So it's been a while since our last post...but we've come up with another little beauty. Herne Hill's Cafe Provencal. We're looking at this cafe with a slightly different slant as we we expand our search and look for a "work friendly" cafe. The current economic climate has spawned a new generation of entrepreneurs - myself included - who work remotely, from home, or in this case...from a cafe. You see them everywhere, tapping away on laptops or tablets, and so we began the search for somewhere that isn't Costa Coffee, Starbucks, or Cafe Nero. A mutually beneficial relationship with the independent coffee shop.
We were quite specific in what we were looking for: wi-fi, reasonable prices, an environment conducive to being able to work, and a bit of a spark...something that would make the cafe stand out from the rest. Somewhere you could recommend, a hidden gem. Cafe Provencal definitely fit the brief!
The location is easily accessible, right by a train station, along several bus routes and, although the immediate area is permit parking only from 12pm-2pm, there's parking just a 4-5 minute walk away. The wi-fi code is immediately provided, however unfortunately there are no plugs so make sure your electronic devices are fully charged!
As you go in there are 3 or 4 semi separate rooms, and so there is sufficient quiet/privacy to make phone calls if needed. That being said, the cafe is on a main road - and in the couple of hours we were there 4 or 5 emergency vehicles went by, sirens blaring. For families there is a dedicated "child-friendly" area in one of the rooms. Overall the atmosphere was great though, quiet enough to work but not loud enough to be disturbed.
Prices are reasonable, and the menu selection has a wide range available. Tea is served in vintage, mismatched tea cups and saucers. The staff were friendly and attentive, but didn't bother us - which was obviously great for working.