Best cafes for freelancers and laptop nomads in Brighton & Hove
Whenever you tell you tell someone that you work from home, the reaction tends to be: "Wow! You get to put your feet up all day? You're so lucky!" While it is pretty great that no-one can steal my lunch from the fridge or rip a fart near my desk, there are some trials and tribulations for us remote workers. It isn't all luxury and working in sweatpants.
Being cooped up in the house all day alone can get pretty lonely and no-one wants to wind up hating the space they live in. So, it's common for me to take my laptop and wander into the cafes of Brighton and Hove to be surrounded by all those people I usually would avoid if they were in the office. Turns out you do miss them once they are gone.
Fortunately, those who reside in England's rebellious seaside city are spoilt for choice when it comes to locations to hunker down for a hard day of remote working.
Note that we have impeccable cafe working manners. The etiquette is as follows:
1. Always turn up with laptop and phone fully charged. Don't use power sockets unless it's an emergency.
2. When your cup is empty, order another drink or snack within 10 minutes!
3. Don't outstay your welcome (three hours at the most).
4. Don't hog a big table and be prepared to move, share or switch if it gets busy.
5. Don't watch videos without headphones, and don't make loud phone calls. That's just antisocial.
Here are our favourite spots to work in Brighton and Hove: Presuming Ed's
Do you like gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian food? Who am I kidding, you live in Brighton, of course you do! Great food, lovely decor and stupidly fast wi-fi, Presuming Ed's has far too often had the pleasure of having me quenching my thirst on their complimentary mint & lemon infused water (between all those exceptional coffees I buy, naturally).
Presuming Ed's has a dedicated space for freelance workers and laptop nomads. There is also a bookable workspace if you want to gather your cohorts in town. However, it is gathering a reputation among the work crowd, so you may find yourself battling for plugs sockets here.
Location: 114 London Road, BN1 4LJ
Wifi Speed: 8 m/s Ping. 92.86 Mbps upload.
Opening Hours: 8am-6pm
Starfish & Coffee
This cafe is a jewel in Hanover's already impressive crown. It does brunch, cakes, pastries, fab coffee, fresh juices and opens as a bar on Friday and Saturday evenings, too. If you're a weekend worker, don't come here - it's rammed with a hardcore brunch crowd on a Saturday and Sunday quaffing American-style pancakes and perfect poached eggs. On weekdays it's quieter and a great place to work if you don't mind dogs and children (it's right next to Queen's Park).
Location: 32 Egremont Place, BN2 0GA
Wifi Speed: 20m/s ping. 15 Mbps upload.
Opening Hours: 8am-4:30pm
The main attraction of working at Village is that it's a home from home - so much so that you'll want to show up in your slippers.
Village doubles up as a bar and venue so it is open til late and serves a locally sourced brunch all day until 4pm. After that you can order a takeaway locally and they'll provide the plates and cutlery. Seating is at wooden dining tables or comfy sofas and armchairs with plenty of plugs and speedy internet.
Location: 129 Islingword Road, BN2 9SH
Wifi Speed: 11m/s ping, 18.02 Mbps upload.
Opening Hours: 9am-11pm
The Yellow Book
The wildcard. Make your office-bound friends confused and jealous by spending your workdays in Britain's first steampunk bar. In daytime hours pubs and bars can be some of the best locations to work in because they are quiet (squads of parents and pushchairs tend to stick to cafes) and they don't close at 5:30pm.
The Yellow Book itself is quite small and there are plenty of oddities adorning the walls to look at when you need a screen break. In nice weather, the front doors fully open so you can avoid the stuffy indoor feeling that made you leave home in the first place. Other highlights include movable plugs along the walls so you never need to battle for the mains, a biergarten out back and the bar sells mead in case you wanted to feel like a Viking after you clock out.
Location: 3a York Place, BN1 4GU
Wifi Speed: 19m/s ping. 5.87 Mbps upload.
Opening Hours: 9am-11pm
Porteur is a friendly kitchen and workshop, targeted at the cycle crowd but welcoming all-comers. Mechanic Paul will service your bike, fix punctures or build your dream stead in his basement workshop, while chef Kelly serves you Pharmacie coffee, homemade chicken soup and sausage rolls and espresso cake that she bakes fresh every day. Really useful is the free indoor bike parking at the back of the shop, just wheel your bike through the cafe. We use this place when we want to get out for some fresh air and exercise in the middle of the working day.
Location: 210 Church Rd, Hove BN3 2DJ
Wifi speed: 29m/s ping. 5.29Mbps Upload.
Opening Hours: 8am - 5pm Tuesday to Friday, 8am- 4pm on weekends, closed on Mondays
This shabby-chic cafe in Hove has a gorgeous garden tucked away upstairs for those days when you want a little more sunlight in your work life. Rust has multiple locations, but our favourite is the one that occupies where Lala's used to be on George Street. The food is fantastic and well portioned, which is handy as it is falls on the expensive side - most dishes come in at around £9.
Location: 81 George Street, Hove, BN3 3YE
Wifi speed: Wifi currently being set up
Opening hours: 8:30-4:30pm
Self-styled as an 'arts and culture' cafe, Café Plenty is a suitably quirky spot to settle down for the day at the top of London Road. The food is great and caters for a lot of dietary requirements but the whole place can get very busy around midday. Swoop in early to claim your seat and you'll have plenty of time to work before the rush hits. Har har har. Location: 3-4 Circus Parade, New England Road, BN1 4GW
Monday: 9am-4pm Tuesday: 9am-4pm Wednesday: 8am-5pm Thursday: 8am-5pm Friday: 8am-5pm Saturday: 9am-5pm Sunday: 10am-4pm
Wifi speed: 21 m/s Ping. 18.72 Mbps download. 7.29Mbps upload