Dust off dry January in Vagabond
The first of February brings many things. Not least the promise of longer days and the end to a five-week cold and stormy January. If you managed to stick to dry January (well done) we’re sure the pub is beckoning, but don’t answer any old siren call, try Vagabond Wine bar for the ultimate treat.
Tucked away in Spitalfields Market (one of our favourite parts of London), Vagabond is a treasure trove for every wine lover. The first noticeable difference between it and any other bar, is…well, the distinct lack of a bar. Instead, cabinets of wine decorate the walls, leaving patrons to peruse the vast collection at their own leisure.
100 wines on display
Vagabond was created in 2010, after founder Stephen Finch was tired of the London wine scene. The Vagabond team were sick of having to buy cheap and bland wine at supermarkets, or fork out a small fortune for a decent bottle at a specialist shop. So they decided to try something new.
Vagabond offers 100 wines, all on display, which customers can sample, then buy by the glass or by the bottle – all at the push of a button. Every wine has a home country and a description label, meaning you can find the perfect one for you, while tasting quite a few along the way.
The relaxed atmosphere of Vagabond is incredibly welcoming, with staff at the door to give instruction on how everything works. On arrival, you receive a top-up card, which you can load up with as much money as you like. There is a £5 deposit for the card, which is refunded when you leave, along with any outstanding balance that hasn’t been spent.
After you’ve topped up, you’re ready to start tasting. It really is that easy! Every cabinet of wine is grouped by colour first, then by style of drinking. The best thing about the self-service station is the option for a sample. It costs just £1 for a taster, so you don’t have to fully commit to a certain wine if you decide you prefer another (or you’re just indecisive). The friendly staff are always on hand to give recommendations or help whenever needed too.
Cheese and charcuterie
As if Vagabond wasn’t great enough, it also serves delicious cheese and charcuterie boards, along with other plates such as smoked duck breast salad, braised octopus and winter truffle arancini.
If Spitalfields is a bit too far away for you, fear not! Vagabond has sites in Fulham, Victoria, Charlotte Street, Northcote Road and Battersea Power Station.
And every store is also a retailer space, so you can take your favourite wine along to friends’ houses, dinner parties or celebrations safe in the knowledge that the bottle passed your taste test first.
Vagabond has received many well-deserved awards for its original idea, including Best Independent Wine Retailer and Best UK Bar.
They also take bookings for parties small and large, so get booking today. This is definitely our favourite new spot to drink, eat and chat away the evenings.