A cool and quirky London party venue that doesn't break the bank.

Save the date... We're getting married.

Admittedly when you tell people that you had your wedding reception in a pub above a station it certainly makes people stop in their tracks for a moment. The Parcel Yard pub was a little bit unusual and against convention, but it was actually a brilliant mix of quirky and practical. Just like me! Ha!

Here’s how it happened…

I guess the first thing I should mention is that I’ve never really been a ‘big white wedding’ kind of girl. In fact, I didn’t ever really imagine that I would get married. But when we made the decision to become parents, my other half and I discussed how that meant we would actually be 'more than married', as come what may, our child would always be a bond between us. By comparison, getting married became a lot less scary! Or it was until I started organizing the wedding and I quickly found myself swamped by ‘essential’ wedding must haves from flowers to matching favours. Eek! Overload! It was clear that our wedding would be a ‘wedding that’s not a wedding’, just a simple ceremony and a cracking party.

Our three little bridesmaids wearing converse with their dresses.
Researching for a suitable wedding venue locally, we found out that in Maidenhead you can only get married at 12 noon at the Registry Office on a Saturday, and that most of the hotels with a wedding licence around here wanted to charge upwards of £80 per head. Ouch. Not quite the type of budget or type of day we had in mind! We just wanted to get married and have a party, not organise a two-tiered event with a 5 course meal and another buffet in the evening! We needed to find some new inspiration! 

Some girls get flowers for a romantic present.
I once got a framed London Underground Poster print of Camden station! Love it!
Having lived in London before and being a bit of an architecture and history geek (Don’t laugh, it worked - he asked me to marry him!) the ideal was always London, but knowing how expensive some of my friend’s weddings were, it meant that I was pretty skeptical about finding anything that was suitable.

Although I used to live in Camden, I had no idea there was a Registry Office there as it hadn’t really ever cropped up on my radar amongst the cocktail bars, market stalls, canals and clubs. Luckily for us, Camden Registry Office had several options for a late afternoon wedding at the weekend. But then realizing that it wasn’t actually in Camden, but opposite St. Pancras station, I was still struggling with where to hold the reception… Should I hire a coach and bus everyone back to Maidenhead? Surely I couldn’t find a venue that was cool, but within our small budget.

(Cliffhanger moment…!)

And then I found The Parcel Yard.

A converted pub literally in the heart of King's Cross station with several function rooms available, and no upfront fee to hire the rooms, just a minimum spend. So I gave them a call.

Now, a good friend of mine who recently got married said that you can tell a lot about a venue by the way they talk to you from the very first contact. And that for her, when she spoke to her venue, she ‘just knew’ it would be the right place for their wedding. I have to say, my first impressions talking to The Parcel Yard were brilliant. Yes it’s a pub, but they have an Events Manager and she was friendly, knowledgeable and easy to chat to, a great start. So we arranged a visit to explore the pub.

If you haven’t been to King's Cross in the last few years, then I need to explain. These days it’s a very up and coming area and the station itself has undergone a massive overhaul with a brand new roof that makes you stop and say ‘wow’. Or at least it does for me. It’s Instagram heaven! The Parcel Yard is right in the middle of the station concourse and you go up stairs to reach it. If you’re a Harry Potter fan its right next to platform 9¾.

That's us in the concourse... not the usual type of wedding photo that you get!
My nephews doing their Harry Potter moment.
Once you go upstairs, quite a surprise awaits! Its huge! Spread across two floors there are several rooms and a covered courtyard area all filled with fantastic vintage style furniture, wall art and original transport signage. 

It has a distinct charm of its own, which for us was perfect - there would be no need for fancy bows on the backs of chairs or complicated flower arrangements. This was a Great British Pub and its character should be let to shine through. No ‘Dressing’ required.

With around 100 guests invited for the wedding we chose the ‘Side Room', also known as The Waiting Room, which has three sections, but is one long room. We felt that this would give us enough room for a DJ, a dance floor, tables and chairs for most people and enough room for the buffet. This room had a minimum spend of £700, a reasonable figure for us to hit as we were planning to feed our guests and to put a tab behind the bar.

