There’s no sign outside Hector’s.
Well, there is a sign, but it says “J Scott & Son”. They were an ancient former tenant of the cosy little space the bottleshop & wine bar now occupies over on a quiet, leafy street in De Beauvoir town, just a hop away from Dalston Junction. When the new owners stripped away the signage above the door and found it, they simply decided to leave it be.
Those owners are husband & wife pairing Jimmy Stephenson & Anna Shaffer. Jimmy was one of the people who opened the excellent butchery & restaurant Hill & Szrok, while you might recognise Anna from the Harry Potter movies, where she played Romilda Vane. And clearly, she’s worked a little magic on this place, because it’s wonderful.
The space itself isn’t exactly huge, but they make good use of what room they have, with plenty of light bouncing off unvarnished wood, and shelves sardine-packed with colourful bottles of wine. Pale, peach coloured walls are painted just up to the waist, making you feel almost like you’re standing in a half-filled glass of rosé.
By day the operation is a bottleshop boasting some 300 first-rate wines. You’ll find natural wines, classic wines, and rare little pearls that they’ve picked up along their many years of highly informed grape-guzzling. And as a bonus, they’re also serving up Climpsons Coffee (the roaster is a few minutes walk away) and pastries, too.
But it’s by night that the magic happens. Every evening they turn the countertop into a bar, and crack open a few bottles. And to provide a little ballast, there are small bites like Cantabrian anchovies floating in olive oil with rose petals, or meltingly good jamon Iberico with salted Catalan almonds. Perfect wine food, basically. So if you’re looking for a place to get a great little bite and pick up a bottle…
…this is the sign.
NOTE: Hector’s is open now, as a bottleshop (Weds-Sun) and a wine bar (5pm Weds-Fri and from 2pm Sat/Sun). There are no reservations, and you can find out more at their website right HERE.
Hector’s | 49a Ardleigh Rd, N1 4HS
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