Eight great London wine bars for al fresco drinking

With temperatures set to soar this summer, these are some of the best London wine bars to visit for outdoors sipping in the sunshine.

Noble Rot Mayfair

 

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The newly-opened Mayfair edition of cult wine bar Noble Rot has the same awe-inspiring selection of wines and dishes to match as its Soho and Lamb’s Conduit cousins, but it also has a rather pleasant outside seating area. Order a lobster roll from the bar menu and a bottle of Krug, and you can bask in your own opulence as well as the sun.

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Quality Wines


Farringdon’s bastion of, as the name suggests, quality wines also has a fantastic, Italian-inflected menu that changes weekly. Among the delicacies available this week are caponata (the traditional Sicilian vegetable stew/relish – depending on how consume it), bull’s heart tomato and borlotti beans, and braised lamb neck with harissa and chickpeas. During the week, it will also be serving lunch now, meaning that you can enjoy a robust porchetta sandwich with a glass of something pleasant while watching the hustle and bustle of Farringdon Road when you should really be working.

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Peckham Cellars

The Costa del Peckham has a blossoming wine scene, and Peckham Cellars is a spot that gives its own twist on the classic wine bar formula with small plates and a strong list of offerings available by the glass, in carafe, or as whole bottles. Because the bottle list is divided by grape variety, you’ll also know exactly what to order, whether that’s Syrah or Tsitska.

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Bar Rioja

 

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Formerly the Sherry centre of King’s Cross, Bar Pepito has now become Bar Rioja, giving Londoners a taste of the diverse wine offerings of this northern Spanish region. Fortunately, temperatures in the UK are somewhat more moderate than those in Spain at the moment, but warm enough to still savour a slurp of something outside – perhaps one of the bar’s strong selection of white Riojas. db recently spoke with Camino Group’s Richard Bigg about why he shifted the focus from fortified wines to Rioja.

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The Boot & Flogger

 

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Just a stone’s throw from Borough Market, you would be forgiven for missing this, the original Davy’s Wine Bar, purely because it is so tucked away. In winter, the wood-panelled interior serves as a Port-macerated cosy retreat from a rapidly modernising world, but in the warmer months you will want to recline in the courtyard, perhaps in the company of a racy Rhône rosé from Balade de Coline.

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Bedales of Borough

 

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Actually within Borough Market, it might be argued that Bedales’ terrace is not strictly outdoors due to the fact that it is contained within the confines of the market hall’s structure. If you can put up with the regular rumble of trains overhead, you will find a well furnished list – perhaps the best option for the summer months, and a good match for cheese and charcuterie sourced from the market, would be the Judith Beck Zweigelt, slightly chilled.

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Humble Grape Canary Wharf

 

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A splash of summer in the greyness of Canary Wharf, Humble Grape’s terrace offers waterfront seating in the financial heart of London. Fortunately, deep pockets are not a necessity here – for relatively affordable prices you can enjoy a glass/carafe/bottle of wines from off the beaten track. Perhaps one of the best options for summer would be a dry Tokaji from Kvaszinger Borásza, which has the signature freshness of Furmint without the residual sugar. Egészségére!

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Gordon’s Wine Bar

 

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Classics are classics for a reason. Established in 1890, Gordon’s is London’s oldest wine bar and inside it has an appropriately low ceiling – fortunately for taller patrons, the outside seating area on Villiers Street presents no such vertical perils. Relish a glass of Manzanilla La Goya Sherry with some olives and almonds while you peruse the list looking for your next bottle. Be warned: it doesn’t take reservations, so try to get there ahead of the post-work rush for a table.

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This article was originally published by the drinks business and has been shared with permission.

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