Will On Wine – A Guide To Supermarket Wines

As we are currently doing all our wine drinking at home, we wanted to find out what we should be looking for when heading to the shops to pick up our social distanced vino. The wine section of supermarkets can be an intimidating place, with so much to choose from, we often find ourselves going for the same tried and tested bottle. However now is the perfect opportunity to get adventurous with the wines we are drinking at home and take the extra time to try something new. So we asked our beverage manager, and resident wine expert, Will, for his buying tips and recommendations that you can buy today from your local supermarket.

Here is what he had to say.

Ever since the Australian Chardonnay revolution in the late 1980’s, supermarkets have been the go-to for affordable, easy drinking and reliable wine, for wine drinkers across the country. This still stands today, with many now offering their own brand wines in a variety of grapes and regions, alongside the well-known bigger brands that have come to slightly homogenise the supermarket shelves.

We’ve all drunk cheap, horrible wine (and woken up the next day regretting it!) but this doesn’t mean we have to break the bank to find a decent bottle. The good news is that the majority of supermarket sold wines are under £10 and, with the huge advances in wine making techniques over the last twenty or so years, the majority of these will be perfectly quaffable (I do exclude the bottom shelf, sub £4 a bottle – sorry!).

My tip would be, if you can afford it, look around the £7-9 bracket as below this, after duty (currently £2.27), VAT, and the supermarket mark up, there isn’t much left for what’s in the bottle!

For me, New World wine (Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and USA) still offer better value for money than the same priced French or Italian equivalent, particularly the well know French areas such as Bordeaux or Burgundy.

I often get asked what I think people should be drinking – my answer always is that we drink wine for pleasure and with friends. Whatever the price point, if it flows down the throat and brings a smile to the face it’s a winner.

Top tip: Lidl and Aldi wines are (mostly) fantastic value. For those with deeper pockets, Waitrose has an extensive range with some excellent Old and New World examples at a competitive price.

Here are some of my favourite supermarket wines for you to pick up and try over the next few weeks:

Lidl Cimarosa Malborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019 – Seeing the price tag of £5.99 I was initially sceptical, however this zippy NZ Sauvignon Blanc really over-delivers with pungent grapefruit and elderflower flavours.

https://www.lidl.co.uk/en/p/white-wine/cimarosa-malborough-sauvignon-blanc/p9959

Aldi Exquisite Claire Valley Riesling 2018 – Incredible value at £6.99, this made it into Decanter’s Most Exciting White Wines of 2019. If you think you don’t like Riesling, try this – it’s bone dry, citrusy and delicious.

https://www.aldi.co.uk/exquisite-clare-valley-riesling/p/059641005866800

 

Trivento Reserve Malbec 2018 from Tesco. Rich plum and dense red fruits belie the £8.00 price tag of this cracker. Whenever I buy this my fiancé hoovers it up – I don’t get a look in.

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/278363743

 

Graham Beck Brut Sparkling NV from Waitrose. At £14.99 this is cheaper than Champagne and better than most! Graham Beck is considered the top sparkling wine maker in South Africa – absolutely incredible value.

https://www.waitrosecellar.com/summer-wine-selection/graham-beck-chardonnay-pinot-brut

 

We hope you enjoy the wines, let us know what you think or if you have any recommendations for us to try on our social channels.

 

We’re Bringing The Brewery to Your Home!

We’re getting some great inspiration from everyone working from home.

Awards dinner in the Porter Tun

We understand it’s far from business as usual, but we’re optimistic, and want to look forward with you, as planning for the autumn season begins and for many it’s time to catch up on your product knowledge. The Brewery has long been known for its sense of welcome. While face-to-face may be off limits for the foreseeable, we don’t feel it would be right for you to go virtually roaming around the venue un-accompanied!

So, from a very safe distance, we will be holding the door open for you and showing you our spaces online using Zoom. You’ll be given a dedicated sales contact who’ll use a combination of our virtual tour, planning/capacity app and photos to walk and talk you through the spaces at The Brewery, and illustrate how they could work for your event. If you want to chat food we’ll bring chef in from his virtual kitchen and if you want to get creative with your AV and set we will stream in the tech department from their home. If you’re keen to see how others have used the spaces, we’ve case studies galore.

