What do an apprentice & JK Rowling have in common? Café culture. The Bridge Cafe is a bitter-sweet experience in a greasy spoon in Acton, where the losing team of the weekly challenge set by Sir Alan go to have a cuppa, exchange thoughts about what went wrong and think about who should be offered up for a grilling in the boardroom. Then there’s The Elephant House in Edinburgh. A sweet-spot where where The Boy who Lived was conceived. Today, thanks to free wi-fi, coffee shops & cafés have become an unofficial office & meeting hot-spot for the suited-&-booted and new breed of business supremo. And the birthplace, no doubt, of the next big thing.

Cappuccino commerce
The love affair between coffee-&-commerce can be traced to way-back. Take Lloyd’s of London, which started life as a modest coffee shop and very quickly became the hub-&-hangout for merchants, ship owners and insurance brokers. Movers-&-groovers of the mercantile world. Trade was never off the menu and this little café off Tower Street developed into the world’s leading market in marine insurance.

Piped coffee
Interestingly the background sounds of cafés-&-coffee shops are so conducive to work, they are even being piped into offices. It seems they have just the right amount of noise-&-movement to inspire creativity. If you can’t make it to a coffee shop, Coffivity‘s the perfect alternative, that’ll pipe the sound of coffee-buzz straight to your ears. Honestly! Give it a go.

A Taste of Sister Snog
The sweet spot Sister Snog loves the most is in Covent Garden. More Salon de Thé than humble coffee shop,
BB Bakery is nestled on the corner of Chandos Place. This is where Sister Snog hangs out every Tuesday to meet prospective members of The Tribe who are serious about joining.

An oasis of style-&-taste
A boutique bakery that’s a pure delight. Viennoiserie-&-patisserie sit side-by-side with cupcakes-&-cookies, meringues-&-macarons. Croques-&-quiches are served with an ample garnish of salad. And fresh baguettes, brimming with filling and a side order of vegetable crisps, turn lunch into luncheon. The walls are a canvas dressed with  illustrations of leggy ladies sitting on phone boxes, taking their pooch for a walk, flipping a crêpe or heading out to shop-till-they-drop. The windows are a gallery of illustrious sugar frosted sculptures, adorned with an eclectic array of embellishments. Butterflies. Paper parasols. Jewels-&-gemstones. All originals.

See you for a scone
If coffee shops have become an unofficial office, then afternoon tea is now the new working lunch. And not just for Ladies-Who-Lunch. It’s a gentleman’s relish too.

Got a fave coffee shop where you love to meet up for a tete-a-tete and talk business? Please do kiss-&-tell.

This blog is dedicated to Natalie Haverstock aka Miss Ballooniverse who rather serendipitously mentioned she had a desire to visit The Bridge Cafe. Balloon Artists no doubt most welcome.