Best cafes for freelancers and laptop nomads in Brighton & Hove
Updated: Jun 16
Thanks to recent events, many of us are now abundantly aware that working from home isn't all it's cracked up to be. While it's great that no-one can steal my lunch from the communal fridge or rip a fart near my desk, there are some pitfalls to going remote.
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 usual 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 tops).
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:
(P.S. We update this list fairly regularly so send us your suggestions and we'll happily check them out.)
Let's face it, the beauty of working from a well-known coffee establishment is the anonymity (aside from when your venti caramel choca mocha is ready and they scream your name). Moksha is the best of both: an independent Brighton coffee shop with the anonymity of a Starbucks/Costa/Pret/Nero. Where everybody doesn't know your name. Make this your workspace for a few hours, and enjoy sampling the truly impressive range of cakes on offer.
Location: 4-5 York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU
Opening hours: every day, 8pm-4pm
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 (and a 'no laptop' policy on some tables). 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
Opening Hours: every day 10am-6pm and til late Thurs-Sat
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
Opening Hours: 8am til late Mon-Sat, and from 9am on Sundays
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 falls on the expensive side (most dishes come in at around £9).
Location: 81 George Street, Hove, BN3 3YE
Opening hours: every day 9am-4pm
There's a strong case for working from Brighton station's waiting room, even with nowhere to go and no ticket to go with. The underrated Passenger Lounge is a good-looking space: high ceilings, ambient lighting and well-loved wooden tables. Then there are the 15+ power points around the edge of the room, and FCB coffee - which is far and above the usual train station quality. This place is not as busy as it should be (we suspect because Pret A Manger is next door) but put this cafe in your regular workday hotspots, as it's a very decent workspace, and one of our best-kept secrets.
Location: Inside Brighton train station
Opening hours: every day 8am-6pm
Previously Small Batch, you'll find Meanwhile nestled beside My Hotel. It's a big space, with mega friendly staff and enough power sockets and comfortable seating to attract the laptop crowd on weekdays, who float in and out for the super coffee, local Bird & Blend teas, and delicious brunch menu. Sit in the window if people watching between emails is your thing. And when it's time to down tools for the day, they've got a small but perfectly formed wine list, evidently curated by someone who knows what they're doing. Two Sussex bruts, don't mind if we do!
Location: 17 Jubilee Street, near the library
Opening hours: every weekday from 7am, and from 8am on weekends