Venture downstairs through the white arches at the National Gallery and you will find not one but three places to eat and drink: an espresso bar, cafe and a restaurant.

The cafe was quite busy for a Tuesday morning (but still the quietest of the three) but there’s no background music so I could quite happily concentrate on writing for a few hours.

A huge assortment of cakes, cookies and pastries is waiting for you at the door, and they also have sandwiches, salads and fresh juices on stand-by. Having gorged myself on cake and ice cream in Richmond at the weekend, I stuck to a blackcurrant tea, which costed a Starbucks-beating £2. Even the coffee was no more than £2.10 – very impressive for what is essentially a tourist attraction in the middle of London.

Cakes and pastries at the National Gallery cafe, London

Halfway through writing my review, I noticed something odd – I was the only person in the cafe with a laptop. This is an unusual feeling for someone who regularly writes in cafes – I’m more used to squeezing in between a few stressed-looking freelancers and fighting for the nearest plug socket.

But the National Gallery’s distinguished clientele has its pros and cons – there’s no wifi and indeed no plug sockets to fight for, so come prepared with everything offline and a charged laptop if you do want to work here.

Anything else to report? They sell teas by the packet and have prints of famous paintings on the walls – a ploy to get you to buy a print no doubt, but a nice reminder of your extraordinary surroundings nonetheless.

Wifi? No

Budget: Under £5

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