Want a comfy corner where you can devour the latest bestseller? Snuggle up in one of these bookworm holes, scattered across London:
Downstairs at Curzon Soho
The Curzon Soho cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue is a great central spot for readers on the go. Pick up a delicious cake from in-house café Konditor & Cook upstairs, then head down to the subterranean bar area and snag a seat on one of the sofas. Beware, if you’re reading a book about film, a visiting cinema buff may engage you in conversation!
Benugo Bar at BFI Southbank
Walking past the British Film Institute along the Thames, you may think the Riverfront café is where all the action is – but head further in (or round the back) and you’ll find Benugo Bar. Next to the bright dining area is a cosy lounge bar, with comfy seats, soft lighting and an extensive drinks list. If you want something more intimate, ask for the secret door to The Drawing Room – a snug cocktail bar hidden just off the lounge area.
London Review Bookshop
A bookshop with a café is an inspired mix. Bring your own or buy a book from the London Review Bookshop, then settle down to a good read over a pot of tea in the bright and welcoming Cake Shop. As the name suggests, you’ll find all sorts of baked treats here – plus savoury snacks too – to enjoy with your book.
The Library Bar at The Cinnamon Club
The Cinnamon Club is known for its delicious modern Indian food, but not everybody knows about its cosy bar. A nod to the building’s former life as the old Westminster Library, the aptly named Library Bar used to be the reading room. Today it’s a great spot to devour a book – before devouring lunch or dinner.
The Dove in Hammersmith is a pub with a lot of nooks and crannies – ideal for a bookworm to squirrel away in. The place has a fair few stories of its own – for one, Charles II is said to have wined and dined his mistress Nell Gwynne here. So if you finish your book, you won’t be short of a tale or two to go with your pint!
The Martini Library at The Arch
It sounds like somewhere James Bond would hang out. And well he might, because this bar at the exclusive Arch London Hotel near Marble Arch is just the sort of place 007 might retire to after a hard day’s spying. Take a seat in an armchair by the roaring fire, flick through the stylish coffee-table books and sip on a glass of your own favourite Martini speciality.
If you want to read without spending a single penny, pop into the Southbank Centre along the River Thames. It may be a huge, world-leading arts centre, but it’s also a welcoming public space – with tables and chairs on every level, from the bustling Clore Ballroom to the more peaceful Saison Poetry Library.