Writers tend to be a wandering bunch of souls — we often seem to find inspiration and relaxation in places that have drinks instead of desks, cocktail hours instead of club chairs. My friend and fellow scribe Wendy and I come together for literary chats from time to time. One spot we especially enjoy is the library cafe of a hotel in the west 20s. What better place to have a drink or latte and talk about writing?
Recently, I came across a fun round-up of some of the places that famous writers enjoyed hanging out in and drinking, people watching, or writing — or all three. Just to inspire you to get out and mix it up a bit, here are a few:
The Hotel Monteleone: New Orleans — Among the writers who stayed, wrote, and drank there are: Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Ann Rice, Eudora Welty, and John Grisham.
The White Horse Tavern: NYC, opened in 1880 — I actually had a drink here! So did Dylan Thomas, James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Hunter Thompson, and Jack Kerouac.*
The Eagle and Child: Oxford, opened in 17th century — this storied pub once hosted the Inklings — whose members included C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien. Wow, this is one pub I’d like to hoist a glass in!
Les Deux Magots: Paris, opened in 1812 (the year that Napoleon invaded Russia — just in case you’re wondering.) — This spot attracted James Joyce, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Bertold Brecht, and Ernest Hemingway.
Old Town Bar: NYC, opened in 1892 — A mahogany-and-marble throwback, this conversation-friendly spot hosted Frank McCourt, Seamus Heaney, and Billy Collins — one of my new favorite poets.
Literary Café: St. Petersburg: opened in 1816 — Love that name! A popular meeting spot for some of the greats, including Dostoevsky and Pushkin, who had a last drink at this café before his fatal duel.
So, who seems to be the most mobile of these literati? The winner has to be our boy Ernest. He is known for imbibing in New York, Paris, Havana, and Madrid — to mention a few hot spots! Write on.
* “7 Famous Literary Bars,” a tour of writerly watering holes, from AssignmentMasters.co.uk.