Discover four stunning venues in the heart of St James’s

Join us for an exclusive event this summer to discover four beautiful central London venues. Prince Philip House, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, 116 Pall Mall and the Royal Society will be hosting an open house on 19th July, giving you a unique opportunity to explore all of their event spaces in one afternoon.

With a range of versatile rooms, these venues can accommodate all types of events, from small meetings to large dinners and receptions.

Register for the open house by 30th June. Here

Westminster Venue Collection: Supporting Fairtrade for World Fair Trade Day

Do you hope that the farmers and producers behind the cup of tea and chocolate biscuit you have at your next meeting are getting a fair deal for the work they’ve done to get it to you?

If so, you’re not alone. According to Kantar Media TGI data, 32% of UK adults say they will buy Fairtrade products when available and around 17% of people say they buy Fairtrade food and drink regularly.

The Fairtrade market is currently worth £831.7m and is continuing to grow, as more people become aware of ethical consumption and seek out assurances that those who have produced the food they are buying are getting a fairer deal.

Using Fairtrade products is also important to many of Westminster Venue Collection’s 34-member venues, so ahead of World Fair Trade Day on 12 May we highlight some of the work the marketing consortium is doing to support the initiative.

116 Pall Mall

As well as seeking out accredited Fairtrade products, management at this prestigious address carefully check all supplier provenance and sourcing before products can be used in their meetings and events. For example, in-house caterer Benugo ensures farmers are receiving a fair price for the coffee beans they buy with the majority purchased from Jose Bernardo and his two brothers who run Pedra Redonda, a coffee farm in the foothills of Pico de Desengano, Brazil. As 116 Pall Mall serves up to 5,000 cups of coffee to guests a week, this sensible sourcing makes a significant difference.
Five floors of entertaining space, from a subterranean brick vaulted wine bar to conference and meetings suites – can be found in this Grade I-listed building. The venue can accommodate between 10 and 1,000 guests for many different types of events, from conferences and exhibitions to weddings, dinners and awards ceremonies.

Church House

If you sip a cup of tea or coffee between sessions at this multi-purpose conference venue within the peaceful Dean’s Yard you can rest assured that those who have grown the tea leaves or harvested the coffee beans have been paid a fair wage. All tea and coffee at Church House is Fairtrade and the fair deal is also seen a little closer to home with the venue ensuring all staff are paid, not just the National Living Wage, but the higher rate London Living Wage set by the Living Wage Commission.
Church House offers 19 rooms for events or conferences, which can accommodate up to 664 guests. Almost all 19 rooms have natural daylight and air conditioning with break out rooms complementing the main Assembly Hall and other large spaces.

House of Commons

It’s fair to say that Fairtrade is well-supported at the House of Commons. Fairtrade coffee has been served at the venue since 1997 and its food outlets also stock Fairtrade confectionery, including Geobars, KitKats and Maltesers. Ensuring tea, coffee and confectionery is Fairtrade at the House of Commons will make a big difference to those who supply it: Last year its Catering Services department purchased 14,000 kilos of Fairtrade coffee, 119,000 Fairtrade teabags and 603,000 Fairtrade sugar sticks. Peckish delegates and visitors also munched their way through 20,774 KitKats. There are seven venues at the Commons available for hire, including the Members’ Dining Room, Strangers’ Dining Room, The Churchill Room which is ideal for seminar, receptions or dinners and the Terrace Pavillion, perfect for larger receptions and giving access to the Commons’ Terrace on the banks of the River Thames.

King’s Venues – Bush House

Fairtrade is of utmost importance to King’s College London, which has established its own Fairtrade Steering Group to support the work of the Fairtrade Foundation and promote Fairtrade products across the university and at its conference and meetings facilities. The group meets on a quarterly basis to review and maintain the Fairtrade status of the university and works with suppliers like Peros and 3663 to ensure much of the food and drink products it serves both on campus and at meetings and events organised by the King’s Venues team, are Fairtrade.
At Bush House, King’s Venues’ newest addition, you’ll find a number of modern conference spaces accommodating between 10 and 400 people, including a Harvard-style lecture theatre for 120 people and the auditorium for up to 395. The former home of the BBC has also been refurbished to include state-of-the-art AV facilities.

IET London: Savoy Place welcomed clients and guests to its ‘Bits and Bytes’ showcase

During 2017 the venue proudly hosted 1,716 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) events including AI, cyber security and Fintech events as well as welcomed robots, drones, astronauts and

Aptly named ‘Bits and Bytes’, the event showcased IET London: Savoy Place’s industry leading audio-visual capabilities including an artificial intelligence tour of the venue’s distinctive event spaces featuring in-cinema surround-sound.

On the hottest day of the year so far, guests enjoyed drinks and food in the Riverside Room, with selfie opportunities, a VR experience, mocktails and powdered G&Ts overlooking the capital from the sun-kissed Johnson Roof Terrace.

