New on Wine List Confidential: Simpsons in the Strand
Sommelier, Ben Humberston has made English wine his priority since the legendary institution at 100 The Strand reopened last summer. ‘In total, we feature four English sparkling wines by the glass and 10 by the bottle, from Dorset, Sussex and Kent. These work perfectly as an aperitif, and match beautifully with a number of the lighter starters including the Dorset crab salad or London smoked salmon.’
Sommelier, Ben Humberston has made English wine his priority since the legendary institution at 100 The Strand reopened following a sensitive refurbishment last summer. ‘A partnership with Ridgeview on the South Downs has become an integral part of the offering by the glass,’ he told WLC. ‘In total, we feature four English sparkling wines by the glass (Ridgeview ‘Simpson’s’ Cavendish, Furleigh Rosé, Bluebell Vineyard ‘Hindleap’ Rosé and Ridgeview ‘Fitzrovia’ Brut Rosé) and 10 by the bottle, from Dorset, Sussex and Kent. These work perfectly as an aperitif, and match beautifully with a number of the lighter starters including the Dorset crab salad or London smoked salmon.’
Humberston also enjoys still English wines, two of which are offered by the glass (Pinot Gris from Stopham and Pinot Noir from Hush Heath – try it with the Buccleuch Estate beef tartare with smoked egg yolk and Gentleman’s Relish). ‘These provide a great opportunity for our international guests to try something they may not be able to outside of the UK.’
Humberston’s list also comprises a window into what he terms the classic regions, ‘including Burgundy, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Piedmont and the Rhône, with a select number of New World options including Napa, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.’
The most popular dish at Simpson’s remains, of course, the table-side carving of roast beef and lamb conducted with decorum from trolleys dating to 1848 – and carving masterclasses are also available to buy. ‘For this, the list features a number of deeply concentrated full-bodied reds from a number of the aforementioned regions. One of my current favourite pairings has to be the roast beef with Langoa Barton ’05.’
Finish the experience that is dining in this deeply upholstered, kindly spruced venue with baked Alaska with sea buckthorn sorbet, hazelnut ice cream and caramelised white chocolate, or perhaps one of the striking cocktails, such as the The Chip Shop, comprising ‘pea infused Simpson’s Old Tom gin, Manzanilla, lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda water.’
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