King George III reception

 

We’ve set up a dedicated email address so we can bring the magic together and replicate our well known welcome in your own home. Email virtualvisit@thebrewery.co.uk and we will get the ball rolling by assigning a date and time that works for you’re virtual site visit – if it’s home schooling your own product knowledge, looking for a venue to re-engage your team later in the year, or you just want to be nosey – we’re here to show and tell!

This service is also available to anyone who is interested in our sister venue The Grubstreet Author, or if you are looking for a wedding venue we can arrange for your virtual site visit to be with our wedding manager, Milena.

The Brewery Wins Big At The London Tourism Awards

Last week, The Brewery celebrated success as they took home the award for Best Business Venue at the London Tourism Awards, hosted by London & Partners.

 

Business events venue of the year

 

Awarded for their excellent level of staff service and impeccable events spaces, judges said they were particularly impressed by the venue’s quirky additional touches and their new Grubstreet Author spaces, the latest of The Brewery’s venues.

 

Business events venue of the year

 

The team are delighted that their hard work has been recognised, and look forward to welcoming guests to events at the venue in the future.

 

Wedding venue questions

Celebration outside the church

Looking for the perfect wedding venue? Here’s 20 important questions that you should ask before booking

Booking your dream wedding venue is not only one of the first priorities when planning a wedding, it’s also the most significant decision you’ll make. With so much to consider, and with most venues requiring a deposit when booking, you’ll need to know you’re making the right decision for your big day.

It’s so easy to get carried away with excitement when looking at wedding venues. Be prepared with a list of questions to ask when you visit potential locations.

Here are some essential questions to ask your wedding venue before signing on the dotted line. Happy venue hunting!

Wedding venue booking basics

Is the venue available on the date?

If you have a particular date in mind for your wedding, make this your first question! It may seem a little obvious, but sometimes the date is just as important as the venue itself. Weekend dates in the warmer months get booked up early, sometimes years in advance, so enquire with the venue before you even visit to avoid disappointment.

What’s included in the price?

Finding out exactly what’s included in the price is essential for your wedding budget and means you won’t get stung with any unexpected costs further down the line. Ask about the usual suspects – VAT, tables and chairs, staffing costs and the fee for the civil ceremony.

What’s the capacity?

Before sending out your save the dates, it’s important to know how many your venue can seat. Your guest list will be hugely dependant on the size of the venue, so get this information as early in the process as possible.

Is there accommodation available for the bride, groom and wedding party to change before the ceremony?

Although many wedding venues have suitable accommodation, rooms or dedicated areas for the bride, groom and wedding party to get ready prior to the ceremony, not all of them do.

With this in mind, make sure you ask if there are any changing areas available before booking.

How much is the deposit for the venue and when is it due?

The majority of wedding venues will require a deposit to be paid if you decide to go ahead and book. The deposit you’ll be expected to pay will vary from venue to venue, however as a general rule of thumb, across the industry the deposit is usually 50% of the total bill.

Remember, the vast majority of wedding venue deposits are non-refundable, so make sure you’re 100% happy with the venue before committing to booking it. At the same time, you should also ask when the final payment is due so you can manage your budget effectively in the lead up to the wedding.

Does the venue have liability insurance?

This is probably one of the last things on your mind when it comes to planning your big day, but asking whether wedding venues have liability insurance should be one of the first questions you ask.

After all… if the worst was to happen, and a member of your wedding party got hurt or injured (even accidentally), if the venue did not have liability insurance, you would be held accountable for any claims made.

Of course, these instances are few and far between, but it’s always worthwhile covering your back, just in case.

The services

How much rehearsal time is allocated?

Your wedding day is one of the biggest and most important days of your life. And with many of us only doing it once, it’s important that every detail is perfect. This starts with thorough planning.

