If you’re after a summer party venue in the City of London, known as the Square Mile by native Londoners, then we’re here to give you the low down on one of London’s most iconic areas.
It’s pretty simple really, named the Square Mile because, you guessed it, it covers approximately one mile of London (well, actually 1.12 miles). Home to many a London landmark, like the Gherkin and St Paul’s Cathedral, here you’ll find London’s stock exchange amongst the modern skyscrapers and medieval alleyways.
You may not think it, but it’s a great location for a summer party with excellent train routes and an underground network making it easy for guests to get to from inside the city limits and further afield. Don’t be fooled either, it may look like a metropolis to the average eye, but we know there are a few hidden gems perfect for a summer party.
We have been party to (pardon the pun) many a summer party in our time, and are always looking for new, unique ideas. The City of London is packed full of interesting facts and landmarks, so we think it’s a fabulous choice for a city-based summer get together! We’ve pulled together a few of our favourite summer party venues within the 1.12 miles of central London. With outside space and wet weather contingencies, we’ve got you covered for the summer party of the season come rain or shine!
A little bit of London history
Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, we wanted to share some of our favourite historical nuggets about the iconic London area. Rich in history, dating all the way back to the Roman times, there has always been plenty going on!
Did you know that the Square Mile is in fact the oldest part of London, established right the way back in 43 AD by the Romans? Aptly named ‘Londinium’, the City of London became the grand commercial centre of the Roman empire in England, much like it still is today! Back then this part of the city was surrounded by a thick wall, separating it from the rest of London whilst it was under development. After the Romans abandoned in the 5th Century, the city was ravaged by a period of intense conflict, until Alfred the Great took over and began to redevelop the iconic area.
Until 1666, the City of London had remained relatively unchanged until the infamous Great Fire of London raised so much of it to the ground. The wall and gates to the centre of the city stood firm and was only demolished in the late 18th Century, although many parts are still visible throughout the city and incorporated into some other iconic buildings and landmarks.
Today, the Square Mile is the trading and banking hub of the country, but only has 7,400 residents. This number rapidly skyrockets to 400,000 on a usual weekday with so many people heading in for a day’s work at the office!
So, now you know a little more about London’s oldest area, let’s get onto a few of our favourite summer party spots inside the City of London…
The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn
Tucked away in the heart of the City of London, the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn is a firm summer party favourite. Not only is it well-equipped with six stunning event spaces to hire, it also has five-acres of outdoor event space, aptly named ‘The Walks’, making it the perfect spot for some summer entertaining!
One of the four Inns of Court, this is an exclusive and prestigious venue, surrounded by legal history. The stunning architecture will create a memorable backdrop to complement an elegant summer affair and will surely get your guests chatting about its remarkable features and interesting history.
But it’s outside where the magic really happens… The Walks is the perfect setting for a summer party, as guests wander through the five acres of private gardens and enjoy each other’s company under the warm summer sun. To make it even better, if that’s even possible, The Walks comes equipped with its own, purpose-built, marquee! Complete with a cloakroom, luxury toilets, a bar and dance floor, this is just any old marquee. Alongside fun lighting and state-of-the-art AV facilities, this elegant set-up even has air conditioning for those uncharacteristically warm days- unlike most other marquees this one won’t turn into a greenhouse at the slightest glimpse of sunlight! And, as we all know, the UK isn’t exactly the most reliable when it comes to seasonal weather, so where better to continue the party fun if the heavens open? With its glass walls and see-through ceiling, guests are still able to enjoy the gorgeous scenery from the safety of the Marquee.
If you’re on the hunt for a little something different to the usual cocktails and canapés in the sun, Gray’s Inn certainly has you covered! With so much space to play with, The Walks can accommodate all sorts of requests from garden games to bouncy castles. The laughter will be resonating as guests kick off their shoes and let down their hair. To keep everyone fuelled up for a fun-filled event, there is so many catering options to choose from. Whether it’s a casual summer bbq you’re after, an elegant canapé soiree, or even a selection of funky food stalls, the options are endless and we know this will a summer party for the ages!
Location: Bang next door to Chancery Lane tube station on the central line, it couldn’t be easier to get to (we meant it, it’s literally just a 1-minute walk away!).
Looking for a grand location for an elegant summer party? Goldsmiths’ Hall is a stunning, Grade I listed venue packed full of period features, so we think this one really ticks the box! Corinthian columns, gold-leaf, stained-glass windows, walnut panelling, and impressive paintings- what’s not to love? Picture your guests standing under sparkling chandeliers and sipping champagne, it will be an event fit for royalty!
This one is perfect if you’re worried about some light summer showers spoiling an outdoor event. England isn’t known for its blistering summer sun all season long, and the chances of a bit of rain is unfortunately a probability to plan for, so Goldsmiths’ Hall is the ideal wet weather contingency plan! But never fear, the large rooms are well ventilated with bright, airy windows overlooking the city around it so even if the sun is shining guests won’t feel trapped inside. Plus, with the architecture to boot, guests won’t be complaining about the views- that much we’re sure of!
