Tranquility amid the nobility at the library
Bernstorffsgade 4, Cph V; open Mon-Thu 16:00-00:00, Fri-Sat 16:00-01:30; www.librarybar.dk; cocktails cost 85-205kr
I will begin by telling you what the Library Bar is not: it is not a place for binge drinking and hanging out in the bar until five in the morning, since it closes at 1.30am at the weekend. It is also not one of those hip, new places as it has been around since the 1970s.
That being said, the Library Bar at the Plaza Hotel, which is situated neatly next to the main station, offers a whole lot of other features that 90 percent of other bars in Copenhagen do not.
Upon entering through the heavy, wooden doors to the lobby of the four star hotel, which dates back to 1914, you are immediately taken back in time. Follow the thick, red carpet and you end up in front of the Library Bar where bartenders wear white shirts, ties and braces and are ready to mix a wide selection of classic as well as self-invented cocktails for you. And there is no need to waste time waiting for the drinks to be made, since the bartenders will make their way to your table elegantly balancing the drinks on a tray.
This Saturday evening, the crowd could hardly be more mixed, ranging from a group of young Danish girls out celebrating a birthday to white-haired, old men with bowties and medals on their jackets. The bar used to be the party place of the jet set in the past, and until 2007, when the smoking ban came into play, it was known as the best cigar lounge in town. Today the cigars are long gone, but the atmosphere of an old-fashioned, British gentleman’s club is still there. The dark wooden panels, the rows of leather-bound books and the old paintings of the aristocracy all contribute to that feeling together with the dim lighting and the bordeaux leather couches and chairs.
Nevertheless, cosy interior put aside, the cocktails alone are a reason to stop by the Library Bar. The cocktail menu consists of categories such as classic cocktails, seasonal cocktails and in-house cocktails, which are invented by the bar staff themselves. One of Library’s Bar latest creations is called Ophelia, which my friend described as having the perfect balance between the sweetness of the bourbon and the freshness of the orange juice and lime syrup. It had a very seductive red colour, and I must admit that I was more attracted to the Ophelia drink than to my own ‘Little Mermaid’ cocktail, which had a distinct cucumber flavour.
Even though the Library Bar has a very international atmosphere, many locals also find their way – especially for the live music on Thursdays. It is a place to bring colleagues, a date you want to impress or even your old mom – she would fit right in. Either way, be prepared to let out your inner aristocrat.