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Since the 19th century, London has been a global financial centre. When the London Stock Exchange was established in 1801, the United Kingdom became the highest net exporter of financial services in the world. Today, London has over 8 million residents, 6 major airports, 40 universities, and 100's of companies have chosen the capital to base their global headquarters.
According to a study conducted by Deloitte, London hosts 40 percent of the European headquarters of the world’s top companies. Along with the growth of companies, local businesses and establishments continue to flourish and thrive, such as restaurants and local business venues. It is not surprising, therefore, that many corporate groups are constantly on the search for places to hold their business dinners in London.
According to the Office of National Statistics, there are over 15,000 restaurants in London. The number and concentration of quality restaurants in London has got some publishers like the Londonist, to unofficially dub London as the restaurant capital of the world.
With thousands of restaurants to choose from, it can be quite a daunting task to decide where to have a business dinner in London. It’s not as simple as looking for the best restaurants in the UK as there are needs specific to business dinners. We’ve rounded up five restaurants that we think fit the bill. From a landmark London restaurant with sweeping views of the Thames, to a three Michelin star fine dining London restaurant, to a casual Trattoria-style place perfect for groups – we hope this list will fit your planned business dinner in London.
1. ALAIN DUCASSE AT THE DORCHESTER
Location: The Dorchester, 53 Park Ln, Mayfair London W1K 1QA
Contact: +44 (0) 20 7629 8866
Operating Hours: Lunch: Tuesday to Friday 12:00 – 13:30
Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday 18:30 – 21:30
Important to know: Dress code is smart elegant
Cost: An average a la carte menu is £105 for 3 courses, £125 for 4 courses and a 7-course tasting menu averages to £145.
If it is a memorable first impression that you are after, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester is the perfect place to take your client to dinner. Renowned French chef Alain Ducasse is the second most decorated Michelin star chef in the world. He has opened over 25 restaurants across the globe, and the 3 Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester is his flagship restaurant.
Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester opened in 2007, and since 2016, Executive Chef Jean-Phillippe Blondet, who has trained under Alain Ducasse for over a decade, has been leading the helm. Described as imaginative modern French haute cuisine, food at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester is known for its combination of modern presentation mixed with French techniques and application.
A new collection of fine dining menus is introduced every season, but the veal is especially popular. When David Ellis of The Standard tried their Veal with Wild Chicory and Black Truffle, he famously claimed he memorised that dish should he end up needing it as his last meal on a death sentence. The establishment is known for its unobtrusive service, with staff only approaching the table when necessary, so this makes the restaurant a perfect choice for groups wishing a more discreet affair.
2. CANTINA DEL PONTE
Location: The Butlers Wharf Shad Thames Building
Contact: 020 7403 5403
Hours: Open daily. Lunch: 12:00-15:00
Dinner: 18:00 – 22:30
Cost: An average price for a meal at the Cantina del Ponte costs around £25.00.
When you have international clients visiting from overseas or if it is their first time in London, Cantina del Ponte is an ideal London restaurant to take them.
With an impressive 4.5 -rating in Tripadvisor London, Cantina del Ponte is a self-described corner of Italian sunshine in London Bridge by the Thames. Ideal for more relaxed business meetings or catch-ups, the restaurant is a Trattoria-style rustic Italian restaurant that has terrace views of the Tower Bridge.
Due to their appealing location by the Shad Thames, outside seating is quite popular, so book ahead if you wish to have an outdoor dining experience. Alternatively, as less people are inclined to dine inside, an indoor dining experience will provide both iconic views and privacy. Pastas are recommended at Cantina del Ponte as they are freshly made just by the entrance of the restaurant.
An average price for a meal at the Cantina del Ponte costs around £25.00.
3. BENTLEY’S OYSTER BAR AND GRILL
Location: 11-15 Swallow Street, St James, London W1B 4DG England
Contact: +44 (0) 20 77434 4756
Hours: Open Daily 11:30 am – 23:00
Important to know: Smart Dress Code
Cost: Price range for Bentley’s is £50-£80
Bentley’s is over a hundred years old (103 to be exact), and is one of London’s much-loved seafood restaurants, long considered by many as a British institution. For the past 12 years, Michelin-starred Chef Richard Corrigan has been leading Bentley’s, sourcing the freshest ingredients from around the British and Irish isles. Bentley’s is also known for their private rooms that are so aptly named: Crustacea Room, Rib Room, etc.
Citroen CEO Linda Jackson has named Bentley’s her favourite restaurant in London, citing that their fish is always cooked to perfection. The smoked salmon and seared sea bass are her favourites, and when she needs to host more formal meals, the Crustacea private dining room is her pick.
Price range for Bentley’s is £50-£80.
Location: 48 Gresham St, London EC2V 7AY
Contact: +44 20 7600 1616
Operating hours: Monday to Friday
Lunch: 12:00- 14:30
Dinner: 18:00 – 22:00
Cost: The menu at Cabotte changes every season, but mains start at £19.00
Cabotte has a central location, in the heart of the City of London. It is a wine-centric restaurant founded by two Master Sommeliers, Xavier Rousset and Gearoid Devaney, both of whom have extensive London restaurant experience. Cabotte’s head chef Edward Boarland sources the highest quality ingredients from the UK whenever possible, and combines its preparation with French expertise.
The restaurant offers exquisite French cuisine paired with a very unique wine list from the Burgundy wine region. Perfect for clients and corporate groups who are Oenophiles. Cabotte has two private dining rooms that are available for exclusive hire between 6 to 40 people. This is ideal for corporate or social functions whether it is a sit-down dinner, canape party, or walk-around tasting event that is needed.
5. OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie
Location: 8th Floor, Oxo Tower Wharf Barge House Street, South Bank London SE1 9PH
Contact: +44 20 7803 3888
Hours: Open daily Monday to Sunday 12:00 noon – 23:00
Cost: Price range for OXO Tower Restuarant is £40-£80
If it’s a celebratory business dinner in London you need – whether you are closing a deal with a client, commemorating a milestone, or celebrating a promotion, the Oxo Tower Restaurant Bar and Brasserie is the perfect venue for your business celebration.
The Oxo Tower has long been a landmark in London, offering the best views to its diners with their signature floor to ceiling windows. The Oxo Tower has 3 separate venues, each offering a different vibe so corporate and business groups can pick their venue. There’s the restaurant, which has a more quiet and intimate setting. It offers a seasonal Modern British food menu crafted by Executive Head Chef Jeremy Bloor. Their bar is one of London’s most sought-after bars with its garden terrace and panoramic skyline views.
For a more relaxed vibe, their Brasserie offers all-day relaxed dining and live music .