The Best London Cafes to Write, Work and Study In

Depending on how well you know a city, good freelancing spaces can be hard to come by. Some cafes have a firm no laptop policy, and others just frown upon people taking up room for any longer than necessary. London is enormous and has a cafe on pretty much every street, but it's also incredibly busy and crowded, so it helps to have a few go-to laptop-friendly spots in your arsenal. I've put together a list of my personal favourite cafes in London to write in, work from or just spend a few hours hanging out at, so if you're in need of a solid cappuccino and a table you won't feel bad for taking up, look no further.

Note: All of these places have WiFi because a) I wouldn't be recommending them for work if they didn't and b) it's 2019.

Store Street Espresso, Bloomsbury
40 Store St, WC1E 7DB | Website Here
Closest Tube: Goodge Street
Vibe: Casual
Seating: I've only ever been during quieter hours, so there were plenty of tables to choose from - similar vibe to TAP.
Plugs: Accessible from most tables
Environment: Relaxed, plenty of people coming in and out but not the sort of place where you feel awkward for taking up a table.
Coffee: I was there on a 30 degree day so had an iced tea, but I've heard good things.
Food: Decent cafe-style food & brunch
Staff: Friendly, not invasive.
Notes: There are a lot of good cafes in this area, so if this one is too full, just have a walk around.
Other Locations: Continental Stores, St Pancras - Tavistock Place, WC1H 9RG

Proud Mary's, Shepherd's Bush
1C Oaklands Grove, W12 0JD
Closest Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market
Vibe: Serious brunch with a side of productivity
Seating: There are plenty of tables, and outside of lunch time and weekends it's usually quite empty.
Plugs: You'll need to be strategic with this one as there are a couple of plugs under some of the bench seats but not many.
Environment: Relaxed, you may feel conspicuous depending on the crowd that's there on the day, but there are a few regulars who write or work there frequently.
Coffee: Good. Aus/NZ owned.
Food: Really solid brunch-focused menu.
Staff: Hit and miss. I've had a few rude servers, but good experiences with others. If you get a moody one you may feel intrusive, but most of the time it's fine.
Notes: Quite small so best to avoid peak times, but relaxed during weekdays. Music is my exact taste.

The Wren, St. Paul's
114 Queen Victoria Street, EC4V 4BJ | Website Here
Closest Tube: Mansion House
Vibe: Unreal. Surprisingly chilled.
Seating: An array of different tables spread out around a giant room
Plugs: I'm not actually sure on this one. The days I worked there I didn't need any, but I'm sure you could find one in a pinch since it's such a massive space.
Environment: Amazing. Easily one of my favourite places in London. It's a converted church, and completely unlike any other venue I've been to. I expected it to be stuffy, but it was really relaxed.
Coffee: Very decent
Food: Typical deli-style pastries and sandwiches
Staff: Very helpful, they largely stay behind the counter and leave you to it
Notes: This is a must-visit, whether you're looking for somewhere to work or not.

TAP, Soho
193 Wardour St. W1F 8ZF | Website Here
Closest Tube: Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Circus
Vibe: Some stay 5 minutes, some stay two hours
Seating: Usually space to get a table - if you arrive at lunch time it may be tricky but otherwise it's surprisingly empty as people tend to just pop in for a takeaway coffee
Plugs: I'm not actually sure on this one! I'm sure you could find one if you tried, but not from every table.
Environment: Varies depending on time of day. Anywhere between airy and chilled to completely packed.
Coffee: Meant to be good, and they put a lot of emphasis on this, but I've always found it to have a strong, unpleasant bitterness. Last time it tasted a bit like red wine.
Food: Great! I'm a big fan of the paprika chicken & aioli rolls.
Staff: Friendly and unintrusive. Their priority is making the coffee, not hovering over the seating area.
Notes: This is a go-to for offices in the area so is typically very busy around lunch time
Other Locations: Tottenham Court Road & Rathbone Place
Photo from UrbanPixxels

