You can find East London’s only urban winery by turning into a narrow alley with used furniture piled high on either side (making it feel all the more narrow). Continue beyond the armchairs and dressers and you’ll find yourself at the coolest little enclave: Renegade London Wine. After the tunes spilling out of the speakers and warm candlelight beckons you in, their top-notch wines will keep you around (their English sparkling wine is some of the best bubbles I’ve ever had). Here, founder Warwick Smith—who left a career in finance to open Renegade—shares some of his favorite spots around London:
where to stay
KQ: Where would you put up friends visiting from out of town?
WS: London hotels are nice but expensive, so I'd probably tell them to book an Airbnb somewhere interesting.
KQ: Where would you send folks for a celebratory dinner out?
WS: I'm a bit over super-fine dining, so I'd send them for really good, wholesome, solid cooking. I was impressed with Brat recently. I also love som saa and Smokestak. These are all Central-East. If you wanted more West End, then Sketch is pretty spectacular.
KQ: Where do you go for a proper cup of coffee or tea?
WS: I don't think any Brit would go out for tea. (Do they?) Homemade Builder's tea is best. For coffee, I like Rapha Cycle Club in Soho and I like Allpress on Redchurch Street. If I'm near the winery, I'd go to Second Shot.
KQ: What’s the spot in town with the best late-night eats? What’s the thing to order?
WS: Lahore Kebab House is a great spot and it's B.Y.O.B., so buy some Renegade wine and take it along. The curries are great and the lamb chops are ace, too.
KQ: What’s the dish everyone should try once when visiting London?
WS: Hard to narrow down one dish. I'd say the turbot at Brat is pretty special. Or the dim sum at A. Wong.