The Best Wine Bars in the City

Fiorella Lanni

Ernest Hemingway once said that wine is the most civilised thing in the world, and we couldn’t agree more! The City brims with delicious wine bars, which showcase incredible rarities from all over the world alongside unmissable classic bottles. 

If you’re also tired of ghastly wine bar chains, which lack charm and personality…look no further! Our team has hand-picked some of the best and most special wine bars for you. Why not take a look below and check them out over the weekend or an evening after work?

Vagabond (Gracechurch Street)

Vagabond Wines opened their City branch in January 2020, weeks before lockdown numero 1 hit London! The Monument branch is the eighth Vagabond in the group and it’s a special one. The general idea is to serve yourself wines: just load a card with money and then use the available machines to pour your own glass. 

The bar boasts 160 wines as well as 10 self-pour craft beers, alongside a great food range, which includes cured meat and cheese platters, a roast hanger steak for two, and a selection of small plates like cauliflower pakora and Sicilian aubergine dip. What’s not to like? Pop in and try rare wines from around the world…book here!

The Winemakers Club (Farringdon Street)

Walk through a shabby-looking entrance under the Holborn Viaduct, down a corridor, you’ll then see cathedral-like brick arches and there it is – The Winemakers Club! 

Born in the Italian countryside, migrated to the City of London, the Winemakers Club is the place for modest winemakers. Proudly supporting the smaller, more diverse producers, those who embrace organic and biodynamic wines, the Winemakers Club is a fine wine bar and shop, which boasts wines from Australia, France, Italy, as well as earthy red wines from Eastern European countries. You don’t want to miss their ‘Meet the Producer’ evening events either…check their website for more info on upcoming events and bookings.

The Tappit Hen (St Swithin’s Lane)

Located in the heart of the City, between Cannon Street and Bank, The Tappit Hen is steeped in wine history. The building once housed the UK cellars of Sandeman Port and there are references to this history all around, with Sandeman barrel staves used for banquet seating and finest quality Portuguese cork for the bar front. 

The wine list features selected Ports and fortified wines, which are stored in ideal conditions either in Davy’s Victorian cellars in Greenwich, or in the medieval cellar downstairs. It was at the St Swithin’s address from 1805 that the House of Sandeman set up their London home, shipping port wine to London, passing through ancient tunnels from the Thames to these cellars. The Tappit Hen takes its name from the traditional 2.1 litre bottle of Port and there is feature lighting above the bar made from original Tappit Hens of Sandeman 1955, the last vintage to be bottled at the St Swithin’s Lane address. More info and bookings here

Cabotte (Gresham Street) 

Founded by Gearoid Devaney and Xavier Rousset, two Master Sommeliers with extensive London restaurant experience, Cabotte offers exquisite French cuisine paired with a unique wine list featuring classics alongside rarities from the Burgundy wine region. Cabotte’s intention is to disclose the region’s lesser-known gems and serve them at fair prices. 

Named after the small huts that Burgundy winegrowers have within their vineyards, the restaurant gives you the impression of dining in a traditional local bistro in the French countryside. The food too pays homage to the Burgundy region, you can find oysters, oeufs en meurette and jambon persillé stuffed with fat chunks of ham. For reservations, click here.

Grapeshots (Artillery Passage)

Located in a quiet Victorian passage, away from the hustle and bustle of Liverpool Street, once walked by Jack the Ripper, Grapeshots is a well-known wine bar and popular spot among City employees. What makes it unique is its own character and charm – inside the bar you’ll find antique curiosities and historic wine artefacts, collected over decades by the Davy family, which contribute to the warm atmosphere. 

The menu features British classic dishes for lunch and dinner, and a selection of wine bottles from old and new world. They also have a selection of premium ales. More info and bookings here

Humble Grape (Devonshire Row)

Wine bars can often be intimidating for non-wine experts. Humble Grape, like its name suggests, thrives on its unpretentious approach to wine. Located in a cobbled passage just off Fleet Street, this wine bar is a real City gem. Despite its modest exterior, the interior is surprisingly spacious, decorated with dark wood panels and wine bottles lined on the walls.

You don’t have to know all your wines (fortunately!)…the menu is laid out in a humorous and informative way, without sounding too condescending, and the list features approx. 30 wines by the glass or carafe and more than 200 varieties by the bottle. 

If you’d like to learn more about wine, Humble Grape also offers classes in collaboration with The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the foremost international body in the field of wine certifications. For more info on the courses and table reservations, click here.

