Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – a guy walks into a library…
Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but what if the library was a bar? Is it still a library when there’s no need to be quiet and you can order a drink while you read a book?
While Next Chapter in Camana Bay is a convenient place to meet your next book — with a buzzing adjourning Starbucks coffee shop for flicking through the pages of your latest purchase — Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, just five minutes away, decided to do things a little differently when it opened a new venue within the existing library space in the lobby.
It’s not the first (nor will it be the last) bar called library, nor is it even the first library bar in the lobby of a hotel. But the Library by the Sea is the newest addition to Cayman’s burgeoning cocktail scene and is a world away from the dark mahogany and old leather chesterfields its namesake bring to mind.
Instead, the Library by the Sea has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out at one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and of course the Seven Mile Beach sunset.
There will be a whole host of curated cocktail collections for guests to peruse, from the specialist selection of vintage spirits to the storytelling, narrative-driven artisan cocktails that have taken inspiration from literature, prose, poetry, art and all of the characters and experiences that can be held within the pages of a book.
Take, for example, the From Cayman with Love cocktail, which takes its inspiration from Ian Fleming’s love of the Caribbean and the lesser known character of Quarrel, a Caymanian fisherman who teaches a younger James Bond the ways of diving and the sea. Quite the coincidence that Camana Bay Cinema just happens to be showing every Bond movie as the franchise celebrates 60 years.
Liquid is based on a local sugarcane distillate, redistilled with locally grown botanicals, then mixed with a sea mineral and seaweed adjusted vermouth and a local tropical cordial based around sweetsop, mango and bitter oranges. Somewhere between a martini cocktail and the naval gimlet, the From Cayman with Love is served in a specially made ceramic shell vessel along with an agar-coated champagne vinegar “pearl” onion.
This is just one of the curious and delicious concoctions that grace the pages of the menu at the Library by the Sea, which is set to open November or December. So if you're looking for a unique experience just a few minutes from Camana Bay, head north on the Esterley Tibbetts and stop by.