Whether you are meeting a client, a colleague, or a friend, these meeting places provide the perfect setting.
COVID Update (November 2020): Please note that none of these venues will be open for meetings during the second London lockdown (5 November to 2 December 2020). This list was last updated to reflect the latest information during the London Tier 2 Covid rules (to 4 November 2020).
Over the past few years, I have worked with my clients at countless venues, but today I have shortlisted my 6 favourite London meeting places for you – and the great news is that they are all yours for the price of a cup of coffee (or two!).
So, what does a venue need to qualify for this list? To start with, there are the basics: good coffee, reliable free WiFi, clean toilets, and that you can reliably get a table for two people. Added extras include interesting people-watching opportunities, convenient locations, and no raised eyebrows if you pull out your tablet or laptop.
In all of these places I will happily spend an hour or two meeting with a client in London, or a few hours head down working quietly on my own.
Ham Yard Hotel, Soho (Currently open)
So glamorous that you could almost forget you are working! Ham Yard Hotel is currently my favourite spot for work meetings – and I will tempt clients here whenever possible. It is an oasis in town, just moments from Piccadilly Circus.
Opt for the gorgeous courtyard seating for any meetings with people outside of your bubble (Tier 2 restrictions), keeping those indoor seating options for solo working.
Kath’s Tip: Head to the Reception area to visit the incredible wall clock by ‘Humans since 1982’. It’s mesmerising and a wonderful talking point for visitors – and a mini-respite break during a busy day.
Kupp, Paddington (Currently open, operating with shorter hours and some outdoor seating)
Escape the hustle of Paddington Station and the bustle of nearby Edgware Road, with a visit to this calm oasis set in the Paddington Basin development. Kupp is a modern Scandi restaurant, with high ceilings and huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Regent’s Canal.
If you want to eat as well as meet, try the sharing plates, sharing boards or main dishes (many of which are heavy on smoked elements – smoked mackerel, smoked venison, smoked trout, etc – as you might expect from a Scandi restaurant) but I tend to opt for the simpler salads instead.
Kath’s Tip: If you are working alone, go for a booth seat in non-busy times, where you can spread out, and try my favourite – cold-brew iced coffee – in the warmer months.
Caravan, Kings Cross
(Currently open, and with additional covered seating)
Situated on Granary Square behind Kings Cross Station, this spot is especially useful for meetings with people travelling into London, although many Londoners also relish the opportunity to visit this recently redeveloped area.
In more normal times, we’d suggest casually perching on the big wooden table at the back of Caravan for almost-in-the-coffee-roaster industrial vibes and engaging views of both the main restaurant and the cool Central Saint Martins fashion students from next door. You are still welcome to drop in for a coffee but will be seated outdoors if you are with anyone outside your bubble (space permitting).
Kath’s Tip: The nearby Camley Street Nature Reserve is normally good for recharging your batteries with a dose of green space, but it is temporarily closed (for redevelopment, not Covid). In the meantime, the Kings Cross Tunnel, with its ever-changing rainbow lights is worth a visit and a photograph or three!
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank (Temporarily closed)
London’s Southbank is obviously a great spot to catch up on culture. But it is also home to several great working spots including the Royal Festival Hall and the British Film Institute (BFI) Lounge. The Royal Festival Hall is especially useful, since it has various foyer spaces and cafes dotted around its various levels.
Kath’s Tip: If you are bootstrapping, this is one place you can absolutely work for free – without any pressure to buy even a coffee – and you are welcome to bring your packed lunch to eat in the Royal Festival Hall’s spaces. Just remember to bring your battery pack – no power cords are allowed in the public spaces.
The Landmark Hotel, Marylebone
(The Landmark Hotel is open, but the Garden Terrace is temporarily closed)
If your ideal work environment is a white stucco palace surrounded by palm trees, under an 8-storey high glass atrium, then you will love the spectacular Gazebo at the Landmark Hotel. Of course such surroundings come at a price, in this case a £15 per head minimum spend in The Garden Terrace. But when cappuccinos (and teas and waters) cost £6 each, you may not have to try too hard to hit the minimum. Well worth it for the ambiance, hop-skip-jump location from Marylebone Station and the occasional tinkling of the ivories by the nearby piano player.
The Waterway, Maida Vale
(Currently open, with covered outdoor seating)
Situated alongside a picturesque canal, The Waterway in Maida Vale is a lovely spot to meet someone or work solo. With plenty of well-spaced heated outdoor seating, you can watch the canal boats amble by as you enjoy a coffee or two.
Kath’s Tip: Walk along the nearby canal before or after your meeting, for a peaceful break that feels like you’re miles away from busy London.
Have you got any other favourite London meeting spots that you love? We’d love to hear about any other undiscovered gems. Please drop us a line to let us know.
Author: Kath Sloggett