A quirky rococo picture windowed salon and a dark post-punk Dickensian downstairs lounge in the author's 1860s former offices – that’s whimsical new wave wine bar Grays & Feather summed up. A showcase for owner/ importer Andrew Gray's passion, top notch sparkling wines are the compelling tale here. Competitively priced, his 50-strong global selection deliberately excludes Champagne in order to place emphasis on sparkling wines from other regions, but a few more by-the-glass options wouldn’t go amiss.
However, with classy crémants, elegant Italian bubbles and rapidly improving English fizz, alongside Japanese and Brazilian Bruts, Canadian cuvées, super South African Krone Borealis and an ace nutty, peppery, ripe pear and greengage-y Grüner Veltliner (representing Austria) to brighten your day, who needs Champagne? Limited kitchen space dictates a menu of cold assemblies that are not yet as consistent as the wine list: smoked salmon tartare, and smoky, spicy miso-cured aubergine work well enough, and cheese and vegetarian sharing boards are adequate, if over-priced. However, crab meat which is overpowered by nduja and spread thin on a brioche briquette, fails to pop our cork.