London’s Best Wine Bars: Sagar + Wilde, Hackney Road

sagar

Continuing our tour of London’s best wine bars.

Background
A beacon of cool in Hackney Road. A destination wine bar for wine lovers, also approachable to anyone who fancies a decent glass in a relaxed atmosphere. An infamous old boozer — opposite Ravenscroft Street, leading down to Columbia Road — given a brilliantly understated design. The bar top made from pavement lights is the centrepiece in the small, brick-walled and wooden-floored, welcoming space.

Owners
Experienced young wine couple, Mr and Mrs Sager-Wilde have created a wine bar with real class and a professional vibe.

Top wine pick
The short, daily changing list is a joy for wine aficionados, also well chosen to be easily navigated by anyone. No geek-speak here, just a great range. Top picks on the night of visit included trendy white Rhone grape Marsanne and red Nebbiolo from Piedmont, both £7.50 a glass. Other cool wines — Malbec from Argentine superstar Achaval Ferrer, £8 a glass and hip Spanish white Txakolina, £7 a glass. There are spirits, bottled beers, sweet wines — including Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes, £14.50 a glass — and ‘no booze’ options such as iced tea.

Food
Bar food — olives, nuts, bread and house speciality, a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough at £6.50. Charcuterie and cheese boards are £9. Ice cream with PX (Pedro Ximenez) sherry is £3.50.

Who to take
Visitors to Columbia Road Market. Wine lovers craving the next cool opening. London tourists looking for a smart, indie wine bar. Trend spotters. Sunday date for a chilled, weekend afternoon.

The USP
Dog friendly. Gorgeous bar top. Relaxed atmosphere. Excellent wine range. Friendly, professional service.

Any downsides?
Small space with no bookings, get there early.

Sager + Wilde, 193 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL., @Sagarandwilde, Facebook

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