All venues should allocate a set rehearsal time for you to run through the ceremony, ensure that everyone knows their role and how the day will run. Of course, this time also allows you to ensure that you are happy with the scheduling and running order of your special day.

Check how much time is allocated to your rehearsal prior when deciding whether to book a venue or not.

Which rooms are licenced to hold the ceremony?

Having your ceremony and reception at the same location is convenient for both you and your guests, and it can save some money too. When you visit the venue, consider whether this is an option. Make sure you ask exactly which rooms you can get married in, so you can envisage the all-important ceremony.

Does the venue accommodate civil ceremonies?

Many wedding venues now offer the option to conduct a civil ceremony, which is great if you want a venue where you can get married and enjoy the celebrations after, without having to move to a different venue.

Are there any restrictions?

From areas off-limits for photography, to sound limiters for DJs and bands, ask what restrictions your venue has in place. This could mean that you’re unable to decorate the venue just how you imagined, or party until the hour you want, so it’s an important question to ask at the outset.

Can the venue provide equipment?

If you’re planning on getting your guests on the dance floor in the evening, make sure you enquire about the equipment that’s available at the venue. Consider the audio-visual equipment, electrical outputs and the lighting.

Does the venue have a dedicated wedding team and/or coordinator?

Choosing a venue with a wedding coordinator means that the planning process is as stress-free as possible. An in-house member of staff will not only know the venue inside out, but what works well too. Enlisting their help will undoubtedly be priceless!

Is there parking available at the venue?

Weddings often see guests travelling from far and wide to join in the celebrations. And, although many couples organise transport to take their guests to their wedding, some guests will drive to the venue.

With this in mind, you should check what car parking facilities your venue offers, especially if you’re getting married in London.

The food

Does the venue use an in-house caterer?

Some venues may charge you an extra fee to use your own caterers, so make sure you have an idea of the catering you’re after before booking the venue. Many venues offer their own excellent in-house caterers, which are certainly worth looking at. If not, ask if they have a list of preferred suppliers.

How flexible is the menu?

Many couples choose to reflect their individuality through their menu choices, so it’s worth asking whether there is any flexibility with the food choices or if creating a bespoke menu is an option.

Do you offer a food tasting service?

Whether you’re looking to celebrate your special day with a three-course dinner, a delicious wedding buffet or canapés between proceedings, you should always test the food menu you choose before your big day.

The majority of venues offer a food tasting service in with the price, so you can sample the food on offer before your wedding.

If you hire a private caterer, are there facilities they can use?

If you decide to hire a private caterer rather than using the venue’s catering services, you should make sure there are suitable facilities they can use, and of course, that they are insured to do so.

Are there additional charges for bar staff?

Depending on the size of your wedding, it might be necessary for your venue to increase their staffing levels. If this is the case, make sure you check if extra costs will be added on.

And everything in between…

Is there a plan for bad weather?

You can plan everything to the finest detail, but there’s just no predicting what the weather will do! Make sure your venue has a backup plan for rain and bad weather, and take a close look at any alternative space. You’ll need to love the backup plan just as much as you do the rest of the venue.

Is there nearby accommodation?

It’s always useful to find out if the venue has any nearby accommodation for both you and your guests. If the venue is in a remote area, you’ll need to do some research to ensure the closest accommodation is convenient for your guests and available on your wedding date.

Are you able to bring your own decorations?

Many venues will dress your venue for you in line with your theme and requirements, however many couples like to add a personal dimension by bringing along their own decorations.

Just check that the venue is happy with this before you start buying or making your decorations.

Why choose The Brewery for your wedding venue?

In the heart of London, The Brewery is a wedding venue like no other. Our wedding licence includes every one of our unique rooms within the venue and allows us to host your wedding ceremony and reception on-site for between 40 and 1,000 guests.

Our dedicated wedding planner is on hand to guide you through the entire process, taking care of everything from the budget to the dietary requirements, meaning you can relax and enjoy the build up to your big day. And from the moment you get in touch, your allocated wedding planner will become your single point of contact.

Each room includes everything you need to create the wedding you envisage – from LED lighting, PA systems and Wi-Fi.

