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Fuelling creatives

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It’s always nice when official research is published that confirms everything I already knew to be true. One day, people will look at me as a great oracle and we can save a fortune in research grants but until that day, have a look at this. Yes, last month it was announced that coffee shops are the best place to fuel creativity.

Apparently it’s something to do with the noise levels. This makes sense – I’ve always been able to work very well in coffee shops and on trains but, on the other hand, never been able to work in libraries. Too quiet, too tense, I get easily distracted – by the grafitti, by other books, by other people. (And working in libraries always puts me in mind of this Mary Whitehouse Experience sketch…)

Nottingham is blessed with a variety of coffee shops so we decided to put the theory to the test. Which is best for fuelling creativity? (An afternoon of coffee, tea and cake – see what sacrifices we make for this blog…)

Lee Rosy’s Tea Rooms
Drinks: A vast array of teas, one of the few places you can get a good milkshake and, on a chilly night, there’s nothing better than their Belgian hot chocolate.
Food: Good cake. Oh, and there’s some savoury stuff.
Most likely to meet: Poets, yarn bombers, the occasional artist.

The Broadway (alright, it’s a cinema but it has coffee areas too)
Drinks: Good beer, slightly worrying red wine. Most important if you’re an impoverished creative, free refills of filter coffee.
Food: Halloumi salad gets me every time. And the potato wedges work a treat.
Most likely to meet: Filmmakers, earnest digital types.

The Malt Cross
Drinks: OK.
Food: The sandwiches are good. Best of all, they serve onion rings.
Most likely to meet: Performance artists, crafty types, winsome folk musicians.

The Alley Cafe
Drinks: Fruit juice mixes are good.
Food: More halloumi for me.
Most likely to meet: More poets, also mixed media artists with a penchant for hessian.

Jam Cafe
Drinks: Belgian beer. Yum.
Food: Excellent.
Most likely to meet: Hipster musos.

Hungry Pumpkin
Drinks: Fruit juice my choice here.
Food: Yummy sarnies.
Most likely to meet: Photographers, digital folk, PR folk heading to the latest networking event in the Lace Market.

Divine Coffee shop
Drinks: Coffee!
Food: CAKE. Especially the tiffin.
Most likely to meet: Modern artists (it’s across the road from the Contemporary), the occasional literary fluffer.

So there you go! A non-scientific study, perhaps. So let us know where you work best and let us know if we’ve missed anything out.


Sue is one of our team of bloggers. When not pursuing creative endeavours (and eating cake) in Nottingham’s coffee shops, she can be reached on sue AT creativenottingham.com and followed on Twitter @basfordian