Our Favourite Quirky London Venue of the Month
Now you may ask, hasn’t this venue been around for a while? The answer is, yes, since 2012 in fact. So why do we love it now? We love the impressive ceiling height, the drama of the Hirst centrepiece, the great food, the cool location. But what we really love is the fact that it has hidden event spaces alongside the ones on show. Read on to discover…
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Based in trendy Shoreditch this event space is less than ten minutes walk from Old Street station. This means that really it’s not far at all from Liverpool Street, Moorgate and the City. Not a bad location by any standards. The huge high ceilinged main restaurant is dominated by the ‘Cock & Bull’ installation by Damien Hirst. Diners sit under and around the impressive piece whilst they feast on the aptly focussed chicken and beef menu. The main restaurant has an industrial feel to it – this is after all a former tram generator building. However the tan leather booths, wooden tables and shiny ceramic tiles give it an inviting feel.
The space is available to hire exclusively for up to 220 diners or 240 for a standing reception. If your numbers are slightly smaller then the gallery perched above the main floor, arguably the best viewing platform for said cock & bull, hosts up to 40 for dinner. Even smaller? No problem – book a booth for six. We love to come here for lunch and we’re dying to explore the brunch menu complete with bottomless Bloody Marys or Prosecco.
But what about the hidden spaces?
Fear not, we’re getting onto that. Beyond the main space there are in fact two more spaces. Both can be exclusively hired and they’re totally different to the restaurant. Depending on your numbers you can either go upstairs or downstairs.
You may have figured that for modern art, this is the place to be. Well downstairs, it really is. The white walled space is the perfect art gallery for your event. Holding 60 for a seated dinner or 100 for a standing event, it’s a great size. The art rotates throughout the year and is always that of emerging artists. ‘Industrial Chic’ is how this space is described and you can’t help but agree. Very cool, very private. All the edge of an art gallery without any of the stuffiness. And did we mention that the food is great.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll love a secret library. Well we’re a sucker for anything secret really. Walk through the kitchen and back of house, up the stairs and you’ll discover Mark’s secret kitchen library. And that is what it is – a kitchen set within a library brimming with books. The intimate chefs table style counter works for 12 people or if your guest list just can’t be culled then they can host up to 30 for a reception. We can also arrange for Mark to make an appearance.
And you say the food is good?
The food really is great. Hix has pulled together a simple menu and it’s no surprise that chicken and beef feature heavily. The chicken, Swainson House chicken to be precise, comes from Lancashire whilst the beef from Shorthorn, Hereford and Aberdeen. Steaks, burgers, half a chicken – this menu is made for feasting. Fancy a salad though? Well the crispy beef salad or the griddled chicken with guacamole do a great job at a non-salad salad if you know what we mean!
Vegetarians and pescatarians need not worry as there is a separate menu and also amazing sides. How can you not love the sound of black Cow mac ‘n’ cheese? The fish fingers have us fondly remembering childhood tea time.
Like the sound of this? We’re not surprised.
We like that your guests may know the space but probably haven’t been to one of the hidden event spaces. They seem like hidden gems and it’s nice to show them off. Equally the mezzanine is great for entertaining high above everyone’s heads. We’re sold – so see you there.
For more information about this venue, see the full venue profile here.