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Laura Ward and Kiki Evans (left) bonded
over their love of wine while working at
Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, and in 2012 founded
A Grape Night In: a series of wine pop ups across
south London offering fun, themed tastings.
Following a successful rooftop residency in London
Bridge, the duo then found a permanent home after
raising funding through a Kickstarter campaign.
Unwined is both a bottle shop and a bar/kitchen in
bustling Tooting Market, where neighbours include
Franco Manca and Brickwood, as well as various
stalls. "Because we were a pop up, we wanted to
keep things a bit changeable," explains Ward. You'll
find eight new wines by the glass every month and
different chef residencies every six weeks.
A recent Tiberi pop up saw dishes such as botifarra
sausage dumplings paired with Refosco from FriuliVenezia
Giulia, and a bottomless Sunday lunch of
chicken and prawn bake with a Vinho Verde white.
"We're strong believers that wine and food go
together," says Ward. "So we send wine notes to the
chefs and they create recipes to match."
Unit 16a, Tooting Market, 21-23 Tooting High Street,
SW17 0SN; 020 3286 4631; agrapenightin.co.uk
Words turned to wine for blogger Paola Tich (below right),
who in 2013 opened neighbourhood wine shop Park + Bridge
in Acton. "�e idea was to showcase wines that you couldn't
find on supermarket shelves. We have yet to stock a Pinot
Grigio - apart from a Slovenian skin contact one!" she says.
A bar opposite the shop, Vindinista, followed last year. Food
majors on small plates, such as duck rillettes or the addictive
cheese and truffle toasties, while the wine list is kept concise.
"We like to serve some off-the-beaten-track wines," says
Tich. "We've recently ditched our Prosecco by the glass for a
sparkling Ortrugo and it's gone down a storm."
Pop-up supper clubs such as Vietnamese street-food Nha
Trang Kitchen happen every so often, along with masterclasses
(a recent one paired sherry and sushi). You'll also find visiting
winemakers such as Pieter Walser from South African winery
BLANKBottle dropping in for takeovers. "It introduces many
people to new wines and if they like them, they can buy glasses
to drink in or buy them at shop prices to take out."
74 Churchfield Road, W3 6DH; 07703 502520; vindinista.com
"BECAUSE WE WERE
A POP UP, WE WANTED
TO KEEP THINGS A BIT