It’s funny isn’t it – how you can live a city for years without visiting certain areas? Without venturing beyond the bubble of your neighbourhood at weekends, wanting to avoid overcrowded tubes and over-peopled pavements and the throng of tourists that clutter the cobbled streets with selfie sticks and brightly coloured backpacks. I lived in London for five years before swapping a city whose streets were paved with gold, for one whose suburbs are flanked by beaches, and it was only on a recent trip back to the UK that I got around to visiting Bloomsbury’s much loved London Review Bookshop.
Christmas was fast in its approach and the there was a winter chill in the air perfect for an afternoon of losing myself among the shelves of a bookshop. I’d been holed up in a nearby coffee shop whose windows had a light dusting of frost and whose wifi was temperamental at best, working diligently on the rebrand of my blog when I realised the London Review Bookshop was just a short walk away. And so, in dire need of both some fresh air and literary inspiration, I made my way through the winding back streets of Chancery Lane to find one of London’s best loved bookish gems.
Tucked away in Bury Place, between Bloomsbury Way and Great Russell Street, is where you’ll find the London Review Bookshop; modest in size; big in charm. Within easy reach of the British Museum – but fortuitously away from the well-trodden tourist tracks – the London Review Bookshop spans two floors and sells an abundance of bookish delights, covering everything from cookery to travel, literary criticism to poetry, contemporary to classics to children’s and beyond. The displays are as inviting as the aroma from the on site coffee and cake shop, whose foodie offering is mouthwatering to say the least.
A fusion of two of my very favourite things – literature and lattes – few things delight me more than a bookstore-cum-coffee shop. And it’s the joining of these two passions of mine that the London Review Bookshop manages to do so brilliantly. Adjacent to the bookshop is a smallish space that is airy and light and dedicated to teas, coffees and sumptuous cakes. Running alongside the wall is a smattering of single tables, while a large communal table is also available for those who don’t mind sharing their elbow space.
The ambience is serene and inviting and the murmur of noise is just the right level for visitors – whether they want to indulge in idle chatter with a friend or spend their afternoon with nose stuck firmly in newly purchased book. The perfect place to enjoy a Bloomsburian morning, afternoon or early evening, the London Review Bookshop truly is one of London’s most literary gems, and a must visit for all bookworms, in the capital and beyond.
Find out more about the London Review Bookshop, including all their forthcoming events, here.
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