Vinoteca (Bloomberg Arcade) 

Since the opening of its first wine bar in Farringdon, Vinoteca has done more than simply making good wine accessible to all. Glasses start from a few pounds, with bottles just under £20 and dishes like steak with chunky chips never fail to please. 

However, what makes Vinoteca even more unique is their Wine Club, which takes you on an exciting and extraordinary discovery of the wine world. Each month you’ll receive a case of 6 wines delivered to your door, followed by special events, including members only monthly tastings hosted by Vinoteca’s experts. You’ll also get exclusive members’ discounts, early access to new releases and limited-stock offers. Members will also benefit from Vinoteca’s knowledgeable team through the Members’ hotline, which provides advice on details on the wines and their producers, food matches, all the latest info and cracking recipes. What’s not to like? More info here.

Bottles (Old Spitalfields Market)

Located in the Old Spitalfields Market, Bottles specialises in sustainable, independent, organic and bio-dynamic producers based primarily in Italy. At Bottles, each wine is handpicked, therefore you can only expect the best and unique examples Italy has to offer, as well as an eclectic world-wide selection. You can shop their wines from Supper – Bottles’ online boutique, which provides a selection of red, white, rose, and sparkling wines from all over Italy and the world. 

If you’re feeling peckish, Bottles also offers their own take on regional Italian food…ranging from artisan cured meats and cheeses, to classic Italian dishes designed to accompany each wine. Book here

New Street Wine (New Street)

Resembling a café more than a wine bar, New Street Wine is a friendly, little gem in the City, fitted with large communal tables, wooden décor and full-height windows in a warehouse-like environment. 

Located between the creativity of Shoreditch, the tech world of Old Street and the busy financial district of Liverpool Street, New Street Wine responds to this complex geography by offering more than 500 wines suitable for all palates and budgets. 

You can also shop online, but then you’d be missing out on sampling wines that are meant to be experienced with food. The menu is simple, featuring cheese, charcuterie, salads, and sandwiches. More info and bookings here

Satyrio (Aldgate High Street)

Situated in Aldgate, Satyrio offers top-quality, gourmet Italian food and wine. Whether you’re dropping in for a business lunch, having an aperitivo in their garden, after-work drinks, or dinner with friends and family, Satyrio offers you a fine selection of hand-picked wine. Each wine is paired with their seasonal food menu with a little help from their sommeliers. 

Satyrio also has a spacious outdoor garden area, which is perfect for warm summer evenings! More info and bookings here

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One City’s Round Up of some of the Best Bars in the City

Fiorella Lanni

Outdoor dining is a great thing to do…when the sun is shining. This week we’ve had a glimpse of the great British summer time and for this reason we’re so excited to be able to sit indoors again!

Some of our favourite bars have reopened for indoor seating and we have picked a few divided by areas below. These include a few quirky ones with spooky cocktails, a new rooftop terrace opening, and a few trendy wine bars for those of you who are wine connoisseurs. Enjoy and start booking!

14 Hills (Fenchurch Street)

Located on the 14th floor of 120 Fenchurch Street and across the road from the Walkie Talkie, the Cocktail Bar at 14 Hills is the perfect place to enjoy pre-dinner drinks or party with colleagues for after-work cocktails. 

Featuring botanical interiors and unparalleled views over London, 14 Hills Cocktail Bar boasts an exciting cocktail menu, full of experimental bubbly drinks, created by Bar Manager Leandro Conti. And what’s more…just after the easing of lockdown no. 3, 14 Hills moved up a level and borrowed space in the building’s 15th floor rooftop garden.

From Thursday 20 May, you will also be able to enjoy live music, as the bar has announced the return of their music series ‘Live from The Hills’ starting with British musician Jack Walton. You better start booking your table as 14 Hills is a pretty hot spot! Bookings here

Sabine Rooftop Bar (Leonardo Royal Hotel)

Opening on Thursday 20 May and located on the 7th floor of the Leonardo Royal Hotel, Sabine Rooftop Bar is the latest, gorgeous terrace bar opening in the City…boasting incredible views of St Paul’s Cathedral!

Hanging baskets and craftily displayed plants provide a botanical, country-chic interior, accentuated by nice touches of wood and tiles. The inaugural summer menu includes Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as burrata with white peach, pistachio, and toast; grilled octopus with Mojo Rojo sauce, lemon and crispy shallots; roasted aubergine with confit onions, pomegranate and zhoug. 

