Translate Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels into English and you’ll get ‘Supernatural Wine Bar’.
But don’t worry, there isn’t any paranormal vino activity going on in here…
The name actually relates to the founder’s desire to represent more natural wine making styles. Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels is an offshoot from a wine bar of the same name in Paris, and you’ll find it in Neal’s Yard where it’s now firmly part of the furniture opposite The Barbary and The Barbary Next Door.
Those founders mentioned above are the Experimental Group, who are behind another Parisian import in Soho’s Experimental Cocktail Club. Here, they’ve veered away from the inventive mixology and gone for the dimly-lit wine bar schtick – filling the two floors with low tables, patterned pillows, candles and snug sofa arrangements, so you could say the place is fairly accustomed to the odd date night. Courtyard seats are also brought into play at the first sign of half-decent weather.
Wines are obviously the trump card and the list itself is a biggie, reading like a wine encyclopaedia with more than 400 bottles to mull over (naturally, France has strong say in matters). The big two, Bordeaux and Burgundy, are here of course, but there’s an effort to give less widely known regions and small-scale producers a decent run out as well. For the by-the-glass brigade, wines and reds start from £6 and for those who just have to do things differently, pick from a group of Portuguese fortified wines (wine where brandy’s been added).
If you’re looking to make a meal out of it… good news. No, great news: Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels has a stellar food menu designed to complement the sips with beef tartare, a lobster roll and a posh madame (a croque madame with truffle ham and quail egg) forming a new selection headache – plus a trustworthy cheese board and charcuterie (prosciutto cotto al tartufo, pistachio mortadella) served with fresh sourdough.
Rate yourself as a bit of a wine connoisseur? Impress your date (or fail miserably) and partake in the mystery wine challenge. For £9, the bar staff will pour you something from their £35-£90 range and if you correctly deduce what it is, the bottle is yours for keeps.
Unless you really know your wine, then supernatural powers are probably needed for that…
NOTE: Compagnie Des Vins Surnaturels is open for plentiful wine consumption everyday. You can check the menus and find out booking info on their website here.
Compagnie Des Vins Surnaturels | 8-10 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
Curious to check out what’s next door? Take a look at our ultimate guide to Neal’s Yard