There is this tote bag that took up residence in one of my old drawers – I think it was handed to me forever ago, throughout Freshers Week in my first year and the print on it says: LONDON IS MY CAMPUS. As cheesy as that may sound, it is also true! Sure, King’s is not a campus uni – it is located right in the heart centre of this buzzing and vibrant city, and honestly, I think that makes everything just so much more exciting! Let’s say you are on the look out for some good study spots, and of course the university offers you spaces like libraries and common rooms, but why not mix it up and really go out and explore London, find your new favourite café, for instance, that in one way or another you can call your own!
Personally, I find it really helps to get out of the house when I need to get work done. For some reason I feel like a more productive human being when I look the part and get out of my PJs, simple as that. There’s something about getting ready and leaving the comfort of your bedroom and going somewhere that encourages a ‘might as well’ attitude. You’ve made it this far, might as well actually tackle the assignment that is due next week, for example.
And I know, I know, part of the joy of ‘your own study spaces’ in the city is the discovery, the wonderful stumbling upon them in some narrow side street when you least expect it. So please just look the following places (my personal list of favourites) as suggestions and keep meandering about to explore new territory. On another note, the reason why I’m listing quite a few spots is because it’s genuinely better to have a handful of places in mind, depending on where you find yourself in the city, what mood you’re in, if the place is too crowded or has issues with the coffee machine (it happens, and it isn’t pretty), or just to keep rotating so you don’t get bored.
No.1: Damson & Co / 21 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0RL This is what I call my substitute living room! It’s a cosy café that turns into a wine bar in the evening. Food and coffee are wonderful and the atmosphere is full of that Soho bustle that I hold oh so dear. It’s just a really welcoming and warm environment and also excellent for people watching – I’ve seen Bill Nighy there on multiple occasions!
No.2: Hoxton Hotel Holborn / 199-206 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD
This place is great! It’s technically a hotel lobby, masking as a lounge, as a café, as
a restaurant and as a workspace, all in one. The wifi is fantastic and if you get a
spot at the big work table by the window you get to look out into busy London life,
surrounded by people who all seem to be super productive, sipping on their
cappuccinos and typing away on their laptops. Another thing that’s worth mentioning about the Hoxton is that it’s open until late, which has been an absolute life saver for me in the past!
No.3: Google Campus / 4-5 Bonhill St, Shoreditch, London EC2A 4BX
This place offers tech-hubs and event spaces for people working on startups mostly, so it’s a very driven, almost electric environment, but the downstairs café and complimentary work desks are open to anyone. Just sign up online before and get your free access card at the reception desks and you’re good to go. One thing to keep in mind here is that is gets really busy, so if you want to find a good spot to work in, get there early. If you roll in roll in around 1pm your chances of getting that table by the window will be rather slim. Still, it’s Google, so without a question the wifi is a
No.4: Press Coffee / 81 Chancery Ln, London WC2A
This is the sister café to the Fleet Street Press (3 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1AU) down the road and it’s right next to the King’s Maughan Library. So if you need a break from your library desk to get a good coffee, or simply a change of scenery for a few hours, this is a great option. However, there’s not much desk space, so if you want to get work done, it has to be limited to simply working on your laptop or reading. Spreading out papers is next to impossible here. Additionally, Press Coffee establishments enjoy a very dense King’s population, I should mention that, so it’s very likely you’ll run into a familiar friendly face!
No.5: Curzon Cinema Soho / 99 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5DY
A lot of people use the café and wine bar as a work space and there is just something fabulous writing your essay surrounded by a mix of iconic and most recent movie posters. Again, it’s just a really lovely environment to work in. When I moved into my current flat it took us a solid while until we got our internet situation sorted, so I did spend an almost embarrassing amount of time at the Curzon, using their wifi. It’s also a bit more quiet than a lot of the other places I have listed, so if need to get away from the constant buzz of the city for a while to concentrate, this is definitely something I would consider!
The possibilities are borderline endless in London, so I hope you do get to enjoy what the city has to offer as much as you can! It is a wonderful place to live and to study in!