Social Wine & Tapas 333

39 James Street , London, W1U 1DL

8 reviews

35 Tapas Wine Bars Marylebone

  • Social Wine   Tapas London Restaurant
  • Social Wine   Tapas restaurant bar wine shop London Marylebone
  • back counter social wine and tapas 2
  • bar counter social wine and tapas 11
  • beef social wine and tapas 5
  • carrotts social wine and tapas 9
  • cellar bar social wine and tapas 10
  • Egg toastie social wine and tapas 14
  • meat and cheese social wine and tapas 18
  • Squid social wine and tapas 15
  • strawberries and cream social wine and tapas 6

Offers available

SquareMeal Review of Social Wine & Tapas

It might feel like London is full of Jason Atherton’s Socials, but James Street was sorely in need of a restaurant that prizes quality as well as conviviality, and this is it. Customers enter through a wine shop and tasting area dedicated to executive sommelier Laure Patry’s eagle-eyed finds, then head down to the cellar bar where wine is everywhere – even, via a recorded soundtrack, in the toilets. It’s dark and masculine, but service is warm, and the food is a mixture of trad tapas and elevated ideas. Creamy piquillo croquetas and sweet, oily pan con tomate are difficult to beat, though crispy duck egg with artichoke and grated truffle comes close. Readers also recommend the “awesome” lamb fillet with char-grilled celeriac, cucumber and yoghurt, “genuinely mouth-watering” char-grilled broccolini with chilli, pear and air-dried tuna shavings, and the crisp-crunchy Szechuan-fried chipirones with togarashi and squid ink aïoli. Puddings run from elegant to nostalgic – a cornet of soft-serve salted caramel ice cream with butterscotch sauce, for example. Fans (ourselves included) “can’t wait to go back”.

Special offers

Free-Flowing Cava at Saturday Brunch: £15 per person

Enjoy free-flowing cava during Saturday brunch whilst enjoying the A La Carte brunch menu for an additional £15 per person. Please note that cava will be available for 2 hours from your booking time.

From: 24 October 2017

To: 03 December 2017

Max: 6

Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

Set Menu: 2 / 3 courses and a glass of wine £16 / £20

Get course set menu for.

From: 24 October 2017

To: 03 December 2017

Max: 6

Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

‘Feed Me’ Dinner: 7 course tapas sharing menu £30pp

Offer includes daily-changing chef’s selection of seven courses of tapas to share for £30 per person

From: 24 October 2017

To: 03 December 2017

Max: 6

Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

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8.6

Food & Drink: 8.6

Service: 8.9

Atmosphere: 8.6

Value: 8.1

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Katie J. 01 March 2017

Great venue for business lunch

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Joanna G. platinum reviewer 17 February 2016

3 of us ate here and we were put on a table that realistically should only seat 2 people – it was really small and particularly for a tapas restaurant where you have 8 plates of food, plus eating plates, plus the cutlery is in a box on the table which takes up room, plus water glasses and wine glasses and then they decant the wine and put the empty bottle on the table – we literally couldn’t move without knocking something over – they try to get around this by having stands that can be attached to the side of the table to put plates of ham and cheese on, but then you have to lean around them to talk to your friends – a bit odd. The food though is good, excellent charcuterie and cheeses, some lovely vegetable side dishes, the most delicious ham and cheese toastie with a quails egg on top, and more besides. Service was a little slow to start and we had to ask for our wine glasses to be topped up a couple of times but once the food started coming, it got better. They have a great wine list and I think you can buy bottles from the upstairs shop. An enjoyable meal, I would go back, but only for tables for 2!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Lynn W. platinum reviewer 21 January 2016

