The Banqueting House is nothing short of one of London’s finest establishments; it is, in fact, the only remaining component of the Palace of Whitehall –the main residence of London-based English monarchs between 1530 and 1698, including prominent members of the Tudor and the Stuart families like Bloody Mary and Henry VIII. At 1500 rooms and 23 acres in surface, it had grown to be the largest royal palace in Europe before it was destroyed by fire.
The Banqueting House actually played a significant role in English history: it is where King Charles I’s was executed and where the Declaration of Rights was read to new King and Queen William and Mary, before it was granted to the Royal United Service Institute for use as a museum by the philanthropic Queen Victoria in the late 1800s. The architectural style of the Banqueting House completely revolutionized English architecture; it was the first building to be completed in the neo-classical style, which so harmoniously combined the refined Italianate Renaissance and the typically English Jacobean styles.
Both for its historical and architectural heritage, the Banqueting House is now a national monument and Grade I-listed building, a high distinction only granted to buildings of exceptional interest.
The Banqueting House is located in Westminster, Central London, and is easily accessible by public transit via a dozen of bus routes and tube stops Westminster and Embankment (Circle, District and Jubilee lines) and Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines). It is possible to visit the Banqueting House but schedule varies in accordance with private functions and events; entry costs £6.60 per adult and is free for children under 16 years of age. Regular opening hours are Monday through Sunday from 10AM to 5PM. It is closed December 24-26 and January 1.