[Life in London] Best Hideout Cafes in London 2019
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
I am going to be brutally honest about this: I do not like crowd, not even the slightest bit. That being said, it doesn't mean I don't like spending some quality me time reading, working or just day dreaming in a nice cafe. Therefore, I am constantly hunting for new hideout spots where I can spend a quiet afternoon without being bothered. I have all these secret little places all over the world (since I travel a lot); in this post, however, I would like to share with you my favourite lairs in London.
Criteria that makes a coffee shop a good hideout spot for me:
Nice environment, in terms of being aesthetically pleasing and work friendly (e.g. large tables)
Friendly and welcoming staff
Good food (both quality and selection wise)
Good coffee/ tea
Plugs for electronics
Bonus points for tasteful music
Address: 32b Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 4HA
Tel: 020 7938 4000
Whenever I feel like finding a secluded spot, this is my go-to. Just opened in early 2019, Cafe Jumo quickly became one of my favourites because of its warm and chill atmosphere. Located in a rather discrete corner, 5 minutes away from Hyde Park, it is a sanctuary within the heart of London. Since it is not located in the main street, it is capable of providing a quiet and serene environment to its customers, where they enjoy their time without being disturbed. What I love most about this place is their comfy seating (my favourite is the one near the window). The fact that you won't find any lousy, noisy kids here is a huge plus if you're like me and can't be bothered. As we speak of atmosphere, I have to say that this is a place that reminds me of home. The warm and stylish interior design makes chilling around extra pleasurable. You will find yourself surrounded by natural woods, vivid greens and tasteful music. On top of that, the friendly and welcoming staff makes a huge difference. This is the place for someone who wants to work and chill at the same time, whether it be some light reading, work researches or article writing. The cafe comes with spaceful tables, plenty of plugs for electronics, and unlimited free wifi access (spot-on Wi-Fi password by the way), making it a perfect place if you like to spice up your busy working life with a cup of good coffee. Speaking of which, a good cafe must come with good coffee; and Cafe Jumo has it. In fact, all of their beverages are supplied by local small businesses, exclusively picked by the owner. In my opinion, they provide some of the best coffee in town; if you fancy a piece of baked goods to go with it or to have a quick lunch, they also have you covered. Bonus: this café is pet friendly! Stick around and lovely pups might just pop up if you’re lucky.
Amoret Specialty Coffee
Address: 53 Pembridge Rd, London W11 3HG
Located in Notting Hill, Amoret is just 5 mins away from Portobello Road Market. So if you’re looking for a place to rest your feet after a fruitful shopping day, this might be the place for you. On weekdays, they are rarely packed full of people. Although the shopfront could be quite busy, there are plenty of comfortable seating upstairs that comes with numerous plugs and a nice street view. It’s the perfect place to recharge (pun intended). There is free and secure WiFi connection here, making it perfect for those who come here to work; although reading and studying here is also great. Amoret has a natural retro kind of vibe to it, where it is decorated with natural woods and leathers. Their coffee is nice but the hot chocolate is amazing! They also provide a wide range of pastries for those moments when we need a pick me up. The staff here are friendly and attentive, if you ever need anything they’re always happy to help. The fact that they place a jar of sugar on each desk is a plus, in case you ever have that sugar crave.
Address: 156 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5NA
Tel: 020 3417 6616
Not far from Portobello Rood Market, there is another café called the Leafwild. Located in a slightly off centred location, this coffee house offers a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options. They have a good selection of baked goods and hot meals, as well as specialty drinks and really good coffees. If you have difficulties on deciding what to order, ask one of their friendly and helpful staff for recommendations, as they always give good ones. With plenty of seats, spot on music and secured Wi-Fi connection (ask one of the staff for the password), this is a good place to visit when you are looking for somewhere to spend an afternoon. Although limited, there are plugs available to some seats and there is a large table at the back of the café for those who needs more space for discussion or study. It is on the pricier side (e.g. £2.70 for a flat white and £3.70 for a small piece of brownie), but it’s a vegan/ vegetarian (aka fancy) café and the quality of their products are great, so if you can afford to splurge it is definitely worth it. This coffee shop is vegan/ vegetarian friendly; So apart from dairy milk for your coffee (non-dairy options also available), there won’t be any meat on the menu. This is also a kids friendly café and there are toys for children at the corner of the shop, so if the presence of kids is a concern for you, this is something you should look out for.
Swallow Coffee Shop
Address: 75 Goldhawk Rd, Hammersmith, London W12 8EH
Tel: 020 8742 9832
1 min away from Shepherd’s Bush Market, is the urban-natural Swallow Coffee Shop. This navy and white colour themed café is filled with greenery and framed artworks. Combined with its choice of wooden furniture, this place feels like a beach-side cabin in the city. With plenty of seating and fast, secured Wi-Fi network (ask staff for the password, or find it out form the menu), no wonder why this place is a favourite of those who likes to work in coffee shops. There is sufficient number of plugs and a large wooden desk at the back of the café, where you will find your fellow hard-working programmers and freelancers. You will find this a very comfortable working space with a large window and plenty of natural light. Although the coffee here isn’t the best in the world, but they are decent. I will come here with my laptop just for the environment and atmosphere. If you’re looking for places to chill instead of a working area, don’t worry; there is a big and comfy sofa just next to the working space where you can enjoy a book while leaning on plushy cushions. After couple of coffees and some good time, food are being served here shall you want it. They have sandwich, cakes and muffins which I find quite nice.
Arro Coffee – The Temple of Coffee
Address: 77 Bishop's Bridge Rd, London W2 6BG
Tel: 020 7221 4600
I have a love-hate relationship with this place, for it has an endless selection of food options. From croissants to pastries, cakes and tarts, sandwiches and soups…. They even have gelatos! There is so much to choose from I often find myself stuck at the counter struggling to make that decision (to a point where the barista comes and ask if I’m ok…). The food selection here is great, so is the coffee. As a cafe claiming to be a coffee specialty, Arro serve numerous different coffee blends so there’s always something for everyone. If you need some recommendations, the welcoming staff here will take good care of you. On the contrary to the busy storefront, the loft area is a cozy little space where you will find people reading and studying. With a good number of plugs supply, this is the place for me to study. The vivid atmosphere livens up my boring textbooks, and this place have my breakfast, lunch and dinner taken care of, not to mention the amazing coffee they offer. There is free Wi-Fi if you need them, unfortunately it's not a secured private network but a public one. So if you’re paranoid about your privacy like me, then this is probably not the best place for that. On the bright side, this is the place for you if you are here to read or study (no Wi-Fi means no social media, which means no distraction, right?).
There you have it! My favourite coffee shops for hangout in London. Although as I said, I'm on a constant hunt for new, nice ones, I'm sure a new list will be released very soon... So if you want to know more about nice cafes in London, subscribe to my blog and Instagram so you will always be updated ;)