Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Humble Grape Fleet Street: Fine Wines in an Ancient Space

SEEN witnessed the success of the first Humble Grape wine bar and shop in Battersea last year. Now, James Dawson has opened a second site in Central London to bring its innovative concept to the ancient stone arches beneath St Bride’s church, just off famous Fleet Street.

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SEEN witnessed the success of the first Humble Grape wine bar and shop in Battersea last year. Now, James Dawson has opened a second site in Central London to bring its innovative concept to the ancient stone arches beneath St Bride’s church, just off famous Fleet Street.

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Humble Grape is an independent wine merchant based in London, specialising in hand-crafted wines from relatively unknown vineyards. They directly import handcrafted wine from small, sustainable, independent vineyards worldwide, avoiding the industry-standard markups from agents, importers or distributers.

Here, as with Battersea, customers are invited to enjoy wine on their own terms, whether seated in the bar, pairing it with food and snacks from Humble Grape’s small-plate dishes menu; attending a tasting or wine-maker dinner; buying bottles to take away or curating their own wine tasting experience in their own private dining space.

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The wine list features around 30 wines, available by the glass or carafe, and over 200 wines available by the bottle, to drink or take away. And because they are made with loving care, most of the wines (intentionally or otherwise), are biodynamic, organic or from sustainable vineyards.

Head Chef Anna Allan has devised wine-friendly ‘Humble Plates’. Like the wines, the ingredients are sourced from independent suppliers, whose produce can be traced straight back to the farm. Dishes include Galician Octopus with Chargrilled Leeks & Triple-cooked New Potatoes; Roast Bone Marrow with Dipping Soldiers; and Lamb Ribollita Stew. Galician recipes seem to be having a moment this Summer in London.

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The site, formerly The Press House Wine Bar (once a famous drinking den for journalists), is tucked away down a cobbled street and hidden in the vaults of the magnificent St Bride’s Church.

Unoccupied for several years, it has been revived by Dawson, in collaboration with acclaimed architect Jean Dumas (of Trellik Design Studios), to feature a 200-seat wine bar, shop, events space, private dining room and wine cellar. SEEN has a feeling that the space will draw visitors, just as much as the superb food and wine.

Aged woods, cork, concrete and Portuguese tiles complement the stunning stone arches, which are thought to be the original design of Sir Christopher Wren. The colour palette is a mixture of natural ambers and smoky greys with rich and lively undertones. The bar is crafted from old Champagne riddling racks and a central teal leather banquette beneath dramatic industrial lighting. Towards the back of the venue is the cavernous events space, which features a striking glass-fronted wine cellar behind the arches.

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At both Fleet Street and Battersea Humble Grape, you can also personalise your own unique dining experience. Designed with mates and dates in mind, guests are able to pre-select wines, flowers and their meal. Whilst seated at a romantic table for two in the arched wine cellar, they can choose from the dozens of wines that surround them, or are invited to opt for an intimate party (up to six guests) in the brand new outdoor atrium at Battersea.

For those who want to go one step further, the Humble Grape wine team can also organise a personalised wine tasting and vinotyping experience. By answering a few questions they will be able to accurately advise on the wines that guests will love. For visitor and oenophile alike, there’s not a better place in London to enjoy hidden-gem wines from around the world.

Humble Grape
1 St. Bride’s Passage
London
EC4Y 8EJ
www.humblegrape.co.uk

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