[Guest Post] This week, we asked Owen O’Leary of The Locals’ Guide to Edinburgh what the best cafes in Edinburgh for work are.
Oh the joys of mobile working! Now, like smoking electronic cigarettes it can be done anywhere. Walking, waiting, travelling and even going to the park can all be activities done from your office. Of course some places are more conducive than others which is why I’ve pulled together a Locals’ Guide to Edinburgh cafes for the footloose and office free start up entrepreneur. Whether you are a plugged in programmer or a high energy sales person the selection below are my top tips for mobile office working.
Two great reasons why BrewLab rocks: Sockets and students. There’s actually tons of reasons why BrewLab rocks from the fab food and superb coffee but the ones that matter here are all about getting power and being able to sit for a few hours undisturbed. Seating wise there’s a number of tucked away one / two person tables and almost always a powerpoint nearby. Even better with so many students lounging you can crack on with work without feeling like you are the only one hogging tables. Wifi activation requires a check in from Facebook which isn’t ideal for undercover operations but is more than worth it. The seating is pretty snug so save those very important phonecalls for when you have finished your coffee.
If you are looking for a bit more peace and quiet then I can’t recommend the Traverse Bar enough. Even at its busiest there should be a corner table free, and its bunker like qualities are ideal for hosting clandestine meetings and hatching plans. Phone coverage is best for O2 in the bar area but you can always make calls upstairs while accessing the wifi next to the Box Office foyer which has tables, sockets and space to pace while you’re on the phone. Less cosy than the bar downstairs its functional feel is just what you need for cracking through a chunk of work. The rewards are waiting behind the bar below. Wifi: TraverseBarCafe Password: TraverseBarCafe
“Welcome to my office…” is the well worn phrase I’ve used in the back room of the Broughton Deli for years. A table with two old church pews for seats is the perfect base for strategy meetings over cinnamon scones. The room is just off the main cafe space and if there’s a few of you you can book it in advance. Phone reception isn’t amazing so it’s best used for a well fed session of laptop based work. The food is delicious and the service laid back & leisurely so you’ll not get disturbed too often. Wifi: Broughton Deli Password (at the time of writing): bluetrain
I love Stag Espresso for meetings. Based in the Dovecot Studio it’s a hidden oasis of bright clean lines, delicious food and an air of calm. Not quite the place to spend an entire day in (not really a laptop farm) but if you want exude the air of swan-like cool for meeting key targets then let Richard and his team set the scene at Stag. There’s not officially wifi but in case of emergencies the signal from the Dovecot has been known to show up. Ask nicely at Gallery reception for the password.
I’m slightly cheating here as the foyer area in Waverley Gate isn’t strictly a cafe although there is a wee coffee kiosk with sandwiches, cakes and coffees in the corner. You won’t be here for the coffee mind. You’ll be here because it’s a great place to take a seat, get set up for the day and work away undisturbed at minimum expense. Of course you might be visiting Amazon or Microsoft in the building and have arrived early or stayed on late to get work done. All of the offices have wifi codes and you can click here to see one regularly made available to visiting guests.
The above list doesn’t take in any of the main chains which are great as you know what you are getting in most places and they have their own individual advantages. It might be:
- Proximity to the train station (Starbucks on Leith St)
- Decent reliable broadband
- Close to other startups so you can bump into folk you might be desperate to meet (cafes near CodeBase, Skyscanner and Rockstar). Prizes for anyone who uses the ordering system to secure an introduction:
When you do secure that seed round and finally get a permanent office I totally recommend getting your own coffee machine so you are reminded of edgy early days of start up land every time you try and make a phonecall while somebody is grinding beans or frothing milk.
Ah, the sweet sounds of start up success….