This weekend I attended a charming baby shower with a “classic children’s books” theme. It got me thinking about one of my very favorite places to have a drink! Bemelmans Bar is at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side. It is named after Louis Bemelmans, creator of the Madeline series of books. His murals cover the walls of the bar, making it a most unusual and delightful place to throw one back.
Bemelmans’ characters even adorn the lampshades on the tables! I love all the detail – there is so much to take in, but it all feels very warm and soothing.
This bar is the only place where Bemelmans’ work is on display to the public. The space has a dark, clubby feeling at all times of the day, but the whimsical scenes the artist painted on the walls make it an uplifting place to drink. Sitting in this bar for a little while, as I often do when I am in New York, puts me in touch with that part of my childhood self that wanted to jump into the books I read. Sipping an Old Cuban at the same time makes me very glad to be a grown-up! This place is a treasure.