Lady of the Grapes
16 Maiden Ln, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7NJ
The Lady of the Grapes is my favourite new hangout on Maiden Lane. It is where I go with new dates, old flames or when I just want a really decent glass of wine. Let’s face it, sometimes the latter very easily trumps the former two and nowhere more so than this wine bar that champions female wine makers in an industry that has long had ‘male terroir’ written all over the label.
Wines are assiduously chosen from small organic, natural or biodynamic vineyards and a heartening 70% of these are made by women. I’ll drink to that, and then some. There are 15 wines available by the glass and many, many more to explore on the extensive list. Owner Carol e Byron and her colleagues are on hand to advise, and the more adventurous are well rewarded.
With the wines you should try as much of the charcuterie as you can, including the appropriately named Devil’s Mortar (a fiery n duja-esque riot for the tongue) and the truffled jambon. Then langoustine tails and perhaps a little St. Nectaire.
Words: Catherine Faulkner