Sabine’s botanical vibes are channelled into the drinks as well. A cocktail specialty is the Whizz Fizz, made with Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb and Ginger, elderflower cordial, crème de cassis and lemon juice! Bookings here

St Swithins Wine Shippers (St Swithin’s Lane)

St Swithins Wine Shippers is a fine wine shop with an all-weather tasting terrace, located on the historic St Swithin’s Lane, a stone’s throw from both Bank and Cannon Street.

It’s a great destination for wine enthusiasts, offering 48 wines to taste from Monday to Friday. Accompany a glass of wine with a tempting range of platters, pots and light snacks, including potted shrimps, duck rillettes and beetroot hummus, or a charcuterie, smoked fish or artisan cheese platter. Bookings here

Mrs Fogg’s Dockside Drinkery & Distillery (Broadgate Circle)

After 80 days around the world, Phileas Fogg’s wife is having a layover in London and is inviting post-lockdown explorers for a drink at her Victorian East End dockside tavern in the Broadgate Circle.

The interior décor boasts beautiful, curtained windows and grand chandeliers…on the ground floor you’ll find the Dockside Drinkery, which offers an extensive selection of beers, wines, punches, cocktails. Next to it sits the Rangoon Steamer, a stylish steamship serving exquisite cocktails and a delicious selection of Indian-fusion meals. 

Below Deck, you’ll experience the EnGINe room and Distillery, where you can taste delicious gin cocktails and attend gin masterclasses! Bookings here

The Alchemist (Bevis Marks) 

If you’re looking for unconventional, atmospheric, and quite literally ‘smoking hot’ cocktails…look no further! The Alchemist is one of the best venues when it comes to attention to detail with their molecular mixology and is well-known for their theatrical and immersive cocktail experiences. 

Their mixologists create and present every cocktail in weird and spectacular cups that add a touch of theatre, bedazzle, bewitch and set the scene for everything they do. Expect to find smoke billowing cocktails and bubbling mixtures! Bookings here

The Victorian Bath House (Bishopsgate, Churchyard)

The Victorian Bath House is truly a space like no other, a hidden gem in the City. A Grade II listed underground venue featuring a 50-strong cocktail list, the Victorian Bath House boasts a house menu inspired by authentic Victoriana, the best of new and old-world wines, homemade cordials and much more. 

The Bar also offers great and unexpected food that caters everyone, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free options. Bookings here

Bedales at Leadenhall (Leadenhall Market)

Bedales Wine is an independent, family-owned wine bar located in two London’s iconic markets, Leadenhall and Borough Markets. 

Set beneath the cobblestone alleyways of the colourful Victorian market, Bedales at Leadenhall is a popular City hangout. A seasonally inspired wine merchant, Bedales offers a great range of rare and unique wines from independent producers across the world, most of which are imported directly and exclusive to Bedales. A unique destination for great wine and delicious food! Bookings here

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Five of the best independent restaurants on Middlesex Street

Fiorella Lanni

Feast your eyes on the best five independent restaurants on Middlesex Street, handpicked by our team! Whilst international travelling is still on hold, you can enjoy culinary delicacies from all over the world, ranging from Argentinian steaks, Barcelona’s tapas to Vietnamese baguettes and flavours from the Chinese province of Sichuan. Veggie lovers, fear not! Middlesex Street has a sweet little restaurant serving great vegan and vegetarian Indian street food at down-to-earth prices… Most of these restaurants are currently open for al fresco dining. They will all be opening for sit-down bookings from 17th May.

BiFe

Argentinian beef has earned a reputation for being some of the world’s best. Widely known for being incomparably tender and richly flavoured, even though rarely seasoned with anything but salt. Feeling hungry yet? Head to BiFe for an authentic experience. The independent family run restaurant offers a great selection of steaks, quality nibbles and tasty desserts. Click here to learn more and book.

Barcelona Tapas Bar Y Restaurante

While international travels are still on hold, you can get a taste of Spain here in London! Barcelona Tapas Bar Y Restaurante is a Spanish family run business, founded in 1991 by Martin and David Dalmau in Bell Lane. Since then, the restaurant has expanded and now boasts three locations in the City and Dulwich. If you are looking for a fun and tasty meal, Barcelona Tapas Bar Y Restaurante won’t let you down and will offer you quality food, friendly staff, and authentic Spanish ambience… what’s not to like? Click here to book.

1947 Restaurant

Haresh founded 1947 Restaurant with the idea to create a space that was more than just a restaurant serving food, but also a place where customers felt at home! The menu offers vegan and vegetarian delicacies from India, ranging from delicious curries to rice dishes, naans, and popular Indian street foods. Definitely one not to miss! Click here to book.

