Sometimes you just want to take a break from the hectic London life and curl up somewhere cosy, especially on a rainy day in the city. There are countless comfy, quiet spots around London that are perfect for brightening up those gloomier days with a book or film along with a warming cuppa. Head to one of these peaceful cafes, libraries, cosy pubs or comfy cinemas for a few hours of serious chill time and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You’re going to love them.
65 Hanbury St, London E1 5JP
Libreria is a perfect place for bookworms to get stuck into a new novel. The shop is covered from top to toe with hundreds of books and a few little lit up alcoves in amongst the shelves for you to curl up and read in private. Find this hidden gem just a stone's throw away from the thousands of tourists walking up and down Brick Lane every day, just bear in mind that it’s shut on a Monday and that phones are not allowed!
388 Old St, Shoreditch, London EC1V 9LT
Craving some homely vibes? Ziferblat not only has the cosy living room feel, with soft seats and sofas, but the concept of this quirky east London cafe is super cool. The idea is that everything inside the ‘cafe’ is free except for the time you spend in there which is 8p per minute you stay. Free coffee, tea (a lot of it), wifi, cake, biscuits, toast, cereal… This is definitely a contender for London’s most hospitable cafe! When the weather’s a little sad and you’re after some real home comforts, put your feet up at Ziferblat - the welcoming atmosphere (and free food, obvs) is what makes every one of their visitors love this place.
191 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2ED and 64-66 Redchurch St, Shoreditch, London E2 7DP
There’s nothing better that snuggling up with a film when the weather outside is a bit worse for wear, and London doesn’t disappoint for plush cinemas that are unbelievably comfortable. Electric Cinema in both Portobello and Shoreditch has a cool old-school vibe with soft leather armchairs, footstools, sofas and beds available. Choose a film and book your tickets online, order food and a beer and watch the film all warm and cosy on the big screen.
337 Acton Mews, Hackney, London E8 4EA and 16 Leake St, London SE1 7NN
This is the perfect night out when you don’t actually want a night out. Draughts is a board game cafe and bar with a branch in Hackney and in Waterloo. Think of a game and, with over 800 of them on their shelves and counting, we bet they’ve got it. It’ll cost you a fiver per person to sit and play (max. 4 hours on weekends) but it’s so worth it for a chilled out day or night activity with a few beers and friends. Bag one of the spots on a squishy, leather sofa and you’re all set!
ANDOVER ARMS PUB
57 Aldensley Rd, Hammersmith, London W6 0DL
What’s cosier on a chilly Sunday in London than a proper British pub and a hot roast? The Andover Arms is a hidden gem which can be found nestled in amongst the local residents of Hammersmith, just a 10 minute walk away from the tourist track. It’s no wonder the locals are obsessed, because the roasts served up in this traditional 1880s pub are some of the best. The portions are huge and the decor is warm and comforting. So sit back, enjoy your meal with a good pint and wind down on a Sunday afternoon.
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THE ANTELOPE PUB
76 Mitcham Rd, London SW17 9NG
If there’s ever a cosy pub in London, The Antelope in Tooting doesn’t just have one fire, it’s got three. This pub has been around since the 1800s and has been loved and cherished by locals ever since. Head inside and scope out one of the two little snug areas - the ideal hideaway especially if it’s cold and raining outside. You’ll get so comfortable that you won’t want to leave! If you’re after a truly British pub that’s full of character, hospitality and cosiness, this is it.
17 Queensberry Place, Kensington, London SW7 2DT
Not many people are aware that the Institut Francais in Kensington is 1) open to the public, and 2) home to one of the loveliest libraries in the city. La Mediatheque inside in the Institut Francais is the largest French library in the UK. It’s warm but bright with a beautiful Art Deco style, making it an ideal place to sit and read in peace. The building often hosts events so be sure to check the website in case of disturbance! This place is even houses the city’s best French cinema, Cine Lumiere. Check it out if you’re a lover of French film.
V&A NATIONAL ART LIBRARY
Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL
If you want a quiet place to read or work in a pretty cool setting, the V&A National Art Library located on the first floor of the museum is classic. Shelves packed with old, famous books line the balcony, and enormous chandeliers hang from the ceiling - the setting is quintessentially British and a lovely place to hang out and read. The library’s reading rooms are free for the public to use, however if you’d like to use the library material you’ll have to fill out a registration form.
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