For most workplaces, a Friday afternoon means winding down any business and preparing for a weekend away from the desk. Here, we look at five exceptionally designed cafes that would be great for a friday afternoon coffee break to get the weekend started.

Home Café, Beijing, China: A chain of cafés, the Home Café branch in Beijing not only provides quality hot beverage but also a breath of fresh air. In line with high air pollution, the design studio behind Home Café wanted to create a green sanctuary in the midst of the polluted city. The plants have been selected for their air-purifying properties and easy maintenance. The use of the high shelves are kept permeable to allow a free flow of light and air throughout the spaces. The use of wood adds a rural feel along with the plants dotted all around.

L’Atelier Cafe, Cluj, Romania: We are all used to sitting on wooden chairs and padded seats in our local cafe, but at this stunning cafe in Romania, you are greeted by cardboard furnishings. From the chairs, tables and even lamp shades, this cafe opened to boost arts, music and a community spirit through this ‘carboard-coffe-culture’ themed venue. Great for coffee and winding down to the many art events and live music showcases taking place, L’Aterlier Cafe links together the social interactions to bring people together.

D’espresso Cafe, New York, USA: To help create a unique brand identity, the D’espresso cafe in Manhanattan takes its inspiration from a nearby library. The concept has taken a library room and turned it sideways so the bookshelves appear on the floor and wall. The fun feature sees pen den lighting drop from the wall into the centre of the cafe, rather then down to add to the entire illusion.

Maxibread, Russia: A bakery and cafe, Maxibread gets its influence from a blend of both Russian and Western European design. There are a few elements that rely stand out, one being the use of ambient lighting that creates spot lights above the seating area. But the most striking feature is the main counter, created fully from marble, the stunning and elegant design becomes the centre piece. The wooden carved roof above takes inspiration from traditional Russian houses.

Saddlery Café, St Albans, UK: Finally on our list, we come back to the UK with this modest and rustic looking cafe based in Hertfordshire. The exposed brickwork and timber cladding really bring out a rural feel, enhanced by the wooden furnishings and cowhide on the wall. The cosy atmosphere formed by the simple design elements makes Saddlery Café a perfect setting for a long coffee break.