39-45 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF
So, first up...starting as I mean to go on and pushing all my North London bias (as a born and bred North Londoner) out the window, I will begin with a bar that's south of the river.
The Hide Bar. Discovered, as with many things, through Time Out London, but what really caught our eye were the Tuesday Tastings. Every few weeks, on a Tuesday night, for the bargainous price of £10, Hide Bar run a themed tasting session. Seasonal cocktails, wines from a particular region, a single type of spirit, and with a little food to match. When we visited it was for the tasting of the new autumn wine menu. I'd not been to a wine tasting before, but it was all very down to earth, and surprisingly interesting to be talked through soil type and growing conditions and how these affect flavour. There were two white wines and three red, with fish based canapes to go with the white and meat based for the red (and I was impressed that they arranged a cheese board for vegetarian me), and all in all it seemed like hugely good value for a whole evening's entertainment.
Of course, once the wine tasting was over it seemed a shame not to sample a cocktail from the menu, which was less along the austerity autumn theme that I'm trying to stick to, but the cocktail tasted of liquid gold, and was so very delicious, that it felt justified.
Bring on the December Champagne tasting....