The Best Places For Free Hot Desking In Central London

Now not working on the workplace on a regular basis? Have to spend a day away from the flat? Writing a novel, and wish to do it in public so everybody is aware of? We have rounded up a few of our favorite locations to work in central London. Generic coffeeshops and bars have been eschewed (there are 1000’s, in spite of everything); these locations, have one thing particular going for them. They’re all free to entry, too. Simply purchase a espresso/sandwich/martini in case you can.

Royal Competition Corridor

Hot desk spots in central London: People sitting at tables in the Festival Hall

Watch London go by, as you’re employed from the Competition Corridor. Picture: Londonist

For a plum piece of sizzling desking actual property, nab a window within the Royal Competition Corridor overlooking the South Financial institution. This venue is a stable office-from-office for a lot of Londoners, and even in case you do not rating the most effective seats in the home, there’s ample area in the direction of the again of the bottom ground. Espresso and snacks are available — or push the boat out at Skylon — and remember, you’ve got acquired the Nationwide Poetry Library upstairs, ought to you’ll want to get these inventive juices flowing. There are a number of caveats: the Competition Corridor usually has rehearsals/setups/occasions happening (these days after we have been right here, the lobby area steadily reworked earlier than our eyes right into a sweet pink wonderland for the Wonka premiere), so it isn’t essentially preferrred for conferences and video calls. We have additionally discovered the web — though free and simple to connect with — glitchy occasionally. That is splitting hairs although: that is fab spot to work from.

Royal Competition Corridor

Nationwide Theatre

Hot desk spots in central London: The concrete and carpet lobby of the National Theatre

Concrete and carpet vibes on the Nationwide Theatre. Picture: Londonist

You would not essentially affiliate the structure of Denys Lasdun with feeling all snuggly and heat, however the Nationwide Theatre someway achieves simply that — partly due to all of the concrete crevices you’ll be able to stow your self away in, partly as a result of it is so plushly carpeted and liberally sprinkled with delicate banquettes and pouffes to sink into. Freelancers can bask in an as much as snuff web connection; lengthy, shiny wood tables for communal working; and smaller round ones from which you’ll watch the South Financial institution go by. The NT has espresso outlets and bars aplenty to maintain you fuelled (plus a Forza Wine and the swankier Lasdun Restarurant), and you may usually discover a quiet area up within the Lyttelton Circle Bar or Wolfson Gallery. We have seen folks have full-blown conferences in right here. We have HAD full-blown conferences right here.

Hot desk spots in central London: A cafe with floor to ceiling glass, and palm trees

BFI Southbank has some nice areas for working too. Picture: Londonist

A couple of seconds from the NT is BFI Southbank, which has seating in a light-flooded cafe space (ensconced reasonably properly amongst potted palms) and a reference library, to not point out the BFI Mediatheque, which is right for pretending to analysis one thing whenever you’re truly watching arthouse movies. All in all, the Southbank advanced is a little bit of a playground for freelancers — permitting you to hop from place to position all through the day/week, and really feel altogether urbane.

Nationwide Theatre


Hot desk spots in central London: Brutalist buildings with a lake in the middle

The Barbican is a splendid area to work, though we do not advocate doing it in the midst of this lake. Picture: Londonist

Like a Nationwide Theatre of the east, the Barbican Centre gives extra snuggly modernist vibes in it is open-to-all lobby area, comprising chunks of concrete so scrumptious, it’s going to soften the center of the most important brutalist critic. The web’s good, and there is a nice combination of tables and delicate furnishings on the bottom ground, and extra up on the mezzanine (this usually appears to be closed off, which everybody duly ignores). Even the basement and sub-basement appeal to their share of laptop computer prodders (and the wifi and 5G nonetheless work down there). We have generally discovered the Barbican to be HEAVING in the course of the week, so you may both wish to arrive early, or be ready to bide your time for a free area. Do you have to want a submit/during-work tipple, know that Barbican has the magnificent Martini Bar, which even serves a cocktail referred to as The Brutalist.


Foyles Cafe

Hot desk spots in central London: People working and drinking in a large cafe

Faux to jot down a novel within the Foyles cafe. Picture: Londonist

A towering honeypot for London’s most bookish, Foyles attracts you as much as its fifth ground cafe by means of lots of of 1000’s of neatly-stacked tomes. If the mission you are engaged on is certainly a ebook, then that is the place to return and really feel motivated. The cafe itself is a sprawling area with dozens of tables, each for communal and solo espresso sipping/laptop computer bashing. It’s, by definition, a restaurant reasonably than a public area, so the tempo of issues generally is a tad frantic (you may wish to deliver headphones). However the espresso’s glorious, and it is a comfortable spot to get some work completed in central with out resorting to a Costa/Wetherspoon. They do ask that you do not spend greater than two hours right here at a time; in spite of everything, you are not the one individual writing a bestselling novel.


fifth View, Waterstones Piccadilly

Hot desk spots in central London: A terrace view, including part of the Houses of Parliament

Tremendous views of London await, in case you get the appropriate desk in Waterstones’ prime ground cafe. Picture: Laura Reynolds/Londonist

