London’s move from Tier 1 restrictions to Tier 2 saw a sudden curtailment of who we can see and where. Under new rules we can only go to the pub or restaurants with members of our own household or support bubble, but now the government has admitted there’s a loophole: work lunches.
The move, described to me by one Conservative MP as ‘The most Tory thing ever”, sees the boozy lunch for some reason been singled out as being non-corona spreading. So if the reason for meeting in a restaurant, pub or club is ‘work’ then you can legit meet with up to 30 others (yep, 30!) and moseying on down to your local, or to your favourite restaurant, with work colleagues is (somehow) entirely legit.
So with this in mind, here are some of the best places for work meetings this week. There’s no particular through-thread, sorry they’re all a bit expensive, it’s basically an excuse for a short list of the places I’ve been lately or that I love. And it’s about as logical as the exception itself…
It’s a firm favourite, the first place that I went the day that London came out of lockdown and it’s the ideal place to take upto five of your favourite colleagues for a working lunch.
Order a round of Leche de Pantheras and discuss how it will affect the company’s bottom line, then peruse the menu and maybe order the Ensalada Amazónica or a Hamachi Tiradito as you strategise about what pudding your team of colleagues should taste. The answer is the Chocolate al Moctezuma, but the way.
Where: 10 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 6BR
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
Meetings can be long and arduous, strenuous mental activity that can be infinitely helped along with the aid of Armagnac. Which is handy because the eponymous chef at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught produces her own family spirit and it’s bloody good.
As, to be honest, is everything at this two Michelin star house of wonders. But don’t let this distract you from disussing crucial work graphs and charts as you order some of the best food you’ll eat in 2020, all inspired by Darroze’s native South West France and combining all the very best of the region.
Where: Carlos Place, Mayfair, W1K 2AL
Adam Handling Chelsea
If you want to impress a potential client, then there’s no better way to wow, than to take them to Adam Handling Chelsea now.
Seal that massive deal over a dainty cheesy doughnut, and even if you fail at the business then at least you’ll have experienced one of the best gastronomic creations in the business.
I find it hard to recommend this place enough, located in the smart Belmond Cadogan Hotel it’s one of the best restaurants I’ve ever enjoyed.
Where: 75 Sloane Street, Chelsea, SW1X 9SG
SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden
Let the minutes reflect that this business meeting was held beneath one of London’s most attractive ‘living ceilings’, a floral extravagance that greets guests as they enter my favourite Covent Garden restaurant.
As a place to go and chew over industry moves and other important work whatnots, the Brazilian/Japanese/Peruvian restaurant, with its glass canopy and exquisite menu, is second to none.
Come to think of it, let the minutes reflect that, too.
Where: 35 The Market Building, Covent Garden, WC2E 8RF
No. Fifty Cheyne
When is a meeting a meating? When there’s a calescent open grill in the middle of the restaurant.
However anodyne your business meeting, No. Fifty Cheyne wont fail to add colour as it’s gorgeous to behold. Start out with drinks in the plush bar upstairs, and finish off with tea in the drawing room that could easily be straight out of a stately home. Meanwhile the restaurant downstairs churns out hit-after-hit on the food-front.
The Thameside former boozer is fabulous. Especially when it’s work *wink*.
Where: 50 Cheyne Walk (duh!), Chelsea,
45 Jermyn Street
What do the ‘work meeting’ rule and game season have in common? They’re both subject to rule-of-six exemptions. So as you convene your latest board meeting, why not go to eat some of the best game in London, likely shot by another group of exemption-busters on a grouse moor in the Tier 3 north.
And the glamorous surroundings of 45 Jermyn Street is the perfect place to experience game. Order their whole grouse, as I did a few weeks back, and I can guarantee one of the best meetings of the covid and game seasons.
(Actually, also get the beef Wellington, double stack your plate if you have to)
Where: 45 Jermyn Street, St. James’s, SW1Y 6DN
This is literally just turning into a list of my favourite restaurants, thanks for indulging me. But one of the best meals of my actual life was up The Shard at TING, the 35th floor restaurant at Shangri La London The Shard.
It was a work meal, world famous crab chef Dharshan Munidasa was visiting, and about 15 journalists crammed round the table in pre-covid times. But under Boris’s exemption, the event would still be allowed now. Which is nuts.
But still go safely, you’ll love it.
Where: 31 St Thomas Street, Borough, SE1 9QU