Formerly the UK's first public subscription library, this wonderful listed building is now home to the Library Restaurant.
Boasting a plethora of fantastic food, cocktails and wine, the Library is Co-Directors Nigel & Jayne Raffles' biggest project to date.
This stunning building is rich with historic features and boasts a large lounge, bar and brasserie. There is also an outside courtyard, perfect for alfresco dining, where food is cooked on a specially imported, wood fired grill.
Take your time to explore our website and get to know the Library a little bit better, however to really experience what it has to offer you should visit us in the flesh.
Lovingly restored and re-opened as a restaurant by Jayne and Nigel Raffles in October 2006, this stunning building has a long and varied history.
The Norfolk and Norwich Subscription Library was formed in 1886. The original subscription rate was £1.00 for ladies over 18 and £2.00 for men. Fueled by voluntary subscriptions, the building possessed many volumes of great value.
In 1898, during the August Bank Holiday weekend, a fire broke out in nearby Dove Street. The fire quickly spread to the Library and within an hour the entire building was gutted and most of its contents were destroyed. The building was later restored at the cost of £1,719 and re-opened in 1914.
This beautiful venue now hosts a multitude of events including weddings, corporate events, special birthdays and even special wine tastings. We also have many regular diners who join us for fine, fresh food, cooked on our unique Aztec wood grill.
Our philosophy is fresh, simple food, cooked on site using local produce and suppliers.
We are certain that a visit to the Library will be one you will enjoy. Whether you tour our very own mezzanine art gallery that overlooks the restaurant or simply relax in our comfortable and contemporary lounge, you will find the escape you need to unwind.
We hope you enjoy your meal with us at the Library and welcome any comments or feedback you may have.
After Hours @ The Library
Working in the city has its perks, you’re close to shops to nip out on your lunch break, there’s always a decent cup of coffee nearby and an after work dinner date night is an opportunity to peruse the Norwich Lanes searching for possible eateries and bars. This particular after work stroll had me stumble across The Library Restaurant & Grill. The restaurant is tucked away so neatly that you would be forgiven for missing it completely. There’s a charming slew of bunting strung from the roof and a seated courtyard which we decided to take advantage of, given the sunshine.
The Library is a Grade II listed building, still with bookcases and wooden panels intact, but it doesn’t feel stuffy or ostentatious, instead there is a very welcoming vibe thanks to the gracious waiting staff and modern décor. When choosing somewhere to dine, my partner and I usually try to find somewhere with an unusual menu or a dish we haven’t tried before. However, this time we wanted comfort food, a satisfying fill for the evening with a leisurely drink or two – which is exactly what we got.
I ordered the sirloin steak with a house salad and fries, whilst my boyfriend went for the aubergine burger stuffed with mozzarella and basil. I can tell he enjoyed himself because his eyes didn’t leave the plate and a word didn’t escape his lips until the last crumb. I asked for the steak medium rare so there was a little juice but no blood, what I didn’t realise was that The Library prides itself on cooking their meat on a wood grill. The flavours were rich and smoky, coupled with the sunshine and cider it was like being at a summer cook out.
- Norwich blogger
Here is the link to Miss Sue Flay's blog article
We recently featured in famous fashion publication Red magazine as part of their ‘While you’re in Norwich…’ feature.
The Library Restaurant has also received a favourable write-up within the exclusive Uniquely Away magazine reviewing our recent re-launch party to celebrate the arrival of our new lounge bar and tapas menu.
Days out with kids included us in their Fantastic Days out with Kids blog article which listed the nation's best places to visit with kids. We ranked alongside some fantastic London Restaurants in a post that was published to over half a million followers
Corporate events facilities
Corporate events facilities
Our corporate event facilities are perfect for : Business conferences : Training Days: Seminars : Business meetings : Club & society events e g Book clubs . We have two private function rooms as well as our main restaurant areas.
We offer a range of flexible packages at extremely competitive prices or we have the flexibility to tailor an event to your own requirements. Please contact today :firstname.lastname@example.org or 01603 616606.
We are located just off the main Norwich market place with several car parks close by as well as the main city taxi rank, making the Library an ideal venue for visitors and local businesses.
Specious and impressive with floor to ceiling book cases . The study has a wide screen TV and can be linked to a laptop seating up
to 30 guests in comfort.
The Reading room has a seating capacity of 20
Water and refreshments can be provided as can a buffet or Pixe Fixe luncheon , depending on your requirements