Adults only, this is a grown up’s Narnia, except instead of magical creatures and Turkish delights, you’ll find delicious wines and scrumptious cheeses.

A home away from home, hidden beneath the newly launched Stoke Newington Tea House, the speakeasy style basement bar will open during Valentine’s weekend. Pop in for a sneaky glass after work with colleagues (or even during your break…ssshh, we won’t tell!), bring your mates along or simply sit yourself down with your laptop and escape the hustle and bustle of the Big Smoke. 

Quirky extras include the rustic caged shelf (nick-named the Vault), where the extra mouth-watering wines are kept. There’s even a twist: guests can buy a bottle of their own to be marked with a special tag and added to the vault, until they decide it’s time to pop the cork – in however many years time that may be!

“Wine can be an intimidating drink to order,” says Tim Foster, co-owner of the basement. “That’s why we want to give Stokey a space where anyone will feel comfortable walking in, getting away from the noise and relaxing with a tasty glass – wine connoisseurs and novices alike. Our team is fully trained and happy to help.” 

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Credit: The Bouverie Road Wine & Cheese Bar

Of course no drinks menu is complete without some crisp bubbly to tickle the taste buds. Whether you’re celebrating or just feel like treating yourself, enjoy champagne classics like Laurent-Perrier Brut NV, Charles Le Prince Grand Reserve and Laurent-Perrier Cuvvee Rosé, alongside a Spanish Cava (Bohigas Rose) and of course, Italian Prosecco (Brut Spumante).

On the food front, frommage lovers will be in their element with over 60 varieties to bite into – British, French, Greek and Italian. Dig into the classics including box baked Camembert, soft Brie, Mature Cheddar and Red Leicester or try something more refined -­­ Gruyère, Roquefort, Grade A Stilton, Shropshire Blue Cheese and a Goat’s Cheese log. For a kick of smokiness, there’s also the Applewood and Goodweald Smoked, alongside a Scrumpy Sussex.

The range will be on rotation, with new favourites brought in every month and customers are welcome to make special requests from the books – which contain over 1,000 (!) different flavours flavours of all things cheesy. Meat lovers are also well catered for with a plethora of smoked, dried and sliced salami, chorizo, pepperoni and prosciutto.

Open Mon-Sun from 5pm to late
102 Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington, N16 0LA ((0208 712 1188;