Gracious grape based bottles and an indulgent location, those of you looking for a wino wonder in Birmingham wont be hard pushed to find a bottle of something indulgent or bubbly at Bar Epernay in The Mailbox.
Poised rather nicely overlooking the Gas Street Basin, it's clear that Bar Epernay has a pretty premium spot in The Mailbox, but it certainly doesn't echo The Cube's geometric stance. Whilst relatively small with only one main room to boot, Bar Epernay makes up for size with cosy nooks. From plush purple furniture surrounded by delicately stacked shelves of vino bottles in the back based dining room to a rich mahogany bound lounge area overlooking the canal, there plenty of spaces to choose from. And if you're lucky? You'll have nabbed a spot by their nordic-esque fireplace or baby grand piano, both found by the bar.
Yes, of course, we're in a wine bar, we should have most certainly been buzzing around a bottle first thing. But we were feeling a little refined that evening, taking to three glasses of house champagne instead. With three glasses setting us back no more than £25, Bar Epernay isn't overtly expensive but not one of the cheapest places that you might find champagne in the city. Wine buffs will get lost in so extensive a menu at Bar Epernay where a sensible white could set you back near to £40; again, not the cheapest place to drink wine in Brum but these bottles are hand sourced and international, you'll want to pay for premium.
Whilst it may be slightly out of the way of the city centre and hidden away in the throngs of The Mailbox, I was so suprised to see how busy Bar Epernay was on a Wednesday night in Birmingham. Wine is clearly the drink of the day on a Wednesday where everyone from mature post work drinkers to young couples were schmoozing over a plate of premium roast grub; Bar Epernay was genuinely bustling. And whilst the punters weren't as refined as I expected for a premium wine bar, Bar Epernay clearly welcomes anyone and everyone. If that's a bad thing? I'll leave you to decide.
Perpetually busy and boasting what really is one of the best wine menu's in the city, it's no surprise that this Birmingham chain bar is a firm favourite with locals and out of towners the like. Whilst I would have liked a little more refinery from a wine bar in the city, Bar Epernay promises a relaxed warmth that is still pretty darn inviting.