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Headhunters’ hangouts: 7 of our favourite discreet coffee haunts

Posted: Jan 2022
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In December we shared our favourite restaurants for a business lunch in London. Over a strong flat white, we have put together the second of our Headhunters’ hangouts series; a list of our recommendations for great London places to meet clients and comms professionals for a discreet meeting whilst enjoying a hot drink.

We are partial to a Costa on the go but the last thing we want to be doing when meeting a contact and trying to build the relationship is waiting in a queue to pay at the same time as keeping an eye open for a table to become available. Our preference is for places that are comfortable and not too busy so that we’re unlikely to bump into anyone we know. They need to be close to a London underground station to make it easy for all parties and it always helps if they have the wow factor.

Here are 7 London coffee spots that are just our cup of tea.

One Aldwych Lobby Bar, Strand, WC2B

  • Walk from nearest station: Covent Garden, 5 minutes

One Aldwych says: “Alive from early morning meetings and light lunches to evening aperitifs and after-hours nightcaps, the Lobby Bar at One Aldwych is a London institution – a dynamic Covent Garden drinking destination for exquisitely crafted signature cocktails and all-day bar bites. Take in the bright, buzzy atmosphere of one of London’s most celebrated hotel bars beneath soaring ceilings, offbeat objets d’art and sleek art nouveau curves.”

The Works Search consultant says: “Comfortable and quiet. Don’t miss the amazing shortbread with coffee and the olives and cashews if you’re there for an evening drink.”

The Goring Cocktail Bar, Victoria, SW1W

  • Walk from nearest station: Victoria, 3-5 minutes

The Goring says: “The interior design has been led by the inimitable Russell Sage and with a grand piano taking pride of place, the resident pianist provides fabulous live entertainment. With the roaring fire in the winter and its beautiful garden in the summer, The Goring Cocktail Bar is a year-round destination in itself.”

The Works Search consultant says: “Reassuringly expensive with fabulous service and tasty shortbread served with the coffee."

Threadneedles Hotel, Bank, EC2R

  • Walk from nearest station: Bank, 3 minutes

The Works Search consultant says: “This somewhat deserted lounge is perfect for discretion as it’s very quiet. There is usually someone milling around to take your order.”

Threadneedles Hotel says: “The dome lounge is the beating heart of Threadneedles. Located in the former banking hall, its iconic glass dome marks the centrepiece of the hotel. During daytime, natural light floods in as you fall into low leather chairs; it’s a spot for business lunches, casual drinks or a decadent Afternoon Tea.”

The Hoxton, Holborn, WC1V

  • Walk from nearest station: Holborn, 2-4 minutes

The Works Search consultant says: “Livelier, quite cool and only a few minutes away from the tube.”

The Hoxton says: “Our lobbies are the beating heart of our hotels. Open round the clock, with comfy seats, cosy corners, and food and drink on tap, they’re spaces where guests can hang out alongside the locals, and immerse themselves in the neighbourhood.”

The May Fair Hotel, Green Park, W1J

  • Walk from nearest station: Green Park, 2 minutes

The Works Search consultant says: “The May Fair hotel (bar to the right of reception) has good service although it doesn’t come with a smile; for something more exciting, especially a cocktail, I head over to Brown’s as it has a beautiful, comfortable bar.”

The May Fair Hotel says: “May Fair Bar is a true mirror of its surroundings. From the unmistakable sophistication and vibrancy of our neighbourhood’s streets and mews, to the independent spirit of nearby luxury boutiques and art institutions, May Fair Bar reflects the unique atmosphere and contemporary design of its namesake district. A social destination where everyone is welcome.”

The Langham, West End, W1B

  • Walk from nearest station: Oxford Street, 5 minutes

The Works Search consultant says: “The purple bar (Artesian Bar) at the Langham opens after 4.30pm so it’s good for a late afternoon coffee and has a great cocktail menu.”

The Langham says: “Guests will be inspired in Artesian, named after the original 360ft-deep well under the hotel, and winner of the coveted ‘World’s Best Bar’ accolade, creating classic and innovative cocktails. Even the ice here is special - produced using the very latest technology, Artesian's ice is purer, colder and with a higher density, making it last longer and your cocktails cooler.”

Strada, Waterloo, SE1

  • Walk from nearest station: Waterloo, 5 minutes

The Works Search consultant says: “A challenging area for a coffee meeting - I tend to end up in Strada Southbank (outside of the lunchtime period)."

Strada says: “Enjoy authentic food with all the Italian charm and friendly service. Watch the sunset over evening cocktails or a taste of fresh, simple Italian food.”

The Works Search is a search consultancy specialising in PR and corporate communications. We have unrivalled matching abilities and are known for finding the top 5% performers in the industry - the ones who deliver and make your reputation great. For more advice or market insights, do get in touch with us on 0207 903 9291 or email:

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