New east London drinking space will make excellent vintages available to all
Expectations are a funny thing in this game. Mostly my expectations of a new restaurant or bar are very high. In part, a credit to the wonderful PRs that promote the venues, but also a combination of location and the reputation of the owner.
However occasionally they are rather low. Which, was the case with the launch of the 1901 Wine Lounge. This is not in any way a discredit to the Andaz hotel itself, which by reputation is very good indeed. But having previously visited the various bars in Andaz there is no escaping the fact that you are in a hotel. One of my personal bugbears. With the location not being my favourite (too close to my day job) and in addition the fact that I was initially invited to a wine and cheese event, I can honestly say that I arrived at the review prepared to be underwhelmed.
More fool me. The team at Andaz have tucked the Wine Lounge into what used to be dead space (between the bistro bar and the lifts) and turned it into a little gem. The lashings of purple, royal blue, gold tinted lighting and marble arches give the space a very regal feel. The service of the waitress and sommelier was charming, informative and understated, and the clientele, save a couple of lads on the pull (wrong place) were City sophisticates.
The wine and cheese pairings were well thought through and surprising. A 2014 Sylvaner Weignut to start? No I hadn’t heard of it, but this delight from the Alsace paired perfectly with the full bodied hard cheese they had chosen. The Spanish Mencia Cortezada that followed with a blue cheese was just as successful, as was the Vin de Pays Med Pichot Roucas to finish with the brie.
Much to my reviewing surprise, Andaz have created a very nice wine bar from a space that was once the hotel’s pig’s ear. My friend loved the place. As did I. well done Andaz. You actually exceeded my expectations.
On a scale from * to *****
Wining and Dining ****
Serving and Pouring *****
Schmoozing and Boozing ***1/2
Andaz London Liverpool Street
40 Liverpool St
Monday: 8am – 10pm
Tuesday & Wednesday: 8am – 11pm
Thursday & Friday: 8am – 12pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Food will be served until 11pm, Monday-Friday.
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