230 Dalston Lane,
(020) 7249 1176
The ViewLondon Review
If you’re not an expert, wine bars can feel like pretentious places which leave you feeling more than a little inadequate. Leave
it to east London, then, to take a more laid back, open-minded approach to the art of wine drinking with Borough Wine’s
L’Entrepot gets the balance between clean neutrality and edgy east London styling just right. The entryway is welcoming with the
owner’s Borough Wines branding clearly evident and a large glass doorway that floods the open white space with plenty of natural
light. Inside this self-declared shop/cafe/bar is an industrial-style space with an elegant air that puts you in the mood for quality
wine. The floor is bare and the high ceilings and stark walls are painted a brilliant white. Seating is in the form of stripped back
long wooden tables with lots of chairs nestled against them, and there is little in the way of decorative embellishment - this is a
place that lets the shelves full of wine do the talking.
The biggest selling point of L’Entrepot is its genuine, unpretentious nature. This is a place you can come to if you know a lot about
wine, or absolutely nothing at all, and you will be treated equally respectfully by the friendly, knowledgeable staff. And boy do
they know their stuff. Even if you are something of a wine boff, they will be able to open your eyes to some new and unusual bottles
you won’t have tried before.
The menu at L’Entrepot is simple with various brushettas to choose from with fillings like leek and chestnut or smoked salmon. They
mix it up with dishes like steak tartare and roast pork shoulder if you fancy something more substantial. Meanwhile, the café offers
pastries and warm drinks if you don’t fancy the wine.
The best thing about the menu here is their ethos of supporting small businesses. The pies are Tom’s Pies, handmade in Dorset, while
they also offer Seven Seed Croissants – a bakery that recently burnt down and is trying to get back on their feet.
The real draw of L’Entrepot is the number of wines available by the glass – around 30 at any one time – which allows you to sample
whatever takes your fancy without investing in an entire bottle. Although there’s a focus on French bottles, they haven’t ignored
some of the lesser-known producers from places like Hungary. However, the real draw of this place is their recycling policy that
allows you to buy empty glass bottles that you can bring in and have refilled straight from barrels when you run out. And if wine
REALLY isn’t your thing, they do offer bottled beer from the well-respected Kernal brewery.
The Last Word
If you consider Hackney to be a journey not worth the effort then L’Entrepot will change your mind. Wine demystified.
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