The Poster Wall

40 Maltby Street – A Humble Wine Operation

We’re sitting under a railway arch in Bermondsey on a chilly Friday evening, sipping our way through a wonderful bottle of red. Trains trundle overhead sporadically & I think to myself…this really is a different sort of wine bar – and I like it.

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40 Maltby Street is home to the warehouse of Gergovie Wines – a company which specialises in a range of natural wines from France, Italy & Slovenia produced by a handful of wine-makers.  What’s unique, is that their chosen wines are all biological i.e. without any chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

You might say this wine bar is a bit of a secret. Tucked away off the beaten track with a website which doesn’t give much away, this is a nice reflection of the overall vibe of the bar – one of understated charm.

Tip: Arrive early if you want a seat/table.  Since they don’t take bookings, the space fills up super quickly.  With this in mind, we arrived eagerly at 5.30pm and secured 2 stools at the long communal table facing the bar (from which we had the best views of the kitchen action).  By the time we left, thirsty wine-lovers were perching anywhere they could grab an inch.

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A food menu is neatly scrawled on a blackboard behind the bar (& this changes throughout the week), with 40 Maltby’s little kitchen producing simple British & French dishes of a country kind of style.  There’s nothing groundbreaking about the food here, but it’s good quality cooking for sure.  You’ll find a combination of snacks, small plates and some larger plates.

Food & drink is ordered directly at the bar – an unusual set up for a London wine bar. We kicked off with a glass of bubbles from Southern France in aid of the weekend’s arrival.

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We moved onto a great Northern Italian red.  N.B. The wine menu is pretty wide ranging & we hadn’t heard of many of the wines on offer, but staff were on hand to help advise.

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Snacks came in the form of these delightful little cheddar puffs.  We just adored them!  Warm, light as air & melt-in-the-mouth. Happy days.

Cheddar Puffs

Cheddar Puffs

Now the following isn’t a dish i’d normally go for, but our waitress sold it as one of the most popular dishes, so I went with it.  The glistening pig’s head broth had such an incredible depth of flavour and i loved it.  The cabbage rolls, on the other hand, were less appealing (texture-wise) for my palate.

Just a couple of downsides to note:

1) It was a tad nippy in there.

2) Service was a little off initially – with no welcome as we entered, and a guy behind the bar who seemed a tad stroppy – however, the waitress who appeared soon after was  perfectly lovely & helpful.

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Dips Bites & Sips: 40 Maltby Street is a charming little unfussy wine bar & bistro.  The wine makes this place special, but not only that, the food is pretty nice too. If you’re looking for something low key, it’s a great spot in town for a leisurely evening.  I loved our Friday evening catch up there – we had delicious wine, good food & got to explore a different part of town. 40 Maltby Street is regarded as one of those secrets that locals like to keep hush hush about – oh well, the cat’s out the bag now. 

http://www.40maltbystreet.com

40 Maltby Street, SE1

Wednesday 5.30pm – 10pm;  Thursday 5.30pm – 10pm;  Friday 12.30pm – 2pm & 5.30pm – 10pm;  Saturday 11am – 10pm;  CLOSED: Sunday, Monday & Tuesday.  

Food is served from 6pm to 9.30pm in the evenings & from 11am to 3.30pm during Saturday lunch-time.

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