To find out more about having your wedding at The Brewery, get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

What are reception venues?

Drinks at a wedding reception venueWhat is a wedding reception?

The party held after a wedding ceremony, a wedding reception is a key part of any wedding celebration.

As a space where guests can drink, dance, dine and mingle, a wedding reception venue plays a major role in the big day. And there are now more options than ever before when it comes to choosing the perfect reception venue.

What happens during a traditional wedding reception?

All weddings have a well-planned out running order designed to ensure that the day runs as smoothly as possible. The vast majority of traditional wedding receptions run to a similar schedule.

Midday- early afternoon 

This is the time when most church wedding ceremonies take place. Depending on the type of service you opt for, a ceremony can last between 30 minutes to an hour.

2pm-4pm

During this period of time, the wedding party arrive at the reception venue ready to celebrate the happy couple tying the knot. The wedding party, including the best man and the maid of honour, tends to take charge of the wedding transportation.

4pm-5pm

Cocktails and meet and greet! This is when guests will enjoy drinks and mingle. Dinner is generally announced before long and all guests are welcomed into the main dining room.

5.30pm onwards

Dinner is served to the guests, speeches and toasts are made, the cake is cut and the bride and groom are asked to take to the dance floor for their first dance as a married couple.

Wedding reception traditions

There are lots of elements associated with a traditional wedding reception, including the father of the bride’s speech, the best man’s speech, the cutting of the wedding cake and, of course, the first dance.

However, traditions vary widely across faiths and cultures. There are many religious ceremonies that have their own traditions. For example, a number of laws and traditions form the basis of many Jewish wedding celebrations, including signing the Kerubah, taking vows under the Chuppah, fasting on the day of the wedding, and a celebratory dance known as the Hora.

What to consider when booking a wedding reception venue

When it comes to booking a wedding reception venue, there’s a lot to consider, from  the venue’s location to its catering facilities, its capacity and any packages on offer.

First and foremost, you should always meet up with the venue’s events team, as they will play a core role in ensuring that your celebrations run without any hiccups. Don’t be afraid to ask to sample the menu too, request the venue’s rules and regulations when it comes to last orders and noise, and ask for a tour of all of the facilities.

This will allow you to gauge whether or not the venue is suitable for your wedding theme, guest list and bespoke requirements.

Why choose The Brewery for your wedding venue?

In the heart of London, The Brewery is a wedding venue like no other. Our wedding licence includes every one of our unique rooms within the venue and allows us to host your wedding ceremony and reception on-site for between 40 and 1,000 guests.

Our dedicated wedding planner is on hand to guide you through the entire process, taking care of everything from the budget to the dietary requirements, meaning you can relax and enjoy the build up to your big day. And from the moment you get in touch, your allocated wedding planner will become your single point of contact.

Each room includes everything you need to create the wedding you envisage – from LED lighting, PA systems and Wi-Fi.

To find out more about having your wedding at The Brewery, get in touch. Our friendly, helpful and professional team is always on hand to answer any of your questions when it comes to helping you to find the perfect wedding venue reception.

Christmas Parties 2020 – Enchantment Under The Ocean

We are super excited about Christmas party season this year, as we will be heading back to 1950s America and becoming students at Chiswell Valley High.

It’s nearly time for you to attend your senior prom and this year it is ‘Enchantment Under The Ocean’. We know that you’re super busy hanging out at the diner trying to catch the eye of your perfect date, there is also the prom dress/tux to worry about and not to forget your speech if you are named Prom King or Queen.

So we are going to look after the decoration for you and have got the nerds down at the IT Club to put together some drawings of what it’s all going to look like. Check out the images below and to find out how to book your party the dedicated micro site can be found here.

