The Best Places to Celebrate a Special Occasion in London
By Kerry Dolan
When it comes to celebrating a special occasion in London, we want to make it memorable.
Most of us know the best places to keep the kids entertained but what about when you want a little adult time?
London has a lot to offer the party hungry, but if you’re not looking for a pub crawl, a visit to the Shard or a river cruise, what else is on offer?
As I’m turning 40 next year, I have spent the last few months researching the capital for an unusual and I’m not afraid to say, utterly fabulous way to celebrate. I have stumbled across some truly unforgettable places to wow your friends (and create some amazing pics for your social media channels).
For the foodies among us, head over to Grastronhome in Battersea. This award-winning restaurant offers an intimate dining experience in a welcoming setting. The French cuisine is beautiful and the setting offers understated elegance with a modern twist. Resident artists display their works on the walls which can be purchased and one visit will show you why the venue was awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2017.
For something a bit different, private capsules are available to hire on the Coca Cola London Eye. A Family and Friend’s capsule for between 3-15 guests includes priority boarding and a 30-minute rotation and can be booked from £400. There’s also the option to add champagne and canapes at an additional cost. For a romantic anniversary treat, try a Cupid’s Capsule for two – your booking includes champagne and Hotel Chocolat chocolates and you’ll be served by your personal host. Prices start at £380.
If you are celebrating a hen party or birthday, TigerTiger in Haymarket provides a Cocktail Making Masterclass where you get to shake it, make it, and have a good giggle in the process. The packages are quite affordable and start at just £29.95 per person including bubbly on arrival, the chance to make two cocktails from the menu, a master cocktail creator certificate and a reserved booth for 2 hours after the class to keep the party spirit going.
For a calm and grown up evening, Clos Maggiore in Covent Garden is definitely worth a visit. A romantic intimate dining experience for couples or small groups, the unusual cherry blossom covered conservatory is a delight in the summer months, and a cosy sanctuary in winter with candles and a warming fire. The menu is French contemporary and oozes sophistication.
Nothing could be quintessentially more English than afternoon tea at The Tea Terrace. With two central London branches to choose from located in House of Fraser stores, you can hire Cinderella’s carriage to sit in whilst you sip your tea and nibble on cake. It doesn’t matter how old you are, sitting in Cinderella’s beautiful gilt carriage is a dream come true for most girls. From the regal high back chairs, the chandeliers made from teapots and the delicate Royal Albert china, this is certainly a treat not to be missed.
The thrill seekers among us who prefer a more spine-tingling experience should head East for the ArcelorMittal Orbital Slide at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. It’s the world’s highest and longest tunnel slide at 178 metres long and is available for private hire. The 40 second trip might be short lived but will definitely be a hair-raising experience you won’t forget.
If you’re looking for a private dining experience with a stunning view, try the Coppa Club at Tower Bridge. Situated on the banks of the River Thames their private igloos can seat 6-8 people for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You’ll enjoy an enviable position on a south facing terrace overlooking the river, the chairs are adorned with fluffy rugs and each pod is heated individually. Booking is available online, but some are held for walk-in reservations.
Good for couples or larger groups is the Tea Bus Tour from B Bakery, an iconic Routemaster bus that drives around central London taking in sights such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Hyde Park while serving decadent afternoon tea at the same time. What’s not to like? The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes depending on traffic and prices start at £45 per person. If you have a larger group there are options to hire the entire bus, or either of the upper or lower floors.
Kensington Roof Gardens has been on my bucket list for a long time with spectacular gardens, a stunning restaurant and real flamingos. This is one of the best places to go when you have got something to celebrate - take in the scenery, dine with friends or dance the night away in the exclusive club, this is a place like no other. Private hire is available for weddings and events.
Hopefully one of these places will play host to your next celebration or have I missed one of your favourites? Let us know in the comments.