It’s 8.30am on a Wednesday morning, and I’m being whisked in a hotel lift to a penthouse. I’ve got a busy day ahead, but this is a good start.
The hotel is new and buzzy, and I’m enjoying seeing what people do with their lives when they aren’t locked up in a glass tower, hammering stories on a computer keyboard.
Someone in a corner is sketching (Yes, sketching, listening to music, on a Wednesday morning! So millennial!) A slick German couple is examining the cutting-edge artwork on the walls (note to self: must find out who the artist is). A bearded man is flicking through a coffee table book (hotel libraries, I think: might it be a good subject for a trend feature?)
When I get up to the penthouse, the views over the City are fabulous. It’s a sunny day and, on the roof terrace, about a dozen tables have been set up: each manned by a PR and a client.
There’s fresh orange juice to drink, tempting croissants to nibble: neither of which I’d normally have in my glass box. An espresso? Yes, please.
The MD of the PR agency, knowing I have very little time, and knowing the magazines I work for well, quickly lists the clients I should meet – and in the next hour, I talk to six, and leave with a head whirling with ideas, a list of the agency’s key clients and their newsworthy projects, and the contact details of them all.
Back at my desk at 10am, I update my “Travel ideas for 2019” on Google Docs, wish I hadn’t eaten two almond croissants, and continue my day as normal: at a keyboard, on a phone, in a glass tower.
It was a lovely little start to my day. The breakfast meetings hadn’t cut into my editing work. They were in a new hotel I might not otherwise have visited. And it was a timely reminder, in our tech-fuelled world, of how the best stories come about: talking to people face to face. Ideally, with a fresh croissant in your hand…