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The Library at County Hall
Award-winning Executive Head Chef Jamie Welch has created a new elegant menu for The Library featuring contemporary British dishes with a modern twist.
Freshly prepared by our creative pastry chefs, afternoon tea features reimagined classics including a delectable arrangement of cakes and pastries, sweet and savoury scones served with seasonal jams and clotted cream, and full flavoured finger sandwiches.
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- Surfaces sanitised between seatings
- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Clean menu provided to every guest
- Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
- Contactless payment available
- Sealed or wrapped utensils used
- Limited number of seated diners
- Distancing maintained in common areas
- Extra space between tables
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
- Waiting staff wear masks
Great location with views across the Thames, historic room, friendly and attentive staff, but very quiet with little atmosphere and the food was disappointing. Perhaps trying a bit too hard on presentation without keeping an eye on flavours. Nothing bad but just not quite good enough. Food prices are reasonable but wines, as with most places in London, soon jack up the bill. It’s a shame as this place could be fantastic with a bit more attention on the cooking.
Unique afternoon tea experience with impeccable service and very good food. The 'champagne' (Cava) was a little sweet for me.
We had dinner with friends on Saturday night. We chose the The Library because the reviews suggested it was quiet, good food and lovely view. This was all true- we ordered the tasting menus which was creative and modern and the wine pairing was excellent value. Disappointed that one course couldn’t be swapped out for a vegetarian option but that’s understandable.
The service however was completely abysmal. The waiter couldn’t name any of the different wine when he brought them out, the desert wine never appeared and we gave up and decided not to make an issue, there was a feeling of inexperience amongst the serving staff.
The restaurant had a stuffy feel, and the place looked tired but it does have wonderful history. We appreciated the quiet ambience and good location. The food was good but the overall experience was tinged by the poor service.
The service was phenomenal. Our waiter and chef dealt with an allergy efficiently, safely and very creatively with replacement treats. The food was wonderful! Our sandwiches were not just the usual fare, but incorporated flavorful and colorful additions. The view was also spectacular. Don’t let the renovation efforts deter you from experiencing this wonderful tea. You will thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere of the library and the attentiveness of the staff. We’ll be back!
The service was excellent and the food was interesting and very tasty. The view across the Thames is lovely a really great London venue. The tables are well spaced making the sound level very low while maintaining a nice ambiance
The setting in the Library is quite special and a great place for a special celebration afternoon tea.
We had professional and friendly service throughout our visit and the tea and food was all delicious. We had the champagne tea which we would recommend, especially for a special occasion . The choice of teas and the menu is first class.
Our first time at afternoon tea was lovely. Pricy, but I assume that’s expected with It
Excellent experience. Lovely place with lovely views!
A warm friendly welcome from the young man that served us. Although we were 15 minutes late for our table we didn’t feel rushed to vacate it at half 5 when it was needed for the next guests! My husband had the ever flowing bubbles option and they were definitely ever flowing, nice champagne too. The teas were explained to us and we were also asked if we had any allergies. The sandwiches were lovely and fresh and of good quality. It was my fault as I didn’t look at the menu but if I had I would have asked not to have goats cheese but it wasn’t a problem and we did get our sandwiches replenished. There was a good atmosphere in the lounge as it was busy and although we weren’t right by the window we could see what was going on outside. In all, very good value, good service, pleasant unstuffy staff. Beautiful building😄.
Amazing experience all around. The setting and the view were unbelievable. The Afternoon Tea was fantastic in every way. The sandwiches were delicious and the sweets were excellent, but the scones... the scones were amongst the best things I’ve ever eaten. If there’s one downside, it was a bit expensive but you can get as much food and tea as you want.
We had an amazing time with my husband to celebrate our first anniversary. Great food and the service was impeccable. We will for sure come back for another occasion!
We were told that each person has fixed menu, though food portions is way to much for us. Would be nice if there is freedom to choose our own food.
Visited The Library for Afternoon Tea with friends to celebrate two 60th birthdays. Location is lovely (overlooking the Thames) and food and service were very good. The restaurant was very relaxed and food and drink was served at just the right pace.
Incredible find in the dream location. Had an incredible value three course dinner, with prosecco looking out the window onto the Thames and Westminster. Staff could not be faulted and did everything they could to make it a special night for my friends birthday.
Really enjoyed the afternoon we spent here. Lovely setting, room is like an old library, not to big so we could here each other talk. Very good service and food was lovely esp. the curry sandwiches, an unexpected but tasty addition to an afternoon tea.
Great location and very nice interior. Food was good and good value. Service was slow and on 4 occasions I had to get up and look for staff to ask for service even though restaurant was not busy.
