© Rob Greig
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Wed Apr 18 2012
The website for this new French wine bar and shop states that ‘It will offer something that this little area has been missing for some time.’ Although this E8 enclave is undoubtedly on the up, the kids from the Pembury Estate over the road probably have a very different idea about what Hackney Downs lacks. But even they would have to admit that the bar’s tasteful furniture is too nice to be stacked up in a burning pile at the end of their street.
If that’s too bitterly satirical, how about something merrily satyrical? Borough Wines has shops in Borough Market, Wilton Way in Hackney and a new one in Deal, Kent. They’re delightful places to pick up a bottle, with a small, French-focused stock sourced from independent wineries, accessibly arranged and sold by enthusiastic staff. The big draw for many is that you can bring your own bottle and refill it from a barrel of house white, red or rosé, which comes straight from the owner’s vineyards.
This new spot is a combination of off-licence, wine bar, warehouse and café, painted white and laid with flooring from an old school gymnasium. Bottles and barrels fill the front of the recommissioned industrial premises; a few tables, a long servery and a small open kitchen take up the back.
The list of wines by the glass is great – 34 when I visited, with most occasions covered by the likes of a Hungarian riesling, a biodynamic sauvignon blanc from Stellenbosch, ten French reds and three sparklers. Beer drinkers are not ignored: there’s a couple of brews from Kernel, and the fine Belgian pilsner Vedett will soon appear on draught.
L’Entrepôt is primarily set up for sipping – the small range of dishes are there to accompany the wines, not vice versa. So there’s a plate of French charcuterie, smoked salmon on rye bread, steak tartar and goats’ cheese salad. Curiously, there are a few pies too, served from one of those glass warmers seen on more ‘traditional’ bars, and almost resembling the hot-water crust Scotch pie served at football grounds (although I must say I never saw fillings like ‘lamb, chorizo and chickpea’ at Boghead or Firs Park).
L'Entrepôt 230 Dalston Lane
020 7249 1176
- Opening hours:
Open Wine shop 8am-11pm Mon-Fri; 9am-11pm Sat; 10am-6pm Sun. Food served 11am-4.30pm; 6.30-10pm Mon-Sat; 11am-6pm Sun.
Tube: Hackney Downs rail
- 230 Dalston Lane
- 020 7249 1176
- 230 Dalston Lane
Drinks. Wine buffs