I’ve been happily living in cold, chilly, and downright frost-bite inducing London for the past couple months. I also happen to work entirely remotely. And as cute as my apartment is, I am not one who can get work done whilst laying on the couch.
I prefer one of the other three ‘C’s instead:
Coffee Shops, Cafes, or Co-working Spots
Obviously, in London these places would be plentiful and extremely easy to find, right? Wrong!
I’ve had many a productive day foiled by botchy wifi, no power outlets, no toilet or freezing cold interiors. I hate risking a 30 minute tube ride to a seemingly “cute” cafe with “great food” without any kind of vetting from a fellow location independent worker.
I wanted to bring you my own list of the best cafes and coffee shops to work from in London from my personal experience here. (I’ll be amending and adding to this list as I explore more of the inner workings of London, so be sure to check back if you are heading that way with your laptop in tow!)
Below you’ll find places separated by neighborhood, hours of operation, significant highlights, and any gluten free surprises! To eliminate redundancies: if it is on this list, that means the wifi is reliable, their is a place to do #1 or #2, and you’re not going to be stared at annoyingly, unless you’re a leg bouncer, hummer, or you bring giant bugs incased in glass (yes, that is my current tablemate at this shop!).
Last update: April, 2017
This is a tiny little spot, but I never had an issue finding a little corner to tuck myself away in. If you need to recharge, grab a spot by the front window or on the second level as that’s where the outlets are easily accessible.
It gets very busy around lunch time, so to grab prime real estate arrive prior to noon or after 2pm.
Speaking of lunch… the food here is unbelievably fresh and delicious. They have gluten free bread so you gf avocado toast dreamers can indulge, I highly recommend adding goat cheese and the chorizo. They have rotating “salads” featuring quinoa and other yummy surprises and home made soups for London’s chillier days. (Bonus: get a slice of gf bread with that hearty bowl of soup and you’ll be full the rest of the day!)
There is outdoor seating, not sure about the wifi strength out there, but I’d assume it would still be lovely! The street is charming and not too busy so feel free to take a wander on your way to or from!
Hours: M-F 7:30am to 5:30pm, Sa Su 8:30am to 5:30pm
*There is a second location in Hampstead, but I never made it there so I can’t vouch for it!
Yumchaa Camden Parkway
Yes, this is a chain. But it’s no Starbucks I promise! I’ve frequented both this location and the location in Soho and have never been disappointed! If you’re a tea snob, they have plenty of loose leaf varieties, but their coffee is also yummy! There are always takeaway salads or sandwiches and plenty of baked goods to help curb your hunger throughout the day. Bonus: they often have 1 or 2 gluten free sweets to indulge your non-floured hunger! (If the lemon or orange loaf is an option, I highly recommend! But a brownie always does the body good too 😉 )
The wifi is always extremely reliable but the place gets inundated with people the later in the day it gets, so get a spot early, or make sure you have a backup plan! Plenty of outlets on almost all the walls so choose a spot there if you need “more powerrrr”.
Open: Su to R 8am to 8pm and Fr Sa 8am to 9pm
Bloomsbury Coffee House
My award for the cutest little coffee house in London goes to Bloomsbury Coffee House. It’s nestled away down some stairs, but once you find it, you’ll be won over in the best way possible. From the charming decor to the miniature door you have to go through to get to the bathrooms, it’s adorable in every way. The sun shines through the flower lined windows on those rare sunny London days.
Their coffee game is on point, and they offer fresh salads, sandwiches and snacks to keep you working all day long.
Open: Everyday 8am to 6pm
Bloomsbury Coffee House
Small, rustic little spot very close to the Highbury Islington station. The coffee is exceptional, and there are snacks galore to take you through your day! There are many many locations scattered around London, but so far, this is the only one I’ve ventured into!
Beware: if there is a game at Emirates Stadium, stay away from this area!
Hours: 7:30 to 5 pm daily
The CoffeeWorks Project
Another hot spot for remote workers in Islington is the CoffeeWorks Project. This is a big, open, airy spot with a buzz that really helps to get the juices flowing. Seating arrangements and plugs can be weird and hard to find, but so far, two trips have landed me in a good spot each time! The place is downright freezing in the Winter, not sure if they don’t believe in heat, or just don’t have it, but I typically get frozen out after a couple hours.
They offer some light baked goods, fresh sandwiches and soups to get you through your work day along with plenty of caffeine options and creative teas!
Bonus: It’s located very close to the Camden Passage which is a fun little walking-only street with cute antique shops and boutiques to roam around in!
Open: Monday to Friday 7:30am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm
The interior of this restaurant is absolutely charming! Great selection of food, cocktails and coffee! If you’re going to need an outlet, choose your table wisely, they aren’t easy to find, but they are there!
It’s literally right off the Angel station so it’s in a great location to get to! There are many other locations, but I’ve never wandered in, so I can’t vouch for any others!
