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7 of the best places to work remotely in the Thames Valley

By Emily Wood
21 January 2022

With more of us than ever enjoying more of a balance with remote working, the high streets across the UK have seen an increase in the ‘laptop’ army descending on local cafe’s, bars, hotels and restaurants. Choosing the perfect place to work from takes some practice though- testing the wifi strength, comfortable seating, quieter spots and even the best deals for refill drinks.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery when working from home in the Thames Valley area, and want somewhere to hold zoom calls, enjoy fresh food or even a glass of wine after a hard day at the laptop, we’ve pulled together seven of the best spots to work from that offer all the essentials for remote working.

Market House

Location- Reading

This rather impressive-looking trendy bar, cafe and hotel hybrid is located in the old Llyods bank building in the centre of Reading. Situated by the main bus stop in Central Reading and the train station, the Market House in Reading is a hotspot for commuters, remote workers and everyone in between. There are a few key features of this vast independent bar/ hotel that draw in remote workers from around Reading, aside from the ample seating area and quiet corners for meetings, it’s also open early doors as it doubles as an independent hotel upstairs.

It’s also perfectly situated across from Market Place square which hosts the very popular Blue Collar food market every Wednesday and Friday, so if you don’t fancy eating off their own lunch menu, you can stroll across the road without fear of losing your seat by the time you come back. You’ll quickly feel at home working from the Market House as you spot the many other laptops dotted around the building.

Why it’s great for working: AMPLE seating areas! Fast wifi for free. A busy coffee shop all day. Quieter spaces.

In their own words:Maintaining some of the old building’s features, the Market House has multiple area’s which can be hired out privately or enjoyed amongst new friends. Be it a roof terrace bar or an old bank vault, we really can provide the perfect setting for your next event or function.”

The Ivy

Location- Marlow

The Ivy in Marlow
The Ivy in Marlow

Positioned in the middle of Marlow High Street, The Ivy in Marlow welcomes remote workers amongst its many other customers. The bar is geared up for remote workers looking to sit somewhere a little more glamorous as the plush bar, well-suited waiting staff and high-end menus make it the perfect place for a change of scenery. Whilst parking can be tricky on the high street, there are plenty of designated car parks nearby. The Ivy offers free wifi too and serves coffee all day as well as their very popular cocktails. If you’re looking for a venue to host a business lunch too, The Ivy is a great option as it offers plenty of seating options away from other diners.

They also have a garden at the back of the restaurant which the wifi can reach so if you fancy working somewhere other than your own home in the summer months, The Ivy in Marlow should fit the bill!

Why it’s great for working: More upmarket setting for meeting backgrounds. Great coffee. Plenty of seating for lone workers. Open early.

In their own words: Our scenic garden, meanwhile, offers an al fresco haven for tourists and locals alike during the summer months. Surrounded by beautiful flowers and foliage, it’s the ideal spot to soak up the sun away from the everyday bustle.

Whether you’re booking for breakfast, brunch, dinner, lunch, or afternoon tea with friends, you’ll find everything you need right here – a warm welcome, delicious food, incredible cocktails and friendly, knowledgeable service.

The Rusty Bicycle

Location- Oxford

If you’re in the Oxford area and want somewhere hip and happening to work away the day, The Rusty Bicycle pub is ideal. Described on their website as a friendly neighbourhood pub, this once ‘down and out’ pub was revived in 2009 by the Dodo Pub company and so was born The Rusty Bicycle. Nowadays its the hot spot in the East Oxford neighbourhood that offers remote workers a number of quiet tables to work from. Serving local beers, ales and gins as well as providing fast WiFi for free, there aren’t many reasons not to try working from The Rusty Bicycle!

They serve food from midday, keeping the menu simple with burgers, pizzas and wings so you can fuel your work day with some great wholesome pub grub. Bonus points if you cycle to the pub, as the name suggests, there’s plenty of places to park your bike too!

Why it’s great for working: Lots of spots to work from. Free WiFi. Great for Friday working (lots of beer, ales and gin) Bike (and dog) friendly.

In their own words: Relaxed & comfortable internal seating, The Rusty Bicycle is a friendly and relaxed neighbourhood pubWithin a few months the neighbourhood seemed to have embraced the Rusty, and before we knew it the place was filling up night after night. We figured we’d better start serving some food to soak up the booze, so we dug out an old electric 4-hob range cooker that looked like it’d fallen.

