5 cool and quirky London venues

5 cool and quirky London venues

Ok, it’s been quite a while since we wrote our last installment about our favourite venues, best London pub venues. So we’re now back with another awesome list of my favourite places to host your wedding day. These venues vary a little from the traditional pub, barn and country house options. But they still offer everything you need to host an amazing wedding in London!

As we are on lockdown right now, I know you can’t actually visit any venues. So we’re hoping that maybe this post could serve as a substitute whilst we’re stuck inside and hopefully give you a few ideas for when we’re released back into the wild.

THE ZETTER TOWNHOUSE

thezettertownhouse.com
The Zetter Townhouse
Clerkenwell
London
EC1V 4JJ

The cobbles of St John Square outside gives you an old London feel before you even get through the door. Inside feels like a boutique bar and living room. It also had a science/academia/magic vibe going on, like a Hogwarts speakeasy… but maybe that’s just me.

I spent a long while just taking photos of the amazing selection of art, ornaments and taxidermy before I moved on to anything else. There’s more than enough for two weddings guests who’d never met, to get a conversation started.

At the far end, is the cocktail bar, serving a range of bespoke drinks catering to all tastes. It all feels well thought out and authentic rather than a venue trying to be something it’s not. Downstairs is the dining room and party area. It’s not huge but everytime I’ve been here the dancefloor has been in full swing. Need another drink? No need to worry, there’s a bar down here too. There’s also enough room to lay your evening food out.

The Zetter Townhouse has rooms upstairs for the couple and some of their guests, but if you do run out of space there’s always the Zetter Hotel across the road.

CLAPTON COUNTRY CLUB

claptoncountryclub.co.uk
38-40 Upper Clapton Road,
London
E5 8BQ

Any old part of London that can be kept and repurposed as something we can keep using and appreciating, I’m totally up for! Clapton Country Club used to be a Tramshed and it has thankfully kept that industrial work space atmosphere.

The brick buildings and reclaimed materials give the venue an intimate, rough round the edges feel, like a working artist studio. The main dining area is more urban but with an added rustic touch. It makes you feel comfortable and at home.

It’s a short drive away from Hackney town hall. So, you can get ready there in the morning, meet your guests at the town hall, say your vows and be back at the country club within the hour. Perfect!

THE OLYMPIC CINEMA

www.olympiccinema.co.uk
Olympic Studios 117-123
Church Road Barnes,
London
SW13 9HL

After discovering this wasn’t the official cinema for London’s 2012 Olympic Games, I realised it was in fact an awesome cinema, restaurant, café, cocktail bar and fancy members club.

Whether you’re enjoying a film, sipping on a martini or enjoying the homemade food, the quality is consistent throughout. Each area works nicely on its own for any visitor, but as a whole when hiring the venue for a wedding, it’s really quite fantastic.

You can take the cinema theme and run with it, pinning up retro themed posters and adding a red carpet outside for selfies and groups shots, as one of our couples did.

The ground floor is the lovely bar and restaurant. The cinema is on the second floor and the third floor is the über trendy member’s bar. If you’re still around for the dancing in the evening, the top floor is where the disco is at!

THE ROOST

www.theroost.co.uk
142 Sandringham Rd,
Clapton,
London
E8 2HJ

The roost is hired as a studio space for artists and commercial shoots, meaning anywhere you turn your head there’s a beautiful backdrop, trendy graphic print or some retro, boutique prop. It makes every photo full of colour and character.

There’s a total of three floors and a basement, so as well giving your photographer an exhausting workout as they run up down throughout the day, you can also choose a different floor for each part of your wedding.

The top floor has two bedrooms opposite each other for the couple to get ready in, so as long as you’ve surrounded yourself with logistically, savvy ushers and bridesmaids who can coordinate the opening and closing of the two facing doors, you’ll get to the ceremony without without a hitch.

There’s a small garden out the back for any smokers, and a basement for late night beats if you want to push the party into the early hours. The Roost is also associated with two other venues, Dalston Heights and Friendly Place so if it’s already booked there are two other great options worth checking out!

WILTON’S MUSIC HALL

www.wiltons.org.uk
Wilton’s Music Hall,
1 Graces Alley (pedestrian access only)
London,
E1 8JB

I first visited Wilton’s Music Hall a few years back when a couple of close friends got married there. At that point, I’d never even heard of it, but I became immediately keen to shoot there!

If history is your thing, or London is your thing, or theatre is you thing… or just really cool things are your thing, then Wilton’s should be a big contender for your venue. It’s completely magical, filled with history and atmosphere.

The buildings have lived many lives – homes and an ale house in the 1600s, concert hall and saloon throughout the 1800s, a methodist mission saw it through the two world wars until the 1950s, and then it was almost all over when as a derelict rag warehouse in the 1960’s it was listed for demolition. No Londoner was going to stand for that. Especially John Betjeman, who fought with many others to save it.

Through many periods of restoration, it is now an arts venue. Though indeed restored, it’s very much frozen in time as a music hall – from the moment you walk in, it’s like finding yourself in Victorian London. You can almost see the popular entertainment acts play and hear the audience merrily willing them on.

You can hire the whole venue, which includes the bars, the Victorian staircase, and the Hall with its famous barley-twist columns – there are countless photo opportunities and backdrops, everywhere you look is steeped in faded Victorian charm. This venue is so special and completely unique and a fantastic place for a proper east-end knees up.

