Samui Wining & Dining
Step into Suave

Drink Gallery is a new 'restaurant' concept at The Library in Chaweng, which combines cutting-edge design with delectable drinks.


17Casual yet sophisticated, Drink Gallery is a new kind of restaurant concept that combines art and design with drinking culture. In other words, the aesthetic of the venue helps to influence the mood and experience of the drinkers and diners. It's a place where people can enjoy cultured conversations within a slick environment - all the while enjoying exquisite cocktails conjured up by the expert mixologist, flown in especially from Bangkok. Not to mention there's fine wine, champagne and cocktails, with good music and good food too. So if you're after a more upmarket experience - and a unique one at that - then look no further.

    Located adjacent to trendy hotel, The Library, this new addition stays true to the stylish and art-inspired aesthetic the hotel has become so famous for. Appearing much like a giant glass box, the Drink Gallery building punctuates Chaweng Beach Road's otherwise predominantly concrete landscape. Eight-metre high ceilings and huge floor to ceiling glass panels glow amber from within, as warm lighting illuminates the red and orange tones of the venue's interior. Natural wood furnishings are juxtaposed against steel and exposed concrete, to create a space that stays true to its materials. Art has been brought in that accentuates the vibe further. A giant painting marks the backdrop of the bar. It's Asian-inspired but also incorporates Western elements, much like the rest of the décor.

      It's a restaurant and a bar in one, but the food menu veers more towards finger food rather than full dishes. The concept is about ordering a few items to share as an accompaniment to the cocktails and wine you'll be consuming. A homey menu has been designed for the Drink Gallery, the food being simple but delicious. All ingredients are fresh and hand-picked, and each dish is made to order. The design aspect of the restaurant extends to the crockery too, and specially designed serving dishes have been commissioned for the venue - but while they may be artistic, they are also inherently simple.

       And then there are the drinks. "Nobody has drinks like these!" says The Library's Marketing Manager, Francis Gan, and that's because even the drinks list has been created with the same artistic flair as the rest of the venue - and hotel, for that matter. These are creations totally unique to Drink Gallery. Unexpected ingredients, like cinnamon and rosemary, have been incorporated to create elixirs that are designed to entice and excite. There are also some with Thai influences too, using fresh local herbs and produce such as Thai basil. Totally refreshing drinks that use tons of fresh cucumber feature alongside holiday classics, like home-made sangria.

       The Drink Gallery seats approximately 35 in the air-conditioned interior, and 35 in the outdoor, alfresco area, so it's a fairly intimate venue. Music is atmospheric but not loud, so you can easily converse with each other. Francis describes the feeling in what can only be described as pure atmospheric poetry, "An island tribe inspired by big cities, art is the language, drinking, it's soul. Warm vibes and a play on contrasts, straight lines, organic shapes. A slogan called Design, a new culture is born." And if that doesn't make you want to check it out, then I don't know what will!

       Nestled alongside the main restaurant is a bakery, whipping up fresh bread and pastries throughout the day. Then connected to the bakery are carefully selected shops, befitting of The Library's upmarket reputation. The patio space created in front of the shops has become something of an outdoor community space, where anybody can come and lounge around in a comfortable but stylish area. All in all, the new development includes shops, a community hangout space, a bakery, and last but not least, Drink Gallery. If you're looking for something a bit different to that which is already on offer in the rest of Chaweng, you've now got your answer. To quote Francis again, "Sometimes it's good not to follow the crowd."



Christina Wylie


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