I’m certainly no wine expert (though I’d love to learn more properly), but I do enjoy drinking the stuff! So I was pleased when I heard I’d won a couple of passes for London Wine Week 2018, courtesy of Crummbs. I wasn’t planning to be in central London much this week, so we decided to spend a dedicated afternoon sampling some of the 125 odd bars doing London Wine Week special offers. We didn’t want to travel all over London, so chose bars within walking distance of each other – favouring those that did “Sip & Snack” options. Handily the app has a category for such places and a map view, so it was easy to see our options.
There seemed to be lots of choices around Liverpool Street/Bank so we based our afternoon around there.
Stop 1 – Devonshire Terrace
Stop 1 on our London Wine Week tour was Devonshire Terrace, run by Drake & Morgan. As you’d expect from any Drake & Morgan establishment, the interiors are stylish here. We had their “Tasting Trio” to share (£5 for each pairing).
Our first wine of London Wine Week 2018 was an Argentinian white (Torrontes Finca La Florencia) paired with crab bruschetta. We loved the freshness of the crab bruschetta and the wine certainly improved once the food arrived, but neither of us liked this wine much.
The Marque de la Musa Spanish red with the charcuterie was nicer – spicy and peppery. I don’t usually like Rose much but the La Brouette with the Padron peppers was lovely, not sickly sweet but definitely less acidic than the white.
Stop 2 – New Street Wine
I’d not been here before but will definitely be revisiting – very tucked out of the way but conveniently close to Liverpool Street station. It’s a heaven for people that know and love their wine – doubling up as both a wine shop and a bar.
They are doing a daily changing special wine and cheese pairing for London Wine Week (£8). We had the choice of two so tried one each. Mine was a Comte (my favourite cheese) paired with a really dry, organic, totally natural, nothing-added sparkling French white. Paul’s was Morbier paired with another French white that we didn’t catch the name of! They’re also doing a “Sunshine Flight” of wines from Spain, France and Sicily for £5.
Stop 3 – Fish Market
Literally next door to New Street Wine is Fish Market, a fresh seafood restaurant and wine bar.
Their London Wine Week 2018 offer is a glass of Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne and 5 oysters for £15. We didn’t want two lots of oysters so added one extra glass of Moet for £10. We also ordered some of their fresh prawns (£4.95 each).
The fish here is obviously incredibly fresh and I’d definitely return for a meal, but it’s not cheap. Paul loved the oysters, I tried them again and can confirm I still don’t like them – (do love champagne though).
The prawns were some of the freshest and tastiest I’ve had and I love that they have a blackboard with a running tally of the fish that came off the boat and how many of each they’ve got left.
Stop 3.5 – Eastway Brasserie
Walked here to try the Nduja arancini with Pinot Grigio because I’m a sucker for both arancini and Nduja! On the London Wine Week app it says they’re open all day from 12-10pm. We arrived around 4pm to a very empty bar and restaurant but were told they’re only letting the London Wine Week people dine in one part of the restaurant which didn’t open until 5pm… not very helpful! On to the next stop!
Stop 4 – Hawksmoor, Guildhall
By this point we’re starting to feel a little drunk and full… Hawskmoor Guildhall had a pairing of two shortrib nuggets and a glass of Brundlmayer Gruner Veltliner for £10. We got a portion to share and absolutely loved the nuggets but the sauce with them was incredibly salty.
We got sucked in by their normal menu. too… We ordered their mac and cheese side (I’d had dreams about it since our first visit) and shared a starter of the Old Spot ribs – delicious!
Drunken decisions = two desserts…! Their sticky toffee pudding, as fabulous as the first time (and still unbeaten) and the milk chocolate tart which was also wonderful. Left feeling very full.
I wish every Thursday afternoon could be spent sampling wines and snacks! We had a great time. I’m not sure how busy some of the smaller places like New Street Wine will get this weekend but if you want an easy walking route, I recommend everywhere we went. There’s so many places that I don’t feel like we even scratched the surface. Most venues didn’t bother checking our passes which if I’d paid £10 each, I’d have probably been a bit annoyed about! The app (drinkup.London) is really good and makes it super easy to put your own route together as you go along. They’ve also got a hub in Flat Iron Square with more wine offers that we didn’t make it to, but it sounds like it’s worth a visit.
Anyone else tried any of the London Wine Week 2018 offerings? Let me know in the comments below!