Espresso and turning pages
September 1, 2008 10:18 AM   Subscribe

Books, sofas, coffee and the Sunday papers - good independent bookshops in London that are made for relaxing of a Sunday morning?

Me and the dear wife recently visited some friends of mine in Aberdeen, where I went to university, and we had a lovely morning in Books and Beans, an independent second hand bookshop/cafe hybrid. Now we're back in London, and looking for similar things in London. So far, we seem to be stuck in between the extremes of corporate bookshops with built-in Starbucks and musty Charing Cross Road places that smell faintly of mildew.

South London would be awesome, but we're willing to travel a bit for that perfect books, newspapers and coffee feeling.

One thing - we know about both the Waterstone's Picaddilly bar (not comfy enough) and the Foyle's Jazz Bar (also not comfy enough). Sofas and such are a definite plus.
posted by Happy Dave to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The London Review Bookshop is open on Sunday (12-6) has an excellent cafe/cakeshop inside, as well as being one of the best bookshops in London. No Sofa's I think, though comfortable, but otherwise it fits your bill perfectly.
posted by tallus at 11:08 AM on September 1, 2008

Best answer: I was going to recommend the LRB too but was hesitant after seeing the sofas bit. No sofas, just chairs. But its a great bookshop and the coffee (they use monmouth) and cakes (from local bakeries) are superb. I actually live about a block away and its where we spend many weekday mornings, relaxing and reading the paper.

I'm curious what you found non-comfy about the Waterstone's Picaddilly Bar? The bar itself is only chairs but right outside that area there's a lounge with sofas. They'll serve you food and coffee there too.

Otherwise I'm looking forward to answers to this question too.
posted by vacapinta at 11:30 AM on September 1, 2008

Response by poster: Ooh, excellent - I haven't been in the LRB in about a year - is the cake shop bit new?
posted by Happy Dave at 2:05 PM on September 1, 2008

Response by poster: Oh, and also on Waterstone's, I hadn't remembered about the sofas in the outside area - that could definitely be an option. The main reason we weren't too into the bar was the space itself (stark, echoey) and the clientele (although we were there on a Friday afternoon, so it was probably louder and more new meedja braying than normal).
posted by Happy Dave at 2:06 PM on September 1, 2008

Fairly new, I think its been there a little under a year.
posted by tallus at 2:56 PM on September 1, 2008

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