— Ellie Broughton


Dunno about you guys but sometimes I do my day job, and then do some other work late in a café afterwards. Also, sometimes I like to have a latte and a slice of carrot cake with a person after work instead of pints. We drink less booze than we ever did, and that’s a good thing. It’s more socially acceptable than before, too. All we need to mind is our caffeine levels don’t disrupt our “sleep hygiene“.

Luckily, if you’re wondering where to work late tonight, London has some brilliant cafés and coffee shops that stay open in the evenings. Whether you’re looking for the best place to polish off an essay, add sound effects to a PowerPoint presentation, clatter through the final chapter of Normal People or steal 45 minutes to write a key connecting scene in your new novel, we have a spot for you. Here’s a Google map I’ve made of cafés open until 8pm or later on weeknights.

Late-opening cafés that qualified for this map are places that, generally:

  • would be convenient for someone to take a laptop to work on
  • would be OK for someone work for about an hour without feeling like he or she was annoying anyone or being a character from Nathan Barley
  • have laptop-friendly surfaces (tables or benches, for example, rather than sofas and shin-height furniture)
  • aren’t noisy (beyond the regular swearing of a scalded barista) and don’t host gigs
  • are good

Some of the cafés on the map sell booze but none of them are pubs or bars. I haven’t considered whether these places have wifi or plug sockets – most have wifi, some are cool with you using their electrical power supply. If you need more certainty on the wifi, power or event situation, then call ahead – most places are happy to help and it only takes a minute. They’re not going to be silent, of course – for that you’ll want to try the British Library. But they might well be quiet. And if not … Just bosh Nepenthe on again …

A shot of coffee and cake from a café in the sun on the tiles outside at the Barbican. You can work late here on weeknights

I often cover London stories for places like Munchies, Time Out and Eventbrite and have done so for about ten years. If you are looking for a blogger who knows events and venues inside out, please drop me an email. And lastly, if you know a good late night café or coffee shop that fits the bill that you want me to add to this map, just say hi. elliebroughon@gmail.com

Like this? I’ve also got a GCal for cheap cinema tickets in London.

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While working as a listings writer for Time Out I got the chance to cover the homes of London heroes as the lead feature in the Things To Do section. My favourite entries were for Luke Howard – the man who invented the naming system we still use for clouds – and Nipper the Dog (yep, the HMV hound).

Eddy Frankel commissioned a couple of Top Fives, which ran in the front of the mag (click here to read one of those on the blog), and a street guides (Marchmont Street, Hanbury Street, Essex Road, Cambridge Heath RoadPitfield Street, and Lamb’s Conduit Street).

I covered 12 Things To Do In Parks This Summer (PDF), reviewed an exhibition at the V&A, visited an art arcade in Holborn and visited Portobello for a markets feature.

Thanks to the listings editor who kept in this cheeky line about George Michael’s bottom.

If you liked this, you might also want to read about the man who designed the penguin pool at London Zoo, talking lampposts and a seven-hour megamix of one Schubert song.

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Photo: PDSA/English Heritage

Photo: PDSA/English Heritage

Maria Dickin has until recently been an unsung hero for animal rights.

When she founded the PDSA she took a critical view of vets, and in 1931 she blasted them in a letter, writing:

“If you are so concerned about the proper treatment of Sick Animals of the Poor, open your own dispensaries; open them everywhere for there are vast factory, mining, manufacturing and dockland areas where nothing at all exists to help the Sick Animal…Live among it as we do… Do the same work we are doing. Instead of spending your energy and time in hindering us, spend it in dealing with this mass
of misery.”

Afterwards she compounded her fame by creating a record-breaking 10-tonne Christmas pudding in the Albert Hall as part of the PDSA’s seasonal bazaar.

Working as a writer, then features editor at the Hackney Citizen I got to cover lots of things I loved. Here’s a selection of the best:

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“Six months ago I wouldn’t have agreed to be interviewed for a newspaper – absolutely no confidence there at all,” Paul confides.

“I’ve been using tools all my life, so that’s not much of an issue, but the main difficulty is actually dealing with people. At one point I just wouldn’t go near people. Now I can at least talk to them. I’m not exactly fond of it yet but I’m not running away from it either.”

I spoke to Paul about the charity project Restoration Station – a furniture restoration course for people going through rehab. Click here to see the feature in full on the Hackney Citizen’s website.

I worked as the features editor at the Citizen in 2015, covering stories including:

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Dying to see a new film but feeling skint? I’ve set up a list of cheap tickets for affordable cinemas in London.

It’s not all pub screenings and zone 3 cinemas – the big institutions are taking part too, but cinemagoers have be smart about what night they go out in town. Usually, a cinema’s most affordable tickets come up on Mondays and Tuesdays, when cinemas are less crowded.

But cheap cinemas tickets are up for grabs in central London as well as the ‘burbs, too. The BFI is the most central London cinema on the list, with the Barbican coming a close second for affordable film dates. Shout out to Peckham and Stratford for having London’s cheapest cinema tickets all week long, and to the £1 cinema tickets at the Prince Charles Cinema when you snaffle their £10 membership.There are also lots of great screenings in London’s pubs, and the Roxy Bar and Screen on Borough High Street gets a special mention for its regular weeknight screening events that usually come with a very cheap dinner option on side. The Compare The Market discount is a blinder, and if you join MUBI you can get a free cinema ticket every week. Sayonara, Netflix.

Know or run a cinema or film club with cheap tickets? I hope to update quarterly – if you have any screenings you want me to add, I’m on elliebroughton@gmail.com.

Note that Picturehouse Cinemas are not currently featured on this resource; read why film fans have boycotted that business here.

Looking for somewhere to meet for coffee first? Try here.

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