Plenty of suggestions for restaurants here but what about your favourite wine bar? They come in and out of fashion but the best have stuck around for years. I used to love Gordon’s near The Strand but it’s become suffocatingly busy and no longer particularly enjoyable. My other London favourites are Le Beaujolais that I only ever seem to go to by accident and Cork & Bottle underneath Leicester Square.
Gordon’s is just across the street from where I work, so did frequent it in the past (not been in the last 4 years) - you are right, it does get very crowded.
My favourite is Terroirs, which is a wine bar and a restaurant. Also near the office…
Funnily enough, we rarely bother with wine bars. I don’t quite know why. Perhaps cause they often feel a bit ‘young’ and/or noisy and/or pretentious. Pubs we do a lot and have been to loads round Brighton, and Sussex in general. The one wine bar we do like is Ten Green Bottles, mainly because it feels a bit casual and the wine selection is great. The temptation to buy bottles for home is perhaps the only ‘down-side’ of this lovely little place!
I was slightly put off Ten Green Bottles after a private tasting my wife and I had there a few years ago. Throughout the tasting he continually poured himself a large glass, a slightly smaller one for me, and a much smaller one for my wife. And then routinely topped himself up. It was just very odd and felt pretty rude. It’s a very interesting place though, and their selection is definitely a bit more esoteric than your average wine bar - I remember red Sancerre and Passetoutgrains which aren’t exactly the kind of thing you find everywhere.
My favourite would be Fourth and Church over in Hove. It’s linked to Butlers Wine Cellar which is a really good wine shop, so has an extensive range. They often have slightly left-field choices available by the glass alongside more regular choices too, so I think I drank some Freisa last time I was there. I haven’t had the food there but it’s supposed to be very good!
The TGB experience sounds awful, @Bargainbob! I would have walked out, honestly! Luckily, this hasn’t happened to us, but we have never done a private tasting with them- just popped in for a nibble and wine.
Good to hear about Fourth and Church - I’ll definitely check it out, as I love Butlers Wine Cellar! This also reminds me that La Cave a Fromage is another lovely place in Hove.
We certainly came close to walking out! I don’t think we’ve been back in except for to shop since then to be honest.
And you’re absolutely right about La Cave! 4 of us went there once on a Sunday soon after they opened, and shared a couple of platters of cheese (one of which was entirely blue) and a platter of charcuterie, along with a bottle or two of wine. As we were finishing, the staff kept bringing us a little taste of various cheeses - I swear we must have had another platter for free. We all rolled out of there barely able to walk! It’s never happened since but it’s still a fantastic shop, and the staff are brilliant. For the Londoners, they have a store in South Kensington - well worth a visit!
Yes, I can second that. I have had good experiences both cheese- and wine-wise.
Keeping this thread Brighton-centric, I love Plateau
au36 in Hauvillers (well, nobody said it had to be in the UK).
An excellent source of grower champagnes as well (of course) the chance to have a tasting flight with a bite to eat.
the clue might be in the title
Goodness me! Can’t imagine how I missed that!
Ooh yes, I found myself in there at the end of a work do last Thursday, eating steak tartare and drinking a fancy organic CdR. Cracking wine list in there.
Totally forgot about Symposium in Lewes, which I like to buy wine from occasionally, and which also has a tiny, but lovely little space to enjoy some of the wines with a nibble (most of which is produced in Sussex). Never seems too noisy or in-your-face.
Only been there a couple times, but enjoyed both times very much!
Another vote for Cork and bottle under Leicester square. Mentioned it to friends recently, apparently he used to hide in there of a Friday afternoon with clients, those were the days!
Others which we enjoyed are Noble Rot, above Holborn and 10 cases, Covent Garden.
Locally I can only think of Church street Tavern, in Colchester. Good list at the bar as well as restaurant. Otherwise it’s pubs with good lists, The Sun and The Crown, oh and the Swan. (Dedham, Stoke and Stratford). The by the glass offering is good in these places now.
People have mentioned a lot of my London faves, but both Sager and Wilde bars are excellent. The Paradise Row location is more of a restaurant/bar, and their £10 pasta + glass of house wine before 7:30pm is a great deal.
Edit: In the same general area, there’s also The Laughing Heart and The Marksman, which are both more pub-like but with great wine lists, and Brawn which does brilliant food also.
I have three favourites. Terroirs has already been mentioned. If you like cheese with your wine try Vivat Bacchus which has a cheese room at both of its branches in London Bridge and Farringdon. Also Vinoteca have several branches around London and are excellent.
Outside of the wine bar meccas of London and Brighton there are a couple of good examples in Cambridge. My favourite is the Bridge Street Wine Bar…
But Thirsty is also good and has a different Food Truck outside every night…
Rather like you @russ, out here in Wild border country you are still offered 'red, white or pink '. However there are reasonable wine lists in a few dining pubs, particularly those tied to Tanners of Shrewsbury as a supplier
Salut Wine Bar in Central Manchester - twice winner of the Decanter Wine Bar of the Year.
I’ll second Salut in Manchester. Always a great selelection in the enomatic wine machine thing. Also in Manchester Hanging Ditch is good in the centre and Grape and Grain in Ramsbottom and Whitefield