Rising bright and early to prepare for a morning meeting in London? The British capital offers a huge range of a.m. activities to set you up for the day. Choose the perfect pre-meeting option and guarantee a successful day in style.
Coffee of champions
For espresso obsessives and casual cappuccino sippers alike, London’s coffee scene is positively buzzing right now. A network of world class cafes, beans, and baristas extends across the city — all adding up to the perfect morning coffee.
Ozone, near Old Street and Tech City, is a gem of a place for first-thing, last-minute preparation. Hop onto a stool by the windows and dive deep into your presentation, helped along by one of their gorgeous coffees, roasted downstairs on site. Friendly staff and a bustling atmosphere might be just what you need to fast-track your focus.
For a less frantic experience, Prufrock Coffee on Leather Lane (near Chancery Lane underground) offers guests a spacious, airy interior that (of course) complements exceptional coffee. Know your V60 from your Aeropress, or want to find out? This might be the ideal spot for you, with a menu that embraces guest roasts and a range of brewing styles — ideal for reaching a meticulous mindset pre-meeting.
Heading into the city proper? Alchemy on Ludgate Broadway comes highly recommended. This stylish, independent cafe is just a short walk from Bank and vicinity, and is a real oasis for artisan coffee lovers. Try something new from their extensive menu, or just enjoy a familiar latte (complete with a little artwork) while you people watch and prepare.
From mat to meeting
Hitting the mat prior to a big meeting can help you achieve a balance between physical and mental relaxation and focus. London has loads of early morning yoga classes to suit your schedule — if you have a specific kind of yoga you practice, we recommend searching online to find the right studio and session for you.
Blue Cow Yoga Studio, (five minutes from Bank and Moorgate tube stations) bills itself as offering space and calm in the heart of the city, with beginner-friendly classes starting from 7a.m..
Alternatively, triyoga offers classes across the city at various locations. From Vinyasa to Ashtanga and even Pilates (why not?), a wide range of styles are catered for, with studios situated in iconic locations like Covent Garden and Shoreditch.
Watch the sun come up
If you’re a super early riser, London is packed with great spots where you can watch the world wake up. Often, these are out in the city’s many patches of green space – Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath and the beautiful Richmond Park are all prime parkland to witness a stunning sunrise from. Find the high ground for a view of the city skyline turning from grey to gold, or if you’re in Richmond go deer spotting with the first rays of light.
Alternatively, head down to the Thames river to make the most of some rare summer sunshine. London is a great city for walking, and the South Bank is a particular favourite for a morning stroll. Then you can cross the Millennium Bridge towards the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, catching a glimpse of one of London’s most famous landmarks basked in glorious early sun.
Embrace the cycle
Neuroscientists and everyday observers alike have long recognized the connection between aerobic exercise and brain activity – particularly with regard to memory and focus.
All of which is very convenient for business travelers in London seeking a brain boost pre-meeting. The city’s ever-improving cycle network makes an early morning ride a thing of ease and beauty – especially around its parks and along its canals. Download an app to plan your route, and take advantage of one of London’s many bike hire schemes to get your wheels turning.
Keep an eye on the market
There’s something fundamentally inspiring about seeing a well-oiled business do its thing – and London’s early morning markets are truly among the biggest and boldest open to the public. These time-honoured hubs of commerce, knowledge and top-notch produce open their doors at red-eye-inducing times.
Billingsgate – the UK’s largest inland fish market – is accessible from 4a.m. and offers customers a staggering array of seafood at wholesale prices. Smithfield Meat Market (between Farringdon and Barbican stations) opens from 2a.m., but visitors are advised to get there from 7a.m. to browse their juiciest cuts.
Even if you don’t plan on taking fish or meat into your big meeting, a wander through the hustle and bustle is sure to leave you wide-eyed and reinvigorated.
A snappy start to your day
Red buses and phone boxes. Black taxis. Old buildings. Men in bowler hats. As with many world famous cities, it’s embarrassingly easy to conjure a tired, stereotypical image of London in your mind’s eye. Which makes it all the more exciting when you see it in a whole new light…
Early morning photography workshops, offered by Cities At Dawn, give you the chance to push aside the over-saturated, picture postcard images and re-imagine London through your own lens. Each of their classes takes you on a unique route through the city as it stirs from sleep, tailored for breathtaking photos ops. A very special way to bring a whole new perspective to your meeting.
The build up to an important meeting can be stressful – so what better way to walk in relaxed and focused than with an early morning massage? Get in touch with one of London’s many massage therapists to book yourself a session, and jettison all that stress your body’s been soaking up. A rubdown has the power to refresh you, and may be just the thing to get you into the zone before meeting your client. Just search ‘early morning massage London’ to find a first-thing practitioner in your area.
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