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.
The HAC is an exceptional and thoroughly unexpected venue; a historic 18th century mansion set in a six-acre garden yet located just a stone's throw from Moorgate in the heart of the City of London. Inside Armoury House, several of the elegant rooms are available for hire, including the atmospheric oak-panelled Long Room, which is one of London's most stunning venues for a meeting, dinner, reception or party. The Prince Consort Rooms offer a contemporary space inside a historic and prestigious venue with a dedicated entrance designed for you and your guest's privacy. The neutral decor means this room can be transformed into any themed or styled event you envision.
Located on Kensington High Street is a stunning listed Art Deco building. The ground floor is a social retail space, offering a range of high quality Japanese goods and a coffee stand; on the first floor, there is a Japanese restaurant and a Tatami Room; and on the lower ground floor, a Gallery, a Hall and a Library. We provide a unique and prestigious backdrop for a variety of events, with an interior that has been transformed into a stunning contemporary space offering an ideal canvas to engage with clients and activate brands in an iconic setting. With a busy programme of exhibitions created in Japan that focuses on art , technology and design, which can be hired exclusively to enhance any event. The spaces available for hire are suitable for a variety of events, ranging from drinks receptions for 170 guests, conferences for 140 or dinner for 100, to small boardroom meetings for 12 guests. Our diverse rooms are available for hire to organisations, bodies and companies whose activities support and promote Japanese culture, society and business. The Tatami Room has a maximum capacity of eight guests for meetings. As per Japanese custom, shoes are to be removed before taking a seat in this room. The Library has a maximum capacity of 12 guests for boardroom style meetings. The Hall has a maximum capacity of 180 guests for a standing drinks reception. The Hall and Library are fully equipped with Ultra HD screens/projector - perfect for screenings, presentations and branding opportunities. All catering is externally provided – please ask us about our list of preferred suppliers.
Absolute Pleasure Yacht is available for private and corporate hire. Both catered and self-catered packages available.
We are a 150 capacity, multifunctional events space situated in the heart of London, Europe’s largest creative hub. Our community is comprised of the best in the Music, Film & TV, Tech & Fashion industries and we service them along with a multitude of external clients. We’re designed to be highly versatile to cater for the niche requirements of the top tier in both the creative and corporate industries. Some of our regular clients include Apple, Amazon, Sony Music, BBC, Channel 4, Beats 1 Radio and The British Heart Foundation amongst many others. We’re here for music events, artist showcases, panel discussions, art exhibitions, community workshops, presentations, private parties, Q&A’s and corporate away days. Our events are a platform for both the top tier and the underground. We have personalities, visionaries, legends, next big things, ideas, inspiration, diversity and substance all rolled into a calendar of events that are designed to engage, entertain and inspire. We have a fully licensed bar and bespoke catering facilities, and a dedicated event team to guide your event from conception to completion.
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.
Sager + Wilde | Hackney Road is a Wine Bar in East London with exposed brick work and wooden floors. It's the perfect space for standing drinks parties and events. It's even got a small outdoor area for summer evenings. We also have turntables so you can choose to play vinyls all night or create a Spotify playlist for our Sonos system. Food-wise we are known for our Charcuterie and Cheese boards along with our Cheese toasties.
The County Arms is a unique venue for hire in London. Situated on Wandsworth Common it is the perfect picturesque back drop for many occasions. A London wedding venue, we are licensed to hold ceremonies and experienced in hosting the best receptions. We have multiple function spaces for hire suitable for meetings and away days as well as birthdays, engagements, parties and private dining. Warm and cosy with fireplaces for the winter and a beautiful garden for the summer.
Positioned between The Green Room restaurant and BFI IMAX, Green Space is a blank canvas, dry hire opportunity that offers a secluded garden type venue perfect for corporate outdoor events, large installations, busses and large vehicles, outdoor press launches and company team building. Situated two minutes walk from Waterloo station and visible from Waterloo Bridge, it’s an enclosed, adaptable and over 850m² grassy canvas in a highly desirable central London location - making it ideal for destination or ticketed events.
A sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden offers a unique lifestyle destination in the heart of central London. Two restaurants, a delicatessen, florist and lifestyle shop are all united by Floral Court, offering a variety of opportunities to suit any occasion. The Petersham is an opulent setting for any event. Sweeping windows, Genoese chandeliers and a private terrace, perfect for a drinks reception or grand entrance. With moveable furniture and a creative team, the space is versatile and an impressive backdrop for all occasions. Take ove the full venue and enjoy drinks in the private dining space and garden, before pulling back the curtains to reveal the beautiful main dining room where long banqueting tables will be dressed for your feast. During dining, the private dining room can be transformed once more to provide the perfect space for dancing the night away. Ideal for a wedding reception to follow a choice of licensed ceremony spaces across the site or any style of celebration. Groups of 12-36 seated and 40 to stand can enjoy the beautiful private dining room, within the main restaurant. Made private by heavy curtains, your guests will be welcomed through their own terrace entrance. The room is drenched in light, with floor to ceiling windows and garden doors which open onto to Floral Court.
Landing just off City Road at the start of 2020, the brand new hotel is an inspiring venue in the heart of East London. Organising meetings is in our DNA. From small meetings to larger conferences or workshops we have the space for you. We have a collection of three inspiring laboratories each designed with their own theme, and all providing the perfect space for meetings, conferences, presentations and more for up to 70 people. On the ground floor right at the heart of the hotel is the open plan lobby, where an amalgamation of funky furniture, eye catching artwork, a modern bar and unique spaces combine to create an impressive venue. With space for up to 150 guests and the flexibility to create private lounges or one big space, it is ideally suited to a variety of events. Our in house team of chefs would also be delighted to create a delicious menu for your event, from canapes and bowl food to indulgent sit down meals. Whether you'd like to host a birthday celebration, trade event, wedding reception or cocktail masterclass, our versatile lobby can adapt to your needs.
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.
South West London
Tara Theatre is an awarding-winning gem available for venue hire in London. Just 10 minutes by Rail from Waterloo. Step through the Indian front door of our Edwardian terrace into a world of elegant fusion, providing a unique setting for any event. Theatre – plush seats, soaring ceilings and exposed brickwork combined with state-of-the-art technical facilities, perfect for private parties, launch events, conferences, weddings and receptions. Studio – an abundance of natural light and smooth oakwood floors, ideal for meetings, workshops, rehearsals, seminars and more. Foyer & Patio-Garden –a charming haven for parties and events with a café/bar.
The Princess is located in the beautiful Primrose Hill, just 5 minutes away from Chalk Farm tube station. The venue has been recently renovated and has re-established itself as a warm and welcoming local with great food, quality drinks and a laid back atmosphere. Set over three floors that include an elegant dining room on the first floor, lower-ground floor bar a garden room and the Banksy beer garden is the perfect location for weddings, private parties and corporate events.
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.
Bishopsgate Institute has been awarded the "Good to Go" accreditation from Visit England, meaning our venue is Covid-secure. Contact us to learn more about our safety measures. Our Grade II* listed building is a haven in the city, where culture, heritage and learning meet. Renowned as a central hub for public events for 125 years, Bishopsgate Institute is also a remarkably atmospheric location for private and corporate events. From the moment you step across the threshold, the originality of the building is clear. Our venue combines elements from the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements, along with typically Victorian motifs. Every one of our rooms is full of individual character and steeped in history. Our spaces are suited to any event you might have in mind, and our flexible rooms have capacity for between 4 to 500 people. Set on the edge of the City of London, you can find us just two minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street Station.
A versatile and modern venue for any special event from 5 to 500 guests. Our onsite catering and events specialists, Sliced Events, can cater for your personal requirements from stylish weddings, intimate dinners, private parties, corporate functions, conferences, examinations and more. We have four newly refurbished event spaces available for hire.
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.