We’re so grapeful to have these wonderful, cosy wine bars in London, especially as the evenings begin to draw in. Whether you’re impressing on a date, or just relaxing with pals, wine bars are the ideal spot for wine, cheese, and good conversation. Here are our favourite London spots!
1. Sager + Wilde, Hackney
Sager + Wilde have two venues in east London; a restaurant and a wine bar. But since we’re talking about wine bars, their bar on Hackney Road focuses on fine wine, charcuterie, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to go here – we’ll wait.
193 Hackney Road. Nearest station is Hoxton.
2. Fork Deli, Bloomsbury
This lovely London delicatessen-come-café is located smack bang in the middle of Bloomsbury near UCL, and they serve up some of the meanest toasties, paninis and soups you can find anywhere in central. The staff at Fork Deli super friendly, and they double as a wine bar on Thursdays and Fridays, so you can while away the hours from day to night, swapping cups of coffee and Emmental and ham sandwiches for carafes of vino and even cheese and charcuterie boards – oh darling! Plus, if you’re looking to warm your cockles this Christmas, they’re also offering steaming cups of mulled wine. Win, win.
85 Marchmont Street, WC1N 1AL. Nearest stations are King’s Cross St. Pancras, Euston and Russell Square.
3. WC Wine & Charcuterie, Clapham
WC is a wine and charcuterie bar in a former public water closet underneath Clapham Common tube station. Snag yourself a table one evening, order up a glass of something special, and enjoy a night in the most exciting toilet in town.
Clapham Common South Side, SW4 7AA. Nearest station is Clapham Common.
4. WC Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury
A sister bar to WC Clapham, the Grade II-listed water closet has been lovingly restored in line with Historic England’s specifications (the 120-year old toilet had previously spent time on the organisation’s ‘at risk register’), with the marble floors and original tiles kept intact, and the original wood stalls turned into private booths. WC Bloomsbury pays homage to the surrounding area, with a portrait of Thomas Coram, the noted philanthropist who founded the nearby London Foundling Hospital in 1752, hanging above the bar. Even better finds here are the tried-and-tested mix of wine, cocktails, small plates, and sharing boards that made WC Clapham such a hit.
Guildford Street, Holborn, WC1N1EH. Nearest station is Russell Square.
5. Forza Wine, Peckham
The ‘taller sibling’ of Camberwell Italian joint Forza Win, Forza Wine sits on yet another Peckham rooftop (add on Frank’s Cafe and the Bussey Building up for an epic local rooftop bar crawl when the weather is playing ball), and pairs their incredible wine list with a menu of rustic Italian indulgence. It goes without saying that the panoramic cityscape views from here are fantastic, but book ahead if you’re wanting to get cosy in the indoors bit. It is getting Baltic after all…
You’ll find Forza Wine at 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST. Nearest station is Peckham Rye.
6. The Remedy, Fitzrovia
Run by two friends, The Remedy is the place to go if you’re after great wine and a convivial atmosphere. They don’t claim to be doctors, but they did call their wine bar ‘The Remedy’ because they believe a glass or more of vino can cure anything. We agree. If wine isn’t the answer, you’re asking the wrong questions…
124 Cleveland Street, W1T 6PG. Nearest station is Great Portland Street.
7. The Black Book, Soho
The Black Book is home to one of London’s largest ‘by-the-glass’ lists, and this “late-night wine cave and restaurant” hosts wine tastings to let you sample some of the good stuff. The journey of a thousand wines begins with a single sip, making this an excellent place to start!
23 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4RR. Nearest stations are Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square.
8. Vagabond Wines, various locations
Three words: interactive wine menus! Vagabond’s wine bars offer a self-service wine experience where you top up a card, which allows you to wave ‘n’ pay Oyster-style at their self-service wine dispensing machines. Clever, right? They’ve also got a low-intervention winery housed at Battersea Power Station, which is pretty neat.
Their Victoria venue is their largest, but they have smaller, cosier outposts in Canary Wharf, Fulham, Fitzrovia, Paddington, Monument, Clapham Junction, and Battersea – visit their website for details.
9. Gordon’s, Charing Cross
London’s oldest wine bar has all the grape juice you could wish for; all within these atmospheric, underground cellars. It’s so ubiquitous that it’s become almost cliched as a date spot, but there’s an irresistible magic to pulling up a chair in the cellar and sipping on vino. This 120-year-old establishment often gets busy after work, so why not book the afternoon off and get gently pickled with a pal? (There’s also cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Which protects you from death remember?)
