By October 27, 2014 Read More →

Finding your third space

Finding your third space - The Lighthouse, Tytherington, Frome, SomersetA third space is a place that is neither home (first space) or work (second space).

It’s another place where you feel comfortable.

Not a very accurate term for home workers who might only have one space for both living and working, but I’ll stick with it for now.

I bet you’ve sometimes felt the need to get out and experience some new surroundings, either because you’re sick of the same four walls, or because inspiration just doesn’t strike when sitting at the desk where you do routine work.

Home workers now have a choice of other places to go when cabin fever strikes – a coworking space, the library, coffee shop, hotel foyer – and even small communities can now offer a third space. Farm shop cafe or pub, perhaps?

Last week my friend L and I felt in desperate need of such a place. She is inching to the completion of her house sale and new purchase, and wanted distraction from the constant calls from estate agent and solicitor, and to think about how her new life will take shape.

I felt my brain was in a rut and badly in need of new ideas. But somehow none of our usual haunts seemed to hit the spot. What we needed, said L, was somewhere with nice surroundings that would allow our imaginations to take off, and good cake (absolutely essential and non-negotiable!) All in a place where we could settle down and feel relaxed, and not under pressure to move on before we were ready.

As nowhere came to mind, L googled ‘Frome + cake’ and came up with The Lighthouse, just outside the town. For health reasons she is avoiding wheat and dairy so the fact that their Cafe Nouveau is 100% gluten and dairy free was a huge plus.

The Lighthouse is a beautiful, old stone building with plenty of parking. It was too cold to go outside so we sat in the sun at the window looking at the terrace, raked Japanese garden and over the field to the lake.

Finding your third space - The Lighthouse vegetable chilliThe cafe is flooded with light from the French windows and skylight, and the staff are welcoming and unhurried. We started with tea and cake and eventually moved onto lunch.

It was hard to choose, but vegetable chill seemed a good choice for an autumn day, and how could we resist an offer of handcut chips?

Time flew by as we talked and I took notes. Four hours flew by! When I got home my brain was so stuffed full of new ideas that I had to take advantage of another home worker’s privilege and have a quick nap. Purely for productivity’s sake, of course!

The Lighthouse is a beautiful venue for courses and events, with B&B accommodation and conference facilities. Definitely worth checking out if you’re arranging a get-together for clients or colleagues.

Where is your favourite third space? Or do you like to try out different places for different things?

We’d love to share your photos and reviews of a third space you’ve found that’s welcoming to home workers.

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