Rupert Hohwieler 01/11/22
We’d start off by pointing out Oranj is missing an ‘e’, but then we’d also be pointing out that we can’t spell…
So instead, let’s begin with the nuts and bolts: Oranj is a natural wine bar in Shoreditch. A combination that surprisingly didn’t yet exist before this place came along. Which is particularly surprising because the natural wine craze isn’t exactly new to London, and Shoreditch is an area that isn’t exactly behind on its trends. Well, the oversight has been cleared up.
For the past couple of years Oranj has been testing the waters online as a delivery/subscription provider, starting out as a lockdown service saviour for those in need of their natty fix. Now, it’s stepped out into the real world – into 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 also 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.
Oranj’s founder Jasper 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’.
As for what to eat, well, there are regular chef residencies sided by a permanent menu of cheese, cured hams, croquetas and tortilla de patatas. So you can sleep easy knowing that the food is being treated with suitable importance. Much-loved Louisiana pop-up Decatur was first off the blocks, followed by Sarap’s Filipino goodness, and whoever is on the stove curates a selection of wines to pair with them too, which you can either drink there and then, or buy to go. Right now, you’ll Mexico City darlings Cariñito Tacos bringing some of their creative, wine-friendly bites to town. There’ll be a quartet of tacos on offer, ranging from aubergine confit, to Thai-style pulled pork; cauliflower with citrus aromatics; and 8-spice pork confit.
And yes, the place is a bottleshop (there’s even a membership scheme for tastings & events) for you to buy their wine, too.
It’s only natural.
NOTE: Oranj îs open now, as a wine bar (Weds-Sat) and as a bottleshop. You can find out more on the Oranj website or Instagram.
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
14 Bacon Street, Shoreditch, E1 6LF
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