The Ebury Wine Bar – a blast from the past

Square MealIt was wet, cold and dark and we’d decamped from the noisy Thomas Cubitt on Elisabeth Street to find some food.  Briefly stopping in the rain to chat to the athlete Jonathan Edwards, we hurried into The Ebury Restaurant and Wine Bar. This is the original, and best, of wine bars and my group of cronies used to hang out here all the time after work. We even spent a memorable New Years Eve here many years ago. A quick look around showed that not a lot had changed, except that the walls had been given a lick of paint with some murals and decoration added. We were quickly shown a cosy table and our charming French waiter brought us wine and menus fairly promptly. The wine list is comprehensive and good value; we chose an Argentinian Malbec for £27 which tasted fruity and oaky. Looking at the wine list I noticed that it was 14% which could account for being less than sprightly the next morning. You can order most wines by two different glass sizes or by the bottle which gives you lots of opportunities to try what they have to offer. The atmosphere was quite buzzy, although thankfully not as noisy as the place we had just left. You can also opt to sit in the bar area or get a table in the quieter back part for food if that is your main focus. The food was perfectly good and a variety of choice to suit all tastes. We had hummus with roast garlic and pitta bread, grilled tiger prawns with tabouleh, lime and coriander vinaigrette a perfect dish of Moroccan lamb cutlets with roasted veg and harissa salsa and another main of  sea bass fillet with warm niçoise salad and sun dried tomato dressing. I looked over my shoulder to see Boris Johnson smirking at me, and it was a relief when I realised that it was just his head painted on the wall next to me. “Perhaps you should add Hugh Grant,” we told the waiter, before explaining that before Hugh Grant became famous and was plain old Hughie, my van driver, we came here all the time with him to celebrate his getting parts in forthcoming films. The problem was that in those days he couldn’t take up the film offers as he didn’t have an equity card. It was a sad day for our little food business when he decided to concentrate on writing and appearing in revues in pub theatres in order to obtain the old equity card. With our coffees the lovely waiter brought us the most divine chocolate truffles. They were so good that I really wished that they sold them by the bag to take away.  If you are in the area, the Ebury is still a winner.

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