Good coffee. Fast wifi. Comfy seats. Plug sockets. There's a lot to consider here.
It’s taken one flat white, two hours and at least four toilet trips for you to complete a single paragraph. The barista’s giving you the side-eye for outstaying your welcome. Even your phone hotspot is waning. You might be saving on your energy bills, but it genuinely feels colder than it does outside. Toddlers are screaming, there are no blooming plug sockets anywhere.
What is this, the Middle Ages? Your boss shut down the office during the pandemic to cut costs, so now you live and work alone, staring out at the neighbour’s scrawny cat all day, willing it not to defecate in your front yard. All you want is a bit of atmosphere, a bit of company, coffee that isn’t instant, and a desk that doesn’t turn you into The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Well, thankfully laptop-friendly Leeds isn’t hard to find if you know where you’re looking. So, take a scroll down our hit-list of venues totally acceptable for a mini-office conversion.
Archive’s large airy event space has co-working written all over it. It is one of the few places in Leeds that actually advertises its tables for tired typists looking for a change from their own four walls. With plug sockets hanging from chains wound tightly with fairy lights and faux ivy, QR codes for their friendly table service, and a stellar brunch menu – your morning, at least, is most definitely sorted.
94 Kirkstall Rd, Leeds LS3 1HD
If makes you forget Call lane’s vomit and taxi lined gutters on a Saturday night. The floors aren’t at all sticky; macrame plant holders and tropical murals transport you to a fresh green headspace, where, once you’ve cracked the complex wifi password, you can spend a pleasant afternoon tapping away. Upstairs there’s a lovely quiet room, with a round table for collaboration, or high-backed window seats for solo contemplation. But it’s their relatively new joint under an office block on York Place that, for us, grants a moment's peace from the city 9-5.
43 Call Ln, Leeds LS1 7BT / 18 York Pl, Leeds LS1 2EX
Friends of Ham
Friends of Ham might seem like another weird place to whack out your MacBook, but open from 11am each day, it’s often frequented by businesspeople holding a quick meeting before their train. The heady mix of gorgonzola and salami is proven to stimulate brain cells. If you don’t believe us, they also do quality Darkwoods coffee, roasted over in Slaithwaite, so you could try that too.
4-8 New Station St, Leeds, LS1 5DL
Inspired by the comic books of yesteryear, your work-day can certainly kick ass at Kapow. These guys 100% know their coffee. From supporting local start-up Chipp to stocking beans from Sumo coffee roasters all the way over in Dublin, at Kapow you can always try a freshly brewed batch to power you through your essay, or pick up a bag to grind at home. Situated in The Calls flour mill development which follows the River Aire’s banks right along to the Docks, you may even be lucky enough to catch a passing film star visiting the Screen Yorkshire offices above.
46 The Calls, Leeds LS2 7EW
La Bottega Milanese
La Bottega brings a slice of Milanese café culture to Leeds city centre at its sleek stylish cafes where all the sharp-suited professionals chat business. They used to have a dinky spot with grass on the walls under The Light cinema on the Headrow, but now alongside their original Bond Court site, they’ve opened a café beside a swanky co-working space just off Park Square. With floor to ceiling windows looking out at the tall Georgian red-brick townhouses, Darkwoods coffee, and a counter loaded with cannoli, custard tarts and focaccia, it’s the perfect mid-week treat.
Park House, 24 Park Square W, Leeds LS1 2PW
Not only does Left Bank offer ample parking space for your laptop, mouse, notebooks and general WFH paraphernalia, its Grade II listed chapel space provides actual divine inspiration. Twinkling festoon bulbs swing from the stone columns, daylight shining through the stained glass onto the long trestles stretching out into the nave. To fuel busy students and participants fresh from their progressive series of workshops and community events, the café bar serves up Maude coffee, its very own lager on tap, vegan toasties and sausage rolls. Bad day at the office? Try the gorgeous little iced blueberry and pistachio cake.
Cardigan Rd, Burley, Leeds LS6 1LJ
Sheaf St Cafeteria
Located near Leeds’ Brewery Wharf area, Sheaf St is a natural choice for freelancers and digital nomads, due to its residency with Duke Studios, one of the city’s trendiest hot-desking spaces. If you don’t want to pay for a slot, the café bar space with free wifi is a great environment, where the artistically framed mantra is “Work hard & be nice to people”. Sometimes their yarden is open where you can toil away fenced off from the roar of nearby traffic. When mental respite is needed, there’s a stack of board games by the glass doors, and there are often jams, vegetables and eggs to take home for your dinner if you’ve lost track of time.
3 Sheaf St, Leeds LS10 1HD
Stage Espresso & Brew Bar
Right opposite the Leeds Crown Courts and the LGI, Stage is well situated for attracting solicitors, NHS staff and students, and their long basement space is a popular laptop hang out for all the above. Industrial cage lighting hangs from the low ceiling above a grand co-working table and comfy leather sofa. There’s a massive TV at the end, where they’ve been known to screen the odd film night, but the friendly brothers Matt and Martyn aren’t adverse to you plugging in your PowerPoint for a meeting. The lo-fi playlist is a down-tempo mix of instrumental electronics to soothe and focus. Upstairs, a bar lines the curved window where square eyes can watch the world go by, as you sip what’s been dubbed as one of the best espressos in the city.
41 Great George St, Leeds LS1 3BB
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