The office Christmas party is the biggest social event of your work calendar, and it’s important to get right. It helps your colleagues and employees feel valued, and it’s an opportunity to thank them for the hard work they’ve put in over the year.
Depending on your budget, you may want to go low-key or really splash out and celebrate. Generally speaking, your colleagues will prefer a higher food and bar tab and a less swanky venue, than going somewhere really nice and then having to pick up some of the bill themselves. This isn’t a given though, so it’s worth checking in with your colleagues.
PLEASE NOTE: The Ditch dry hire rate starts at £550+VAT per hour/ £5,000+VAT per day The Ditch is the untouched basement of the original Grade II listed building. Over a dozen interconnecting rooms with original features, exposed brickwork and pipes, fireplaces and stoves provide a unique and intimate setting for events. Although it has an abandoned aesthetic, The Ditch has full production capabilities and remains as flexible and responsive as the rest of the building. It can be transformed to create an immersive setting for memorable product launches, creative fundraising events, unique receptions, conference breakout spaces and even dining.
COVID-19 certification Harrow School Events is delighted to announce that they have been awarded the ‘We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 certification. This is a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to reassure customers that our business adheres to Government and public health guidance. The Alex Fitch Room is the most enchanting room at Harrow School. As part of a War Memorial building, the entire contents of this room were donated by the Fitch family in memory of their son. This unique space can host 20 guests for an intimate private or corporate dinner, with a superb wood clad backdrop. Alex’s portrait is hung above the fireplace, the light above it is never put out in respect for the fallen. All proceeds from the hire of this room go towards a bursary for a Harrow boy. Related Venue: Speech Room
Lumiere London is excited to announce the opening of their new studios in Underwood Street, 7 minutes walking distance from Old Street Station (Northern Line, National Rail). The Victorian Loft features plenty of daylight and a bohemian style that is peaceful and cosy. the perfect place for intimate meetings, receptions and any event that wants to break free from the boring meeting room mould. A unique, versatile warehouse loft space, with original features perfect for your corporate workshops, seminars, receptions and everything else your imagination can muster. Practically located in Old Street (Zone 1) the space is perfect for corporate events, product launches, celebratory dining experiences, fashion, photography and editorial. Completely refurbished, the building has a modern reception providing a large communal area, two passenger lifts, cycle storage facilities, air condition and wheelchair-friendly access and bathrooms.
Situated in the heart of Mayfair, is a state-of- the-art venue showcasing emerging and established talent within the fast-growing contemporary art world. A gallery by day and private events space by night, the venue boasts the perfect setting to impress clients wishing to host events ranging anything from private dinners to evening networking / drinks receptions, immersive events, brand activations, press days and many more. The venue itself is 6,000 Sq./Ft split over two floors, both of which can operate independently. Exclusive hire of the venue allows for up to 420 guests, with a wide range of facilities on site, including a six-metre custom made LED screen, a sixteen thousand watts / 32 speaker audio system, accompanied by showcase track lighting and multiple rigging points throughout the entire venue. There are also two fully equipped onsite kitchens, both with rear loading bay access. With industrial features as well as a versatile layout, is a brilliant backdrop for events of all natures.
Shoreditch / Hoxton
MOTEL blends Mid Century design, Victorian Architecture and 21st Century technology to deliver the perfect East London venue for your event. A hidden gem in the heart of the evolving landscape of Shoreditch, our generous and open spaces have hosted a diverse range of clients and brands including ADIDAS, LVMH, NORTH FACE, KAPPA, BATHSTORE, NIKE, BURBERRY and many more. With over 4300 sq ft of ground floor space, let MOTEL bring your project home in style. KEY POINTS: 100MB WI-FI, LIVE STREAM POSSIBLE, DRIVE IN ACCESS, LIMITED PARKING AVAILABLE, BLANK CANVAS
The White Collar Factory is a striking new 15-floor building near Old Street roundabout, with an incredible roof terrace and views across London. This contemporary space makes the most of lots of natural light, with a large lounge perfect for product launches and presentations with capacity for up to 350 people. For a really show-stopping setting, the rooftop terrace has indoor and outdoor space for up to 120 people standing, with a bar, views over all of London and a running track – plus this is a pretty exclusive space, with hire only available four times a year. In addition to the two event spaces, this venue has 8 meeting rooms ranging in size from 4-30 people.
