The people at Humble Grape certainly have a lot of bottle.
After all, they entered the hyper-competitive London wine market back in 2009 with a view to deliberately selling the less popular bottles, which they planned to source from relatively unknown, sustainable, organic, and biodynamic vineyards around the world.
They imported them all directly, meaning they effectively had to set up their own wine distribution network from scratch to do it. And finally they decided to sell those bottles at a series of venues which were part wine bar, part restaurant, and part shop. And they decided to remain totally independent throughout all of this, raising all of their capital via crowdsourcing.
And the risks have certainly paid off because, from venues in 300 year old church vaults designed by Sir Christopher Wren, to beautifully modern spaces filled with foliage, they’re all fantastic…
The decor here – all stripped wood, recycled cork and old champagne riddling racks – is a fitting metaphor for Humble Grape itself, a wine bar created in order to peel back the varnish and focus on what really matters: great wine. Head into the cellar and you’ll uncover a modest 300 or so bottles, most of which come from small, relatively undiscovered vineyards…
Details: 2 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1ED
This place is impressive. And yes, when we say impressive, we mean it. For one, the space it’s set in (the 313 year old vaults of St. Bride’s Church, tucked away down a cobbled side street) was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. For two, it’s 3,600 square feet. And for three, they’ve hit a beautifully balance of wood, metal, and concrete fittings within their wine-lined walls…
Details: 1 St Bride’s Passage, EC4Y 8EJ
Here, they’ve got everything from a bar, to a dining room, to a wine shop, to a ‘wine library’, and it’s all filled with beautiful reclaimed & aged furnishings. The dining room is filled with foliage, while the wine library lets you browse a curated collection of wine books from around the world…
Details: 11-13 Theberton Street, N1 0QY
This City-side branch has all the usual HG goodness across its two floors, including a Winemaker Wall (which features photos and hilarious/interesting tales from the vineyards and winemakers), and menus made from actual crushed grapes…
Details: 8 Devonshire Row, EC2M 4RH
This latest branch of the Grape family is quite large, with a 16-seater private diner and an outdoor terrace. You’ll find it right on the waterfront, and it’s got 30 wines by the glass to go with over 400 by the bottle.
Details: 18-20 Mackenzie Walk, Canary Wharf, E14 4PH
Partial to a glass of grape hooch? Then give our guide to London’s best wine bars a go.
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