Travel Tips

7 of the Best Cafes to Work from in London

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London has a lot to offer visitors of all kinds: families looking to make memories, solo travelers looking for friends, foodies on the hunt for the best flavors… you name it, London has it. This is part of why I love London so much!

Some of us find that we also need to get a bit of work done while visiting London; I know it’s a bummer, but as a self-employed person, sometimes the lines between vacation and work get a bit blurred. In that case, you might not be able to find a quiet corner in your hostel or a productively comfortable spot in your hotel room. Luckily, London has something for that moment too: great cafes to work from.

Below you’ll find some of the best cafes to work from in London; I created this list by looking for different local coffee chains where you can post up, grab a caffeinated drink, and connect to the internet to meet whatever deadline is looming. Ready to find the best spots?

What Makes a London Cafe Good to Work From?

Cafes to Work from in London Hero
Getting some social media work done with a cappuccino on the side…

With so many people working from home these days, a good cafe to work from can be hard to find. As a part-time digital nomad who spends a lot of time in London, I’ve amassed years of experience working in different cafes. And I can assure you, these four things are basic when searching for a good cafe to work from:

  • a fast and stable Wi-fi connection
  • electrical sockets near the tables
  • toilets
  • comfortable seats

However, in a busy city such as London, where real estate comes at a premium, there are two other very important factors: the popularity of the cafe and the attitude of the staff towards people typing away on their laptops! If the cafe is a small and very busy one, it can feel a little disruptive to their business to sit there for hours, nursing a lonely cup of coffee or two. This scenario is understandably annoying to small business owners, so some are less happy to see you work on their premises than others.

So, to save you the inconvenience, here’s a list of the cafes in London that pass muster!

Change Please

Photo courtesy of Change Please via Instagram

Change Please is a cafe with a bold vision: it seeks to end homelessness by selling good coffee. How, you may ask. They use all of their profits to train homeless people to become baristas.

They have eight locations in London, however not all the locations would make this list of the best cafes to work in London, as not all have seating!

For example, the Borough Market location is really a market stall, and Devonshire Square, Canary Wharf, and Here East are coffee trucks. Cardinal Place is a cafe but with limited seating and Timber Lodge might be a bit noisy, as the set-up targets families with kids. (It also no longer has a kitchen on the premises.) 

My top recommendation would be either the Change Please Academy in Peckham, which has comfy seats, or Elephant Park, which offers free wifi, sockets to charge your laptop, friendly staff, and a good playlist.

Frequency

Photo courtesy of Frequency via Instagram

Frequency Coffee is an interesting proposition: it’s not just a cafe, but a multi-concept shop that offers specialty coffee as well as flexible spaces for rent. They have three espresso bars, with limited seating, in King’s Cross, Angel, and Paddington. 

My top pick for a place to work is their Angel espresso bar in Camden Passage, as there’s seating across three floors. (Just note that they serve cocktails in the evening, so it’s not the best place to work at night!)

For a more comfortable place to work with your team members, you might want to book their meeting rooms in Angel and King’s Cross, starting from £25 for the hour (+ VAT.) They include a flat-screen TV for presentations, stationery, and a whiteboard. (They can even arrange for catering if you need to refuel!)

FWD:Coffee

Photo courtesy of FWD:Coffee via Instagram

With three branches in Central London, all located in historic buildings, FWD: Coffee strives to be more than a cafe: it also aims to be a community hub that stimulates “social and professional exchange within the local community.”

True to the vision, all three locations are happy to have you sitting there working away on your laptop – as long as you order something, of course. (In fact, for the Whitecross Street and Curtain Road locations, “laptop” is one of the most mentioned words in the Google reviews!) 

All the locations offer free wifi, but the connectivity at Curtain Road can be spotty at times. (The wifi at the third location, Farringdon is better – as long as you don’t plan to work for more than an hour, after which it times out!)

Kaffeine

Photo courtesy of Kaffeine

Inspired by Australian coffee culture, Kaffeine is an independent coffee shop with two locations: Eastcastle Street and Great Titchfield Street. (They’re actually only a five-minute walk apart!)

The coffee and food are great, but I’m not sure they make great substitutes for the office, to be honest, as they’re small, can get really busy, and do not offer Wi-fi. (This is an intentional decision by the owner as – in his words – “I do not offer wifi as it would mean the death of my business with too many people using wifi. I only have 20 seats in each cafe.”

Seems to me to be a better place to grab a coffee to bring to work, rather than a place to work in!

