Top 5 East London Bars by Seetal Savla

In my fourth and final post on some of London’s best bars for first dates, I’m branching out by adding a few worthy wine bars into the mix. Choosing a wine can sometimes be an overwhelming process, fraught with decisions – red, white, rosé or sparkling; new world vs old world; glass, carafe or bottle; budget – but a good sommelier will demystify this complex world and point you in the right direction. That said, wine, much like food, is down to personal taste, so if you want to drink a full-bodied red with a delicate skate dish, that’s your prerogative.

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Sager + Wilde
http://www.sagerandwilde.com/
193 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL
Closest station: Hoxton
Wines range from £6.50 to £23 a glass

It may seem like it’s in the middle of nowhere (unless you live in the area), but trust me, you won’t regret the trek. The interior is the epitome of East London chic, i.e. exposed brickwork, dark wooden stools and minimalist design. Grab a stool at the bar made from reclaimed cast iron cellar doors to admire the wines on offer, or if you prefer to brazenly admire your partner, make a beeline for the high tables at the back. Reds and whites from France, Germany and Italy are well represented, and there are some “Pink + Orange” options, too. If you’re feeling peckish, their spring onion and cheese toastie is the perfect accompaniment.

the laughing heart

The Laughing Heart
http://thelaughingheartlondon.com/
277 Hackney Rd, London, E2 8NA, Hackney E2 8NA
Closest station: Hoxton
Wines range from £6 to £12 a glass

It only opened a couple of months ago, but The Laughing Heart has already garnered heaps of praise from many well-respected critics. Unlike its neighbour, you can pop in for a drink, stay for dinner or buy organic and biodynamic wine from the basement shop, or do all three. If your date’s going swimmingly and you’re not ready to call it a night, you’re in luck as this place is open until 2am. The kitchen is a night owl as well, staying open until the impressive time of 1am. Having previously worked at Chiltern Firehouse and Per Se, the head chef’s Cornish Mackerel, Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle and Fig and Fennel Tart are not to be missed.

Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar

Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar
http://thehawksmoor.com/locations/spitalfields/
157 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, London E1 6BJ
Closest station: Shoreditch High Street
Average price per cocktail: £10

Let’s not beat around the bush: Hawksmoor is known for being one of the best steakhouses in London. But did you know that the Spitalfields branch also boasts a brilliant bar where you can indulge in some cracking cocktails, fantastic food and mischievous music? Expect low ceilings, lighting and leather banquettes wrapped around copper-rimmed tables in intimate alcoves. Sip on Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew, Gunpowder Fizz or Nuclear Banana Daiquiries while tucking into burgers, triple-cooked chips and chilli cheese dogs (steaks are only served in the main restaurant).

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Satan’s Whiskers
https://www.facebook.com/satanswhiskers/
343 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9RA
Closest station: Bethnal Green
Average price per cocktail: £7-9

You might be tempted to turn back when you’re in front of this bar, but as the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. Once you’re inside, the modern setting, vintage French posters and tasteful taxidermy on display will wipe the dive bar image from your mind. The cocktails aim to please, changing on a daily basis to keep customers coming back for more. Enjoy the likes of the Bumblebee, Satan’s Manhattan and Salted Dog while listening to classic hip hop and being entertained by the cool bar staff. Nibbles are available as well and range from Scotch eggs to halloumi burgers.

boundary-rooftop-terrace-dining-M-12

Boundary
http://boundary.london/
2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DD
Closest station: Shoreditch High Street
Average price per cocktail: £10

If you prefer to have drinks with a view, Boundary’s rooftop is the place for you. Its heated orangery is filled with lemon, Clementine and Mimosa trees, so you can alternate between the concrete jungle vistas and garden vibes. A wide selection of signature and classic cocktails such as Earth and Smoke and Singapore Gin Sling make up the bulk of the drinks list, with a cameo appearance from various G&Ts. Food is served to share or hot off the Robata grill, which means seafood platters, charcuterie boards, meat skewers and vegetable tagine. Dessert is a must for French food fans: petit pot au chocolat, crème brûlée and fruit tarts.

Check out more of Seetal’s reviews


Bio: Seetal Savla is the founder of www.savlafaire.com, a new food and lifestyle blog focusing on London restaurant reviews, foodie events and product/book launches. Living in the city for almost 10 years now and working as a Lifestyle Account Manager for a global concierge company has provided her with plenty of experiences to share on the blog. Prior to becoming a Londoner, Seetal lived in Paris and Montreal for several years and therefore speaks fluent French. Being surrounded by good food, wine and culture in both of these cities inspired her to get involved in London’s thriving restaurant and bar scene.

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