When I first turned freelance, the thought of spending my weekdays in cool cafés while working on commissions was idyllic. After all, who needs an office when there are loads of awesome freelance-friendly cafés in Cardiff to set up your laptop and get stuff done in?
The reality of freelancing is you can’t always afford to spend each day nibbling on pastries and downing flat whites, although the occasional coffee shop visit is certainly a perk of the job. If you’re a Cardiff-based freelancer looking for somewhere with strong coffee and stronger Wi-Fi, I recommend paying a visit to one of these great independent cafés dotted around the Welsh capital.
Little Man Coffee Co
The friendly baristas in this community-focused café really know their coffee, sourcing the best beans from local roasters and turning them into amazing Insta-worthy drinks. With a dedicated meeting room in the form of an old bank vault in the basement, frequent networking events such as Tech Dragons and weekly co-working for small business owners during their Laptop Friday meet-ups, freelancers in Cardiff are lucky to have Little Man in their lives.
Tucked away in the Royal Arcade, Uncommon Ground’s big, sturdy tables and wealth of available plug sockets mean you could easily spend the whole day in here with your laptop. The look of the place is effortlessly cool: exposed brick, mismatched chairs and hanging tea pot-shaped light fixtures provide just the right amount of quirk to impress creative clients. Besides all that, their perfectly poured lattes are among the best in the ‘Diff.
The incredible interior of this Castle Arcade coffee shop is a good enough reason to include it in any Cardiff café round-up. The people behind Barker have obviously spent an insane amount of time and effort making their space beautiful. And it’s paid off – this vintage-inspired haven is always filled with local creatives bashing out assignments on their laptops.
With a name that means ‘family and friends’, Kin+Ilk are all about providing a relaxed and welcoming space for Cardiff’s creative community. There are two branches in Cardiff so far – one in Pontcanna and one in the Capital Quarter (just over the bridge from University of South Wales’ arts hub, the Atrium). Scrummy food, decent drinks and reliable Wi-Fi make both cafés a joy to work in.
While all the cafés mentioned here are capable of knocking up a decent cuppa, no one does it quite like Waterloo Tea. As well as stocking obvious brews like English breakfast and Earl Grey, the loose leaf tea obsessives here offer a wealth of weird and wonderful other brews, from fruity hibiscus berry infusions to fancy premium grade matcha. Each of their three Cardiff cafés (Penylan, Penarth and Wyndham Arcade) is perfect for cosy freelance catch-ups and moreish lunchtime meetings.
Fellow freelancers and caffeine addicts: what’s your favourite Cardiff café to work in? Hit me up on Twitter with your top coffee shops and I might just add them to the list.