Best London wine bars chosen by the experts
Listed in alphabetical order.
10 Greek St does really good food and the wine list is very well priced. Luke Wilson, the owner, keeps a little black book of the good stuff, with very encouraging cash margins! Gearoid Devaney MS
10 Greek street has a small but well-designed and perfectly executed menu, along with well-chosen wines at great prices. Xavier Rousset MS
10 Greek Street, W1D 4DH
+44 (0) 20 7734 4677
If I fancy a glass of something interesting in a laid back, cosy atmosphere, then The 10 Cases in Covent Garden is perfect. The wine list always has plenty to tempt me and the food is delicious but unfussy. Mark Andrew
Ideally located near Covent Garden, it has an ever-changing wine list (they only ever buy ten cases of each wine), a choice of tapas-style food as well as main dishes, plus a bottle shop next door with informal dining and a handy function room in the basement. Richard Hemming MW
The 10 cases has a great selection of wines. It’s a very honest place run by passionate people – we need more of this format in London. Xavier Rousset MS
16 Endell Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BD
+44 (0) 20 7836 6801
40 Maltby Street, SE1 3PA
+44 (0) 20 7237 9247
For a guilty pleasure, the range of wines by the glass at 67 Pall Mall with Coravin is hard to resist with some iconic wines from older vintages available… need I say more? Gearoid Devaney MS
67 Pall Mall is the ultimate wine lover’s destination, with an extraordinary array of choice served by Coravin and a fixed corkage charge of £20. The food isn’t cheap but it is classic and expertly prepared. The only disadvantage is you need to be a member! Richard Hemming MW
67 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5ES
+44 (0) 20 3000 6767
This underground Champagne bar, operated by Searcys, is in the same building as the Institute of Directors, and it’s hard to forget that given the procession of businessmen in suits strolling in for an after-meeting glass of bubbly. Once the wine cellars of the Prince of Wales and the United Service Club, the space has been converted into a stylish bar, featuring the original iron gate cellar doors, vaulted ceilings and exposed brickwork. The offering includes a limited selection of Champagnes and wines by the glass, alongside cocktails, light bites and bar snacks. 116 Pall Mall Champagne Bar by Searcys is open Monday-Friday, 12pm-10pm. Amy Wislocki
116 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5ED
Set in the smart St James’s Hotel & Club, 1857 is a dream destination for Port lovers. The name refers to the year that the historic club was established, but that’s not the only noteworthy date, as the Port list here – curated in association with Symington Family Estates – contains a jaw-dropping array of older vintages. In particular you’ll find the oldest wine in the UK to be sold by the glass: the exceptionally rare Graham’s 1882 Ne Oublie Port at £400 per glass.
Other limited, rare and unusual bottles include Cockburn’s 1969 Single Harvest. There’s also a range of Port cocktails, including the addictive White Port Sour and eye-catching Queen of the Night (a mix of Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny, Blandy’s 10 Year Old Verdelho, Seignette Cognac VS and crème de rose liqueur). Bar snacks make the most of luxe ingredients that pair particularly well with Port, including Stilton cheese, foie gras and tuna belly. Or push the boat out and enjoy a decadent tasting menu by chef William Drabble at the Michelin-starred Seven Park Place next door. Julie Sheppard
7-8 Park Place, St James’s, SW1A 1LS
+44 (0) 20 7316 1621
In my opinion Andrew Edmunds is London’s best kept secret: rustic food accompanied by top wines from Burgundy as well as new World wines, sold with very little mark up. There are often real gems to be found. Andrea Briccarello
See our full review of Andrew Edmunds restaurant here
46 Lexington Street, W1F 0LP
+44 (0) 20 7437 5708
Situated just off glamorous and bustling Carnaby Street, Antidote is a relaxed wine bar and restaurant across two floors. Their wine list is extensive and made up exclusively of organic and biodynamic wines. There’s a strong focus on France and you can often find interesting wines and older vintages peppered throughout the list. The cheese boards are to die for and along with charcuterie and small plates will help soak up the second or third bottle. Natalie Earl
