London is no stranger to unusual hotspots and any food and drink nuts out there can now add London Cru (www) to their list of must-visit attractions.
It proudly holds the title of London’s first urban winery, an accolade that’s sure to raise a few eyebrows.
Nestled in a street near the famous Earls Court exhibition centre, London Cru invites you to try boutique wines that have been ‘made in London’ even though the grapes used don’t actually hail from the city. The brains behind the project have been transporting top quality French grapes over the English Channel to create their very own vintages, following in a long line of micro-breweries and distilleries that have cropped up in the capital in recent years.
Your trip to the UK might include a few trips to England’s very own top notch vineyards, but the presence of London Cru in the capital means you can start of your vinous quest without even leaving the city. Take the District Line to West Brompton tube station in south west London, and the winery is situated in the home of an old gin distillery - just a few minutes’ walk to 21/27 Seagrave Road, on a street also home to the well-known pub - The Atlas.
In the shadow of Earl’s Court, you can participate in one of the winery tours and get a rare opportunity to sample some young wine or even try your hand at blending by becoming a winemaker for a day – a great change to dip your toes in the water of the wine industry. Just check their website for details on how to book in advance.
After London Cru has whetted your appetite, why not experience some of capital’s new wave wine bars where the bottle rather than the food is given pride of place? Although the UK produces only a very small amount of wine from its own grapes, it’s a fantastic place to explore the world of wine, letting you experience what so many countries have to offer in one place and making tasting a variety of wines a bit more affordable.
London is a haven for any food and wine lover, with plenty of interesting independent wine merchants, wine bars and restaurants to visit, so surely it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to hear that the city has come with a way of making its very own wine?