Whenever there’s a deliberation with a friend of mine on where to head for a drink and catch up, he’s always quick to hint at Clapton… not because of the obvious flourishing of new openings over the past year, but purely because it’s his local hood.
Being a Hackney resident, I’m never too fussed if it’s still east. Heading into Verden however only helped to cement my desire to remain east forever more.
I stand at the door of this wine bar for what seems like a good few minutes, staring into the golden-lit space.
The predominantly black & white interior is paired down, yet overwhelmingly inviting – a polished concrete floor and large slabs of dark painted walls are lightened with white columns from eye level to ceiling.
The bar is a long stretch of pale oak wood with matching chairs. The interior evokes a ‘Scandi-cool’ feel with it’s understated tones and hard surfaces, yet on the bar sit two large legs of appetising jamon – conjuring up thoughts of a bustling Spanish tapas bar.
What encapsulated me most about Verden as a venue is the lighting – this establishment is a fine example of how lighting can essentially define the atmosphere of a space.
Large beams of light form an eye catching zig-zag shape on the ceiling. The same golden-hued beams sit in rows behind the bar, and again in a long recessed row along the booth-style seating.
There is something about the dramatic combination of golden light, surrounded by charcoal-hued walls, that creates a mesmerising feeling within this bar – a feeling that tempts me into lingering for hours longer than perhaps able or necessary… an atmosphere that evokes a warm, comforting cocoon to hide away from the winter chill outside.
Naturally being a wine bar, the choice here is both carefully selected and extensive.
A gorgeous Riesling is our choice, a house recommendation; along with an interesting side note that it’s produced by one of the members of staff in their vineyard in Germany.
A fittingly Bavarian-style main of schnitzel and flavoursome slaw accompanied the drinks.
Keeping things interesting, Verden offer a changing, seasonal menu with culinary specialties that vary per night.
Topping off the comfort level in both the interior and the food, the staff’s welcoming nature and notable passion for what they have created is all the more appealing.
To be bathed in that light with another crisp Riesling in hand, I would travel far and travel frequently… lucky for me, Verden just a stone’s throw away.
Images 1-4 courtesy of Verdene5