With four flexible event spaces, accommodating up to 500 guests, there are tonnes of options for a classy summer drinks reception here. Guests can relive their movie-set dreams as they make their way up an impressive staircase to the magnificent Hall. In fact, Goldsmiths’ Hall was used in Netflix’s popular series, The Crown, as a dupe for Buckingham Palace, so if that doesn’t scream elegance and grandeur then we don’t know what will!
Despite the period features and classic architecture, there is no compromise on facilities and amenities. Full AV support is readily available as well as lift access and a cloakroom for guests to leave their jackets because in the UK, we all know you never leave home without one!
Location: Situated on Foster Lane, Goldsmiths’ Hall is just a quick stroll from St Paul’s tube station and just five-minute’s walk from Mansion House. For mainline options, there are both Moorgate and Cannon Street in an easy distance from the venue, making it a smashing choice for guests joining you from outside the city.
City Central at the HAC
The garden party of dreams, coming to life at City Central at the HAC. The stunning Armoury House, accompanied by five acres of manicured lawn nestled in the heart of central London (now that’s a sentence you don’t expect to hear very often!), the HAC is the epitome of a perfect summer party location!
As guests make their way through the stunning reception area, the history and atmosphere will take their breath away. Enjoy ample summer cocktails out in the private garden beneath the iconic skyline of the City of London, or if the weather is a little on the cooler side, head inside to the large marquee and continue the party from there. Purpose-built for large scale hospitality and entertaining, the space is fully equipped with top of the range production tech for a jaw-dropping display. Holding up to 2,400 guests, City Central at the HAC is a fabulous choice for large scale entertaining or corporate summer get-togethers. So, if that’s what you’re on the hunt for then this location is sure to be a front-runner!
Take your event to the next level with a vintage funfair, available to hire alongside the venue. Now this will really set your event apart from the rest! Send guests up to admire the views from a classic big wheel or challenge each other to a spot of friendly competition on the dodgems. A gorgeous combination of classic, elegant history and sleek modern technology the HAC adapts perfectly for any brief, so we think this one should make the list!
Location: Located between four central London train stations, City Central at the HAC is as easy as ABC to get to from every direction- just five minutes from Moorgate and Barbican tube stations or less than ten minutes from Liverpool Street or Old Street tube stations.
This one’s a bit of a wildcard, but we think it deserved a feature. With earliest records suggesting it was established in 1300, Ironmongers’ Hall brings a country house feel to the heart of London. Every corner is packed with history and opulence, a unique choice for a summer drinks reception or party!
The Tudor style wood-panelled hall with rich décor is certainly a grand space for a drink reception and guests will feel like they’ve stepped back in time as soon as they head inside. The charming courtyard is an ideal space for guests to get outside and enjoy a summer’s day as they mingle around the fountain at the centre and sip on champagne. Both inside and outside, with the beautiful building in the backdrop, there is no shortage of gorgeous photo opportunities to perfectly capture your summer party to look back on in the future, or as a beautiful addition to your Instagram grid!
With four function rooms to choose from, each slightly different but all equally striking, it will be a challenge to pick which one you like best, we know we would struggle. Feeling super busy or stressed in the run-up to your event? Not to worry, Ironmongers’ Hall has a dedicated events team to help you plan and organise the finer details of your event, so you don’t have to!
Location: You’ve probably guessed by now, but Ironmongers’ Hall is also very well connected! Just a four-minute walk from Barbican tube station or seven minutes from St Paul’s tube station.
eve’s entertainment suggestions
Unsurprisingly, the City of London is jam-packed with bars and clubs, perfect for post-event entertainment for those guests who aren’t quite ready to call it a day and party the night away!
Oriole: With a drinks menu that covers all four corners of the globe and live-music every evening, Oriole is a fantastic post-party bar on East Poultry Avenue. Filled with mystery and warm décor, it’s a sumptuous and elegant establishment and definitely on our list of fabulous bars in the area!
Swingers golf: This is a fun one, because who doesn’t live a bit of crazy golf accompanied by delicious cocktails? Bundles of fun and just a stone’s throw from the iconic Gherkin, this has become a bit of a City of London landmark, and we know why! The perfect choice for guests looking for some light-hearted fun.
The Ned: Opening in 2017, the Ned has fast become a go-to in the city. With multiple bars, lounges, and even a nightclub in the basement, a lot of fun will be had!
Black Rock Whisky Bar: One for the whiskey lovers among us- Black Rock is one of the finest whisky bars in London! A hollowed-out tree trunk carrying two rivers of whisky across the room- it’s a whisky lover’s mothership! For those less intense whisky fans, they serve fantastic cocktails too so there’s something for everyone.
We’re big London fans at eve, so if you’re hunting for the perfect summer party venue in the heart of the Capital, either inside or outside of the Square Mile, then we sure do have some fabulous suggestions to tick every box. With years of combined event experience, we know just the ticket to make your event stand out from the crowd, so drop us a line and we’d love to lend a hand.