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ICE honours its history with new café bar, now open

12 January 2023

Members are invited to visit Kendal’s Café Bar in One Great George Street's lower ground one.

ICE honours its history with new café bar, now open
The refurbishment took place over the summer. Image credit: Phil Clark

The ICE has opened a new café bar, named after the venue that hosted the institution’s first-ever meeting on 2 December 1818.

Kendal’s Café Bar, located on One Great George Street’s lower ground one (LG1), is named after Kendal’s Coffee House in Fleet Street, London.

The old coffee house no longer exists. Records suggest it was replaced by different venues, the latest one being the old Daily Express building, constructed between 1929 and 1931.

The new café bar, which aims to improve members’ experience of the ICE HQ, has replaced the space previously occupied by the Brasserie, Café Bar and Palmer room.

With the Member's Resource Hub new opening hours (Monday-Friday from 9.15am to 5.30pm), members are invited to make use of the café's facilities while they wait for the hub to open.

The refurbishment

The refurbishment of LG1 took place over the summer and included a new coffee lounge and café, as well as a revamped Palmer room.

The coffee lounge has a bar and capacity for private dining.

The Palmer room features a flexible meeting, training, banquet and seminar space with digital and analogue facilities available.

The café provides a variety of seating styles to encourage use as a non-private meeting space and informal working, as well as dining.

Seating at Kendal's Café Bar
There's plenty of seating available. Image credit: Phil Clark

Gary Payne, director of One Great George Street, said the changes ensure that the ICE HQ continues to offer a “modern and attractive” place to meet and socialise.

“As a historic building in the heart of Westminster used by members, conference delegates and the public, I’m delighted to see our guests returning in high numbers,” he said.

“...our new coffee lounge and café bar will see this trend continue, making it a vibrant and energetic space to spend time.”

sofa seating at kendals cafe bar
A variety of seating has been introduced. Image credit: Phil Clark

Commemorating the institution’s history

Present at the meeting in Kendal’s Coffee House in 1818 were the ICE’s eight founding members:

  • Henry Robinson Palmer
  • Joshua Field
  • William Maudsley
  • James Jones
  • Charles Collinge
  • Thomas Maudsley
  • John Lethbridge
  • James Ashwell

Learn more about Kendal's Coffee House

  • Ana Bottle, digital content editor at ICE