This article is part of POLITICO’s Westminster Survival Guide.
LONDON — Welcome to the weird world of Westminster. Here is POLITICO’s guide to the places to be seen (and not seen) in SW1.
WHERE TO BE SEEN PLOTTING
The Adjournment restaurant sits at the end of the atrium of Portcullis House, where many MPs have their offices. This is not a place to tell a journalist or a colleague secrets that could be linked to you the following day, but definitely a place to be seen hanging out. Other popular lunch spots in Westminster include the Quirinale Restaurant on Great Peter Street, The Cinnamon Club on Great Smith Street and Osteria Dell’Angolo on Marsham Street — but you are unlikely to be alone.
WHERE TO ACTUALLY PLOT
Westminster offices away from prying eyes are the most popular spot for scheming. There are various grades of accommodation and party whips, tasked with maintaining discipline among backbench MPs, allocate offices depending on an MP’s seniority and length of service.
If you want to get farther away from Westminster, Kennington, Islington and Fulham are popular living spots for longer-serving MPs, or the The Park Plaza, in the old County Hall overlooking Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, is the weekday home for many.
The National Portrait Gallery, a short walk from the Houses of Parliament up Whitehall, is a favored spot for a discreet lunch.
WHERE TO GET A COFFEE
Portcullis House above Westminster Tube station is the most popular coffee spot for politicians and aides alike, but Cellarium Cafe & Terrace in Dean’s Yard in Westminster Abbey is a good option for those wanting to leave the parliamentary estate.