12A Newburgh St, Carnaby, London W1F 7RR
+44 (0) 20 7287 8488
Sister to the Paris original, Bar de Prés restaurant in Mayfair is a showcase for the considerable culinary talents of chef Cyril Lignac. Head downstairs and you’ll find a chic and intimate wine bar; its design inspired by 1950s Paris. Rich velvet, mahogany and bold geometric prints combine with soft lighting and charming service to create a seductive space that feels worlds away from the busy city streets above. But there’s more to this lounge than good looks… The wine list is a joy for Francophiles, offering a stellar selection of Burgundy, as well as big-hitters from Bordeaux – think Château Margaux 1990 for a cool £2,750. From the Rhône to Alsace, via Savoie, Provence and Corsica, French regions are well represented. Top producers include Chapoutier, Château de Beaucastel, Didier Dagueneau and Josmeyer. Of course, this is Mayfair, so there’s also a swoon-worthy Champagne list featuring Bollinger, Dom Pérignon, Roederer’s Cristal and more. Top bottles don’t come cheap, but an accessible by-the-glass list, including interesting sommelier selections, starts from £9 a glass. To eat, there’s a selection of Lignac’s creative Asian-inspired French dishes, including his signature crab and avocado galette with Madras curry. Julie Sheppard
16 Albemarle St, W1S 4HW
020 3908 2000
One of the few places that genuinely qualifies as a wine bar, you’ll find this congenial little blue-and-white-tiled Portuguese joint in Flat Iron square, not far from Borough Market. It follows on from a successful pop-up and series of supper clubs run by Max Graham of the Churchill family, who owns the new permanent premises.
Despite the name, the all-Portuguese wine list extends well beyond the Douro region with bottles and vintages you’d be lucky to find elsewhere. Winemakers visit regularly, so get on the mailing list for winemaker dinners. The food is authentically Portuguese, with some of the best, most meltingly tender octopus I’ve eaten. The set lunch is a bargain at £9.50 for two courses. Altogether charming.
Don’t miss: the white Port and tonic. Fiona Beckett, in Decanter magazine
Arch 35b Flat Iron Square, Union Street, SE1 1TD
020 7378 0524
Blanchette in Soho is where I go for the ambiance and to relax. One of the owners is a DJ so the music is really good. They do French food well and you can’t beat their frogs legs with a crisp Alsace Pinot Blanc. The wine list is small but well choosen by Max and Yannis. Claire Thevenot MS
9 D’Arblay Street, W1F 8DR
+44 (0)207 439 8100
The name Brat doesn’t refer to the mild-mannered chef Tomos Parry as you might expect from Shoreditch, but to the restaurant’s signature dish of a whole turbot, which is cooked in the wood-fired oven. Other cheaper options (the brat is £55 upwards but designed for sharing) are grilled over open coals – fire is so 2018, don’t you know?
The intelligent wine list – divided into Easy Drinkers, Classics and Off the Beaten Track – has been compiled with the help of wine bar royalty Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew of Noble Rot.
Great interior, bustling, congenial with long shared tables – maybe not the place for a romantic evening, but a great place to eat on your own at the bar or to hang out with friends.
Don’t miss: the turbot, obviously. Fiona Beckett, in Decanter magazine
4 Redchurch St, E1 6JL
Another Hackney hangout, this is the latest opening from the team behind the much-hyped P Franco, who have taken the premises formally occupied by Ellory, whose brigade has moved on to Leroy. It ticks all the usual East London boxes – cool, minimalist decor, natural wine list (with a good selection by the glass), simple Britalian food, but all delivered with flair and great affability.
Pastas are a feature, thanks to joint head chef Sardinia-born Giuseppe Belvedere, who previously worked with Ed Wilson at Brawn; you can detect his influence in the cooking too. Carnivores will be relieved to learn there’s a fair amount of pork (not many concessions to vegans here).
