Five best spots in the City for a clandestine meeting

Security experts Blackstone Consultancy have analysed the City of London's top venues to find the best spots for those wanting to host clandestine meetings with potential employers, recruitment consultants, or with other parties that value discretion.


The research was conducted by recruitment platform jobandtalent.com and saw security experts scrutinise some of the City's most popular restaurants and venues from best of lists of 2012 and 2013. Their top five picks are below.

1 Lombard Street

1 Lombard Street - Lombard Street – EC3V 9AA
Brasserie in Grade II listed former bank next door to Mansion House
City A.M. review: Food ****, Value ***, Atmosphere ***


ProsCons
Background conversation humBright and open plan
Private dining room downstairsExposed entrance
Back entrance on request
Attentive staff alert to loiterers
Booking procedure for private dining
No windows downstairs

Expert comments
For a good atmosphere/dining experience and private room facilities the atmosphere is perfect. The private room downstairs with no windows and the option to use an alternative entrance adds to the privacy. The staff were attentive which suggests it would be very difficult to loiter without a reservation or purpose for being there.

Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle – Heron Tower – EC2N 4AY
Rustic British Food on 40th Floor
City A.M. review: Food **, Service ****, Atmosphere *****

ProsCons
Private dining room – the highest in EuropeCCTV in private rooms
Most secure building in LondonGlass lifts open to outside
Panoramic view of other dinersOnly one shared exposed entrance
Divided into different rooms
Open 24 hours
Open air terrace for extra privacy

Expert comments
This restaurant is open 24 hours a day so the timing for your meeting can really work around you. The private dining room is the highest in Europe. You would feel a million miles away from prying eyes and ears being in this venue - 40 floors up with a stunning view of The City. Heron Tower’s security is a huge bonus, being one of the most protected in London and boasting impressive in-house surveillance.

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor – Guildhall – EC2V 5BQ
Chicago-style steak house in old gentleman’s club
City A.M. review: Food ****, Value ***, Atmosphere ****

ProsCons
Reception on different floorNo Private entrance
Private room with private WC
Horse shoe booths along wall
Seating with backs to the wall
Buzzy atmosphere

Expert comments
You would definitely come here to do business. As it is below ground level and has no windows – diners won’t be seen by passers by. The acoustics in here are amazing, the light hum of chatter and distance between tables mean that you won’t be heard clearly by next door diners. It offers a large private dining area but also large front facing leather booths at the back with a clear view of what is going on without being seen. Having your back against the wall makes it the perfect destination for Alpha male businessmen.

Mint Leaf Lounge

Mint Leaf Lounge - Angel Court – EC2R 7HB
Upmarket Indian cuisine in contemporary setting

ProsCons
Concealed entrance in enclosed courtNo buzz until the evening
Paneled off private room
Private entrance/ drop off
Dining hidden from reception
Low lit
Good location

Expert comments
The entrance is concealed from too much outside surveillance by being located in an enclosed court. There is a private mezzanine restaurant upstairs which can be divided or completely rented out, with it’s own bar and alternative entrance if necessary. The private bar and dining area being upstairs, makes it a perfect spot to see who walks into the entrance without being immediately visible.

The Jamaica Wine House

The Jamaica Wine House – Cornhill – EC3V 9DS
City pub on site of London’s first coffee house opened in 1652

ProsCons
Discrete entrance – down an alleyInformal and noisy
High wooden dividesBump into competitors
Private room in the cellar
Noisy background
Good for an informal meeting

Expert comments
The alley location is great for discretion. The character and high walled wooden intersections inside make this place great for an informal business discussion and offers some privacy. However, I would suggest it is not appropriate for a formal meeting.