Dear RGan, Thank you for taking the time to provide us feedback following your recent Library experience. We are deeply saddened to hear that the service you were provided was less than excellent and we have already taken the appropriate steps to ensure this was an isolated incident. We do hope you will join us again in the future. Kind regards, Alexandra Stoican Food & Beverage Sales Manager
I booked celebration tea for two weeks ago for the 26/6/19. Unfortunately when I got there I was told that the library was closed.
and afternoon tea was being served in the bar.
The staff said that they had no information about the booking., and that the However the staff were persuaded to let me and my guest sit just inside the restaurant.
Despite the valiant effort by the staff the occasion was marred as it lacked the fineness expected in the library. The staff were very apologetic.
I have since had a personal phone call from the Library Manager about the situation experienced. He said that the closure of the library was planned long before I booked. Somewhere along the way communications broke down so I wasn’t informed.
I was pleased that he telephoned to apologise personally and am considering if I take up his invitation to make another booking.
Food was tasty with a choice from 3 options for each course with a limited selection of extra vegetable dishes to buy at extra cost. The marmite roast potatoes we ordered ( the only choice given for potatoes) weren’t roast potatoes but boiled and the extra beans we ordered didn’t arrive until we reminded staff for them ( although they weren’t charged for). The wait between the starter course and main course was very long, nearly 45 mins. The staff were very polite but each time we were approached by staff it was a different person, it would have been nice to have continuity. Wine is expensive, as you would expect, so the final bill including one bottle of wine between four of us, was nearly £45 per head. The restaurant is quiet with good views over the Thames if you are seated near the window. Overall it was a nice experience which with a little more attention to some details, could have been a great one.
Great ambiance. Service excellent. Food are what you would expect for an afternoon tea.
We had a very nice time at The Library, even though they hadn't received our booking from Open Table. The host still found a table for us, and our servers were kind. The location was convenient and decor very tasteful. Great food too! I will definitely go back again.
Really enjoyed dinner at The Library at County Hall. The food was good and the dining setting in the library is very special.
We had a really lovely waiter who provided excellent service.
The room was lovely and the views were great. But don't go for food in the evening. Maybe this place is good for tea and cake, but the risotto I was served was almost inedible and the chocolate brownie cheesecake tasted synthetic. My friend ordered the apricot bakewell tart which was supposed to be served with whisky cream. When it arrived without whisky cream she asked what had happened to it and was told there was none left. When she queried that, and looked disappointed, they took it away and came back 5 minutes later to say the chef was making some new whisky cream! Incredible! The service was glacially slow - I had to go and ask for menus. This despite the Library itself being almost empty. And the white wine we were served wasn't properly chilled. That being said, the waiting staff themselves, who we got talking to, were delightful.
Dear PamelaL, Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback following your recent visit to the Library. It is most disappointing to read that your experience has not been up to the high standards of service that we strive to deliver. Please note that your comments have been shared with the team and appropriate measures are being taken to to avoid reoccurrence. We do hope you will visit again in the future. Kind regards, Alexandra Stoican Food & Beverage Sales Manager
This was a very special occasion Mother’s Day for my 86-year-old mother and eight-year-old mother-in-law both of been very unwell and this was their first day out the staff couldn’t have been more considerate helpful polite delightful and friendly the food was absolutely delicious and outstanding and the venue is a great British classic oozing with style had such a wonderful time thank you everyone at County Hall library
Dear PeacockPie, We are delighted to hear you enjoyed your experience with us! Your lovely comments have been shared with the Library team, who are very much looking forward to welcoming you back. Kind regards, Alexandra Stoican Food & Beverage Sales Manager
Brilliant experience with the venue. Far from brilliant experience with OpenTable though - i booked it for 3pm, had confirmation of the booking, only for the venue to call me the day before to explain that they had a problem with OpenTable bookings which were offering slots that weren't available. So NO STARS for OpenTable, but the venue dealt with it brilliantly.
Dear NickH, Thank you for providing such a glowing review of you Tea at The Library and we hope to host you again in the near future! Kind regards, Alexandra Stoican Food & Beverage Sales Manager
When we arrived we had a very rude lady finally greet us with 'we were going to close the kitchen.'
Our booking was at 8.30 and we arrived at 8.35pm. Dinner was poor - the duck was obviously the last left and they had ran out of potatoes so we had duck with only a green. How long does it take to cook some extra potatoes?!?
It takes a lot for me to complain but this was a suppose to be a birthday treat for my best friend and all we felt was that the staff wanted us to order quickly and leave so they could go home.
I've been to come lovely restaurants and this certainly wasn't one of them. Avoid.
