London cafes to inspire your next big idea

Business travelers in London have a golden opportunity to get inspired in a work-ready setting, thanks to the capital’s many amazing and versatile cafe workspaces.

London has a number of great cafe workspaces to choose from. Credit: iStock

For most of us, there’s no magic bullet for inspiration. Big, dazzling ideas with commercial legs are rare – and need all the help they can get to come to life. By yourself or in a group, make your next lightbulb moment happen at one of these stunning spots.

Stour Space

Tucked away in one of London’s most beloved artistic corners, Stour Space acts as a multi-purpose, non-profit gallery and creative hub – a unique spot ideal for inspiration and welcoming to all.

With your coffee and laptop in hand, pick a place to work from upstairs or downstairs with a great view of the canal outside. If the weather’s good you can even sit outside on their floating pontoon, watching the world go by on the beautiful waterway while the Olympic Stadium looms beyond.

Stour Space’s easygoing atmosphere and simple, warm interior creates a scene where ideas can flourish. For solo dreaming or a group brainstorm or planning session, it’s got all the right ingredients.  

Finally, make sure you check out their latest art exhibition while you’re there, another way to get inspired.

Look mum no hands!

What better symbol of innovation than the humble but mighty bicycle? Built in the 19th century and refined ever since, the bike has taken on a powerful new meaning for city dwellers in the 21st century as a cheap, healthy and environmentally sustainable transport.

All of which brings us to Look mum no hands! – a cafe for bike lovers, by bike lovers. Decked out in a glorious array of cycling paraphernalia, and with a busy workshop right next to the bar, the interior alone is bound to get your pistons pumping.

Look mum no hands! sources its coffee from local roasters Square Mile, and also prides itself on its craft beer for evening sessions. If this combo of cycles, coffee, and craft sounds like a recipe for creativity, then sit down at along the broad counter facing the window, plug in your laptop, and watch the world go by. 

The Book Club

Don’t be fooled by the name – The Book Club is not a library in disguise. In fact, it’s a former factory building in the heart of Shoreditch which has now been reimagined as a stylish space for food, drink, and meetings. With big tables to match its spacious, airy interior, there’s a certain buzz here that makes it a great space for chatting and idea exchange over lunch. The sound of ping pong balls might have something to do with it – a quick game at their table tennis table might be just the thing to get your creative juices flowing.

After hours, The Book Club transforms into a thinking and drinking venue, delivering a range of inspiring events and hosting DJs downstairs on weekends.

Why not pair good coffee with your next work meeting? Credit: iStock


This independent coffee shop sits just north of London’s center and is a spot not to be missed.

Unwind in Vagabond‘s cozy, stripped-back space with free Wi-Fi and plug points, perfect for those working remotely.
The cafe focuses on seasonal produce and specialty in-house roasted coffee, which means each week the menu is completely revamped into a new flavor experience for visitors.
The outdoor patio area is the perfect spot to inspire new ideas in the warmer months, where sunlight filters through a lush, green canopy.

Charlie’s Cafe & Bakery

Wood Green might not be London’s prettiest patch, but Charlie’s Cafe & Bakery stands out as a well-designed spot with charm, purpose, and most important of all, very good coffee.

If you happen to be a vegan and cake lover (or indeed just a cake lover full stop), this is the place for you. Alongside an impressive roster of savory snacks, Charlie’s counter is fit to burst with sweet treats that will leave your mouth watering – including a mind-blowing vegan brownie that might just change your world.
Once you’ve sat down, you’ll find the clean, smart and focused atmosphere is perfectly tuned for dreaming and scheming as you work, read or watch the busy streets go by outside

The Wren

Sometimes you need to dive deep to get inspired.

The Wren, near to Mansion House station, is a coffee shop inside a church – the St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, to be precise. Here you can enjoy a coffee and quiche while basking in the light of the church’s glorious stained glass windows and original fittings. Divine inspiration? That’s up to you to decide.

What’s more, the money you pay at The Wren goes back into the Abbey and its weekly talks, meaning all your pennies flow back into a local good cause.


Coffee in a toilet?! Well, not exactly – but one of Attendant’s biggest selling points is its location inside a former 19th-century gents’ lavatory. Please don’t let it put you off, though; despite things being a little cramped, the food, coffee and service here are truly top-drawer. The baristas place emphasis on beans with eco-friendly origin, and as a coffee company they’re committed to building strong relations with their growers.

Sound like your kind of business? Squeeze inside to enjoy a lovingly-crafted coffee and take in Attendant’s striking interior design. It’s a great spot to contemplate what’s possible when we reinvent a city’s history, turning it into something completely new. It’s  a theme that London presents its visitors with again and again, and one that’s ripe for creative entrepreneurs to explore.

Completed your cafe hopping creativity session? Book a Blacklane chauffeur service in London to reach your next destination in style.


Nick Hagan

Nick Hagan is a freelance writer based in Oxford and Reading, UK. He runs Curio Books and Culture in Oxford, and enjoys writing about culture, travel, film, psychology and just about everything in-between.