Don’t miss: the pork chop with capers. Fiona Beckett, in Decanter magazine
1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL
020 3095 9407
Brilliant corners is one of my favourites spots in London! Simple, affordable Japanese-inspired menu with great sushi. They do low-margins on a well-curated, natural wine list. Isabelle Legeron MW
470 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE
+44 (0) 20 7812 9511
Casa Malevo at 23 Connaught Street is the best Argentinian restaurant in London. It’s a small and charming place with very friendly service and fantastic food. On the minus side, you might bump into Tony Blair. Igor Sotric
23 Connaught Street, W2 2AY
+44 (0) 20 7402 1988
Owned by Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos of the Margaux family, Clarette, which occupies a multi-storey townhouse in Marylebone, is by no means your average wine bar – it’s more, with its delicate pastels and period furniture, like a chic Parisian boutique hotel. And they don’t encourage walk-ins. But situated just a few paces from Marylebone High Street, it’s a welcome refuge for weary shoppers, with a good selection by the glass and some great wine flights – including a Margaux Discovery at £65 for three wines, including the 2004 vintage of Château Margaux. Although you might also want a glass of Champagne to accompany the beignets (one of an unusually good selection of bar snacks).
Don’t miss: the swoon-worthy Comté and truffle beignets. Fiona Beckett, in Decanter magazine
44 Blandford Street, W1U 7HS
020 3019 7750
I love Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels for casual, chic drinking in Neal’s Yard. Julia is a really smart sommelier and she always chooses something for me blind which is handy because the wine selection is so well thought out that I never know what to order. I like her mystery wine by the glass; it is a fun, entertaining feature. Claire Thevenot MS
I love the ambiance at the Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels This is a great place to enjoy some very good wines. There is a thoughtful selection by the glass as well as a comprehensive list which has something for every palate. The service is friendly, but expect some strong French accents! For my money the best Cassoulet in town. Nicolas Clerc MS
8-10 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
+44 (0) 20 7734 7737
The Coravin wine preservation system has transformed the way that wine is served in restaurant and bar settings – and has found its way into the homes of serious wine lovers too. In November 2021, the company opened its very first wine bar, in London’s Mayfair district, with a cellar of 300+ wines, all available by the glass, as well as London’s longest list of Champagnes by the glass, with more than 50 to choose from. Wine consultant and Master Sommelier Xavier Rousset helped to curate the list, which has by-the-glass options ranging from £8 to £850, from Muscadet to Masseto. The atmosphere is traditional French cave à vin, and there is outside seating, warmed by blankets and heaters in cooler months. Wines can be enjoyed alongside sharing plates and classic cheese & charcuterie platters. A retail shop adjacent to the bar offers the wines available in the bar, by the bottle, as well as glassware from Sophienwald and the Coravin systems themselves, with a 10% discount for customers of the bar. Amy Wislocki
4-7 Lancashire Court, London W1S 1EY
Named Best Newcomer in Decanter’s 2020 Retailer Awards, this independent wine bar in Elephant & Castle is named after Diogenes, the original cynic. The ethos is to strip back the misunderstanding and ‘faff’ that surrounds wine and provide wine lovers with the science (facts, not subjective opinion) to make educated buying choices. Staff are trained not to share flavour profiles for the wines on the very quirky list – so they will tell you, for example, that the incredible Moscato orange wine from Puglia spent two weeks on skins, but not what it tastes like.
Nearly all wines are available by the glass or 375ml carafe, and also by the bottle to take away and enjoy at home. During the day you can enjoy tea, coffee and pastries, and a small grocery selection includes bread, olive oil, honey and coffee beans. Owner Sunny Hodge will open a second wine bar, Aspen & Meursault, in Battersea in August 2021, specialising in low-intervention wines. Amy Wislocki.
56 Rodney Road, London SE17 1BG
+44 (0) 20 7703 5570
Donostia in Seymour St is becoming our convenient lunchtime meeting restaurant of choice in Marylebone. It was here that I first had the aged Galician beef that Donostia and sister restaurant Lurra are now championing to great effect. The wine list is neat and tidy with both classic names and delicious value wines out of Catalonia and Basque country too. Justin Knock MW
Elliot’s in Borough Market has become a staple in my wine bar travels. Being so close to London Bridge, it’s a great meeting place and I often take friends here. It’s an approachable in-road into natural wine, because the staff are friendly and the wines are great. The wine list, on colourful card, is well-priced and well-researched. There are bottles at a number of price points, and you’ll always find something interesting. Natalie Earl
12 Stoney St, Borough Market, SE1 9AD
+44 (0) 20 7403 7436
Set in buzzy Borough Market, Flor is run by the team behind Lyle’s restaurant in Shoreditch. There’s a bijou restaurant upstairs, but head for the ground floor where you’ll find counter seating and an off-beat all-European wine list with plenty of exciting choices by the glass or bottle. Options range from grower Champagnes to Greek Xinomavro via skin-contact Fiano from Italy and refreshing Austrian rosés.
