Our favourite London venue conversions

Large-scale recycling

If London does anything well it's making the best of available space. So that means reusing and repurposing just about everything you can imagine - and that goes doubly for venues and public spaces. Don't get us wrong, there are some pretty god-awful conversions out there, but when venues get it right, they celebrate the building's past, re-imagine it and make it relevant for today.

Today in London we drink and eat in all kinds of buildings, from warehouses, to toilets, to crypts, to sheds for housing trams - we take you through some of our favourite London venue conversions.

Silk image
19-21 Great Marlborough Street W1F 7HL
Oxford Circus 0.10 miles
Opening Times

Who knew that the interior of a magistrates' court could look so glam? That's exactly what the designers for this five star hotel realised when they set about transforming it from The Great Marlborough Street Magistrate’s Court. Thick iron bars divide the lobby from the bar, where the private tables are inside what used to be padded cells. The restaurant has kept the decor of the original court room, complete with the wood-panelled witness stand and judge's seat.

Tooting Tram & Social image
Tooting Tram & Social
46-48 Mitcham Road SW17 9NA
Tooting Broadway 0.08 miles
Opening Times

Before the days of the tube, Londoners got around the city by tram. This former tram shed in Tooting is now a late-opening bar and music venue. With chandeliers hanging from the super high ceiling, exposed brick walls covered with quirky portraits, and the long bar taking up one side of the venue, it looks like a cool warehouse space rather than an old depot.

Village Underground image
Village Underground
54 Holywell Lane EC2A 3PQ
Night Clubs

This Shoreditch venue below a rail viaduct is well known as an all-night club and live music venue. It's also used as a gallery space by day, and its cavernous, bare brick look even lends itself to wedding receptions.

The Crypt Gallery image
The Crypt Gallery
St Pancras Church, Euston Road NW1 2BA
Euston 0.17 miles

It's no surprise that the basement of St. Pancras Church was once a burial site. Walk through the eerie dark tunnels and you're quite literally walking over hundreds of graves. It also served as a shelter from bombs during both the World Wars, but today its mysterious qualities are put to use as a gallery and live performance space.

Cellar Door image
Cellar Door
Aldwych WC2E 7DN
Covent Garden 0.21 miles
Opening Times

It may be bang-on trend to open an artisan coffee shop/botanical cocktail bar/dog cafe in closed public conveniences nowadays, but Cellar Door can boldly claim they went there first. You'd never guess this jazz club used to be a loo, thanks to its super glam purple neon lighting and mirrored walls.

KOKO image
1A Camden High Street NW1 7JE
Mornington Crescent 0.05 miles
Night Clubs

It's always been a performance venue, but in its 100 year history Koko has been a cinema, a theatre, the epicentre of punk, and the host of some of London's biggest garage nights. It still has the look and feel of an early 20th century auditorium, and is as likely to feature big names like Madonna as up and coming indie bands.

Tramshed image
32 Rivington Street EC2A 3LX
Old Street 0.27 miles
Opening Times

When entrepreneurial chef and restaurant owner Mark Hix took over this former tram shed (yes, the clue is in the title) he transformed it into a too-hip-for-school venue. He focused the menu on chicken and steak eatery, threw in some specially commissioned Damien Hirst art and voila, Tramshed was birthed.