Fiz is a 10-week pop-up and London’s first sparkling wine bar, Alexandra Kalinowski reports.
Unpopular opinion but prosecco is not life. Neither is Champagne unless it’s Veuve Clicquot. I guess it’s because I’m not a massive white wine drinker. That is until you plop a bit of Riesling from the Mosel in front of my gob. So you can imagine my scepticism when visiting London’s first sparkling wine bar landed in my diary.
Think typical Soho neon lights, artwork and pizzazz coupled with a completely relaxed vibe. Just give it the perfect name and voila you’ve got Fiz, a 10-week pop-up bar. The incredibly trendy host had me immediately like oh snap I am not cool enough for this! But once we were perched by the window overlooking the after-work crowd (and I mean crowd), we were beyond ready to start enjoying a few drinks.
The idea was born by Barnaby Lewis, Max Bigland and Jordan Nadian, three friends who fell in love with Barcelona’s cava bars. Zero fuss, beautiful tapas, and social buzz prompted the three to take their unique passions to create one of London’s best summer residencies. Barnaby has visited just about every single sparkling wine producer within the UK, while Max’s craft in the kitchen has led him to develop a fun tapas menu that compliments the wines available. Jordan’s knack for sustainability keeps it all down to earth, beginning with the prices… We’re talking £4.50 and £8 glasses of fizz. You don’t get that in any champagne bar.
There are very few full bottles available which makes drinking your way through the 10 different varieties available very easy. Too easy in fact once you’ve tried just one. We started with Hush Heash, the “Queen of English fizz” made right in Kent. Light and refreshing the grapes were gorgeous. We then moved on to Fuchs und Hase Pet Nat from Austria, which, at the risk of sounding insulting, tastes like my childhood combination of apple juice topped up with sparkling water. Über nostalgic. But it was the off the menu sparking Shiraz that had me totally sold on the concept. We enjoyed every sip between bites of smoked trout, roast beetroot on chicory, and grilled cheese that rivals some on London’s best cheese food trucks. And for any fellow Americans missing some good pastrami, get yourself down ASAP.
Excellent drinks and food aside, it actually all comes back to the three guys who put it all together. They’re amazing. Fun, passionate and full of stories, I’m really excited to see what’s next for them once the residency starts winding down. Hint good stuff is on the way. I mean I’m convinced and will definitely be back. That bottomless brunch on the weekends is my next plan of attack.
Fiz is popping up from 20th June to 13th August at The Lights of Soho, 35 Brewer Street, W1F 0RW. You can find out more at www.fizbar.com.