My Old Place

My Old Place is a cosy, old school restaurant, decorated with traditional Chinese touches. Specialised in Sichuan cuisine, it serves authentic dishes: there’s everything from classic pork dumplings and crunchy gong bao chicken, to more traditional dishes including duck tongue! Packed with a lot of flavours, the portions will leave you satisfied. Don’t forget to bring a couple of colleagues and friends to help you with the food pile…as long as there’s just six of you! Click here to book.

Hohaki

Banh Mi sandwiches are some of our ultimate favourite foods to eat and Hohaki’s own recipe brings Hanoi a bit closer to London! Crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, these Vietnamese baguettes bring so much joy…filled with different flavours of meat, herbs, vegetables, spice and seasoning. Traditionally eaten with curries or beef stews, at Hohaki you can have them on their own or accompanied by a delicious Pho’s broth! Click here to book.

Fancy a stroll after your meal?

Check out Petticoat Lane Market! Located in the East End area of Spitalfields, this is one of the oldest and most famous markets in London. The market has been best known for selling fashion and clothes, but these days you can find pretty much everything, from designer goods to fruit and veggies. Fun fact about this market…Alan Sugar took his first business steps in Petticoat Lane, where he had a stall! 

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Can I go to the gym? Yes!

Fiorella Lanni

Good news for fitness lovers…Leisure centres, gyms and fitness studios have finally reopened in London! However, please be mindful of social distancing measures and other Covid-safe precautions. Indoor group classes are still on hold, but you can catch your favourite ones online or outdoors. We have made a selection of our favourite gyms in and around the City…enjoy!

Chancery Lane & Farringdon

Frame (Farringdon Road). Frame studios reopen on 17th May, however, in the meantime you can catch a lot of online and on demand classes!

URBANFITNESS (Chancery Lane). Their studios are open 5 days a week, Monday to Friday.

GYMBOX (Leather Lane). Enjoy great home workouts on the Out The Box website, or visit your local studio.

St Paul’s & Bank

City Athletic (Trump Street). Studios are open!

The Altitude Centre (Trump Street). Book in your solo gym sessions or live streamed classes at home.

Digme (Coleman Street). Studios are open! You can also catch a range of live and on demand classes at home.

WIT Training (One New Change). Studios are open!

Embody Fitness (Bartholomew Lane). In studio and online personal training.

Liverpool Street & Moorgate

Equinox (Bishopsgate). Studios have reopened from Monday to Friday!

1Rebel (Broadgate Circle). Studios are now open!

Bannatyne Health Club (Old Broad Street). Online classes only.

The Light Centre (London Wall). Online classes only at the moment. The studios will reopen on Monday 27 July.

Fight City Gym (Worship Street). Studios are open!

Ten Health & Fitness (Middlesex Street). Online and in studios classes.

Aldgate & Tower Hill

Victus Soul (Mansell Street). They are renting out the space for free-use workouts, but are also doing outdoor and online sessions!

Evolve (Cobb Street). Studios have reopened!

Right Path Fitness (Gravel Lane). In studio and online personal training sessions.

Train Dirty London (Altab Ali Park). Outdoor sessions.

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The reopening of pubs with outdoor areas

Fiorella Lanni

Today our favourite pubs with outdoors areas are reopening in the City! To celebrate their reopening, we have listed some of them below, organised by area. Make sure to check each pub’s website to find out about their social distancing measures and if you need to book in advance. 

Bank & Monument

The Swan Tavern

The Vintry (Abchurch Lane)

The Sugar Loaf (Cannon Street)

The Lamb Tavern (Leadenhall Market)

Moorgate

The Telegraph

The Telegraph (Telegraph Street)

Farringdon

The Conductor

The Conductor (Fleet Place)

The Fence (Cowcross Street) 

Holborn

Ye Olde Mitre

Ye Olde Mitre (Ely Place)

Chancery Lane

The Argyle

The Pregnant Man (Chancery Lane)

The Argyle (Greville Street)

Blackfriars

The Hack & Hop

The Hack & Hop (Whitefriars Street, open for takeaway drinks from 19th of April)

Aldgate & Tower Hill

The Sterling

The Minories (Minories)

Duke of Somerset (Little Somerset Street)

Princess of Prussia (Prescot Street)

The Sterling (The Gherkin)

Liverpool Street

The Railway Tavern

The Ten Bells (Commercial Street)

The Railway Tavern (Liverpool Street)

Disclaimer: please note that drinks mustn’t be consumed in public areas where it’s not permitted.

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