Way back before Christmas, I got invited to write about one of my favourite holiday places as part of a promotion for Martinique, to get more US visitors considering the island as somewhere for a holiday. 25 bloggers writing about holiday trips open for you to vote about for your favourite story. The winning story gets a holiday to the island as does one of the voters. There’s a catch though, you need to be based in the US to be eligible – which was not explained in the initial email; it is a group that do targeted marketing and they had correct information at the time. But now as I’m now back in the UK, I could not sign the release paperwork they sent through. However, they used my story anyway!!!! Which I’m not too happy with.
I’m now back in my flat in London, stuff from the US delivered and slowly sorting through the admin. Currently I have no web access from the flat, so I need to sort that out. For almost all ISPs I need a BT phone line, so got that sorted but it’s going to take 11 days for them to transfer an existing line to my name. No lines, nothing to physically do, just change a name on a database. That’s bad, bad service. So I can’t get web until then, which means I’m going to be living in cafes and friendly people’s places until then. I have access to mail via the phone and that’s getting changed to T-Mobile which gives me access to all of their hotspots as well.
Meanwhile here’s a review of the places I’ve tried that offer free wifi in Chiswick- and will try,as I will update the post with different places.
The Breakfast Club – OK, not in Chiswick, but the first place I tried as I’d been using it when I was commuting to London for interviews. Good food, gorgeous smoothies and a relaxed atmosphere to grab a seat and work away. There’s enough power points dotted around, but get there away from the rush at breakfast or lunch in order to find a place as overall it’s a bit small. Open 8-6.
Shackology. This is new since I was last here (they’ve taken over what used to be a pub) and is a
brabar/cafe/brasserie. Open 9am-11pm, it offers good food and drink, with liver music in the weekends. Interestingly, one part is advertised as a buggy-free zone, so you can get away from the yummy mummies that abound in the area. Friendly staff, who made sure I got connected (you need to ask for the password) and didn’t seem to mind me hanging around. There were not that many power points around though that I could see (I used one behind a sofa), so may be short term use only
Sam’s Brasserie. At first glance, this was not as friendly. All the power points were covered up and I was not too sure of the waiter’s reaction to getting out the computer. But first appearances are deceptive; there’s a few others sitting around using the network now (who appear to be regulars) and they just came along and uncovered the power points, so now I’m all plugged in. To use the system you have to give them email and phone number so they can send you RM stuff. Food wise, the place is pretty good.
The question of course with using these places is what’s the bargain you make. How much do you have to spend, what’s the rate per hour? For myself, I tend to say up to 2 hours is a couple cups of coffee. If over that, then food is included in what I pay for, especially when I want to return!