“A fine example of brutalist architecture”
The National Theatre Bookshop, Southbank, London
This building is known by some as “a fine example of brutalist architechture”. I personally think it looks like Stalag 14, complete with what look like gun turrets! However, don’t let that put you off.
The Ground Floor of the NT is a public space with a variety of different sorts of seating and you will often see famous thespians having a quiet cup of coffee with a friend. People come and go all the time and the shop is very clear in view. As you might expect, the vast majority of books available are about all things theatrical – and if that’s your great passion, you’ll be in 7th heaven. However, they also have a children’s section (complete with toys) that has books such as “Great Women Who Changed The World” and “What Can Cats Do”. In addition, there are a number of non-theatrical books, modern fiction, quirky etc. I saw a section that had the Dalai Lama’s book of serenity next to “How to become famous on instagram”. You could happily spend hours just browsing through the titles (there’s a small reading area for those who like to sit whilst they browse) – and there is also a small selection of souvenir items to buy.
After all that, you can then make your way to either of the 2 cafe’s for a cup of tea, a selection of lovely hand-baked cakes or something more substantial! It is therefore a great place to visit on it’s own account – or – if you ever find yourself on the Southbank during inclement weather with some time to kill (with children or without), you could do worse then spend it here.
~ Debbie McCarthy