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Sick of the library? Here’s a comprehensive list of the best study spots in Notts

Even if you’re a dedicated library dweller, sometimes it’s nice to have a change of scenery


Sometimes, the brutalist facade of Hallward or the infernal din of George Green does not cut it when it comes to the immaculate vibes needed for a prosperous study sesh. For a while I’ve been a staunch advocate for cafe work, I feel that an atmosphere consisting of an everyday bustle combined with the ability to watch the world go by provides me with inspiration in a way that a claustrophobic, dusty booth in Hallward or George Green simply cannot. It is for this reason that I present to you my top picks for working outside of campus. (spoiler alert: they’re literally all just cute cafes in town because I have a weakness in that area clearly)

1. Blend at East West

This Cafe is the absolute epitome of a study space.  Complete with big tables for the essential work spread, wall sockets a plenty and a respectfully decent cup of coffee, Blend at East West is sure to have all you need in order to knock off that pesky essay that’s snuck up on you out of nowhere. Unfortunately, when it comes to the dainty decor and the completely necessary magic that the best cafes offer, Blend can be caught at a lack. It just doesn’t have the quick access romanticisation that allows you to feel like a mysterious academic jotting down profundities at a caffeine-fuelled pace.

2. Avocafe

Consisting of a mix of hard-working students and hungover’s brunching, Avocafe provides a lively atmosphere which can really help on the inspiration side of work. The tables are a bit small and fairly close together but that does mean that you’re sure to accidentally eavesdrop on the next-door conversation which may well inspire you in some way. Although more than likely you’ll just be hearing the goss shared over an admittedly delicious-looking meal. The artsy interior is a huge plus for this cafe, unfortunately, however, it is very often completely packed meaning that even if you’re lucky to find a space, there’s a good chance that the chat detailing what the dregs of humanity were up to at Crisis the night before may be too distracting. (also probably worth noting that this cafe is literally right next to my house so maybe only high in my estimations as there’s no annoying commute)

3. Waterstones Cafe

Located on the top floor of the glistening skyscraper that is Waterstones, this Cafe is the one for you if, like me, the idea of being surrounded by the vast literature of mankind appeals to you. Aside from the fact that you have to get here early if you want a seat, this cafe is strewn with expertly chosen furniture and a view from five floors up which always helps on the people-watching front (don’t let this distract you from your work though).

Located on the top floor of the glistening skyscraper that is Waterstones, this Cafe is the one for you if, like me, the idea of being surrounded by the vast literature of mankind appeals to you. Aside from the fact that you have to get here early if you want a seat, this cafe is strewn with expertly chosen furniture and a view from five floors up which always helps on the people-watching front (don’t let this distract you from your work though).

Home of what is unequivocally, Nottingham’s best cup of coffee, The Speciality Coffee Shop is cosy, laid-back and if you couldn’t tell, a favourite of mine. I confess that I’ve spent months gate-keeping this spot from my friends who always ask me where it is that I always go and work in town, but in the spirit of journalistic integrity and also the sheer merit of this coffee house, it would be a travesty to leave off any list. I fear that my secret spot will now be flooded with tab readers, ambling over each other just to try this heralded coffee but hey, this cafe is great. I think it’s worth sacrificing my rarely taken seat if it means I can direct more business to somewhere that deserves it. Hopefully, you’ll all just get takeout instead!

5. Cured

Situated next to a canal, Cured is sure to cause your imagination to flow and facilitate top-tier romanticisation. Sprawling sofas, hanging vines and a damn fine cup of coffee complete the cafe bar along with the picturesque location and reminiscent exterior design. There are two floors in addition to outside seating meaning that at any given time you’re sure to find a place for your academic sprawl and maybe even some room to put your feet up while you’re at it. The best part of Cured has to be its versatility in providing you with your every need while you’re working. Need some caffeine to keep you going? grab a coffee. Finishing the day with some low-key work? Cured has all sorts of beers, wines and other drinks to choose from. The food is also apparently very good although I confess I haven’t personally eaten here. Either way, you’re onto a winner if you choose to study here!

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