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"Where else in London can you dine under a piece of priceless art that survived World War II"

Banqueting House

Banqueting House, the first example of classical architecture in England, was opened for Royal celebrations and entertaining in 1622. Situated in the heart of Whitehall Palace, the largest Palace in Europe, King James and his court performed elaborate masques within the elegantly proportioned double cube Main Hall. Often making their way downstairs to the Undercroft, known as James I Drinking Den, to carry on the celebrations until the early hours of the morning.

The stunning 9 canvas paintings adorning the ceiling of the Main Hall were commissioned by James I’s son, Charles I, and were painted by Peter Paul Rubens in his Antwerp studio. Installed in 1636, they have remained in situ ever since, coming down only once during World War 2 and stored in the Orangery at Kensington Palace for safe keeping. It is a particularly remarkable feat that they have survived as the rest of Whitehall Palace burnt down in 1698.

Today the Banqueting House is still host to some of the most spectacular events in London, from Gala Dinners to large drinks receptions, this Palace is still being used for the very reason it was built for. Banqueting House is also a visitor’s attraction during the day allowing visitors to explore the hidden histories of Whitehall Palace.


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  • "The BFI London Film Festival chose Banqueting House for its annual Awards ceremony for the first time in 2012 and we have returned there ever since. It boasts grandeur and majesty. We have hosted all manner of film dignitaries over the years as well as A list talent and we always know that Banqueting House will wow. Finally, James Harkin and his team are super-efficient, professional at all times, eager to problem solve, a pleasure to work with, and nothing is ever too much trouble!"

    Anne-Marie Flynn, Head of Projects, British Film Institute
  • "The magical history of the building is such a perfect backdrop to any event…we black out the windows and set dress room and it always reminds me of an enchanted Royal Palace from a disney film…it really is unique"

    Rosanna Oliver Black, Event Designer, Together for Short Lives
  • I have worked with Rosie Julian at Banqueting House over the last few months leading up to a Presidents Dinner for 150 guests. Her customer care skills are superb, a true professional and a pleasure to work with, nothing is too much trouble for her and the Banqueting House team. The service provided throughout the evening of the Dinner was first class and the comments received from my client and invited guests were exceptional. A big thank you to all those involved for making the evening such a success. Banqueting House come highly recommended and I look forward to working with the team on future events.

    Janet Moore, JM Marketing Events Limited
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