For anyone working in a new agency or starting a freelance role, getting lunch, meeting people and grabbing something from a cool shop nearby can be tricky. That’s where our ‘Best Places’ series comes in. We have interviewed staff from agencies across the country to provide you with insider knowledge. Today we are looking at the Best Places near Inferno London.
“Independent, inquisitive and in Covent Garden. We believe the world needs more interesting – and we’re doing our bit to help. We are one of London’s fastest growing independent integrated advertising agencies with international capabilities. Our clients include Nokia, Electrolux, Unilever, Bauer Media, Visa and more. This year our wins include the Nokia with Windows phone global campaign, LinkedIn and Dove Spa.” Inferno website, 2011
For more on Inferno check out their website: www.inferno-group.com or follow them on Twitter: @infernoagency
We asked Paul Mann for his favourite places near Inferno.
Paul, where is the Best Place to grab a coffee and why?
I’m not a big coffee drinker so I’ll base my opinion on something I do know lots about – hot chocolate, especially when accompanied by a cake of some description. There’s no better place around here to treat yourself to a mid-afternoon coffee break than Patisserie Valerie. Yes it’s a chain but it’s pretty special all the same.
And where is the Best Place to grab a pint/glass of vino? Why?
Being more of a beer swiller than a wine sipper, I’d have to say the Lowlander on Drury Lane. Their selection of beers is second to none. Be careful you don’t get too carried away though; you can easily end up paying £10 for a pint.
In your opinion, where is the Best Place to have a sit down lunch?
Now we’re at 31 Great Queen Street we’ve been blessed with the perfect neighbour. The menu at 32 is traditionally British, with emphasis put on seasonal produce and its simplicity is magnificent. They cater for everything. Visit for an out-of-office special occasion or even to keep your visiting parents happy. I challenge your party not to leave impressed.
And the Best Place to have a sandwich/wrap?
There are numerous good cafes and the usual outlets around here. The discovery of ‘Ecco’ is heralded above all others. Pizza for £4…in Covent Garden! Fair enough, you’ll only be getting Margarita for the base rate of £4 but a whole array of flavours and toppings won’t set you back much more. It’s quick, it’s tasty and it’s a gem in the city. Go, now!
Top places to shop?
My main shopping mission is to satisfy my obsession for filling shelves. And my first stop would be Magma. With often limited, cool books and magazines, it never fails to draw me in. My second calling would take me just a little further along Earlham Street to Fopp. My addiction to buying DVD’s is down to their reasonable prices which are no higher than you pay online at Amazon or Play. Why wouldn’t I drop in on the way home?
Can you recommend the Best Place to chill out (day or night)?
If it’s time to chill, then take a trip up Sicilian Avenue. At the end cross Bloomsbury Way and enter Bloomsbury Square Gardens, a tranquil oasis, smack bang in the middle of London. This is an ideal spot to chill or catch some sunshine during the warmer months. At night, you can retire just around the corner to All Star Lanes for a spot of bowling or even more chill time (with milkshake in hand).
What’s the best kept secret near Inferno?
Thanks to its monumental iron doors and lack of external branding, you’d be forgiven for walking straight on by. But whether you’re looking for a wholesome brunch or a really quite plush evening meal accompanied by some cabaret, then Circus is worth a try. The interior surroundings are stunning too, thanks to the work of iconic British designer Tom Dixon.
Can you recommend something a bit different?
Being in such a vibrant area means we’re never too far from a hidden gem. A gang that have made headlines in the past by “Liberating the world one lick at a time” are ‘The Icecreamists’. Go down and you can sample some of the finest, most ‘debaucherous’ ice cream known to man. For the adventurous amongst us why not sample ‘Baby GooGoo’ made with actual breast milk. Mmmmmm.
And lastly, what is the Best Place for a big night out?
You shouldn’t struggle to find somewhere to go after-hours in the Covent Garden area. We’ve enjoyed agency nights at Foundation with its Lego doors and chainmail drapes surrounding large booths. A real, commercial crowd pleaser. For something a little more exclusive, try the Hospital Club. As well as grabbing a drink you’re just as likely to stray into a music video shoot or some kind of weird show. Last time I visited, there was a lady lying beneath a piece of carpet…in the name of art. There are enough rooms to find a chilled environment though. A great drink and cocktail menu and a (cosy) roof-terrace await.
Thanks Paul! For more insider information on the Best Places in the UK, make sure you follow the series!
If you would like to add to this list, please do so in the comments box. Or if you want to tell us about the Best Places near your agency or in your neighbourhood, please get in touch with us.