Rochelle Canteen, Shoreditch
Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson’s Rochelle Canteen sits in the converted bike shed of the old Rochelle School, looking out to the trees of Arnold Circus beyond. The team’s mission statement? ‘We like parties. Maybe that’s what we bring. No rules, everything will be great. We’re nice people and we have fun.’ On lovely days, guests can take advantage of the outdoor tables. The space is unlicensed and isn’t open at night – offering the perfect spot for some daytime drinking on a summer day.
16 Playground Gardens, Shoreditch, E2 7FA
Clapham Common’s Soif is a charming, Parisian-style neighbourhood bistro and wine bar, bursting with character and atmosphere. Part of the same group as Terriors in Charing Cross and Brawn in Hackney, this spot focuses on excellent natural and biodynamic wines. If that’s not your thing, any day of the week you can bring whatever you fancy to drink and pay just £10 corkage.
27 Battersea Rise, Battersea, SW11 1HG
The Ninth, Fitzrovia
Jun Tanaka and this team opened The Ninth on Charlotte Street in 2015 and within a year of opening had gained its first Michelin star. The restaurant’s menu is designed to be shared and focuses on showcasing seasonal ingredients and robust French dishes which have been given a fresh Mediterranean twist. The popular restaurant offers BYOB on Monday nights – with no corkage fee.
22 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 2NB
Little Georgia, Hackney
Little Georgia is comprised of two authentic restaurants where you can enjoy traditional, home-made Georgian dishes – think chopped beetroot salad and cheesebread. Little Georgia Islington is the bigger of the two and is licensed, offering a selection of Georgian wine and chacha grape vodka. Little Georgia Hackney is an intimate, cosy space with retro décor. This site is BYOB, and – best of all – there is no corkage charge.
87 Goldsmiths Row, Hackney, E2 8QR
St John, Smithfield
St John was opened in 1994 by Trevor Gulliver, Fergus Henderson and Jon Spiteri on the premises of a former bacon smokehouse. The trio are the original champions of ‘nose-to-tail eating’, with a devotion to offal and other cuts of meat not always seen in restaurants. Gulliver oversees the restaurant’s own vineyard in France, which makes excellent, good-value wines, but there is a corkage fee if you'd like to bring in your own wine or champagne for special events.
26 St John Street, Smithfield, EC1M 4AY
Hawksmoor, Various Locations
Superlative steak restaurant Hawksmoor throws its all-day ‘Wine Club’ every Monday across all seven sites. The club allows diners to bring in their own bottles of wine at a cost of £5 corkage each. Tuesday to Sunday corkage is available for £25, so it pays to take advantage of this early-week deal. Just make sure to order one of the bar’s cherry negronis to kick things off.
Various locations, Mondays only
Pappa Ciccia, Fulham
Expect massive portions at this popular neighbourhood pizzeria in Fulham. The long-standing restaurant’s BYOB policy means you can bring your favourite bottle of wine or beer to enjoy alongside traditional Italian food. There’s a charge of £4.50 per person, rather than per bottle.
41 Fulham High Street, Fulham, SW6 3JJ
Since the 1970s Lahore Kebab House has grown from a small diner into an institution. It might not be the glitziest of spaces, but it really delivers on flavour, value for money and atmosphere. The whole place is BYOB – and there’s no corkage charge – making it a great spot for parties. If you haven’t booked, be prepared to queue.
2-10 Umberston Street, Whitechapel, E1 1PY
Every Sunday between 4-7:45pm, Minnow throws its 'Sunday Evening Roast Club’, offering an organic roast with all the trimmings, a proper pudding and BYOB, for £24 per person. Expect roast topside of beef, roast chicken, pork belly and aubergine parmigiana, followed by apple and blackberry crumble or chocolate brownie, both served with homemade ice-cream.
21 The Pavement, Clapham Common, SW4 0HY; Sundays only
Away from its popular site at Brixton Market, authentic Thai restaurant Kaosarn has a neighbourhood spot by Clapham Common. While not essential, guests are invited to bring their own beer or wine, making an experience here great value for money. We like to order the grilled half chicken with sticky rice, and a side of spicy papaya salad.
110 St John's Hill, Clapham Common, SW11 1SJ
The award-winning Tayyabs is one of the most popular curry houses in Whitechapel. It’s not unusual to see customers queuing down the street – but trust us, it’s worth the wait to sample some of the kitchen’s tandoori lamb chops. The team operates a BYOB policy all week long.
83-89 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, E1 1JU
This Moroccan restaurant is resplendent with hanging lamps, comfy cushions and low lighting and offers an authentic taste of North Africa. Expect to sample a variety of its eponymous tagines, plus top-notch couscous and mezze as you watch the chefs in action through the open-plan kitchen. The team operates a bring-your-own policy, with no corkage fee.
3 Fernlea Road, Balham, SW12 9RN
The Breakfast Club, Soho
The original – and, in our opinion, best – Breakfast Club opened on D’Arblay Street in 2005. When it comes to throwing themed parties, this is the spot to head to, especially when you consider it offers BYO beer or wine from 5pm every night for just £5 corkage per person.
33 D'Arblay Street, Soho, W1F 8EU
Kitchen W8, Kensington
Kitchen W8 is a rare thing – a genuinely relaxed Michelin-starred restaurant. Part of what makes the Kensington restaurant so accessible and a favourite with locals is its Sunday night BYO wine policy with no corkage fee (with the exception of Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve dinners). During the week, a £25 charge per bottle applies.
11-13 Abingdon Road, Kensington, W8 6AH
Salt Yard, West End
Salt Yard is an award-winning charcuterie bar and restaurant serving modern tapas inspired by the flavours of Spain and Italy. Its wide range of tapas, charcuterie and cheese boards are perfectly complemented by its selection of excellent wines and sherries. Come Monday, the team goes BYOB. We recommend sticking with something Spanish.
54 Goodge Street, West End, W1T 4NA; Mondays only
This Islington restaurant kickstarts each week with a five-course ‘taster’ menu served on Tuesday evenings in the upstairs dining room. Specially devised by chef James Cochran, the menu has the added bonus of being BYO so guests can enjoy dinner out with a bottle of their favourite tipple, corkage free. The menu comes in at £35 a head. Bargain.
107 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1QN; Mondays and Tuesdays only
Foxlow, Various Locations
Every Tuesday, Foxlow invites guests to bring as many bottles of wine as they can carry – and they’ll offer free corkage on the lot. Don’t feel like trekking to your reservation laden down with bottles? The team recommends getting in touch with the gang at Vinterest.co.uk, who can deliver wine to your table up to one hour before your meal.
15-19 Bedford Hill, Balham, SW12 9EX, 8-10 Lower James Street, Soho, W1F 9EL and 69-73 St John Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4AN; Tuesdays only