London’s tech scene is booming, with Silicon Roundabout, the start-up cluster located in London’s EC1V and N1 postcodes and centred around Old Street tube station, its main hub. Here, you’ll find a range of co-working spots, as well as some of the city’s coolest coffee shops and markets.
With a strong community to show you the way and strong coffee to start the journey, Campus London is Google’s free space for London’s start-up community. It serves as a central locus for London entrepreneurs, organising free events and workshops and hosting Campus Residency, a six-month programme for high-potential start-ups focussed on machine learning. The ground-floor coffee shop is open to the public, but get there early – seats are picked up quickly by innovators and venture capitalists looking to spot the next big thing. Co-working spot Central Working, seed fund Seedcamp, entrepreneurship community TechHub and accelerator programme Techstars also occupy the building, making Campus a true one-stop shop for London’s innovators.
Operating co-working spaces in the Google Campus building, as well as its own standalone space on nearby Ropemaker Street, TechHub is a London-based global entrepreneurship community at the centre of the city’s Silicon Roundabout.
Located just off Silicon Roundabout, Old Street’s WeWork office space is home to both entrepreneurs working on early stage ideas and established businesses looking to expand their approach. The co-working community attracts companies of all shapes and sizes, and the site is perfectly situated at the heart of the Tech City buzz.
IDEALondon is a post-accelerator centre for start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow and expand their business, from UCL Engineering, CISCO’s incubator and capital enterprise group and EDF Energy Innovation.
A stunning co-working space at the heart of East London’s creative cluster, Second Home sits just on the outskirts of Tech City, near to Brick Lane. The space hosts a carefully curated and connected community made up of teams from a diverse range of industries, including charities, corporates, creative businesses and innovators such as Kickstarter.
Occupying an honoured spot on Old Street Roundabout since 2011, Shoreditch Grind is a local landmark. Equipped with an upstairs recording studio that has hosted the likes of Tinie Tempah and Sam Smith, the Grind has a full kitchen serving food, cocktails and coffee. Complete with exposed-brick walls, neon signs and a great playlist, the Grind counts London’s coolest entrepreneurs among its patrons.
Ozone is a trendy spot for brunch, coffee or a meal. The street-level floor can get a little crowded, but if you head down to the largely unfurnished basement (where the beans are roasted) you may have better luck finding somewhere to sit. Once you’ve found somewhere to rest your weary body, you’re in for great coffee and culinary delights, including slow-brew specials like Kenyan peaberry coffee. The food is also great, from eggs benedict to bucatini pasta with merguez sausage, shredded courgette, chilli and garlic. There’s a great wine list, too.
Nestled among the curry houses, pop-up stores and galleries of the vibrant Brick Lane, Kahaila is a snug wooden cocoon full of delicious smells. Its homespun, distressed-wood interiors match the simple but generous food and drink that’s on offer, sourced from local suppliers. Kahaila is also a hub for the local art scene, with featured artworks displayed and sold in the shop and a wide range of artistic events, including alcohol-free dance parties, art launches, cinema clubs and regular bring-your-own-booze music, spoken word and poetry nights. It’s all fairly guilt-free, and the coffee shop even channels all its profits back into the local community.
Selling everything from vintage clothes, accessories and jewellery to music, arts and crafts, Brick Lane is an East London staple. Food trucks dominate the street seven days a week, while the Boiler House Food Hall, the Tea Rooms, the Backyard Market, the Sunday UpMarket and the Vintage Market surround The Old Truman Brewery, meaning you’re spoiled for choice.
Redchurch Street is a six-block stretch of East London that is home to some of the city’s coolest design-led stores, cafés and restaurants, including home-goods shop Labour and Wait; cult beauty brand Aesop; design-store-meets-coffee shop Modern Society; and Barber & Parlour, a hairdresser-slash-all-day coffee and food shop with its own basement cinema.
A branch of the internationally renowned Soho House group, Shoreditch House delivers a slice of salubrious Soho in recognisably East London packaging. Guests staying in the hotel have access to the restaurant and the members’ workspaces. Entrepreneurs associated with traditionally creative industries will be drawn to the space, as the venue focusses on attracting guests with common interests so that a sense of community flourishes.
Just three minutes’ walk from Old Street tube station, M by Montcalm London Shoreditch Tech City is not only well placed for exploring Shoreditch; it’s also in prime position for transport connections to venture around the rest of the capital.
Situated close to both Shoreditch High Street overground station and Old Street tube station, the Ace Hotel is well connected when it comes to public transport. Communal tables by the bar in the lobby are great for getting work done, while basement venue Miranda hosts live music and DJ sets. Popular Indian restaurant Dishoom Shoreditch is also nearby.