Situated directly across the road from Smithfields Market, is, in my opinion, one of the great party venues in London. If you're after a venue that for your wedding or reception that is focused on good times and laughter, you need look no further!
And that venue’s name? Why, it’s St Bart’s Brewery. With a pleasingly warm, wood-and-brick interior, and large windows, and some other characterful architectural touches, the venue is a great blank canvas for you to decorate, or the staff can spruce it up almightily themselves too.
With the bar running along one side of the room, and a small but effective stage, it can play host to an awesome party - which I can attest, having photographed a few wedding receptions there at this point. I’ve always found that the staff help the day to flow correctly, and that the drinks, food, and service are always on point. Another key, but often overlooked factor is the sound system, and how easy (and quick!) it is to set up - meaning the flow of speeches is seamless and uninterrupted. Being mostly open-plan, the shape of the venue also promotes mixing among the guests, and I’ve witnessed many a hilarious interaction between people getting to know each other over cocktails - which is perfect for a documentary wedding photographer! Working in London, it’s not always a given to be able to work in these kinds of spaces, so when you get that chance, it’s always great fun, being able to get the story of the day.
It’s also situated in a beautiful and historic area of London, meaning that you feel surrounded by history, and iconic architecture, such as Smithfields Market. If any of your guests are non-Londoners, then this is a venue to give them that ‘London feel’. One of the other benefits to its location is that, given it is in such a commercial area, it’s remarkably quiet at weekends, which means that you won’t have loads of passersby getting in the way of your group or couple shots, and you can really feel like you have your own pocket of London to yourself.
There are some lovely nooks and crannies, meandering alleyways, and cool little park nearby, all of which makes great locations for couple shots - which are essentially a nice walk for a newly-married couple, with some shutter clicks to accompany it.
As venues go, I don’t think you can go wrong; you can have a great party, your guest can mingle with ease, and the venue has a setup which allows you to concentrate on the important stuff: your love, your relationship, your family, and having a good old knees up! I’m always happy to recommend St Bart’s Brewery to couples, and plan to do so for years to come.
If you’re getting married, and would like to talk to me about wedding photography, feel free to get in touch. I’d love to hear more about you as a couple, and your plans for the big day!