Where to Write (WTW): Good places to write. Places I like to write or have written, from libraries to cafes to park benches starting in London and going further afield. Following recommendations, geographical convenience and my nose for good coffee and cake.
(Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf, London/ Sunday April 2017, 3pm on)
I checked the criteria (in no particular order):
- Accessibility: A chain available all over the country. This one is walking distance from a hub of transport including buses, the Jubilee Line and Docklands Light Railway. Escalators and lifts give access under the park to this subterranean area of shops, restaurants and a couple of other cafes. Open Monday to Friday 6am to 9pm and Saturday from 7am to 9pm and Sunday 830am to 830pm. So plenty of time to write.
- Breath-ability: Opening out to a concourse the air con is light and some daylight can be seen overhead via glass skylights. Airy considering it is underground.
- Decor: European coffee-house style, with wood floors and blue walls, keeping with the brand colours with large photos of Italian cafe scenes.
- Furniture: Comfortable brown leather armchairs and sofas and wooden tables and chairs.
- Music: An easy-listening mix, which is easy to listen to and fades into background and a Euro-pop mix which rises to the surface a little more.
- Sockets: Designed with a hoover in mind rather than laptops I expect but there were at least two areas available and I have seen Neros with better socket availability.
- Space: The concourse area has a large number of tables and chairs (as if creating an outside space) and inside are more areas with two entrances and a clear path for entering, exiting and ordering, meaning people rarely brush up against you and there is a good flow through cafe.
- Service: A number of tills, which can be confusing but line up and they will call. You take your coffee and any hot food means taking a number so it will arrive at your table when it is ready. Tables are cleared regularly.
- Food: Mix of sandwiches, toasted panini and cake. I like the biscotti. Sometimes just a little something is enough, like the little piece of chocolate they sell that is a perfect bite.
- Drink: Very strong and flavoursome Americanos but in cups which tilt because of the shape of the handle or because my finger doesn't fit properly (I don't have unusually big hands). Water jugs are available with ice and paper cups. Another place you can sit and write for hours for the price of a coffee.
- Wifi: Available via The Cloud.
- Toilets: Not inside but across the concourse within sight.
- Guilt: Working on their Ethics and towards more robust sourcing of coffee beans, with research into recruitment practices across the world, increasing free-range across own brand products and increasing recycling to lessen landfill waste. Some guilt but working on improvements. .
- Writing: The work vibe, which is left over from the office workers means it is a good space to get down to business. People have laptops and study manuals and tourist guides. Plenty sit on their own lost in their own worlds. The only sounds to interrupt are the coffee machine parts, from the grinder to the dispenser to the milk frother, which in some areas seem to bounce around the room's hard surfaces. The music can also rise to the surface a little, but move around to find the optimum level.
- Creativity Rating: Overall 6/10 for writing. Bouncing sounds sometimes are distracting but is a relaxed atmosphere to write.