Here I am, later than desired, dragging my feet through the urban roadwork frenzy that now marks the entrance to London’s West End. (Shaftesbury Avenue, Oxford Street – they’re all being dug up, relentlessly, all summer. Believe me, it’s bad – even taxi drivers are refusing to go there.)
So why bother? Because Lloyd Davis’ Tuttle Club or, just simply, Tuttle, is always worth the effort. It’s a pleasant, cosy place (a room above the Coach & Horses, Greek Street), they serve freshly brewed coffee and a proper (sticky) Danish – and the people are okay.
In fact, everyone and everyone who goes to Tuttle is interesting in their own right, so when all these lively, interesting people get together, then something super-interesting should potentially occur, right?
There are the regulars – James Whatley of SpinVox who sits in the corner tapping away at his laptop, but will happily offer up instant mobile phone surgery to anyone who needs it.
There’s photographer Christian Payne who, in typical web 2.0 fashion, now makes more money out of social media wizardry than he probably ever can taking brilliant pictures.
And there’s Lloyd himself, generally avoiding the limelight, smiling sheepishly, and asking for the occasional fiver here and there.
Apparently the C&H opens up especially early just for Tuttle, but this place reached notoriety many years ago as Francis Bacon’s prefered watering hole so it’s no surprise at 11am to see a handful of warn-looking punters holding the bar up.
You need to nod politely at the punters, say hello to the staff, and step neatly past them through the bar and up the narrow stairs behind. Lloyd thinks this is an effectively low barrier to entry – Tuttle is open to everyone, but then you do, of course, have to hear about it in the first place.
Every week there’s a sprinkling of newcomers (who Lloyd does his best to welcome and make feel at home). This week there’s Laura Whitehead (
While the regulars generally laugh and make fun of the book concept ( ‘hello 2.0’, ‘Jemima 2.0’ etc), the international bunch are much more earnest, wanting to interview me, use the idea in research, find case studies etc.
In typical London fashion, the regulars find it impossible to take anything seriously. When asked what he thinks I mean by ‘leadership 2.0’, CTO Allix Harrison-D’Arcy says:
But leadership 2.0 is all ‘lower case’, surely?
“No, it’s like standing in a classroom with a stick in your hand and mortarboard on your head and yelling at people to ‘GET ON WITH IT!”
Next time I go to Tuttle, gonna stick with the visitors.