ImageName: Tinderbox Cafe

Address: 21 Upper Street, London N1 0PQ (inside the N1 centre, close to Angel Tube station)


1) Funky atmosphere.  The place is part of a small chain – I think there are three Tinderboxes in total, one in Glasgow and two in London (the one not in Islington is in Westfield Stratford).  It has the feel of an independent coffee shop, and the staff seem like cool, happy people.  The clientele are hipsters, artists, young mums with babies, young professionals, and the occasional tourist.

2) Really yummy cake.  Can you tell this is important to my writing process?  They also have sandwiches and salads if you want to have lunch, and a great variety of teas and coffees.

3) Comfy booths.  If you’re lucky, you can snare one of the upstairs booths, which are on a little balcony overlooking the main area of the cafe.  They feel like your own private little office.  Unfortunately, they’re hard to get, as the place is crowded (see “Cons,” below).


1) Busy busy busy.  You may not get a table – there’s a seating area on the left as you come in that’s basically just benches with cushions on them, which is not ideal for writing.  All the seating is on the right and it can be scarce.

2) Noisy.  Because it’s very busy, it’s also noisy.  If you need quiet to concentrate, you’re not going to get it here.  If, however, you like the bustling feel, this can be a pro!

3) Only a very few sockets, so you’re dependent on a good battery or longhand.

 Verdict: 5/10