I hope you enjoyed our 5 cool and quirky London venues recommendations, if you have any other suggestions get in touch, we’re always happy to learn about new places and hopefully when we’re allowed back out I’ll be shooting a few of them soon!

If you want to see more images from our recent weddings then click on gallery on the main navigation.

Hattie + Peter

Hattie + Peter

Upwaltham Barns is becoming one of our firm favourite venues. We had the pleasure of shooting Hattie + Peter’s wedding there in March – with Spring in the air, champagne in the glasses and everyone suited and booted (Hattie in a gorgeous Jesus Piero gown), it made for a fantastic day of celebrating.

 

India + Nick

India + Nick

This English country garden wedding is full of the biggest laughs you’ve ever seen – from ceremony to speeches to the first dance, it was a giggle-fest, start to finish. Held at the Olde Bell in Hurley, Berkshire, India and Nick hosted a wonderful easy-going day of genuine and straightforward love and affection for all their family and friends as well as each other. Shooting it was an absolute privilege.

 

Cat + Oli // Upwaltham barn wedding

Cat + Oli // Upwaltham barn wedding

After a fun engagement shoot in Paris last January, I was looking forward to seeing Cat and Oli again on their wedding day. Upwaltham Barns is becoming a favourite venue of mine – this was my third wedding there, and as a family-run business they really know how to run a wedding day with the greatest of care, consideration and attention to detail. I think my favourite moment of the day was the kids chanting to lure Oli and Cat outside to have picture taken with them. A super cute bunch.

 

 

Bandwww.thedeloreansband.com/index.html

Venue | www.upwalthambarns-weddings.co.uk

Cheese cake | www.finecheese.co.uk

Hair and Makeup | www.the-id.co.uk

Ally + Paul // Caswell House

Ally + Paul // Caswell House

Ally is the most organised bride, no, most organised person, we’ve ever met. Her wedding to Paul was our longest standing booking for photography for quite some time, and we also helped make their vision for their wedding invites and later the table plan and a few other bits and bobs for the day, a reality. They got engaged in New York, so the table names were based on their favourite places they had visited, and by contrast their ceremony and reception took place at the very beautiful and classically English Caswell House in the Cotswolds. I’m always super excited by a bride in a tea-length dress as I had one myself (easier for dancing!), and Ally’s was just gorgeous and suited her to a T.

 

Jessica + Sandeep

Jessica + Sandeep

We met Jessica and Sandeep in a local burger restaurant when they were searching for their wedding photographer. The plan was for a Hindu ceremony in the Cotswolds, preceded by a small civil ceremony the week before. As time went on, the plans for the English civil ceremony grew, so that Jessica could have a white dress and all the things she had always imagined at her big day. The ceremony took place at Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire, followed by a reception on family land, surrounded by the great outdoors.

There is so much we love about this wedding; Jessica and Sandeep never stop smiling (really), the personal details at the reception that really showed how much effort family and friends had put in to make the day so special for the couple, and the anticipation of the Indian ceremony just four days later, made it one of our favourites.

 

Sarah + Stuart

Sarah + Stuart

This felt like the perfect wedding to share on such a rainy Friday. Sarah and Stuart got married on August bank holiday. It meant a road trip for us from London to Devon, where we found the sun shining! The entire event was held at the Kingston Estate, in Staverton, near Totnes. The Georgian House venue was incredible and the weather kind enough for the ceremony to be held in the beautiful grounds – it even held long enough for the first dance to take place in the courtyard, under the moon and fairy lights. It was a perfect day – any wedding that includes hay bales and blankets gets the thumbs up from us.

 

 

Dress designer | Eliza Jane Howell – Jayne

Bridal boutique | Blackburn Bridal

Bridal shoesKurt Geiger

Engagement ring & wedding bandAna de Costa

BraceletWonderound

VenueKingston Estate

FloristBlue Geranium

CatersCru Events

Bridesmaid dressesTed Baker

Grooms suitAustin Reed

GroomsmenTed Baker

VideographerLucent Films

Katie + Arber

Katie + Arber

Set in the beautiful Gate Street Barn with the sun shining I could tell this would be a great wedding.

Hearing the wedding ideas on their engagement shoot a few months back, I was excited to see how things had panned out. I knew Arber was a comic book fan (sorry, Graphic Novels) and if you look closely, there’s a really cool comic book theme running through out the day, from the confetti cones to the table plan. It was all so well thought out and really added that personal touch that makes a wedding unique.

 

Emma + Tom

Emma + Tom

2014 has been an epic year at Story + Colour and I couldn’t think of a better way to end it than with Emma and Tom’s beautiful barn wedding at Upwaltham Barn. Going through these photos I can’t help but smile, it was such a happy day, everything was just perfect. The sun was shining down and with small bursts of beautifully atmospheric rain and clouds, I couldn’t have asked for more.

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Golnaz + Russell

Golnaz + Russell

I’d been looking forward to this wedding since I shot Russell and Golnaz’s engagement shoot at The Grove Hotel a few months back. Firstly, The Grove Hotel is just amazing, the grounds are stunning and it’s the prefect venue for a wedding. Secondly, Russell and Golnaz are such a lovely couple and were so easy to work with, so to shoot not only their civil service but also a second Persian ceremony was really exciting. The whole day was a huge celebration of family and friends and I loved being a part of it.