Outside the pub, just before going in to see our guests.
The First Dance
Lots of room for the guests to stand and watch. 
Ales on tap
The Parcel Yard is a Fullers Pub so they have a full range of draft beers, another ‘wow’ moment for my other half who is a fan of Real Ale. And unlike most wedding venues in posh hotels, the bar prices weren’t outrageous, so we felt re-assured that once our tab had run out on the night our guests wouldn’t feel as if they were being ripped off when they ordered their own drinks.

We designed a bar tab for our guests to use at the bar
In addition to the usual daily menu available to customers at The Parcel Yard, we also had a canapé and buffet menu to choose from. This meant we had the option of doing a simple style meal for everyone like Fish & Chips or Pie & Chips, or a buffet that we could choose. Put simply, the food is leagues ahead of the average ‘boozer’ type pub.

We used a transport theme on our Menu
We opted for the buffet as we wanted to make sure there was something for everyone and that the atmosphere stayed informal. (And we were worried that if everyone ate pie and chips then no-one would get up and dance after!) They gave us great advice on how many of each dish to order to cater for all of our guests and on the night they made sure that each hot dish was bought out as quickly as possible so it remained piping hot and tasty.

The location of the pub also deserves a mention. Seeing as we had got married at Camden Town Hall and were staying at The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, it meant that everything was in walking distance. We were also able to take advantage of St. Pancras station next door for an amazing backdrop for our wedding photos, which was also highly practical as it meant we were under cover - essential for an April wedding! Oh, and we also went to Paris on Eurostar for our Honeymoon so it was super practical on all counts!

But it wasn’t all about us, (honest!) we had our guests to consider too. Our London crowd were chuffed to bits as it meant they could jump on the tube to get home, but several of our other friends from Leicester and Birmingham also chose to get the last train home! The rest of our guests stayed around King's Cross and there were plenty of hotels to suit every type of budget.
The underground is right outside... handy for photos too!
But with a great range of beers and food, a central London location and no room hire fee there must be a catch to The Parcel Yard?

Well, they do charge a 12% service charge to cover the staff serving in the room. I have to admit, prior to our party, I had looked at this charge and wondered if it was necessary. But oh, my word, the staff on the night were BRILLIANT. And that’s not just me saying that. Everyone I spoke to after the wedding had something positive to say about them. That’s pretty impressive for a pub in a station that’s more used to being packed full of punters watching live sporting events than hosting wedding receptions!

When I asked our guests what they thought, here’s just a few of the comments we got back:


"Nothing too much trouble and everything done with a smile."

"Top marks to the waiter I made friends with. He never let my throat go dry. Literally. He made sure I always had two glasses in hand."

"They were schamazing! All understood what was required for a great night and attentive. Always came back with a tray of drinks for the table and recalled who’d asked for what. I like that J. Bonus was we were 2 mins away from platform home too!"

"We’ve never experienced service and smiles like it. From the time we arrived to the time we left, nothing was any trouble. They thoughtfully remembered everyone’s drinks, cleared the empties away regularly. The food was outstanding (great range and so different from the usual buffet fair that gets bought out) and the hot bits were piping hot." 

So if you've been racking your brains trying to figure out where to have your significant birthday party (we won't mention numbers!) or like me, you'd like to organise a 'wedding thats not a wedding' then you can't really go wrong with the Parcel Yard. Just as long as you can handle the surprised looks when you tell people you held your wedding reception or birthday party in a station!

We went away from our wedding thinking we'd had a great night. But as we spoke to our friends one by one they all commented on how great the venue and the staff had been. Feedback like that deserves sharing, and hopefully reading this might save some of you some time and effort as you try and find the perfect place for a party of your own. 

You can find out more about The Parcel Yard on their website and they also have a virtual tour where you can see all of the rooms, just like on Google Streetview. 

(No payment or incentive was received for writing this post, we genuinely had a blast!)

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