Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: Instagram & https://www.shopcuvee.com/
Top Cuvée is an unpretentious and personally run neighbourhood bistro in London that has attained high key cult status.
Top Cuvée opened its north London restaurant Top Cuvée in 2019 and pivoted to retail during the Covid-19 pandemic, selling wine, cocktails and deli goods through the Shop Cuvée website. Run by hospitality veterans Brodie Meah and Max Venning, they went from nought to saught after seemingly overnight.
Pop-up attendees can expect an all-day party featuring small plates, big tunes, special bottles of natty wines and vermouth on the go. It’s not a ticketed pop-up. You can just rock up, grab a glass and see where it takes you.
Tucked away in obscure north London, Top Cuvée established itself as a lo-fi neighbourhood wine bar. It gained a loyal following almost as soon as it opened in 2019. According to the Financial Times, people came for the friendly service, unfussy modern food and an of-the-moment wine list on the more approachable side of natural.
The company exploded onto Instagram with a succession of irreverent, eye-catching wines. The best-seller was the vinho verde ‘Chin Chin’ with its colour-saturated illustration of a pit bull in shorts akin to Paul Mescals. There was also Laurent Saillard’s cheekily titled white-blend Lucky You!; an amphora-aged rosé from Austria’s Claus Preisinger labelled with nothing but a Dymo strip imprinted with the word Dope.
After experiencing high demand for their online business, they opened the first brick-and-mortar Shop Cuvée on Blackstock Road in Highbury. This summer, the duo will launch a second shop in the Bethnal Green neighbourhood of east London. With the help of their fellow bartenders, they amassed an unrivalled selection of bottled cocktails, too – each one more colourful and distinctive than the previous.
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