Cafe Writing

The Elephant House coffee shop, where JK wrote some wizardy stuff

Just a quick post today. Was talking to Husband Bear on walk to (last day of!!!) work today, and we got to talking about where I will go to write once I start being a full-time author person as of next week. For some reason, I can write awesomely in the mint green cottage early in the morning (with Mephy Danger as my muse), but once that sun comes up, I get distracted. I should vacuum! I should do the washing! I might just finish the book I’m reading! I might go and make ANOTHER cup of tea! And, oops, there goes the day!

So, once I get to the “Hmmm … I might just …” stage, I tend to go out and find a nice cafe to write in. I told HB that some cafe workers treat writers like they are a cockroach or rat that’s sneaked in to their workplace (“What! They’ve been here an hour and only ordered ONE POT OF TEA? GET THEM OUT!!!”) and I can kind of almost, sort of see their point IF it was busy and I was taking a table that could be used by a many-course ordering peeps. Thing is, though, I would NEVER go and write in a cafe that was busy. I never do it at meal times. I always suss out how many free tables there are in a cafe before I go in, and if the cafe does start to fill up, I move on. That’s why I get a bit narky if cafe staff are rude to me. Better to have me there with my one pot of tea and a GF bickie than an empty table, I would have thought?

On the other hand, there are some cafes and restaurants that bend over backwards to make me feel welcome. The most notable of these is Mures, where I can sit all day and the staff are nothing but friendly and accommodating. They even gave me and my writer friends a power board we can plug our laptops into! For this reason, we go back several times a week (never at lunch time), order as much as we can afford, and I have made a personal pledge to mention Mures in as many books as possible, and hopefully have a book launch there soon.

Other great cafes in Hobart, where the staff are awesome, include:

  • Hudsons (Liverpool Street and Murray Street – I even have my “usual table” at Murray Street).
  • Basket and Green A new cafe on Elizabeth Street. The staff here are gorgeous and even offer to top up my hot water when I’ve been there ages!
  • The Quarry in Salamanca is the perfect place to write in Winter, if you can nab the coveted “by-the-fire” possie. Again, staff are lovely and helpul.
  • The Raincheck Lounge in North Hobart is a good place to go during quiet times (I avoid it when it’s busy). Lovely tea!!!
  • Same goes for Onba, which has the added benefit of free wifi. Staff here are always curious about what I’m writing and tell me “stay as long as you like”.

Now I have more time to explore them, I’m sure I’ll unearth some more wonderful cafes and places to sit and write. I am eternally grateful to all of the above for having me.

Where do you write in your town or city? Hobartians, can you recommend any more places I could try?*

*Don’t worry, Mures. You’ll always be my number one!

4 thoughts on “Cafe Writing

  1. I am EXACTLY like this. And cafes are my place to go to ‘be alone’ if that makes sense! It’s where I write, or read. I have a few local ones here in northeast Melbourne – The Lane (Eltham) is my fav – where I can take my laptop if I choose. They don’t have internet there so I’m not distracted by Twitter, or lovely blogs like this! They let me sit in a corner and write my little heart out.


  2. Kate, I envy that you can write in a cafe. I’d get so distracted that three hours would have passed and I’d look down to find I’d written three and a half words. I write at home, alone with my cat, no music, no distractions…apart from the fact that the house needs cleaning, washing needs doing, garden needs watering, yada, yada.


  3. Oomph on Macquarie St and Jackman & McRoss New Town are both good if you snag an OK time to be there (somewhere between early afternoon and parents doing school runs for J&Mc). I’m lucky that I don’t need power; have sketchbook and my favourite Uni-Ball Gel Impact Pen will travel.

    Dome Cafes are good for not feeling like you’re taking up a spot, but their coffee can be a tad inconsistent.

    Some of my best work has emerged from cafe sessions this year.


  4. Kate, this makes me so homesick for lovely Hobart. Lived there 10 years always meant to return, but life gets in the way … all these new places to try when I visit again. Happy writing.


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