A great evening here - great wine, good food, and a buzzy Friday night. We like sitting at the bar and being able to watch the chefs at work, chat about wine, fine glassware, and menu spot as dishes are made ready for service. The ham croquettes are lovely and crispy, the pan con tomate crusty and piled high with juicy tomatoes, the broccolini chargrilled and really quite spicy, roasted butternut squash with truffle burrata, hazelnut and black grapes turned out to be a favourite, and lamb fillet with chargrilled celeriac, cucumber and yogurt was "awesome". A 5-piece selection of good cheeses, and then dessert - creme Catalana with blood orange, creamy centre, delicate caramel crust and sharper orange accents, and salted caramel ice cream which comes in a cone with its own bottle of butterscotch sauce - order one each or you will fight over it! We were sitting opposite the charcoal oven so got a blast of hot air when it opened, but this was quite welcome on a cold wet January evening. Lots to love about this place and already want to go back with friends.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Ella C. 15 December 2015

Initially on booking this restaurant I was slightly dubious as my experience with tapas restaurants have not been the best! But then I thought, given it's Jason Atherton's newest venture it had to be worth a try. We were all pleasantly surprised. Amazing food, impeccable service and I have already recommended it to friends. Jason well done yet again!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Rebecca L. gold reviewer 02 December 2015

I'm a huge Jason Atherton fan but had reservations having read good but underwhelming reviews that Social Wine and Tapas isn't as exciting as people hoped. I couldn't disagree more. It's a rarity to find somewhere that's such all rounder - perfect food, perfect wine, perfect service and a perfect setting. I felt the whole experience was a real treat. The menus is excellent - there's lots of the usual tapas favourites: delicious meats and cheese, pan con tomato and suckling pig. They're all superb. But the more innovative additions, seafood and rabbit rice and curried hake with a lemon yoghurt dressing, are fabulous too. It was a real delight to taste tried and tested classics done well with something a bit different. Some of the dishes are genuinely mouthwatering, especially the broccolini, chilli, pear and air dried tuna. The dessert - hot chocolate moelleux with tonka bean ice cream is essentially a classic done in plenty of restaurants but it was so divine that I'd put it up there as one of the best chocolate puddings I've had. The staff are faultless, from the lady that seated me, to the very patient sommelier who seemed more than happy - pleased in fact - for me to try a few wines before settling on one particularly nice Portuguese white. There are a lot of wines by the glass which is great because it means you can treat the wine like the food and try lots of different things. Our waiter was attentive but not overly so. He advised about 3 dishes each was a good start but brought additional ones when we fancied trying a few more items. If all that wasn't enough, it's a really beautiful restaurant - just the right balance of dark and moody and buzzy. I visited on a Tuesday and it had a great atmosphere. Is Jason Atherton breaking new ground with Social Wine and Tapas as he is with Pollen Street Social? No probably not. Should you care when it's this good? No. All in all, I can't recommend Social Wine and Tapas enough - whether you fancy popping in for a couple of dishes for lunch or making an evening and an experience of it. I can't wait to go back.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Luncheon Vulture platinum reviewer 22 September 2015

A friend and I are huge Atherton fans, (make that borderline stalkers) but have to admit it took a change in the "no bookings" policy to finally tempt us into SW&T - even we drew the line at the idea of queuing for Jason's food! Whilst all his many other restaurants have a certain USP that make it hard to decide which is best, I have to say SW&T is a bit different in that it isn't that different from what is on offer at other tapas restaurants in London at the present time. Yes it is beautifully kitted out and the staff engaging and friendly, but there were no big surprises on either the food or wine front that make it stand out from the crowd. If I were in the area and in need of a glass of wine and some tapas (particularly the broccolini and steak with chimmichurri dressing) would I pop in? Absolutely, but am I looking for an excuse to revisit as I do with Pollen Street, Little Social and Berners Tavern? Sadly no.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Richard E. platinum reviewer 08 July 2015

