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May 3, 2012

The Smart Girl's Travel Guide

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THE CLUTCH BUSINESS LUNCH: With its soaring ceilings and sweeping archways, The Wolseley, a Viennese-style brasserie in London's tony Mayfair, was designed for Very Important Meetings and is a favorite outpost for celebrities and moguls. The café menu ranges from basic burgers to a divine lamb cooked for seven hours. Host primo clients in the private room, perfect for confidential dealings. 160 Piccadilly; thewolseley.com

EXPENSE-ACCOUNT DRINKS: The Connaught Bar knows how to treat guests: Settle into your croc chair, order a martini, and a bartender will appear at your table to mix it, cocktail trolley in tow. No wonder the place is filled with fresh-from-the-office execs, armed with corporate cards and a thirst for $27 drinks. Well worth the long waits. Carlos Place; the-connaught.co.uk

NAILS IN A PINCH: Don't be fooled by the prairie vibe at the Cowshed, nestled in the swanky Shoreditch House hotel. This ranch-themed spa caters to busy professionals with a "speedy" manicure ($44) that will have you meeting-ready in 30 minutes or less. Or splurge on the "Cowgroom"—for about $125, a pair of technicians will do a quick facial, brow wax, and mani. Ebor Street; cowshedonline.com

HAIR TO IMPRESS: Book a fast, fab blowout online at The Hershesons Blow Dry Bar, a glass-enclosed hair emporium inside Topshop's flagship Oxford Circus store. Get the "superstraight" ($38) and leave in less than an hour, more than enough time to snag that pencil skirt on the way out. 36-38 Great Castle Street; hershesons.com/blow_dry_bar

LAST-MINUTE LIFESAVER: You've just landed and realize you left your laptop charger back home. No problem: Head to one of the city's 12 Currys electronics stores—London's version of Best Buy—for a quick replacement. 88 Oxford Street; +44 844 561 6263

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