I’ve always been a big believer that being in an office working 9-5 does not necessarily mean you’re going to create the most effective and creative work possible. That being said we have found it important to find a few cozy spots around London that can provide us with free and reliable Wi-Fi, great coffee (a MUST) and a calm vibe that allows you to discuss your latest project (or what you got up to last night) whilst also enabling you to “crack on” and get your work done.
So here are our top 5 places to #freelance your life away in London!
1. CAYA CLUB - Brixton
Brixton is an epicentre for up and coming bars and the latest street food offering. So it should come as no surprise that they are now offering a perfect little co-working spot for all South Londoners who don’t want to travel into central London day-to-day.
The Pros: Always quiet and everyone is very respectful with noise. You can stay for as long as you want (as long as you pay their very reasonable £2 an hour fee). Unlimited tea and coffee is included in that price and there’s a whole range of other snacks/drinks available if you’re all caffeined out. This has fast become one of our favourite hang outs and the staff are always really friendly and welcoming.
The cons: Unless you’re a Brixton dweller or a nearby resident it’s a little out of the way. Although the quiet atmosphere means you’re able to be productive I think it could get a little monotonous. Sometimes it’s nice to chat to a fellow #freelancer about their day/what they’re working on & this isn’t the best spot for networking.
2. THE ACE HOTEL – Shoreditch
The Ace Hotel has long been the trendy “go to place” for #freelancers in London. After discovering The Ace when working in New York I was really pleased to see they had opened in London a few years back. They provide a range of desks/comfy sofas for you and your freelance pals to sit back and get through your work or chat about how your client just killed one of your dreams. Sigh.
The pros: Great location in the heart of Shoreditch. Free Wi-Fi & great for either getting down to work solo or having a meeting/chat with your freelance pals. Plus, if you’re there at the end of the day you can order one of their delicious cocktails and sit back and CONGRATULATE yourself for all that hard work you’ve done today #goyou.
The cons: Refreshments are DEFINITELY on the pricy side and you can’t work here without one. A juice that’s nearly £10? This place isn’t cheap. Plus, if you’re not wearing the combination of jeans/white socks/Nike Air trainers then you may stick out like a sore thumb. It’s definitely hipster central. Get there early if you want a seat, it’s often very busy.
3. TIMBERYARD – Soho
We’re often in central London and Soho is one of our favourite working hot spots as it’s so close to most of our clients & day-to-day meetings. We’ve been coming to Timberyard since we first started our freelance journey as it’s one of the only co-working cafes that is aimed at freelancers and on the move business people.
The pros: One of the only of its kind in central London and they have another available in Covent Garden which is really convenient if you’re based central. They offer some great food for breakfast and lunch and the free Wi-Fi is secure and consistent.
The cons: Although we were often in Timberyard for the first few months of our freelance experience we haven’t been back in recent times. Why? It’s ALWAYS packed and it’s expensive. It’s difficult with the limited space to work there for any length of time and if you’re having a meeting you may feel like at least 5 other people could be listening in to your latest plans (yeah – we pretty much believe we are the biggest deals EVER, well, sort of…). Although Timberyard have capitalised on their central location the limited space and expensive refreshments means savvy freelancers will seek out alternative shops (note: Costa Coffee on Great Rathbone Street… you’ll often find us hiding in the corner there pretending we are somewhere WAY cooler).
4. Morty & Bob's / NETIL 360 – London Fields
We visited this cool little start-up hub in London Fields when we were visiting the wonderful Studio More who have also recently set-up their own business. Next to the bustling Broadway Market and with a feeling of design cool, the Netil building is the perfect place to go if you’re freelancing in East London or looking for an office space alongside other budding creatives and entrepreneurs.
The pros: The rooftop café and bar often host a range of really cool events so if you’re freelancing in the area have a check to see what’s on as it’s always great to put your laptop away and enjoy a cultural delight or two that London has to offer! The rooftop is pretty amazing and the café has a lovely airy feel allowing you to feel apart from the usual hustle and bustle of London life.
The cons: The natural light in the middle of the day can often mean that it’s difficult to work at your laptop. The space is limited too so it isn’t the ideal location if you need to camp out for the day and get some work done. The location can be a little tricky too as London Fields is quite out of the way, especially if you’re not East London based.
5. THE AMBROSE CAFÉ, HEALS
Finally, one of our favourite finds is weirdly located on the top floor of HEAL’s furniture shop down Tottenham Court Road. This elusive location means that you’ll always find a seat in it’s beautiful co-working café.
The pros: The space is beautiful and filled with gorgeous HEAL’s furniture. The co-working table at the back is always full of interesting people either beavering away solo or having in-depth meetings. The Wi-Fi is always reliable and the food is delicious! It’s definitely our go to place for a meeting in Central London as it has a professional air about it but also allows you to relax and chat knowing that half the world isn’t listening to your conversation.
The cons: It’s expensive. Unsurprisingly for such great refreshments this comes at a price. And whilst we would love to while away the hours eating delicious gnocchi and salmon salads whilst drinking organic lemon & ginger tea I don’t think our accountant would be very happy… Although as Nat often reminds me, this is my dream way of living/working as I have VERY expensive tastes #sorry #notsorry.
And finally here are a few spots recommended to us that we are yet to try & hope to in the next few months before we leave lovely London for our new #freelance life in Amsterdam!
· WeWork Spitalfields (although you’ll find outposts in London Fields, Paddington, London Bridge, Soho and Chancery Lane).
AND we’ll be doing our darn best to keep the hunt going, so any new recommendations please leave a comment or tweet us @macandmoore so we can give it a trial!