The Best Gardens to Host a Party In

Nothing says English summertime quite like a quintessential garden party. We are a nation of green-fingered garden lovers, with a fancy for the finer things in life and the quaint traditions associated with British garden parties. When it comes to choosing your perfect outdoor party venue, there is so much choice – from manicured lawns and landscape gardens, to historic grounds, and rooftops with a view. To help you take that first step of choosing your perfect outdoor venue, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite gardens to host a party in.

Chelsea Physic Garden

Chelsea Physic Garden is London’s oldest botanic garden, located in one of the most desirable parts of the city, providing a spectacular yet understated place of natural beauty and historical significance in which to host a wedding, party, or private event. Exclusive hire offers guests full freedom to explore and make use of the walled gardens, pathways and peripheries and discover picturesque photo backdrops amidst its unique collection of over 5,000 rare, beautiful and botanically significant plants. The main lawn offers stunning views of the surrounding garden with capacity for up to 400 guests, whilst the lower lawn, tucked away in the southwest corner of the garden, provides a secluded space for more intimate gatherings.

Pitzhanger Manor

Pitzhanger Manor is an English country home situated in the beautiful surroundings of Wapole Park in Ealing, West London – famous as the country home of Sir John Soane, one of the most influential architects in British History. Pitzhanger Manor has been described as an architectural wonderland, featuring an exquisite mix of styles and settings, with an open-air Grecian colonnade, elegant conservatory, Georgian Eating room with a door out to the landscaped Manor forecourt providing a one-of-a-kind setting. The venue offers a range of hire options, whether you’d like exclusive use of the Manor, Gallery and Grounds, or are content with a secluded corner to yourself for a ceremony and reception before moving on to Pitzhanger’s restaurant space for dinner and dancing.

Headstone Manor

The Great Barn at Headstone Manor and Museum in Harrow combines the grandeur, charm and character of a 16th century building with 21st century luxuries. The Grade II listed 500 year old formerly working farm building has been sympathetically restored with a stunning vaulted ceiling, exposed wooden oak beans, limestone flooring and great doors opening out onto the picturesque grounds, allowing your guests to seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. The Great Barn stands on a heritage site among a cluster of historic buildings, boasting its own water-filled moat with a connecting bridge which provides a stunning romantic backdrop for photos. Located just 40 minutes outside of central London with extensive, concealed parking for guests, Headstone Manor offers a retreat from city life within easy reach.

Wilderness Reserve

Wilderness Reserve is an 8000-acre private Suffolk estate of woodland, lakes and rolling pasture sprinkled with an eclectic collection of historic and traditional Suffolk properties available for holidaying and private hire. Nestled in the forgotten corner of Suffolk, just 2 hours from London, the reserve has drawn in countless celebrity guests and even hosted the cast of Made In Chelsea in 2021. Wilderness Reserve consists of two adjoining estates: ‘Chapel Barn Estate’, a 15th century thatched long barn, and ‘Sibton Park Estate’, a Grade II* Georgian mansion. Each estate is available separately or together for exclusive use, and both are set in their own private parklands with a collection of beautifully appointed barns, spa farmhouses and cottages offering a total of 86 bedrooms in 18 houses, and a wide variety of wedding reception venues (60-300 guests) both inside and outside. Wilderness hosts a maximum of 10 weddings per estate each year and Social Pantry has catered a significant number of these already this year. You can see more of our Wilderness weddings here. This covetable countryside escape describes itself as playground full of over 40 unique activities including archery, axe-throwing, open-fire cooking, wild swimming, and falconry, making it the perfect venue for extended wedding celebrations, immersive events and corporate getaways that aspire to offer something different.

Camley Street Natural Park

Camley Street Natural Park is a unique urban nature reserve situated on the banks of Regent’s Canal and the heart of London’s King’s Cross. A natural oasis minutes from King’s Cross and St Pancras, guests can soak up the tranquillity of the wilderness whilst enjoying views of the hustle and bustle of London’s busy canal. The contemporary new building completed in December 2020 is the focal point for events and wedding celebrations, with the glass surroundings and optional use of an awning extending the venue outdoors providing a feeling of being immersed in nature and offering stunning views onto the reserve. As one of the park’s chosen approved caterers, Social Pantry is able to provide everything from an effortlessly elegant canapé reception to an elaborate sit down feast across the indoor and outdoor spaces.

The Serpentine

Located in the heart of Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine offers three unique event spaces for corporate and private hire that combine the grace of historic Grade II listed buildings with innovative architecture and contemporary art spaces surrounded by the tranquil landscapes of the 255 acre Royal Park. The Serpentine Galleries are available all year round, celebrating the very best contemporary art. The interconnecting North and South galleries make it possible to host large receptions of up to 450 guests and are easily adapted for smaller groups and seated dinners of up to 140 guests, with capacity for 100 outside on the patioed terrace. Each year, an internationally known architect is invited to design and create their first built structure in England: the Serpentine Pavilion. Each design is required to include a water-proof covering, lighting, power and an in-built bar, and can be hired for summer parties and private events, accommodating receptions of up to 500 guests and seated dinners for a maximum of 70, between June and October.

