Before I extol the virtues of mangobean in Leatherhead, Surrey, (and that's not me forgetting my capital letters, that's how they officially write it on the shop fronts) I'd like to apologise to the woman behind the counter.
Let me set the scene: I was surreptitiously trying to take a couple of photographs for this review...As I wrote in my last Freelancer's Guide post, the idea is to check out places without the staff knowing I'm doing it, otherwise everybody gets all self-conscious and weird. Or that might just be me, of course.
Anyway, one minute there was nobody in view so I snapped a sneaky shot. When I later looked at the picture I had taken, however, there was somehow now a woman appearing in it, wearing a bemused expression. As well she might: as far as she could see, a complete stranger had just taken photo of her without asking or, indeed, even acknowledging her presence. So,mangobean counter woman, I'm sorry if that seemed slightly odd - it was not intentional! (And I've cropped you out of the final shot as well...)
mangobean is a national chain (self-styling themselves as a 'Coffee Wonderland' in their marketing) which started off as a company selling coffee beans and drinks machines before opening their first franchised coffee shop in 2014.
The Leatherhead shop is a great place to work. It's clean and spacious - with the choice of both upright chairs and comfy sofas - and the decor is bright and funky but not overly obtrusive. It's advertised not only as a coffee shop but specifically as somewhere you are welcome to set up your laptop and get down to business so it's a perfect place to go when the housework at home starts to resemble the out of control bit in Fantasia's The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
The background music while I was there was the same - chilled out and cool but not loud enough to intrude on conversations or work. To be fair, I was in there on a Sunday afternoon: I have no guarantees that they don't spend week days pumping out hardcore trance at an impossibly high volume...but I think that's pretty unlikely.
I'm also a fan of the ego-boosting coffee cups that they use:
(I mean, I already know that I'm awesome - all us women in business are! - but it's good to have it confirmed by an inanimate object.)
I didn't get the chance to eat while I was there as I had a Sunday roast waiting for me when I got home but the food options looked tempting . I will definitely be heading back to mangobean in Leatherhead again - firstly because I really enjoyed working in its environment and secondly because there's definitely a couple of coffee cocktails and a waffle with my name on it.
Really looking forward to hosting my next Writing Workshop at All Things Nice on Wednesday 13th December and have started planning my Children's Writing Workshop for February half-term too - exciting stuff...watch this space for more details!