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By Georgia• 19 Apr 2017
Now that I'm officially in my mid-20s I am owning the fact that I have the temperament and hobbies of a 70-year-old. I am always searching for drinking spots where I can sit down in a cosy corner and enjoy a little gin or three without the threat of larrikins, yobbos and throbbing bass to disturb my granny-like idea of peace. Power to anyone who can put up with Courtenay Place on a weekend night, but it's just not my scene.
The Library has always been a favourite haunt of mine, even in my more footloose and fancy-free days. It's all plush patterned carpet, moody lighting and red velvet booth seats. There's frequently live jazz, the walls are literally lined with books, there's excellent table service and the drinks are frankly, absurdly good. Just being at The Library will make you feel a little more erudite, although then the bubbly will kick in.
The Library is adding another string to their cocktail bow with the Beats and Bubbles series - as you may be able to tell by the name, this is live music and bubbly-based cocktails every Thursday night, and it's a most marvellous way to wile away an evening in the city. Many of these fizzy cocktails require a lot of prep to create the components - such as absinthe-soaked berries, cucumber-infused gin or saffron foam - so can only be made once a week. I was stoked to sample an array of them one fine Thursday evening recently.
The Beats & Bubbles menu opens with a classic glass of French bubbly for $9, then ascends into an array of clever blends whose names combine puns, literature references and nods to reality TV. Keeping up with the Kukumbers was a favourite, with a strangely refreshingly blend of the aforementioned cucumber-infused gin with elderflower and fresh cucumber, all topped with sparkling wine. Also eliciting plenty of awe at my table was Hemingway or the Highway - the blackberries soaked in absinthe imparted a wonderfully boozy and licquorice-esque flavour to the bubbly.
We snacked on The Library's always-excellent menu of small plates to avoid all the champagne going to our heads. The menu conveniently notes all dietary requirements and adaptations, which is a joy when dining with a Coeliac. Chunky fries with earthy black truffle mayo are the perfect drinking accompaniment, plus I can't turn down cured meats - the charcuterie selection came with bread (we requested GF) and lovely little pickled red onions. The Library is a bit famous for its dessert, so we felt we had a duty to order the crème brûlée and coconut-plum Eton mess - both flawless, naturally. This excellent spread of dining and imbibing to a backdrop of live music is the stuff dreams are made of.
I'd recommend arriving early or booking a table online if you fancy settling in for an evening of beats and bubbles - the space filled up pretty quickly the evening that we sampled the menu. The Library is always doing amazing themed cocktails including an Easter selection last week, and all desserts are two for one on Tuesday nights.