-I listed!), and two outdoor terraces, perfect for drinks on a summer evening.

Also great to know: the hotel has none fewer than 9 restaurants and 252 gorgeous bedrooms for you and your guests to enjoy during your stay, each one adorned with 1920s design, with Brass and mahogany furniture, vintage chandeliers & richly patterned furnishings. And that’s not all – overnight guests also have gain access to ‘Ned’s Club’, which includes a rooftop pool, gym, spa, hammam and late night lounge bar in the original bank vault. City breaks do not get any cooler than this.

Find out more here.

 

Ace Hotel London

Ace Hotel London

You’re looking for an unapologetically stylish city wedding venue, in the heart of the most hip neighbourhood of London, you say? Well, here it is. The 7th floor rooms of this boutique hotel have wide windows with killer views, texturally exciting blank canvas walls, and cinematic terraces filled with sunlight – all just 5-minutes walk from Shoreditch High Street station, 1.5 miles from St. Paul’s Cathedral and 2 miles from Tate Modern. The vibe of the hotel is one of trendy, pared-back rooms, original artwork, and authentic vintage furniture. Seriously cool.

Find out more here.

 

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green

One of London’s hottest dining destinations, the Paradise is so much more than a restaurant – a stylish joint that caters to the restless and the eclectic. With unique decor, stunning period features and large dance spaces, this is a fantastic venue for celebrations – whether in the form of lavish banquets or intimate candlelit dinners. In the heart of West London, just a few miles from iconic Notting Hill, this is a space to host a night to remember.

Find out more here.

Chelsea Physic Garden

Chelsea Physic Gardens

Photo from our Sleeping Beauty editorial, by Rebecca Carpenter Photography

Nestled within walls in the heart of Chelsea, the Physic Garden offers a fresh, tranquil and luxurious location for celebrations – quietly steeped in history, as London’s oldest botanical garden. As you walk through collections of the most astonishing plants and flowers, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled across a forgotten spell frozen in time. Originally founded in 1673, the venue is now a beautiful green ‘dry hire’ canvas that you can embrace or transform – with four acres of gardens, an indoor gallery, cute intersecting paths, and atmospheric greenhouses.

One for nostalgic Londoners, and lovers of all things floral.

Find out more here.

 

The Asylum Chapel

Asylum London

Asylum London Wedding

Photos from our Nightmare Before Christmas editorial, by Chloe Lee Photography

 

Asylum Chapel will take your breath away – every time. A Grade II listed building built in 1826 and bombed in WWII, this derelict church is a wonderland of atmospheric lighting, crumbling teal stone, and whispers of days past. The Chapel is in Peckham, and is a ceremony-only venue licensed for up to 120 people (a dreamy opportunity to take your guests to One Friendly Place for the wedding reception!). Perfect for couples looking for something that little bit different, but still with a momentous, imposing backdrop for their ceremony.

Find out more here.

***

I hope this overview has been fun to read and that you’ve discovered one or two new places to explore. If you’d like to have a chat, or would like some help with planning your wedding or editorial, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Yours,

Valentina