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    Out of the ordinary

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    PA Life presents a selection of locations to bear in mind the next time your boss requests an event setting that is truly memorable.


    Lincoln’s Inn (pictured)
    Spaces available: The Old Hall and Crypt can accommodate 250 guests for a reception. The Great Hall hosts up to 300 delegates theatre-style, or between 250 to 600 for a reception. The Old Court Room and Member’s Common Room are also available for up to 120 delegates. 33 Chancery Lane provides space for smaller conferences and seminars
    Hire rate: Room hire starts at £50 per hour
    Unique selling point: The largest and oldest of the four Inns of Court, set in 11 acres of beautifully maintained private gardens, it houses an active, working society of barristers and judges. Formal records of the building date back to an entry in the Black Books in 1422

    National Glass Centre, Sunderland
    Spaces available: The National Glass Centre is part of Uni Space Sunderland and can host up to 300 delegates; smaller private meeting rooms are available
    Hire rate: Variable depending on rooms required
    Unique selling point: An architecturally unique building on the bank of the River Wear, complete with a contemporary art gallery and glass-blowing workshop. The glass studio is available for team-building activities where delegates can watch demonstrations or have a go at creating their own piece

    ZSL London Zoo, London
    Spaces available: The zoo has a large number of suites, rooms and outdoor spaces that can be used for all manner of functions. The Barclay Court can hold up to 1,000 standing and the six outdoor spaces can accommodate up to 300 guests
    Hire rate: Day delegate rates start at £69
    Unique selling point: The venue combines Grade-II listed architecture in 36 acres of gardens with views of exotic animals. Delegates can meet the residents first hand with an Animal Encounters package. Events held here also contribute to a charity supporting the global conservation of animals

    National Railway Museum, York
    Spaces available: After a £1.4 million refurbishment the transformed Station Hall can host up to 700 for a reception or dinner, while six conference suites can accommodate between two and 140 guests for board meetings
    Hire rate: Day delegate rates start at £43.95
    Unique selling point: The museum has over 300 locomotives, including a number of Royal carriages. There is also a vast collection of posters, prints, paintings and photographs, many of which have never been on public display before


    Royal College of Surgeons, London
    Spaces available: Lecture theatres 1 and 2 can host 296 and 130 delegates respectively. The Edward Lumley Dining Hall is the most flexible space, with room for up to 300 guests, a dance floor and stage. The Webb Johnson Hall, Cheselden Suite, Council Room, Committee Room, Hunterian Museum and Surgeons’ Library make up the other available spaces
    Hire rate: Day delegate rates start at £72
    Unique selling point: Many rooms have original oak-panelled walls, while the Hunterian Museum shows off John Hunter’s historic collection of weird and wonderful anatomy specimens

    The Maltings, Cambridge
    Spaces available: The Elysian Hall can accommodate up to 240 delegates theatre-style and has a staging area, private changing facilities and PA system. The Kempen Room can accommodate 70 delegates theatre-style, plus the Hereward Room and Orsay Lounge provide smaller break-out or meeting areas
    Hire rate: Bespoke depending on space required; tailor-made private party packages from under £1,000
    Unique selling point: A former Victorian brewery on Ely’s picturesque riverside overlooking the River Ouse and Marina. The on-site Ely Cinema is fully licensed and available for private hire to create catered, themed events around delegates’ favourite films

    Tate Liverpool
    Spaces available: The Events Suite provides banqueting facilities for up to 100 guests, while the foyer and galleries can host a drinks reception for up to 250 guests. The café caters for up to 90 and the hospitality room provides facilities for as many as 50 delegates
    Hire rate: All rooms are available for private hire to corporate members. Membership is £2,000 per year; corporate partnership is £4,000 per year
    Unique selling point: An iconic venue on the Albert Dock and a fascinating space for art lovers. All room hire includes access to the exhibitions, including after-hours events


    Dundas Castle, Edinburgh
    Spaces available: Within the main house there are 17 bedrooms, three reception rooms and the Croquet Room, which can be used for dining or as a meeting space. On the grounds, the Auld Keep is a 15th century tower that houses the medieval Stag Chamber, while the pavilion offers a large space for dinners or conferences of up to 120 delegates
    Hire rate: Costs are bespoke as the venue is hired on an exclusive-use basis
    Unique selling point: Built in 1818, the castle is secluded in 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland. Team-building events can make use of amenities including a quarry abseiling wall, quad biking track, indoor squash court and nine-hole golf course

    Emirates Stadium, London
    Spaces available: The recently refurbished Woolwich Suite can host up to 500 guests. Other spaces include the new Working Men’s Club, the Foundry, the prestigious Directors’ Box, and executive boxes and galleries. The Royal Oak, Dial Square and Highbury suites provide panoramic views of London and the Arsenal pitch, catering for up to 1,200 for receptions. The media centre holds up to 145 delegates. The prestigious Diamond Club restaurant is overseen by two-star Michelin chef, Raymond Blanc and can hold 300
    Hire rate: Pricing for each room is bespoke and fluctuates throughout the year
    Unique selling point: Delegates can be treated to a number of exclusive behind-the-scenes tours and experiences, including the chance to meet a legend from Arsenal Football Club’s past

    Twickenham Experience, Twickenham
    Spaces available: The Rose suite is the largest events space in the venue with a maximum capacity of 800. A range of executive boxes provide for smaller meetings, while a state-of-the-art events room with retractable, tiered seating has a maximum capacity of 600. The venue has 25 dedicated event spaces in total
    Hire rate: Variable depending on space required
    Unique selling point: The opportunity to host a pitch-side barbeque or dinner in the England team changing room. The venue also recently developed Maori Haka team-building packages along with GPS treasure hunt incentives, plus offers “Feed your Mind” menus to keep body and mind healthy and active throughout any event

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson