2021 saw the grand unveiling of our sharp, new London home in the heart of Covent Garden; giving us a pretty decent base camp for every lunch-time cuisine you could possibly think of, historical walks to and from work and plenty of options for that post-5:30 pub visit. Situated on Bow Street, home to a coveted orange Monopoly tile, its own Wikipedia page and the Royal Opera House, our prime location is one we should probably be shouting a little more about, so we decided to do just that. And so, in the first stop in the series of visits around our (no less than 13) locations, here’s a little insight into what a day in the life at our MSQ HQ looks like…
In the same way that a fish needs water, or the modern-day whinging child needs an iPad, an office employee simply needs that post-weekend coffee to be able to function. A short, approximately three minute (fast-paced) walk away from the office you’ll come across Drury 188-189, my personal Monday morning cafe of choice. The Drury Lane spot has everything you could possibly need to get your week off to a good start: great coffee, a massive selection of cakes, pastries and sandwiches, inviting décor and cosy seating spaces to catch up on weekend emails away from your desk. My advice? Get the salted caramel brownie, it never disappoints.
Just a stone’s throw away from our HQ you’ll find creativity hub, Somerset House: home to an open-air ice rink, many a music concert and backdrop to two James Bond films. The Neoclassical complex isn’t just a spectacle to the eye, but also accommodates The Courtauld Gallery, currently displaying Edvard Munch’s art, so definitely one to hit up if you’re after that daily dose of culture. To top it all off there’s a café and terrace bar to satisfy all your lunch break needs and then some.
No humble brag of the Bow Street office would be complete without bringing up the fact that we are literally directly opposite the Royal Opera House (see pictural evidence). When I say my trip to visit our neighbours to get some focus time away from the office was a hefty trek, what I really mean was it took me exactly 16 seconds to get from door to door (no really, I counted). With a balcony restaurant featuring some decent brain-food and a view of where I normally sit in the office, it quickly obtained the status of my favourite place for work outside of work. Not to mention the stunning terrace bar for a glass of wine afterwards, because hard work deserves rewarding of course.
The depiction of Covent Garden formulated by my narration thus far should have highlighted the fact that creativity radiates amongst the streets here, with the area’s roots stemming from its culture and theatrical history. But innovation doesn’t just stop at our door step, when I tell you the walls of our office have many a story to tell (yes, even after little over a year of existence) boy do I mean it. Proudly hosting a multitude of events and world-class guest speakers, it turns out 34 Bow Street isn’t just a swanky new space full of desks and meeting rooms after all. Take this Thursday for example, we were lucky enough to have the fabulous Mia Powell from Lammas Park Productions talk about the opportunities for underrepresented groups in the industry; in an engaging presentation packed full of great ad examples, stats, memes and home truths, this talk by Mia was just one of the many amazing learnings that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of here at MSQ.
A long, hard week at work can inevitably only mean one thing: a Friday stop at the pub. Luckily enough, within a 0.2 mile radius of our office we have a grand total of 64 pubs and bars (seriously) so it shouldn’t be too much of a mission to find one deemed appropriate for that “just-handed-in-your-big-project-and-now-it’s-the-weekend” alcoholic beverage of choice. My chosen pub today was none other than our (almost) next-door neighbour, the Bow Street Tavern. Refreshingly ice-cold pints, two terraces including one roof-top one with a pretty, birds-eye view of Covent Garden, and some great company courtesy of my lovely colleagues, and I think I’m set up for a smashing weekend ahead.
You wouldn’t really be making the most of being in Covent Garden without spending your Saturday at Covent Garden Market to be honest; it was just a given that this landmark had to be the standout feature of my week. We’ve got street performers, we’ve got market stalls with cute, handmade jewellery, we’ve got pubs galore, we’ve even got a pop-up Aperol Spritz stand for the summer… You can take your pick out of the hundreds of dinner options afterwards too (I went for Shake Shack, can’t go wrong with a cheeseburger and crinkle cut fries). Take it from me, spend your Saturday here and you most definitely won’t be short of activities.
Ah, Sunday, the day of rest and recuperation. Or as I like to call it, the day to wallow in self-pity thanks to any possible alcohol-induced decisions you may have made the evening before. Today I decided to venture away from my comfort zone of Covent Garden and head all the way (a 15 minute walk) down a few streets to Russell Square for some down time. So I took myself, my half-read book (Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín) and a 1.5 litre bottle of water to an empty bench in what I deemed to be a prime location, by the fountain, and enjoyed my own company. Who says you have to spend a fortune to enjoy the vibe of London town?