5th View, Piccadilly
If you're in a literary frame of mind and you're feeling the need for classy surroundings in which to imbibe, you'll find the solution in the unlikely combination of old-style class, 21st Century book retailing and a museum caterer. The venue that answers all of these needs is the venerable Simpson of Piccadilly department store, now a Waterstone's bookstore (Europe's largest) and host to 5th View - a bar and restaurant located on the eponymous 5th floor. The bar is run by Digby Trout, who run similar enterprises in a number of museums and galleries around the country and, surprisingly, for this type of place, there's no pressure to dine with your wine. There's an indecently large beer menu, ranging from decent bitters to knock-you-out Belgian brews and they don't mind at all if you stay for just the one. The wine list is also pretty decent and if that won't do, you can always try a cocktail or two. The food is naturally pricey, but pretty good and the table service is fast, friendly and very polite. There's a fine view from the 5th floor and if it wasn't for the early closing (they say it's 10pm, but it's really 9:30), we'd have made it a four pinter. Nevertheless, one worth seeking out - especially with a good book on a wet Wednesday afternoon.
203-206 Piccadilly, Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LE
020 7851 2433
How to get there
Door-to-door journey planner
How to find the 5th View pub
Leave Piccadilly station by the Piccadilly south side exit. Walk down Piccadilly towards Green Park and you'll soon see Waterstone's on the your left. Take the lift up to the 5th floor and turn right.