Category Archives: Wine bar

London for Wine Lovers

Gordon's Wine Bar - creative commonsI am a self-confessed wine snob, slave to the humble grape, worshipper of the vine. Yes, I can knock back a cheap party plonk like the best of them, but probably one of my favourite things to do in the Big Smoke is curl up in the corner of a cosy wine bar, slurp my way through exquisite tipples and people watch. Here are the first in a series of my preferred London spots for combining both these activities – excellent wine drinking, and the not-so-subtle observation of the human condition… Continue reading

161 Food + Drink, Sydenham

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Photo credit to Drink Up London

“This place looks a bit like a mini Toasted in Dulwich” – I exclaimed upon perching on my stool beneath two groaning shelves of French natural wines in the teeny, tiny, ultra-cosy 161 Food + Drink, Sydenham. Cue owner Alex flying right over to justify my observation. Indeed, there is a connection – he formally worked at Toasted with then Chef Matt Osborne, who also worked at my other favourite, Terroirs in Covent Garden. Part of London’s clearly incestuous natural wine scene, which is expanding at a rate of knots into these leafy South London suburbs, 161 Food + Drink is like your friend’s cost front room, packed to the rafters with wine and a book case upon which rests an Italian charcuterie slicer.  Continue reading

Unwined in Tooting – Wine Bar

IMG_20160511_215508Kiki reaches into the fridge and cracks open a curious bottle of Pinot Grigio. Except far from “grigio” this one is a gorgeous shade of pale, blush, apricot – a result of skin contact – and a taste of it reveals juicy, fruity notes and even a whiff of white peach. It is 10pm and although the Wine Wednesday pop-up tasting finished half an hour ago, the good folk of Tooting attending this casual foray into grapes and wine are in no hurry. In fact a solid hour of chin-wagging has begun as more bottles are opened and more stories told of grape journeys, grape discoveries and even the best wines to pair with Gogglebox or Eurovision. We are at Unwined in Tooting. Not your average wine bar. Continue reading

Duende – Covent Garden Tapas

IMG_20160411_205013A lot of romance has been written surrounding the spirit of the word “duende” – a Spanish concept for which there is no direct English translation – relating to “having soul” (thus perpetuating that great stereotype that us Anglophones are inferior to the fiery Latins when it comes to this department)…

Well… Covent Garden is not usually where I go to “find soul” or even Latin passion (although a few Margaritas at Benito’s Hat Mexican has claimed a few souls for sure) – and sadly both of these are a tad lacking at newly opened Duende. Small, suitably dark and ever so slightly cold, the few high chairs facing the bar offer diners a spanking shiny copper top from which to eat whilst a scatter of black wood tables line the opposite side of the very tight room. It is slick and chic, rather than quaint and rustic – and I picture City suits rather than trendy, creative Madrileños. Continue reading

Chix & Buck Wine Parlour – Brixton

Chix & Buck BrixtonA relatively new and very welcome addition to Brixton’s bustling Atlantic Road is Chix & Buck’s Wine Parlour. Run by a charming duo who also manage Chix & Buck’s niche wine importing and distribution business, The Wine Parlour is both a shop, a tasting room and an “Enoteca-style” hangout open every day except Tuesdays. Continue reading

Wine Bar – The 10 Cases, London

The 10 Cases - Covent GardenLocated in rather an unassuming corner of Covent Garden, tucked at the Freemason’s Hall end on leafy Endell Street is the 10 Cases – effectively two locations; a Bistrot a Vin, where you can eat a full dinner (in tiny but cosy surrounds) and enjoy a myriad wines by the glass and the Cave a Vin – which showcases a range of wines which have proved most popular from the menu next door or are simply carefully selected and which include a good choice under the £10 bracket. Continue reading

Brixton Eating – Boqueria Tapas

Boqueria-RestaurantHalfway down Acre Lane, two doors down from an Afro hairdresser-cum-newsagent-cum Christmas tree store, is Boqueria Tapas, the self-proclaimed “most exciting Tapas bar in London”…Now I’m not sure about the earth-shattering excitement – on an excitement Richter scale where 1 is paint drying and 10 is the Second Coming Boqueria is a comfortable 5 – but the food is definitely a teaser for the tastebuds. Continue reading