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London Loves Wine

How London's most recent modern and innovative approach to wine is putting us firmly on the world wine map.

It’s no secret that London has a long and rich history of wine consumption – you only need to grace the cellars of Gordon’s Wine Bar or our numerous historic city bars to feel that – wine (and beer) have been the lifeblood of our city for hundreds of years. However, it’s our more recent modern and innovative approach to wine that is now putting us firmly on the world wine map. Over the last five years we’ve seen a whole crop of wine bars opening that have altered the landscape of how we approach and drink our favourite tipple, breaking down the barriers of what has often been seen as an exclusive area purely for those in the know. From lengthy by the glass menus spearheaded by Sager & Wilde in their original Hackney Road site, to enomatic machines at Vagabond, fully natural wine bars such as The Laughing Heart and even urban wineries – we’re leading the charge for modern wine.

So it’s not a surprise that on the coat tails of this fantastic movement we’ve been fortunate to have an abundance of wine bars open their doors over the summer season – plus a few more to come in the next month or so. Now is the time to grab a friend and go support your local wino…

Leroy – Shoreditch – a new venture from the founders of much-loved Michelin-starred Ellory that closed its doors a few months back. The space is light and airy, the wine list is just as great as you’d expect it to be, including a wine made by co-founder Jack Lewens (in partnership with business partner Ed Thaw, Michael Sager, Jackson Boxer and Stevie Parle no less), and a delicious menu of small plates.

St Leonards Shoreditch – a restaurant from aforementioned Jackson Boxer, the venue includes a beautiful statement bar area where you can also snack on this critically acclaimed chef’s creations with a glass of wine in hand from their extensive list of 200 wines.

Lady of the Grapes – Covent Garden – a new concept bar celebrating and supporting female winemakers from across the globe. The wine list is full of biodynamic and natural gems with an organic food menu to match.

Sapling – Dalston – still on the natural theme this wine-driven neighbourhood restaurant has a weekly changing menu of 30-40 wines that are sustainable, organic, biodynamic or low-intervention, and all are available by the glass. There’s a regular food menu, a larder menu and best of all – you can reserve!

Bottles – Spitalfields – an Italian wine bar from the aficionados behind Bottles & Battles in Mercato Metropolitano. The distinctly Italian menu champions an array of wines from independent producers and small farms, showcasing regional and indigenous varieties and often exploring forgotten grapes, while food is courtesy of pop-up restaurant concept SOOD Family.

Quality Wines – Farringdon – the new and glorious expansion from the celebrated Quality Chop House team, located right next door to their adjacent shop and restaurant. They have 200 wines available to take away or enjoy right there in the evenings for just £15 corkage, or some by the glass. Snacks come from QCH next door – delighted.

Bright – London Fields – the epic team from P.Franco – Eater London’s Restaurant of the Year no less – have taken over the space previously occupied by Ellory and opened their second venue that has been met with much the same joy as the first. Capturing the same buzzy communal feel but on a  bigger scale, this fully fledged restaurant showcases natural, low-intervention styles from small scale producers across Europe and the New World.

Good Neighbour – Camberwell – a new local hangout in the space previously occupied by Cannon & Cannon’s Nape. Set over 2 floors with a garden, the design is stylish and welcoming, the wine list interesting and unique and accompanied by cheese, charcuterie and pizzettes.

Vins – Canonbury – A neighbourhood wine bar from the team behind Shoreditch's Jago, serving up a menu of changing seasonal European menu of delicious snacks along with a precise and well thought out list of wines.

Coming soon…

Darling – Dalston –
an eagerly-awaited project from Charlotte Wilde opening in the historic F. Cooke (and Shanghai) site on Kingsland Road. Read more here

Levan – Peckham – the next venture from Nicholas Balfe of Brixton’s much-loved Salon, with all day dining and French wines.

The Drop – Kings Cross – a wine bar from foodie royalty the Hart Bros along with Crispin Sommerville (co-founder of El Pastor) to open in the new expansive site coming to Coal Drops Yard.

Fare Bar & Canteen – Farringdon – Michael Sager and business partner Marcis Dzelzainis launch a frankly HUGE site with a simple concept at its heart; draught drinks (yes – that’s quick and eco-friendly wine on tap) and pizza. Read more here.