Looking for a venue for your next corporate event in the Square Mile? The City's historic livery halls can host your office gatherings, conferences and Christmas parties in style.
The City of London’s historical livery halls continue to set the standard for opulent event destinations.
Few can rival their grand architecture and design. Even the most modern skyscrapers with their steel and glass frame lack the character and weight of the Square Mile’s livery halls.
Recently, for Open House London, each of them opened their doors to the public as to see what secrets they hide within. People come from all over to get a guided tour of the elaborate spaces, hear stories of their past, see exhibitions they host and hope to get a seat at the royal engagements they throw.
Today, more than ever, are these livery halls still being used for all kinds of events. And with Christmas party planning already well underway – if you haven’t started planning then you might be stuck with something a little lacklustre – we see no better place to celebrate than one of the City’s 40 different livery halls.
And they still continue to be the go-to for corporate local and international events as well as the most highly coveted place for luxury weddings. In summer, the gardens are perfect for photography sessions before and after the ceremony while winter makes these oak and marble clad spaces come alive with warmth and charm.
Peruse our guide to the best livery halls in the City and make not of your favourites next time you’re looking to host a wedding, fashion show, conference, fundraiser or more traditional black-tie dinner.
Whatever the occasion, at Merchant Taylors’ Hall you can be sure it will be remembered with pleasure for years to come. A bold statement, but after 650 years on the same site – surviving through the Great Fire of 1666 and the London Blitz of 1940 – the Merchant Taylors have picked up a few tricks to keep the good times, and the bubbly, flowing. The tranquil courtyard is a delight in fine weather and sets them apart from most other livery halls.
As one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies, the Merchant Taylors are not short of jaw-dropping scenes inside either. Even after the adversity of the last 650 years, the inside of 30 Threadneedle Street boasts high ceilings, tall windows, Chinese silk wallpaper, and chandeliers. With room for up to 280 diners, the only obstacle will be keeping your eyes on your plate and not the magnificent decor. While on site they encourage guests to soak in the architecture surrounding them at every turn and in every one of the rooms.
A Merchant Taylors wedding is known to be a magical occasion too. The beautiful, historic building is nestled in the heart of the City of London, yet as guests step through the door, they will feel like they’ve been transported to a different world. The Great Hall dates to the 14th century and can cater for large numbers up to 280 people. Its high ceilings and windows give the room a fabulous sense of space and occasion.
They also have smaller rooms like The Parlour and the Drawing Room for more intimate wedding receptions. With Christmas just around the corner, now is the time to be thinking of venues for Christmas Parties and where better than Merchant Taylors’, where the festive setting is like few other. It is one of the City’s best kept secrets and is transformed in to a Winter Wonderland for the festive period.
People are always pleasantly surprised that behind the discreet blue doors on Threadneedle Street is a world of grandeur, steeped in history. Not only is Merchant Taylors one of the only livery halls with an outdoor space and working organ, they are also one of the few with their own in-house catering team.
Accompanying the breath-taking location is our newly designed Christmas menu with all the delicious festive favourites along with an extensive wine list. They’ve been doing this for quite some time now. They have it down to a tee.
The Apothecaries – better known these days as members of the medical profession – run the Grocers close when it comes to location, with their HQ based just two minutes from Blackfriars station. Guests “take a step back in time” when visiting a hall built in 1672, with many original features standing the test of time. It is even believed to be the oldest surviving livery hall in the City.
And although the entire hall underwent major redevelopment 200 years later, its external appearance has altered little since the late-18th century. Apothecaries’ Hall secret courtyard has been refurbished recently, to a stunning white with blue façade.
There are five event spaces which can be hired individually or as a package, and with such impressive surrounds, we’re confident guests won’t be pulling a sickie. Choose from the Great Hall (for all your big and boastful events), the Court Room, Parlour, Library and Courtyard. No matter the size of your event, the Apothecaries’ Hall has got the space and menu sorted.
Saddlers’ Hall was built in a neo-classical style and impresses with bespoke period furniture, historical antiquities and paintings. Taking centre stage is the Great Hall, which comes complete with exquisite stained-glass windows and a musicians’ gallery; a sumptuous venue for everything from conferences to weddings, large drinks receptions, and delicious banquets. An added perk is the multitude of breakout spaces, which provide extra conferencing facilities, while the secluded courtyard can be used for alfresco summer entertaining. As one of the very oldest of the City of London livery companies – records of a Guild of Saddlers in the Capital date from 1160 AD – the livery has had plenty of time to refine its offering.
Stationers’ Hall has a little bit of Hollywood about it. Due to its proximity to St Paul’s Cathedral – the hall is based in Ave Maria Lane – the hall is often frequented by production companies seeking space for green screen shots, and rose to relative fame as the site for the promo shoot for a recent series of Britain’s Got Talent.
Completed in 1673, the suite of three impressive and interlinking rooms, combined with a large secluded garden, makes this hall well equipped for a wide range of events. The Court Room is a wonderfully bright space, richly carpeted and, with Rococo ornamentation in gold adorning the walls, has an air of sumptuous extravagance.
Moreover, the garden is the most stunning feature, comfortably holding 200 guests. This makes the hall a popular destination for wedding receptions, for the bride, groom and guests can seamlessly flow from the church to the hall’s stunning garden via a private interconnecting path.
Guests to Brewers’ Hall can expect to experience “a magnificent sense of style and tradition”. Situated in Aldermanbury Square, Brewers’ Hall bills itself as “one of the City’s most sought after venues”. As one of the oldest liveries in the Square Mile’s roster, the hall draws on centuries of experience to offer a vibrant space that exudes sophistication and elegance with a contemporary feel that adapts perfectly for any event. In addition to an organisers office (the Committee Room), the event space, air conditioned throughout, can accommodate 120 guests for receptions and up to 100 for theatre style meetings.
Fishmongers’ Hall has an outstanding reputation, not just among its City neighbours, but much further afield for offering superb surroundings, delicious cuisine and first-rate service. With an unrivalled riverside location, the hall is a Grade II*-listed building with a unique history, rich architectural heritage, and is home to a valuable and diverse collection of artefacts and paintings.
The focal point of the company’s charitable and fraternal activities, this elegant Greek Revival building dates from 1834 and was designed by architect Henry Roberts. Offering unparalleled views over London Bridge and the Thames, the first floor rooms offer sumptuous surroundings for any events, with the crown jewel of Roberts’ singular architectural vision being the main Banqueting Hall.
Refurbished in 2018 and shortlisted in the ‘Highly Decorative’ category for the Painting Decorating Association Premier Trophy Awards 2019, this magnificent room can entertain 186 in a seated horseshoe, 220 in a top table with sprigs, and up to 350 for a reception. It’s clearly one of the top contenders.