Organising a day in London may require military-grade planning but as soon as I see those skyscrapers on the horizon of the M11 I instantly feel a buzz of excitement. I’m finding myself heading into the city for events and meetings more and more these days and I’m getting to know our British capital a little more every time. I love exploring unknown areas, Google maps in hand, in between meetings or just to feel inspired by the bustling surroundings. As a result, I’ve collated a few London hangouts which are fast becoming more go-to’s when I have a spare hour or so.
While there may be a Starbucks every couple of feet, finding a quiet, cool London hangout that has great herbal tea (no coffee for me as much as I’ve tried!), the option of yummy food and plug sockets is harder than it sounds. When I have to recharge every electronic device in my bag, re-group, answer emails and possibly grab a bite to eat before my next appointment, finding somewhere that ticks all of those boxes is no mean feat. Cosier than a communal working space and sans tourists, I’ve made it my mission to find a handful of London hangouts that can give me exactly what I need, so I thought I’d share them with you, in case you need a city oasis amongst all the chaos…
MORTIMER HOUSE KITCHEN
Although the upper levels are members-only, the ground-floor restaurant is open to the public and it’s my go-to place for meetings and the odd solo lunch. Super laid-back with friendly staff, dreamy interiors and a Mediterranean menu to die for, it’s a perfect spot to catch up on emails, have a cup of tea and watch the world go by.
Located just off Oxford Street, it’s central yet quiet with pretty garden rooms and plenty of natural light. It’s my number one London hangout to join fellow freelancers, creatives and the odd famous face.
THE HOXTON HOTEL
When I’m east, The Hoxton Hotel is my first stop to catch my breath and get some work done. After a press breakfast with Reebok in the conservatory, this has been a firm favourite of mine for a cool London hangout. Although technically a hotel, the ground floor is the definition of cosy with open fires, long communal tables, snug corners and oversized armchairs.
Here you’ll find a mix of friendly catch-ups, business lunches and lots of cool kids peering over laptops in any given space. There’s a great vibes here and (if I can get a seat) I could easily hole up here all day.
THE RIDING HOUSE CAFE
Just off Great Titchfield Street near Oxford Circus, The Riding House Café is a great place to set up camp if you like good eggs, laid-back staff and lots of natural light. Although it can get busy around lunch time, its twinkling lights and lounge areas make it a perfect day-to-night location in case you get lost in the work!
Finding a London hangout that is light, airy, casual with healthy food to fuel you throughout the day is every bit as difficult as you’d expect. But Farmacy ticks all the boxes, even if it is a little further out from central, in Notting Hill. With lots of indoor greenery, natural decor and passionate staff, its menu is packed with all the seriously healthy goodies you keep meaning to make at home.
NO 11 PIMLICO ROAD
Mismatched chairs, fresh blooms and a home-away-from-home feel, No 11 is the epitome of a quirky London hangout that you can mull hours away in. From breakfast to cocktails and everything in between, it’s quiet and chic in a homely kind of way that makes it a perfect suburban hideaway.