An inventive daily small-plates menu offers plenty of pairing potential. Highlights on my last visit included oysters dongchimi – a breezy dish of chopped oysters in a fresh, briny kimchi – tempura courgette blossoms and a textured savoury plate of raw beef, mussels and migas. Not to mention the best dessert I’ve had all year: a sweet and airy fig and coconut merveilleux. It’s such a treat to eat and drink here. Julie Sheppard
1 Bedale Street, SE1 9AL
020 3967 5418
The fifth of Chris and Jeff Galvin’s outposts, which opened in September 2021, is at the beautifully opulent Kimpton Fitzroy hotel in Bloomsbury. As its name suggests, it focuses on traditional British grill dishes – think Dover sole, steak and chips and the brothers’ signature crab lasagne and apple tarte tatin – presented in the modern, fine-dining style the Galvins are known for. Head chef is Adam Gray, who helped launch The Ethical Butcher, so there’s a sustainable focus to the menu too, which is complimented by a well-curated wine list.
Continuing the programme of wine dinners at the other Galvin restaurants, sommelier Alexander Goff recently held an intimate four-course New World wine dinner in one of the basement private dining rooms, featuring bottles from Oregon, Napa, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Priced around £100 to £150 per person, these wine-themed dinners (championing specific producers, regions or wine styles) are an affordable but luxurious night out: an excellent opportunity to broaden your palate with other wine lovers while indulging in some high-quality cooking. Tina Gellie
1-8 Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE
+44 (0)207 123 5000
The biggest and most spectacular wine venue in town, rumoured to have cost in the region of £20m, with three floors of dining and drinking space: fine dining Above, which serves tasting menus; Ground (à la carte); and Below wine bar – though ‘bar’ is a bit of an understatement.
The ambitious cooking is masterminded by Ollie Dabbous, who gained great acclaim and a Michelin star for his eponymous restaurant Dabbous. In addition to the 450-strong wine list, diners have access (via iPad) to the 6,500 bottles at the Russian owners’ nearby wine shop Hedonism – they can apparently be whisked from the shop to the restaurant in 12 minutes.
Don’t miss: the £48 set lunch – much cheaper than dinner. Fiona Beckett, in Decanter magazine
See our full review of Hide restaurant here
85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB
020 3146 8666
José on Bermondsey St – it’s busy, crowded but it all happens super-fast in José. Even when they’re flat out, it’s often possible to walk in, squeeze in on a counter and grab a chilled half bottle of fresh Manzanilla while you wait for the wonderful tapas. They do the basics so well – Tortilla, Jamon Iberico and Croquetas are amongst the best in London. It’s the ideal place for a 30 minute refuelling stop. Justin Knock MW
104 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UB
A New York-style all day eatery and bar that fits right in in Peckham, South London. Whilst it offers an assortment of baked goods in the mornings and insanely naughty but delicious sandwiches at lunch time, it comes alive in the evening. The wine offering is concise but of great quality, focusing on delivering the good people of Peckham and beyond a rotating selection of organic, biodynamic and low-intervention wines. Natalie Earl
Unit 5, 12-16 Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4QL
+44 (0) 20 3795 7385
The area around Old Street to the west of Shoreditch is definitely on the up, which may be why the team behind Ellory (of which Leroy is an approximate anagram) have emigrated here, serving slightly more casual food than they did in their previous restaurant where they picked up a Michelin star.
Yes, small plates, but also more substantial dishes such as whole lemon sole and steak béarnaise. They’re also involved in their own wine project in Campania, Italy along with fellow restaurateurs Stevie Parle, Jackson Boxer of nearby St Leonards and Michael Sager of Sager & Wilde. You can taste their first wine under the Vigneti Tardis label, a skin-contact Fiano, along with a strong list of grower Champagnes.
