Hackney, the hipster’s playground, is bursting at the seams with inventive bars in post-industrial spaces, elegantly presented grocery stores and kooky cafes and this wine-shop-cum-eatery rides those trends with some original East-side chutzpah. This Hackney Downs address combines the headquarters of imaginative oenophile Borough Wines, one of their shops and an unfussy restaurant operation. Double height ceilings, bare walls, huge windows and a bouncy floor repurposed from an old school gymnasium set the tone for a cool yet comfortable experience. As the name suggests there is a French accent here and a Sunday brunch of ham and eggs is Gallic-style with lashings of cream. Weekday suppers are earthy, tasty brasserie fare. Food is good but the focus is most definitely on the wine: 30 plus varieties available by the glass or – with a corkage charge of £8 – any bottle you fancy off the well-stocked shelves.
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