Bites Caroline Stacey raises a glass to great restaurants with exceptional wine lists
Saturday 08 May 1999
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
Life & Style blogs
Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
Inside A&E: The highs, the lows, and the grief is something that echoes across all hospitals around the world
Rita Ora reveals all – from her 24 tattoos to what she likes to wear when no-one's looking
American Apparel’s model agency leaked casting call saying it wants ‘real models’ not ‘Instagram hoes’
Just three alcoholic drinks a day increase chances of liver cancer
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First
- 1 Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 Germanwings crash: Descent may have been 'deliberate, suicidal choice' by pilot, claims experts
- 4 Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
- 5 Video shows what happens when lava is poured onto ice
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...