Elephant & castle
Not available: Friday & Saturday evening Situated just a stones throw from London Bridge in the trendy Elephant and Castle area, 103 Gaunt Street is one venue, six unique spaces. The venue benefits from a 24 hour license, outdoor space, award winning AV systems and full event management solutions. The venue features six unique spaces that all have their own identity: The Courtyard – 331m2 heated courtyard with outside bar, tables & chairs The 103 – Double height reception space with aerial walkway, LED screen & projection options The Box – Production heavy featuring, six towering speaker stacks, 4K HD plasma Projectors and screen & an extensive lighting rig The Lounge – opulent seating area overlooking The 103 with own bar and facilities Two other exciting spaces. The venue is hired exclusively as one unit on a 24 hour period hire and our events team is on hand to put together your bespoke package for you.
Absolute Pleasure Yacht is available for private and corporate hire. Both catered and self-catered packages available.
Hoxton Docks is an incredible canal side venue for hire in London. The ex-coal storage facility is a unique blank canvas venue in London. We cater to all types of events in London including weddings, product launches, and corporate parties. Found on the regents canal in Hoxton E2 we function as a private dinner party venue and as a film and photography location venue. There is very little that we can't do as the space is so versatile. We have two rooftop venue locations on site as well as large internal and external courtyards on location.
With a capacity for 120, this space is perfect for private networking, reception events and summer BBQs. The contemporary museum space comes with the added benefit of a private courtyard that features a beautiful living plant wall which adds to the venue’s atmosphere and acts as the perfect backdrop for summer parties. The indoor modern and contemporary museum space offers great versatility and in addition, allows guests to explore the inspiring exhibition galleries or enjoy a curator-led museum tour.
Impress your guests by hosting your event in a UNESCO world heritage site. The Old Brewery is a south east London private hire hidden gem. With stunning copper features influenced by our Naval and brewing heritage, our dining room and outside terrace offer a unique experience for your party needs. With views of the Royal Naval College, Cutty Sark and Canary Wharf outer-terrace is perfect for celebratory drinks and canapes, plus our dining rooms elegance and grandeur allows the perfect backdrop to dance the night away.
Clapton Country Club is a unique urban industrial venue for hire located in Hackney, London. Location shoots, vintage style weddings, pop up events, photographic shoots, video shoots, private dinner parties, meetings and training or something completely different. We have a commercial kitchen and outdoor seating area. Smaller studios available for hire upon request.
Tottenham Court Road
The Painting Rooms established in 1904 is a Grade I listed building just off Tottenham Court Road. It is a great venue for photo shoots/press days/talks/dinners and other fashion events. Booking this unique space will give you three rooms over two floors, as well as the use of a small kitchen and two bathrooms.
Covid Secure Venue This light-filled space is a versatile environment for your next event. Featuring stunning views of the City skyline and Shard, and nestled close to Borough Market, the Penthouse is conveniently located a few minutes walk from London Bridge Station. A true haven in the heart of London, the Penthouse has a laid back refined vibe and offers ultimate privacy in the heart of London Bridge. A generous space with areas for breakout, two balconies and stunning floor to ceiling windows. The team at the Menier Penthouse can provide a range of catering options for your event - from breakfast pastries and buffet lunches to fully staffed champagne and canapé receptions. Catering, AV hire, DDR etc all available to meet your event requirements. A popular space for wedding receptions, corporate events, training days, product launches, filming and photo shoots. The striking setting of Menier Penthouse has made it popular with many high street, and high end, brands and it has featured in films, TV and major publications in the UK and internationally. Capacity: 60 people Max Setups Available: Theatre style / Banquet / Cabaret / Boardroom Stats: 263sqm internal space + 67sqm of open terraces. 2.7m ceiling height. Kitchen and bathroom. Private lobby with lift access. Facilities: kitchen/toilet/separate green room available on request Access: 3 minute walk from London Bridge Tube/ loading bay directly outside property/ lift opens directly into space Unfortunately we do not accept private party bookings Weddings 2021 Based in the heart of London Bridge, a stone’s throw from Borough Market, Menier Venues is a versatile collection of wedding venues and meetings and event spaces - beautifully designed with spectacular views that are set to impress for any occasion. Taking away the stresses for the many couples who have to re-plan after tweaking, changing, postponing and downsizing their weddings this last year, Menier Venues is launching intimate, safe, and most importantly stress-free wedding receptions in its most popular spaces: the Menier Penthouse and the Menier Lounge. This chic venue collection in the heart of London Bridge perfectly lends itself to an intimate and stylish soiree in the City. Ideal for couples keen to tie the knot this year without breaking the bank or losing yet another sleepless night, our reception package is a one stop shop: you tell us the date and the best bit? As much or as little as you want of the organising is taken care of — bonus! We’re talking cake, flowers, brunch or dinner, drinks, entertainment, all curated and included in the package price or as optional extras. Promising to be the easiest wedding reception anyone has ever had to plan; our wedding reception package comes as a direct response to the pandemic and the restrictions couples who are eager to plan their big day now face. Our packages offer you and your guests a memorable ‘big day’ experience with all the traditional touchpoints of a wedding reception noted and organised in our signature Menier Venues style. We are proud to be a Covid Secure venue, acredited by Hirespace Safer Venues, enabling us to create these packages with your safety in mind. Contact us for more information.
West London’s premier event spaces Our refurbished Victorian foundry with 5 interlinking spaces and 2 large secluded courtyards are available for all occasions. Featuring natural brickwork, high ceilings with exposed beams, wooden floors, large windows and skylights that allow for abundant daylight. While retaining its original features, this location also benefits from all the modern components to create the perfect event. Studio 1: 200 standing / 130 theatre / 100 seated Studio 2: 220 standing / 140 theatre / 120 seated Studio 3: 150 standing / 50 theatre / 60 seated Studio 4: 450 standing / 300 theatre / 220 seated Studio 5: 450 standing / 300 theatre / 220 seated Courtyard 1: 200 standing Courtyard 2: 200 standing / 70 seated
This magnificent late Victorian building, lovingly restored to its original glory, provides a beautiful, memorable and photogenic backdrop for weddings and receptions, while its central position at the heart of the exclusive Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, offers event organisers a well-placed, endlessly adaptable space. It is also a popular location for filming and photo shoots.
If you’re looking to get the holiday season started with a bang, try following our Corporate Christmas party checklist:
Step 1: Choose a date! Like, now
You would be surprised by how quickly the best Xmas party venues get booked up. We help people organise their work Christmas do all year round - yes, some people start looking in January. The most popular time of year to book a venue tends to be July through September, but it’s never too early to start looking around. Most importantly, you’ve got to pick a date. Funnily enough, the most popular date for Christmas parties tends to be the first Thursday of December, so you’ll need to book well in advance to snag it. Alternatively, think about picking a different date to make sure as many people can come to your party as possible.
Step 2: Plan a budget Chances are, if you’re the person organising the party, you’re not necessarily the person who’s setting the budget. Some decision makers are tempted to get you to start planning before stating what the budget will be, but that just tends to waste everyone’s time. Even if you just get a ballpark figure it’s really helpful to have a guide price so you can know where you’re starting. There’s not much point planning an elaborate three course meal if you’ve only got £15 per head as a budget.
Step 3: Get some initial ideas & venues Once you’ve got your budget - either as a total spend, or as a spend per head - you can start putting together some ideas. The bigger your team or company, the harder it can be to plan something really unique. But if you get your ideas together in advance it will make it easier to execute your cool ideas.
Step 4: Canvas opinions The main decision tends to be between a sit-down meal, or a big bar tab. Colleagues that are game for a beer will likely prefer to put the budget behind the bar and get going, but your non-drinkers are likely to feel a bit left out. There’s lots of reasons why some of your attendees won’t be drinking, and it’s a good idea to make them feel like the party is for them too. Ask around at work and see if there’s a strong preference either way. But do remember that whichever option you go for, if you are expecting heavy drinkers it’s a good idea to provide some food, or you’ll be running around dealing with comeuppances all night.
Ugly Christmas jumper competition
Okay this idea isn’t necessarily going to set the world alight, but it’s a really fun and easy way to break the ice and get the conversation flowing once you’re out of the office. It can be really tempting to slip into work mode and chat about projects, especially if your team doesn’t tend to socialise together regularly. Offer fun prizes to those who wear the ugliest jumper, and maybe add bonus points for the worst dancing, or do an ugly jumper catwalk.
