Bring Your Own

Save big bucks by taking your own drinky-poos when dining out.

Are you fed up of the ludicrous cost of wine in restaurants? Of course you are, how can Campo Viejo Rioja be £7 in Tescoís and an inferior bottle cost over £20 when eating out? This nifty profit-maker means that few restaurants advertise that you can take your own wine, but it seems that in some cases if you ask nicely enough theyíll allow you to, albeit for a corkage fee and occasionally a minimum spend, or it might have to be a wine that is expressly not on their wine list. Obviously those who are happy for you to bring your own bottle are in the minority, as some restaurants carefully select their wines to match their food, although itís mostly to do with losing out on extra £££. Numerous Middle Eastern and Indian restaurants allow you to take your own if they donít have a licence to sell alcohol, and itís always worth making a quick phone call to check in advance. To give you a start, below are some fine eateries that we know for sure have BYO service.

Meat lovers
Londonís favourite steakhouse, Hawksmoor, allows you to take your own wine on a Monday night. This East London eatery has garnered praise from Londonís top food critics for the quality of its meat (which comes from Longhorn cattle traditionally reared and dry-aged for at least 35 days, by the way), turning it into a foodie mecca. Expect to pay at least £50 a head, and there is a £5 corkage fee.

Argentinian steakhouse El Gaucho lets you take your own bottle to their Chelsea branch, which is ideal if youíre not a fan of New World wines, as their selection is largely from Argentina. As is their beef, which is imported, grilled and served with their secret recipe sauce. Feast on 14 ounces of steak with two fried eggs on top and fries if youíre hungry; you can also fill up on traditional dishes like chargrilled black pudding and homemade pasties.

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