Venue Hire Terms & Conditions
- We have a list of recommended caterers – some of the very best in London and would prefer that these are used as the Museum is difficult to cater in and they are used to the conditions. There are, however, additional caterers who are permitted to work in the Museum; please check with Museum staff beforehand if you wish to use an alternative caterer. All equipment ie. tables, chairs, linen, cutlery, china, candelabra, candles etc should be hired through the caterers. Caterers may have access to the Museum from 5pm and deliveries can only be made after that time, unless arrangements have been made with museum staff beforehand.
- Drinks must only be served either in the Library/Dining Room or in the 1st Floor Drawing Room and nowhere else; drinks may not be carried out of these rooms into the Museum.
- The catering company employed should be asked to provide a member of staff to take coats, which are kept downstairs.
- At dinner parties three extra meals, including wine, must be provided by your caterers for our staff and served to them in the Old Kitchen.
- All arrangements for flowers, candles, music etc. must be discussed with Museum staff beforehand. Please mention if you would like to take photographs during the evening, as this is not generally permitted, but an exception can be made.
- A guest list should be supplied by 12pm on the day of your event.
Booking & Payment
- A non-returnable deposit of £750 is payable on booking and an invoice for the balance will be sent after the function has been held. This should be settled immediately. Booking can only be considered as definite when the completed booking form and deposit has been received.
- You will be required to take out Public Liability Insurance; a separate cheque for £112, payable to Event Insurance Services Ltd, will be requested when we send you a proposal form for completion. Please note, we will not normally be able to accept your company’s existing policy, unless it clearly states that your company is also covered for outside events.
- An additional charge may be made for staff overtime for events held on Saturdays or Sundays.
- If your company uses the services of a booking agent or event organiser, we will require written confirmation from you that the company is authorised to act on your behalf.
- Guests may arrive from 7.00pm and will be shown to the 1st floor Drawing Room for drinks. A member of the curatorial staff will be present to give a brief tour of the Museum before dinner, finishing in the Library-Dining Room where dinner will be served. Guests are asked to leave by 11.30pm when the Museum closes. We suggest that taxis are booked in advance.
- Candles and flowers should be discussed with the Museum staff to ensure that something safe and appropriate is chosen for the Museum’s authentic domestic interiors. For dinner parties, for example, the Library-Dining Room is lit entirely by candlelight. We suggest you ask your caterers to hire 12 three-headed candelabra for placing around the room and 6 to 8 for the table. Candles should be white and must be smokeless and drip less. If night lights are used around the room, care must be taken to use containers that contain the heat adequately in order that any wooden surfaces are not damaged. We do not permit candelabra or candle holders higher than 40cms to be used. Tall, five-headed candelabra are not suitable for the museum’s interiors and their use may result in damage to the painted ceilings.
- We suggest that flowers should be very simple, in order not to conflict with the unique interiors in this room; it is usually enough to put flowers on the table only. In the Drawing Room, one vase for the sofa table would be suitable. Elaborate, heavy or over-large arrangements are not permitted and the Museum reserves the right to refuse entry if deemed unsuitable.
For security reasons, guests will be requested to wait outside if arriving before 6.30pm, unless arrangements are made with Museum staff beforehand. The whole of the ground floor will be available for the evening, including the Picture Room where the Hogarth paintings are displayed and the Dome area. Food and drink (canapés and Champagne/white wine only) may only be served in the Library-Dining Room. A full bar is not permitted, neither is red wine because of the risk of damage to the carpet and other works of art. A member of the curatorial staff will be available to give an Introductory Talk or to answer questions on the Museum if required. Caterers should be asked to stop serving drinks at 9.15pm and guests should leave the Museum by 9.30pm.
Music: if you wish to have music during the evening it is essential to discuss it with the Museum staff. Musicians need to visit the Museum beforehand to discuss acoustics, lighting etc. with the staff. Please note that it is not always possible to accommodate musicians.
Smoking is not permitted.
We would request that you state clearly on your invitation that stilettos and narrow heels are not permitted; these cause considerable damage to the Museum’s original 200 year old wooden flooring. Please contact Julie Brock if you need a copy of the ‘No stilettos’ logo.
We also do not permit guests to carry large handbags while exploring the Museum during a Reception or during the pre-dinner tour.
We would like your event to be as enjoyable and relaxed as possible, and museum staff will do all they can to adapt to your individual requirements. However, it is our responsibility to protect this unique Museum and its contents and to ensure that no damage is caused to any part of the building. We must, therefore, ask you to comply with all of the above conditions.