Don’t cross the picket line! Alternative study spots around Russell Square

By Frances Howe, LLB

#1 Store St Espresso

40 Store Street

Boasting interiors straight from a Pinterest board and the best coffee around, Store St Espresso is the trusty cafe-turned-study-spot that you’ve been looking for. First and foremost, the coffee really is so good, just as long as you’re prepared to pay standard Bloomsbury coffee shop prices. Store St is very laptop friendly and you won’t feel out of place pulling out yours.

Ideal for: coffee snobs and content creators.

Tip: go in the afternoons for some sweet throwback tunes.

Credit: Michael Butterworth for the CoffeeCompass

#2 Senate House Library

Malet Street

Exploring further into Senate House is a must for any SOASian during their time at the university. With the coolest art deco architecture and inspiring the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, you’ll spend more time studying the building than studying inside it. Senate House Library provides all the library amenities you’ve been searching for this strike season so if you prefer a quiet space put this high on your list.

Ideal for: George Orwell fans

Tip: explore the upper levels of the library for some great views of Bloomsbury and surrounding London.

Credit: David Bleeker Photography

#3 Dillons Cafe at Waterstones

Gower Street

Located on the ground floor of Waterstones bookstore past the best sellers is Dillons Cafe. A colourful conglomeration of students from all Bloomsbury’s institutions can be found here, making it a beloved study spot. Unsurprisingly, Dillons has a bit of a following and can get quite busy throughout the day but an insiders trick is to get there before ten and you’ll be guaranteed a spot. There are also numerous plug sockets dotted around the cafe and the bar-style seats are ideal for solo study. Snag a window seat to watch the Gower Street pageant play out before you. 

Ideal for: those able to walk through a bookstore without buying anything

Tip: pick yourself up a Waterstones student card for discounted coffee and gain points towards discounts on books!

Credit: Radek Pazdera

 A colourful conglomeration of students from all of Bloomsbury’s institutions can be found here

Honourable mentions

#4 Bloomsbury Coffee House: sneak down the steps on Tavistock Place to this cosy hang out. Beware of their laptop ban during lunch hours which may hinder your study session. 

#5 Fortitude Bakehouse: hidden behind Russell Square Station, this is a real secret spot. With freshly baked cakes and bread every day this is arguably the funkiest cafe around. Unfortunately, being a small bakery, the seating options are limited. 

#6 The SOAS Green: If it manages to stick around long enough to see the warmer months, the SOAS Green is the optimum place to get some vitamin D. Though, procrastinating on SOASk me out might score you some vitamin D too. 

#7 Cafe Tropea: watch the seasons change in Russell Square from the windows of this homely cafe with the best pasta around! Try to avoid lunch hour unless you don’t mind sitting outside.

Post Author: SOAS Spirit

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