Dear Sam A, We are saddened to read that your experience at The Library was less than brilliant and would like to thank you for taking the time to provide us feedback. Your comments have been passed on to the team and measures are being taken by management to avoid reoccurrence. Kind regards, Alexandra Stoican Food & Beverage Sales Manager
Disappointing considering the other reviews I had read, although on second reading the good reviews were for afternoon tea. I went to celebrate my sister's birthday on a Friday evening. Restaurant was only a third full. First thing we were told was at 7pm they had run out of roast potatoes! Mackerel salad to start consisted of 2 mouthfuls of fish. My main of haddock was also small. The duck was a good portion. They had also run out of cheesecake but gave me a selection from the afternoon tea cakes and didn't charge for it. Food tasted ok. Staff were polite, but they didn't wish my sister happy birthday which is fairly standard now for all restaurants. Would not recommend
Dear Anonymous, We are saddened to read that your experience with us has been less than brilliant. Your comments have been passed on to the team and measures are being taken to avoid unpleasant experiences. We do hope you will give us the opportunity to host you again in the future. Kind regards, Alexandra Stoican Food & Beverage Sales Manager
È stata un’esperienza bellissima. Ci siamo sentite due vere principesse inglesi!
Dear Tizi2163, It is lovely to read such an amazing review! We do hope you will visit again in the future so we can offer the same brilliant experience. Kind regards, Alexandra Stoican Food & Beverage Sales Manager
What an amazing experience today for afternoon tea. I had read that they had a great gluten free tea, but everything about today exceeded our expectations. The maitre de was so welcoming and made sure we had a beautiful table overlooking the Thames. Our waiter was friendly and attentive, and so helpful in accommodating my children’s food allergies (1 gluten free & 1 nut free)The tea selections & food were all delicious!! The scones & clotted cream were to die for!!! I will be dreaming about my memorable first afternoon tea in London at The Library at County Hall Marriott for a long time !!! My kids can’t stop talking about how wonderful it was! THANK YOU
Booked because of the location, we were going to see a production next door. There were not many people there because we ate early but that didn't matter because the welcome and staff were excellent, very friendly and attentive. The food was very nice and the surroundings plush and with a table overlooking the Thames and Houses of Parliament, just lovely.
Its a great venue but neither the food nor the service were really that great. Worth a visit though.
Always have should a lovely experience at The Library Lounge. Hence why I keep going back
I had booked for 18:15. When I arrived at the entrance, I was asked what I planned to eat (which for me is quite invasive upon entry). I said we may go for some tea and a snack. I was then told they don't do tea or snacks at that time and was instantly suggested another venue I could go for that. They mentioned they just do dinners at that time. I said fine, we will do a dinner... I was then told they are not ready to serve dinner. Why would Open Table allow me to make a reservation at that time when the restaurant cannot accommodate anyone? This was a first date and very embarrassing for me.
The Library Lounge is a beautiful room for afternoon tea. The setting is calm and relaxing looking onto the River Thames. The service was excellent with friendly attentive staff. Afternoon tea was with unlimited Cava, this was topped up without having to ask. Good value for money. But don’t forget service charge is added on. Only one round of sandwiches for 2 people which I felt was a bit poor. We asked for more and another round was quickly brought to our table. Dress code where what you like! A bit disappointed that people didn’t abide by the smart casual dress code. All in all a pleasant afternoon. I would definitely go again.
Dear TonyB, Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback following you Library visit. Your comments have been shared with the team, who are looking forward to hosting you again! Kind regards, Alexandra Stoican Food & Beverage Sales Manager
Dirty teapots, inedible sandwiches, eye watering bill. Everything you dread about Christmas teas with the family. Service, views, and location are great though. I’m not sure if I should judge the place solely on our Christmas-time experience. I’m not in a hurry to return though.
You can’t request - my request during the reservation was completely ignored
Your hot water will be replenished right next to you - you will have your handbag/clothes wet if you dont have the enough space between the waiter and yourself
You will be speaking to someone who will cut and say before you finish your sentences
Thank you for your service :)
Will recommend to my friends who will vist London !
Dear Suntaek, Thank you for the lovely review and recommendation to your friends. We are very much looking forward to hosting you again! Kind regards, Alexandra Stoican Food & Beverage Sales Manager
Perfect place to visit for high tea over the holidays
We booked this afternoon tea as a team Chirstmas treat after having such a great time two years ago. Unfortunately this time the experience was quite different, we had to keep asking for top ups to our drinks and food (as opposed to the previous time). I don't think there were enough staff for the numbers booked. We were asked to leave the table and move to the bar but were then moved on from there and then the next place we were asked to move to! Felt unwelcome and left after that though the staff were apologetic it dampened the experience.
The Library at County Hall is rated 4.5 stars by 96 OpenTable diners.
You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.