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Cultural Coffee and Klatsch

October 24, 2013
Neilson Hays Library & Gallery

From its humble beginnings in 1869, the Bangkok Ladies Library Association swiftly became one of the most important focuses of expat life in the Kingdom of Siam. Initially located in private houses and open only once a week, it soon gained popularity among English speakers not only as a repository of learning but also as a social hub, and by 1914 a plot of land was secured on what was to become the main Surawong thoroughfare for a more permanent home.

One of the association’s most passionate advocates and active members was Jennie Neilson Hays, and to commemorate her untimely death in 1920, her husband donated the funds that would erect the building standing today. Opened in 1922, it remains a much-loved fixture of Bangkok life.

But it’s not just for its collection of 20,000+ English language books that the Neilson Hays Library is famed – its two galleries, the Rotunda and the Garden Gallery, play host to a continually changing roster of local and international artists across all mediums, from painting to textiles, photographs and sculpture. Add into the mix the recently opened contemporary Garden Cafe, with its light and airy interior and menu of hot and cold dishes plus homemade cakes and biscuits supplied by the nearby British Club, and you’ve got the perfect perch for a cultural coffee and klatsch.

195 Surawong Rd
+66 2 233 1731

9:30 am - 5:00 pm / closed Monday

Cafe open 9:00 am - 6:00 pm daily