Six of the best … Venues for summer parties

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With the evenings getting perceivably lighter, and spring a mere crocus bulb away, we can finally look forward to the summer party season, and turn our minds to iconic London venues which boast either the luxury of outside space or a unique al fresco vibe…

The John Madejski Garden at the V&A is one of London’s most magical and tranquil event spaces. Surrounded on all sides by the V&A’s famous 19th century terracotta facades, the focal point of the garden is a beautiful elipse pool with elegant fountains, which for certain events can be completely drained. The Garden is illuminated at night by a lighting scheme created by award winning theatrical and concert lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe. The Garden can accommodate standing receptions of up to 600 guests or pre-dinner drinks in conjunction with the Raphael Gallery of up to 400 guests. The wet weather alternative is the glorious Dome.

Enviably positioned at the northern tip of Portland Place, Park Crescent Gardens is an 8 acre green and pleasant oasis slap bang in the middle of W1. Its sheer size allows huge flexibility for events whether it’s an intimate supper beneath the stars for 50 guests or a Corporate Family Fun Day for 900. The gardens are your oyster!

Whilst technically not an outside space – you could be forgiven for thinking you were wafting around an elegant Italian piazza whilst sipping Aperol Spritz in the Wallace Collection’s light and airy glazed Courtyard. The space is complete with hedges and trees can accommodate up to 300 standing guests or 160 for a romantic dinner beneath the stars, where no threats of a shower can spoil your fun.

Brand new for Spring 2017 the newly redeveloped Garden Museum lives up to its name providing a wonderful green oasis away from the hustle and bustle of its Lambeth location.  The garden complete with a covered cloister is an ideal setting for a cocktail party or barbecue for up to 250 guests with the Museum itself able to seat 120 for dinner.

Boasting not 1 but 3 glorious expanses of open green space, the characterful Royal Hospital Chelsea has it all! At the heart of Sir Christopher Wren’s design, and presided over by a golden statue of Charles II himself, the elegant Figure Court is the name for the perfectly manicured lawns with uninterrupted views all the way down to the Embankment and Thames.  To the East, the slightly more secluded Ranelagh Gardens offers a perfect marquee site (July – September only) and across Royal Hospital Road, Burton Court, complete with tennis court and sporting pavilion, is the perfect space for corporate Summer Parties or Team Building Sporting Events. The Figure Court can accommodate 400 standing guests and 250 dinner guests (in conjunction with the Great Hall).

The steel beams and reflective glass of the bright and modern Darwin Centre contrasts with Alfred Waterhouse’s famous terracotta façade next door. Not only home to the Cocoon and many of the Natural History Museum‘s fascinating historic collections, it is a modern event space with a large, private Courtyard – a perfect setting for a Summertime party or barbecue and can accommodate 350 for reception and 150 seated guests.