Phoneography Challenge: My Neighbourhood (or ‘My Writing Cafes’)

For this week’s Phoneography Challenge, ‘My Neighbourhood’, I’ve decided to share with you the cafes in which I most commonly write. So I’ve spent all week taking photos — plus included one or two I’d previously taken (on my phone of course!).

My criteria for cafes to write in are: good coffee, nice ambiance and space. I don’t want to feel as though I’m hogging a table, so if it’s a busier cafe, I’ll choose a quieter time. Usually, I’ll order at least two coffees or have a meal, just to say “thanks for having me”.

OK, now for the photos!

First, this is my Green Bag — my mobile office, really. It contains: my netbook computer, writing journal, highlighters, post-it tabs, pens… All I need for a productive writing session! Since I walk to all the cafes, my bag needs to be comfy to wear — it’s an Australian brand called Crumpler and the style is ‘The Considerable Embarrassment’.

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My Green Bag goes with me just about everywhere at the moment…

Below is Cafe #1, where I most often meet a couple of my writing buddies… It has great coffee — plus, as an added bonus, it’s licensed for the times we do those all-day sessions! Wine o’clock is generally sometime after 2pm. It makes me feel as though I’m “renting” the table. And sometimes it helps the words flow too.

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A cafe with great coffee AND wine — what more could you want?

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My trusty Samsung netbook at wine o’clock.

This is Cafe #2, unassuming and casual, where I meet my sister after her Pilates class (having got there early for some word slinging). My goto lunch  here is a “chicken baguette”, which is so much more than it sounds!

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This cafe is low key and relatively quiet — you can just see the tip of an Australian flag…

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Lovely red bench to sprawl out on — me and my Green Bag.

And finally this is Cafe #3, which has the best coffee in the street — with latte art to boot!

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Legendary latte (or flat white, in my case) art at this cafe.

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Enjoying that coffee!

So there you have it. Now you have the full picture. When I talk about “writing in cafes” it’s invariably from one of these three. The staff at all three are coming to know me rather well.

Now I’d love to hear about your favourite cafe. If you write in cafes, what are your criteria?

NOTE: All photos taken by me on my iPhone 4S. I started this post off using the iPhone App, but for a post with this many photos it was too hard, so I edited and finished on the laptop.

25 comments

  1. I love these pics! It’s nice to see the cafes you write in and it’s cool that you can walk to them.

    The big glass ball chandelier in the first pic is great and the giant red bench looks so comfy. I can imagine creating in these places ~ that’s what I love most about the photos. I can see why you go there 🙂

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  2. It’s so cool to see your writing spots! I would totally join you in any of those places. The first cafe looks a lot like one of my two writing cafes. It also has wine and beer as well as these amazingly decadent crepes that you can get with all sorts of ingredients inside. It makes me hungry every time they make one because the smell wafts through the whole place. I can walk to it as well which is very handy. My drink of choice there? Hazelnut latte. Yum.

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    1. Oh yummy, crepes! One of the great things about these cafes is they do all day breakfasts — so whether breakfast, brunch or lunch, I tend to have eggs of some description ~ along with my ‘large skinny flat white’ of course.

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    1. I dare say they serve other beverages too… Certainly I always work myself through a jug of water. Out of curiosity, what are your beverages/drinks of choice? Tea? Hot chocolate? Beer? (Is there really life beyond wine and coffee?)

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          1. It uses stevia as a sweetener instead of sugar or an artificial chemical, so it supposedly has 0 net carbs, even though it does have a sugar alcohol in it. The product claims to be all natural, which is probably better than what I was swilling before 🙂

            I’d prefer to just drink water all the time, but I dunno…I think I’d miss drinking something that has like a flavor and stuff.

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  3. Thanks for sharing. I used to have a favorite cafe where I could sit all afternoon. However, it converted/grew into more of a full service restaurant so it was no longer conducive to writing. I’m not a drinker of coffee and hate over-priced tea, plus I don’t need to be sitting in a place that supplies food all day. That’s why I’m still trying to find a place away from home to do writing. I think I need to get my rear in gear and haul my supplies to the library for a couple of hours two or three times a week.

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    1. I shouldn’t be sitting in a place that serves food all day either — bad for wallet and waistline! I’m trying to migrate at least part of the time to the library and tried it out for the first time yesterday — it worked really well! That’s not to say I’m abandoning cafes though, but daily seems a bit too frequent…

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  4. I know I’m late to this little party, but better than never? I tuck a mini moleskin into my handbag but that’s about as far as I get when it comes to writing in cafes. I get very guilty about occupying space after I’ve had my coffee and so usually leave fairly quickly. This probably says more about me than the expectations of the cafe staff. I will sometimes go to a park (with a bigger notebook – and there I will either have a lot of success or end up birdwatching. It’s the break that’s important I guess.

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    1. It does depend to some extent on the cafe. I don’t plonk for more than about an hour in a cafe that relies on high turnover of tables. Most of the time, there are always free tables where I write. And I look at it from the perspective that I lend the cafe a certain ambiance and good vibe by choosing to hang out there. 🙂

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