I know I’ve already listed Liberty of London as one of my favourite places to shop (if not my very favourite) in all of London, but I feel the store’s new Assouline lounge deserves a post all of it’s own as it’s essentially a little shop within the shop.
Being geeks in disguise, the Clever Boyfriend and I are both ferocious book collectors, though his collection is a study in highbrow intellect while I have a shallow tendency to buy anything that has a beautiful cover. This isn’t to say I won’t also be found with my nose buried in a political biography or classic novel, but there are moments when one simply wants the literary equivalent of a Laduree macaron; pretty, fun, and delicious. For those similarly powerless against the lure of a beautiful book, Assouline’s are just longing to sit on your bookshelves, to be read on lazy weekends at home. Think books on Parisian apartments, Italian riviera chic, the history of all the great fashion design houses, vintage cocktails, Hitchock’s heroines, and the kind of travel destinations dreams are made of, as well as rare and first edition collector’s books.
For those not familiar, Assouline is a brilliant publishing house that specialises in luxury books on fashion, art, design, travel, lifestyle and culture. They first appeared on my radar when almost every design book I picked up seemed to be published by the label. So when I heard that a whole lounge was to open in Liberty to house their books (surely the most perfect placement for both parties), I was very interested indeed. My initial annoyance that the new lounge had replaced the former Liberty tea room (it had always been one of my favourite places in London to stop for a quick cup of tea) was soothed when I saw just how delightful the Assouline room is. Picture the best kind of tiny bookstore (dimly lit, frequented by intellectuals in suits, charming staff), but nestle it right next to the treasure box that is the Liberty jewellery room, and you get the idea of how great this is. I should also mention that though the charming Alice in Wonderland meets William Morris decor of the former tea room is gone, tea is still being served in the space. There are only a few little tables, so it doesn’t feel inauthentic to the surroundings), but now you can browse a book on Hitchock style and Chanel’s jewels while taking tea. Wonderful, if you ask me!
I’d love to know if any of you are bibliophiles too? If so, what’s your idea of a great book store?
Love, Miss B xx
The Assouline Lounge can be found on the ground floor of Liberty (in the former tea room, through the jewellery room), Great Marlborough St, W1F