What's My Weekend: Ruth Spivey

The Head Sommelier at Craft London shares her weekend haunts

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Friday

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I often work on Friday nights at Craft LONDON, above, (Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10 0SQ, 020 8465 5910), Stevie Parle's (Rotorino, Dock Kitchen) new Tom Dixon-designed cafe-restaurant-cocktail bar in the 5bn Greenwich Peninsular project.  If I get a Friday night off, it’s always fun to head into the West End  for a little food and drink safari.

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My favourites at the moment are the new Barrafina, above  (10 Adelaide St, London WC2N 4HZ 020 7440 1456), where it is  easier to get a seat than in the Frith Street original, for ice cold Albariño and snacks like crab croquetas and scallop ceviche, Mele e Pere  for a plate of pasta (46 Brewer Street, London W1F 9TF 020 7096 2096), Vitello Tonnato and house-made Vermouth,  and then finish up in Smoking Goat (7 Denmark St, Soho, WC2H 8LZ),  below, a new dive bar\ Thai barbecue joint.

They do some of the biggest and best chicken wings in town.  My friend Zeren Wilson wrote their small but perfectly formed wine list, which includes a Thorle Riesling, a juicy Kabinett-style from the Rheinhessen, Germany,  and a north-east Italian called Marzemino Nero. It’s delicious and lively and works well with their flavour-packed food. Stay until you can’t eat or drink anymore, or they kick you out - whichever is first.   

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Saturday

I live in London Fields, so on Saturday mornings I’ll go for a long walk along the canal with my dog, Zalto, stopping at the Towpath Café (36 De Beauvoir Crescent, London N1 5SB,  020 7254 7606) for fried eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches.  If the weather’s nice I’ll go for a swim in the London Fields Lido, London Fields West Side, London, E8 3EU, 020 7254 9038). Having the pool on my doorstep is a luxury, and a great place to wash off the inevitable hangover.  

Working in a restaurant means I rarely get time to cook, so I’m more than happy to pick up some food from Broadway Market (Broadway Market, E8 4PH)  and stay in. I go to Hill & Szrok (60 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ, 0207 254 8805), top,  for meat, Fin & Flounder, above  (71 Broadway Market, London  E8 4PH, 020 7998 4929), for fish,  and Noble Fine Liquor (27 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH 020 7254 9737),  for wine and beer. My friend Charlotte, co-owner of Sager & Wilde (193 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL, 020 8127 7330) and Mission, (250 Paradise Row, London E2 9LE,
020 7613 0478),  lives close by, so I’ll go over and we’ll make toad- in -the -hole and open lots of wine. 

Sunday

Come Sunday it’s hard to get bored of Columbia Rd (London E2 7RG). Buy some flowers from the market, scoff a 1235 Doughnut (124 Columbia Road, London E2 7RG) sold from Brad’s front door, then settle in for a long,lazy lunch at Brawn (49 Columbia Road, London E2 7RG, 020 7729 5692) for country French/Italian cooking. If I fancy a proper pub with great food I go to the newly re-launched Marksman pub, above  (254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ, 020 7739 7393), who’ve got a great little wine list (my favourite red is the Poiema Marzemino Vallagarina Eugenio Rosi 2010,  and for white there’s a full bodied, textured Fiano from Sicily by Don Chisciotte …) from local merchants Passione Vino.  If I have the stamina I’ll go for cheese and more wine (Fabien Jouves’ lively Cahors or South African white blend called Moment of Silence by Blank Bottle) at Verden (181 Clarence Road, London E5 8EE 020 8986 4723) or be sensible and head home for telly and the papers.

Model–turned-wine-buyer Ruth Spivey is the head sommelier at Stevie Parle’s latest opening Craft London, after running the list at Rotorino in 2014. In 2013 she founded Wine Car Boot, which takes place twice a year in London, and this year also in Cape Town.  In 2013 she set up Street Vin  - a street food wine bar at Street Feast - recently re-opened for the summer on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm (Hartwell Street, Dalston, E8 3DU). Follow on twitter @legslonglength @streetvinwine @WineCarBoot. 

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