London’s Best Coffee Shops for Studying & Working

For sleep-deprived students, frazzled freelancers, and burnt-out professionals across the capital, the thought of visiting a public library can be just as demoralising as the very workload it is designed to defeat. Libraries are after all, a desolate wasteland, devoid of life, soul, and the one thing that is more important than both of these things put together: coffee.

As well as being a doorway to happiness, this dark and fruity nectar is a powerhouse of productivity, and for many nomadic workers, coffeeshops have become as synonymous with work as they are with rest and relaxation. Indeed, with my final year exams around the corner, I have relied upon the lure of specialty-grade coffee to bolster my morale. Below, I’ve chalked up a list (in no particular order), of London’s most work-friendly cafes and creative spaces, so that you may further fuel your dependency, instead of receiving the vital rehabilitation that you – (and I) need.

Note: 

  • As this is a fluid listing, please do comment below and let us know if there are any cafes or creative spaces that you think we should add!
  • This is not a listing of the “best coffeeshops in London” overall, but rather, those that are suitable for book-bearing, laptop-clacking workaholics.

Coffee Works Project – Angel & Islington

Situated near the snooty and exclusive British Library, the Coffee Works Project in Angel provides a far more relaxing environment in which to work. There’s a selection of wooden tables near the front, sofas near the back, and a frightfully impressive Slayer espresso machine to resuscitate your not-so-impressive brain. It can however, get a little busy during the weekend, so be sure to get there early to grab a seat, and try not to hog up all of the space.

wp-1489786356326.jpgFlat white

Full review: Coming soon.
Website: coffeeworksproject.com

The Book Club – Shoreditch

Swinging over to Shoreditch, the aptly-named Book Club is in fact, a lot more exciting than it sounds. Pecan praline pancakes, poached eggs and toast, and a vast array of seating options makes it a rather idyllic working environment. Though it’s more of a creative space than a coffee shop, you’ll do well to find a skilful barista or two who are ready to serve up some delicious beans from Volcano Coffee Works.

wp-1481044557853.jpgBrain Fuel – Pecan Praline Pancakes

Full review: Click here.
Website: wearetbc.com

Fix 126 – Shoreditch

If, like myself, you tend to tick, scream and froth at the mouth without a shot of espresso, you can alleviate your withdrawal symptoms with a fix at Fix 126, also housed in Shoreditch. The air is quiet, the seating is plentiful, and whilst their selection of pastries and cold sandwiches is rather dull, their coffee packs a rather reasonable punch.

wp-1489787825367.jpgHi-Low Piccolo

Full review: Coming soon.
Website: fix-coffee.co.uk

Kahaila – Brick Lane

For a rare opportunity to drink coffee, eat cake, get some work done AND make a charitable contribution to society, head over to Kahaila cafe on Brick Lane. This philanthropic cafe funnels all of its profits into local community projects, and thereby adds a sense of purpose behind your inglorious moment of indulgence. And, if you do just end up eating cake and procrastinating, you’ll feel at least a little less guilty about doing so.

wpid-2015-11-15-01.10.25-1.jpg.jpegMozarella + Chutney Bloomer

Full review: Click here.
Website: kahaila.com

Illy Caffe – Regent Street

As an advocate of specialty-grade coffee and independent coffee shops, I regard corporate coffee brands to be everything that is wrong with the world that we live in. Illy however, retains a sense of old Italian charm, and its flagship cafe on Regents Street boasts a spacious interior and a seemingly Willy-Wonka-inspired menu of coffee and coffee-based drinks. And, unlike the corporate baristas at Costabomination, Blahbucks and Cafe Zero, these guys actually have some clue as to what they’re supposed to be producing.

wp-1489787278690.jpgCorporate coffee without the evil

Full review: Coming soon.
Website: illy.com

White Mulberries – St. Katharine’s Docks

Should your lungs be polluted with rancid, red-bull-infested library air, you can catch a spot of sunshine and clean(ish) oxygen at White Mulberries, a bright and cheerful marina cafe at St. Katharine’s docks. Whilst the coffees that I sampled were wholly underwhelming, the combination of light breakfasts and dockside views makes for a perfectly refreshing study spot.

Breakfast in the sunshine

Full review: Coming soon.
Website: whitemulberries.com

Ozone Coffee Roasters – Shoreditch

If however, you are as particular about your coffee as I am, you certainly won’t go wrong with Ozone’s roastery in Shoreditch. Armed with a range of signature and seasonal blends, they have plenty of fuel (and space) to get you through the day. They do however, get exceptionally busy on weekends, so either head over early or save this one for a weekday when things are a little less manic.

wp-1489787146478.jpgVeggie Breakfast

Full review: Coming soon.
Website: ozonecoffee.co.uk

 

Treves and Hyde – Aldgate East

Though it may be the least work-friendly cafe on this list, (on account of its limited seating space), the recently-opened Treves and Hyde provides a truly stylish escape from the library. The attractive art-deco interior is a beauty to behold, and the serene ambience is perfect for both book-reading and laptop-tapping. It probably isn’t suitable for a long-haul-day of studying, but if you have a morning or an afternoon free, it can certainly get you started.

Losing my marbles

Full review: Coming soon.
Website: trevesandhyde.com

Look Mum No Hands! – Whitechapel

Should you be unable to secure a seat at Treves and Hyde, you can walk around the corner and visit the LMNH Kitchen (or vice versa). Tucked away in the confines of an old Victorian warehouse, it serves as the Whitechapel branch of the popular “Look Mum No Hands!” cafe / bike workshop in Shoreditch. There’s cooked food, Square Mile coffee, and enough room to swing a cat, a laptop, or a bike. (Though, if you really want to procrastinate, you can try your hand at swinging all three).

wp-1489786958950.jpgFlat white + a Vegan breakfast

Full review: Coming soon.
Website: lookmumnohands.com

Husk Coffee & Creative Space – Limehouse

If you really do feel uncomfortable at the thought of leaving the library for a coffeeshop, you can ease yourself into this new way of life by visiting Husk – a creative space in Limehouse that serves as a coffeeshop, a library, and a community centre all at once. Whilst the selection of food is limited and the coffee isn’t overly impressive, this popular multi-floor complex serves as an extremely versatile workstation.

wp-1482427047135.jpgHuskateer Espresso

Full review: Click here.
Website: huskcoffee.com

Timberyard – Seven Dials / Soho

Last, but by all means first in this otherwise non-sequential list, is the one and only Timberyard. With branches in Seven Dials and Soho, Timberyard is an institute of London’s independent coffee scene, and their quintessential cafes serve as hallowed ground upon which work and play can coexist in peace. Both venues span two floors, and you can even pay a fee to “get a room”. (That’s a room to WORK in mind you).

wpid-2015-11-01-08.12.23-1.jpg.jpegA heart as charred as my own

Full review: Click here
Website: tyuk.com

And there we have it – our round-up of London’s most work-friendly cafes and creative spaces. Please do leave your suggestions below for any establishments that you think should be on this list. In the meantime – happy procaffeinating!

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