Guess what, nightclub-avoiding bookworms—there’s a Saturday night/weekend-in-London solution for you: library-bars. London is host to a number of these cozy establishments, where patrons can enjoy a drink while perusing a number of in-house tomes. Below are our four picks for the best library-bars in the city. Gather your other nightclub-avoiding bookworm friends and head to one of these under-the-radar hideouts for a super-chill night of reading, drinks, and cozy memories.
19 Bevis Marks
+44 20 3441 2424
With dim, warm lighting, brocade-embroidered chairs, and 1,600 books to spare, this underground library-bar offers experiences both literary and mixological, with the resident bartenders creating custom cocktails suited to patrons’ personal tastes. Save up for the £30pp flat fee, bring your favorite bottle, and prepare to read the evening away.
Belvedere Rd, Lambeth
Hidden behind a secret bookshelf-door (could it get any more literary?), this library-bar is artfully nestled in the back of the British Film Institute’s Bar & Kitchen. Decked out in plush leather chairs and knick-knacks worthy of an Oxford don’s office, the shelves in this little hideaway are full of highbrow lit. Order a drink from the marble bar and settle in for the evening with fellow intellectual peeps.
20 Norwood High Street
+44 20 8670 9568
With the cozy vibe of your best friend’s living room, this casual haunt is loaded with thousands of secondhand books and vinyl records, all for sale. Peruse through first editions in the charmingly stacked bookshelves and enjoy your purchases with coffee, tea, or a drink. Hang around at night and you may catch a live music act. (Tip: Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to be kept up-to-date with new book and vinyl arrivals and staff picks).
97-113 Curtain Rd
+44 20 8305 3090
This colorful, punky bar serves up American-style dishes and drinks in a space decked out in street-art-inspired-décor. Their reading room hosts a huge collection of comics with an array of comfy chairs, couches, and poufs to boot. Grab a burger and root beer and keep your eyes peeled for the ceiling full of skateboards and the glass display of superhero figurines.