One other grandee of a bookshop with a wonderful upper-storey cafe, fifth View has been referred to as “the most effective saved secret in London”, though strive telling that to the throng of people you discover up right here on any given day of the week. Like Foyles (perhaps much more so), this Waterstones flagship retailer  coffeeshop/bar/restaurant is invariably frothing with clients, making it someplace to work for an hour or two, reasonably than hunkering down for the day. As its title suggests, there are elegant views to be devoured — not less than there are in case you time it proper and get an excellent desk. Oh, and 5pm-8pm is cocktail completely happy hour. Simply sayin’.

fifth View, Waterstones Piccadilly

British Library

Hot desk spots in central London: People working, with a towering stack of books looming over them

Work within the shadow of the King’s Library contained in the British Library (or one of many many different studying rooms). Picture: Londonist

A devastating cyber assault could have rendered the British Library’s web site near-useless in current months, however the bodily constructing — a wondrous liner-shaped slice of structure — could be very a lot open for enterprise. Anybody can entry the communal areas after a swift bag examine, however to entry the glut of studying rooms within the British Library, you may have to get your self a Reader Move. It is a fast and painless process (they will not begin quizzing you on the works of Marcel Proust), and opens up a throng of fantastic locations to work/examine, a lot of them with compartmentalised desks that includes plug sockets and particular person lights (how posh is that). When the BL’s web site is up and operating once more, you might have entry to each single ebook ever revealed within the nation. Londoners actually are spoiled.

British Library

St Pancras station

Hot desk spots in central London: A corner booth overlooking the Eurostar platforms

Is St Pancras station probably the most underrated sizzling desk in London? Picture: Londonist

A busy worldwide prepare station is not essentially the primary place that springs to thoughts for somebody who must dive right into a bunch of spreadsheets. However for the recent desker who likes to look at the hustle and bustle of humanity go by as they work (to not point out admire probably the most awe-inspiring ceiling in London), then St Pancras is for you. The station’s Costa Espresso is a suggestion we have seen bandied round (and in spite of everything, it’s open 24 hours). Nevertheless, for someplace a tad quieter/not subsequent to an infinite stream of people that’ve not had a wee since Lille dashing to the bogs, we might recommend heading to the mezzanine degree, and dealing on one of many terraces. We particularly just like the Betjeman Arms; it is comfortable, and surprisingly serene up right here, and watching the Eurostars ping out and in is someway soothing. In the event you’re doing notably nicely at this freelance lark, you possibly can additionally work from the Searcys Champagne Bar. The small, mezzanine Benugo can also be price a glance, with its cosy wood inside. It is on a lesser-used little bit of concourse and nearly at all times has free tables.

St Pancras station

Westminster Reference Library

Hot desk spots in central London: A library full of books on classical music

Westminster Music Library is, reasonably sarcastically, a quiet place to get a bit of labor completed. Picture: Londonist

A lovely, free-to-use library that is simply off Leicester Sq. — what’s to not love? Westminster Reference Library gives free wi-fi, examine areas, to not point out a good few thousand books, do you have to be in analysis mode. You do not want a card to entry the venue or the studying materials. On the higher ground, you may discover the (often quieter) Westminster Music Library, full of scoresheets and reference books. In the event you’re questioning what that fixed uninteresting thud, thud thud is — that is the 2 digital pianos, that are free to practise on. Enjoyable reality: the library was constructed on the positioning of Isaac Newton’s home.

Westminster Reference Library

Wellcome Assortment

Hot desk spots in central London: A reading room with dozens of beautiful pendant lights

The Wellcome Assortment’s Studying Room is a stunner. Picture: Londonist

This ever-fascinating museum/library is seconds from Euston station, and gives a few nifty spots to get your head down and examine some emails. The downstairs cafe has glorious espresso and desserts, though it will possibly get loud. For a extra peaceable expertise, head upstairs to the Studying Room — a surprising area with a book-packed mezzanine, medical shows, arty lighting and — most significantly for freelancers — a lot of tables and cozy chairs. No membership is required, you’ll be able to merely stroll in. Seeing as it is a library, it isn’t appropriate for conferences (though inform that to the man blithely Zooming away after we have been final there). In our expertise, the web — although free — may be patchy, so put together to hotspot.

Wellcome Assortment

Church buildings in London serving espresso

Hot desk spots in central London: People working on laptops in a church

St Mary Aldermary is certainly one of a quantity church buildings that do not thoughts you cracking out your laptop computer within the nave/crypt. Picture: Matt Brown/Londonist

A lot of church buildings within the metropolis have pivoted to dish up espresso and cake in the course of the daytime, together with:

  • St Martin-in-the-Fields
  • St Nicholas Cole Abbey
  • St Mary Aldermary
  • St Mary-le-Bow
  • Westminster Chapel
  • Christ Church Spitalfields
  • Lumen church, Bloomsbury
  • St John’s Smith Sq., Westminster
  • The Sherriff Centre, West Hampstead
  • St Luke’s, Chelsea
  • Southwark Cathedral
  • All Saints, Kingston

Try our roundup of coffee-serving church buildings right here

Care to share your favorite freelance spot in central? Be at liberty to place it within the feedback.

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