For sole traders, start-ups and ‘homepreneurs’, permanent office and meeting room premises are often an overhead you can’t justify, especially in the early days. Finding a quiet, comfortable (and professional) coworking space to talk business with your customers or partners is key but arranging important meetings can be tricky when your office is your kitchen table or in a bag on your back.
Like us, you have probably spent your fair share of time huddled in the corners of bustling coffee shops but there are some more ideal places to work from or hold those important meetings; you just have to know where to look. So here’s a list of our favourite London meeting locations and inexpensive workspace options:
Workspaces for Startups
Campus Cafe London, Bonhill Street, EC2A
Google has created dedicated spaces for entrepreneurs in cities around the world and this is the London edition. It’s completely free. Simply apply for a membership card here. The location is excellent and it’s perfect for informal meetings with colleagues or partners. Unsurprisingly it is a popular destination so get in early to avoid disappointment. There is a constant buzz of chatter though so it’s not great if you work better when it’s quiet. They also offer flexi desk space and full time coworking office membership through Techhub.
A brand new workspace rental concept called Vrumi has just launched! We love this idea – it’s like an AirBnB for professionals. It brings together professionals and creatives in need of workspaces and meeting rooms at affordable prices with homeowners who have available space or free rooms to rent out by the hour, day or week. As it’s new, many locations are not yet covered but there is already a great selection of stylish and comfy houses available to book across London. Hurray!
Greenhouse London provide a creative alternative to commercial office space for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small to mid-sized businesses. They also run a range of events and even have a well-being room! Choose from a range of membership packages and get access state of the art media lab, lockers, permanent desk space, hot-desking, communal areas as well as the use of a boardroom and meeting rooms.
Head to the Barbican or Southbank Centre if you want to be inspired in between scheduled meetings. Both venues offer a range of comfortable break-out areas to sit, work and relax with a cuppa as well as exhibition spaces to keep you entertained during breaks.
The Book Club, EC2
Ideally situated in the depths of Hipsterville, this cute place boasts a relaxed, arty vibe. Spread out your laptop and notes on one of the big wooden tables and get down to business. They also run crafty events and have DJ sessions in the evening so you could feasibly hold your meetings, do some work and then just stay put!
Harris & Hoole
This coffeehouse chain only has a small number of branches; most of them in the suburbs. The H&H crew offer a relaxed and friendly environment, with free Wifi. (The coffee is also really delicious.)
Join the global community of professionals who work from coffee shops. (Or just use their incredibly useful site to find ideal ‘Coffices’ in your chosen location!)
Hotels are a great option if you are in need of a more formal, impressive meeting place and most of them have excellent lobby and café areas open to the public.
Try one of the following on for size:
Ace Hotel, Shoreditch
The Ace Hotel is based in the thriving, creative hub of Shoreditch, so it follows that it is quite popular with the Tech city crew. Every available surface will have a laptop and startup founder attached to it by noon so it’s advisable to get there early.
CitizenM, London Bankside
The bar areas of this hotel is beautifully designed and located near Tate Modern.
Sherlock Holmes Hotel, Baker Street
Conveniently placed and unassuming – this hotel boasts a quiet and airy tea room at the front.
Pullman Hotel, Kings Cross
The bar/lobby area of this lovely hotel is spacious with large tables and comfy seating.
This swanky, upmarket affair and lavish surroundings will impress any potential business contacts.
Ordinarily we wouldn’t advocate pubs or bars as a place for business meetings but it really depends on your business and culture, as well as your relationship with clients.
Tattershall Castle , Victoria Embankment
This bar & restaurant on the Thames is just across the road from Embankment tube station and it’s a great place for a lunch meeting. Your clients might even get a kick out of having a meeting on a boat!