Exclusive Books Hyde Park
Two sisters (whom I have now lost touch with), used to meet one evening a week at Exclusive Books. They’d choose a section to browse, collect books of interest, find one of those great little reading nooks with a coffee table and a couple of comfy chairs, order something to drink and a light meal from the coffee shop, and settle in to have a catch-up chat as well as share views on new publications and good reads. I always thought it was a great idea and I think of them so often when I go to the newly revamped Exclusive books in Hyde Park (5 minutes from Liz at Lancaster). The Exclusive Books branch in Sandton Square closed down leaving Hyde Park as the flagship store, although the branch in Rosebank Mall is also pretty impressive.
EB Social Eatery and Bar
From being quite a dark pokey space it is now airy, spacious, contemporary – with a wonderful expanse of floor to ceiling windows behind EB Social Eatery and Bar, the restaurant at the back of the store; a coffee counter on the left as you go in; and huge communal tables with loads of space to pile books that you choose to browse. There are also some smaller tables with chairs dotted around in more private nooks.
I haven’t eaten at the EB Social Eatery and Bar but it seems that there are teething problems with patrons commenting on slow service, high prices, small portions and a ‘no doggy-bag’ policy (which seems to be a bit of a contradiction!!) It’s not your standard bookshop café fare as the kitchen is run by Russell Armstrong who has had experience at three-Michelin-starred restaurants in France and the
UK, including Le Gavroche. … so it’s not surprising it’s a sophisticated menu with quite steep pricing. I think I might stick to the coffee shop fare in the mean time.
But this remains Liz’s Pick of the Week.