I’m currently on a teleworking getaway in Abidjan and was thinking about when I was living in Lagos and wanted to find spaces to get serious work done. Often times I stayed at home to work, but eventually you get tired of the same view or needed to find more steady light (not a problem where I am in Abidjan!!). Although I lived on the mainland, I still made the trek over to Victoria Island a couple times to what quickly became one of my favorite teleworking spaces: Art Café. I met a friend there once and then adopted it as my go-to place. Here are the three things I liked about the place:
The decorations at Art Café are on point. They have that hipster chic thing going on with their glass and sand table tops outside, and wooden furniture inside. True to their name, the Art Café sits on top of a gallery and is lined with various pieces of art throughout. My favorite part is the wall of fauna they have as you head up the stairs….definitely stopped there for more than a few snaps.
What adds to the vibe is the mixture of expats and locals (probably repats to be honest) that fill the place. People are meeting friends, working away or enjoying a cup of coffee. I went during the weekdays, so there wasn’t a huge amount of people coming and going, so that helped me to remain focused and kept the noise level low. It’s definitely a nice place to meet up with a friend or park for a couple hours.
I can’t say too much about the food because I didn’t actually try too many of their dishes – I’m on a budget and try to watch what I spend my money on. Now, coffee is a necessity, not a luxury (haha, jk….) so of course I’ve tried their coffee. I’ve had their French pressed black coffee and one of their cappuccinos and both were perfectly delicious. I can definitely appreciate a good cup of Joe, but I’m no connoisseur so don’t take my word for it. But I could taste the quality, and Lost in Lagos agrees with me.
I’ve only had two food items from their menu: a croissant and a caprese sandwich. For their croissant – if you’ve never had a croissant in France, it’s probably fine, but if you have, you won’t like it at all. I was actually kind of sad after I finished the croissant (of course I finished it…can’t waste food!). I think even BJs croissants are better…at least the ones we buy Sunday mornings. The caprese sandwich actually wasn’t too bad. It was a good price and classic taste. The presentation could have been a bit better, but hey, food is food! I saw others eating their chicken and chips and that looked really good. You can find out a bit more about their menu here.
The service here actually was pretty good. The wait staff was attentive and pleasant, and I could always find one when I needed them. The food or drinks come out in good time. The only thing is sometimes you just have to really break it down, and double check that they have your order before you let them go place it. They don’t take notes as you order and I really think it would help them a lot. But honestly, compared to staff in other Nigerian establishments, they are perfectly fine.
So these are the main reasons it’s so great to telework from Art Café: aesthetically pleasing with a cool vibe and cool people; decent food and good coffee that won’t entirely break the bank, pretty good service. The only downside to teleworking is that you have to bring your own internet, but that’s honestly to be expected. I haven’t teleworked anywhere in Lagos where I could rely on their internet 100% – even a co-working space in Ikoyi. As long as you bring your own internet, you can definitely churn out a good amount of work while there – if you don’t distract yourself with people watching.
I’m on the look out for a similar places while I’m in Abuja. I’ve gotten a few suggestions (Salamander, Classic Rock Cafe, and Wellness Spot) but I haven’t had a chance to check them out yet since I report to an office 9-5 Monday to Thursday for my youth service.
What are your favorite places to telework and what do you look for from a teleworking space? My biggest thing is comfortable chairs and wide enough tables. Art Café definitely has that, especially inside. Have you been there? Leave your comments below. And as always, subscribe to the blog for more updates about my life here in Nigeria and around the world.