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery is the world’s first purpose-built public art gallery and home to one of the finest collections of Old Master paintings in the world. The Gallery sits in the heart of Dulwich Village between Brixton and Peckham, surrounded by three acres of beautifully landscaped gardens that offer an idyllic retreat from the City. Whilst the magnificent Soane Gallery is the showcase events venue, with five perfectly proportioned rooms forming the grand enfilade, famous for its rich red walls. Outside the gallery gardens provide an impressive outdoor space with the architecture of the gallery as a stunning backdrop. For a more secluded option, The Meadow is one-acre private outdoor space, fully fenced and lined with trees, that can accommodate earlier arrival times than the main gardens, perfect for daytime or early evening events embracing the tranquillity of the outdoors.

The South London Gallery

The South London Gallery is a publicly-funded gallery of contemporary art in Camberwell, and whilst host to a rigorous international program, has a strong sense of community within the neighbourhood. The South London Gallery (SLG) blends award-winning contemporary architecture with Victorian elegance, overlooking the acclaimed and idyllic Orozco Garden. Created by international artist Gabriel Orozco with support from 5 architects and horticulturists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the garden incorporates a geometry of intertwining circles that subtly map a series of discrete spaces and notional rooms in the overall garden, making it one of the most intriguing, immersive and interactive spaces in which to host an event. South London Gallery is also home to one of Social Pantry’s permanent sites – Crane’s Kitchen – providing ideal facilities to offer exceptional and elaborate catering both inside the light-and-airy extension, and outside in the gardens.

Woodberry Wetlands

Woodberry Wetlands is a working reservoir, nature reserve and designated Site of Metropolitan Importance for nature conservation on the site of the East Reservoir in Woodberry Down, Hackney London. The Coal House is a lovingly restored 19th century Grade II listed building available for exclusive hire, with a covered terrace and rooftop patio offering panoramic views over both East and West Reservoirs – the perfect place to relax and enjoy a glass of champagne with guests. The Coal House is a fully licenced venue for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies for up to 80 guests, or couples can alternatively take advantage of the stunning views and say I do on the lawn, enabling the capacity to be increased to 150. As a place of extraordinary natural beauty, Woodberry Wetlands offers a hidden oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of North London and is a unique and enchanting location to host a private or corporate event.

Amber Lakes

Amber Lakes brings the luxury and comfort of a Scandinavian Lodge to the heart of Wraysbury fishing lakes, creating an unbeatable setting for conferences, away days, corporate dinners, and more. This unique venue boasts complete exclusivity and privacy for high-end luxury events ideal for both the corporate and private market.

Set within 450 acres of stunning grounds and 120-acre lakes, Amber Lakes boasts a beautiful backdrop for a wide range of events with extensive terraces, lawns, and gardens that allow guests to experience the serene tranquillity offered by the great outdoors.  A sprawling slate terrace surrounds the lodge of Amber Lakes, linking the venue to Amber Pier, the perfect vantage point from which to soak up the site’s serene, calming atmosphere and take in the stunning views. The jetty is home to your very own boat, included in the event hire, so your guests can enjoy exploring and fishing these special lakes to truly make your event stand out from the crowd. The Lodge can accommodate 250 guests for a standing reception or 140 for a seated dinner,  however this can be extended to 500 guests onsite with the addition of a marquee or tipi.

Pump House Gallery

Set in two hundred acres of stunning parkland, yet within easy reach of Central London, Pump House Gallery at Battersea Park provides a unique and distinctive setting for events including marriage and civil partnership ceremonies, wedding receptions, corporate events, office summer parties, birthday parties, product launches and press briefings. The gallery provides blank canvas space across four floors, perfect for a variety of uses, with an impressive flagstone terrace in front of the gallery providing an ideal setting for large, seated dinners, wedding receptions, ceremonies and dancing under the moonlight, with or without a marquee.

The Victorian Bandstand located in the heart of Battersea Park is also available to hire as a stunning 350-degree setting for an unforgettable wedding ceremony, whilst The Bowling Green Pavilion and Lawn, is licensed for small ceremonies, civil partnerships and civil marriages and used as a flexible event space during the summer months for casual outdoor dining. Afternoon teas, interactive food stations and BBQs on the lawn are a popular option.

 

Many outdoor garden party venues, including those listed above, operate a dry hire service, requiring you to choose from a list of recommended suppliers providing a range of event services or organise your own. Having just decided on the all-important choice of a venue, we realise this can feel like a whole other layer of organisation to factor in! Thankfully this is where Social Pantry can step in to help.
We offer bespoke, luxury catering that is uniquely tailored to you, your event and your venue. We also offer comprehensive event planning which includes coordinating with marquee hire, florists, stylists, photographers and other event specialists to achieve your dream event.
If you are considering hosting your event at any of the spectacular venues mentioned above and would like Social Pantry to cater your special day, please get in touch! With over a decade of experience throwing once in a lifetime celebrations and unforgettable events, we would love to hear from you.

Share.