34 Drayton Park, N5 1PB
WLC Rank : 239
Glass from : £ 4.50 (175 ml)
BEST FORExploring natural Wines Fresh seafood
The wine selection overall is determinedly European, despite the fact that at the last census, 24.5% of Londoners were born outside Europe. ‘We rarely list New World wines, instead choosing to focus on the wonderful minimal intervention wines of our neighbours of which I am most keen,’ says GM Francis Roberts.
Westerns Laundry, Holloway is the almost aesthetically monastic, stripped to the bones canteen sequel to Stoke Newington’s beautiful of former garage frontage, Primeur. Given the semiotics of the décor, it follows that ‘The Wine Book’, overseen by General Manager, Francis Roberts, is natural in its bent. ‘While the list is mainly natural, wines must be incredibly vibrant and well made,’ he says, before reassuring those who aren’t worshipping at the alter of minimal intervention that, ‘I’m very sensitive to ‘mousiness’ and refuse to list anything that doesn’t stay open well, or tastes a bit too much like the floor of a farmyard…’
Totalling 18, and, positively for guests, not exceeding £10 per pour, wines by the glass are chalked up on the blackboard along with the day’s dishes, and may include sparkling rosé Lambrusco, Sclavos ‘Robola’ – a light skin contact Greek wine, and Petit Domaine ‘Myrmidon’ (Carbonic maceration Syrah from Languedoc).
The wine selection overall is determinedly European, despite the fact that at the last census, 24.5% of Londoners were born outside Europe. ‘We rarely list New World wines, instead choosing to focus on the wonderful minimal intervention wines of our neighbours of which I am most keen,’ says Roberts.
This is a list celebrating the incisive and high in acidity rather than the voluptuous – indeed the word ‘hairshirt’ comes to mind on occasions on perusing the offer. Finding the suppliers of a number of these wines also requires serious detective work.
Wines could include a three quarter-sized bottle of, from the Loire, Chenin Blanc ‘Du Vin Dans Les Voiles’ (Les Sablonnettes), and several vintages going back to the late 1980s of ‘Bourgueil Perrières’ Cabernet Franc (C. & P. Breton). Also available is Frank Cornelissen’s ‘Magma’ (Nerello Mascalese), and Swiss ‘Disobedience’ (Fendant, Mythopia).
Charmingly hand written on lined paper, the daily food menu is previewed on Instagram (@westernslaundry). Dishes, realised by chef, David Gingell, often show a preference for fodder from the water, and may include starters of regal or Jersey oysters, mozzarella, turnip tops and olive oil, or ox tongue with bitter leaves and green sauce, while mains could include whole brill with pink fir potatoes, fennel and herbs, baked cuttlefish fideo pasta, and then the signature rum baba to share.
The core offer is supplemented by a Cellar List appendix, incidentally, wines of which ‘are sold to us on an allocation basis,’ says Roberts.
By Douglas Blyde