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5 William IV Street Covent Garden London WC2N 4DW

The term ‘wine bar’ has suffered from an image problem for too long. To many, it brings to mind the pot-plant-and-warm-Chardonnay hotspots of the 1970s, or, worse, the suits-and-shouting yuppie playgrounds of the 1980s. Nowadays, however, with most of us knowing and expecting a lot more than we ever did from even the most standard bottle of plonk, and feeling fully entitled to enjoy an amazing plate of Mediterranean-inspired food at the drop of a hat, a good wine bar – especially one in prime commuter territory near Charing Cross – is a wonderful thing. And Terroirs is just that. Airy, light and spacious, and spread across two floors, it's a sociable place – you can reserve tables or simply take your luck at the bars. The menus differ slightly on each floor, so it makes sense to check online first to see which you prefer. The wine list is enormous, dominated by ‘natural’ wines, organic and biodynamic varieties, most of them from France and Italy. The food, meanwhile, from tapas to small plates to plats du jour, runs the gamut from French classics (boudin noir, duck confit) via Spanish tapas (tortilla, Cantabrian anchovies) to modern British fusion (snails and pigs’ trotters on toast), and more than holds its own with some of London’s trendier sharing-plate joints. Dishes like smoked duck, goat’s cheese and walnuts, or wild sea bass a la plancha, are bursting with robust flavours, and the charcuterie is truly a cut above. They’re the perfect accompaniment to the largely light and refreshing wines on offer.

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