Don’t miss: the skin-contact Vigneti Tardis Fiano. Fiona Beckett, in Decanter magazine
18 Phipp Street, EC2A 4NU
020 7739 4443
Open slightly longer than some of the others on this list, but still a relatively new name. Given its location in the people’s republic of Hackney, they couldn’t really go wrong.
With a casual, bistro-style restaurant upstairs and a wine shop downstairs, it caters for locals as well as wine lovers intrepid enough to make the journey across town – including chefs, for whom they turn the restaurant into a late-night Chinese. The rest of the time, the menu is the ubiquitous small plates.
The 300-bin wine list is in the capable hands of the restaurant owner and super-somm Charlie Mellor, who used to work at Bottle Apostle and very capably runs the front of house.
Don’t miss: the larb-stuffed olives. Fiona Beckett, in Decanter magazine
See our full review of The Laughing Heart restaurant here
277 Hackney Road, E2 8NA
020 7686 9535
Quirky, friendly, bubbly, cosy and classy – L’Oculto in Brockley is a fun place to hang out. They bring in most of the wines themselves and you can discover some really unique and interesting Spanish bottles. L’Oculto has twice won Spain Specialist Retailer of the Year at the Decanter Retailer Awards. Natalie Earl.
325 Brockley Rd, London SE4 2QZ
+44 (0) 20 3638 4576
Medlar has quickly become an institution among wine merchants. The classical, stylish and wine-friendly food is fantastic and the wine service, overseen by MS Christophe Delalonde is as slick and attentive as the glassware is perfect. It’s almost embarrassing how often we’re there! Greg Sherwood MW
438 Kings Road, SW10 0LJ
+44 (0) 20 7349 1900
This hidden gem of a wine bar is such a delight that I almost don’t want to tell anyone about it… Tucked away above The Blue Posts pub in Soho, it’s stylishly decked out with low banquettes and glossy dark wood, plus an eye-catching wall of bottles. Sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines are the stars of the show here, with a brilliant list divided into sections called ‘the path less trodden’, ‘wild + free’ and ‘firm favourites’ – a more classic selection including Krug, red and white Burgundy, Rioja and Californian Pinot.
Exploring by the glass is a great way to try the range of more unusual natural wines, pet nats, skin-contact and orange wines – just ask the engaging sommelier team for suggestions. Or try the seasonal ‘Sundowners’ selection (three glasses for £15, available Tuesday-Friday before 7pm). There’s also a small range of sake, plus platters of cheese and charcuterie to nibble on. Julie Sheppard
First Floor, The Blue Posts, 28 Rupert Street, W1D 6DJ
Effortlessly managing to combine innovative food, exceptional ingredients and an extensive natural wine selection, this hidden secret, Naughty Piglets in Brixton Water is perfect any night of the week. Melanie Brown
28 Brixton Water Lane, SW2 1PE
+44 (0) 20 7274 7796
Ninth offers very good value for Central London. I love Jun Tanaka’s food; the service is great and the wines are well looked after by Cyril Baligand. Geroid Devaney
22 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NB
+44 (0) 20 3019 0880
Noble Rot have built a well-deserved reputation for serving great wines at low mark-ups, and their new wine bar is a superb showcase for their easy going, informal attitude. Richard Hemming MW
Noble Rot is a London-based wine and lifestyle magazine that has recently hatched a wine bar and restaurant. It has rapidly become a honeypot for wine lovers: not just a great wine list, but skilfully-prepared British food and knowledgeable staff. Matt Walls
51 Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1N 3NB
+44 (0) 20 7242 8963
Also a branch in Soho.
The eccentric but utterly charming Otto’s on Grays Inn Road does classic, old school French cooking as well as anywhere in London, with a superb and well-priced wine list to boot. Mark Andrew
182 Gray’s Inn Road, WC1X 8EW
020 7713 0107
Wine investment company Oeno Group opened this stylish London wine boutique and tasting room, a stone’s throw from Bank tube station, in July 2021. It was intended as a showcase for the rare and iconic labels that their clients would be investing in, allowing them – and the general public (with the means) – to sample the wines for themselves. With a private 10-person tasting room and alfresco terrace, the wines on show can be purchased and enjoyed without the mark-ups that would be paid in a restaurant setting. Oeno has further access to over 45,000 bottles of wine that can specially ordered upon request, and hosts a rotation of blue-chip brands including Penfolds, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and Liber Pater. Amy Wislocki
The Royal Exchange, Unit 16-17, London EC3V 3LL
+44 (0)20 7846 3366
A friendly and welcome addition to Queens Road Peckham with big windows and an outdoor terrace. The wine list is quite extensive but at the same time doesn’t overwhelm. There’s also a wide range by the glass, with plenty of lesser-known region wines, skin contact wines and esoteric picks.
