Wine Wednesdays at The Sky Room, Bermondsey
Wine Wednesdays is found at The Sky Room, a rooftop pavilion at the summit of a handsome London Bridge block. It draws quite a mixed crowd: beautiful twentysomethings (Social Concierge editorial staff aside) enjoying post work drinks, a few besuited slickers, but also jolly middle-aged types, all merrily quaffing. I couldn’t help feeling that my mum might have quite enjoyed it for the faintly educational wine discussion, the 10pm finish, and the easy access to the overground back to suburbia. But after a few glasses, the eclecticism of the congregation added to the overall sense of experiment and fun.
For your pre-paid £25 you get a wine cocktail followed by three different wines, each paired with small plates. There is a theme to the evening, and the proprietors cum sommeliers explain the concept of each pair to you as it is served. You can also order additional wine / plates off the menu. A rather agreeable off-dry New Zealand pinot gris was followed by a summery Italian rosé blend. The highlight was the third bottle, a robust Austrian red. The knowledgeable hostess gave an explanation of the choice of each and how it fitted into the “escape” conceit. The wines were clearly selected with a great deal of care and tasted like something you might pay a lot more money for. Despite your best Wednesday night intentions, the first 3 glasses will leave you thirsting to try at least one more. The food elements (cornbread with avocado butter, ricotta pastry confection, BBQ ribs with slaw) felt like a bit of an afterthought but go for the drinks, and then stay for more drinks.
All other things being equal, 4+ large glasses of wine isn’t going to dampen the chance of Wednesday night impulsiveness. The format is quite raucous and interactive so there won’t be any difficult silences to fill, but the slightly relentless wine-related exposition from the hostess might get in the way if you’re planning to bring your conversational A-Game. Take a date you’ve been out with a few times if you’re looking for an alternative to a formal dinner date. Wander round the corner to Bermondsey Street afterwards for a late cocktail if you want to try and ramp up the romance.
If the point of a pop up is to create a cheapish-but-different experience then Wine Wednesdays is a largely successful enterprise. Keep it up your sleeve for a quiet midweek.