Seven London hot spots for wine lovers
London, the pulsating epicentre of all things culinary and vinous, stands proudly as a paradise for wine enthusiasts.
London, the pulsating epicentre of all things culinary and vinous, stands proudly as a paradise for wine enthusiasts. The vibrant wine culture of the city intertwines seamlessly with the city's diverse culinary landscape, offering a sensory symphony that beckons discerning palates.
Whether one seeks solace in the intimate confines of cosy, specialised wine bars, or embarks on a gastronomic journey through the carefully curated wine lists at charming neighbourhood eateries, the options are boundless. Here are seven top-notch hot spots for any wine aficionado who finds themselves gracing the capital's vivacious streets.
Tucked away in the lively heart of Dalston, East London, lies Angelina, an enchanting Italo-Japanese-inspired restaurant that delights diners with its alluring fusion of cultures. Underpinned by a modern east-meets-west interior design and featuring an open kitchen, the ambience strikes the perfect balance between welcoming and intimate. The brainchild of two friends, this culinary gem blends the unique flavours of Japanese and Italian cuisines. For the ultimate experience, settle in at the marble counter and witness the culinary sorcery of the chefs unfold before your eyes. Angelina takes pride in its robust selection of Italian wines, while its omakase or kaiseki options, thoughtfully paired with the wines, offer exceptional value, promising a memorable gastronomic journey that transcends culinary boundaries.
aspen & meursault is spearheaded by Sunny Hodge, the brains behind the acclaimed independent wine bar Diogenes The Dog in Elephant & Castle. It emerges as a thrilling new low-intervention wine bar in southwest London's leafy enclave of Battersea. Embracing versatility, by day it exudes a welcoming coffee shop ambience, transforming effortlessly into a relaxed and convivial wine bar come nightfall. A delectable array of small plates and snacks accompanies their extensive collection of natural wines, catering to the refined palates of London's wine enthusiasts. With a myriad of wines available by the glass, aspen & meursault entices both seasoned natural wine aficionados and sceptics alike, promising a captivating escapade into an array of exceptional wines without undue strain on one's wallet.
Nestled conveniently near King's Cross Station, Bar Rioja unfolds as a charming new wine bar, beckoning with its captivating charm. As the name suggests, it pays homage to the beloved Spanish wine region of Rioja, perhaps at times mistaken as being the producer of mainly supple, oaky red wines. Richard Bigg is the visionary owner of Camino Group, and a passionate advocate of Rioja's diverse offerings, determined to unveil its true richness to the world. Bar Rioja presents an impressive selection of 43 wines by the glass, ranging from sparkling wines, rosés, and barrel-aged wonders, to fruity white and red varieties. This is where one can embark on a delightful journey to explore Rioja's 100 kilometres of diversity, indulging in the finest expressions of this celebrated wine region.
Located in the vibrant streets of Notting Hill, The Counter (picture on top) stands as a contemporary Turkish ocakbasi restaurant, helmed by renowned chef Kemal Demirasal. With a friendly neighbourhood restaurant ambience, it boasts traditional southeastern Anatolian cooking infused with a modern twist. From enticing chocolate babaganoush to meticulously sourced ingredients, authenticity and flavour abound. The ever-changing menu surprises with exotic delights, while Turkish wines take centre stage on the well-curated wine list, with additions from neighbouring countries like Greece and Croatia. The signature aperitif made by Salgem juice, accompanied by roasted pepper, entices the adventurous. The Counter embodies the art of Turkish cuisine with contemporary flair, inviting all to savour its delectable offerings.
Located in London's West End, this captivating 12-seat chef's counter has a rich history. Formerly a basement beer cellar of an 18th-century pub in China Town's Rupert Street, this Grade II Listed building was painstakingly restored in 2017, now housing The Blue Posts pub on the ground floor. Ascending to the first floor, The Mulwray wine bar awaits, boasting an impressive selection of wines from emerging regions and fine and natural wines curated by wine director Honey Spencer and sommelier Sarah Wright. Descend through a narrow staircase to Evelyn's Table in the basement, offering a set menu showcasing seasonal British ingredients, complemented by creative drink pairings. With a Michelin star in 2022 and the Craft Guild of Chefs New Restaurant of the Year Award, Chef James Goodyear now leads the culinary journey. With seating available on Tuesdays through Saturdays, two sittings at 6 pm and 8.45 pm offer eager diners an unforgettable gastronomic experience.
Atop art'otel London Battersea Power Station, JOIA shines as a gem in London's vibrant riverside neighbourhoods. Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Henrique Sa Pessoa, this Iberian restaurant embodies the allure of Catalonia and Portuguese cuisine, infused with robust flavours from the finest British and Iberian produce. Named after "jewel" in Portuguese, JOIA offers an enchanting journey across its 14th-floor bar and 85-cover restaurant on the 15th floor. Portuguese wines expertly complement the dishes, and the JOIA bar unveils an innovative cocktail list, each a tribute to precious gems. A culinary jewel amidst the grand regeneration of Battersea Power Station, JOIA invites guests to savour an extraordinary dining experience.
Luca has been a culinary mainstay since 2016 in bustling Clerkenwell, now celebrating its triumphant Michelin star in 2023. This British meets Italian restaurant offers an extensive array of Italian wines. Through the lens of Italian culinary artistry, Luca serves the finest British seasonal ingredients, harmoniously fusing flavours. The standalone bar offers masterful classic cocktails, complemented by an impressive all-Italian wine, beers, and a vast grappa collection. Luca's bar also tempts with mouthwatering Italian bar snacks and a changing bar express menu. Its well-deserved Michelin star showcases its unparalleled culinary prowess, promising an unforgettable experience of tradition and innovation entwined.