One of the best places to drink wine in the country and the food – overseen by Stephen Harris – isn’t bad either
Mark Andrew and Dan Keelings’ Parisian-style wine bar is an oenophile’s dream with an all killer, no filler list that offers fantastic wine at unusually approachable prices. Not for nothing did this low-key Bloomsbury venue – born of the respected wine mag of the same name – win our Best Wine List three years on the trot.
The list is made even more accessible by a good selection by the glass coupled with the option for people to dip a toe in the water with smaller, tasting glasses.
There’s a pleasing everydayness about the look and feel of the surprisingly cavernous space (it was a rather average wine bar prior to the pair taking it on in 2013). Staff are switched on but never snotty and the service is casual.
As if all that wasn’t enough, the food is overseen by Stephen Harris of The Sportsman fame (see 13). Expect unshowy simple fayre cooked with care and top-notch produce (the restaurant uses many of the same suppliers as Harris’ internationally-renowned north Kent pub). The menu includes a few nods to The Sportsman, including a take on its iconic slip sole grilled with butter. Other dishes include braised Rye Bay turbot, leeks and smoked cod’s roe velouté; and roast lamb rack, boulangère potatoes served with a lip-smackingly acidic mint sauce.
While it’s possible to drop considerable sums on wine, Noble Rot offers excellent value to wallet-conscious customers with glasses of wine starting at £5 and a £20 set lunch menu. We’ll drink to that.