It's been a while since I last got to visit, and write about, a new venue for my Freelancer's Guide. An unexpected explosion of paid writing work has come my way, which is obviously fab, but it does leave me frantically scratching around for time to get all the little, unpaid extras done. Like this blog.
So this is one that I actually visited before the long, hot summer and hadn't got round to posting about yet: The Old Moat Garden Centre in Horton Lane, Epsom.
I'd heard lots of good things about this one before I finally went there. Run by The Richmond Fellowship, it supports people who are living with, or recovering from, mental health problems. It provides them with a supportive environment to train and work in, with opportunities including growing nursery plants, vegetable and fruit, contract gardening, retail and admin via the garden centre and food preparation, hygiene and barista training in the cafe.
The cafe isn't as fancy as many of those that I've visited but as a change of scene and a short-term place to work from, it's great. The WiFi works well, the staff are lovely and their bacon sandwich is yummy. (I only meant to order a coffee but somebody else's sandwich wafted past my face as I was at the counter. And I have no will-power.)
As with All Saints, in Leatherhead, I'm a huge fan of social enterprises that really give back to their community and The Old Moat deserves our patronage for this alone. So, what with that, the excellent coffee and the scrummy food (all the other sweet and savoury offerings on display looked pretty good too), I'm recommending that all you work-from-homers in the area pop over with your laptop when you need to get out of the house. You'll get some work done and your cappuccino money will support a really good cause.
I've been trying to get to the next place on my list for a while and now I'm determined to visit it. Set in beautiful surroundings, it has an alliterative name and amazing reviews. Can't wait!
Ok, back to work!