When your whole world, including your job, fits into one tucked away terraced house in London, it’s sometimes hard to get out and about and a lot easier to get stuck in a rut. Especially if like me, you hate walking in the hot weather, let alone lugging your laptop around looking for a latte. But if you are a freelancer you will know that it is important to get out of your house to keep your sanity a little bit in tact. Even if you’re not directly socialising, just being around other people can restore a bit of normality inside your own head, because you have to act normal and wear pants at all times. Sometimes it is important to pretend you’re a normal member of society going about your business in the outside world.
My life lately has been a bit cabin-fevery in general, especially since this week I am doing an experiment for the blog where I’m going gluten free for seven days. It’s sooooo hard. I’m constantly fucking hungry. All the time. Even when I’m eating I’m hungry. And I’m only on day 2.
I have decided on a day like today when I am particularly dehydrated and reluctant to put on jeans that I do need to make more of an effort to get outside and work in cafes. Despite what people say about writing, I think it should be a sort of subconscious collaboration. Being in a room full of writers, even if it is the top floor of a silent Starbucks, just puts you in the right frame of mind. In general it is interesting to be near other people who you’ve never met before
and eavesdrop on their conversations in a judgemental fashion.
So I’m writing this post to tell you about my favourite cafes to write in and why and also to remind myself why it’s nice to go outside. Also soon I will be living with a baby (not my baby) and the want to go outside far away from small child will increase substantially I am sure.
Starbucks – Wimbledon
Since I moved to Wimbledon, which I absolutely love, this has been my go-to cafe on an unproductive Monday morning. I’m not sorry to say that I love chain establishments, especially cafes. I know that it’s awful and they’re evil tax avoiders, but they have all the drinks I like and I can pay on the app and get stars for free coffee! What I like about this particular Starbs is that it is about 15 minutes walk from my house so it adds up to a nice few steps on Fitbit making the round trip but not so far that it feels like a waste of time to go there. I also like that the downstairs is full of yummy mummies and randomers while the upstairs is a silent freelancer haven and everyone just sort of knows that these are the rules. Once, a school trip party came up to the top floor for no reason at all. All hell broke loose. (People tutted a bit.)
Breakfast Club – London Bridge
I haven’t been there for a while because there used to be a bus from right outside my house to there but since I moved, it’s location is pointless. I really love the food though. The bad thing about usual cafes is that you can get a muffin or whatever but then you’re just hungry afterwards and it’s hard to concentrate. Not with a big plate of buttermilk pancakes though. Also the music is usually quite funky and loud and they have really nice juice. This is a good place to go if you have a lot of work to do on a weekday as there is table service so you don’t have to pack up your laptop just to get another drink. Also they have booths, which just improves any place by 10x.
Counter Albion – Shoreditch
In a previous life, I liked this cafe a lot because it was where I got my hair and nails done. But I don’t have any reason to really go to Shoreditch anymore, so again this one has been put on the back burner a bit seeing as it is quite far from my house. When I do have to go to that area though I like to take my laptop and get some kind of interesting food I would never make at home from Albion. Again, there are lots of freelancers there but the place has a more Instagrammable feel to it than the upstairs of a Starbucks, with a serene atmosphere, better selection of food and pretty cups.
LEON – Kings Cross Station
I wish I had more reason to be near KCs, because I think this Leon in particular is my favourite. From the outside it looks like a shitty train station take out cafe but round the back there are loads of really nice seats with plugs that you can sit at. The only bad thing about this place is that there is no Wifi so it drains my data a bit when I go there but it’s usually worth it. I like all of their food but I usually just get a peach tea because they do the best peach tea in all of the land. There are always seats here because people always gravitate to the Starbucks or the queue to get a picture at Platform 9 3/4. (Always a queue there?!) It’s a little haven in a train station. Other Leons are also good, but this is the best one by far.