NUALA’s head sommelier (and former guest sommelier at NOMA Mexico) Honey Spencer knows her stuff. We had a quick chat with her about female sommeliers, where she likes to drink, and what our S/S drink should be.
Who is your chef to watch right now?
Will Gleave, no question. He managed the pots at Brawn, 10 Maltby Street and P.Franco, and I’ve been speculating for months what his next move will be. It turns out he’s opening Bright (with Phil Bracey from P.Franco) down the road from my flat in Bethnal Green. I couldn’t be more excited.
What should we be drinking this spring/summer?
Deeper coloured rosés! Don’t be scared to stray from the pale Provence styles. Any good sommelier or bartender will have a good selection of ‘is-it-a-rosé-or-light-red?’ juice and believe me they taste amazing! Also, try stuff from lesser known regions like Auvergne and Savoie in France, the Adelaide Hills in Australia (also called the Basket Range) and Moravia in the Czech Republic. These regions are all producing ridiculously delicious wines and often they’re cheaper because they’re less recognised.
Are there any other female bartenders or sommeliers we should take note of?
In the bar scene it’s always good to see what Missy Flynn (Rita’s) is up to – she never stops moving. Sommelier-wise there are so many amazing females out there pushing boundaries at the moment but I think the ones I respect the most are Leah Kirkland and Ellen Doggett from Trinity. Their knowledge is next level, and I love how they play around with both the classics and the crazy natural stuff.
What’s your favourite London bar?
To me P.Franco will forever be the best. They just make you feel amazing. Other than that, it’s Dandelyan at the Mondrian for a swanky time and of course El Camino in Soho for when the trouble sets in.
What’s your local?
My local is the Sun Tavern on Bethnal Green Road. After a busy shift I’ll often meet my husband Charlie (who works down the road at Lyle’s) for a cold beer before heading home. It’s the best way to wind down.