London Gatwick Airport to spotlight English wine and local produce in two new bars

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London Gatwick Airport will be opening two restaurants and wine bars – Vagabond Bar & Kitchen and South Downs Sparkling Wine Bar – in May 2023.

Urban winery Vagabond will be opening its second airport outlet when it lands at Gatwick’s South Terminal in May 2023. South Downs – its sister bar – is a new concept exclusive to Gatwick and will open a few weeks later.

Vagabond will provide passengers with a choice of more than 80 wines from around the world, via its bespoke self-serve dispensing machines – to enable passengers to sample wines before committing to a glass or bottle. Local vineyards, including Digby in Arundel, Tillingham in Rye, and Kingscote – based less than 10 miles from London Gatwick in East Grinstead – will be represented, alongside options from France, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Vagabond will also feature a self-pour craft ‘beer wall’, providing a similar discovery experience, as well as a food menu, catering for breakfast, lunch, dinner and kids.

South Downs – a sparkling wine bar in the heart of the South Terminal departure lounge – will also offer a cocktail menu developed by Max Benning, owner of Three Sheets. Alongside this, South Downs will serve a range of meals and snacks, with the menu inspired by wine-producing regions across the world but featuring many locally sourced ingredients.

Rachel Bulford, director of retail at Gatwick Airport, said, We are delighted to welcome both Vagabond and South Downs bar to our South Terminal this spring. Leading London-based operator Vagabond will provide a wonderful selection of wines and beers from fantastic vineyards and breweries located across our region and the eye-catching design of the sparkling wine bar – South Downs – brings the outside in and reflects the greenery of the countryside surrounding Gatwick. We love being less than 30 minutes from the center of London, but we are also proud of being in the heart of the community here in leafy Sussex.”

Matt Fleming, managing director at Vagabond, said, “We are really excited to open our newest airport site at Gatwick Airport. Our Vagabond Bar & Kitchen site in South Terminal will become our largest site within the Vagabond estate and will be offering an extensive all-day food menu and continuing to drive innovation with the drinks we serve including cocktails, self-pour beer walls and making great wine available for all to try.

“On top of this, we are also going to be launching England’s first English sparkling wine bar – South Downs. Named after the South Downs area in Sussex and Kent, which hosts so many of England’s best vineyards and wineries, the bar will focus on championing not just English wines but also beers, ciders and spirits in Southeast England. The food menu will be elevated and designed to pair particularly well with English wines. We can’t wait to introduce the Vagabond and South Downs way to Gatwick passengers, giving them the perfect start to their journey.”

For more key food and beverage updates from the passenger terminal industry, click here.

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