BYO: The best way to eat out and enjoy great wine in London


Anybody fancy eating out on a Monday or Tuesday and bringing their own bottle of wine? To some this is a very strange proposition, after all this is the beginning of the week and you may still be feeling the effects of Saturday night, but to people in the know, this may just be one of the best nights to go to out for dinner in London.

Here’s why; Restaurants that are open on a Monday or Tuesday are much less likely to be busy, so you’ll probably get better service since staff won’t be so stressed. There are no big party plans for after dinner, so you’re still likely to get an early night and start the next day fresh. Friends and family are less likely to have plans early in the week, so this is a good opportunity to rekindle or catchup with that friend or cousin you keep meaning to meet up with but haven’t had the time to.

Above are 3 good reasons for eating out early in the week and we haven’t even mentioned the best bit, you get to bring the wine! The world of wine in all its glory opens up and this is your chance to either drink that special bottle you’ve been saving or to discover something new at a much more affordable price.

Naturally we’re partial to a bit of BYO as we think there's nothing better than being able to enjoy the food you know and love from your favourite restaurant while being able to take along a special bottle (or two) to remove any other area of uncertainty and guarantee the evening is a complete success.

The downside of course is that you have to carry it to the restaurant and something extra to add to the list of things to remember to take in the morning. You may even work in that kind of place that finds it weird to show up to the office at 8am with a couple of bottles of wine sticking out of your tote bag, we won’t judge.

Therefore wouldn’t it be great if there was a service that could take care of the wine and have it waiting for you at your restaurant table? Just saying… 

Here are three of our favourite byo restaurants;

Foxlow

Hawksmoor’s younger sibling and our top choice for BYO on Tuesdays given it’s got that neighbourhood kind of feel to it, an outrageous selection of meats and yummy starters, try the fried squid and chilli with a bottle of Chardonnay, shared amongst at least two of you of course, then followed by a big guns red wine like a Barolo or Napa cabernet with the steak.  Soho: W1F 9EL (Foxlow, 8-10 Lower James St) Clerkenwell:  EC1M 4AN (Foxlow, 69-73 St John St) Balham: SW12 9EX (Foxlow, 15-19 Bedford Hill). 


Dehesa

Part of the Saltyard group, Dehesa specialises in small tapas style dishes influenced from their travels in Spain and Italy. Each plate is less than a tenner so you’re getting really good value and they push genre expectations with dishes like this; charred mackerel, pickled beetroot & horseradish, pair with a fresh Albarino or Trebbiano white wine. Yum. The wine list is quite punchy price wise, which tells us that they very much want you to be drinking good wine with their food. Here’s your chance. Dehesa offer free corkage on Mondays. 25 Ganton St, Soho, London W1F 9BP.

Lahore 

We’d be silly not to mention a curry house that are always friendly to the idea of BYO and our favourite is king of curry houses, Lahore. The place really doesn’t look like much, but the food more than makes up for it. Their curries are outstanding and we highly rate the Rogan Josh and Karahi lamb however we have to also mention their lamb chops and mixed grill which in terms of bang for your buck is the best out there. If you fancy a white wine, go Riesling, if you fancy a red, go Gamay. Simples. When do they do free corkage? E-V-E-R-Y D-A-Y. 2-10 Umberston St, Whitechapel, London E1 1PY.