47 Villiers Street, WC2N 6NE. Nearest stations are Charing Cross and Embankment.
10. P Franco, Hackney
It’s a rare place that checks out as one of London’s loveliest wine bars and one of the city’s best restaurants, but then again P Franco is rare indeed. Noble Fine Liquor’s little brother is an award-winning wine bar serving the finest luxury dishes, all made by a series of prestigious rotating chefs that have made this place a crucial spot on a London food pilgrimage. These guys are so expert they don’t even need a wine list.
107 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP. Nearest station is Hackney Central.
11. Port Noire, King’s Cross
One of the highlights of this new King’s Cross spot might be the fact that it’s owned by Idris Elba, but Port Noire‘s notable founder isn’t the only reason you should add it to your wine bar bucketlist. It’s named after the actor’s established wine and champagne brand, and offers around 800 different wine bins plus a full French brasserie-style menu.
Unit A Gasholder 10, 1 Lewis Cubitt Square, N1C 4BY. Nearest station is Kings Cross St Pancras.
12. Ampéli, Fitzrovia
Ampéli sits on Fitzrovia’s Charlotte Street, offering delicious Greek food and one of London’s most intriguing wine lists. Why is it intriguing, you ask? Well, whereas others may draw on the collective strength of Italy, France, Argentina, Australia and more to ensure a grape time, Ampéli unashamedly champions only Greek wines.
18 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 2LZ. Nearest station is Goodge Street.
13. The 10 Cases, Covent Garden
So-called because they only ever get 10 cases of the wines on their shortlist. This is to make sure they’re always trying new things, and not sticking to the same old bottles. There are also only 10 tables! It really is… 10 out of 10.
16 Endell Street, WC2H 9BD. Nearest station is Covent Garden.
14. Noble Rot Wines, Bloomsbury
This gorgeous spot was the winner of the wine list award at the World Restaurant Awards 2019, amongst countless other successes. Noble Rot‘s wine bar includes rare gems and totally underrated bottles. Michelin-starred chefs are on hand to provide a concise menu of the finest Franglaise-style food, all in the atmospheric surroundings of this Bloomsbury townhouse, affectionately nicknamed “Rotter’s Towers”. A sister bar and restaurant in Soho has opened on the site of the legendary Gay Hussar.
51 Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1N 3NB. Nearest station is Russell Square.
15. Winemaker’s Club, Farringdon
This cosy, candlelit addition to this wine bars roundup sits within the Victorian arches beneath the Holborn Viaduct, which served as a wine cellar for over 150 years. Their wine list is ever-changing, and they also serve a small amount of old Bordeaux, Burgundy, Port and Madeira from their private cellars. Of course, each wine can be complimented with cheese and charcuterie, sourced locally from Androuet in Spitalfields and Islington’s Cobble Lane Cured. Southeasterners can head to Deptford for a charming, albeit slightly less atmospheric, sibling of the Winemaker’s Club.
41a Farringdon Street, EC4A 4AN. Nearest station is Farringdon.
16. El Vino, Fleet Street
You can’t buy real history, and this bar oozes it, almost literally. This decidedly old-school spot has long been a favoured haunt for the wine-loving local workforce (lawyers and journalists abound). When nearby pubs are heaving with City slickers on a Friday evening, El Vino somehow remains an island of calm, so grab a table for two and dig into some casual tapas while you share a bottle or three of something full-bodied. If it’s full, other branches aren’t far away – you’ll also find El Vino in Moorgate, Blackfriars, Monument, and London Bridge.
47 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1BJ. Nearest stations are Temple and Blackfriars.
17. BOTTLES, Spitalfields and Chelsea
A relative newcomer to the London wine bar scene, BOTTLES has quickly established two sites and brought Italian vibes to Spitalfields and Chelsea. With “a key focus on quality wines made by independent producers“, their aim is to help guests discover regional wines and forgotten grapes. There’s also a lovely, seasonal food menu with a zero waste policy, meaning they make use of every part of every vegetable, meat, or fish.
Find BOTTLES Spitalfields at 67 Brushfield Street, E1 6AA. Nearest station is Liverpool Street. Find BOTTLES Chelsea at 100 Draycott Avenue, Chelsea, SW3 3AD. Nearest station is South Kensington.
18. Vins, Canonbury
Exit the overground at Canonbury and head just round the corner where you will find Vins – a quaint wine bar set up by Hugo Thurston and Vinny Burke (who are also the brains behind Shoreditch’s Jago). As front of house, Vinny welcomes each guest with a friendly smile before leaving them to choose from a huge range of white, red and sparkling, as well as an ever-changing European menu of small plates, sharing platters, cheeses and desserts. A peaceful place for a large glass, a tasty nibble and a natter!
93 Grosvenor Ave, N5 2NL. Nearest station is Canonbury.
Still thirsty for great drinks and charming surroundings after this list of wine bars? See our roundup of ten seriously suave bars where you can really sip your whisky in style.
Also published on Medium.