The best places to take freelance meetings in London
Would you consider your self a coffee connoisseur? Ok maybe not consider but are you're fond of the brown stuff? Yes no? Well really it kind of doesn’t matter, well at least if you live in London. I’ve never really understood the hype about coffee. For me it really seems like for every 100 people that say they LOVE coffee, a coffee super fan etc only a handful of them are being genuine. It’s one of those things that everyone likes to say they like, well because everyone else does. It’s so ingrained in western culture that i don’t even think people really care whether the stuff is good.
So for those of us who are true considers why is it so familiar, well like all good advertising and brands its got an emotional connection. for one it makes a great instagram picture, and great instgram pictures make us look better than we are so thats obviously good.
It’s makes us look like we work harder. “Dude I had like about 20 cups of coffee last night was pulling an all nighter” I’ve heard way to many times. Those people were probably more concern with making them look like they’re being busy than actually be productive.
And finally, well it’s the default thing to do when you meet someone new. Whether that’s business or pleasure, It’s a soft opener. Coffee is harmless, non threatening its easy. Meeting a guy or a girl, and don't wanna get rejected for a date (well it’s just coffee not exactly a date, means you can still keep your guard up a shot approach
Don’t want to show a client that you’re working from a brothers bunk bed. Meet for a coffee they won’t be able to tell.
Don’t wanna show a client your offices are boring as hell and you're really the corporate agency they really won’t want to collaborate with? Go for a coffee at that ‘alternative’ artisanal place that’ll get them at least interested for the initial meeting.
Anyway what the hell and i getting at. Well yes I to am one of those guys. I don’t actually like coffee that much. It still taste's bitter to me, and just reminds me of my dad in pants and a vest smoking in the kitchen. But hey it actually turns out that you don’t really need to order coffee to ‘catch up for a coffee’. And since I left the 9-5 over a year ago taking early informal meetings has actually become a major part of the process of building up my network, bringing in new business and generally getting out the damn house (thats a totally separate article for freelancers all together)
However being in London, has it’s pros and cons. Though there are probably more coffee spots in London than drunk Uber passagers, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. There are a number of things to be taken into consideration,
How busy does the place get?
Meetings can occur at various times of the day, So you’ll want to find a spot that isn’t always chock a block, where you’ll be able to easily find a seat.
Does it have wifi that actually works
The number of times I’ve had to log onto my website and play videos and show work only for it to showcase that buffer of doom sign. It’s killed me, so finding a spot that has great wifi is always good
Can you talk freely
Depending on what industry you’re in, and what your meeting is about, you’ll probably want a place in which you can speak freely. To many times I’ve had to mimic the exorcist ( 360 heads spins) to make sure that a person or client wasn’t around (this mainly happens in private members clubs - the irony)
Is it easily accessible
A meeting location should be an easy thing, trying to imitate Richard O brain on the crystal maze should be avoided at all costs. And no that coffee place that is so hipster it doesn’t have a name is not a good thing. Make sure your location shouldn’t be too far from a major tube station and ideally somewhere central.
This is a must. I’m not blessed with the best proportions in the world. Legs that are 7 foot and a torso that’s 4 times as small. I would ave made a great female model, but the man above made me a fella so now when i sit on the underground I’m actually shorter than my girlfriend (whom may i remind everyone is around 5 foot) nice.
My point is that this also happens EVERYWHERE I sit, so finding stools and chairs that are a good height from tables are essential. You’ll also want sofas that aren’t too low, remember this is still a coffee meeting (and if it’s buiness it’s even more important)
Finally, yes they should serve coffee, but it always helps if they have a good selection of other treats, cakes, healthy stuff, you know, just in case if the person is like you and said yes to meet for a coffee but doesn’t actually like it, they actually have the chance of enjoying their beverage 😃
So now we have the rules in place to help you with your own search. I’ve recommended a few of the best spots to take those coffee meetings, ones that fit all the criteria above 😃
The Peanut Vendor
6 Gunmakers Lane
This is a great little spot in Bow. It’s always super chilled and quite and You’ll be guaranteed a seat which is a great start. It’s located close to Victoria park and not too far from mile end station. Perfect if you’re a local east end head. It also doubles up as a interior design store and has some of the best banana bread in East.
Topman Personal Stylist Suite - Oxford Circus
Topman 2nd Floor
214 Oxford St,
London W1W 8LG
This is a one of my fav places to catch up. Not just because i know all the staff and there all super cool. But they have a well decorated room, great furniture, laptop plus, and reading material too. It’s never really packed and its in a prime central London Spot. Don’t exactly sell coffee but you can always grab one from Downstairs and bring it up.
Sharpes Barbers - Windmill Street
9 Windmill St,
Ok I’d admit. It is my barbers. buts thats not why I’m promoting it. Like everything Else i’ve already mention this spot is super quite and tucked away. Just off
21 Club Row,
This technically should be a lot busier than it actually is. It’s on Club row just off Redchruch street. But it’s surprisingly quite, maybe because i wasn’t actually sure what it was until i went it. A cafe on the ground floor and a work space / studio upstairs. Its the perfect place to take a meeting if you’re in shore ditch. Guaranteed seats or sofas and in a prime location.