Ozone Coffee

Photo courtesy of Ozone Coffee via Instagram

Ozone Coffee started 25 years ago in New Zealand, before making its way to London 11 years ago. It currently has four locations: Shoreditch, London Fields, Legate Hill, and Creechurch Lane.

Of the four locations, the Shoreditch outlet is the best for whiling away an afternoon on your laptop: it’s spacious enough to work comfortably and the staff is very welcoming of people with laptops. (You also won’t be the only one working there, so you won’t have to feel self-conscious!)

As you’d expect with such an established cafe, it’s very popular and can get pretty noisy. (The best time to visit, if you need to do some work, would be in the mid-afternoon.)

Redemption Roasters

Photo courtesy of Redemption Roasters via Instagram

If you liked Change Please, you’ll love Redemption Roasters. It too has a mission beyond serving drinks and seeks to “reduce reoffending through coffee.”

It’s also the most successful coffee chain on this list, with 10 outlets in London: Bloomsbury, Broadgate, Covent Garden, Dulwich Village, Farringdon, Hampstead Heath, Holborn, Islington High Street, King’s Cross, and Picadilly.

This used to be one of the best places to work in London: the Bloomsbury outlet has many power sockets and comfortable seats, while the Covent Garden one has fast Wifi. 

However, their laptop policy may be changing, as the Islington High Street location recently posted a sign saying “Resist the urge to work, our Wifi is turned off on weekends.”

The Hoxton Hotels

Photo courtesy of The Hoxton Hotels

The Hoxton can be found in four London neighborhoods: Shepherd’s Bush, Shoreditch, Holborn, and Southwark. Each of the hotels has comfortable lobbies which have been popular with the work-from-home crowd since 2006.

 The Holborn location, for example, not only has great wifi, but the staff are so used to people on their laptops that they won’t disturb you when you work.

Note: for those who want more from their office-away-from-the-office, The Hoxton is now offering working spaces as well. (For a fee, of course!)

Other Great Cafes to Work From in Central London

Photo courtesy of Catalyst via Instagram

As you’ve probably noticed, most of the best places to work from in London aren’t right in the heart of the city; space is at a premium in London so it’s harder to find places with enough seating to work for longer stretches. I did find some spots worth recommending though, from fellow travelers and based on my own experience in Central London:

  • CatalystCatalyst Coffee Roasters and Cafe is located on Gray’s Inn Road. It serves both good food and good coffee, so can get pretty crowded at peak hours. Personally, I would be a bit uncomfortable working here and “hogging” a table given that it’s so busy! Address: 48 Grays Inn Rd, Chancery Ln, London WC1X 8LT, United Kingdom
  • Coffee PlantCoffee Plant is a no-frills, independent cafe offering organic, free-trade coffee. It’s located in the heart of Portobello Road Market and has a few seats for people to work at.  Address: 180 Portobello Rd, London W11 2EB, United Kingdom
  • Host Café – Located in a Gothic church building on Watling Street, Host Café is one of the best remote work spots in London as well as one of the most beautiful! It’s so welcoming to people working in the cafe, it even allows you to book a slot – you must if you want to use your laptop for more than 1.5 hours. Address: St Mary Aldermary, Watling St, London EC4M 9BW, United Kingdom
  • NOLANola Coffee serves seasonal coffees in Peckham along with delicious local bakes. On some days, tables are divided into “laptop” and “no laptop” ones – the laptop tables have bench or stool seats whilst the no-laptop tables have more comfy seats.) Note that there is no Wifi and the 4G/5G connectivity isn’t the best so your hotspot may not work very well if you’re sitting too far in. Address: 224 Rye Ln, London SE15 4NL, United Kingdom
  • Prufrock Coffee – Located on Leather Lane, Prufrock Coffee has a chill atmosphere, bright interiors, wifi, tasty food, and great coffee. What more do you need to work from “home”? Address: 23-25 Leather Ln, London EC1N 7TE, United Kingdom
  • The Wren – Housed in an old church, The Wren has soaring ceilings and lovely, spacious interiors with stained glass and dark wood, making it one of the best cafes to work in London or have a meeting. Doesn’t hurt that the drinks are decent too: the coffee is from Caravan and the tea from Brew Tea Co! Address: 114 Queen Victoria St, London EC4V 4BJ, United Kingdom

Have any other questions about finding a good cafe to use your laptop in London? Let me know in the comments below!

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Zhen fell in love with London when she first visited at the age of 4. After that, she was lucky to have the opportunity to live in UK for 11 years, 7 of which were spent in London. (She particularly adores the areas around Kensington, Southwark and Baker Street!) As someone who loves both food and travel – don’t we all? – you can find her sharing her Asian food recipes over at greedygirlgourmet.com.

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