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Party at the Museum – The Best London Museums for Venue Hire

March 17, 2022
Posted by clare

Pretty dinner tables in the John Madejski Garden at the V&A Museum Event set up in the Atrium at the Design Museum London Dinner tables with flowers for an event at the Museum of the Order of St John Dinner table with flowers at Sir John Soane's Museum

By Word of Mouth works at a broad range of venues and our venue finding service helps you discover the perfect space for your event, wedding or party.

Click here to visit our Venues Page and find out more about all the venues at which we work.

In this blog, we place the spotlight on some of the museums across London that open their doors to events.  Read on if you like the idea of holding a party surrounded by ancient artefacts and design treasures, watched over by the giants of natural history or immersed in history.

Best Museums to Hire for Large Events

The British Museum

Over in Bloomsbury, behind the magnificent facade of The British Museum lie treasures from over two million years of history and culture.  The light filled Great Court offers both extensive space and a contemporary feel whilst you can entertain amidst the collections in several of the museum’s galleries, our favourite being the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery which houses antiquities from three millennia of pharaonic history.

Did you know? 

The museum hosts landmark exhibitions and, currently, The World of Stonehenge, is receiving five-star reviews, revealing the secrets, stories and treasures from the iconic Wiltshire stone circle.

The Natural History Museum

There is nothing quite like dining beneath the awe-inspiring skeleton of a blue whale, and that’s exactly what you can do at the Natural History Museum where Hope the whale soars above the central Hintze Hall.  The NHM has a variety of event spaces, all with impressive features (Earth Hall is dominated by a staggering metal sculpture of planet Earth).  This is the place to go if you would like your guests to experience natural history in all its forms.

Did you know? 

Dippy, the diplodocus dinosaur that reigned supreme at the museum for over 100 years, is making a welcome return to the NHM from the end of May-December 2022.

The Science Museum

The Science Museum has a wealth of inspiring event spaces, each celebrating a different aspect of innovation, science, and technology. From Making the Modern World, dedicated to the inventions that formed modern society, to The Wellcome Galleries, that explore how medical research has transformed our lives, the spaces at The Science Museum have generous capacities and make a stunning setting for events.

Did you know? 

By Word of Mouth catered for the opening of the Science Museum’s Smith Centre in 2019 from which HM The Queen shared her first Instagram post.

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Dedicated to art, design and performance, the Victoria & Albert Museum is a temple to creativity. Amongst a variety of event spaces, the newly (and stunningly) refurbished Raphael Court is perfect for large dinners, whilst the Dome, complete with Dale Chihuly’s intricate glass sculpture, makes a majestic setting for a party.  We particularly love the John Madejski Garden enclosed within the V&A’s iconic red brick Victorian architecture and a glorious setting for al fresco events.

Did you know?

By Word of Mouth is one of the longest serving event caterers at the V&A.  We have worked at the museum for over twenty years.

Museum Venue Hire for Lovers of History

The Museum of London

Across the river, The Museum of London comprises two sites in the City and Docklands and is dedicated to telling the story of the capital. Both sites have capacity for large receptions whilst events can also be held in the exhibition spaces and galleries which are packed with fascinating examples from London’s history, including  the original Art-Deco lift from Selfridges.

Did you know? 

The Museum of London will be moving its City based Museum from its current site in the Barbican to a spectacular new home in West Smithfield.  The current City site will close in December 2022 in preparation for the move but the Museum of London Docklands will remain open throughout.

Royal Museums Greenwich

With no less than four separate museums, Royal Museums Greenwich is a haven for history lovers.  Events can be held at the world’s most famous clipper ship, the Cutty Sark (where you can party beneath the hull), amidst the exhibits in the spacious National Maritime Museum, overlooked by the precious art collections in the Queen’s House, and at the home of Greenwich Mean Time, the Royal Observatory. There is an abundance of history to absorb, whichever of the spaces you choose for your event.

Did you know? 

The Queen’s House, designed by Inigo Jones, was commissioned by James I for his wife, Queen Anne, and was supposedly an apology gift for swearing in front of her when she accidentally killed one of his dogs during a hunt.

Unique Museum Gems

The Design Museum

The Design Museum in Kensington offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of contemporary design and makes a stylish backdrop to events, large and small.  The Museum hosts blockbuster exhibitions (past subjects have included couturier Azzedine Alaia, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and musician Amy Winehouse) and has seven different event spaces, the largest of which is the stunning central atrium that can accommodate up to 800 guests if all floors are used.

Did you know? 

The museum is housed in the former Commonwealth Institute which, having stood empty for over a decade, was transformed by architect John Pawson into a building fit for a 21st century museum.

The Garden Museum

The Garden Museum occupies a former church on the banks of the Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament.  The museum is dedicated to British Gardens and gardening and its architecture and layout lends itself to events. Its flexibility, combined with its central London location, make it a great choice for dinners, receptions and weddings.

Did you know?

The former St Mary’s at Lambeth, the site of the museum, is the burial place of John Tradescant, the first great gardener and plant-hunter in British history

The Museum of the Order of St John

In Clerkenwell, The Museum of the Order of St John tells the story of the ancient charitable Order of St John, whose black and white symbol is instantly recognisable as the logo of the St John’s Ambulance, but which dates back to the eleventh century.  Several spaces are available to hire for events, some of which date back as far as the twelfth and sixteenth centuries, providing a uniquely atmospheric setting.

Did you know? 

The museum has a pretty Cloister Garden, full of medicinal herbs and flowers, offering a tranquil space for outdoor events.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

Sir John Soane’s Museum is an atmospheric treasure trove and the former residence of the neo-classical architect himself. With a max. capacity of 30 for dinner and 80 for a drinks reception, the museum has an intimate atmosphere and guests are transported into the world of the collector and his exquisite, sometimes eccentric, collections. Dinner takes place by candlelight in the Library Dining Room and, as an extra treat for your guests, private tours of the Museum and its treasures can be arranged as part of your event programme.

Did you know? 

Sir John Soane negotiated a private Act of Parliament: to preserve his house and collection, exactly as it was arranged at the time of his death, in perpetuity

If you would like to find out more about holding an event with By Word of Mouth, please get in touch and our planning team would be delighted to help.

020 8871 9566