Posts in TRY THIS
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
 
 

Sticking with last week's 'Back To School' theme today, because nothing says 'fresh start' like stocking up on new stationery - I could happily while away a few hours picking out new notebooks and pens. On a practical level, I find that having pretty stationery also helps boost my productivity - I'm far more inclined to sit down at my desk when it's looking stylish and well-organised, and kitting myself out with nice stationery can help make even the most tedious of tasks that little bit less painful. Here's where to go the next time your supplies are running low.

 

COS X HAY

What happens when two brands known for their understated Scandi aesthetics team up? You get this: a collaboration full of sleek design classics, in colourways to suit every palette. The whole collection is brilliant, but I’m a particularly big fan of these golden gilt-edged notebooks (£5) which I have in pink and light grey – they're perfect for injecting a little luxury into your desk setup.

Available at selected COS stores and online.

 

MUJI

The don dada of simple staples, it's not hard to see the Japanese influences in Muji's exhaustive range of minimal stationery. Get yourself organised with their vast range of storage solutions.

Available in-store and online.

 

SMYTHSON

Smythson stationery isn't exactly cheap, but I love their leather-bound Panama notebooks (£45), which are - comparatively - more affordable. These pocket-sized beauties are perfect for carrying around in your handbag so you can jot down ideas whenever they come to you. If you’re feeling particularly fancy you can get your initials embossed on the front in gold (very worth it).

Smythson of Bond Street

40 New Bond Street

London

W1S 2DE

 

PRESENT & CORRECT

This carefully arranged stationery shop in Clerkenwell sells a cool mix of new and vintage stationery, and retro influences abound. You're never too old for a pencil case I say, especially not one as chic as this vinyl Quitterie number (£14). Check out their beautifully styled Instagram for more desktop inspiration.

Present & Correct

23 Arlington Way

London

EC1R 1UY

 

CHOOSING KEEPING

This cute Columbia Road shop is full of goodies, including this pretty little Koi Fish Celluloid Pen Tray (£35). Perfect for collecting all the various tchotchkes that tend to accumulate on your desk, it also comes in an equally pretty tortoiseshell colourway.

Choosing Keeping

128 Columbia Road

London

E2 7RG

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