I wrote this post for Brighton Mums when we were looking for a relaxed, child-friendly meeting and work space. Seven Bees at St Georges Church is a beautiful, light airy space offering great food, good coffee and a kids play area along with WiFi.
We run a Parents Pow-wow there once a month (currently on a Thurday). It’s a very informal opportunity for freelance and self-employed parents (and their children) to meet.
We need to work, but luckily our work is portable and can be done from anywhere with WiFi and good coffee. For many small business owners and freelancers the same is true, and a change of scene is often just what we home-workers need.
Just like the fabulous JK Rowling, we like to work in the buzzy warmth of a café on occasion. Especially if that means we can get a bit of company into the mix, a bit of ‘water-cooler’ banter going and a great lunch.
So we have set ourselves a seasonal challenge. To find the best working spaces in Brighton.
We are looking for small, intimate, private and quiet spaces. Places we can take the kids, as well as places where we can have big free-lancer meet-ups and community blogging sessions.
Essentially, they’ve just got to offer great coffee, a warm welcome, WiFi and a good working space.
Last week, a couple of us met up with the kids in the breathtakingly gorgeous St Georges Church, near the hospital In Kemptown. It’s easy to get to on the bus or you can park on the street for a couple of hours for £2 (if you can’t get into the church’s own spaces).
We found out about Seven Bees at St Georges Church on Twitter. The lovely owner, Iain Chambers invited us over for a chat and a meet up. Iain is a driven man, and is really keen on getting the community into the space and opening it up for everyone. Iain’s been running the much littler and very famous Seven Bees café down in the laines for a couple of years now and really knows his stuff.
The café concentrates on great quality, locally sourced ingredients, cooked simply. The tables are set out within the church itself (St Georges is still open for services at the weekends).
On the other side of the pews, they have a fantastic play space for kids. The toys, cushions, puppets and books are clean and well looked after. Iain took advice from the community playgroup downstairs when setting it up and is a dad himself, so there is a brilliant range of equipment for the littles.
We were able to get in a bit of work chat, while our girls played nicely for an hour or so. Iain explained that if groups want to meet up in the church, it is simply a matter of moving some chairs and tables around to accomodate everyone. The church has WiFi, so if you find yourself there without kids, you can easily get your head-down and get some work done.
After a few coffees (it was early, we had children in tow), we moved on to lunch. The kids partook of some of Iain’s excellent American style pancakes (maple and butter, although you can have them with bacon as well). My littlest ordered off-menu. A cheese and ham toasty. They were really accommodating and kind. We loved the little touches. The tiny jugs for maple syrup and the fact that they only sell free-range eggs and locally sourced bacon.
Seven Bees is cheap. No really, a cup of tea is 80p. Iain is keen not to get into the £2.50 coffee stakes, although the church is surrounded by high-end coffee shops doing exactly that. Portions are big and quality of cooking and ingredients is excellent.
I had never heard of it before now, but will be back. And this time I’m having the full breakfast!