Porter Tun Christmas Party Image
Porter Tun – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2020
Porter Tun - Enchantment Under The Ocean - Christmas 2020
Porter Tun – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2020
Porter Tun - Enchantment Under The Ocean - Christmas 2020
Porter Tun – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2020
Porter Tun Balcony - Enchantment Under The Ocean - Christmas 2020
Porter Tun Balcony – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2020
Upper Sugar Room - Enchantment Under The Ocean - Christmas 2020
Upper Sugar Room – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2020
Lower Sugar Room - Enchantment Under The Ocean - Christmas 2020
Lower Sugar Room – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2020

Q&A: Your booking queries answered

The Brewery Venue lighting at night

Here at The Brewery, we pride ourselves on our unrivalled customer service. Our expert bookings team is always on-hand should you have any queries.

To help further, our bookings team have compiled some popular questions to help answer your burning questions at the click of a button.

From parking to catering, disabled access to corkage, our handy list of Q&As has your queried covered.

Q: Do you have lifts/features for guests with disabilities?

A: Yes, we have disabled access throughout the entire building to assist guests with physical disabilities as well as those guests who have visual and hearing impairments:

  • All internal and external signage plays a crucial part in creating a fully accessible environment. There are over 2 million people in the UK who have a visual impairment with a further million who have learning difficulties, so the design of our signage is important to enable customers access to our services.
  • There is a portable induction loop situated at reception which allows those people who wear hearing aids to cut out any extraneous noise and concentrate on whoever is talking to them when they have their hearing aid set to the ‘T’ position. On request, our in-house AV contractors can provide induction loops for the separate function rooms.
  • To ensure that our fire alarm notifies all guests in the event of a fire/fire alert, we have installed flashing red beacons in all rooms, as we cannot assume that all guests would be able to hear the siren and voice message.
  • We also have accessible lifts and disabled toilets throughout the venue.

Q: Is there parking?

A: We have four dedicated parking spaces at The Brewery. There are also two NCPs located within five minutes’ walk (Finsbury Square and Barbican).

Q: Can I bring in external caterers/AV suppliers?

A: We do not allow external caterers at The Brewery, as we have our in-house team of expert chefs who will cater for your event, unless you are hiring the venue for a dry hire wedding (kosher/African and Asian cuisine).

We have our own expert in-house AV supplier, Blitz, who will create the perfect audio visual set up for your event.

Q: Is there any digital signage available?

A: Yes, we have two screens, one large and one smaller digital screen available for use outside each of our rooms.

Q: Can I bring in cars and vans for display?

A: Yes, if you require display cars or other vehicles for your event, these can be parked in the courtyard.

Q: Do you have outside space?

A: Yes, we have a wonderful cobbled courtyard which is perfect for photographs, outdoor activities or drinks receptions, which can be accessed until 9pm. We also have two marquees between June and the end of August confirmed for availability in 2021.

Q. Do you have a list of preferred suppliers for furniture and entertainment?

A: Yes, we do. We are always happy to provide this to our customers. Get in touch with our Sales Coordinator for more information.

Q. What are your corkage fees?

A: Our corkage fees vary depending on the type of alcohol/spirit. Please contact us for more information on corkage fees.

Q. Do you host weddings?

A: Yes, we host weddings on weekends. Find out more about weddings at The Brewery.

Q. Do you brew your own beer?

A: Not at the moment, but keep your eyes peeled (you never know what’s in the pipeline!)

Q. Do you have information on room capacities with different set ups?

A: Yes, each of our rooms and their capacity information is listed on The Brewery website.

Q. Do you cater for allergies/vegan/vegetarian?

A: Yes, our team of award-winning, experienced chefs will work with you to create a completely bespoke menu, tailored to any allergies and dietary preferences. Find out more here.

Q. What does your DDR include?

Our DDR includes:

  • Exclusive Access to the contracted room
  • LCD Projector and screen and flipchart
  • Two servings of tea, coffee and accompaniments
  • Fruit cordials
  • Lunch – Food stall menu OR Marketplace menu
  • Conference pads, pencils and sweets for delegates
  • Iced water throughout the day
  • Wireless internet connection
  • Full event management support
  • Complimentary cloakroom

Find out more

We hope we have helped to answer your questions, however, our bookings team would be delighted to help you further. Contact The Brewery team today and we’ll be happy to answer your queries. Our team of experts look forward to hearing from you.

