SquareMeal Review of
The Wenlock Arms
In a small victory for the small man, Hackney Council refused permission to turn this fine example of a cloth cap/real fire backstreet boozer into yet more City ‘lofts’. New brooms, in the form of
the owners of The Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, have swept in and – after a bit of titivation – the glorious old girl’s future looks rosy. A Tweet sums up the prevailing attitude: ‘Yes, we have
our own version of an Aperol Spritz. It’s called ale.’ Two representatives from Camden Hells and Budvar, Mac’s Gold and Windsor and Eton Republika sit alongside kegs brews from Portobello and
Dark Star, various ciders, scrumpy and other lovely ambers; ironically, they even stock big-name Carlsberg, too. Food runs to pork scratchings, hot dogs and salt beef on rye with gherkins. Weekend
opening until 2am and live music from a ‘cor blimey!’ ragbag of troubadours are also part of the plan.
Wine List Of The Year Finalist
Yes, 17 wines is on the titchy side for a wine list. But for a ‘classic London boozer’ it’s really impressive – particularly when accompanied by the kind of mark-ups that see half of the wines appearing at under £20 and a cru classé Margaux under £40. Its mission of making decent wine affordable is laudable, and likely to succeed.