Jacob The Angel, Neal's Yard
16A Neal's Yard, WC2H 9DP | Website Here
Closest Tube: Covent Garden
Vibe: An actual hidden gem.
Seating: Limited, but doable. Tables inside and out. How busy it is fluctuates very quickly, so if there isn't a free spot just wait a few minutes and one will open up.
Plugs: Only a couple, but little competition
Environment: My favourite, if you can get a spot. Neal's Yard is busy and interesting and you can see all of it out the front of the coffee shop. It's small but well styled, and busy but not uptight. You won't feel intrusive settling in.
Coffee: Good. The takeaway cups are also cute.
Food: Lots of pastries, sandwiches etc.
Staff: Very interactive when you're ordering (in a friendly, uplifting way), then they'll leave you to it.
Notes: I am full on obsessed with this place and would spend every day here writing if I could.

Pearl, Hackney Wick
East Wing Oslo House, 11 Prince Edward Road, E9 5LX | Website Here
Closest Tube: Hackney Wick
Vibe: Eclectic, high-energy, chilled out
Seating: Plenty, inside and outside
Plugs: Yep, easy to access
Environment: Relaxed and creative. Clearly designed for people to spend decent amounts of time - board games and coffee table books scattered around.
Coffee: Acceptable. Matcha latte was good, cappuccino was decent. Not watery, which is my number one London coffee pet hate.
Food: A big feature - full menu
Staff: Great, super friendly and relaxed. I didn't feel rushed and the girl serving was really friendly.
Notes: Lot of people coming in and out for food, but during the week it isn't too busy. Plenty of seating and there will likely be a few other people scattered around working. There are board games and coffee table books, so they're expecting people to stick around.

Yumchaa, Soho
45 Berwick St. W1F 8SF
Closest Tube: Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Circus
Vibe: Upstairs - open and light, downstairs - cosy, studious. Great for getting things done and then having a friend pop in for a catch up.
Seating: Limited on street level, but there's a whole separate room on basement level.
Plugs: Yes - both upstairs and downstairs
Environment: Comfortable, lots of room downstairs if you want a bit more quiet and privacy. There are always people there working, having meetings etc.
Coffee: Worth noting their specialty is teas. Order lattes, not cappuccinos and don't bother with the matcha.
Food: Some pastries, croissants, basic salads etc. Would probably pop round the corner to Pret instead.
Staff: They will leave you alone and are used to having people come in to work
Notes: Will be rammed if raining

TY (TimberYard), Seven Dials
7 Upper St. Martin's Lane, WC2H 9DL | Website Here
Closest Tube: Leicester Square or Covent Garden
Vibe: We are all here to work and we would like everybody to know it, thanks.
Seating: Fills up fast
Plugs: Plenty of accessible outlets
Environment: TY is specifically geared towards people who want to get work done, so you won't get any funny looks or feel obtrusive for settling in. It does get very busy, but during quieter periods is really relaxed and comfortable.
Coffee: Decent, especially for London. Erring on bitter as a lot of 'good' London coffee tends to, but very tolerable.
Food: Can't say it's ever looked appealing enough to try
Staff: Used to people working, v friendly and helpful.
Notes: Not to be confused with the (superior) one off Wardour St which has now been closed. I don't believe this location has the co-working space the Wardour one did, but there are meeting rooms you can book in advance.
Photo not mine - found on

My Personal Fav
The ExCel Center: I used to live around the corner and this Starbucks is the single most productive environment of my entire life. There are massively high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, it's right next to the DLR and there are only ever crowds when there's a big event like ComicCon on.
The Strand: Central, right near Charing Cross, not huge but somehow usually pretty empty. Occasionally you'll get a tour group stopping in and temporarily crowding the place, but if you wait ten minutes it'll free back up.
Wardour Street: You would never know I used to work off Wardour Street from reading this list.
Vigo Street or Berkeley Street: Both in Mayfair, both rull cute. Vigo is more of a social vibe, but still good for a quick work sesh if you're near Regent Street.