When you enter the inconspicuous grey-green double doors of LIBRARY in central London, there is no telling what awaits. Hidden behind a tiny book shop front is the private members club LIBRARY, above brand new speakeasy Dear Alice. The Sybarite visited this Alice in Wonderland themed rabbit hole for an enticing evening of cocktails and snacks; after all, it’s always tea time…
Located deep underneath LIBRARY, just off Leicester Square, Dear Alice is deep, dark and mysterious. We are guided down two flights of stairs and cryptically told to ‘push, not pull’ when faced with walls lined with cupboards and wardrobes. Like the entrance to an evil villain’s lair, with just a push we are transported into a different room entirely, somewhere between Narnia and the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
Lining the walls are empty picture frames and a long misty mirror, with books haphazardly placed where the walls meet the ceiling. We take a seat on warm velvet seats before ordering intricate sounding cocktails. ‘Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast’ is a sweet delight, complete with a caramel waffle on the side for an extra sugar hit. Providing a completely different hit, the cool ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ packs a swift punch of whisky, whilst ‘Begin at the Beginning’ leaves us with a satisfying sweetness due to the delicate addition of hibiscus bitters and smoked hibiscus glass. ‘It’s Always Tea Time’ is the ultimate cocktail; a journey of flavour starting with cognac and lemon and finishing with delicious caramel syrup, finished with milk chocolate.
To accompany, Dear Alice’s menu boasts boards of delightful small bites, including ‘White Rabbit Pizzettie’ and our personal favourite, ‘Mock Turtle Bruschettine’; crunchy bruschetta topped with a layer of thick hummus and sundried tomatoes, feta, olives and anchovies. Aside from perfectly complementing the sweeter flavours of our cocktails, the staff ensure that all food is tailored to our requirements, making for a truly personalised evening.
A magical getaway for your evening in the city, Dear Alice is a welcome world of tranquility away from the busy streets above. The staff were attentive and inviting and we thoroughly enjoyed both the impressive cocktail selection and culinary offerings. Dear Alice is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm until late. Guests who are not LIBRARY members will need to book in advance, and there is a £30 cover charge which includes two signature cocktails and nibbles.