The best cafes to work from in London02 Oct 2014
London offers plenty of quality cafes to work from these days, Chloe Callow picks some of her favourites below.
The pace of life these days sees no sign of slowing down, and coffee shops have stepped in to bridge a number of gaps; whether for a pause, sustenance, or, increasingly, a work space. London’s early coffee houses of 17th and 18th centuries were where many intellectuals, artists and merchants convened in heady, caffeine-fuelled debate, setting the world to rights whilst often conducting business. Perhaps our current independent coffee scene is having a similar moment. Creatives, start ups and freelancers, just some of today’s breed of customer that expect a WiFi password with their expertly pulled shot of espresso or filter brew, are certainly a less bawdy gang than their predecessors, but that doesn’t diminish their productivity.
The perfect working cafe environment is a complicated balance; there must, first of all, be a steady flow of great caffeine to power those old grey cells, WiFi is a given, natural light helps, as do plug sockets, good fodder and a relaxed environment, but also space. No one wants to be that customer, cradling the stone cold dregs of a flat white whilst taking up valuable seating.
Here’s a short list of coffee shops that get it right for me and my omnipresent laptop.
It’s an obvious one but for good reason; shamelessly join the crowd and plug those white cables into their network. My best tip here is to get the Square Mile coffee from Bulldog Edition rather than coffee from the restaurant.
The usual rules apply on Leather Lane’s celebrated cafe. There are plenty of tables for serious work, or sit at the brew bar to dip into some conversation.
Slap bang in the heart of the City, Association is one of the very best cafes to work from. Expect a subdued atmosphere, exemplary coffee and excellent service.
TAP is a calm oasis in the heart of Soho with an eclectic mix of customers. An organic space, it boasts aromas of freshly roasted coffee by way of a roaster towards the back of the cafe.
Another cafe that roasts its own beans on site, Caravan is a hub of activity. Sit at the bar or out in the roasting area to absorb some of that energy.
I currently have my eye on the new Hoxton Hotel on High Holborn. The coffee bar of in-house restaurant Hubbard and Bell not only looks the part, complete with pimped Strada and a shelf of brew equipment, but is serving Origin and Square Mile beans in swanky surroundings.
It’s worth noting that these are sociable and distracting environments, add to this the reality that the world of speciality coffee is an intimate one; don’t blame me if you bump into someone you know and get no work done at all.
Where are your favourite cafes to work from? Let us know on Twitter @coffeelondon.