London’s essential coffee shops are necessarily all about the brews. When it comes to getting the good work done, other factors come into play. Reliable WiFi is a necessity, comfy seating a boon. But the contract of ordering regularly, not camping out, and tipping extravagantly is vital. Cafes are not offices, folks.Read More
10 Great Coffee Shops to Work From in London
The places that serve good coffee, offer reliable WiFi, and have plenty of space
This deceptively airy space — all high ceilings and overflowing plants— is genuinely beautiful, especially with the sun slanting in from outside. Set on an industrial estate, its location belies a neighbourhood feel, while a mixture of counter stools and enticing blue sofas, all bespoke, make it suitable for industrious loungers and productive perchers alike. Lesser-spotted but thoroughly excellent Cornish roasters Yallah provide the beans, while house-baked goods, inventive salads are on the menu. Consider ditching the laptop and coming for dinner to say thanks for the hospitality, when Missy’s brilliant residency is putting out sunny, elegant plates.
Ginger & White
Whether at the pleasingly gnarled communal table or squidged into a leather sofa, this friendly space between Belsize Park and Chalk Farm has a calming atmosphere perfect for plugging in. Cakes are baked on the premises with coffee from London stalwarts Square Mile, while a steady all-day breakfast menu dovetails with lunch options focussed on careful sourcing. It might not be reinventing the wheel, but warm hospitality in an inviting space with plenty of outdoor seating doesn’t exactly need an overhaul.
Mare Street Market
This sprawling, multi-use warehouse space on the edge of London Fields in Hackney is one of the better places to work from in the city’s hippest borough. WiFi here is reliable and there’s plenty of space at any time of the day. The cafe which serves coffee from its own Flying Horse roastery on site is dependable. Breakfast sandwiches include bacon, egg sqaure, and American cheese. Plenty of outdoor space but be careful with the pizza; the £5 marinara veers wildly between acceptable and not.
Now an institution on Gray’s Inn Road on a relatively dead stretch for freelance options, Catalyst’s wooden furniture with copper accents and a window counter offer a calming, bright base from which to explore coffee roasted in-house and an adventurous food menu (the newer mural is good for when it feels like it’s time to scream.) The food here has evolved so much that it’s now some of the outright most brilliant cafe eating to be had in the city: mageiritsa; cuttlefish and peas; still, some outstanding sandos.
Artisan Coffee School
On a high-street-saturated stretch of Uxbridge Road in Ealing, this independent stands out. Offering adventurous filter coffee and steady espresso from its own roastery, Curious Roo, the interior is distressed, welcoming, and crucially large. Whether at a substantial communal table or a row of smaller spots, it’s ideal for a whole day’s work. Branches in Stamford Brook, Putney and East Sheen offer further reliability for those working out west, and each branch has a decent clutch of outdoor seating.
Going to church with a laptop might be frowned upon elsewhere, but here’s an altar for the itinerant worker. It goes without saying that the setting is stunning, all high ceilings, dark wood and stained glass. Coffee is from the reliable Caravan with tea from Brew Tea Co, and an equally steady and tasty food offer includes sourdough toast and quiches for when the font runs dry. Really, though, this is somewhere to let the surroundings inspire, working in peace.
Tucked away down a pretty mews off Turnham Green Terrace — delis, grocers and butchers galore — Chief Coffee is a former furniture factory, which explains the mismatched but stylish chairs and tables, heavy on Scandinavian influence. Those looking for specialty coffee will be delighted by Workshop and The Barn, complimented by a tempting counter of brownies galore. The bonus lies downstairs: when it’s time for a break, pinball machines are waiting for a heady nostalgia trip, and there’s tons of outdoor seating on all sides.
The Peckham Pelican
This cafe, bar, and adored event space has tonnes of natural light, space, and, yes, plugs, as well as one of the best-value cafe menus out there: DIY bagels start at £1; open sandwiches featuring Spanish style tomatoes or Boston beans are at £4, and fish fingers can be added to either which, frankly, is unmissable. Coffee is also extremely good value, and there’s a feel of camaraderie about the place which other spots can lack.
Bean & Hop
Bean & Hop is a short stroll from Earlsfield station, making it suitable as a delightful neighbourhood café as well as a destination for the intrepid freelancer: Waterloo an easy connection. Well-made coffee from Nude, whether filter or espresso, pairs well with a brunch menu that is ingredient-led and lovingly prepared if less adventurous than some of its contemporaries. With cushions lining the seats and evening opening, it’s a true all-dayer. A stock of sixty craft beers is perfect for an evening session or to take home.
E5 Bakehouse is returning to the upper echelons of London’s bakeries, and its Poplar offshoot — built on a relationship with the U.K. Refugee Council that provides training and funding — replicates its success with flat breads, great coffee, and pizza and music on Friday evenings. The perfect end to a week of work.