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PLACES TO WORK

If like me you're self-employed and regularly work from home, from time to time you'll find that your work environment can start to feel a little... stale. Staring at the same four walls day in day out has a tendency to make my mind stagnate, so when I feel that happening, I switch it up by working somewhere else for a bit. 

I covered some of my favourite London workspaces in the Little Black Book, but those were slightly weighted towards East London, where I lived and worked for years. So to even out the balance, here are a few of my favourite Central London spots for when I'm bored of working from home, or if I find myself with a bit of time to kill between meetings. Criteria for making the cut: must be reasonably quiet; have fast, free wi-fi (places offering BT Openzone/The Cloud hotspots need not apply); and a good supply of coffee and snacks.

 

BARBICAN CENTRE

Dotted with sofas and chairs tucked away off the beaten track, the often overlooked Barbican Centre is the stuff of freelancer dreams - try the higher levels or the Cinema Café for the best spots. There's also the bonus of being in the middle of a world-class cultural centre should you fancy taking a break with a stroll around an exhibition, or popping into their cinema to catch the latest arthouse releases. 

The Barbican Centre

Silk Street,

London EC2Y 8DS

www.barbican.org.uk/contactus

@BarbicanCentre

 

TIMBERYARD, COVENT GARDEN

Timberyard is everything you could want from a workspace, with delicious food and dedicated spaces downstairs for the laptop brigade. A great environment for when you really need to focus, they've also got branches in Soho and Old Street.

Timberyard Seven Dials

7 Upper St Martin's Lane

London WC2H 9DL

www.tyuk.com

@timberyarduk

 

EDITION HOTEL LOBBY BAR, SOHO

This gorgeous hotel lobby bar is bright, comfy and calm during the day - although it's definitely on the pricey side, so might not be an every day option (or maybe it is, I don't know your life). It's a good option if you've got a meeting with someone you seriously want to impress - or one where someone else is picking up the bill. 

London Edition Hotel

10 Berners Street

London W1T 3NP

www.editionhotels.com

 

ACE HOTEL, SHOREDITCH

Okay, so this last one is in East London, but it's such a gem it didn't feel right to leave it out. Like the Edition Hotel, the Ace has a dedicated workspace in its lobby, which is very popular with the freelance crowd (myself included). Get there early to bag yourself a seat at the library-esque communal long table, otherwise you'll have to settle for one of the (admittedly, very comfortable) sofas. The space is open to guests and non-guests alike, so you won’t feel out of place turning up with a laptop and notepad in tow.

Ace Hotel Shoreditch

100 Shoreditch High St

London E1 6JQ

www.acehotel.com/london