Vintage stuff

Bites Caroline Stacey raises a glass to great restaurants with exceptional wine lists

1837, Brown's Hotel, Albemarle Street, London W1 (0171-408 1837). Mon-Fri lunch and dinner, Sat dinner. Winner of a Carlton London Restaurant Award, the wine list at the oak-panelled restaurant of Brown's Hotel is evidence of the jaw-dropping investment in its relaunch. Sommelier John Gilchrist was responsible for buying most of the 1,000 wines and makes sure they don't sit around in the cellar, with 200 by the glass, and exhortations to try a different glass with each course. The emphasis is on France, but there's still scope for more New World than most. Prices from pounds 18 to pounds 8,000, but there are 200 for less than pounds 25. Expensive French food, formal service: pounds 22 for three-course lunch, pounds 45 for lunch or dinner.

The Crown, 90 High Street, Southwold, Suffolk (01502 722275). Daily lunch and dinner. Jewel in the crown of Suffolk brewer and wine merchant Adnams, this former coaching inn has a list of nearly 300 wines, 20-odd by the glass. Lots of Italians, New World, French country, Loire, California and Bordeaux - assembled with the buying power and knowledge of Adnams' team. Prices from pounds 7.95; a current favourite is 1989 Ridge Monte Bello at pounds 57.50. Lunch in the restaurant is pounds 14.50 to pounds 17.50, dinner pounds 19.50 to pounds 24.50. Bar food costs less.

Hotel du Vin, 14 Southgate Street, Winchester, Hants (01962 841414). Daily lunch and dinner. As the name implies, the theme of this attractive Georgian town house hotel is wine, with a relaxed atmosphere and European food for pounds 20-pounds 25 without wine. Sommelier Vincent Gasnier's impressively wide-ranging list is 300-strong and constantly evolving, as the turnover is high, and more unusual discoveries, grape varieties and producers are added: Pinot Blanc from Canada, New Zealand Gewurztraminer, for example, and all the French classics. Mark-ups are modest, with masses of choice in the pounds 15 to pounds 25 bracket, though there are pricier rarities in the prestige cellar.

Mirabelle, 56 Curzon Street, London W1 (0171-499 4636). Daily lunch and dinner. Sparkling with 1930s glamour, Mirabelle's appeal extends to a remarkable collection of wines - a few months ago Johnny Depp famously spent pounds 11,000 on a bottle of 1978 Romanee Conti. There are some bottles under pounds 20, nothing for less than pounds 15. The list is strong on French classics, but the real talking point is the dessert list where there are 50, count 'em, vintages of Chateau d'Yquem, dating back to the 1847 for pounds 30,000. Wide-ranging menu of classic French food cooked with modern clarity. Lunch and dinner pounds 30 without drink.

Ransome's Dock, 35-37 Parkgate Street, London SW11 (0171-223 1611). Mon-Fri lunch and dinner 11am-11pm, Sat lunch and dinner 11.30am-12midnight, Sun lunch. Chef/owner Martin Lam's Battersea all-rounder is much loved by the wine trade, a testament to his terrific, lucidly arranged list. After a front selection of bottles for less than pounds 18, the remainder is arranged by style and grape varieties: aromatic and dry whites, Riesling, bigger reds, and Pinot Noir among them. Old favourites and new discoveries are all decently priced. Two-course weekday lunch is pounds 11.50, average pounds 35 to pounds 40 for wine and cooking of restraint and intelligence.

White Horse Inn, Chilgrove, West Sussex (01243 535219). Tue-Sat lunch and dinner, Sun lunch. New owners Charles and Nicola Burton recently inherited the cellar of this South Downs pub with its score of Mouton-Rothschild vintages and almost as much Chateaux Petrus. As well as France, Germany is well represented, and there are plenty of half-bottles and wines by the glass. Look out for dining events where wines are matched to the mainly French cooking. Lunch or dinner in the restaurant is pounds 20 for two courses, pounds 24.50 for three

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

    £90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

    Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

    £96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

    Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

    £32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee