On a winter’s day in 1768, architect Sir William Chambers visited the king, George III. He brought with him a petition signed by 36 artists and architects including himself, all of whom were seeking permission to ‘establish a society for promoting the Arts of Design’. What’s more, they also proposed an annual exhibition and a School of Design. Lucky for us, the King said yes. And so the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Academy Schools, and what you know today as the Summer Exhibition, were born. They set up home in Pall Mall, renting a gallery that was just 30 feet long.

Now the fifteen beautiful, daylight-filled galleries can host receptions for up to 800 guests and dinners for up to 250 guests. The John Madejski Fine Rooms provide the perfect spaces for more intimate entertaining, also possible in conjunction with a private view of one of the RA’s blockbuster exhibitions. These have recently included Manet, Anselm Kiefer, Rubens and his Legacy, Ai Wei Wei and Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse.