Formerly an old, derelict boozer in Clapton, smart wine bar Verden has led to a characterful building being given a cutting-edge lease of life, full of stark monochrome design and interesting carved wooden light fittings.
A medium-sized, well-priced wine list spanning the globe features, with roughly 30 of the entries available by the glass. Those feeling peckish won’t be disappointed food runs throughout the day, from an excellent, unusual brunch menu (iberico hash, fried egg and jalapeño salsa anyone?) through to a dinner menu consisting of one meat, one fish and one vegetarian dish. Or you can choose to create your own charcuterie or cheese board from the extensive selection in the basement.
Attracting the young creatives and foodies of the area, Verden is an excellent example of the new breed of wine bar starting to grace the UK drinking scene. And if you sample something you can’t get enough of, buy a few bottles to bring home (yes you can).
Best Bars tip: A regularly changing smaller, separate wine list often has a special focus on a particular wine region or grape variety – try some of these to learn more about wine.
— Laura Foster