To our shame, we’ve never made it to Llewelyn’s in Herne Hill, which is absolutely raved about by all of south London. While that remains very much on the hit list, we did recently stop by Lulu’s, a new wine bar and deli from the same team located right next door, and we loved what we found.

Lulu’s has taken over the small end corner building attached to Llewelyn’s, so close it could almost be an extension. Although it shares a team and location, Lulu’s is a more casual affair than its older sibling – a deli and shop by day serving some epic-looking sandwiches and salads, and a wine bar/restaurant by night. The walls are lined high with some great deli produce, like tinned fish and pickles, many of which are made by the Lulu’s team, so you’ll definitely want to pick up a few goodies to take home when you visit. 

We went by on a Friday night when the place was jumping. There’s a few outdoor tables if the weather’s ok, and inside there’s a handful of high tables and stools, as well as some counter seats in the window. And at the back of the room there’s a small kitchen knocking out a short, sharp menu of pitch perfect wine bar food. 

We began with a glass of pet nat and some gildas for that Herne Hill holiday vibe, plus wafer thin slices of lomo, and San Daniele ham with sweet melon. There’s an insanely good tomato and seaweed focaccia too – so good that we finished it and ordered another straight away. Next up were fine green beans with a moreish green goddess dressing and sunflower seeds; marinated sardines with piquillo peppers and creme fraiche; buratta with summer truffle and hazelnut; and, one of our favourites, the crushed peas, goat’s curd and marjoram tartine.

Other highlights included the roasted scallops with gooseberry, vermouth sauce, and sea herbs; courgette flowers stuffed with oxtail and puttanesca; and the fig leaf panna cotta for dessert. Every plate was a well balanced, well executed, and unfussy creation that perfectly suits the casual vibe of the place. There’s also some brilliant wines on offer – the superb Cap de Nit Vermeil light red and the Parajes del Valle orange, both from Spain – and all the wines are available from the shop to take home too.

Lulu’s is pretty much the perfect neighbourhood wine bar and we can see why it’s been such an instant hit in south London. We’re already plotting our return. 

291 Railton Road, London, SE24 0JP