6 UK recs from wine writer Hannah Crosbie


Sitting al fresco with a glass of wine – you can’t beat it in summer. In fact, we’re willing to plan a whole staycation around that very moment. That’s why we asked wine writer and TV presenter Hannah Crosbie for the best places in the UK to uncork a bottle of something special. Here are the spots she thinks should be on every wine lovers’ radar – and where we’ll be booking our next Airbnb.

Balfour Winery, Tonbridge ​​​​British wineries are opening their doors to the public, and I couldn’t be happier about this. The beautiful Balfour winery is easily accessible from the capital, with a free-to-use shuttle service from the nearest train station. Not only can you see how the wine gets made with a vineyard tour, but you can also enjoy free roaming around the vines, an alfresco glass and (most importantly) a very, very generous charcuterie board.

Spry, Edinburgh A dumbfoundingly beautiful wine bar in my hometown. Plucked straight from Copenhagen, this is all-white minimalism, with knowledgeable staff, a constantly revolving wine list and life-altering (no hyperbole) homemade beef jerky. This is one for the natural wine lovers.

Boys Hall, AshfordLess than an hour from London, Boys Hall is a recently refurbished 17th century house with rooms and a restaurant that was awarded a Michelin star within a year of opening. What really excites me, though, is the huge amount of English wine on offer. Where some other restaurants may throw a cursory few bottles in their own list, Boys Hall has a serious selection of not only sparkling and still wines, but some seriously impressive aged examples as well.

The Bottle of Hastings, HastingsIt’s always a good sign if a bottle shop has a little area where you can pull up a pew and share a glass with whoever’s working. The Bottle of Hastings is one such place. Wines range from the natty to the classic; definitely one of my favourite names of any bottleshop, ever.

Oxney Organic Estate, RyeAnother organic estate well-worth visiting, with an adorable dog that you can often find hanging out by the cellar door. As the name suggests, Oxney are the largest single-estate producer of organic English wine, with delicious sparkling wines – I highly recommend a glass of their classic vintage rosé sparkling.

Plateau, BrightonA no-brainer if you’re in the Brighton area and love French bistro fare, with an obvious seaside twist. It’s all wood floorboards and chalk menus. They’ve got a gorgeous function room upstairs but when it gets hot, the windows are thrown open and the tables spill out onto the street. I also always overestimate the size of the bill, which is always a good thing.