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wifi
Picture by Andy Davison

Can't work at home? Take advantage of free WiFi.

by Javier Duque

Working at home is not always the best option. Sometimes it could mean constant distractions.

You open the fridge several times only to disappoint yourself with the usual stuff. There’s nothing good inside. Expired butter, two bad-looking eggs and French mustard staring at you.

Even a well known chef like Gordon Ramsey could not do anything with that!

To top it all, there are lots of irritable interruptions from relatives, housemates or neighbours. They demand your attention for trivial matters and you can't get anything constructive done.

So, why work at home when some of London’s most impressive cultural centres, small cafés and world-class museums offer you the opportunity to combine a day’s work with a day out of home and the office?

The best part of it is that you don’t have to pay anything for the connection.

Some of London's best WiFi locations

Barbican Centre


This city-central cultural centre has been designed to accommodate a big number of Londoners interested in arts. The Barbican is Europe’s largest performing centre, but during the week it’s almost empty and working here can be almost perfect.

The Barbican lies within a Wi-Fi hotspot, but as the building’s walls are six feet of solid concrete, the signal is sometimes unreliable (although the library on the second floor has internet terminals).

You’ll find young writers, creative designers with their latest Mac Book, students and the coolest businessmen. 


Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2 (020 7638 4141/ www.barbican.org.uk). Barbican or Moorgate tube.

Royal Festival Hall


On the south side of the Thames, you can find The Royal Festival Hall. Most people tend to use their laptops on the ground floor next to the windows overlooking the Hayward Gallery, as this is where the Wi-Fi signal is strongest.

However, if you feel the place is too crowded, you’ll find the very peaceful Saison Poetry Library on the sixth floor, complete with workstations.

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 (0871 663 2501/ www.southbankcentre.co.uk). Waterloo tube/rail.

Camden Arts Centre


Some people might say the Camden Arts Centre has the best coffee in North London, and truth is the pastries aren’t bad either.

The café is light and airy with free Wi-Fi and nice big tables, and there’s also a gallery and bookshop stocked with publications that you’d struggle to find anywhere else.

The café tends to be frequented by creative type people between their twenties and thirties. It opens on to a garden, where you can work among the various temporary artworks.

Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Rd, NW3 (020 7472 5500/ www.camdenartscentre.org). Finchley Rd tube.

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