While many of us are still working from home, the lure of the Outside World (more specifically, the smell of coffee and freshly-baked croissants) can be impossible to resist. So if you’re craving a change of scene, a bit of company and a decent flat white, grab your MacBook and get out to support your local café.
In this series of blogs, we’re going to share some of our favourite independent coffee shops where we work – in Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Brighton and Crawley – starting with Sevenoaks. Enjoy!
Best for watching the world go by – Malabar
81 High Street, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1LE | 01732 743 055
Just a few doors down from MacMan, Sevenoaks, this is a central location on the High Street, with plenty of space inside and out with a lovely secluded courtyard at the back and seating at the front, perfect for watching the world go by (take the pooch – it’s dog friendly too) Start the day with coffee and a breakfast muffin, toastie, panini or savoury croissants – all made fresh on the premises every day – or treat yourself to a freshly baked cake with a pot of Fairtrade loose-leaf tea, hot chocolate or a healthy smoothie. And don’t forget to pick up a loyalty card – you’ll want to keep coming back!
Best for a quiet spot to work from – Rafferty’s
54 Holly Bush Lane, Sevenoaks Kent TN13 3TL | 01732 454 233
Family-owned Rafferty’s is easy for parking and ideal for somewhere quieter to work. The café has a homely feel and prides itself on its homemade food made with local and seasonal produce. Cakes are freshly baked in-house while the breakfast menu has everything from smashed avocado on toasted sourdough to pancakes – and of course, a Full English. Fully licensed to serve alcohol, it’s also an ideal spot for a light business lunch…with a cheeky tipple.
Best for sustainable/plant-based food – Life on High
140 High Street, Sevenoaks, TN13 1XE
Relatively new to the Sevenoaks scene and centrally located on the High Street, the owners of Life on High are passionate about the environment and the café prides itself on serving nutritious, sustainable food, plant-based dishes (both vegan and vegetarian), carefully selected local meats, dairy and responsibly sourced fish. Come for breakfast, brunch or lunch or enjoy a coffee – sourced from individual farms and cooperatives – while you work at the breakfast bar-style seats at the front of the shop.
Best for supporting a local enterprise – Otto’s
37 High Street, Sevenoaks, TN13 1JD
As well as being occupying a picture postcard coffee shop at the top end of the High Street, Ottos is dedicated to being environmentally and socially responsible. Calling itself a ‘co-operative coffee roasting enterprise’, it was founded by a group of friends, intent on revolutionising the industry with a dream to drive environmental change by putting ‘planet before profit’. Enjoy a coffee in the dedicated coworking space upstairs – we love the freshly roasted Americano – or sign up to an ‘at home’ coffee subscription.
BEST FOR LIGHT LUNCHES AND INFORMAL MEETINGS – Basil
3-5 Bank Street, Sevenoaks, TN13 1UW | 01732 496430
Basil has built a solid reputation in the area and now has four wholefood cafés with food produced from scratch in its state-of-the-art 3,000 sq. ft kitchen. Known for its delicious freshly baked cakes (the gluten-free brownies are a must), Basil’s house blended coffee beans are used in its espresso, cappuccino and latte with a rich and lasting crema. Expect a spread of lunch foods including filo tarts and frittatas, buttery quiches and colourful, inventive salads. Basil’s Sevenoaks presence is located down pretty, pedestrianised street with plenty of seating outside, inside and upstairs – a great spot for informal meetings.