Wine and cheese: An unsophisticated review of a sophisticated bar in central London.
Have you ever seen a trendy bar or restaurant, and wondered if you could work from there, or if it’s a place you can go on your own? Luckily, some of the team behind Freelance Corner have taken on the burdensome task of testing that, and of course drinking wine along the way.
First up, Cork and Bottle: a trendy chain of wine and cheese bars across London. We arrived at the Leicester Square branch, suddenly aware that we had entered a wine bar in central London on one of its busiest days of the year, Beaujolais Day!
I must admit that I am far from a wine connoisseur, but my wine taste buds have matured slightly from my days of drinking boxed wine at university.
I tried a Sauvignon Blanc from the house menu, and a Sancerre Blanc from the special menu, which is essentially a fancier Sauvignon Blanc. Jyoti and (yes, we invited a freelancer) Miranda are far more mature than me, in many ways, and chose to try a selection of red wine. They both started with the Malbec – a refreshingly light and mellow wine that complemented the cheeses (prices for wine start from £6.50).
The menu has a wide selection of cheeses. We tried the camembert, smoked cheddar, cambozola, manchego, and at the waitress’s recommendation, the saint-nectair. The first thing we noticed was how generous the portions of cheese were, which was served with fresh French bread, an assortment of crackers, and a caramelised onion chutney. The selection of five cheeses cost £21.50.
We also sampled the special Beaujolais wine, a speciality red with lots of body and character, which I think is the politest way of saying I don’t possess the knowledge about wine to compliment it. However, Miranda and Jyoti both enjoyed it, and were happy to finish the glass between them.
For freelancers, this cosy venue is perfect for an informal meet-up with a client or a fellow freelancer friend. It’s not so busy that you can’t have a proper chat, but busy enough that any uncomfortable silences will be taken care of. It is also a place I would be comfortable enough to go on my own to either work or have a drink.
I will definitely be returning to Cork and Bottle, if not just for the amazing cheese.
Cork and Bottle also have locations in Paddington and Hampstead.