London Montage

Archives for April 2013

Hidden Meeting Rooms

From experience I know that finding unusual spaces in the well-trodden world of London events can be a bit of a tiresome task.  So when Anne called us up and asked if we could, I was more than happy to help save her some legwork and find a suitable venue. As part of the team setting up Hire Space, a new site for booking meeting and events spaces, I’ve pretty much seen them all.  I’ve been to spaces below and very much above ground, I’ve been to every borough, climbed thousands of stairs, gone up and down in lifts more times than my 13 year old self’s YoYo, and even stepped south of the river, I know… But what did I find, what and where are London’s hidden venues? Here are my tips.

Whitechapel Gallery Study Studio 5

Whitechapel Gallery   A well-known venue yes, but do you really “know” it. Hidden behind its famous arches is not only a realm of super events space but also some of London’s most creative conference facilities. With a mix of natural light filled training rooms and professional but unique presentation rooms. Whitechapel is one of the most complete conference venues I know.

Watermens’ Hall  A hidden gem in the city that is lesser known than its bigger livery siblings like Drapers’ Hall. Watermens’ makes a great meeting venue, or like its role in the upcoming London PA Network event a great home for small presentations. Their wonderful caterer always ensures food is top notch, but for me at least it’s the history of the place that really sets it apart. With hundreds of years of managing London’s waterways the hall is packed with wonderful curiosities and artefacts.

Monticello House For my third tip I wanted to tell you about a venue which is perhaps a little less opulent than the others, but with its low pricing offers recession proof value. Monticello is an airy and business ready venue is ideal for corporate training, interviews and relaxed meetings. A large space in this well managed venue costs just over £100 for a half day session, bargain.Want to know more, have a look at our meeting or events page, ping me an email, or grab me for a chat at the event at Watermens’ Hall. Cheers!

Hire Space is London’s biggest venue search site and is a little different from the raft of ‘listing sites’, firstly we proclaim, like all other venues sites, that our spaces are something different (ours actually are), secondly we give you the prices and availability of spaces up-front and let you book and pay online, no more frustrating calling just quick and easy search!

2012 – Unforgettable Summer!

From the perspective of a London Team Ambassador/ Games Maker ….

Whether during the Olympics or Paralympics, whatever the sport, wherever the venue, every spectator will have their own memories: the competitors’ achievements, the atmosphere, travelling, the volunteers, security, music, torch relays.

During the build-up to the Olympics opening ceremony, I tracked down the torch relay a few times during its week in London: its first dramatic arrival in London by helicopter, viewed with thousands of others from across the river at City Hall. Next, on the outskirts of Croydon;  in Central London and at City Hall – the “Gloriana” (which was also part of the Diamond Jubilee river pageant) arrived early, so I didn’t actually see it carrying the flame, but did see it leave there and moor at Butler’s Wharf. During the Olympics, on the first Tuesday, I saw two matches in the early rounds of the women’s hockey, one of which was Team GB v South Korea (GB won 5-3). The first match was Belgium v China, but the atmosphere and noise levels, helped by a brass section and drum, definitely increased during the second one! Other first impressions of the park were its landscaping and sheer size.

At Wembley Stadium for the final of the women’s football, USA v Japan, attended by 80,203 (a record for a women’s Olympic football match): each team had their own partisan vociferous support but it was an international crowd who cheered on both teams. Not only was the crowd noisy but so was the, mainly rock, music. At the end, as well as the inevitable “We are the champions”, they played “Born in the USA”- so no prizes for guessing who won the match! Sepp Blatter (President of FIFA) was booed when it was announced that he was to present the medals. Sunset over the stadium as the match started, and the illuminated arch on the way out also stay in the memory. En route to Wembley, I noticed that on the indicator board at one of the stations, they had announced another UK gold medal (in the dressage at Greenwich).   In between the ticketed events, I went to see the men’s open swimming event at Hyde Park and also the marathon.

There were lots of enthusiastic, large crowds, once again cheering on all competitors, not just the British – although the cheers for the latter sounded the loudest, making it 2012 never to be forgotten!