There is a new hideaway bar with excellent wine and cheese selection in a rather unusual place.

It’s in the city. I say it’s unusual because the city is home to mostly fine, slightly big-budget, restaurants and bars designed for sealing those deals. Plus, of course, there are the many traditional pubs for city blokes to linger outside with a pint regardless of the weather.

So Bishop’s Vaults , the cheese and wine bar, is a welcome addition to the city bunch. It’s conveniently located right in front of Liverpool Street train station, behind the infamous Dirty Dicks pub to be exact.  

It’s made up of two floors. The ground floor features a long marble topped statement bar with brass detailing and patterned tiles and is more of a bar to enjoy a classic cocktail or two.

The downstairs part has a secluded speakeasy bar. The underground decor is slightly moodier complemented with low hanging lighting, marble tables, arched doorways and old wine vaults converted into intimate corners with leather seating all making it perfect for a glass of wine.

Bishop’s Vaults serves a vast array of wines alongside cheese and charcuterie plates with a focus on British suppliers. The wine list features vintages from across the globe, available by the glass, bottle and magnum.

There are Riojas starting from £26.50, through to flinty crisp Chablis, and a punchy Châteauneuf-du-Pape, along with a concise list of champagnes, sparkling wine and port.

And the cocktails list is classic with a twist, from Sister Sarah (White Negroni) with gin, Italicus and Lillet Blanc, and Chilli Richard (Texan Picante) with spicy bourbon, lime juice, agave syrup and Hellfire bitters, to the alcohol-free The Dead Cat (Espresso Martini) with Lyre’s Coffee Originale, White Cane, a shot of espresso and vanilla syrup.

But we came for the wine and cheese, so we started off with a very light English sparkling Nyetimber classic Cuvée from West Sussex, which was a little too crisp for me but highly favoured by my guest. I’m more of a Prosecco fan.

My preferred choice, to my surprise as I normally find Shiraz too astringent, was Australian Domaine Tournon. It was silky smooth with dark fruit palate and a light dark chocolate finish.

We paired the wines with Driftwood goat’s cheese, a lovely creamy cheese with that firmer middle and runny sides along the edible ash dusted rim. There was also a slightly crumbly Cornish Nettle Yard made from grass fed milk.

As the name suggests it’s wrapped in nettle which gives it a bit of a tangy, and even mushroomy, note especially closer to the edges with more subtle and mellow flavours to the core. It’s a semi hard cheese and pairs very well with red.

My guest and I had fun taking turns to pick the nettle off it. It’s edible of course. The cheese board is served with sweet chutney with a chilli spice kick to it, plus sourdough crackers on the side.

For our carnivore side we had dairy cow beef salami, which was my guest’s favourite and British lamb salami. My guest found it a bit too “lamby” while I loved it. It had just the right cured lamb note to it in my opinion, not hers. She preferred the more subtle notes in the beef salami.

As I mentioned the décor downstairs is moodier darker and quite romantic with plenty of candlelight making it a great spot for a date, but in more relaxed casual setting without the city bar frills.

It also offers great quality food and drink served by knowledgeable staff so a date can count on that even if they are not that well studied on wine themselves.

Bishop’s Vaults would also suit after work friends catch up, or even solo visit away from the hustle and bustle of Bishop’s gate.

It’s also available for parties and has capacity with space for up to 100 guests. Open from 12pm-11pm, Tuesday to Saturday, the bar accepts both bookings and walk-ins, with the option for private hire, plus future plans for live music nights and seasonal events.

To book, visit

Bishop’s Vaults, Swedeland Court, 202 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4NR