125 Queen’s Rd, London SE15 2ND
020 7207 0124
It might be a little tricky to get to and involves a walk through residential streets, but it’s certainly worth making the trip to Primeur for it’s clean, minimalist decor, knowledgeable staff and chic but friendly atmosphere. The food and wine menu is squeezed onto a large chalkboard, with the food being a delicious combination of snacky bits and bigger dishes to share. The staff will guide you through the innovative wine list and find you the perfect bottle for your mood and food. Natalie Earl
Barnes Motors, 116 Petherton Road London, N5 2RT
+44 (0) 20 7226 5271
When I’m feeling carnivorous, The Quality Chop House in Farringdon is a must visit. The building oozes character and the food just gets better and better – it is genuinely one of London’s most consistent restaurants. Mark Andrew
88-94 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA
+44 (0)20 7278 1452
The Remedy gets just about everything perfect: loads of interesting wines by the glass (especially old Madeira), delicious sharing plates and a relaxed, low-key atmosphere. Richard Hemming MW
Small, relaxed, informal and convivial, The Remedy is a great little wine bar a short walk from Oxford Street. They have a superlative collection of mostly European wines, many with a nod towards the natural. They’ll happily pour you half a bottle of any of their top-end wines for half the price. Matt Walls
124 Cleveland Street, W1T 6PG
+44 (0) 20 3489 3800
It was a bit of a relief to discover Rosso – there’s not much else going on in West London. Don’t be put off by the slightly bling decor – it looks a bit like a hotel bar, but it’s run by Italians who import most of the wine themselves, including less-familiar
denominations such as Valtellina and Monferrato. They also have a longer list of iconic wines including the best-known SuperTuscans.
Generously sized ‘taglieri’ meat and cheese selections are themed to go with specific wines and are easily generous enough for two. Other dishes, including pasta, thoughtfully come in small, medium and large-sized portions.
Don’t miss: the salumi, also imported from Italy. Fiona Beckett, in Decanter magazine
280 Kensington High Street, W8 6ND
Sager + Wilde is the top wine bar in East London. It has a great selection of wines from all over the world with nibbles to match and lots of bargains to boot. Andrea Briccarello
Longing for a greater selection of wine bars to include an ever changing selection of wines by the glass, Sager + Wilde manage to provide just this. Informative, relaxed staff provide insight to an outstanding wine list showcasing some amazing producers, there is certainly a discovery or two to be made here. As for their food offering, they manage to tick every box. Melanie Brown
I love Michael’s massively engaged enthusiasm at Sager + Wilde, the range is full of wines that I am always interested in drinking, with a common theme of elegance tying them all together. They are so reasonably priced that I always end up spending 3-4 bottles there rather than one, with friends of course. Sager + Wilde brought some much needed fun to wine drinking in London – it reminds me of drinking in great wine bars in Melbourne. It’s almost impossible to go there and not run into someone from the wine trade. Get there early and prepare for a long evening. Justin Knock MW
Another great place for the wine selection and the low mark up is Sager + Wilde (previously known as Mission) in Bethnal green. It’s often a place I end up with my team. Also, the fact that they’re open on Sundays is a bonus. Laure Patry
This small but stylish East London wine bar has a vaguely louche feel that seems to bring out the hedonistic pleasure in the wines. The list is exceptional and the mark-ups are small. Matt Walls
193 Hackney Road, E2 8JL
+44 (0) 20 8127 7330
Also a branch on Paradise Row, and Fare on Old Street.
Salon in Brixton has recently re-vamped to incorporate the wine shop that had been next door for many years, to now be a wine shop, bar and restaurant.
You can eat either in the restaurant or the wine store part, where they charge no corkage for wines bought there. They also offer no corkage for weekday lunchtimes and all day Sunday.
