On Sunday I went to a cafe called ‘Ziferblat’ close to Old Street station, it’s not very new but it’s also not very busy. It’s inside a flat just off Shoreditch High Street and you ring a buzzer to get in.
Ziferblat is the Russian word for clock face. The idea of Ziferblat is that you pay for your time, rather than what you eat or drink.
The whole cafe is set up for relaxing, with comfortable antique furniture, lots of desks, books to browse, photography and art exhibitions, and free wifi. There’s also a kitchen rather than a bar, where you go in and make your own coffee, tea or food. You can bring food with you and cook things. So it’s a perfect place to study or meet new people.
It’s also very cheap as you pay 5p per minute. Once you arrive you take a clock with a name (mine was Mortimer – a really trustful old name), they log your time and then you do what you want. I ended up paying £3.35 for a little over an hour and I learnt how to make coffee using one of those barista machines. Although, I think it helps if you’re friends with a trained barista and persuade them to come with you – as my own coffee making skills are about as good as one of those coffee machines in a petrol service station.
If you’re around Shoreditch, make sure you check it out. They also have photography exhibitions and they do something called “art haircuts”, which I’m sure are totally fashionable.
Ziferblat, ring the buzzer, 388 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9LT. Website.