Tag Archives: city

Lehman Bros & Co: a black monday

It was a tough morning for many going to work in The City today; it’s Monday and it’s a black day for the Market. The fourth-largest U.S. investment bank has gone bust and all the front pages are dedicated to what could be the largest scale bankruptcy in history. Bloomberg.com explains in detail what is happening: “Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. succumbed to the subprime mortgage crisis it helped create in the biggest bankruptcy filing in history. The 158-year-old firm, which survived railroad bankruptcies of the 1800s, the Great Depression in the 1930s and the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management a decade ago, has filed a Chapter 11 petition with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan today. The collapse of Lehman, which listed more than $613 billion of debt, surpasses WorldCom Inc.’s insolvency in 2002 and Drexel Burnham Lambert’s failure in 1990.”

Unfortunately the crisis is not limited to the Lehman collapse: the Bank of America has brought Merrill Lynch, and Wall Street is in crisis. Thetimesonline.co.uk says: “London woke up to discover that, overnight, two of the biggest pillars of Wall Street had either collapsed or passed into new ownership, the world’s largest insurer was forced into an emergency restructuring, and 10 banks put together an emergency fund to lend to any other ailing banks”. This bad news will probably not come as a surprise to many. But the problem is serious and involves all the Markets and a huge numbers of bankers, who can’t predict anything about their future. “One New York observer (thetimesonline.co.uk goes on to say) estimated that 40 per cent of Merrill’s workforce, or 24,000 people, could be out of a job. The situation at Lehman will inevitably be much worse”.

But, as Douglas Adams would say, Don’t Panic! “This is undoubtedly the worst banking crisis since the 1930s, but traders shouldn’t panic and start to sell shares of other leading banks. It doesn’t make sense. American, British and other global banks  are cooperating to make the transition as smooth as possible”, said Allister Heath, City A.M. editor.

The 5 best restaurants for your perfect business event!

Are you organising a dinner in London? Is it a business dinner?! Are you going to invite partners, clients or colleagues? In any case you need to find the most appropriate location. And the first things you need to decide (before the restaurant itself) are how many people you will invite and for what time of the day.

So here you are 5 tips for your perfect business meeting:

If you want to win over a small group of people (or a beautiful woman) the best place is The Sketch. Apart from the jaguar on the wall you can’t see anything from outside… it looks like a normal tea room but if you go with it you get to the hall you’ll find yourself akin to Alice in Wonderland. Strange pictures and sculptures and it has three different areas for different occasions. The ambience is as unique as the food and drinks! But if those are not enough: take a trip to the toilet, you’ll understand when you get there…

If you’re going for a big event you should check out the Skylon Restaurant. You can’t miss it, it’s inside the Royal Festival Hall, on the second floor of the Southbank Centre and it has an unparalleled view of the riverside. Here you can have three different kinds of meetings: a quiet lunch in a good brasserie, a smart dinner in a nice restaurant or a larger event in which you and your guests are the main stars.

If you are looking for a good lunch or dinner, in which the food will speak more than words, check out The Ivy. This restaurant offers a rich menu perfect for every taste and every season: good food for good people. Now The Ivy is a member of a larger group that includes Urban Caprice, the J Sheekey, the BamBoo and Scott’s.

If you want to surprise your guests, you should try the Hakkasan, it’s a dimly lit but smart Chinese restaurant hidden away just two minutes from Tottenham Court Road. It’s one of only two Michelin-starred Chinese restaurants in London and it offers gorgeous selection of dishes and tastey wines served with charm in a low-lit atmosphere.

If you are organising a fun and busy night the right place for you is the garden of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It may be a museum but it hides a lovely garden where you can host your guests, offering a canape dinner, live music and other surprises.

Would you like more suggestions? Would you like to be updated on offers and restaurants?! Use Top Table website and you won’t be disappointed. Let us know how you get on.

Welcome to Clerkenwell

If you were to find yourself strolling in Clerkenwell there are some lovely sites and historic areas surrounding your virtual office in the Borough of Islington. Clerkenwell is an area of rich history: it first became an area of notoriety in the Middle Ages when the parish clerks performed mystery plays, particular theatre shows based on biblical themes. Though the name derives from that period, it is also known as Little Italy, because – as the name suggests – it was a settling area in London for Italian immigrants for almost a century from the 1850s to the 1960s.

Located in the epicentre of four tube stations (Farringdon, Barbican, Chancery Lane, Holborn) and two rail stations (Farringdon and Barbican), Clerkenwell has very quick and easy connections to all parts of the city. Though it is primarily an area of business, you can find plenty of deli/sandwich shops, restaurants and bars, as well as one of the superclubs of London – Fabric on Charterhouse St.

The area is famous for the old village in its heart, between St. James’ Church and Clerkenwell Green – a park without grass for over 300 years, where Four Weddings and a Funeral and Shakespeare in Love have been filmed and Oliver Twist learned to pickpocket! The Eagle on Farringdon Road was the first gastropub in London and opened in 1991 to start the trend. The Clerkenwell is an excellent restaurant and also worth visiting for good food – a great place for a business lunch! Clerkenwell is the perfect place to live and work – Daniel Defoe knew this in the 1700s, as does Zaha Hadid knows it very well right now. There is a significant political past to the area surrounding Clerkenwell Green as noted by Wikipedia. Here’s an excerpt from the page:

“Clerkenwell Green has historically been associated with radicalism, from the Lollards in the 16th century, the Chartists in the 19th century and communists in the early 20th century.[1] In 1902, Vladimir Lenin moved the publication of the Iskra (Spark) to the British Social Democratic Federation at 37a Clerkenwell Green, and issues 22 to 38 were indeed edited there. At that time Lenin resided on Percy Circus, less than half a mile north of Clerkenwell Green. In 1903 the newspaper was moved to Geneva. It is said that Lenin and a young Stalin met in the Crown and Anchor pub (now known as The Crown Tavern) on the Green when the latter was visiting London in 1903. In the 1920s and 1930s, 37a Clerkenwell Green was a venue for Communist Party meetings, and the Marx Memorial Library was founded on the same site in 1933. Clerkenwell’s tradition of left-leaning publication continues today, with The Guardian and The Observer having their headquarters a short walk away – although both papers will move to Kings Cross in 2008.”

London Presence however is not affiliated with any radicalist party today (!)

For more information on the area go to the Wikipedia page here.