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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Margaux, Earl's Court


English may no longer be the lingua franca in SW5. Other tongues nowadays increasingly dominate in Earl’s Court - which this address technically is, regardless of the Jo Hansford blonde estate agents' assurances that 'this is, like, super-prime South Ken, yah?' Thankfully, most resident Sloanes' French vocab runs to ‘encore du champagne, Chablis et Margaux old chap’ - all of which are available at this recently-opened dishy wee wine bar. Like the bulk of its clientele, the bar's well put-together wine list is a bon chic bon genre mix of French and Italians, with a smattering of New World and Eastern European interest. A 200-strong selection has Picpoul de Pinet, vieilles vignes Carignan, St. Chinian and Puglian Neprica all at either side of £30. Top drawer grapeage for hedge fund Henris, flush from a good week at le bureau include a 1999 Margaux at £750. A more accessible swallow from the same appellation appears at £8.50 among a range by the glass or carafe. For brunch, choose from a selection of eggy ideas - Benedict, Florentine, halloumi and heirloom tomato omelette (£11) - savoury tartines, and salad of salmon ni├žoise. Dishes for lunch or dinner might typically include foie gras and pear in a vanilla and port reduction en brioche (we'll brook no anti-Fortnum's bleatings here, you skanky sans culottes); porcini risotto (£13/ £18); sea bass ceviche; seared scallops with butternut squash and caramelised onion or boeuf bourgignon on creamy polenta. Over puds and Sauternes, play spot the Windsor: Harry, Wills and various court jesters cruise a strip that was also once home to Diana Spencer who resided at Coleherne Court. I blame the Versace-loving princess for the 'hood's slide from sedate Sloanedom towards something akin to Geneva-sur-Tamise. 
152 Old Brompton Road SW5 0BE 7373 5753 www.barmargaux.co.uk