Olive Magazine
A long, dark bar with pink stools and white walls

Library Bar at The Ned, London EC2: cocktail bar review

Published: September 20, 2018 at 4:01 pm

1930s-style interiors, champagne and martini trolleys are on the agenda for this plush City cocktail bar

Looking for cocktail bars in The City? Check out our review of Library Bar, a plush, intimate addition to The Ned.


In a nutshell: This luxe bar at The Ned serves champagne and bespoke martinis.

Where is it? The City, a three-minute walk from Bank underground station.

What’s the vibe?

With 17 bars there’s no lack of drinking opportunities at The Ned but what sets Library Bar apart is its more private atmosphere – a desirable quality for those who find the open-plan, food-court-style layout of the hotel’s other restaurants and bars a little overwhelming. Enter through a dramatic, sweeping jacquard curtain and discover a surprisingly intimate, 1930s-esque space with comfortable velvet armchairs, a bar clad in oxblood leather and soft lighting.

A room with high ceilings, velvet chairs and big windows
Library Bar's sumptuous interiors

What’s the drinks menu like?

Aside from a pithy list of house cocktails the main focus is on champagne and martinis. There’s 30 varieties of the former and for the latter an extensive list of gins, vodkas and vermouths. Click here for more martini recipes.

A brown wooden table with two drinks on top
Cocktails at Library Bar

Which cocktails to order?

The house cocktails acquit themselves well, especially the Apricot Vesper – a floral, dry blend of Botanist gin, Sipsmith Sipping Vodka, fino sherry, Cocchi Americano vermouth and apricot. The star of the show, however, is the martini menu. Choose a combination of gin or vodka, and vermouth (or ask the knowledgeable staff to make one up for you) and have a white-jacketed bartender wheel a trolley laden with booze to the table to mix up your drink, served in super-chilled glasses. Our wet martini – salty Rock Sea vodka, Regal Rogue Daring Dry vermouth and nutty Xeco amontillado sherry – was deliciously saline and punchy.

Try our martini cocktail recipes here
  • chocolate martini
  • elderflower martini
  • breakfast martini
Christmas Cocktail Martini

Is there any food? There’s a luxe bar snacks menu featuring the likes of caviar, oysters and wagyu beef tartare.

Where to go nearby for dinner: Head back out to the main hall to explore The Ned’s nine different restaurants.

Price: From £16 for a cocktail.



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