Usually reserved for Easter activities, a treasure hunt is great fun whatever the time of year. Hide baubles around your venue and offer a bucket of beer or even a half-day of annual leave to whoever collects the most. Set a time limit so it doesn’t just peter out, and watch your colleagues go racing around looking for decorations. It’ll get competitive!
Brunch or afternoon tea
A big night out on the tiles isn’t right for every company. If you’re looking for something a little less messy but still special, why not have your Christmas party during the day? There are some beautiful brunch spots and venues that offer afternoon tea, and they’re likely to be more flexible with their availability at that time of year. Plus you can send everyone home early afterwards and they’ll all think you’re the best. It’ll be easier for your colleagues with childcare commitments or who commute long distances too.
Activity bars Disclaimer: these venues are the ones that tend to get booked up the furthest in advance. And for good reason; they’re a great option! Activity bars can span the gap between doing something fun, encouraging mingling between teams, offering something to sober colleagues whilst still having a bar close by. Popular choices include karaoke and pool, but there’s also bowling, darts, and even axe throwing. If you’ve got a less sporty crowd, why not have a look at arts and crafts options? Who wouldn’t want to go home with a poorly painted festive plate.
Themed venues have got a bad rap for being a bit cheesy, and in many ways, rightfully so. But what time of year is more perfect to embrace it? Lots of venues get decked out for Christmas, but some spaces take it to the max and go full Alpine Ski Lodge to get you in the mood. Or you could buck tradition completely, and take a look at Tiki Bars, circus themed venues, or even a boat. Tis the season to do something different!
Warehouses and vacant spaces
For experience event planners, it can be really fun to take a blank canvas or vacant space and really make it their own. There are loads of dry hire venues available in London, so if you’ve got good connections to suppliers there’s lots of fun and flexibility to be had. Be warned - this option requires considerably more organisation and potentially budget, but if you’re inviting clients and are hoping to inspire with a bespoke event it’s a great opportunity to wow them.
The lead up to Christmas is always a busy one, thanks to all the Christmas parties and celebrations going on. The three week run-up to Christmas is when most companies or individuals book their events for, and the most popular days for an office Christmas party are Thursdays and Fridays. Due to their popularity, these days can also be slightly more expensive. If you’re looking for ways to save money on your Christmas party, opting for a less popular day of the week is an easy option.
Christmas party dates book up quick, which is exactly why we suggest you starting to plan your celebrations in advance. We recommend starting your venue search in July to make sure you get your ideal venue and ideal date. If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas party venue, you might get lucky with last-minute offers and deals, but you may not get your preferred diary date, or even your favourite party venue.
For those looking for Christmas party venues that can stay open late, you’ll need to make sure they have a late license. You can filter your search on Canvas by selecting ‘Licensing’ at the top of your search results, and ticking ‘Late License’. The same applies to venues with licenses for loud music, BYOB and civil ceremonies.
For a large corporate company, you’re going to need a large corporate Christmas party venue. At Canvas, we like to make your venue search as easy as possible. Simply use our search filter to input the number of guests attending and the relevant venues will show up in your results. Don’t forget to start planning early though – those large venues and corporate event spaces book up quick. We suggest starting your venue search early in the year to avoid disappointment.
We are spoilt for choice when it comes to Christmas party venues in Central London. Depending on the type of Christmas party you are having, the size of your guest list, and the general look of venue you’re going for, you can search through our collection of London’s favourite venues to find something that suits you. Take your pick from some of the most unique venues for a London Christmas party.
Like with any event or party planning, there are some easy ways that you can save money. Whether you’re working with a small budget or if you just want to save in certain aspects of your planning to have more money elsewhere, there are several things you should consider. With your Christmas party venue search in particular, you could consider a dry hire venue and provide your own alcohol, or perhaps factor in the location of the venue and choose somewhere with more affordable prices. DIY is another easy way to save money, if you have the time (and the skills) to cater for your event, for example. Or perhaps make your own decorations to suit your Christmas party theme?
You want to make your Christmas party stand out from the rest – but how do you make sure you’re planning a unique Christmas party? Consider every aspect of your event planning and think about where you can do something different. You can make it easy for yourself by choosing a unique venue – perhaps a London venue with a theme, or maybe just a super quirky event space. London is lucky enough to have a wide range of unique and unusual venues for you to choose from. Also take into account your catering and entertainment ideas, as these are two factors that can also really impress your guests.