What are wedding venues?

Wedding at The Brewery

Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life so it’s important that every last detail is everything you’ve always envisaged and more.

One of the most important aspects of any wedding day is your wedding venue.

What is a wedding venue?

It’s certainly not a case of one-size fits all when it comes to wedding venues. Couples decide to get married in all different types of venues and places, such as art galleries, beaches, gardens, hotels, castles and of course, breweries.

Many venues now offer wedding packages that create a canvas to build upon, providing beautiful spaces that are specifically set up for weddings but able to be tailored to a particular look and feel.  Most wedding venues include distinct spaces for the actual ceremony and the celebrations after.

Unique wedding venue ideas

There are no rules when it comes to choosing a wedding venue. More people than ever before are choosing the push the boundaries and get married in a whole host of unique wedding venues.

From football stadiums, fairgrounds, art galleries and casinos, through to private yachts, restaurants, racetracks and cruise ships, nothing is off limits.

Adding a new and exciting dimension to such a special day, choosing a unique wedding venue will help make your memories even more precious, and seriously impress your guests too!

Indoor vs outdoor wedding venues

When choosing between an indoor and an outdoor wedding venue, there are pros and cons to consider on both sides. The right venue for you will depend on your requirements.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of both:

Indoor wedding pros

No weather worries

One of the main advantages of getting married indoors is that you won’t have to worry about the heavens opening and the weather ruining your big day. After all, weather in the UK can be extremely unpredictable.

Control over the temperature

If you decide to get married indoors, you’ll also have full control over the temperature. You can ensure your guests are cool and comfortable during the summer months or nice and warm if you’re getting married during the winter.

More freedom to decorate the venue how you please

Whether you opt for elaborate wedding decorations or low-key décor, the vast majority of indoor wedding venues are able to cater for your décor needs. Some even offer a wedding planning service where a wedding planner will take care of everything for you.

Indoor wedding cons

Limited space

One issue that can affect indoor weddings is space. Not all venues have the capacity to fit all of your guests in comfortably. And you don’t want your guests to feel huddled together or unable to move around freely.

Photographs are limited

Depending on the type of indoor venue you opt for, you can be limited on the type of photos you are able to capture, especially in terms of group shots. So, if group images are going to be a big part of your day, it’s worth keeping this in mind when choosing your venue.

Outdoor wedding pros

The ultimate backdrop

Natural backdrops can provide stunning photographs. Whether you get married in a park, at a beach or even in the grounds of a castle, if the weather is on your side, your day is sure to turn out picture perfect.

More space

Weddings hosted outdoors tend to provide a lot more space than those indoors.  So if you have a super-size guest list, this might be the best option for you!

Natural lighting

Natural sunlight can do wonders for the ambience of your wedding and, of course, natural lighting can also help your photographer capturing that perfect photo.

Outdoor wedding cons

Weather worries

The biggest concern of outdoor weddings is the weather putting a dampener on your big day. As it’s so difficult to predict, you should always be prepared for extreme weather conditions, whether that’s extreme heat or extreme thunderstorms!

Difficult terrain

Some outdoor wedding venues simply aren’t practical when it comes to accommodating the needs of all your guests. If there’s difficult terrain to manoeuvre or lots of steep hills, it’s important to consider the needs of your guests before your big day.

It’s also important to take into consideration the location of your wedding venue, capacity to hold your guests and the facilities the venue offers.

Why choose The Brewery for your wedding venue?

In the heart of London, The Brewery is a wedding venue like no other. Our wedding licence includes every one of our unique rooms within the venue and allows us to host your wedding ceremony and reception on-site for between 40 and 1,000 guests.

Our dedicated wedding planner is on hand to guide you through the entire process, taking care of everything from the budget to the dietary requirements, meaning you can relax and enjoy the build up to your big day. And from the moment you get in touch, your allocated wedding planner will become your single point of contact.

Each room includes everything you need to create the wedding you envisage – from LED lighting, PA systems and Wi-Fi.

To find out more about having your wedding at The Brewery, get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.