Bouverie Road Wine and Cheese Bar
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Unremarkable wine bar in a Stoke Newington cellar.
This windowless wine bar is hidden in the basement of the Stoke Newington Tea House (which is more of a pub, really) and accessed from a side street through railings and down a set of gloomy steps. Being kind, I’d say it was finding its feet when I visited. The host-barman described himself as ‘the sommelier’, but demonstrated little knowledge of wine beyond whether it was more economical to drink it by a small glass, a bigger glass or the bottle (I hadn’t asked). The wine we tried was average to poor: the Pinot Noir and Côtes du Rhône tasted like the sort of plonk that could bring on headaches, but the Malbec and Tempranillo were better. The cheese? The ‘sommelier’ dug out a Perspex box containing three small pieces (one British, one Dutch, one Italian; all decent and sourced from The Fine Cheese Company) and showed he knew as much about cheese as wine – although he was friendly and generous with his crackers. The wine list came with a confusing chart for making choices and was so sprawling that there’s little sense of curation, something compounded by the discovery that the list is almost identical to the one upstairs. The low-ceiling, atmospheric cellar space is the only big selling point, but the host was pushing it by describing it with that lazy buzzword: ‘speakeasy’. Must do better.
102 Stoke Newington Church St
|Transport:||Rail: Stoke Newington|
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