Venue Updata - August

All the freshest business meetings and events venue updates from across the UK...

Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch reopens with a new sixth-floor

Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch has reopened, showcasing a new sixth floor. The new floor features the Nobu Shoreditch Penthouse, complete with a private outdoor terrace, as well as two new bedroom types: Yuhi and Yuhi Skyline.

The hotel now offers 164 guest rooms and suites, the Nobu restaurant, NAMI bar, an alfresco terrace, naturally lit event space for 200-plus people and a tranquil spa and gym.

The Nobu Shoreditch Penthouse has access via a private lift, features a contemporary hanging chair by Lee Broom, and a private terrace perfect for summer events. Designed for private events for up to 50 people, the naturally lit space, alongside Nobu dining, offers a different and memorable event space for guests, with the option to book the new Yuhi bedrooms for exclusive use of the entire floor.

Introducing Retreat East – 
a sustainable rural escape

Set on a former dairy farm amidst quiet, bucolic fields near the old Roman settlement of Coddenham, Retreat East offers accommodation in a range of barns and the original 16th-century farmhouse, and a small spa and restaurant, with many ingredients plucked from the kitchen garden, although guests can also self-cater.   

Retreat East is based around the original, timber-framed farmhouse which dates back to the 16th century and has four bedrooms – and a range of 16 farm buildings and barns that can sleep between two and four guests. The barns are equipped with bathrooms, kitchens, wood burners and dining spaces, as well as large private outdoor terraces.

The Great Barn homes the bar and restaurant with cocktails including French Martini made with pineapple, and a Rhubarb Sour and the inventive menu draws on local and homegrown produce.

The spa is small – with two treatment rooms – but has a holistic mindset and expert treatments are based on Traditional Five Elements, including vegan-friendly facials and Muscle Melt massages, along with reflexology.

Take your team to Europe’s largest axe-throwing venue

Axe throwing has gained popularity in recent years as a fun team-building exercise and now London can claim the title of being home to Europe’s largest axe-throwing venue.

Opening in Oxford Circus, Whistle Punks’ newest venue will span 650 sqm and feature a sourdough pizza restaurant and a fully-stocked bar.

Axe-throwing sessions will be available to those who want to hone their skills. The venue will be available for buyout when it officially opens on 1 September 2022.

Museum of London relaunches London Wall Bar & Kitchen for events

The Museum of London has added a new events space to its venue portfolio by relaunching the London Wall Bar & Kitchen for daytime and evening events.

Located on the ground floor of the museum, the space can host a variety of events including meetings and conferences for up to 72 guests theatre-style, drinks receptions for up to 200 and dinners for up to 130. Hire of the London Wall Bar & Kitchen also includes access to the patio area just outside, which is perfect for drinks and canapes.

The London Wall Bar & Kitchen can be hired on its own or in conjunction with any of the other spaces at the museum. For daytime business events, clients can hire the Weston Theatre or nearby Terrace Rooms for the main conference with catering or a drinks reception hosted in the London Wall Bar & Kitchen. Alternatively, there is the option to use the Entrance Hall for drinks before heading into the London Wall Bar & Kitchen for dinner.

Clients can also hire the galleries or the London Ellipse Hall alongside the London Wall Bar & Kitchen until December 2022 when the relocation of the Museum of London to West Smithfield gets underway. The Terrace Rooms, Entrance Hall, Weston Theatre and London Wall Bar & Kitchen will remain open during this time.

The Inner Temple reopens after three-year refurbishment

London event venue, The Inner Temple, has reopened after a refurbishment and redevelopment. Located in the heart of London’s legal district between the City and West End, the renovation includes a new two-floor 120-seater lecture theatre, eight meeting rooms with built-in audio visual and streaming facilities, and two breakout spaces.

The three-year project has seen the addition of a brand-new fourth floor, containing eight meeting rooms and a breakout area, while the third floor has been repurposed to include offices for the Inn’s education and training department. There is also a new 120-seat lecture theatre with additional breakout space, which is fully equipped with built-in AV to stream all lectures into meeting rooms or offsite at request.

Sustainability is a key focus across the venue, with the refurbishment seeing a careful choice of materials to ensure high environmental performance. This included improved thermal insulation, air source heat recovery, sustainable timber use throughout and the use of harvested rainwater for irrigation, plus an improved provision for cycle parking. Overall, the scheme demonstrates a 41 per cent carbon saving over the previous building use.

Hilton London Croydon launches [email protected] package

London Croydon is launching its new meetings product centred around wellness, designed to host stress-free, relaxed events.