In the wine store, wines are organised according to style, as opposed to region, and they have a selection marked up for food-pairing with different cuisines (Thai, Moroccan, Indian etc.), making it easy to choose a bottle when dining in one of the many BYOs in Brixton market.
Some excellent food on offer – but the must-try is the n’duja croquettes with garlic aioli. Ellie Douglas.
20 Market Row, Brixton, London SW9 8LD
020 7501 9152
Natural wine sceptics will be relieved to hear that St Leonards (also off Old Street) is one of the few new places that doesn’t have an all-natural wine list. Co-owner Jackson Boxer, who also owns Brunswick House, is one of the rare chefs who’s really into wine and along with sommelier Donald Edwards is building what looks likely to be an exciting list – a selection of vins jaunes by the glass is a statement of intent.
Food has the wow-factor too, with a raw bar and an open hearth operated by the heavily bearded and tattooed (of course) Andrew Clarke. Along with Brat, likely to be the one of the big hits of 2018 – London’s answer to Joe Beef.
Don’t miss : the oysters, Dexter bavette with cured bone marrow and the fig-baked potatoes. Fiona Beckett, in Decanter magazine
70 Leonard Street, EC2A 4QX
020 7739 1291
Now with five sites across the south of the capital, the passionate people behind The Tapas Room are bringing a snapshot of Spain’s food and wine culture to Peckham. The bar on Peckham High Street is the newest iteration, sitting alluringly on the corner of a busy street, its soft lighting and inviting decor drawing the eye. Putting lesser-known Spanish wines, Sherry and vermouth to the fore, and with plenty of cheese and tapas to boot, you can’t really go wrong here.
119 Peckham High St, London SE15 5SE
+44 (0) 20 3887 3931
Other branches in Tooting, Deptford, Brixton and Battersea.
For casual dining, my first choice would have to be Terroirs for the simplicity of the food (think cheese, charcuterie and classic French bistro food) but mostly for the wine. I also like the easy-going atmosphere. It’s definitely good value with many small growers and older vintages availed at affordable prices. Laure Patry
The original central London site of Terroirs has now closed, but there is an East Dulwich branch and also Soif in Battersea.
36-38 Lordship Lane, London SE22 8HJ
Walking under the arches in The Winemakers Club is like stepping back in time. It has the feel of a private club but without the stuffiness and membership fees. John, the brains behind the concept, has listed some gems from unusual parts of the world – think Hungary, Slovenia, even Poland – but you’ll also find classic Claret at bargain prices. Christelle Guibert
The Winemakers Club is a wineshop cum wine bar. A great place to hang out after work with a plate of cheese and charcuterie. Boasting a wonderfully eclectic selection of natural, organic and biodynamic wines. Isabelle Legeron MW
The Winemakers Club a self-proclaimed ‘wine pub’, this authentically dank cellar in a railway arch near the City is home to a wine importer with a taste for unusual organic and biodynamic wines. Plenty to explore by the taste, glass or bottle. Matt Walls
41a Farringdon Street, EC4A 4AN
+44 (0) 20 7236 2936
Also a branch in Deptford.
This thriving and dynamic operation has just opened its sixth London site, in the new Borough Yards development adjacent to Borough Market. Founders Brett Woontoon and Charlie Young opened the first Vinoteca in Farringdon in 2005, and have since established wine bars in Marylebone, Chiswick, King’s Cross and the City. Their aim is to capture the spirit of Spanish and Italian enotecas and vinotecas, through a combination of culture, conviviality and offering a retail element. The list of 200+ wines champions small, innovative, independent producers, and there is an ever-changing selection of 25 wines by the glass, delivered from enomatic machines. Wines by the glass as the Borough site opened included a Sauvignon Blanc orange wine from Touraine, a Croatian pet-nat sparkling wine vinified in a London urban winery, and a blend of Negrette, Syrah and Cabernet from Fronton, served from keg. Wines can be enjoyed with a menu featuring bar snacks and small plates, as well as sharing plates and more substantial main courses. Vinoteca also sells wine online, and runs a wine club that offers a monthly delivery of a six-bottle case with online tasting. Amy Wislocki
Borough Yards (Unit 207), 18 Stoney Street, London EC4A 4AN