On the grape vine: Bottles wine bar, Shoreditch

Words by
Charlotte McManus
Photography by
Massimo Rumi

8th October 2018

Ideal for a post-work tipple with friends, Bottles is a relaxed East End bar with Italian overtones and an intriguing wine list

Having become a buzzy destination for top food and drink of late (following 2017’s revamp), Old Spitalfields Market has seen a number of new instalments recently, including Bottles, an agreeably unpretentious wine bar focusing on sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines predominantly sourced from Italy.

Founders Franco Mancini and Daniele Marano have designed the diverse wine list – numbering at around 180 labels – to help people discover new varieties and develop personal tastes. Independent producers and small farms feature prominently, alongside ‘forgotten’ grapes. Impressively, each member of staff is a sommelier, meaning there is always someone on hand to provide oeonophilic expertise.

Spread over two floors with space to up to 50 covers, Bottles’ interiors create an industrial-chic look (it is in Shoreditch, after all) with exposed brickwork, distressed leather and brass detailing. Cheese fans will delight in the mozzarella bar upstairs, while the lower floor leads out into the market with an outdoor heated terrace and an additional 25 seats.

The food – made in collaboration with pop-up restaurant concept SOOD Family – is seasonal, Italian inspired and just made to pair with wine. Boards of cured meat and cheese come in different sizes, going up to an entire metre for parties of eight-ten, while old favourites like bruschetta and arancini feature. Larger plates include such dishes as tortelloni clams with broccoli or Iberico pork with germented cherries, coconut cream and fennel herbs.