J. Kelly Hoey


How To Bleisure: Mixing Work And Leisure Travel In Shoreditch and Silicon Roundabout (London)

Travel trend or simply the hot work reality for a growing generation of freelancers, entrepreneurs, (and yes, employees with side-hacks), frequent travelers are mixing R&R with how they are earning a living. It’s a trend that is increasing a lifestyle choice, not completely a business necessity (according to travel insights site Skift). So whether you are a remote worker or freelancer looking for a change of scenery or simply someone looking for collaborative space and great WiFi (plus opportunity to network like the locals) here are the how to and where insights on networking in the vibrant and multicultural city of London.

Name: Zoe Philpott, Tech Entrepreneur (Philpott Design) and Storyteller (adatheshow.com) Location: London, England

A true Londoner (Zoe has lived in London all her life), Zoe spends a lot of time in and around the London Creative Tech hub of Shoreditch and Silicon Roundabout (Old Street). It’s the location of Google Campus, along with companies such as the Open Data Institute (theodi.org). Wandering the neighborhood, a digital nomad or beleisure traveler will quickly discover that pretty much every cafe is full of people with their laptops setting up their tech start-ups. The energy is vibrant and opportunities are accessible: Zoe notes “if you want to you can be attending a networking event every day: morning, evening or night” (use the meetup app to locate the people you want to meet amongst the plethora of events).

Zoe’s recommendations:

· For the business lunch: The oldest restaurant in London: Rules (34–35 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7LB)

· The “only locals know this place” to start the day: Paper and Cup “Great coffee and cakes and the profits go to help homeless” (18 Calvert Ave, London E2 7JP)

· Mid-day meeting place: Cool & Chique (Ace Hotel Shoreditch, 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ)

· Work options for night-owls: “If you don’t want to go to one of the many hotels etc, then use Airbnb as London has masses of great personable spaces to hire overnight.”

· Socializing early-birds: “Find someone who is a member of either Soho House or the House of St Barnabas

· Favorite neighborhood restaurant: Meze Mangal (245 Lewisham Way, London SE4 1XF)

· Best end of workday retreat: Ronnie Scott’s “best of world jazz, cocktails and burgers, plus dancing upstairs” (47 Frith St, London W1D 4HT)

· Favorite bar: The Seven Stars (53–54 Carey St, London WC2A 2JB)

· Favorite local coffee shop: Maison Bertaux “It’s an institution” (28 Greek St, London W1D 5DQ)

To amp up your creativity, Zoe recommends:

· V&A Museum for world design overdose.

· The South Bank for contemporary and classical culture fix.

· Tate Modern for incredible contemporary art with architecture and views across London.

And the fit-in-like-a-local suggestions:

· For your London wardrobe and business essentials: “Coss for the main-stays, Selfridges for the designer splashes. Redchurch Street for trendy one offs. Muji for your stationery, Apple Store (Covent Garden) for your hardware. Then back to Selfridges for your bag.

· Co-working space: For the tech-tethered traveler, every single cafe in Shoreditch is a co-working space!

· Place to unplug and recharge: Yoga classes at Frame (https://moveyourframe.com/)

· Don’t Miss: The theatre in London. Zoe’s suggestion? “Look up some immersive theatre happening online and go to it — it may be supper club experience or a game played in a basement of a disused hospital. Whatever it is it will be unexpected.”

Last local word from Zoe:

“If you are seeking the tech entreprenuer scene, equip yourself with the meetup app and head to Google Campus. Once you are there: Talk To People. Within a matter of hours you will be embedded into the action at the epicentre of London’s tech scene.”


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