Cork & Bottle

44-46 Cranbourn Street , London, WC2H 7AN

  • Cork   Bottle
  • Cork   Bottle
  • Cork   Bottle

SquareMeal Review of Cork & Bottle

Wine bars have come full circle since this old faithful opened in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it basement next to a sex shop. Back then, Britain begged for Blue Nun, spag bol and Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep on Radio 1. At the Cork & Bottle, the staff are chirpy enough but thanks to inflation, shepherd’s pie, Caesar salad, fishcakes and sirloin steak are no longer as cheap as we’d like – even if £9.50 still represents good value for unctuous cheese and ham pie. The wine list really is ‘the bee’s knees’, with bags of interest to suit all budgets: sample a refreshing rosé from the Loire Valley at £20.95, or trade up to an irreproachable 1986 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste. In all, this place remains a cosy and timeless time warp amid the detritus and touristy tack of Leicester Square.

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6.5

Food & Drink: 6.5

Service: 8.0

Atmosphere: 7.5

Value: 6.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Sue F. 06 September 2013

I used to have lunch on a regular basis at this proper grown up wine bar. It has had a slight facelift since my last visit. No more dripping wet walls in the ladies! Another plus is table service, no need to join the scrum at the bar for ‘just another one for the road’ I was pleased to see the Hemingway burger remains on the menu, it was tasty & came with fat chips. The wine list is on the pricey side but the house wine is drinkable & comes in at just shy of £20 a bottle. if you are in the Leicester Square area and need to find a non tourist spot then this is the place for you.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

John S. 14 May 2011

Something of an oasis in the culinary wasteland that surrounds Leicester Square, the Cork & Bottle is a place I've frequented off and on for almost two decades, drawn back by great wines at reasonable prices, reliable gastropub-standard food and a lively atmosphere. Standards may have slipped a little since the 90s, but for me it's continued to offer good value. When I had dinner there last week for the first time in about a year the decline was more marked. The food was bland. My spicy sausages tasted of spice and little else. My wife's chicken in parma ham might just about have passed muster, but only if we'd bought it prepackaged from a supermarket, and £13 for each dish represented a hefty mark-up from 2010. The wine was far better — a supple and punchy 2005 Gigondas — but again, at £34, it seemed overpriced compared with the price-to-quality metric we'd got used to on previous visits. We'll probably give it another go for loyalty's sake and because the staff are as friendly as ever, but unless it's upped its game by then we'll be ticking the winebar-with-food box elsewhere .

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