The new package includes a memory-boosting food & hydration station, gym access for all delegates, access to the Fallon Garden outdoor space, wellness books and magazines, slippers instead of office footwear and discounted rates for treatments from Beto Beauty for your delegates.

A city for everyone: ICC Belfast enhances accessibility

ICC Belfast has announced various accessibility enhancements across its site to support increased participation, and deliver on its values as a venue that celebrates diversity and champions inclusivity.

The venue recently hosted more than 500 delegates as part of the Harkin International Disability Employment Summit, a legacy of which is a new, permanent Changing Places in the Riverside Foyer, the installation of which was funded by Belfast City Council.

Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for severely disabled people, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers. Changing Places Awareness Day, on July 19, celebrated the successes of ongoing campaigning to install Changing Places toilets in public places and raise awareness about the importance of such facilities for the thousands of severely disabled people who need them.

Sinead Grimes, director of physical programmes at Belfast City Council, said: “We are proud to work alongside ICC Belfast to deliver the needed addition of a Changing Places toilet, the second for the city centre with one already installed at City Hall, and the Council’s 8 th Changing Places facility.

"We are talking about a fundamental human need, and we want to do everything we can to ensure that our city caters to the needs of as many people as possible."

A trio of venues joins Academic Venue Solutions

The UK’s consortium dedicated to academic venues has announced three new members, bringing the total representation to 48 member venues.

Madingley Hall, part of the University of Cambridge is located in Cambridge, within an hour’s drive of London, is a country house built in the 16th century, has 16 meeting rooms and can accommodate up to 100 delegates. The Hall is available year-round and has gardens and grounds designed in the 18th century by ‘Capability’ Brown.

Head East and you will find Putteridge Bury, part of the University of Bedfordshire, in Luton, a neo-Elizabeth manor house built in 1911 in the style of Chequers. With meeting rooms, some with the original oak panelling, chandeliers and overlooking the grounds, the venue provides a backdrop for a wide variety of events both indoors and out.

The last of the trio is The University of Sheffield, with a variety of buildings on offer for conferences, meetings, events and exhibitions. Whether you are looking for a small meeting to a tiered lecture theatre, self-contained space or stepping outside into grounds and gardens, it can all be found in the heart of Sheffield.

Barbican Business Events has Christmas all wrapped up

The Barbican is making the most of its Conservatory this Christmas with tropical-themed parties for private hire. 

The Conservatory, the second largest in London, provides an oasis of creativity and inspiration with its secluded gardens, tropical fishponds and more than 1,500 species of plants, making it a unique location for organisations looking to host Christmas parties.

The Conservatory is a versatile space which can accommodate up to 475 people for Christmas events. With food created by on-site caterer Searcys, guests can experience a festive-inspired feast of dishes ranging from bowl food to a full seated dinner in the Garden Room, an exciting event space adjacent to the Conservatory.

Packages start at £118 plus VAT per person to include hire of the Conservatory. Cocktails will be served on arrival; three hours of unlimited prosecco, elderflower fizz, wine, beer and soft drinks; and DJ.  Food options include bowl food, a festive carvery or a three-course festive menu with coffee and mince pies, depending on chosen package and numbers.

“The Barbican’s Conservatory is a unique location for any organisation wanting to organise truly memorable Christmas events,” said Jenny Waller, head of sales at the Barbican. “The balance of the traditional Christmas spirit with the venue’s tropical style adds a wonderful feeling and sense of energy to any party. It is the ideal place for companies to gather, communicate and reflect on the past year’s success stories before looking ahead to 2023.

Science Museum reveals new exhibition available for event hire

The Science Museum in South Kensington has unveiled a new exhibition which is available for event hire from 6 October 2022 until 4 May 2023. Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination is an immersive, genre-defying exhibition that invites visitors to embark on an adventure through the imaginative worlds envisioned in science fiction and discover how they have inspired scientific innovations.

Guided by artificial intelligence of alien origin, guests will be placed at the heart of the science fiction story, where they will board and explore a unique spaceship, scout an unknown planet, and investigate how scientists and science fiction creators have imagined and built new worlds to better understand our own.

Science Fiction is available to hire exclusively, and the 60-minute experience can be followed by an evening drinks reception or dinner in either the Energy Hall or Exploring Space galleries. Alternatively, clients can incorporate the Science Fiction experience into an event being held elsewhere in the museum at an additional cost and depending on availability. Science Fiction has a capacity for 65 guests at one time, with a maximum of two-three groups per event.