The catering team were on-hand serving vegan sushi, torched steak with British charcuterie and cheeses, and a bug bar featuring dried critters, with a choice of mealworm arancini, locust taco’s and black ant and goats cheese salad. Delicate desserts were presented at a nitro station and pudding table to round-off an enjoyable occasion for all.

Church House Westminster hosts spectacular Gala Dinner for VisitBritain’s MeetGB event

VisitBritain held a Gala Dinner at Church House Westminster to celebrate the magic of British events as part of its MeetGB showcase.

Over 100 event planners and buyers from North America and Europe attended the dinner on Thursday, 19 April to network with a high-profile guest list of events industry luminaries and meetings and event suppliers from across the UK. Guests enjoyed live show entertainment and a three-course dinner followed by a live DJ and dancing.

MeetGB, hosted by VisitBritain in partnership with London & Partners, VisitEngland, Visit Wales, VisitScotland and Tourism Northern Ireland, is a London-based showcase of 80 meetings and event suppliers from across the UK who were brought together with 120 global meetings, events and incentive planners to do business at the event, from 19-20 April.

Thousands of one-to-one business meetings between UK conference product suppliers and international event planners took place over the two days, which also included education sessions and the gala dinner, held at Church House Westminster.
Kerrin MacPhie, VisitBritain Head of Business Events, said: “VisitBritain’s MeetGB event brought 100 international meeting and event planners to the UK to experience the best of the UK’s business events product. Church House Westminster is the perfect entertainment setting for us to host these buyers, with its iconic location next to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament and its stunning architecture, historical significance and exceptional service.”

Speaking after the dinner, Robin Parker, General Manager at Church House Westminster, said: “We were delighted to be chosen as the venue for the MeetGB gala dinner, and to work with VisitBritain and their partners on such an important and prestigious event. We all know what an amazing and diverse destination Great Britain is, and this was shown last night as everyone enjoyed a stunning evening under the dome of the Assembly Hall at Church House.”

Stephen Lawrence Memorial Service at St Martin-in-the-Fields

St Martin’s-in-the-Fields held a memorial service to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence on Monday, 23 April.

The service to celebrate the life and legacy of the 18-year-old, who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack by a gang of white youths in 1993, was attended by guests including Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Sadiq Khan, Sir Lenny Henry and Beverly Knight.

St Martin’s connection with the Lawrence family dates back to 1998 when the church marked the 5th anniversary of Stephen’s death and founded The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. St Martin’s also held memorial services for the 10th, 15th and 20th anniversaries.

The church works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through training, mentoring, bursaries and other activities to mark Stephen’s death and legacy.

St Martin-in-the-Fields church is one of many iconic buildings surrounding Trafalgar Square but, for those who know it better, it’s a national institution, a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive community with a history of supporting homeless and vulnerable people.

The QEII Centre welcomed The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

The biennial summit of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations took place from Monday, 16 to Friday, 20 April and saw the leaders of 52 nations come together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace.

The summit’s theme, ‘Towards a common future’, focused on building on the strengths of the Commonwealth to ensure this unique organisation is responsive to global challenges and delivers a more prosperous, secure, sustainable and fair future for all its citizens, particularly its young people.

The week-long event began with Commonwealth Forums centred around four topics: business, women, people and youth. Members of the Royal Family attended forums which reflected their various areas of interest, with the QEII seeing visits from Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The QEII Centre also hosted the ‘Welcome to the UK’ reception on the opening day of the summit, which was hosted by the Duke of Cambridge and attended by representatives of the Commonwealth’s 53-member countries.

The event made use of the centre’s entire 32 versatile spaces, even installing a quarter-ton, 10-metre whale called Plasticus on the lawn to demonstrate how much plastic ends up in the ocean every second.

The House of Commons extends access to its event spaces

You can now hire the House of Commons’ commercial spaces for corporate and private events throughout the year on Mondays (up until 3pm), Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Whether you’re organising a wedding reception, anniversary or other special event, the magnificent splendor of the Pugin Room, the grandeur of the historic Members’ Dining Room, or the Terrace Pavilion with its access to the exclusive Commons Terrace alongside the River Thames, could provide a fabulous option.

Kay West, event sales manager at the House of Commons said: “Extending the types of events permitted in the House of Commons’ commercial spaces will ensure more people can enjoy and engage with the unique and inspiring Palace of Westminster setting, which is home to the UK Parliament. Any increase in revenue will go to helping to maintain the Palace of Westminster for future generations.”

Alongside the increased opportunity for venue hire, the public will continue to be able to book a range of commercial tours of the Palace of Westminster, enjoy one of its commercial afternoon teas packages, or enjoy lunch or dinner in the principal dining rooms as part of its series of pop-restaurant dining experiences.