Like Jorge Luis Borges, I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. You can understand my excitement then when I first heard that London’s newest member’s club has reading, writing and study at its core. But the five storey townhouse on St. Martin’s Lane doesn’t just appeal to London’s literary crowd; it’s an unbelievably cool space promoted as your ‘home away from home’, which doubles up as a boutique hotel with views of the London Coliseum. Members come for the huge range of events, plus to read, to work, to work out, to relax, to eat, to drink, and to sleep. I headed down on Friday night to find out more about London’s trendiest new space…
Thought libraries weren’t sexy? Think again. Walk into LIBRARY and you’re greeted with chandeliers made from novels and flashing signs reading, ‘Shh… It’s a LIBRARY.’ The place has been designed by the talented Marc Peridis of 19 Greek Street, with statement pieces from the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs. It heralds a Cambridgian grandeur while being ultra-contemporary.
Though it’s not huge in size, LIBRARY is the kind of place you can get lost in. The ground floor is characterised by dark wood, quirky furniture and exposed brick, with a long-stretch bar and a stage at the far side of the room which has been graced by the likes of Kelis and Haim. The sculptural staircase to the main bar is a spectacle, and there are alcoves aplenty for members to enjoy a cocktail, a book or each other. There’s also a popular mezzanine area with a smoking terrace, and a whisky room with an impressive drinks list.
On the top floor there are five bedrooms, each themed in line with a novel. The penthouse is the epitome of luxury, boasting an enviable terrace with the most spectacular views over Coliseum.
There will soon be a fully equipped gym and a studio that offers mindfulness classes, plus a spa with a treatment room offering a range of treatments and therapies.
Members and non-members (with a day pass) are welcome to come and enjoy a bite to eat, and the restaurant has quite a reputation for plating out exquisite food. Tasty bar snacks are available if you fancy something light, or book a table in the restaurant and enjoy a gastronomic experience.
One of the best things about LIBRARY is the impressive line-up of events, available free to members. There’s book readings from popular authors, live music evenings, literary seminars, film screenings and art exhibitions.