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Belsize cafe’s weekend screen-free policy ‘not acceptable’ says woman leading boycott effort

PUBLISHED: 12:53 08 November 2019

Francesca Specter (right) is boycotting Englands Lane Cafe because of it's screen-free weekends rule. Picture: Francesca Specter

Francesca Specter (right) is boycotting Englands Lane Cafe because of it's screen-free weekends rule. Picture: Francesca Specter

Archant

A Belsize Park woman was outraged to have her morning routine disrupted when her local cafe told her she was not allowed to read a Sunday newspaper on her tablet.

Francesca Specter, 28, was a regular in Englands Lane Cafe (formerly known as Bonjour Brioche) until she fell victim to a new policy the owners call "screen-free weekends".

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Francesca told this newspaper: "This really wasn't acceptable. It's not the just the policy, it's the way it was implemented."

The woman, a journalist who has previously launched an initiative called Alonement to destigmatise spending time by one's self, said she would not return to the cafe. She said; "I'm a real advocate of that. It is really important that people feel able to go out alone."

The director of the cafe responded to Francesca's Facebook post about the issue saying the rule was to encourage chatting and that she was welcome to boycott as "we don't need this negativity". They did not respond to the Ham&High's requests for comment.

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