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 ***
|Background conversation hum||Bright and open plan|
|Private dining room downstairs||Exposed entrance|
|Back entrance on request|
|Attentive staff alert to loiterers|
|Booking procedure for private dining|
|No windows downstairs|
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 *****
|Private dining room – the highest in Europe||CCTV in private rooms|
|Most secure building in London||Glass lifts open to outside|
|Panoramic view of other diners||Only one shared exposed entrance|
|Divided into different rooms|
|Open 24 hours|
|Open air terrace for extra privacy|
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 – Guildhall – EC2V 5BQ
Chicago-style steak house in old gentleman’s club
City A.M. review: Food ****, Value ***, Atmosphere ****
|Reception on different floor||No Private entrance|
|Private room with private WC|
|Horse shoe booths along wall|
|Seating with backs to the wall|
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
|Concealed entrance in enclosed court||No buzz until the evening|
|Paneled off private room|
|Private entrance/ drop off|
|Dining hidden from reception|
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
|Discrete entrance – down an alley||Informal and noisy|
|High wooden divides||Bump into competitors|
|Private room in the cellar|
|Good for an informal meeting|
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.