Take a trip to wine country without getting your passport out at Mount Vineyard.
If you’re a bit of a vino fan, here’s a summer half-day-trip for you: a 40-minute trundle on the train through south-east London will take you all the way to the Mount Vineyard.
This award-winning spot is, as you might’ve guessed, a real working vineyard, and in the summer months offers a whole bunch of ways to enjoy the premises.
Naturally, there are wine tastings to enjoy, as staff take you on a tour through five of their favourite recent vintages, straight from the winery. These happen on Wednesday evenings (in the summer) as well as afternoons on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In the summer months, you’ll can also enjoy a tour around the grounds, to discover how the magic happens.
If that sounds much too educational for you, worry not. The on-site bar/restaurant is available to visit Thurs-Sun, between midday and 6pm, where you can get steadily squiffed uninterrupted by any dastardly ‘facts.’ Here, you can enjoy bottles of the vineyard’s output (these versatile grape-growers offer red, white, rosé and sparkling varieties) paired with cheese, charcuterie, or stone-baked pizzas. There are also non-wine options, if your friend would rather have something else to drink.
A large retractable roof transforms the space into a gorgeous al fresco spot on sunny summer days, while providing shelter and warmth in the colder months. Clever stuff.
Just as excitingly, Mount Vineyard are hosting a little late-summer film season this week, with showings of Dirty Dancing (September 17), The Greatest Showman (September 18), and Bohemian Rhapsody (September 19) all arriving. You’re invited to settle into a socially-distanced picnic square, tuck into a hamper of locally-sourced food – and a bottle of Mount Vineyard’s finest, should you so wish – and watch the blockbuster action unfold. VIP packages can net you further nibbles and wine, along with upgraded seats, and the whole affair sounds absolutely dreamy, so find your tickets on their website if you’re interested!
If you’re not ready to head home after closing, the pretty surrounding village of Shoreham is home to four rather nice pubs…
You could also combine your visit with a jaunt to the Hop Shop (about a 30 minute walk away) and their famous, Insta-friendly lavender field – although they’ve harvested their crop for 2020 by now, so maybe pop a visit in the diary for next summer.
Altogether, another grape little spot near London. Chin chin!
Location: Mount Vineyard, Church St, is an eight minute walk from Shoreham (Kent) station. Catch a train there direct from City Thameslink, Blackfriars, Elephant and Castle, Peckham Rye and other south-east stations. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: Thurs-Sun, midday – 6pm, with hosted tasting sessions at 12.30pm and 3pm. Plus, Wednesday evenings (for tasting sessions only) at 7.30pm.
Price: no entry fee. Tasting sessions are £30 per head, or with a tour (or on Wednesdays) £35 per head. In the restaurant, wine is £18-£45 a bottle, sharing platters £14 – £24, pizzas £13 each.
More information: on their website.
See even more brilliant day trip ideas here!
Also published on Medium.