Elephant Bookstore II

The newest Elephant Bookstore is a proper shop located on Tzar Shishman Street. The first time I had the chance to peruse some of their books was when they opened a small book corner at the Теа House in the Factory (Чай в Фабриката) on Benkovski. Most of the second hand books are imported from the UK, but the selection was decent and if you couldn’t find what you were looking for in the shop, then you could check out their website, which delivers.

The walls are completely lined, almost to the ceiling with books.
Separated in the categories for easy browsing, you can find something for all reading preferences. I was interested in the gardening books, which were located under the cashier’s counter.

What differs from this location, besides the size is the awesome selection of unique toy and gift items. I was like a kid in a candy shop with the whimsical designs and vibrant colors. Antique toys and book marks, stationary etc…

The interior aisles were filled with these fun goodies.
One of my favorites was the funky floral garden tools, not practical for the scale which we are working but still pretty.

But by far the coolest was the seed sticks! I got a package of the herbs for the girls and I think we sprouted a parsley plant… We will see.

An extremely cool shop for only English language books and very fun knick knacks!

Tsar Shishman 31, 
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria 
Hours Mon – Sun: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm  
Phone 088 642 0954 

Paper Cake

Paper Cake, a bookshop and chocolatier situated on the bustling Rakovski street; this little shop is something unique because they don’t limit themselves to coffee and tea, but alcohol as well.

I was a little confused about the Chocolaterie aspect because all I saw offered were some small cakes, which seemed only marginally chocolatey. I was told that they normally have selection, but not the day of my visit.

The coffee is average, but they don’t claim to be a cafe or bar. The focus seems to be on the books and providing a space to brows and enjoy. They also have a limited selection of English language books.

Papercake is split level, so you can chill out upstairs in the loft, which has plenty of couches and nooks.

I liked the eclectic collection of furniture, like the wake board table supported by the legs of an ironing board and other decorative elements. Many places in Sofia are becoming rather homogenized by frequently utilizing a similar design style, this unpretentious and laid back environment is conducive to sipping a coffee and typing away on an iPhone writing a blog post.

122 Rakovski str.,
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Hours Mon – Sun: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Phone 088 922 6822


Elephant Bookstore at the Tea House

Every time I visit Чайна/Tea House (Чай във Фабриката), I discover somеthing new. This was my first trip to the Tea House since my return from the US and it was just as I remembered it; warm and cozy environment, fantastic artwork from talented artists adorning the walls, handmade ceramic by Efrat Green lining the shelves, the wafting odor of freshly brewed tea… and something new…  something alluring… ahhh… the intoxicating musty smell of recently loved books.

When we walked in I noticed a sign for a bookstore, but I couldn’t see anything but a small shelf in the middle of the room, which was not exactly what I would call a shop, so I turned my focus back to having tea.
When my husband went to use the restroom, he came back he asked me if I knew about the English language bookstore in the back… they even have children’s books, he said! Hardly able to contain myself, I jumped up and headed toward the back through the swinging wooden doors.
The Elephant Bookstore! There was something celestial about the way the light shone through the window and the French doors opened their arms to invite you further into the book nook.
The space was teeming with tomes, they overflowed into the corridor and I hardly knew where to begin, until I noticed the words River Cottage in a bin outside the door. It was as if the bookshop was luring me in with a box filled with smart, natural cookbook titles, organic gardening guides and books to encourage kids to cook and garden… The selection of just this one box was amazing. Even better were the prices. These were gently used books from the UK priced between 5 – 12 lv. Even if you found such titles in the book shops in the mall or other places that are geared toward foreigners, you wouldn’t find such reasonable prices.
It turns out that Elephant Bookstore opened in December 2011. It is run by a British man and Bulgarian women. They are passionate about books and make selections that are interesting to read, not just “chick-lit”! This is the first outpost for Elephant Bookstore in Sofia. You can also order books online through their website, which is available in English and Bulgarian. The best part is that no matter how many books you order online the deliver price is just 3.95 lv through Bulgarian post. Faster delivery is available or you can also visit their main location about an hour outside Sofia. You can get updates from Elephant Bookstore through Facebook or visit their website for on-line shopping etc…
I can think of nothing more enjoyable than drinking tea and perusing books. It is a concept that I am familiar with in the US, but this is the first time I have seen such a combination in Bulgaria. Please visit Чайна/Tea House (Чай във Фабриката) and enjoy not only tea, but other beverages as well and  vegetarian cuisine. If you “Like”the Tea House’s Facebook page, you can find out their event schedule, which includes live music and weekend events for children and parents, like Efrat Green’s Play with Clay.

ul. Georgi Benkovski 11
Sofia, Bulgaria 1000
tel: +359 (0) 887051080
 Mon – Thu: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sat: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm Phone

Elephant Bookstore
at Чайна/Tea House (Чай във Фабриката)
+359 (0) 886420954
e-mail elephantbookshop@gmail.com
Tue – Fri: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm

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