“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library,” said Jorge Luis Borges – and it seems it can be found on Saint Martin’s Lane in Covent Garden. LIBRARY is an all-round venue for work and play, eccentrically styled to span the spectrum from traditional to modern.
LIBRARY is a private member’s club, with bedrooms, a restaurant, a bar and a wellness suite – but non-members can visit too, by purchasing a day pass for a reasonable £20. (Restaurant and hotel reservations can also be made by non-members without a pass, but the rates will be slightly higher than for members.)
The bedrooms are quite stunning, with rooftop views, characterful design and a most enviable location, high above touristland…
The central atrium space holds the library itself – plus a bar and a space for live music and events. During the day, the space is flooded with natural light. The setting, and all those hundreds and hundreds of books, are certainly conducive to working.
In the evening, the library bar comes alive, and it’s the perfect spot for a pre-dinner cocktail, before you take your seats in the basement restaurant, Saint Luke’s Kitchen (or SLK).
Down the stairs to SLK, past a stained glass window of Saint Lake (patron saint of artists, writers and bookbinders) himself, till you finally reach the cosy dining room. Small and intimate, the food concept here sees head chef Gavin Lambert working with author chefs to create a menu that’s an edible story from their cookbook. We enjoyed an Indian feast created by Great British Bake Off chef, and author of The Cardamom Trail, Chetna Makan – her hearty tasting menu introduced colourful spices and aromatic herbs into traditional Western baked favourites.