THE SHORTLIST: 10 PARTY VENUES IN LONDON...

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The Independent Culture
Porchester Baths: Porchester Centre, Queensway, W2 (0171 792 3980). Hire the Art Deco room with gold roof and original 1920s tiles. Bring your own bottles and food. Room for 300; 8pm-1am; from pounds 1,000.

Old Operating Theatre Museum: 9a St Thomas St, SE1 (0171 955 4791). Cram into the auditorium and rub collarbones with a real skeleton. Discos and smoking not allowed, but you can bring a small band and your own drinks. Room for 60; 10pm-2am; from pounds 200.

The Clink Prison: 1 Clink St, SE1 (0171 403 6515). Hire the candlelit function room complete with cell doors, bar, and "bouncers" dressed as knights. Room for 300; licensed bar till 1am; pounds 750.

Royal College of Art: Kensington Gore, SW7 (0171 590 4444). Go for the Henry Moore gallery. With white walls and marble floor it's a blank canvas to decorate yourself. Bring your own disco and drinks. Room for 500; open till 2am; around pounds 4,000.

The Baltic Exchange: 38 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8BH (0171 369 1662). Hire the trading floor of this grade-II listed building - now in new premises - and make the city swing. Bring your own DJ; in-house bar (until 1.30am) and caterers; room for 300; from pounds 525.

Blackpool Tower: Blackpool, Lancashire (01253 22242). Tower over Blackpool in the modern maritime Hornpipe Galley on the 5th floor. Room for 600 people; disco and licensed bar till 2am; pounds 750.

Hartlepool Power Station: Nuclear Electric, Tees Road, Hartlepool, Cleveland (01429 853888). Great for kids' birthday parties. Book a tour, fiddle with the interactive displays and settle down to a tea party in one of the rooms between 12pm-4pm, free of charge. Bring your own cake.

Scotland's Secret Bunker: Scotcrown Ltd, Troywood, St Andrews, Fife (01333 310301). Get down (literally) and party in a labyrinth of subterranean rooms. Bring a disco, your own booze and up to 100 guests. Entrance to Cold War bunker is via a 150yd tunnel and crawling-out time is 2am. From pounds 300.

Naworth Castle: Brampton, Cumbria. (01697 73229). The Great Hall has wooden vaulted ceiling, heraldic beasts and tapestries. Bar closes at 11.30pm and caterers are available. Bring your own music. Room for 150; from pounds 450.

Barnsgate Manor Vineyard: Herons Ghyll, Nr Uckfield, E Sussex (01825 713366). The Disco Cellar is surrounded by 54 acres of vineyard and a llama herd. pounds 800 buys you a disco, finger snacks and bar until 1am.

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