For family parties, Elisa Cowen thinks outside the central-London box
FOR A real family atmosphere, north west London and its surroundings have some atmospheric venues that lend themselves to a variety of simchahs — and guests will appreciate not having to shlep into central London. Here are some of our favourites.
THE CROWN MORAN HOTEL
At the four-star Crown Moran Hotel, in north west London, there are event spaces to suit anything from an evening party to a reception to a simple blessing ceremony. The Bentley Room is a sleek and spacious Art Deco-inspired ballroom which can host 300 guests. It has a dance floor, staging, private reception area and bar. The Sala Room, in opulent Victorian style, holds 120, while the mezzanine is perfect for pre- or post-chupah drinks. The hotel can cater for many menu preferences, including kosher. Highlights are a dedicated wedding co-ordinator; décor that is full of character; large capacity; 152 luxury bedrooms with reduced accommodation rates for your guests; a complimentary night’s stay for the bride and groom; versatile packages.
ST JOHN’S WOOD SYNAGOGUE
The banqueting and conference rooms at this north west London synagogue have been completely refurbished. The main hall is the largest function room, with dark wood panelling,
parquet floor, air conditioning, special lighting and a concealed stage. The hall seats around 230 for dinner with a dance floor and 300 without. It can also hold 500 for a buffet reception. Also available is the double-height reception room, approached through a glass entrance hall from the main entrance of the synagogue. The kitchen can be used by any kosher caterers approved by the London Beth Din.
You can hold your entire simchah on-site. The bride’s room has been beautifully redecorated and there is easy access to all parts of the premises for the disabled and local parking.
THE PILLAR HOTEL
This boutique hotel and event venue in the Hendon/Golders Green area is an English Heritage Grade II-listed building, dating back to 1893 and wrapped around a grassy quadrangle, modelled on the celebrated 15th century alms-house of Ewelme, Oxfordshire.
The premises have been upgraded and the result is a mix of Victorian charm and contemporary style. The luxury hotel has 31 guest rooms and executive suites, each with period features. There are two main function rooms — the Windsor suite holds 120 for dinner and The Citadel holds 80. The Oak Room, which holds 30, is perfect for a tish or bedecking. Exclusive kosher caterer is Arieh Wagner.
THE VILLAGE URBAN RESORT
The Inspiration Suite at the Village Urban Resort London Elstree has a capacity of 180 for a sit-down dinner, together with a stage and large dance floor or 250 for a standing reception. There is parking for more than 300 cars and simchah hosts are assigned a dedicated event manager.
The hotel offers inclusive function packages, or will hire the venue on a room-only basis, which covers the use of a separate kitchen for kosher caterers. Special room-hire rates are available for some remaining 2013 dates.
Grand lobby of the Crown Moran
The Pillar Hotel dressed in delicate sugaralmond pinks
The Pillar Hotel: country-manor style, but in north west London Rich, red scheme for a Pillar Hotel barmitzvah