Test Driving WC Bloomsbury - a subterranean wine bar that's big on charm

wc bloomsbury wine bar reviewThe entrance to WC Bloomsbury, down into the old Victorian water closet.

So what do we need to know about WC.

Well, the clue's in the name. They started out with a wine bar in Clapham which, as the name suggests, is situated in a former public convenience. Of course that WC could also stand for wine and charcuterie which is what they specialise in.

So they've opened a second place?

They have, and this one's in Bloomsbury. The team have lovingly restored a Grade II listed Victorian Water Closet at the bottom (sorry) of Lamb's Conduit Street. They've done quite a number on the ornate loos - the urinals have been transformed into bar stools, the old cubicles handily become very covid-safe booths and the whole place is festooned with candles. It's all very Dickensian and quite lovely.

They opened oh-so-briefly before the last lockdown, but are really only now able to welcome guests inside properly.

wc bloomsbury wine bar reviewThe booths inside are particularly good for social distancing

What's on the menu? Wine and charcuterie presumably?

Yes, but it's more than just that. There are cocktails, sharing boards of cheese and charcuterie and a neat selection of small plates too. Here's what's on the menu:

wc bloomsbury wine bar reviewBeef croquettes with plum sauce and chilli (£8.50) - perfect drinking food.

wc bloomsbury wine bar reviewRabbit Sliders, Fennel Slaw, Watercress, Brioche (£9.50) - a neat Bugs Bunny style dish.

wc bloomsbury wine bar reviewThe charcuterie board is good value at £19 - it comes with crudites, bread and crackers and includes smoked mutton, Houghton loin beauty, Dorset rosette salami, rabbit rillette and a slice of pork & pistachio terrine.

wc bloomsbury wine bar reviewObviously, the tartiflette is a must (£8.50)

What about the wine?

You can't help but be impressed by the quality of the wine and - not to put too fine a point on it - its affordability. The man behind the list is Master Sommelier Gearoid Devaney who also runs the Black Book wine bar in Soho.

It's not too long a list - and everything is available by the glass (125ml), carafe and bottle making it easier to experiment and maybe try something you might not normally go for. The real surprise of the night was the Rocamadre Chardonnay (£10/glass) - they describe it as textural and unconventional and if you wouldn't normally opt for an Argentine chardonnay you should try this.

And there are cocktails?

There are - it's a short but seasonally adjusted selection ranging in price from £8 - £11. 

wc bloomsbury wine bar reviewFrom the cocktail list - Mexican Butterfly (Tequila, Elderflower cordial and lime) and their Blackberry Negroni.

Summing up: 

This dive bar in the best sense of the word is a super addition to the London drinking scene. Not only is it one of the most atmospheric looking bars we've been into for a while (it's the perfect place for a date) but it's a winning mix of lovely food and interesting wine that makes for a great night out.


More about WC Bloomsbury

Where is it? WC Bloomsbury, Guildford Street, Holborn, WC1N1EH

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @wcbarslondon.

Hot Dinners dined as guests of WC Bloomsbury. Prices correct at time of publication.


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