12 Jul My Favourite Places to Have Client Meetings in London
My pick of the very best places to meet clients in London
PR is a bit of a paradox in that it can be both isolating and sociable, especially if you work from home, as I do. You sometimes need that isolation to work on copy or just pick up the phone and chat to journalists, knowing that there’s no office hum in the background to distract you. But, at the same time, I love to meet clients in central London and catch up on our PR plans for the next month, or thrash out a whole PR and marketing strategy at some inspiring venue, which is why I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting places in London to hold client meetings. Here are some of my current favourites (in no particular order) but, please do leave a comment and let me know your suggestions…
1. Sofitel St James
The Rose Lounge at this Five Star Hotel is one of my very favourite places to take my PR Makeover clients, especially women who tend to love it. You can settle in snug sofas and enjoy a very feminine, pampered meeting over rose tea and macaron, or choose from one of the many other teas available. Service is always attentive, and I’ve occasionally been lucky enough to be there when they’ve had a harpist. If the Rose Lounge is full, or you’re looking for something a bit less girlie, the bar is equally sophisticated and still has that luxurious touch, but is often a little quieter during the day. Closest tube is Piccadilly Circus.
You can probably tell that Piccadilly is one of my favourite areas in London, possibly because it’s within easy walking distance of Oxford Street and also homes Fortnum and Mason. The flagship store Waterstones on Piccadilly presents a great opportunity to combine a meeting with a little book shopping, or a new notebook from the stationery section. The Fifth floor restaurant allows you to dine, or just take coffee or a cocktail or glass of wine, in an atmosphere that’s slightly buzzier than a hotel lounge, but a little more interesting than your usual Costa or Cafe Nero. You can take a client there for an informal afternoon tea for a fun touch, but this perhaps isn’t the best place for confidential conversations. Don’t think you have to limit yourself to day time meetings only. Waterstones in Piccadilly is open until 10pm many nights. Nearest tube is Piccadilly Circus.
3. Threadneedles Hotel, Bank
If you’re on the city side of London, the Five Star Threadneedles has a lovely lounge area, just past the reception, with huge sofas that you can reserve. Despite being a hotel, this still has a bit of that City atmosphere and seriousness that can make for very productive meetings. Service is a little shaky as they have to leave the bar to take your order and sometimes they seem to just forget, but if you are happy with a more relaxed service, combined with a good city vibe, this may well work for you.
4. Juice and Public, Piccadilly
If you’d rather nibble on something more on the healthy lines during your meet up, or are meeting someone you know would appreciate this, this Juice bar just off Piccadilly has plenty of tables, a great choice of juices (but also cakes and coffee if you’re not that virtuous) and extends right back past the juice bar to a collection of quiet tables at the back. I’ve tried this on a weekday morning and found it nice to have something other than the same old tea and coffee on the menu, and everyone I’ve met here seems suitably impressed. The staff are very friendly and happy to explain unusual ingredients. I’ve heard breakfasts are good so that’s next on the list to try. Nearest Tube Piccadilly Circus.
9 Wardour Street, London W1D 6PB, England
5. Carluccios, St Pancras
This is my top place for a quick business lunch. It’s romantic; no, not soppy romantic, but it has all the romance of travel with the Eurostar lurking, ready to zip to Paris. Everyone likes something on the Carluccio’s menu, and they are very good at catering for gluten and dairy free. The coffee is very, very good and you always know that the food is going to deliver. The atmosphere at this branch is always vibrant and buzzy, but if you want somewhere a little quieter to discuss the finer points, you can head next door to the St Pancras Renaissance for a drink or mint tea to finish. Nearest tube is Kings Cross.
6. Reunion Champagne Bar, The Grosvenor, Victoria
7. The Goring, Victoria
8. Paperchase, Tottenham Court Road
9. Eastway Brasserie, Liverpool Street
10. Friends House, Euston Road
I know this sounds a bit of a bizarre one, but the cakes are excellent at this Quaker cafe, and there’s something quite calming about the atmosphere that makes it ideal for a low key, one to one meeting. It just feels very authentic and normal, and yet quiet enough to hear your companion. Service is friendly and you can also book private meeting or conference rooms at a reasonable price. I often a combine a meeting with a visit to one of the free exhibitions at the Wellcome Trust just down the road. Closest tubes are Euston and Kings Cross.