Open: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 8am to 10pm, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 8am to 11 pm
Bill’s Restaurant Islington
A little untraditional but a totally perfect place to mix up your coffee shop and cafe routine. This is a flatbread restaurant that also serves up great coffee! The upstairs has the best wifi connection, but downstairs is a really awesome little room with a piano for the public to use. If you’re lucky someone will be swooning you over your flatbread and latte. I highly recommend the Soho flatbread, btw, I have dreams about it!
Bonus: They have gluten free flatbreads as well!
Open: Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm, Saturday 12pm to 10pm and Sunday 12pm to 7pm
The Riding House Cafe
This place is one of my favorite interiors in all of London! It’s such an old school style cafe. During lunchtime it’s bustling with people in meetings in the long middle tables but around the room there are plenty of smaller tables for you to work your day away.
Open: Monday to Thursday – 7.30am to 11.30pm, Friday – 7.30am to 12.30am, Saturday – 8.30am to 12.30am, Sunday – 9am to 10.30pm
The Riding House Cafe
Timberyard or TY has three locations around London. Their Soho location has tons of seating, but it goes quick, so try to get there before the lunch hour rush or mid-afternoon when it slows down a touch. They have great sandwiches and amazing homemade soups and even have gluten free bread!
Word of warning: I went to this cafe easily 5-10 times and only ONCE I was told I need to order something every hour to stay and work. It was frustrating. But it only happened once. I think if you sit in a hard to reach place for the waitress’ you’ll be fine, I was sitting in prime real estate that one time.
Open: Monday – Friday 8am – 7pm, Saturday – Sunday 11am – 6pm
Fleet Street Press
This was a hidden gem of a find! Located on one of the most beautiful streets in London (Fleet Street, for those that didn’t guess.) this cute spot doesn’t look it has much seating from the top, but down under there are plenty of tables and outlets for you to work the day away.
The coffee is great, and there are plenty of snacks and even home made soups to keep you going all day!
Open: Mon-Fri 6.30am – 7pm, Weekends 9am – 5pm
Fleet Street Press
TY Seven Dials
Another Timberyard location, this one has a bit more relaxed coworking vibe, and has a huge work space downstairs as well! Again, the coffee and the food is great! Unless you’re a soy milk fan, unfortunately, London hipsters decided they like Oat Milk more.
Open: Monday – Friday 8am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 6pm, Sunday 10am – 6pm
TY Seven Dials
This is a really unique little option for those that are sick of cafes all the time! This is actually a hotel! The lobby has been taken over or transformed into a wonderful co-working place! There are comfy armchairs and plenty of larger tables for those with co-working friends. There’s coffee service at your seats, so you don’t even need to order from a bar, etc. There are also light snacks available all around the lobby, and a full cafe/restaurant for those with larger appetites.
I think the bonus of this spot is being able to bring your own snacks or food though, it gets expensive after awhile paying for coffee, transportation and lunch just to work! It’s also open MUCH MUCH later than anywhere else around for those that like to work well into the evenings!
Open: Monday to Friday 07:00 – 02:00, Saturday 08:00 – 02:00, Sunday 08:00 – 00:00
This is a big curve ball, but I lived in Hackney Wick for the past three months and I really grew to love this spot! First, on a nice sunny day, they have picnic tables outside and the wifi is still strong at them. Second, the entire front of the cafe is glass so even on a colder day you still get plenty of sun. Third, their food and coffee game is strong!
Bonus: It’s never packed to the brim, so it’s nice and peaceful and right near the canal so you can go for a stroll around the ‘wick after or before!
Open: Their website is still under construction. I do know they open at 10am and serve alcohol, so I’d assume they are open til at least 10pm!
PEARL Hackney Wick
Leon: This is a natural food chain that has great wifi and many locations have tons of seating!
Yumchaa: I’ve fallen madly in love with this tea chain! Always cute, always strong wifi, and plenty of snacks!
Starbucks: A golden oldie. I know people shame remote workers for always going to Starbucks’ but for reliable wifi and good coffee, sometimes it’s worth it!
Costa Coffee: This is kind of London’s version of Starbucks except the coffee isn’t as good, and the locations aren’t as great. But if you’re in need of a connection, and a kick, these will definitely do!
Pret A Manger: I’ve really grown to rely on the Prets around London. They are good for a quick snack, are basically on every street corner and serve delicious coconut lattes! Their wifi is dependable as well!
Parks: Get yourself an unlimited data SIM for 25£ and grab a blanket and post up at one London’s beautiful parks on a sunny day! No, there won’t be restrooms or power outlets but a little sunshine certainly helps get the creative juices flowing!
Hope this helps you to make your remote working experience in London as enjoyable as possible! And even if you don’t need to lug a computer around, give some of these places a try simply to sip on a coffee on a rainy afternoon!
For your convenience, here’s a handy map with all the locations I’ve talked in depth about above!