River View

Better Bankside Brings Back Frost Fair Celebration


Glaziers Hall is a member business of Better Bankside, a business improvement district (BID). As part of the community, the venue – and others within the group – have access to projects and activities about place making, sustainability and promotion, along with other topics.

Better Bankside hosts two large events each year and requires venues that have the capacity and appeal to encourage as many members as possible to attend.

The Need

What people may not know is that in the 16, 17 and 18 centuries, the Thames froze over. During those times, the river was quite literally the lifeblood of the City. Despite stopping everything, the residents and businesses of Bankside chose to use this as an opportunity to host a Frost Fair.

It became a celebration with food, drinks, merriment and games.

As an acknowledgement to the past and the positive attitude of those living in Bankside so long ago, Better Bankside wanted to bring back the Frost Fair tradition, and so hosted a festival to run throughout December and January.

As the closing event of the celebrations, Better Bankside were looking for a venue that would have capacity for them to host a drinks evening for more than 150 people. They also wanted a space that could really capture the essence of Frost Fair and all that it stands for.

It needed to be interesting and unusual. Something different. Not your typical location for networking functions.

The Experience

The River View was the most obvious space for this event. Not only does it have the capacity but the incredible views across the River Thames. What s more, at nighttime, the City of London comes alight and is reflected in the water.

Guests enjoyed drinks, finger foods, a band and even face painting! Just like all those years ago, there was much merriment and a real sense of excitement and celebration as people could once again come together in person following the pandemic.

Charlotte Stanley, event organizer for Better Bankside, comments: The floor to ceiling windows meant that we could quite literally set our event against a backdrop of the Thames. What better way to celebrate the end of the Frost Fair than with a view of the river. It really was perfect.

The Results

Feedback from guests confirmed that the food was delicious, the band created a great atmosphere, and the face painting added a real sense of fun! What s more, the view really did provide the perfect canvas, as people took the opportunity to share pictures across social channels.

Charlotte comments: The views really were spectacular. It took the room from being functional to something really special. I was quite surprised that despite being an old building, we were able to decorate the room and the walls.

This made all of the difference and meant the space really became our own.

Thanks to the support from the events and operations team at Glaziers Hall, Better Bankside members felt that this was one of the best networking events they had ever had.

Charlotte concludes: The whole team were really helpful and it was clear that they were organized and professional. They were there to help with any queries and nothing was too much trouble. With events you always have lots of questions and the team had a really positive attitude.

I would definitely recommend Glaziers Hall to others. After all, it s another example of the wonderful treasures that we have here at Bankside and that s something we should all be shouting about.