The top 10 restaurants to take clients in the City of London
If you enjoyed our Twenty Rather Good Shouts for client dining, here's some more top restaurants to get your teeth into. In the past few years, a raft of new openings in the Square Mile has transformed the restaurant scene there, the greatest trend being restaurants atop the City's gleaming new skyscrapers. Given the level of client entertainment that takes place in London's financial engine, here are The Drum's TopCityTen, as chosen by Mr. Sykes Modern Concierge.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate EC4A
Sushi Samba stands alone as the only city skyscraper restaurant with an outdoor terrace, 38 floors up to be precise and boasting two terraces to be exact. Since the first guests were welcomed on the day of the London Olympics opening ceremony, Sushi Samba has ruled the clouds above Bishopsgate, and wowed with the food, the views, the service and the unforgettable sight of a bright orange tree, setting off the favela-chic décor beautifully. Your clients will love it, not to mention the greatest glass elevator in all London.
2. Galvin LaChappelle
35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
Quite simply, the most refined dining experience the City has to offer. The stunning dining room is housed in a converted chapel, and the food, well, it is of course exquisite. It's also expensive, very, and the wine list includes bottles priced at a point guaranteed to go viral should the bill ever reach the pixels of social media. The atmosphere is rarefied, with sufficient privacy for the most important client discussions. Don't forget about the adjoining cafe for the La Chappelle-lite experience, and smokers will greatly appreciate the heated outdoor terrace – perfect spot for summer cocktail parties.
3. Aqua The Shard
31 St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Probably the most fantastic entrance stairway in London. It's a real Dynasty moment as diners descend the stairs into Aqua and gorge on the truly awesome and unique double height view of The City staring back. Even your most difficult to impress client will agree. The food is excellent modern British fayre, and the Liberty print fabrics bring a sense of heritage to this gleaming temple of glass. Amazing cocktails destination, with an absolutely buzzing bar and plenty private dining and event options.
4. City Social
25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ
The latest, sleekest addition to Jason Atherton's collection of fantastic London restaurants. Again, stunning views, but here the food absolutely wins out. The restaurant is extremely spacious, perfect for confidential discussions with clients. For larger group dining and stand-up receptions, the suite of private dining room and stunning chef's table, with views directly on to St. Paul's cathedral, will impress most. The place to take foodie clients, when La Chappelle is too formal.
31 St. Thomas Street, Se1 9RY
Upstairs from Aqua, Hutong brings a real sense of Hong Kong to the City. Get ready for eye-watering prices, but also, for sumptuous intricate carved wood interiors, absolutely impeccable Chinese cuisine and the most gracious service and attention. Hutong Hong Kong is an institution there, so this 33rd floor London outpost is no pastiche. The private dining rooms for larger tables, all dark lacquer, lattice and carvings, are super smart. You and your clients will be transported to a land far away. Really. Undeniable wow factor.
157a Commercial Street, E1 6BJ
When it absolutely has to be a meat, then it certainly must be Hawksmoor for the very best steak in the City. Hawksmoor serves up exclusively British-reared meat, cooked simply on a charcoal grill. An excellent wine list accompanies the dictionary thick steaks and burgers, plus an accomplished revival cocktail menu. Don't forget to ask about the special cuts of the day for amazing shared food experiences. Hawksmoor have a growing number of restaurants across central London, including one at Guildhall in the City, but, Spitalfields is the original and best.
1 Snowden Street, EC2A 2DQ
A beacon of Italian chic, L'Anima serves up perfectly presented, simple Italian cooking. Bright and airy, perfect client power lunching spot. Service at this multi-award winning restaurant is warm and friendly, making it an excellent choice for regular visits. Tucked quietly away behind Bishopsgate, the bar at L’Anima is excellent for client cocktails or drinks receptions.
88 Worship Street, EC2A 2BE
City outpost of Hakkasan, HKK sits just behind Finsbury Square. The dining room is a super-sleek, minimal affair, bringing the focus firmly on the Michelin starred food. While an a la carte menu is available at lunch, dinner is a choice of eight or 15 course tasting menus for the 'full HKK experience', presenting modern updates on old Chinese recipes. Ornate hand painted wallpaper adorns the beautiful private dining room, which seats 14, and perhaps, it's a larger client dinner in there that is the greatest HKK experience.
9. South Place Hotel
3 South Place, EC2M 2AF
The South Place Hotel offers safe options for the full gamut of client entertainment. From brasserie breakfasts, to a range of private dining and meeting options, to the fine dining Anglers restaurant and cocktail terrace on the fifth floor. With Conran designed interiors, you can expect a high level of gloss and style, which is more than matched by the food and service throughout. The ground floor bar gets particularly busy for post-work drinks, amping up towards the weekend with DJ and excitable suits. The meeting rooms are particularly smart, feeling more like a private members club than hotel.
10. Bonds (for Breakfast)
5 Threadneedle Street, EC2R 8AY
Client entertaining in the City often means breakfasts, and really, that means Bond's. Not new, not modern, not concept, but a sedate, restrained and altogether grown-up power breakfast choice. Bond's is all about the serious business of breakfast, fully set tables and a dignified approach to service. Other dining rooms in The City do offer breakfast, but there's nowhere quite like Bond's.