Once upon a time an Italian sommelier, a Brazilian chef and an American (with Portuguese origins) working in PR, met in an old and sometimes creepy (fun-)house in Maida Vale, London.
Since then, they have shared their common passion for good food and good wine as well as a lot of good and bad moments of their lives in the last 4 years or so. They eventually divided, moving out the house one by one to other parts of London for different reasons. They still meet whenever they can somewhere in the middle.
I am of course one of those girls and yesterday was one of those days when we managed to meet, but I won't bother you with all the superficial gossips and the deeper conversations about life, work and relationships of the day as this is not a Sex and the City episode.
Bedford & Strand. I guess that it used to be a pub and it has now been converted in this lovely wine bar with marble tables and old wooden chairs in Parisian Bistro style and a very traditional English bar, with dark wood cupboards behind the counter.
It has a charming atmosphere that makes you feel a bit lost in time and space somewhere between France and England.
Incredibly, even being in such a busy part of London and so close to Covent Garden it doesn't feel as a touristic place at all. But consider that, even if we knew where we were going, we passed it by without seeing the entrance!! Plus the room is on the basement floor, so it doesn't catch the attention that much.
It was Saturday evening so normally busy but not overcrowded. The perfect place for a chat in front of a glass of wine.
The wine list starts with selections of 'Reliable', 'Decent', 'Honest' and 'Good' wines followed by some staff picks, all by the glass or caraffe plus a full list of a page each for whites and reds, and extras....(bubbles, fortified and sweet). Not an extensive choice but well constructed with a couple of very good options.
We had a bottle of Vouvray Sec Bourillon d'Orleans.
And we enjoyed it a lot.
With its stone fruit aromas, white flowers and a hint of dried figs.
A vibrant acidity to balance its richness.
It was round, mouth enveloping.Complex and beautiful.
We had some nibbles, some duck pate' (perfect with the Vouvray!), smoked sprats and a rillette.....All very well made, except the aioli for the sprats that was too liquid and lacking of garlic.
....And after 4 hours (and another bottle) we finally left. But to be honest I am sure we'll be back soon!