I'm a big fan of both Jason Atherton and tapas bars, so to stumble on a tapas bar from the Atherton stable almost on the door step was great, that we could wander in and get a seat straight away a bonus. The bar is dominated by a huge Josper oven and a couple of seriously hot hot-plates. This was the first problem: sat at the left hand couple of seats at the bar means broiling along with the veal burgers. It's also in the route that the waiters use to take the dirty dishes downstairs, so, whilst offering great views of the cooking, is pretty rubbish as a place to sit and eat. No matter, we were soon able to move to the middle of the bar, away from the heat of the grill, and only sporadically blasted by the Josper when opened to put in or take out some gorgeous looking steak/broccoli/carrots. Alas, this seating also has it's own problem: the seats aren't fixed. Now I know that fixed seating in bars is a bit naff, but around a bar that you need space to eat at, it really can be a pain when the person next to you (as in our case) decides that they need to man-spread across your space. I don't know if he was trying to impress his date some how, but this is a social, not an anti-social, bar. Once he'd grudgingly moved a few inches over, we got stuck into the real business of SWaT: the tapas. And they're good. Very good: the aforementioned broccoli (broccolini to be precise) was gorgeously charred and pepped up with some chilli, the suckling pig beautifully crisp skinned (although the roasted pineapple with it not so much to my taste) and the chipirones spicy and accompanied by jet black aioli. I still don't think this is what, in Spain, would pass as a tapas bar: it's a restaurant, or more properly a wine bar. A destination, and none the worse for it. Service is friendly if a bit slow, the atmosphere welcoming and wine list good value. Downstairs, as I found on a loo hunt, has a spacious rooms and another bar. I think next time (for the good so outweighs the bad that there will be a next time), I think I'll head down there, where it might be less hot, and less need to rest bar space from a human space invader.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 03 July 2015

Being famous can sometimes be a problem. People ‘expect’ things of you and wonder whether your latest restaurant venture can possibly be as good as the previous one. Jason Atherton is a great chef and an astute businessman. Furthermore, when Pollen Street Social opened, it was undoubtedly one of the most exciting new ventures on the London dining scene for some time, justifiably lauded. However, it is a brave move of Atherton’s to compete not just on one, but one two crowded and competitive fronts with his latest venture. As the name would suggest, his James Street outlet focuses on wine and on tapas. In the first respect, places such as 28:50 and Vinoteca have established themselves firmly as purveyors of good wine in pleasant locations, while with regard to the latter, Barrafina and Tapas Brindisa (among others) show how tapas can and should be done in London. Overall, Social Wine & Tapas is good, but by no means excellent, particularly in the context of an already crowded market of comparable peers. We loved the atmosphere, laid-back with a relaxed soundtrack and friendly enthusiastic staff, but the food did not wow and our first choice of wine was unfortunately unavailable. Atherton’s take on tapas is to combine Spanish classics with stalwart English favourites. In other words, a Cornish Yarg cheese may sit alongside a Monte Enebro from Castilla y Leon, while also, for example, Norfolk suckling pig may be cooked in sherry caramel sauce. The benchmark test for any establishment claiming to offer Spanish fare must be its ‘pan con tomate’, a deceptively simple dish comprising bread topped with tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. A recent visit to Barcelona reminded me how successfully the Spanish execute this, yet our trip to Social Wine & Tapas also served to highlight how hard it is to replicate well outside Iberia. Our version lacked punch and was disappointingly bland. On the positive side, the suckling pig did deliver, as did a delicious concoction of roasted sea bream with piperade (tomato sauce with pancetta) and coriander. Less encouragingly, the Szechuan fried chipirones (baby squid) were more about batter than fish, while our selection of cold meats bordered on the greasy. Maybe our expectations were too high, but we were left feeling slightly underwhelmed and far from wowed by the overall culinary experience. You won’t do badly coming here, but you may do better elsewhere.

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Special offers

Free-Flowing Cava at Saturday Brunch: £15 per person

From: 24 October 2017

To: 03 December 2017

Max: 6

Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

Set Menu: 2 / 3 courses and a glass of wine £16 / £20

From: 24 October 2017

To: 03 December 2017

Max: 6

Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

‘Feed Me’ Dinner: 7 course tapas sharing menu £30pp

From: 24 October 2017

To: 03 December 2017

Max: 6

Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.