L’Atelier Du Vin – Wine & Cocktail Bar
Brighton’s new speakeasy watering hole, L’Atelier Du Vin, harks back to an era of bootleg booze and blind tigers
Take a walk through the North Laine towards Infinity Foods, and just between Grow 40 and the Boho Bazar you’ll come across L’Atelier Du Vin – a small and kooky speakeasy-themed bar.
In all honesty, I hardly want to share it with you because it’s so lovely and small that once everyone knows about it, it’s going to be tricky for me to get in. But what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t let you in on all the best spots?
Founders, Steve and Dimitri, came from Hotel Du Vin where they were protégés of Gerard Basset (OBE, MS, MBA, OIV, MSc). After many years mastering their craft they decided to follow their dream and create “their” perfect wine bar.
L’Atelier Du Vin, pronounced “la-at-el-ier-du-van”, means workshop or artist studio in French, and when you see it you’ll understand why…
The small, dimly lit bar is styled with a mishmash of bric-á-brac, well-used armchairs and newspaper cuttings from the prohibition era. At the very back of the room there’s a long bar, fashioned from a vintage chest of drawers and covered with two-penny pieces.
It’s meant to feel like walking into someone’s home (a hoarders one I would imagine) and it could be, if it weren’t for the fact that somehow there’s 500 wines and 300 spirits knocking around in the room! With a 28-page wine list and vintage spirits dating back to the ’50s this place is really something to marvel at.
Cocktails are a 1920s –1930s theme, with seriously strong ‘bath-tub-gin-level’ spirits, but without the paint stripper taste. You’ll pay £9 for any standard cocktail and £10.50 for a Champagne number. Alternatively if you ask nicely something off menu can be whipped up to suit your taste.
Drinks are the focus here, but a small food menu is on hand if you need something to soak up the booze. There is charcuterie, or cheese boards and Wagyu steak. (I think it’s safe to say they’re not trying to appeal to vegans).
Of the cheeses and meats I tried it was all rather good. There may not be a La Cave á Fromage level of choice, but everything I had tasted delicious, paired well with the wines, and was affordable – just £15 for a selection of six charcuteries, or cheeses.
If you love your cheese just as much as your charcuterie, for £20.50 there’s a mixed meat and cheese board and this is easily shared between two.
The black cheddar, crottin cheese and bayonne ham would be where I’d start, followed by the coppa and smoked duck.
Thinking of popping along? Just remember to call first and ask for a table, as there are no walk-ins allowed…
Latelier Du Vin
40B Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL
*Disclaimer: I was invited to the launch party but I always write what I think, honestly, regardless.
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