Let us paint you a picture. A cracked leather chesterfield armchair; a roaring fire; a dark corner lit by candles; and you, clutching a LARGE glass of red, nibbling on a cheese board. Could this be the most idyllic scene possible on a wintry eve? We think so. Get ready to turn that picture into a reality at these hella atmospheric London wine bars.
Well hidden at the back of Leicester Square is one of our favourite dungeons of a wine bar. There is a bit of French bias here, but generally speaking, most regions and styles are covered. We recommend showing off and going for a magnum – BarChick hearts big measures. Most of the food here will make you fat and happy: cheese, ham and cheese pie, and more cheese, but it’s always good to soak up the booze. Best thing about this place is that it’s hopelessly romantic, take a date and settle down for the night.
44-46 Cranbourn Street, London, WC2H 7AN
During the day come and shop for delicious Italian produce like wine, olive oil and cured meats. In the evening the shop atmosphere gives way to a cool bar with a romantic candlelit ambiance, some incredibly well made cocktails and delicious food like bresaola, anchovy and butter soldiers and crostini. The wine list is perfect and available by the glass, the carafe or the bottle. We say order the latter, head downstairs and get settled for the evening. Cheers.
33 Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5JT
Look, we know you already know about Gordon's Wine Bar, because anyone who has ever dated in London has been to Gordon's Wine Bar. Predictable? Yes. But that's cos it ticks all our boxes for a cosy date: flickering candlelit, dark corners and a cheap and extensive (if even a little old-school) wine list. They also have a “garden” in the summer that fills with amusingly varied wine-heads (and the rest). Plates of cheese and cured meats accompany delicious wine or sherry served straight from the barrel. It’s cosy and characterful, and hobbit-sized mates will feel right at home in this low ceilinged cellar bar.
47 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NE
Under one of the oldest pubs in London, you’ll find Todd’s Wine Bar. The pub is heavy on the oak panelling, but it’s the narrow staircase to the left that you’ll be wanting. Glass tables are filled with dusty bottles, tartan chairs sit in cosy corners and saucy French drawings hang on the walls to get the heart racing. Todd’s wine company pride themselves on sourcing their wines from families and small growers. The menu is by the bottle, but ask nicely and they’ll serve them by the glass. On weekends they bring on the house music and shots, so something suggests that the city boys and girls singing loudly beside you won’t be going anywhere fast.
Jamaica Wine House, St Michael’s Alley, London EC3V 9DS
When a magazine that knows everything there is to know about wine opens a wine bar, you know it’s going to be a winner. You’ll find Noble Rot’s first eponymous bar on an old-fashioned Bloomsbury street (there's now another location in Soho - score!). It’s a sprawling, partly subterranean space which feels comfortable and lived in, like a deep dent in an armchair that you can easily snuggle into. You’ll be happy to lose a couple of hours in here with a bottle or two.
51 Lamb's Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB
Dark wooden tables, old school ties suspended from the ceiling and an owner so French you’d expect him to serve you wearing a beret and a necklace of garlic around his neck. Le Beaujolais is the oldest French wine bar in London, and has stayed in French hands ever since the war! It remains a bastion of all that is French, and naturally has a cracking menu of French wines from every region. Grab a date and settle in for a mini-break to France via Leicester Square. F*ck oui!
25 Litchfield St, London WC2H 9NJ
BarChick’s idea of a good neighbour is one that always brings good wine, and doesn’t steal our bins. Good Neighbour lives up to its name with both of these things in mind. This cosy neighbourhood bar in Camberwell offers unique and delicious wines by the glass, carafe and bottle, alongside cheese, charcuterie boards and sharing plates which can all be enjoyed over two floors. On warm nights, nab a seat in their garden and share a few bottles with your squad, or on special occasions, take over the basement private dining room and settle in for some candlelit feasting.
21 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, London SE5 8TR
Wine runs in the veins of Davy’s, and has done since it opened its first “wine house” in 1870, so you won’t be surprised to find a treasure trove of intriguing artefacts on display in this wine bar which has more character than a Two Ronnies sketch show. Venture into the vaults and explore the wine menu which hosts a selection of aromatic, lighter, medium and full-bodied wines, as well as plenty of fizz and a delicious selection of pudding and fortified wines. Wine will be running in your veins by the end of the night.
161 Greenwich High Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 8JA
100 years ago this place was a bit crap, but that’s because it was a public loo. Now the WC above the door stands for Wine & Charcuterie, which is the kind of acronym we can get on board with when it comes to our nights out. Rather than settling down onto a porcelain throne, get yourself comfortable in one of the cosy booths, with their deep blue leathers and distressed tile walls, and grab yourself a bottle or two of one of their diverse wines alongside a sharing plate of meats for a cheese. That’s more like it.
Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AA
We wouldn’t dare to sneak a cocktail bar onto this list of cosy wine bars. Not us. That would be against the rules. But we will sneak on one of its sisters. Yeah, BarChick knows her loopholes. This cosy bolthole in Neal's Yard is the sister to the infamous snug ECC hidden behind the unmarked bouncer guarded bar in Chinatown. This place is just as chic and civilised, with Parisian boudoir vibes, a sh*t load of patterned upholstery and Nina Simone crooning away in the background. The wine list is a breeze block of glasses and bottles from old world to new. Take a wine snob. They won’t be able to help be impressed, and they can suss out what to order. Even better, you can actually book your table here, so plan ahead.
8-10 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP
This cosy bar is hidden within the victorian arches beneath Holborn Viaduct, and it's got that cosy combo of history, exposed brick walls and the glow of candlelight that make it the perfect place to bunk down in when the weather outside is throwing a tantrum. this place used to be a wine cellar for 150 years, and of course, they still have plenty of bottles waiting down there to be enjoyed. This place is a shop during the day (and the Winemakers Club office - beats a WeWork any day!) and transforms into a cosy bar of an evening, where £14 corkage is added to every bottle's retail price for you to enjoy. Take a date, you'll look banging in that candle light.
41a Farringdon St, Holborn, London EC4A 4AN