London Means Business
The British capital is a thriving hub for business, a cultural melting pot, a centre of commerce and a nexus for innovation and influence. With a diverse range of people, businesses, architecture and history, London's iconic streets and buildings take you from the ancient past, through a bustling and lucrative present, to an exciting, limitless future in just a few steps. Thousands of international business professionals pass through London every week, and with unrivalled travel connections, it is one of the most accessible cities in the world. We've put together some useful tips for traveling to, from and around London that will help you make the most of your time in the city.
One of the fastest and easiest routes to and from London, the Eurostar provides connections all over Europe. Eurostar offers a Business Premier Class for professional travellers, which boasts a number of benefits, including flexible tickets, guaranteed boarding on the train you need, fast track check-in, large seating areas with power sockets to help you work on the go, Wi-Fi access, Premier lounges, three course meals and waiter services. You can take the Eurostar from London St Pancras International to Paris, Lille and Brussels. Eurostar offers a helpful connections service within the UK and Europe to help you reach your final destination.
Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world, and the largest in London. Getting to Heathrow couldn't be simpler. The 15-minute Heathrow Express train departs from Paddington Station every 15 minutes, while the 26-minute Heathrow Connect train stops at a number of London stations. Bus services connect to Heathrow from Feltham, Reading, Woking and Watford Junction.
Heathrow has three Underground stations, one servicing Terminals 1 and 3, one central station servicing Terminals 1, 2 and 3, and one station each for Terminals 4 and 5. All three stations are in Travelcard Zone 6.
Heathrow offers a secure parking service, including special Business Parking areas which are located closer to the Terminal buildings and offer a courtesy 3-minute coach transfer to your desired Terminal. All parking spaces can be booked in advance.
An official chauffeur service is available to take you to and from the airport in comfort and luxury.
In the Servisair Executive Lounge you can enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks, internet access, telephones, fax machines and computer terminals, comfortable surroundings and a quiet place to work or relax.
London prides itself on its public transport networks, and it is usually much easier and quicker to use these services than to drive around the city. With a London Travelcard you have access to all of London's public transport links, including the Underground, buses, National Rail trains, the Docklands Light Railway and the Tramlink. Travelcard holders also benefit from a 33% discount on London River services. Travelcards can be bought in advance and used throughout the city to make getting about a lot easier and less stressful. Cards can be purchased from any Underground station or online at visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk. If you have some free time during your business trip you might like to take advantage of the London Pass, which gives you free access to over 55 London attractions. This is available at www.londonpass.com.
buy:time (www.buy-time.co.uk) offers an excellent concierge service in London which helps maximise your time in the capital. With exclusive business support, PA services, errand-running services, virtual assistants and secretarial services, buy:time helps you keep on top of all your business demands while you're away from the office. buy:time services are available on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Quintessentially (www.quintessentially.com) is a private members' club offering exclusive benefits and luxury lifestyle management in 55 cities around the world. Their concierge service will get your name on private guest lists, book a table at London's most in-demand restaurants, as well as organise travel and access to top hotels, attractions and spas.
Virtual Office Spaces
Tired of trying to get work done in your hotel room? London is great for virtual office spaces that provide the perfect environment and tools for any business professional on the go. The Cube (www.thecubelondon.com) is an 'innovation space' where members can meet, interact and generate ideas. It includes a number of zones each carefully designed for specific purposes and to inspire certain moods, feelings and responses. Meeting rooms are available to hire on an hourly basis or for whole evenings and weekends. A number of events, lectures and exhibitions are scheduled for members to attend.
Le Bureau (www.lebu.co.uk) provides beautifully designed office spaces for hot-desking. Spaces can be hired on a monthly basis and the price includes access to meeting rooms, quiet rooms, high speed wireless internet, printing, copying, scanning and fax machines, telephones, air conditioning, lockable storage, and refreshments.