Rupert Hohwieler 02/05/23
The Winemakers Club | A Cavernous Wine Bar and Shop in the City
Intriguing wine, fair prices, jolly service, a quirky setting and absolutely no need to get up on a Sunday morning for a 5km run.
The Winemakers Club has a slight edge over your local running club.
Hidden within the Victorian archways below Holborn Viaduct, with a facade clad in red and bold gold lettering, the venue has wine in its blood, having stored bottles for merchants like Oddbins for the past 150-odd years. Now, it’s still a wine cellar but it’s a little more than that too – a wine cellar, shop, bar and even restaurant at a push. You can definitely call three raclette toasties dinner…
In its musty (endearingly so) red brick, cave-like interior, dwells John Baum, who doesn’t live here (as far as we know), but jovially runs the place as both his office and tasting room. There’s hard wooden chairs, wooden tables, a floor that looks like it’s seen a few years, leather armchairs and an antique piano (left untouched, as a shelf display for the wine) knocking around – all this, as well as the lack of modern lighting, lends to a date night kind of feel. Similar to Gordon’s in the ‘old-fashioned, candle-lit schmooze with a lot more wine drunk than we first intended’ environment.
So about the shop then: John stocks mainly low intervention, small producer finds that are highly interesting in terms of both story and taste. These may come from Australia, Spain, France, Germany… all over the world basically, but they all have organic and biodynamic ideals in common. If a bottle from the store tickles your fancy, to drink it in requires a £14 corkage fee (although if you’re here from 12-4pm, there’s no fee… day drinkers cometh), but the by-the-glass options start from £6, which is quite fair considering the central location and prices you’ll find at some of the other elite London wine bars.
Unless you’re a bit of a masochist, or have just come from dinner at one of the many great restaurants in The City (a good plan, come to think of it), you’ll probably want something to nibble on, so on that front the food at The Winemakers Club is exactly what you want with wine; a mix of cheeses on a board, same for charcuterie, farm bread and oil, duck rillette on toast and raclette toasties. Exercise zero restraint on those.
After all, you could always go for a run later voluntarily…
NOTE: The Winemakers Club is open from Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, and Sat 5-11pm. You can email to book, or just turn up – find out more here.
The Winemakers Club | 41a Farringdon St, London EC4A 4AN
Enjoy drinking in dark underground places? You could also try one of the best hidden bars in London…
41a Farringdon Street, Farringdon, EC4A 4AN
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020 7236 2936
7.8 | Good
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