This July, my brother got married in London, and since his father-in-law is a member of the House of Lords, part of the wedding reception was held over at the Palace of Westminster (to quote a random tourist we overheard, “You know, that big place with the clock that looks just like Big Ben.”) It was rather nice, since we got nice tours of both Houses of Parliament, and got to roam around a completely empty and tourist-free Westminster Hall.
The wedding dinner itself was in the Strangers’ Dining Room, the function room in the House of Commons apparently reserved for such affairs.
All-in-all, the meal was quite pleasant, with a nice mozzarella stack, some chicken and veg, and a rather nice dessert of berries and clotted cream.
1. It’s hard to come up with a better location, with a very nice view of the Thames, the Millennium Eye across the way, and a killer view of the clock tower.
2. The food was definitely well above your normal wedding banquet fare.
3. Despite the nice environment, the service was particularly friendly and casual. Heck, they were using my first name (at right…)
1. It can be somewhat difficult to get an invitation to dine here, and the guards are very particular about you having an invitation.
2. Not many dining establishments have metal detectors at the entrance. This is one of them.
3. Seating is somewhat limited.
So, certainly not a place that the ordinary tourist is likely to be able to dine, but certainly offbeat enough.
Strangers’ Dining Room
House of Commons