Established in 2013, London’s Library boutique hotel and private members club enjoys a reputation as one of the city’s most sophisticated haunts. A watering hole for the local artistic elite, its Covent Garden location makes it the ideal post-show hang out—especially now that Library has opened its own in-house restaurant, St. Luke’s Kitchen.
Downstairs from the lively bar, St. Luke’s is a dark yet elegant space overseen by a stained glass rendering of the saint himself. The patron of artists, bookbinders, brewers, butchers, and stained glass makers, St. Luke proves a fitting mascot for the hip, sophisticated crowd. Cozy in shades of dark blue and bronze, flanked with wooden bookshelves and lit by white candles, the 40-seat space is an intimate den beneath London’s city bustle.
This sense of secluded sophistication was the goal of St. Luke’s head chef Gavin Lambert, who has previously worked at ME London. Inspired by literature, Lambert selects guest chefs with upcoming cookbook releases to work with each season, such as baker and author Chetna Makan, to create “edible stories” reflecting the content of each guest’s new release (to promote Makan’s The Cardamom Trail, Indian-influenced baked goods dominated).
The standard menu is influenced by modern British cuisine. To start, try creamy burrata with butternut squash and pine nuts; for a main, the chargrilled ribeye steak with chunky homemade chips and with anchovy butter. Pan-fried sea bass with chard and speck finished with a lentil vinaigrette is also on offer. Desserts like dark chocolate mousse, lemon curd, and praline are exquisite. The drink menu features champagnes like Pommery Cuvee Louise Rose 1999 and Pommery Brut Royal (Jeroboam), and also a selection of cocktails such as the very apropos Oscar Wilde, a mix of vodka, sloe gin, lime, vanilla, and Pommery champagne (sure to make anyone feel witty).
Author Jorge Luis Borges once said, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” All the better if there’s a kitchen in there, too.