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Central Brixton cafes for getting work done (laptop friendly)

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    On the odd occassion I go to a cafe, I don't really want to see people hogging all the best tables with their laptops working. I made the mistake of going to Kaff once (it was recomended on Urban so we thought we'd try it) we had to squeeze on to a really small table hardly big enough to hold two lunches while every other larger table table was taken by someone using it as their office while sipping a coffee.

    This thread is useful to find out what cafes to avoid.
     
  2. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    In Kaff, the owner would ask people to move if they were hogging a huge table with their laptop if the place was busy. I'm always quick to offer to swap my table for a smaller one if it's busy and two or three people come in. Mind you, I don't have a huge laptop so I don't really take up more space than someone reading a newspaper. Or a magazine, for that matter.
     
    Greebo likes this.
  3. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Well they didn't for us and no one offered, obviously not all laptop uses are as considerate as you. Single person on most tables with more work visible than food. Dull. We never went back.
     
  4. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Most cafes look that way these days - that's what you get when you try and squeeze people into ever smaller homes. I was going to go to Stir today but it was exactly as you described - a handful of Macbook users hogging space with little inclination to move, so I gave the other place a go - and I'm really glad I did now :)

    Edit to add: I think when you have regular cafe seating/tables people may feel less inclined to hog the space when there's clearly four chairs around the table they're sprawled around. Maybe...
     
    Greebo likes this.
  5. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    As a former nomadic-coffee-shop-worker I can certainly agree that some people are dicks about it. It's all very well to spread yourself out over a whole table when the place is empty but be a bit more considerate when groups want to sit. Oh and buy a bloody coffee every now and then rather than just sitting there using up bandwidth for hours.
     
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  6. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Should the staff or the customer tell people to move or take less space? I wouldn't feel comfortable confronting someone in a place a don't know well.
     
  8. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    IME well-run places will try to moderate things. It's quite hard though—even if the person there cares and feels confident enough to approach customers, there's a balance between wanting people there who make the place look busy in the off-hours (which attracts others) and having those same people hogging space during busy times.

    Sometimes people are just a bit oblivious, particularly if they've been looking at a screen for the last X hours, and just saying "hey do you mind if we sit here" to somebody occupying a four-person table will wake them up and they'll clear all their stuff into one small area while saying sorry.
     
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  9. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I usually work on a minimum of a coffee per hour plus food/cake if I'm there for longer.
     
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  10. aussw9

    aussw9 Well-Known Member

    I recently had to go abroad for work and found a great cafe that had tables reserved for the cafe and the other half for 'co-working' space. There was a minimum spend per hour (of which i spent on coffee, food and juice). Seemed to work really well for all customers.
     
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  11. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    I struggle to see how anyone could be surprised about the price of a coffee exceeding £2.50 (£2.08 ex VAT / eat in) when some customers judge that buying one coffee an hour is fair exchange for a table and Wi-Fi (and a coffee).
     
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  12. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    :rolleyes:

    Yes, that works well and is not at all an obvious personal attack, given that tables and wifi are paid for by the hour by café owners.
     
    editor likes this.
  13. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Neatly summed up. :D

    Anyhow, I've found a great cafe literally metres away from Stir that has great coffee for around *half* the price, has loads of seating and a friendly service, so I know which one I'll be recommending.
     
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  14. sparkybird

    sparkybird ask the bird...

    A friend of mine had a small cake/coffee shop in the Village (maybe 6 tables), but gave it up as he decided he couldn't make it pay. People would just come in for the wifi and not spend very much.
    I do wonder if a cafe NOT offering wifi might be popular with those just wanting a coffee and cake? I rarely bother to log in to cafe's wifi as I tend to a) not stay very long (time is money!) and b) use my own 3G to check emails etc

    Might tray Tana again, but last time I was there (a few years back) the coffee was not very good and the food hygiene rating not very reassuring...
     
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  15. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I really liked the coffee and seeing as their food hygiene rating is 4/5 ('Good') I haven't got any problems with that.
     
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  16. sparkybird

    sparkybird ask the bird...

    Sounds like major improvements then! I'll give them a go next time, thanks!
     
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  17. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Thank you for this profound economic analysis in which we learn that there is no need to reward someone who provides you with a comfortable working environment and Wi-Fi simply because they aren't paying for their chairs and tables by the hour. Just so long as you have them serve you one of their very cheap coffees once every hour (and wash up after you) your conscience should be clear.
     
  18. twistedAM

    twistedAM Left Of The Dial

    I haven't been in for ages either mainly cos I have a loyalty to Adams Bakery for their diesel-powered coffee.
    Weird how the posh expensive places are always busy and the value joints are always quiet.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
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  19. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Someone has been reading this thread and has responded to demand:

    Home
     
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  20. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Update: So I popped in the Ritzy cafe for a coffee. Fucking hell, those middle class types can be pushy when they're at the counter and lusting after their pricey wine.

    Two people pushed in front of me just to ensure they got their bottle of Jeio or whatever the fuck it's called extra-swiftly, and then I found myself surrounded by a group of well to do people talking VERY loudly and confidently about their fascinating lives. I've gone right off the place. The wi-fi has been well flakey too recently.

    My post-Kaff quest for the perfect cafe continues. San Marino is still my favourite although their wi-fi seems more off than on these days. I tried the Costa again recently and it was awful - massive queues, and no wi fi. Federation has got a bit better but it's not cheap and they close too early at 5pm.

    I'm going to give that Caya place on Coldharbour Lane a go this week. Anyone been yet?
     
  21. bimble

    bimble Is it Spring yet?

    Haven't sat in yet, just got a takeaway giant biscuit thing.
    I've heard one (extreme coffee snob) report that the coffee wasn't the finest they'd ever tasted. I look forward to reading your experience but tbh i probably need to find a place to work that has no wifi. :facepalm:
     
    editor likes this.
  22. trabuquera

    trabuquera Modesty Bag

    editor, have you tried the new coffee place bang opposite the Tube / facing the side door & Bowie mural of Morley's? Can't remember what it's called. The coffee is OK (not brilliant, not Brixton's best, btu adequate) the cake great if pricey. But I mention it for your list because I think there is a large-ish space upstairs which could be quiet enough to get some actual work done in. Haven't tested the wifi myself. But it may be another option.
     
    editor likes this.
  23. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    Brixton grind - coffee is very good, upstairs is nearly always empty
     
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  24. organicpanda

    organicpanda cat herder extraodinaire

    coffee quite good, lots of space but they charge for it so you end up sitting at the front on small tables Mrs Panda works there sometimes I can't
     
  25. happyshopper

    happyshopper Well-Known Member

    Had a coffee and a cake there yesterday and went upstairs. Only three other people but two of them were talking loudly about something or other. I wouldn't have been able to work with the distraction but the other person there seemed to cope. And it's blend, not grind.
     
  26. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Brixton Grind sounds a bit...

     
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  27. aussw9

    aussw9 Well-Known Member

    I used a similar set up in Paris when I was over there freelancing. Great space and good value for a desk. Having an actual work space away from the cafe i found i was far more productive. Glad there is a similar product available here.
     
  28. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    Haha - i had thought to myself "odd name" but hadn't checked to see if I'd got it wrong.
     
  29. twistedAM

    twistedAM Left Of The Dial

    Yeah people are basically renting space. I'm going to try to negotiate a special price for my daily takeaway americano which is the same as what a table-hogger pays.
    Does anyone know of an ahem "artisan" coffee joint that has lower prices for takeaway?
     
  30. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    San Marino only charge £2 for what I judge to be a really good Flat White. 40p extra to sit in.
     
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