The Hive of Vyner St
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Canalside organic café by day; natural wine and aperitivo bar by night.
It’s inexplicable that The Hive isn’t crammed every night. Just a few steps from Regent’s Canal, its combo of organic food, cold-pressed juices and great coffee by day, and a fresh menu of veggie aperitivo and natural wines from 5pm, make it a fine place to kick back with a laptop – or kick off a night out.
The space is minimalist but sprawling. Huge windows make it bright and airy in the day, though it could do with being cosied up a bit at night. Food-wise, we plumped for a selection of small plates. Houmous was light as a feather and moreish; as was the farinata, a traditional Italian flatbread made with chickpea flour, olive oil and salt, served warm and perfect for dipping.
The wines were the main event, though. Our knowledgeable waiter talked us through the menu, noting which were low in sulphites. (Those rumours that low-sulphite wines give less of a hangover? All true!) Highlights were a glass of La Stoppa Ageno – an aromatic, organic orange wine – and Rocco di Carpeneto Aur-Oura, a light, dangerously drinkable organic red. All the vino is sourced by owners Marco and Ilaria – they’re experts on the Northern Italian natural wine scene and it shows. With an offering this strong, quite frankly, The Hive deserves to be buzzing.