London's Best Wine Bars: Drakes Tabanco, Fitzrovia

Jenny Mackenzie
By Jenny Mackenzie Last edited 48 months ago
London's Best Wine Bars: Drakes Tabanco, Fitzrovia

drakes

Continuing our tour of London's best wine bars.

Background
Sherry has been hip for ‘like ages’ now in London and Drakes Tabanco is possibly the most authentic fino stop so far. In the heart of Fitzrovia, Drakes has managed to capture the typical bar of Jerez, a small ‘pop in for a copa’ joint, where you can also sit quietly and snack on tapas.

Sherry is the thing. A small but perfectly formed range proves the point that ‘less is more’. The bar sells excellent, Spanish, sparkling, white and red wines too, on the mercifully brief list along with Fernando de Castilla’s Brandy de Jerez. Craft beers from Rosita should pull in any reluctant, non-wine lovers.

Owners
Tim Luther, also of Copita and Barrica in W1. The Sherry-loving pedigree shows strongly.

Top wine pick
Fino (starting at £2.90 a glass) from arguably the best Sherry House, Fernando de Castilla, a beautiful bodega owned by Jan Pettersen. There are barrels behind the counter, from which the charming Spanish staff will draw you a copa, with a flourish.

Food
Salted nuts and olives. Gourmet tapas includes a mouthwatering line-up of cheeses and charcuterie. Main courses, such as braised pig cheeks and hake in caper butter.

Who to take
Spanish tourists in need of an 11am pit stop or just a taste of home. Budget working lunch. Visitors staying at Charlotte Street Hotel, a few paces away.

The USP
Small, relaxed, inclusive. Lovers of Andalucia will walk in and sigh happily. A welcoming indie wine bar in central London.

Any downsides?
Sherry is fortified wine (i.e. 15%+ alcohol). Watch those measures unless you want to emerge ‘stupefied by drink’.

Drakes Tabanco, 3 Windmill Street, W1T 2HY.

By Jenny Mackenzie, Twitter & Facebook.

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Last Updated 15 November 2013