Whether you’re dating a bibliophile or just want to catch up on your latest novel, these London library bars are the perfect place to combine your love of books and booze.
Named after British artist and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe, the Rosewood’s opulent bar is a haven for culture vultures and cocktail connoisseurs. There’s a roaring fire, velvet armchairs to sink into, and bookshelves filled with over 1,000 antique books – what more could you ask for? If the answer is something to nibble on, you’re in luck. Bar snacks like black pudding Scotch eggs and Devonshire lamb chops are served until midnight, plus the superb Holborn Dining Room is right next door.
The Drawing Room at BFI Bar & Kitchen
At the BFI’s Benugo-run restaurant, a faux bookcase leads to a secret cocktail bar with book-lined shelves and comfy armchairs. It’s the ideal spot to unwind with a book while you sip film-inspired cocktails like the rum-based Casablanca or the tequila-spiked Trainspotting. If you’re bringing a date, why not stick around for a movie or stroll along the river for dinner at Skylon?
Martini Library at The Arch London
At The Arch hotel near Marble Arch, you can enjoy expertly made cocktails and afternoon tea in the elegant Martini Library. There are plenty of reasons to linger, from the bookcases lined with lifestyle books to the strategically placed ‘press to refresh’ buttons to summon more drinks and snacks. You can stay for dinner at the hotel’s modern British restaurant, Hunter 486, or dine nearby at Bernardi’s or Roti Chai.
The Library Bar at The Lanesborough
For a dose of old-world glamour, head to The Lanesborough for drinks at one of London’s most celebrated cocktail destinations. You can perch at the bar and enjoy cognacs dating back to the 1770s or find a cosy corner to read and enjoy live music from their resident pianist. If you’re feeling peckish, you can order upscale bar snacks or dine in style at the award-winning Céleste.
The Library Bar at The Ned
Tucked behind a sweeping curtain, this intimate bar has over 30 Champagnes to choose from, as well as classic cocktails and a martini trolley. It’s a suitably luxurious spot for drinks before dinner at one of the hotel’s many restaurants. The catch? You’ll need to be a member or a hotel guest to drink here.
Still looking for somewhere to indulge your passion for booze and books? Check out the library room at Tooting’s Gorringe Park pub or go for cocktails at BYOC City where the walls are lined with over a thousand books. If you’d rather eat than read, The Cinnamon Club is the obvious choice – the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are a nod to the building’s previous incarnation as the Old Westminster Library.