Finding an ideal place to write in London is like searching for the perfect partner. They must provide an oasis away from the inner city chaos, make excellent coffee and be visually stimulating (like George Clooney in the Nespresso ad). For a freelancer, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a busy café, interrupted every 10 seconds by children screaming and feeling the glare of a barista’s eye waiting for you to order another latte or leave. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best, most serene places for your creativity to flow. Hint: It doesn’t include Pret A Manger…
Ace Hotel, Shoreditch
Not only are you guaranteed a power socket here, but also FREE WIFI. With a choice of eateries surrounding the lobby, you’re bound to find something delicious to satisfy mid-subbing cravings. If they fail? The cocktail bar will surely get you through.
Opening hours: 24 hours a day
Nearest tube: Shoreditch or Old Street
Bean & Hop, Earlsfield
— Bean & Hop (@beanandhop) July 2, 2016
STOP THE PRESS! We might actually have found the perfect writing spot in WEST LONDON! WHAT WILL PRET A MANGER DO ABOUT THIS? Bean & Hop caters to your every craving with espressos in the morning and gourmet pizza and beer in the afternoon. Could we ask for any more? Oh yes, fast Wi-Fi and endless power sockets, please. It has those too.
Opening hours: Monday to Tuesday, 8am-4:30pm; Wednesday to Saturday, 8am-10pm; Sunday, 9am-4:30pm
Nearest tube: Earlsfield
Camley Street Natural Park, King’s Cross
— Camley Street (@Camley_Street) October 10, 2014
This tranquil garden is ideal for those tied to an office in central London needing to escape for an afternoon. Based next to King’s Cross, its two acres of greenery contain many a bench for you to perch while you percolate pitches.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am-4pm in winter; 10am-5pm in summer
Nearest tube: King’s Cross
Camden Arts Centre, Hampstead
Hide away in the cosy café or take yourself off to the adjoining garden for a side of sunbathing with your soup and salad. Either way, you’re sure to finish finessing your latest feature when surrounded by the freshest artwork in London.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-6pm; Wednesday, 10am-9pm
Nearest tube: Finchley Road or Hampstead
Barbican Centre, Barbican
Perfect for freelancers who have yet to freelance this year…you can sit here for hours without spending a penny! Treat yourself in one of its many eateries or head up to the library for silence that will inspire a thousand words. Hopefully.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am-11pm; Sunday, 11am-11pm
Nearest tube: Barbican
This self-described bar/restaurant/workspace is an amalgamation of all things you might need while settling in for an afternoon of writing. Craving a quesadilla? They’re extra cheesy. Fancy a beer? They’re sourced locally. Need a haircut? WhiP is its in-house hairdressers. Literally, anything you might need throughout the day, Hatch seems to have it.
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday, 8am-10:30pm; Friday, 8am-11:30pm; Saturday, 9am-11:30pm; Sunday, 10am-10pm
Nearest tube: Homerton
Campus London, Shoreditch
If there’s one thing drummed into you at City, it’s the importance of networking. This space not only offers a cool place to work, but with its focus on entrepreneurs you’ll also be rubbing shoulders with some essential contacts. Check out the café for fast Wi-Fi and great coffee or rent a desk on the co-working floor and eavesdrop on the next big invention.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am-5:30pm
Nearest tube: Old Street
Timberyard UK, Covent Garden or Soho
Setting the bar for creative workspaces, Timberyard has two different locations across London to enjoy some indie treats from artisan producers. Either pop down to the café or book a private room. It’s impossible not to focus surrounded by all this creativity.
Opening hours – Seven Dials: Monday to Friday, 8am-7pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm
Soho: Monday to Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm
Nearest tube: For Seven Dials (Covent Garden): Leicester Square, for Soho: Oxford Circus
Towpath Café, Hoxton
Let the sounds of the Regent’s Canal wash away your writer’s block at this cool, waterside café. There’s nothing like its grilled cheese sandwiches to feed an empty stomach – and mind. With a five star rating from Time Out, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-11pm
Nearest tube: Haggerston