Low ceilings, dark walls & candlelight might suggest a salubrious, gentlemanly drinking den, but Bon Vivant is a clubby, young-at-heart venue – witness the DJ decks waiting to spin into action at the weekend. The kitchen shrewdly caters for imbibers’ appetites large & small, with little bites of whitebait tempura, duck liver parfait or black pudding with tomato & chilli chutney as well as more filling ‘middles’ ranging from beef & Guinness pie to steamed baby clams with chorizo, peas & white wine. Sweets (aka ‘after bites’) can also be taken in dinky or ‘normal’ portions – perhaps rhubarb tart with strawberry ice cream. A terrific selection of around three-dozen wines by the glass or carafe is supported by Champagnes & a gantry of premium spirits. Ask about Vivant’s regular tasting sessions.
The by-the-glass Champagne selection will have many a London sommelier cooing with approval – and turning green with envy at the prices (Roederer at £7 a glass, anyone?). Every listing at this wine bar is available by the glass or carafe, and the presentation is a model of clarity.