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Smart Friends Christmas Venue Safari 2023

Friday 8 December 2023

 Landing 42  Evolution London

It is undeniable that during the festive season London transforms into a winter wonderland with twinkling lights, Christmas markets, and iconic venues beautifully decorated in preparation for the holiday season.

This year, our friends over at Smart Group organised a remarkable Christmas Venue Safari, taking us on a magical journey through some of London's most sought-after Christmas party venues. From the grand Freemasons Hall to the striking Illuminate at the Science Museum, the tour was a brilliant way to kickstart the Christmas party season. Join us as we delve into the detail of each venue we visited along the way: Evolution London, Illuminate, Freemasons Hall, Landing 42, The Pelligon, and Magazine London.

Evolution London

The first stop of our journey began in Battersea park at Evolution London. Here we were greeted by the team and offered the most delightful breakfast selection including breakfast pasties, fresh fruit and yogurts to start the day off right! Evolution offers a stunning backdrop with its industrial-chic design and high ceilings, making it a unique and visually appealing space for any Christmas celebration. This year the theming was “Día De Muertos”, more commonly known as "The Day of the Dead". The venue was decorated beautifully with vibrant colours, lighting and staging which is used to create an immersive experience for guests. The space has capacity for 2000 seated or 4000 standing; an impressive space to say the least.


Our next stop of the journey was only a short taxi ride away to South Kensington. Situated on Levels 4 and 5 of The Science Museum, Illuminate offers an engaging and unique space that can be hired out for a wide range of events. With capacities of up to 400 for seated dinners and conferences and 450 for standing receptions, Illuminate is the definition of a chic, sleek, blank canvas space. Among the unique features at Illuminate, a panoramic window takes up the entire stretch of the back wall on Level 5; offering stunning views of the City and an abundance of natural daylight.

Freemasons Hall

From South Kensington to Covent Garden, our next stop along the way was the iconic Freemason’s Hall. The prestigious, Grade II listed venue  has three main event spaces available for hire for Christmas parties; The Vestibules, The Gallery and The Grand Temple. This year’s 1920’s theming provides space for 300 seated or 700 standing and is guaranteed to impress with the sheer scale and grandeur of the building. My personal favourite feature from this venue was the secret Grand Temple dance floor, hidden from guests sight until after the drinks reception or meal, at which point the venue staff conduct a big reveal of the dancing space, which is accessible through a beautiful starlit tunnel… you can tell this is where the party really begins!

Landing 42

We were now half way through our tour of London and had made good progress from Battersea to Bank. However now we were headed all the way up to level 42 of the Leadenhall Building for our midway refreshment break, at the stunning Landing 42. As London's highest private events venue, the space offers breath-taking panoramic views over the city where guests can marvel at London's iconic landmarks, such as The Shard, Tower Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral. The space can accommodate 300 for a standing reception and 220 for seated functions, providing a truly unique setting for a number of events; as long as your guests don’t mind partying above the clouds!

The Pelligon

Formerly Eastwinter Garden, The Pelligon is located just a short walk from Canary Wharf Station and is perfectly placed on the Canary Wharf riverfront, beside some of London ‘s most iconic skyscrapers. The space features soaring ceilings and a floor-to-sky glass arc which creates an eye-catching glass dome structure that invites plenty of natural light. The venue will be closed at the start of next year to undergo further cosmetic changes, in order to utilise the space which can host 500 for a seated meal or 700 standing.  The plans sound fabulous since the venue is undoubtedly versatile, so the with a futuristic flair and blend of art deco design, this will create yet another fabulous Christmas party venue in London’s financial district.

Magazine London

Lastly, our final destination to round off our magical Christmas Venue Safari adventure was london . Located on the Greenwich Peninsula, Magazine London is a cutting-edge venue that offers a truly unique Christmas party experience for both shared and exclusive hire. Offering awe-inspiring panoramic views over Canary Wharf and The City beyond, this space is an impressive 3,205 square meters, which can accommodate up to 3,000 guests. We were pleasantly pleased to be greeted with a glass of prosecco, stunning bowl foods and a few comfy sofas to rest our feet after an insightful, educational and all round fabulous day.

A big thank you to the entire Smart Friends team and what a way to kick off the Christmas party season. The entire day was executed perfectly, to ensure each member of the group got from one venue to the next and a fantastic experience to see all of the Christmas Party venues ahead of next year. It is undeniable that London is filled with a number of impressive, iconic and popular Christmas party venues, however when it comes to hosting an event that demonstrates the very best of the best, the Smart group present a truly perfect product. A party hosted at any of the venues, will be a night to remember!

These are just some of many great Christmas party venues London has to offer. Our team of free venue finding experts are on hand to create the perfect shortlist of venues in London for your next event.

Please complete our quick enquiry form with your specific dates, budget and ideal location and we will use our experience and venue relationships to save you both time and money.

Alternatively, please send us a quick e mail or call our team now on 0207 870 9305 to discuss suitable venues for your next event.


Amelia Fitzgerald

Senior Account Executive, Venue Search London
After graduating from university, Amelia has joined the VSL team as a Senior Account Executive. From working on events at the Singapore Grand Prix, to private concerts with world famous singers - Amelia loves the buzz of seeing an event's journey from concept to creation and is excited to put her London venue knowledge to use.