Sager + Wilde, Shoreditch
Shoreditch is known, amongst other things, for grungy clubs, pop up restaurants and edgy basement cocktail bars. But it now also, I recently discovered, has a very sophisticated wine bar. Which adds a bit of classiness to an otherwise barren stretch of Hackney Road. You can see it’s warm lights from a mile off.
Sager + Wilde is one of the first places in Shoreditch I didn’t feel horribly out of place in my black smartish work attire. It’s small and intimate. The lighting is romantic. The bar is cool in a non-pretentious way. And there is seating outside. And the great thing? They take bookings.
Sager + Wilde is first and foremost all about the wine of course. They have a succinct but – from my amateur knowledge – wonderful list of wine. And not just your classic Italian/French combination, also more unusual wines from Germany, Oregon and Galicia. I was delighted to find a London Cru ‘SW6’ wine on the list – and am pleased London’s first Urban Winery and recent start up are doing so well (I later also found them on the wine list at the Palomar). My favourite wine at the moment are the Barolo wines from the Piedmont area in Northern Italy, and thus was happy to see a glass of ‘Elio Sandri’ was an option. So we tried both the London Cru ‘SW6’ Cabernet Sauvignon and the Piedmont wine and were very happy.
We were a bit peckish and I had heard that the ‘small plates’ here are excellent. And original too – not just your standard ‘bowl of olives’ options. We tried the carrot, Persian feta and truffle oil plate, with fresh bread. Sour dough bread is also an option if you fancy something denser. They also have your more obvious charcuterie options, but I was still more temped by other small plates like smoked mozzarella and squash, or spiced Romanesko, okra and plum.
To top it off we were offered a bottle of either still or sparkling water upon arrival. Both on the house. A nice touch in a city where it seems nothing is free.
The staff were lovely, we were never rushed and though it was a lively place, it was quiet enough to have a proper conversation. When I’m next in the area I’ll definitely be popping back in for a warming glass of red, and I suggest you do the same.
193 Hackney Rd, London E2 8JL
020 8127 7330
Photos my own and Sager + Wilde’s