London's quietest venues...shhh!
A round up of London's most impressive peaceful venues, offering oases of calm for the more tranquil events.
At Shout About London, we spend most of our time shouting about how fantastic venues are. Well here are some venues in London where quiet contemplation is the order of the day.
We still Shout About them, but from a distance…
1. Friend’s House
What’s there to Shout About?
It’s position directly opposite Euston Station, next to numerous world class hotels and guest houses. It is also easily reached by all major rail, bus and tube services.
What’s there to whisper about?
As a Quaker Building, the facilities here are both of high quality and, as they put it: honestly priced.
After sitting in their main ‘silent room’ for 20 minutes of mute contemplation, we were certainly ready to get up and start shouting.
2. Thames Barrier
Although without specifically designated event spaces, it’s definitely one of the most peaceful – and desolate – spots in London. Unbeknown to most, there’s a visitors center (which hardly anyone visits) even though it’s an essential part of London’s flood defense system. How to incorporate it into an event? Well you can’t per se. Unless you’d like to whizz past on a super-fast boat cruise?
It’s worth a shout… we’ve had stranger requests!
3. Dr Johnson's House
We absolutely loved this beautiful Georgian townhouse set in a quiet spot off Fleet Street.
Apart from being immortalised in the TV Series Blackadder, Dr Johnson coined one of our favourite phrases: “Sausage? Sausage?” (oh no wait, that’s Blackadder again…)
I meant this one:
"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
Give us a shout to find out more about this little gem.
4. Victoria & Albert Museum
One of those places top of every event professionals ‘must use’ venues.
Do bear in mind though (as with nearly all venues), you don’t have to be a corporate client with a £50,000 budget to go out and see it for yourself.
If you haven’t been, we urge you to go and visit on a sunny weekday morning, when the John Madejski Garden is coming alive with humble majesty. By taking in its sculptures, incredible architecture and listening to the sound of splashing fountains, you’ll start to realise why we all love it so much.
5. Hampstead Heath
An obvious choice for members of the public, but well deserving of a place on this list. Parliament Hill and its ponds only really come in to their own in the summer. But the real hidden gem is on the north-west side, which was originally farmland, later incorporated on to the main heath. It’s eerily silent there so if you ever *whispers* ‘need a break from the hustle and bustle of London’ - it’s the perfect place to while away that pensive mood – a true Londoners London.
6. RIBA Café
This serene café boasts a beautiful garden terrace with a stunning water feature. Very centrally located and adjacent to their peaceful library - there’s no shouting in there either.
7. The Saison Poetry Library
A real treat for lovers of the written (not the shouted) word. Atop the Southbank Centre, the library is filled with British poetry, dating from 1912 onwards. From an events point of view, it’s not going to set the world alight, but perfect for intimate book launches and poetry buffs.
A lovely little get-away-from-it-all nest with a London panorama to boot. Plus, you’re above one of London’s creative hubs - you’ll struggle not to shout it from the rooftops.
This place is quiet for one reason – there are no tourists. Well there are, but significantly less than one would expect. With London’s ever growing skyline, noone's short of opportunities to get those great views. Perhaps this is why the Monument remains relatively undisturbed...oh!...and maybe because of its 311 steps in total, and no lift! (We’ve all thought it would be a good idea to take the stairs at Covent Garden tube thinking it’ll be quicker than the lift. 193 steps later and Rocky is no longer your favourite film).
The sight from the summit is absolutely stunning though and, it has to be said, well worth the epic walk.
Finally The quietest place in London! Drumroll… (Or gentle harp build up…)
9. UCL's ‘anechoic room’
The main inspiration for this blog was a little discovery we made recently. For little did we know, somewhere in the depths of the University College of London is its ‘anechoic room’ – where the walls, floor and ceiling are covered in sound-absorbing materials to minimise reflections (effectively making it an ‘anti-brand’ room – sacrilege for Shout About London). A room with no ambient noise is an eerie experience, and although our involvement with events in such a space may be questionable, UCL do hire it out to companies for exactly that purpose. A room where you can shout and no-body can hear you… Interesting…
That’s just a silent nod to London’s quieter spaces.
Let us know if there’s any other venues that you think we should Shout About – even if we can’t shout in them.