08 May Business Travel Guide: London
For first-timers, even second and third-timers, travelling in London can be intimidating at best. If you’re planning on skipping from A to B to C, it may be in your best interest to buy an Oyster card or Travelcard before you arrive.
Single fares for the London underground are both expensive and inefficient and black cabs, as knowledgeable of the city as they are, can be slow and expensive. The Oyster card, however, entitles you to a healthy discount on the bus, tram and underground fares – around half what you’d pay in cash – while a Travelcard offers unlimited transport for a period of time (one day, one week, or one month) at a flat rate. Job done.
Where to stay
There’s a huge variety of hotels and other stays available in London City Centre and the wider area. To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t matter too much where you rest your head, but the creature comforts of some establishments will help make your business trip a little smoother.
Take Aloft, for example, a cheaper option than its surrounding luxury neighbours but swanky all the same. This boutique hotel prefers to let you go about your business, with courteous offhand service and a self-check-in system the preferred way of welcome. You’ll find free Wi-Fi throughout, five meeting rooms, a lively bar-diner and a pool and gym. More than comfortable and accommodating.
The Britannia International Hotel is another suitable stay in the city. This popular 4-star, a customer favourite, comes with a more traditional style of hotel service and, despite the plethora of facilities available, still remains reasonably priced. You’ll have access to wi-fi throughout the building as well as a gym, pool and 24-hour room service. On the business side, you’ll have a variety of rooms at your disposable suitable for meeting clients, delivering presentations or simply catching up on work in peace and quiet.
Where to work
If you’ll be in London for a while and you’re looking for a place to work remotely, you’ll have no trouble getting to a suitably cosy spot in the capital. The trouble, however, is finding a space that suits your needs, and finding said space within the giant haystack that is London’s city centre.
Timberyard, with sites located in Clerkenwell and Soho respectively, is a lovely little independent café equipped with all the technology and modernities you’ll ever need. Combine that with award-winning coffee, great food and an excellent workspace spread over two floors – you’ve got yourself the perfect place to go about your business.
Another popular remote-work spot is the Ace Hotel, Shoreditch. Throughout the day, freelancers and business travellers alike tend to transform the Ace’s lobby and lounge bar into an alternative office, but it’s open 24/7. Described as a Scandinavian-esque contemporary hotel with a hipster twist, the Ace comes will all those must-have amenities and plenty of plug sockets. Plus, if you’re hosting a meeting or event, they have an impressive range of rooms and rooftop event spaces to hire. Warning – get there early to secure a seat, the Ace is a well-visited freelance zone.
Where to eat
Of course, this is entirely to your own liking. But if you’re new in London, you may want an expert opinion to guide your taste buds around town. In the interest of keeping things within the same vicinity, here’re some food spots around the corner from our suggested workplaces and overnight stays.
Just across the water from the Britannia International Hotel, you’ll find Canary Wharf and its many places to dine. One of our go-to lunchtime eateries is Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, which does exactly what it says on the tin… chopsticks and great sushi.
Again, around the surrounding area of the aforementioned Ace Hotel, you’ll find an abundance of different cuisines available. Armed with a fantastic menu jam-packed with all kinds of bun and meat combinations, Honest Burgers remains a popular spot for both carnivores, vegans and vegetarians alike.
Where to drink
When it comes to bars and nightlife, you may want to stray from Canary Wharf. Camden has retained its title as Champion of Cool and remains a great place to get involved. Camden Assembly is a fantastic venue for music fans and partygoers, but its ground-floor bar is just as welcoming for those just looking for a pint and a burger amongst the hustle and bustle.
Just across the way, still in the inner circle of London, you’ll find Mayfair. Long-reputed as the playground for the rich and privileged, Mayfair has a different feel to the rest of the capital, but it’s not just the wealth on view that makes it different. From classic prohibition-style haunts to dazzling modern cocktail joints, you’ll find some of the best bars you’ve ever stepped foot in here. Our advice? Just take a walk and stop when something takes your fancy.
So there you have it, The Big Smoke, London City, the hub of the U.K. Do your research before travelling – it’s always best to have a few landmarks in your head before hitting the streets – make sure your phone has data (Google Maps is your friend), remember your pleases and thank yous and enjoy it. You’ll be just fine.