It takes a lot of bottle to open a wine bar.
But when you’ve been running a successful online shop & subscription service for a good couple of years, you can be pretty confident in making the move to bricks and mortar. And thus Oranj was born, as Jasper Delamothe took his business from lockdown saviour to a real-life natural wine bar in Shoreditch.
He’s set up shop in a 2,000 sq ft warehouse behind Brick Lane – where you can swirl, sniff, sip and nod knowingly to anything from a globetrotting array of orange wines, low ABV juras, whites from Catalonia and ultimately just a well thought-out curation of wines made with a low-intervention ethos. There’s even a selection of Lambic beers and a few cocktails (like a smoked tea old-fashioned and a chilli margarita) to please the non-wine folk. And of course, the place doubles as a bottleshop (there’s even a membership scheme for tastings & events) for you to buy their wine, too.
As it turns out, Delamothe is not merely a natural wine whizz but also a natural designer, having styled bars in the past. So he’s used his keen eye for attractive drinking spaces to create this very attractive drinking space, which involves a lot of materials common in the wine ageing process like walnut, aluminium and concrete, all intermingled in a postmodern melange of industrial chic. In all, it sort of feels like a pub, but for bleeding-edge wine, a place where you can finally say ‘I’ll have a glass of the skin-contact Macabeo, please, Mary’.
Aside from the wine element, Oranj hosts regular kitchen residencies with some of the city’s top chefs (and quite a few from around the globe, too). Coming up next is Felix Woodward, stopping by from 27th February – 2nd March. He kicked off the year with a residency at Oranj, and now he’s back for a limited time (bringing all his experience from Sabor, BiBi and Westerns Laundry with him).
Come March, Helen Graham will be taking over in the kitchen. She’s manned the pans at some of London’s greatest Levantine restaurants (including The Palomar, The Barbary and the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen), but she’s best known for co-founding the brilliant vegetarian restaurant Bubala. She took a step back last year to pursue new projects, so if you’re keen to see what’s next, consider this an opportunity to get a glimpse of the future…
She’s more than ready to feed your curiosity.
NOTE: Oranj is open Tuesday to Saturday. You can find out more, and book a table HERE.
Oranj | 14 Bacon Street, E1 6LF
A non-interventionist when it comes to vino? Then it’s only natural that you’ll want to have a look at London’s best natural wine bars