Much attention has been focused on London’s QEII Centre recently because of the threatened invasion of our unelected upper house (more on that sorry tale here) so perhaps this is a chance for The Barbican to wrest some business their way.
It’s easy to forget about the Barbican. Its location, away from the centre of things, is, and always has been, as managing director Sir Nicholas Kenyon joked, the place nobody could ever find.
There was no such problem on Monday evening when he welcomed guests to the ‘Fabulously Barbican’ event to celebrate the newly refurbished Frobisher rooms and Level 4 meeting spaces.
The fact of the matter is, the venue is only a short step from its own underground station and has an amazing choice of large and small meeting spaces, some of them even bookable online.
I have used two of its amazing cinemas with raked seating for a couple of events in the past and the Conservatory (which we also used last night) is a unique space in Central London – a veritable mini rain forest that works fabulously for a reception or party. The Barbican’s management team cleverly structured their party to be interspersed with inspections of the new-look rooms and spaces, each space offering Searcy’s excellent food and beverage samples and some select entertainment.
I have never been a fan of ‘bowl food’ because of the inherent hit-and-miss nature of the service but Searcy’s did a super job with the 250 guests last night with consistent service and an interesting variety of offering. The Barbican felt like a modern, bright and interesting place to be and they certainly showed off its potential for fluid events over multiple spaces.
Full marks, Barbican - fabulous!