Speakeasy bars and rooftops are so passé. This winter will be all about drinking in a library. No longer the dusty preserve of frantic students, OAP’s and fictional 4-year-olds, bars and hotels in London are opening suave bookshelf filled drinking dens,allowing guests to indulge in some seriously high-brow drinking.
Here is our pick of 10 of the best bars to browse whilst you booze...
The Hidden Library in the Gorringe Park Pub in Tooting
It seems even London pubs are getting on the literary action. The Gorringe Park Pub is a quirky little boozer in Tooting, only just a year old but with bags of character, not least in its library room.
Shelves are packed with a wide range of whimsical books to suit all tastes, from novels such as Alice in Wonderland to Encyclopedias. Tucked away on the first floor of the pub, the library bar is a quiet space to hide away with a coffee and a book, or beaver away on your laptop with the pub’s free wifi.
They also have a free cinema room in case you need another helping of culture with your cocktails.
The Martini Library at The Arch London in Marylebone
The Arch London Hotel, opposite Maddona’s London townhouse in Marylebone, is home to an elegant Martini Library. As well as serving mind-blowing Martinis and bespoke cocktails, the bar also offers an array of beautiful Taschen & Daunt books, celebrating the golden age of Broadway. A roaring open fire and discreet ‘butler buttons’ by the armchairs make the Martini Library one of London’s most enticing bars to hole up in this winter. Binoculars for Madge-spotting not included.
The Malt Whisky Library Bar at the Grange Hotel in Bloomsbury
The Malt Whisky Library Bar in the Grange Hotel offers a quintessential British setting in which to enjoy a dram or two with friends. Guests can unwind amongst the Downton-esque décor, whilst taking in the impressively stacked bookshelves. A range of classic bourbons, single malts and spirits is available.
Le Chiffre Library Bar at South Place Hotel in The City
Named after the poker-playing Bond villain in Casino Royale, Le Chiffre is the epitome of a sauve London libraray bar. Created to replicate the feeling of a private members’ club for guests at South Place Hotel, the room features super-chic furniture, and a stylish library of books and magazines.
Guests can spin some classic vinyl on the turntable, challenge someone to a board or card game, or order from the bespke cocktail menu at the slick new marble bar. Entry to Le is restricted to hotel guests, club members and a select group of friends and neighbours.
The Library Private Members Club, Leicester Square
What did we tell you? Library bars are so hot right now; one of London’s new super-exclusive Private Members Clubs has even been created to resemble one. Opened in June 2014, ‘Library’ is an eclectic private members’ club for young literary and design aficionados. Offering a stylishly designed contemporary space for guests to socialise and swap ideas, plus an engaging events programme and literary society.
The venue boasts an impressive open bar area with statement furniture, open fireplaces and multitudes of books and sought after catalogues, as well as a restaurant, events spaces and guestrooms. Libray will also host literary talks, book readings, cultural events, seminars, special live music bookings and DJ’s. We can’t wait to hear some of Library’s stories…
Secret Library Bar in Benugo Bar & Kitchen, the BFI Southbank
You’ve heard of Secret Cinema right, so what about a secret library bar? If you’re visiting the BFI on Southbank, chances are you’re already a bit of a culture vulture, so this high-brow bar should suit you down to a T.
In Benugo Bar & Kitchen, a faux bookcase hides a secret drawing room cocktail bar lined with yet more bookshelves.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Library Bar at K West Hotel
Library bars come in many shapes and forms, and this one is a Rock ‘N’ Roll Library. The K West Hotel in Shepherds Bush has recently re-launched its bar and kitchen areas with a glam-rock interior makeover to pay homage to the hotel’s rich music history.
The Rock ‘N’ Roll Library features bookshelves filled with glossy coffee-table books on iconic musicians, music and Rock ‘N’ Roll history.
The Library Bar at The Cinnamon Club in Westminster
The Cinnamon Club is a modern Indian restaurant housed in a truly unique London venue: The historic Grade II listed former Westminster Library. In homage to the historic building, The Cinnamon Club is home to a stunning library bar which was originally the Reading Room in the old Westminster Library.
The room retains a relaxed atmosphere and is the perfect chic pit-stop for drinks before lunch or dinner.
Library bar at Electric House in Notting Hill
The achingly cool Electric House Private Members Club in Notting Hill is home to a retro library bar filled with books and vinyl records. Cocktails are shaken at the large central bar, and a turntable is set up so guests can choose an album from the shelf and play whatever they feel like hearing.
The Library Hotel in New York
For those avid bookworms looking to go further afield, the Library Hotel in New York is a 10 floor hotel is filled with a stunning collection of over 6,000 books.
The ultimate geek-chic hideaway, guests can enjoy various literary themed areas such as the Writers Den, Poetry Gardens and ‘Bookmarks’ Lounge Bar which offers literary inspired cocktails and city views.