Fun fact of the day: London’s economy generates about 30% of the UK’s GDP, making it one of the pre-eminent centres for business on earth. With this in mind, here’s the Handbook’s round-up of some of London’s very best venues for that all important work meeting:
An art deco delight
Chic and dynamic, the Dorchester is instantly recognisable from its landmark architecture, extensive art collection and stunning interiors. It enjoys a brilliant location in the heart of bustling Mayfair, easily commutable from both the City and Canary Wharf. If you’re looking for a venue that will dazzle your client into opening their chequebook and buying whatever it is that you’re selling to them there and then, this is it. Able to accommodate groups of various sizes, you can treat your guests to a tour of their secret, Parisian wine cellar, entertain in their lavish ballroom or enjoy a conference in their luxurious Milanese hotel. Definitely worth sitting through a PowerPoint for!
Where: Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0.5 miles)
A delicious pun on discotheque
Bistrotheque’s Private Dining Room has a vibrant history. Until recently, it housed an infamous cabaret space which was the cradle of the east London drag scene and home in 2004 to Jonny Woo’s legendary ‘Tranny Lip Synching’. The PDR still retains its links to its colourful past but is now home to function rooms that can accommodate parties, dinners, weddings, bar mitzvahs, corporate meetings and drinks receptions. With an array of very reasonably priced packages on offer, make a beeline for Bethnal Green and make the most of this highly unique locale.
Not for skater boys
With winter fast approaching, the annual ice skating rink at Somerset House will soon be open again and the Skater Lounge is an intimate venue to host a private gathering of up to 25 people while watching lovers twirl on the ice. Managed by Tom’s Kitchen, the highly successful restaurant established in Chelsea in 2009, guests will be treated to some of the best comfort food, from sirloin steak to Shepherd’s Pie, as well as an extensive drinks menu full of alcoholic beverages to warm your cockles on those long, chilly London evenings.
A hidden gem in the heart of London
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Soho, Quo Vadis – the restaurant, bar and private members club on Dean Street – has two rather lovely private dining rooms on the second floor of their establishment. Beautifully decorated with stained-glass windows, Quo Vadis prides itself on the excellent care which all guests receive so you can be guaranteed that you’ll be well looked after. Perfect for private dinners, wedding celebrations or business breakfast meetings with lots and lots of pastries.
The best cocktail bar, private members club and restaurant in Kensington & Chelsea
Beaufort House is a definite contender for one of the best venues for a meeting in London. The brasserie, with its extensive menu that includes such delights as Salmon Tartar with Wasabi and Confit Duck Burger, is perfect for relaxed business lunches. However, Beaufort House can also arrange private rooms for larger, more formal meetings. With capacity and facilities for conferences, screenings, presentations and training, Beaufort House has everything one would need for a successful day out of the office. Likewise, should you and your clients wish to hang around after your meeting, you can take advantage of the various, exciting events which Beaufort House regularly hosts, including comedy nights and live music. Win win.
Where: 354 King's Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UZ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf (0.7 miles)
One of Chelsea’s most exclusive venues
Mimosa was inspired by some of the world’s very best venues. Situated in the heart of vibrant Chelsea, this splendid venue boasts some of the most impeccable food in west London which is no wonder when its head chef, John Tindall, considers cookery ‘an art’ that ‘requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.’ Sophisticated and stylish, Mimosa looks set to become a Chelsea icon. With an array of seating, eating and drinking options, it’s ideal if you’re looking for a relaxed yet vibrant place to meet your colleagues for breakfast, impress a client over lunch or meet your workmates at the end of the day for a cocktail to unwind. Make sure to check it out.
Where: 86 Fulham Road, London SW3 6HR, United Kingdom
Nearest station: South Kensington (0.5 miles)
One of London’s favourite destinations
Hidden away in a Mayfair courtyard, Hush is a modern, European brasserie which features two spacious dining areas, an ever popular cocktail bar, an outdoor terrace and some of the most glamorous private dining we’ve ever come across. The restaurant’s Private Dining Room takes up the entire second floor and, with its lavish design and decoration, will make you feel like royalty. Featuring wood panelling and parquet flooring, the space is cosy yet urbane. Highly flexible, it’s perfect if you’re looking for somewhere intimate to celebrate a special occasion but also an excellent space for a larger event.
Where: 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, London, W1S 1EY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.3 miles)
Modern, spacious and full of history
It might seem at first like a rather outlandish choice, but the Museum of London is a fantastic venue. Modern and spacious, the museum houses an impressive collection of London artefacts dating back to the city’s founding in Roman times which can be freely explored by guests at private functions. (Much better than having to share the space with screaming children on school trips during normal business hours!) The Sackler Hall, the museum’s signature space, features a 48-metre long circular LED ellipse suspended from the ceiling, the only one of its kind in the UK. Along with the various plasma screens, it can be programmed to show corporate logos, presentations and films – the perfect way to excite and engage an audience! With facilities available during the day and night, the Museum of London should definitely be considered by all those on the hunt for a large, elegant and interactive venue in the very heart of the capital.