8AM – 8PM
9AM – 7PM
London SE1 7BH
If you’re tired of perching on a small coffee shop table, nursing a cappuccino for two hours whilst avoiding the gaze of the cafe staff eager to move you on, look no further. We’ve come up with a list of some of the best casual workspaces in Waterloo and the South Bank.
The South Bank has a history of co-working with the first We Work opening in Sea Containers House in 2014. As modern working continues to evolve, we wanted to look beyond the corporate co-working spaces and look for the fun, informal and free working venues around the South Bank.
We’ve scoured the South Bank and Waterloo for the perfect places to settle in, get some work done between meetings, stay as long as they like and take in a little part of South Bank history at the same time.
These are the places where you get a cup of coffee, plugin, use the wi-fi, maybe put some headphones on and catch up on emails or prepare that next proposal, before moving off to your next meeting or the train home.
First stop is a South Bank institution and a venue with so many options for free working that it could have had three entries by itself and some of the most creative and artistic in the area. Across the whole centre you have a plethora of food options if you get peckish or if you’re looking for somewhere more impressive to meet someone.
There are cafes across the centre, including the large Haywood Gallery Cafe, as well as plenty of areas with good seating. They offer lots of good spaces to sit and catch up on work. An insider’s tip is to head up to level 5 and find one of the sunny spots by the balcony.
You might be tempted into the Royal Festival Hall, where the free wi-fi can be combined with an amazing setting for a couple of hours before moving on to a key meeting, but be warned, it can get noisy at times.
Alternatively, head next door to the newly decorated Queen Elizabeth Hall which is usually quieter and easier to find a comfy seat. This historic music venue has good window-side stools and plug points.
Another great option within the centre is the National Poetry Library. It’s perfect for quiet working in relaxing surroundings.
However, if you do want to be a little more formal with your co-working, then sign up for a Southbank Centre membership for just £69 for the year and get access to the member’s lounge. The views are great, you’ll be working in quieter surroundings and you also get access to exhibitions at discounted prices.
If the South Bank Centre is a little too full of parents and prams (it’s very accessible) then you might want to pop along to the equally beautiful and less noisy National Theatre. They have free wi-fi in the lobby, good cafes and restaurants, as well as some amazing independent street food vendors throughout the summer, so treat yourself whilst you work.
Fancy working amongst some of the most iconic art in the capital? Who wouldn’t! Free wi-fi. Great food. Superb views. Plenty of seats. It certainly ticks a lot of the needs of someone looking to spend some time working around the South Bank but wanting to avoid a boring office.
They have a cafe and bar on the top floor to quench the thirst and keep you energised. And why not spend your lunch break going around the free exhibitions!
If you are looking for a different approach to co-working, then a company like ‘AndCo’ offers the chance to find spots in hospitality venues around the country for just £20 a month. Unsurprisingly London has more options than anywhere else and one of those options is the Ruby Lucy Hotel in South Bank.
It is a very laid back hotel in the vibrant Lower Marsh end of Waterloo, where you can make your desk for a few hours or the whole day. Choose from a variety of different tables to plug in and work from.
The process is very simple, book online, turn up and reception will guide you to your desk for the day. You’ll have access to the wi-fi, get yourself a coffee and work in quiet and relaxing surroundings just minutes from Waterloo station.
BrewDog, Waterloo – Coming Soon
Why wait until after work to go to the pub?
If you’ll allow us a small bit of self-promotion, when The Sidings opens in Waterloo Station later this summer, one of the flagship venues will be the largest BrewDog in the world. As part of this incredible venue (that includes flower stalls and a slide!), they will be creating meeting rooms, workspaces and even a podcasting studio.
Concerned about lunchtime drinking affecting your afternoon? Don’t worry, they also have an artisan coffee area so you can save the beers until the end of your day. Just imagine, working and then drinking, all without having to leave the one place – sounds pretty ideal to us.
Hopefully that’s given you a taster of what’s possible around the South Bank without having to break the bank or sit in an uninspiring office. We hope to see you soon.
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