Dubai now has its very own literary café! Book Munch aims to create a calm and peaceful environment where customers can indulge in a good pastry alongside a thrilling publication.
It sells books in both English and Arabic and was set up by Dareen Charafeddine. She said: “With a publishing background and a love of food it was always my passion to combine the two. A bookshop café is a perfect marriage of two of life’s greatest pleasures – reading and eating, and it seems that customers these days are looking for new experiences. They are tired of mainstream cafés and big-name brands with no personal touch – the concept of a café combined with culture is inspiring and welcoming and provides a much-needed break from most of our busy lives.”
Dareen, 35, knows what she’s talking about. She’s a former publisher at Kalimat, which specialises in children’s Arabic books. She unveiled Book Munch in January 2013 and she’s keen to highlight the café’s characteristic touches.“Each book at Book Munch has been personally chosen,” says Dareen. “We stock everything from the latest bestsellers to lesser-known authors and both English and Arabic titles so that there really is something for everyone.
“We encourage our customers to browse through all of the titles on offer – even while enjoying a coffee or meal – and we’re always on hand to recommend their next good read.”
Dareen has selected fiction and non-fiction books as well as a menu of comfort food including spaghetti and meatballs and carrot and pumpkin soup. Then there’s the decadent Alice in Wonderland-inspired Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea for two, at Dhs79.
The shop also holds regular events including chances to meet authors. Award-winning Emirati writer Qais Sedki was one of the latest to appear.
INFO: Book Munch, Al Wasl Road, Al Wasl Square (opposite Al Reef Bakery), Dubai, 04 885 3799, www.bookmunchcafe.com