Coworking and History in Captain Cook’s London Retreat

Tushar Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO
Tushar Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO|

The London home of Captain Cook now serves as a peaceful coworking space for freelancers and startups


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Captain James Cook, world adventurer and a historical icon called Stepney Green home for more than 50 years. As a place of rest and solace for a man with grand ambition and a love of the natural world, it’s only appropriate that the street where he lived is now the peaceful and bright-windowed home of freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Cooks Yard, as it’s now called, welcomes entrepreneurs looking to embrace meaningful work, create space for new ideas and cherish work-life balance. The co-working space features quaint and quirky decorations and furniture handmade in the UK and Freecycled and reused goods from around the world.

Those ready to dedicate a moment or two to daydreaming will feel at home. Those in a need for creative space will find home here too.  We caught up with founder Leo Wood, to chat about the new office, the benefits of sharing space and why she thinks it’s better to let people work how they want, rather than thrust “organised fun” and networking events at them.




HubbleHQ: When you look out of the window, what do you see?

Leo: Cook’s Yard is pretty unusual in that it’s a beautiful attic space with sloping eaves. So we have light bursting in the room from off our roof and all we see out the windows is the sky, which is looking particularly beautiful on a sunny day like today. I wouldn’t mind flying straight out the window right now!

HubbleHQ: What do you personally love about the Cook’s Yard?

Leo: As we are set in an attic warehouse, Cooks Yard is a really cosy and unusual workspace. I also love that we are only minutes from Whitechapel but are well hidden away in the yard where Captain Cooks house used to stand until 1779. It’s also been so much fun sourcing lots of beautiful pieces of furniture from all sorts of places including Gumtree, Freecycle and car boot sales.



HubbleHQ: What do you think are the benefits of office sharing?

Leo: I’m a fan of letting connections and friendships happen naturally and in an ad hoc way rather than through networking events or similar. And I think that our small and friendly co-working spaces really enable those links and work opportunities to happen organically.

A lot of people who use our coworking space are freelancers who’ve been working from their kitchen table and want the chance to just get out of the house, to work, and be in a nice environment with other people working around them.



HubbleHQ: What companies or individuals would you like to move in?

Leo: We are really not prescriptive about who should take desks in our co-working space – we let people self-select! The type of people who like our space tend to be sole freelancers or new startups who want to be based in east London and on a fairly tight budget; we’re pretty good value for an area where prices keep rising!



HubbleHQ: You say you created a ‘peaceful’ coworking space. How?

We are a peaceful office because we are small and laid back and we let people get on with their work rather than bombarding them with special events and such things. Often people find they spend the day in the office with only 3-4 other people which suits them well as they have nice company but can be left to just get on with their work and what they need to do.


HubbleHQ: Where can we find everybody after work?

Bethnal Green has gone a bit crazy with new bars opening in the neighbourhood. Our coworking crew have done post-work drinks in most of these places: The Sun Inn, Mother Kellys, Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail Bar.


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