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Finding My Favourite Work Spots in London

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London had been on my mind since my first visit there in 2017. The quaint atmosphere and old architecture were like a breath of fresh air compared to modern Singapore. These were sights I had previously only seen on screens. It felt like London was where I belonged, so I intended to find a job and relocate. However, my dreams of moving to London were dashed due to the lack of visa sponsorship.

Nevertheless, I decided to test the new environment by taking a 3-month sabbatical to work on my novel in London. While I rented a room on AirBnB, space was still limited in cramped London. I also figured that since I was in a new country, I should take every opportunity to be out and about. So I ventured into the city, searching for work spots everywhere I went.

I lost most of my photos when my phone was pickpocketed (a story for another day), but my memories remain vivid thanks to my habit of checking in on FourSquare’s Swarm. To compensate for the pictures I lost, I will make it up with Google Maps.

Sackler Wing Café, Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington

I frequented South Kensington for the church services I attended on Sundays, but also for the many museums in the area. The Victoria & Albert Museum is an exquisite art and design museum, but I was even more intrigued by Sackler Wing Café, nestled in an unassuming building in the Sackler Courtyard at the museum’s entrance.

Its unique roof and full-length windows make it hard to miss. On weekdays, the café was less busy, making it one of my favourite spots to sit all day by the window and people-watch when I wasn’t working. I could easily access the museum’s Wi-Fi and the various nearby museums for inspiration if needed.

The closed Nespresso Café, Soho

At the time of my visit late 2018 to early 2019, I frequented Nespresso Café, a corner café situated in the very centre of Soho, for their warm spiced apple juice and great Wi-Fi. It was also the perfect spot if I intended to have dinner in the bustling area after a day’s work.

But as I write this now, I have discovered a different café sitting in this spot on the map. So I can’t verify it to be the same experience any longer. If you have been there, let me know how you find it. I really miss sitting by the window, soaking in the Soho vibes as I worked.

The British Library, St. Pancras

Where better to be motivated to write than at a library! Being surrounded by books is a dream, although it was clear that many had the same idea with the throng of visitors.

While there were many working spaces in the huge interior, it was difficult to find an available spot if I arrived too late. Sometimes I ended up writing on my lap. Nevertheless, it’s my go-to after a hearty English breakfast at the nearby Speedy’s Sandwich Bar & Café

St. Pancras King's Cross Station

Not to be confused with St. Pancras International, which is pictured here, King’s Cross Station sits next to it with a greater crowd than the former. It’s for a good reason—it was made worldwide famous for being the platform for Harry Potter’s journey to Hogwarts.

I frankly cannot remember if there was a café I had visited—there might not even be one at all. I do recall sitting on the terrace upstairs and relishing the noise of commuters and the view of the queue for the Platform 9 ¾ attraction. Being a highly busy area, it’s not suitable for those who thrive on peace and quiet for work. In my case, it was ideal for people watching.

Victoria Station is another option for a big busy station for writing motivation. Even better, I got to have the best burger in the world whenever I came by.

Southbank Centre

I was in love with Southbank after attending a jazz festival there. The Wi-Fi is great, there are plenty of places to eat nearby, and there was a Christmas market to enjoy in the evening when I was there. Sometimes, I was lucky enough to find one of the tables scattered throughout the centre to sit and work while enjoying the music playing in the hall below.

As a commercial centre, there are plenty of chain cafés such as Costa Coffee and Caffè Nero in the vicinity. However, I found that it’s these unexpected spots that inspire me to work on my writing.

Café Chains

I’m not an avid seeker of independent cafés, as I’m not a coffee consumer. All that really matters to me is a reliable Wi-Fi, and it’s usually hard not to go wrong with café chains.

Starbucks, Caffè Nero, Costa Coffee, Pret A Manger—I see them, I go for them, especially if they weren’t crowded. I particularly enjoyed trying the hot chocolate selection each offered for the winter season. Here are some of my memorable outlets:

Productivity at its peak

My remote working experience in London was very fruitful, thanks to the variety of work spots I was able to find throughout the city. They didn’t have to be cafés, either! The best part about the hunt for a work spot was that I could spend a little time in every corner of London, exploring it when I wasn’t working. I suppose that’s the beauty of working while travelling.

Behind the trip

I’m Angie, a traveller, web developer and blogger behind A Head Full of Travel. I’m here to document my adventures through words and photography, kindling a love for life. You can trust that all content and advice shared here is genuine and from my own experiences.

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