A bar which has a website called ‘greatwinesbytheglass.com’ certainly has a lot to live up to, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was just another bog-standard West London venue trying to steal a march on the other bars in the area. What it actually turns out to be, however, is a smart, welcoming wine bar that has gone above and beyond the call of duty and found a way to make drinking even more fun.
Whilst their normal wine list could keep you diverted for many visits, it's their 'Enomatic'; machines which provide the real entertainment. Imported from Italy, these are the vineal equivalent of an ATM: machines into which you insert a pre-paid debit card before selecting a wine and watching as it flows into your waiting glass underneath. You can either just try a taste or go for a whole glass and, with 40 wines to choose from, there’s certainly enough to keep you happily bouncing around the bar like a kid in a candy store. The real genius of this system is that it not only lets you find out what you like (without the embarrassment of having to ask for help), but it will also allow you an affordable taste of some great wines that might normally be beyond your budget. In particular, try one the seductive Bordeaux in the first cabinet, which are normally around £20 per glass but which are well worth the more affordable mouthful.
The downside, of course, is that this DIY approach is conducive to getting carried away, and it’s easy to spend a serious amount of money here without thinking. If you want a more restrained option for exploring their range, however, then try their excellent food menu, each dish of which comes with a helpful wine recommendation (by the glass, of course). We couldn’t fault the food we tried and it seems that the Kensington Wine Rooms are a great venue for a stylish meal or something more frivolous, at least until we figure out how to install one of those machines at the office..
The Kensington Wine Rooms, 127 Kensington Church Street. W8 7LP