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bars � drink
been incredible, but it's also amazing to see the not-so-positive
reactions too, as they allow us to engage, discuss and learn.' In
refusing to accept long-held conventions, he has pushed the
drinks industry further in its experimentation, just as his former
employer, 69 Colebrooke Row's Tony Conigliaro, did before him.
Last year saw Chetiyawardana and business manager Iain
Gri¢ths open Dandelyan, a stylish bar in the Mondrian London
hotel that explores botany through drinks - and there's more on
the cards: 'Our goal was to get people drinking better, and the
bars, book and a few other (top secret) projects are all part of
this - I'm still excited by working with all areas of food and drink.'
THE WINE GUYS
Before Sager + Wilde, there was Vinoteca. Charlie Young and
Brett Woonton opened their �rst branch in Farringdon in 2005,
and since then the duo and Woonton's
wife, Elena Ares, haven't looked back: the
company currently has �ve branches in the
portfolio, all across London.
Taking their inspiration from 'vinotecas
in Spain and enotecas in Italy' the aim
of the company, says Woonton, was to
provide 'great, aordable wine in an
un-stuy, accessible environment. Oh,
and with bloody good food too.' They've
certainly managed to achieve that,
providing all the above with panache,
along with incredibly friendly, passionate sta who are keen
to pass their knowledge on to all and sundry.
With 25 regularly changing wines oered by the glass, there's
plenty for customers to try. What's more, Young and Woonton
have brought innovation to the industry through their range of
bag-in-box wines - quality wines that are imported in 10-litre
boxes directly from the producer and decanted into bottles for
service each day. This helps to bring the price of the wine down,
but has also saved over �ve tonnes of glass since 2010.
'There are so many young people around London now who
are just nailing it when it comes to wine,' says Young. 'It's a
pleasure to be part of the drinking scene here. There's nowhere
more dynamic in the world at present.'
CRAFT BEER HERO
Since opening the �rst Draft House on Northcote Road back
in 2009, Charlie McVeigh's impact on pubs and the craft beer
scene has been felt across the capital. The Draft House group is
expanding exponentially, and what de�nes the company is how
seriously it takes beer's provenance, cellaring and service.
McVeigh believes the craft beer movement is still in its early
stages in the UK: 'Driving through the
western United States last year, I was
astounded by an apparently universal
expectation that beer should be local
and of the highest quality,' he recounts.
'I am sure that will be the case here in
�ve to 10 years. And it's good to have
been at the inception of one of the
most positive cultural developments
in the UK for years.'
When it comes to tips for future sips,
McVeigh isn't bitter; he's positively sour.
'As a beer geek, I am excited by the increasing popularity of sour
beers. They are light, refreshing, low in alcohol and amazing with
food.' As well as championing beer, McVeigh opened Bump Caves
beneath Tower Bridge Draft House. The bar features its own
distilling facilities and we can expect to see the launch of Victory
Gin, made by its master distiller Max Chater, later this year.
'There are so many young
people around London
now who are just nailing
it when it comes to wine'