Why hold an event below ground level? First of all, there is a cool vibe to subterranean venues; it’s almost as if you were holding a secret event known only to elite insiders.
With that in mind, here are a few underground venues in London that we can attest to having that under-the-radar atmosphere.
Trust us when we say that guests will feel like they have entered a zone outside their everyday existence. Take a look at some of our favourite underground venues.
- Capacity: dinner – 50 to 250, buffet/reception – 100 to 400
- Best for: late night dances and raves, live concerts
- What makes it unique: its Victorian-era architecture and skylight-studded ceiling
The Village Underground has an urban, contemporary feel to it. Many local live bands schedule their concerts here while guests party and dance to the early hours. On top of that, the venue also holds frequent theatre shows and live performances from West End artists.
The outdoor area is also a popular hangout spot, especially with its painted murals on recycled and reused subway and train carts. This portion of the venue utilizes “eco-tricity,” acquired from 100% solar wind power.
Our clients have described this facility as being very chic and the perfect setting for aspiring indie artists, and you know what? We couldn’t agree more. This is one of our favourite underground venues in London because it has a vibe that inspires creativity.
- Capacity: dinner – 100 to 600, buffet/reception – 300 to 800
- Best for: summer events, Christmas parties, fashion shows
- What makes it unique: its vault-like chamber, arched ceilings and brick walls, its proximity to Thames River
Would you believe that Old Billingsgate was originally a fish market, and London’s biggest one at that? The underground vault portion of Old Billingsgate is frequently requested by our clients for all sorts of uses, from filming movies to formal dinners.
Our clients have also described the setting as “moody,” though this is precisely why it’s so popular. It has that abandoned feel of a long-forgotten place, and the guests are bringing the location back to life with their festive energy.
Old Billingsgate Vaults is also a London underground venue that is almost booked to capacity come the holidays.
Our tip? Make your reservations months in advance especially when it comes to Christmas and shared Christmas parties.
- Capacity: seated – 500, standing – 2,000
- Best for: any event with an expected high turnout
- What makes it unique: its “blank canvas” setting, making it suitable for just about any type of event
Bankside Vaults is also known as super club Pulse, regularly hosting large-scale parties in the heart of London.
It’s a frequently favoured location for lavish and extravagant parties, especially those that include VIP guests whom the host is really going out of their way to impress. This is the London underground venue we recommend when clients indicate a guest list numbering in the four-digit range.
The vaults consists of a large room divided into four interlinked areas with two entrances. This makes it ideal for a multi-themed event. We had clients that used one section as a dance floor, with another section used as a fashion show, and yet another as a bar/lounge, all taking place at once and allowing guests to freely hop from one activity to another.
- Capacity: N/A
- Best for: rave parties, electric dance events
- What makes it unique: its spooky ambiance and sheer size
Under the Sea is truly a hidden gem and one that is somewhat unknown to the public mass. The place was formerly a reservoir and held up to five million gallons of water. The venue is so vast that our guests have reported a feeling of being in a place that extends forever. Some of our clients have even compared it to the Catacombs of Paris, minus the bones, of course.
Since this venue is not as well known, we often recommend it to our clients who indicate they want a venue that is under the radar or has that speakeasy-like ambiance.
We also recommend this venue for concerts with live bands or dances with a DJ. The walls and interconnecting tunnels create a noticeable reverberation and echo.
- Capacity: N/A
- Best for: 1920s-themed dinners, product launch events
- What makes it unique: it’s an abandoned space located directly below one of London’s busiest stations
Lost Commuters consists of intricate Victorian brickwork spread over a vast 30,000 square feet of space. The place is so big that visitors feel like they’ll get lost and never find their way back, hence its name. We also heard people say the place is haunted, and while it does have that creepy ghost vibe, none of our staff have ever reported paranormal activity!
The venue’s drab feel provides an atmosphere that’s best described as hauntingly beautiful. Guests have reported feeling like they have stepped back in time, and we know absolutely what they mean by this. It’s one of those things you have to experience yourself to know what we’re talking about.
- Capacity: N/A
- Best for: all types of parties
- What makes it unique: It’s a wartime relic and an iconic landmark that played a pivotal role during WWII.
This venue consists of two large tunnels that sheltered thousands of civilians during the war. Even some of the bunks are still intact. It is located directly beneath Soho Square and London’s West End. The air raid shelter can be accessed from a Grade II listed mock-Tudor gardener’s cottage. This makes it a romantic destination.
This is one of the underground venues in London that we are quick to recommend when our clients want a venue with a lot of history behind it.
- Capacity: N/A
- Best for: movie-themed events
- What makes it unique: its theatre-style backdrop and bar access
This isn’t your average cinema. This is a rather small venue where guests can watch the latest films free of ads and trailers. With its cosy and intimate environment, this makes for a great venue for private events to treat a small number of VIP guests.
It’s the ultimate cinema experience without all the typical nuisances associated with the average cinema screening room.
There is also a bar where guests can indulge in an assortment of cocktails. If they prefer, they can opt for the traditional cinema treats like popcorn, pick ‘n’ mix, and fizzy drinks.
- Capacity: N/A
- Best for: dance parties, dinner receptions
- What makes it unique: It was the world’s most visited attraction when it opened in 1843
Despite being built in the 1840’s, this venue was mostly closed off to the public – until now. Since it’s still relatively new as a venue, not a lot of people know about.
It is starting to get more attention, though, especially in recent months after heavy social media activity from guests that tweeted and sent Instagram pics while partying at the venue. Our own staff have also promoted the location heavily to get its name out in the public.
If you’d like to find out more about any of our spaces, or need a sensational venue for your next event, get in touch with the Venueseeker team. As part of the Concerto Group, we host lively events that your guests will love.
So, what are some of your favourite underground venues in London? Perhaps you know of a few that are “off the grid” that even we don’t know about. Share your favourite places with us and your fellow readers by tweeting @venueseeker.