The Book Club

Bar / Lounge / Restaurant
The Book Club Better suited for energetic young artists looking to party than for bookworms reading great literature, The Book Club is an adult sized playhouse where patrons are more likely to get hit by errant ping pong balls than to get... London England 51.524679 -0.081527
3.5 8
The Book Club - Bar | Lounge | Restaurant in London.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Better suited for energetic young artists looking to party than for bookworms reading great literature, The Book Club is an adult sized playhouse where patrons are more likely to get hit by errant ping pong balls than... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–W 8am–midnight, Th–F 8am–2am, Sa 10am–2am, Su 10am–midnight

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth The Book Club Review

The Scene

Better suited for energetic young artists looking to party than for bookworms reading great literature, The Book Club is an adult sized playhouse where patrons are more likely to get hit by errant ping pong balls than to get...

Better suited for energetic young artists looking to party than for bookworms reading great literature, The Book Club is an adult sized playhouse where patrons are more likely to get hit by errant ping pong balls than to get a paper cut from turning pages of the classics.

A Choose Your Own Adventure map inspired by London’s tube system directs crowds of newbies and in-the-know tech geeks through the wooden halls of this multi-room hangout, dominated by the main dining hall where large and loud circles of friends kick back on a retro mishmash of Ikea-esque chairs and stools.

An open kitchen and long communal tables give the place a stylish high school cafeteria vibe, complete with white brick walls, campy art, and oval portholes where plate picking diners can peek through and ‘ooh’ and ‘ahhh’ over the combating table tennis matches in the adjoining room.

Groups of barhoppers huddle around the pool tables and pack the disco dance floor in the basement, where DJs keep the nightlife activities in full swing. Novelty-hungry, beer-in-hand hipsters looking for more than a spin on the dance floor can take advantage of the venue’s other offerings, from life drawing lessons and film screenings to poetry readings and speed dating.

Full of youthful good cheer and fun activities that lead patrons from one room to the next, The Book Club is a hub of playfulness perfect for those who want to indulge their inner child.

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Tip from Emma:

Avoid looking like a deer in the headlights when you walk into the bathroom – be aware that the loos are unisex, so you’ll find boys and girls checking out themselves and each other in the mirror.

  • Crowd

    Designers, art students, and trendy tech geeks, mostly 20s to 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    DJs spin everything from hip-hop and 90s anthems to electro swing. Regular events include swing dance classes, Sunday roasts, life drawing lessons, film screenings, book launches, poetry readings, dance classes, ping pong tournaments, and speed dating.

    Check website for schedule.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Rotating menu featuring different dishes for different times of the day and week, such as roast meals and sausages with mash on Sundays.

  • Prices

    Brunch £4–£9, light bites £3–£6, lunch £4.50–£9.50, dinner platters £8–£12. Beer £3.80, wine £4–£6, cocktails £7.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: thick-rimmed glasses, jeans, t-shirts, Converse high tops, and plaid shirts for girls and guys. No suits, ties, dress shirts, or other office attire. Dress code policy enforced at the door.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Tuesday nights for ping pong tournaments and a packed house.

  • Close By

    For gallery viewings and DJ nights after a game of ping pong, Three Blind Mice (5 Ravey Street) is right around the corner.

The Book Club User Reviews

Average rating:
Typical East London
Naomi G. Aug 1, 2013
Located in East London, The Book Club uses the atmosphere and attitude of the area. The crowd is filled with hipsters and unique people. The bartenders are quick to serve drinks as the crowd is buzzing, yet by midnight everyone heads downstairs to the paying section where the DJ will continue for the remaining hours of the night. The atmosphere is vibrant and fun as people mix and make new friends. Even when you head to the bathroom you have the opportunity to continue the conversation, whether it be a man or woman. That's because they're Unisex! The street is packed with people bustling around to the famous nightlife of brick lane. Whether this is your chosen place for the night or a pit stop before more bars, it is definitely enjoyable.
Hit or Miss
Sridevi R. Mar 12, 2013
My take My first visit to The Book Club was easily one of my favorite nights so far in London. We went on a Thursday night and everything was absolutely lovely. There was no cover, the drinks were relatively cheap, it wasn't too crowded, everyone was friendly, and they played nothing but those awesome 90's/early 2000's songs that we all forgot about but still secretly love. WE WERE OBSESSED. Of course we loved it so much that we came back the next night. However, we found a huge line outside, cover was 5 pounds, drinks were almost double the price, and the crowd was weird. Safe to say, we were really disappointed. The Book Club really is a hit or miss kind of place. We learned later that there was a indie pop band playing earlier on the Thursday night when we went, which probably explains the crowd that night compared to the next night. The scene In general, the scene is quite relaxed and hipster, for lack of a better word. Everyone was friendly and just wanted to have a good time. There are two floors, each with its own bar and scene. The top floor has christmas lights strung up everywhere, a ping pong table, and a lot of seating where you can find huge groups of friends hanging out (everyone seemed like regulars). The downstairs seemed a little bit more edgy with a pool table, DJs dropping harder music, and people dancing everywhere. Cocktails/cuisine + prices The cocktail selection is pretty average and decently priced. Although they were significantly cheaper when we went on Thursday. While I haven't been yet, I hear the brunch at The Book Club is delicious and not too expensive. The cover charge definitely depends on the night you go... Friday and Saturday will be more pricey guaranteed! What to wear Really, anything goes. There were a lot of people in flannels, sweaters, tights, jeans, and floral dresses, but also some wearing tight dresses, blazers, and dress shirts. When to go I would really suggest checking their website before you go to see what's on that night. They have a calendar online with all the info of what's happening, including prices and times. It gets pretty busy (and more fun) around midnight, which also means the line at the door gets longer, so plan accordingly!
Hipster, But Not the Least Bit "Over It"
Asal E. Feb 15, 2013
I've been to The Book Club twice now, and it's quickly become one of my favorite bars in London. Though I hate to describe it in such cliche terms, The Book Club's ambiance is quintessentially "hipster"-- twinkle lights, brick walls and all. But it's more charming than that, with ping pong rooms and a downstairs ceiling decorated entirely with neon light bulbs. Every night has been comprised of beautiful 20-somethings in red lipstick, and, of course, there were a fair number of bearded men in v-necks, too. But that's where the hipster description ends; these kids know how to have a good time and aren't "over it" in the least. Instead, everyone is happy just to be there, and that's the real reason why The Book Club is so fun.
Hipster High
Tara R. Dec 11, 2012
I’m not the biggest fan of unisex bathrooms—I find them awkward and gimmicky—but other than that there’s little to complain about at The Book Club. It’s hip and hipster, sure, but most places in Shoreditch are, and as long as establishments do it with a bit of style, it’s easier to get away with. The place is spacious and upbeat, so don’t show up with a book expecting an afternoon reading Great Expectations with a cup of tea. There are plenty of other places in London for that, and The Book Club is, in a wonderfully hipster-ironic way, not one of them.
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