Rupert Hohwieler 09/05/23
The Mulwray | Plush Wine Bar Above a Pub in Soho
Fans of references to the 1974 film Chinatown will love The Mulwray.
As will – and we suspect this might be a slightly larger demographic – anyone who likes wine.
The name is a nod to Faye Dunaway’s character in the film (Evelyn Mulwray, if you wondered), and the venue is one of the nicer spots to sip wine and look fine in the city. No small feat as there are many nice wine bars in London.
It’s just off Chinatown, in Soho, and looks after the upstairs area of The Blue Posts – a polished traditional pub from the people behind The Palomar and The Barbary, which also houses the Michelin-starred Evelyn’s Table below (and is also named after Faye Dunaway’s character). It’s a stacked building, in more ways than one, and each sibling knows its role: The Blue Posts handles beer, Evelyn’s Table takes care of the intricate tasting menus, and The Mulwray says ‘take my hand and come with me, I’ve got the natural wine’.
Apart from its intimate size and clandestine location up the stairs, The Mulwray has a captivating mystique to it – a bit like Evelyn Mulwray – with cushy velvet corners, pink rose coloured stools for huddling around those corners, framed portraits on the powder blue walls that capture days of Soho gone by, a marble bar fronting the room (with counter seats for just the two) and a glass-cabinet displaying a couple hundred bottles of wine.
These are picked out in tandem by Honey Spencer (The Palomar and The Barbary Group’s wine director) and The Mulwray’s head sommelier Sarah Wright, both of whom know their stuff. Their chosen vineyards are all of the organic and biodynamic variety, but in terms of old world/new world representation, everyone’s given a fair chance; from California to England, Georgia and Greece. The further you make your way down the list, the more niche it gets; broken up between ‘firm favourites’, ‘the path less trodden’ and ‘the wild & free’, with four large format (aka magnums) to choose from as well, including an Australian pinot gris and a jura from France. The by-the-glass options change by the week (though be warned, there’s usually just a few on offer), and they even offer a few bottles preserved through a coravin system.
And if for whatever reason you’ve come to a wine bar with the intention of not actually drinking any wine, it’s not like you have to sit there with a glass of water either. They’ve cleared up some space on the menu for you folk too; with English ciders, sake (including Kanpai from the Peckham ‘prefecture’) and classic cocktails like a dirty martini or an old fashioned. Hungry? The bar snacks (think aged parmesan & polenta chips with a spicy sun-dried tomato dipping sauce) are special in their own right, which you could say is the handy thing about having one of Soho’s best restaurants hiding in the basement below…
Finally, once a month, Honey and Sarah host Sip School. It’s exactly as it sounds: a wine tasting class, not a lesson on how to consume liquids slowly, where for two hours you’re clued into every detail about a certain type of wine (maybe British wines, or Austrian wines) and you’ll hopefully walk away with more taste descriptions under your belt than ‘fruity’ and ‘crisp’. These cost £50 and come with four glasses and a 20% discount on retail.
So you’ll probably walk away with a bottle too…
NOTE: The Mulwray is open Tuesday-Saturday. They keep a couple of tables for walk-ins, but it’s advised to book ahead on their website, right here.
The Mulwray | First Floor of The Blue Posts, 28 Rupert Street, W1D 6DJ
Prefer cocktails? Kindly see our guide to the best bars in Soho
First Floor of The Blue Posts, 28 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 6DJ
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