I like books. I love picking up a book and immerse myself in its world. Whenever I am walking around a new town, I love to find old book shops, the older the better. I always hope that in one of those tiny shops I will find a new wonderful world to dive into. And when I found a bar that had shelves, upon shelves of antique books, I just had to go and see it for myself, because it sounded too good to be true.
Near the outskirts of the city of Zürich, stands an elegant hotel, linked with a thermal spa, known as the Hurlimann, which used to be a beer brewery. I had gone to the spa a few times and fallen in love with it, but had never gone to the hotel before. While looking through a magazine, I spotted a bar with what looked liked books all over the walls. I was delighted and set off to find this new place. It was a surprise to find it was the hotel, which was part of the Hurlimann spa.
As I stepped inside the entrance of the hotel, I saw the massive shelves of books, higher than anyone could reach, even on a ladder. I sat down at a small table with wide eyes. I ordered a burger and as I waited for the food, I reached over and picked up a book at random. Maybe this was too good to be true, maybe the books where blank inside. But no, they were real and in the inside it had a small price for each of the books. When my food arrived, I asked how many books there were here. She said around 300,000 antique books! Another unique feature of the bar was the lighting. There were several huge chandeliers hanging from the ceiling made out of dark green beer bottles with small fairy lights inside. It looked very cool and fitted with the aesthetics of the library bar.
The cheese burger came with crisps instead of the traditional chips. It’s normal to have chips with a burger, but when you think about it, it’s a bit odd to have a heavy carbohydrate with a burger which is already quite filling. Crisps are actually a better alternative, because they are not as substantial and still give you that lovely salty, potato taste that you get from chips. The burger was lovely and moist and delicious. It had Emmental cheese melted all over it, which really complimented the sweetness of the tomatoes with its salty tang.
Sitting in the bar, surrounded by thousands of books, munching on a burger, made me very happy. While I ate, I entertained myself by reading the spines of the books on the shelves and trying to guess the stories held between their pages. It is a place that I have returned to often just to have a drink and read a good book when the world gets too much and I need a library to hide in for an afternoon.
Brandschenkestrasse 152, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
2 Replies to “Lunch in a Library”
This looks incredible! Definitely adding it to my list of dream restaurants to visit. I’ve seen a handful of bookshop cafes but I think this needs to be more common – books and food are a partnership made in heaven.
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Thank you so much for you comment and I hope that you can visit this cafe. I also recommended going to the spa, which is part of the hotel as it’s amazing. I think you will fall in love with it too. I recommend going in winter, because there is a hot pool on the roof and you can look over the city with snow falling. Its like something out of a dream.
Do you have any places on your bookshop cafe list in London? I would love to go and try them out if they are close.