A vibrant center for art, finance, politics, culture, learning and fashion, London has long been considered Europe’s most happening metropolis. It’s also an international wine capital, where you can sniff out treasured bottles in historic shops, posh bars or classy eateries.
You can enjoy a breakfast martini, prop up a Victorian pub counter with a pint of bitter or treat yourself to afternoon tea. Most of all, don’t miss out on England’s delicious sparkling wines, and hit some of the new tasting rooms just an hour outside London.
Where to Dine
offers 110 wines by the glass alongside classic French cuisine. Les 110 de Taillevent delivers eclectic and excellent food and wine. Enjoy a slice of real London at Soho stalwart Noble Rot Wine Bar ; its wine list has some incredible values. Order from the old-fashioned menu at Andrew Edmunds , an oyster house unchanged since 1889. Around the city, there are flavors to be savored from all over the world, such as Thai at Sweetings Som Saa , Indian at , Basque at Dishoom or Turkish at Sagardi .
Les 110 de Taillevent
Where to Stay
London has no shortage of hotel rooms, but for something memorable, go for
in Soho or Hazlitt’s in Clerkenwell. Under the same management, both offer updated, quirky period charm. The Rookery in Mayfair stands for sophisticated, Art Deco-styled luxury. In the edgier east side, even more Art Deco can be found at the remodeled The Beaumont Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, a hop, skip and jump from the stylish Shoreditch neighborhood.
Berry Bros. & Rudd
Walking is the best way to explore. Either head off by yourself or join a fabulously informative “
.” Enjoy London Walk on Sunday mornings, hear soaring evensong voices at Columbia Road Flower Market Westminster Abbey , and make most of the free museums and galleries. Don’t miss London’s oldest wine shop in St. James’s Street, . Berry Bros. & Rudd
See London via an upstairs seat in a
. Regular routes 9, 11 and 24 will take you past iconic sights, all for a cheap, single fare. red double-decker bus
Walking is the best way to explore. Either head off by yourself or join a fabulously informative “London Walk.”
When to Go
London is a year-round destination. Longer daylight hours from April to September mean you can make the most of your visit.
Where to Taste
Combine a trip to the lush counties of Sussex and Kent with a visit to
for a tour and tasting in the village of Ditchling. At Ridgeview Wine Estate Hush Heath Winery , the tasting tour includes orchards and woodlands. Pre-order an ultra-English picnic or book a table at the nearby, winery-owned . Book an indulgent gourmet tasting at Goudhurst Inn Bolney Estate , or simply have lunch at its café. Pre-booking is essential for all estates. If you have a car, grab a chilled bottle of English fizz and head to the Kent coast for fresh Whitstable oysters at . You can also book an inclusive tour and leave navigation to the pros at Wheelers Oyster Bar . If time does not allow a trip to the vineyards, get a real taste of English sparkling at English Wine Tasting Tours The Wine Pantry , the or Greenberry Café in Borough Market. Roast Restaurant
Noble Rot Wine Bar
The best English wines are definitely sparkling. Made from traditional Champagne varieties of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, they’re bottle-fermented and crisp, tasting as fresh as spring meadows and as fragrant as hedgerows. The mild, cool climate in the southern counties of Hampshire, Sussex and Kent makes for brisk, fresh wines. Increasing time on lees creates creamy cuvées. Must-try wines are from Nyetimber, Gusbourne, Wiston Estate, Hambledon, Hattingley Valley and Ridgeview. Also look out for the pink Pinot Noir-based sparkler from Cornwall called Camel Valley. Keep your eyes open for newcomers like Mayfield, Exton Park and Bride Valley.
Local in the Know
Pip Goring, the co-owner of
in West Sussex, loves London days out, starting with art at Wiston Estate , followed by lunch at Tate Modern with a glass of Wiston sparkling. Then, it’s on to shopping on the Spring Restaurant Kings Road and in Notting Hill, or perhaps a ride on the or up London Eye for amazing views. Such exertion must be followed by afternoon tea at The Shard (a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge), or dinner at trendy The Goring Hotel . Ottolenghi See the rest of our 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations.
Published on January 5, 2017