L's Book Cafe & Wine

Open Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm

Phone Number: 62499006

Price Range: 30-80rmb

English Address: 195 Changde Road cross West Nanjing Road

Chinese Address: 常德路195

Metro: Line 2 Jing’An

With its simple maroon and gray striped exterior, few would know the ample amount of history that lay behind the entrance of L’s Book Café & Wine. This small, yet cozy café is located on the busy streets of Changde Road and is greatly juxtaposed next to Jiu Guang and Reel Mall. Slip through the wooden doors to isolate yourself from the bustle of the city and you’ll discover a quiet venue that was once inhabited by the famous novelist Eileen Chang.

 The afternoon tea set here offers a coffee or tea with your choice of dessert (80rmb). I chose the recommended jasmine tea with a plate of waffles.

My cup of jasmine tea arrived first so I was able to enjoy it while I browsed through some of the books available. The waffles took much longer to make and ended up being soft and soggy - I was very disappointed. I would recommend café-goers to only order the coffee or tea (50rmb) and to satisfy your dessert-craving elsewhere.   

This place has a variety of books that you can read while you spend a lazy afternoon there. The front few bookshelves of the café hold a selection of Chinese books. Customers seeking for English books have to walk deeper into the shop to find them. One whole shelf in the back is dedicated to cookbooks on a variety of cuisines such as Moroccan, American and Thai. Another shelf holds English children’s books and fictional novels. The bookshelf in the innermost part of the café holds books on different Asian architectural and interior designs.

The outdoor patio is shaded so it’s a good seating option if the weather is nice. WIFI is available and the waitresses dress in traditional Chinese qipaos to accommodate for the old Shanghainese theme. 

The overall highlight of this café is the quaint atmosphere. Although the afternoon tea quality is not the best, it’s a peaceful place to lay back and read that book you never got to finish.