The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

Need a place to break bread and broker deals? Here’s where to go in the capital, according to those in the know

When you’re trying to seal the deal or poach a rival’s best talent, conducting a meeting over a sub-par steak in a high-street chain just won’t cut it. 

If you really want to impress – or if you’re simply after a discreet spot where you can discuss industry ins-and-outs alongside a carafe of Merlot – then why not take a note off these destinations that have been recommended by some of London’s finest business leaders?

From an art deco-style institute to Mayfair’s latest opening, here’s where to wine and dine with authority and style…

The Wolseley, recommended by Nicholas Coleridge

The Chairman of Condé Nast Britain proposes the grand Piccadilly cafe-restaurant

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

Why go? “It’s simultaneously noisy, bustling and always full of people, but you can still have a proper conversation. It’s also smart, but not insanely so. I dislike reverential, creepy-quiet restaurants with deep carpets and cloches over the food.” 

What to order: “I would have six oysters followed by a hamburger (with no bun), French fries (the fatter sort) and a green salad.”

To wash it all down?: “Bloody Mary and fizzy water (not mixed together).”

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

The Wolseley

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Quo Vadis, recommended by Erchen Chang

The co-founder of BAO restaurants advocates the Soho private member’s club

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

Why go?: “It’s always good for lunch meetings in the members’ area. The illustrations by John Broadley, which can be found on the walls, are amazing.”

What to order: “The smoked eel sandwich, sausage roll and pie are all good.”

To wash it all down?: “Tea from XU.”

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

Quo Vadis

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Essence Cuisine, recommended by Patrick Drake

The co-founder of meal-kit company HelloFresh suggests the Shoreditch plant-based restaurant

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

Why go?: “Once you step inside, it’s like somebody crossed a high-end fashion catwalk with a cool East London eatery. Also, the food is so beautiful that you’re not sure you want to poke it with your fork, but when you do, the flavours just blow you away.”

What to order: “I always go for the raw Pad Thai.”

To wash it all down?: “I finish it off with a BulletFuel Coffee (double shot of coffee, MCT oil, cacao butter and almond milk).”

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

Essence Cuisine

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Franco's, as recommended by Emma Willis MBE

The owner of Emma Willis bespoke shirts nominates the enduring St. James’s Italian restaurant

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

Why go?: “It always has a dynamic atmosphere, but also allows complete privacy with the table spacing and the quiet dining room downstairs. You can eat formally in the restaurant or a quick lunch meeting in the bar. The food is sensational and the staff are the perfect combination of attentive but not intrusive.”

What to order: “I would order their tuna ceviche followed by ricotta and sage handmade ravioli.

To wash it all down?: “I don’t drink wine at lunch, but if I did I would have their best Gavi di Gavi”

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

Franco's

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HIDE, recommended Alex Macdonald

The co-founder of Velocity Black puts forward the Piccadilly restaurant and bar

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

Why go?: “It has the best wine list in London as it’s partnered with my favourite wine boutique, Hedonism in Mayfair.”

What to order: “Make sure you get the coddled free range hen egg and woodland mushrooms, all of which are served on a bed of hay.”

To wash it all down?: A bottle of This Is Not An Exit from Sine Qua Non vineyards.”

The best London restaurants for a power lunch (by the business leaders who eat there)

HIDE

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Looking for a casual drink instead? Here are London’s poshest pubs…

Further Reading