Venue Review: Basil & Grape
This hidden oasis on George Street is the ideal restaurant bar to head after-work with our team, for fine wine and tasty shareable platters, but it’s also perfect place for an intimate date, or gathering of friends or family.
The carefully considered layout lends itself well to both conversation (the cosy, wooden coves are helpful to anyone who’s hard of hearing, or simply wanting to be heard) and the feeling of being far away from the crowds of Croydon.
As Kaz, co-founder/owner of Basil & Grape says, “It truly feels like an escape.”
And who wouldn’t want to escape to the southern climes of Italy, to feast on the best food and wine, in the relaxing Mediterranean climate?
Basil & Grape’s co-founders, Sen and Kaz, have been best friends for more than 25 years, having first met at Trinity School, Shirley. Having been brought up in Croydon, they both went on different adventures in work and life, but stayed in touch, never forgetting their shared dream of starting a business in the hospitality industry together. Having both been successful in different fields, they wanted to give something back to the community of Croydon that had been their home and they could see the growth potential in a place that is gaining from incredible investment.
They decided to create a restaurant that is both chic and comfortable, both elegant and affordable. Sourcing the very finest wines, and best ingredients, has meant that word of mouth is travelling fast and they’re gaining a great reputation locally. I tried one of their pizzas and I can honestly say that it is the best pizza I’ve ever tasted outside of Italy. In fact, it tastes like the pizzas you get in Rome, of which the Romans are so proud, and they told me that it’s all about the base, which they import directly from Italy. These are proper pizzas, with thin, slightly crispy crusts and the freshest toppings. On Mondays, they have a particularly good deal where you can have a drink and pizza for only £6.50.
Basil & Grape also take their wines seriously. As well as an incredible selection of the finest Italian wine, they also have Wines of the World, which they have specially selected after hours or not-so-arduous wine-tasting. They’re sharing their trained expertise in wine-tasting through Wine Tastings and an evolving selection of wines. These guys love to do their research! It’s possible to organise a group, or even hire out the whole venue (maximum 60 people), for wine tastings, celebrations or events. It’s also possible to enjoy a ‘Bottomless Prosecco’ Sunday, between 12 and 5pm, to enjoy 90 minutes of drinking for only £20 pp. Or how about “Wine Down Wednesday”, with 90 minutes of unlimited fine wine and gourmet cheese for only £30pp?
Basil & Grape is the kind of place you could take a new date, or celebrate an important anniversary, or discuss business in privacy, yet it’s also somewhere you can gather with a group of colleagues or friends, to enjoy fine wine and great, fresh Italian food.