12th September, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
London’s Bleeding Heart restaurant is celebrating its 30th birthday by cutting wine and food prices back to 1983 levels.
When the original 40 seat basement wine bar opened 30 years ago this month it was selling its house red and white wine at 95p a glass, a price it is re-instating for the next week.
Back in 1983 it also sold halves of Trimbach Gewürtztraminer 1982 at £4, while most expensive bottle of wine on offer was a Léoville Barton 1977 at £12.95 (today, the most expensive wine on its 400-bin list is a 45 Grahams at £1,500).
But it’s not just the prices that have changed dramatically. Thirty years ago the Bleeding Heart employed one barman, two waitresses and a single chef, but it now employs 90 staff, including a 37-strong kitchen brigade.
Furthermore, it can now seat 400 customers in a restaurant, bistro and terrace, as well as tavern and private dining rooms.
The birthday celebrations begin tomorrow, 13 Friday, when The Bleeder, as it was known in the eighties among its Fleet Street regulars, will again be selling house wine at 95p a glass.
Still owned and operated by founders Robert and Robyn Wilson, the house wine now comes from the Wilson’s vineyard in New Zealand: Trinity Hill in Hawkes Bay.
There will also be a selection of dishes from its original menu, including the most popular starters back in 1983: a Friture of Champignons with Sauce Tartare at £1.95 and the robust Rillettes de Porc, also at £1.95.
The week-long celebrations will feature a Birthday Breakfast in The Tavern from 7am tomorrow washed down with complimentary Bucks Fizzes and croissants from the Bleeding Heart’s own bakery beneath the cobbles of the historic Bleeding Heart Yard
Throughout next week, The Tavern will also be serving a selection of dishes at their 1983 prices, while The Bistro will offer a three-course menu at £9.83 and the flagship restaurant, a five-course menu at £19.83.