Saints Cafe

Location- Maidenhead

Saints Cafe in Maidenhead
Saints Cafe in Maidenhead

When you picture remote working in your mind, Saints Cafe meets the perfect vision! This quaint independent cafe in the heart of Maidenhead is the ideal spot for a few hours of remote working. With delicious homemade cakes, lunches and afternoon tea bits, Saints Cafe offers a comfortable spot for anyone looking for a change of scenery from their home walls.

It’s a very popular place for locals too, and as they advertise themselves as a social hub the seats get snapped up! So find your spot early doors to ensure a great few hours of uninterrupted working. Do bear in mind the busier periods if you have to take calls or host meetings too.

Why it’s great for working: Cosy, welcoming atmosphere. Supports an independent cafe. Wifi. Great cakes!

In their own words: “Based in west Maidenhead, Saints Café is an independent, family-run spot creating a community hub of coffee lovers. From artisan brews thorough to fragrant teas, freshly baked pastries and cakes, it’s a total must on the caffeine map of the Royal Borough.”

Bel and The Dragon

Location- Windsor

Bel and The Dragon in Windsor
Bel and The Dragon in Windsor

If you’re looking for somewhere to work that offers a rather grown up setting, or need to host a client meeting as well as work somewhere that will impress too, Bel & The Dragon Windsor could be just the place. Part of the Bel and The Dragon chain across Thames Valley, this rather posh pub restaurant offers remote workers a great place to sit and sip coffee all day.

This branch of Bel and The Dragon is well-located in the centre of Windsor too, so whether you choose to drive, walk or take the train, it’s all within easy access to the pub. The building has been sympathetically renovated to keep the old English charm as it dates back to the 11th Century meaning you can work away in this charming building and enjoy a part of Windsor’s great history.

The Bel and The Dragon serves food from 12pm and coffee all day too so whether you choose to work just a few hours or the whole day, they’ll be something to keep you fueled through work.

Why it’s great for working: Quiet and ambient. Free WiFi. Well-located. Lovely, historic building.

In their own words: Bel & The Dragon Windsor is steeped in old English heritage. The historic restaurant and tea room has been serving food and drink since the 11th Century. Just a stone’s throw from the shops, theatres and the gates of Windsor Castle and a short hop across the footbridge from Eton College, Bel & The Dragon Windsor is the perfect place to take time out to relax and enjoy the superb food & drink on offer.

The Reading Biscuit Factory

Location- Reading 

The Reading Biscuit Factory
The Reading Biscuit Factory

Doubling up as an independent cinema in the evening, the Reading Biscuit Factory is the new kid on the block for remote workers in the Thames Valley. With it’s huge open working space upstairs and well-positioned cafe ready to welcome you as you step into the building, it’s no surprise the Biscuit Factory has fast become one of the busiest working spots in Reading.

Offering free WiFi, outdoor seating for the summer months and bigger tables for team meetings or collaborative working, the Reading Biscuit Factory has been well-planned to offer local workers everything they need to escape their own four walls and get their head down. If you’re into your films or fancy a quiz, there are plenty of after work activities that will keep you coming back to this multi-functional spot in town.

Why it’s great for working: Lots of power points. Plenty of seating– indoor and out. Free WiFi. A Bar

In their own words: We are a three-screen cinema, bar, coffee shop, live performance space and community hub situated at the heart of Reading’s town centre. Our aim is to offer a fantastic and welcoming venue and create a setting where everyone can relax, work, meet and create – all under one roof.

Society Cafe

Location- Oxford

Society Cafe in Oxford
Society Cafe in Oxford

As the name suggests, this sociable cafe is the perfect spot for remote working, networking and even hosting a meet-up. Their social channels describe the cafe’s as being ‘designed with all of us in mind’, encouraging remote workers to come and ‘feel creative’. The Society Cafe, Oxford, offers up the typical artisan coffees, teas and homemade cakes as well as lunch choices so you can all day, fuelled up on their tasty offerings.

It’s location is also a huge benefit to anyone living in Oxford or even travelling through as the bus and train station is within walking distance of the cafe on St Michael’s Way. Try Society Cafe for the excellent coffee and welcoming atmosphere, stay for the potential chat whilst you work beside a fellow remote worker- you never know who you could meet!

Why it’s great for working: Open space seating. Free WiFi. Great for networking
In their own words: “Society's 'urban living space' is designed with all of us in mind. Come park your bike, buggy, dog. Come with friends, to maybe make new ones or come alone for some solitude and people-watching. As well as filling your tummy, if you feel like it, you could also feed your mind - art house books and magazines, exhibitions, from time to time we welcome artists in residence and for children there is a creative space designed to get ideas going.”

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