Humble Grape has just opened it’s second venue near Fleet Street, a quirky space in St. Bride’s Passage that gives you a warm feeling the moment you step inside.
The first thing that greets you, aside from the friendly staff, is an impressive light display of geometric brushed metal rectangles housing modern bulbs. They draw your eye to the centre of the room, over the inviting soft blue couch and towards the bar beyond. We enjoyed a glass of Allimant-Laugner Rosé Crémant d’Alsace while being shown around by James, introducing us to the beautiful stone features left over from the church foundations, and even a secret back dining room that’s available for private hire.
Lush, heavily draped curtains frame the archways that guide you through the space, and you can discover the two wine ‘cellars’ with bottles for purchase, or to be brought to your table. The space was balanced between modern and rustic, with interesting artworks adorning the wall juxtaposing nicely with the exposed brickwork of the arches and rich fabrics of the furniture and drapes.
Aside from the Crémant (made in the same traditional style as Champagne, but from a different region) two other stand out wines were the Von Winning Riesling for it’s peachy fruitiness and dry finish, and the Château Saint-Pierre Cuveé Prieuré Rosé – while not personally one for rosé wines this one was charming, with a delicious light flavour that would go well with many summer dishes. The food we tried was simple and delicious – humble, as they put it – and you could easily find a great match with the selection of wines on offer.
Wine is king here, and each of the bottles are a result of a personal relationship with a vineyard owner. Visiting and tasting the wines at source means that each one on the menu is chosen specially, without a merchant in-between. Not only is each bottle hand-picked, you get to choose exactly how you want to enjoy it – buy and take a bottle home, or relax and enjoy one by glass, carafe or bottle in the ambience with some small plates. The beauty of this is that you can match the food to the wine you choose, so can enjoy a variety from the menu with a specially matched pair from the kitchen – or on it’s own of course.
Staff are full of knowledge and happy to offer their opinion and thoughts on each of the bottles. You would have felt you were in safe hands were you to come in without knowing everything about wine – I’m certain that they would find the right fit for each person, and the beauty is that if you and your friends have a difference in taste you can simply each order by the glass instead.
As well as this, Humble Grape host a number of wine tasting and matching events, each one catering to a variety of tastes, so you can come down and try a selection of your favourite types, try a new selection you’re interested in, or even curate your own and hold an event in the private dining room.
It seemed like a great place to catch up with friends over a light dinner and a few glasses, equally it’s an intimate and interesting enough space to create a spark on an early date night. I’m sure I’ll be found holed up chatting over a few plates soon.