If you can find the entrance (and many have) this is quite an institution, owned and run by Don Hewitson. This fits into the pre-modern subterranean wine bar mould which opened its cellar in 1971. There are a number of small alcoves if you want secluded drinking. Very well chosen list produced by a great enthusiast who has been part of the London wine scene for decades. If you want something cheap then the Château de Chasse 2007 rosé £5.95 was not as 'bone dry' as the blackboard suggested, but good value. Champagnes: Laurent Perrier 1998 £165, Dom Perignon 1999 £185 (which seems expensive). Charmes Chambertin 2002 Domaine Arlaud £95, Clos des Lambrays 2000 £135 (Thierry Brouin) are around twice retail markup. Good collection of wines by the glass. Lots of specials too off the list. Blackboards enticing you with various wines by the glass are fixed on the walls amidst wine prints and wine memorabilia. The wine list has short descriptions which offer some food pairing advice. They offer light meals and something more substantial which is way beyond what one would expect from a 'wine bar'. It is a serious place which has an enthusiastic and loyal clientèle. Hewitson has gone out on his own to recruit wines and wine-makers (especially New World) which mean something to him and, thus, to you too. Hewitson's motto: “Life's too short to drink boring wine”.
44-46 Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7AN
Bookings: Telephone (020) 7734-7807 or 7734-6592