London Venues: Banqueting House

The Banqueting House


Centrally located in the heart of Westminster, The Banqueting House is the last surviving part of Whitehall Palace, the sovereign's principal residence from 1530 until 1698 when it was destroyed by fire. Designed by Inigo Jones for James I and completed in 1622, the Banqueting House was originally built for occasions of state, plays and masques.


The Main Hall

There are two areas at the Banqueting House. The first is the splendid Main Hall, built to one of the ideal proportions described by Roman architect Vitruvius, a double cube measuring 50 feet high. This is ornamented both inside and out with two orders of columns, which give the illusion of a great colonnaded hall. Guests can dine beneath the nine magnificent Rubens' ceiling paintings commissioned by Charles I in 1630 to glorify the life and government of his father, James I. The ideal setting for sumptuous dinners, concerts and receptions for up to 400 guests.

The Undercroft

The atmospheric Undercroft was designed as a drinking den for James I, where the King could relax and enjoy a quiet evening with his friends. A recent refurbishment has provided an enchanting candlelit space for dinners and cocktail parties of up to 150 guests. The Undercroft is also the perfect reception space for events in the Main Hall, with a capacity of up to 350.

Banqueting House - The Main Hall
Banqueting House - The Undercroft
Banqueting House - The Undercroft