You’ve arranged to meet a client in a coffee shop for an early morning meeting. The alarm has been set for a somewhat ungodly hour and you’ve done the necessary preparation. Since you and the birds are the only ones likely to be up at that time, you don’t even stop to think that you should source a suitable location. As for reserving a table, it’s just one less thing to do! The local coffee shop will be deserted and the best seats in the house will be yours for the taking.
It would appear that breakfast in London is booming. It’s not uncommon to find many of our fine city’s tearooms, cafes and coffee houses an absolute hive of activity— and that’s before the sun has had time to wake up.
Finding yourself in an early morning meeting trying to engage in an important discussion with a client to a soundtrack of clattering cutlery, with your back taking a battering from the bags of the commuters dashing in for their first caffeine hit of the day while they yell into their mobiles is not going to set you up for the day.
Having a widespread assortment of venues to conduct a discreet meeting over breakfast is a must for the savvy headhunter. Here are 6 of our favourite places for a more civilised early morning get-together. We’ve covered a range of price brackets to suit every budget and all venues will guarantee you get to talk over a coffee and a pastry or two in an appropriate and laid back setting.
For those of you who are familiar with Carluccio’s, you may well be wondering why it figures on our list of ‘laid back’ venues for a business breakfast. Surely the idea is to be able to converse politely, not yell at each other? Noise levels in Carluccio’s can reach a point where you can barely hear what you’re saying. The key is to select the right location. We’re fans of the one in Waterloo station. This little gem is quiet and clients will find this a convenient place to meet as they pass through on their way to work. The drinks and early morning bites are good and you won’t come away feeling as though you’ve drained the company’s entertainment budget in one fell swoop.
Bread Street Kitchen £
If it’s space you’re after, there’s no shortage of it in Gordon Ramsey’s industrial-sized gastrodome. With a large area designated for walk-ins, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a seat in this impressive-looking multi-storey eatery. Situated on the doorstep of St Paul’s Cathedral, this is a popular choice for quick business breakfasts. The setting is great and the prices are very affordable – and there’s plenty of space to spread out your paperwork and still have somewhere to put your cuppa and rustic-style breakfast treat.
The Quarter Bar, London Bridge Hotel £
Opting for table service in a hotel bar or lounge can be a real time saver over queuing for drinks in a coffee shop. The Quarter Bar is quiet and has comfortable, contemporary seating with discreet corners ideal for business talk. With a good range of coffees and teas served by fully trained baristas, you can settle in and focus on the meeting rather than fretting over whether you need to vacate your table. Just make sure you don’t enjoy the relaxed atmosphere too much and forget that you do need to get to work!
The Delaunay ££
Situated on the corner of Drury Lane, The Delaunay makes a great choice for a breakfast meeting with its quiet European café style atmosphere. There are generous spaces between tables, which make it an ideal setting for business conversations. With polite, attentive, efficient service and a delectable breakfast menu, there’s really not much to dislike about The Delauney.
Dean Street Townhouse ££
Spread across a series of Georgian-era rooms, the Dean Street Townhouse exudes a sense of history without being overtly stuffy or smug. Its Soho location means there’s a steady stream of guests—just enough to give the place a nice buzz and allow you to conduct a calm, civilised meeting. The classic British breakfast menu may appear unremarkable but it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
The Northall, Corinthia Hotel £££
For a more sophisticated setting, try this grand Victorian-style dining room. If you want to impress a client, the stunning surroundings of The Northall will certainly help your cause. Located next to Embankment/Charing Cross, this is the perfect place to show your client that you’ve put thought into the meeting and really mean business! Just remember that it’s a five star hotel so the prices on the breakfast menu are made to match!
Which places do you recommend for breakfast meetings? We’d love to hear!