The ultimate cafe for solitary offline work

Flat white from Wellington.

I know the perfect cafe-office in Wellington, but I'm not going to tell you its name. Oh, no no no. My secret.

If you work in a cafe at least sometimes, you’ll have firm ideas about your favourites. And the cafe will have favourite customers too.

Obviously, the perfect match is when you like each other.

Cafe-offices transmit signals that you’re welcome to brood over one cup of coffee for an hour or have a business meeting on their premises. Seating, sound system , wi-fi and staff hint that this is exactly what they expect.

But it’s a two-way deal: when time’s up, it’s polite to order lunch or move along. 

Cafe-cafes send out different signals. They’re all about the food, or the people, or a rapid turnover.

When my own office was busy with tradesmen, I did more cafe-hopping than usual. I usually drift back to a familiar old place that suits me perfectly.

Not fashionable. Not buzzy. Not dazzly. Not crowded. If you squint, you can imagine yourself in a fusty old British club. The coffee is fine and food is so-so. Apart from delivering my coffee (very nicely), the staff ignore me.

I settle into a booth with a happy sigh. The closest table is, I kid you not, a full metre away. Music is a soft blur in the background. Now I can work.


Photo of a flat white by Russell James Smith, CC-A.

P.S. No photo of the cafe, oh no no no, you don't get me that way. I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings. And I wouldn't want other people to discover it.

PPS. No idea whether they have wi-fi. I like to escape for an hour or two.

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