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Safia Shakarchi

Safia Shakarchi is a pastry chef turned food writer and photographer and she recently launched Another Pantry, an online platform celebrating food, design and community.

Thanks to a rich program of collaborations with writers, recipe developers, chefs, and creatives the intention is to bridge the gap between the food industry and the home cook.

Earlier this month we were happy to supply the wines for the opening of Another Pantry’s grocery store pop-up at Coal Drops Yard and we took the opportunity to ask a few questions about the wines she enjoys drinking.

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1. You're handed a wine list, what do you do?

Look to see if there is a skin contact or an orange, although that makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about!! I am definitely not the most adventurous or knowledgeable on the wine front at all. I do find that skin contacts aren’t as intimidating as reds and whites can be though. I feel like they invite you to be adventurous and learn more which I love, and they’ve gotten me more into wine generally.

2. How do you know the wine you're drinking is good?

I don’t drink very often and I often save having a glass of wine for an occasion or a nice evening out, so to me the sign of a good wine is that I’m not thinking about it too much, that drinking it just feels natural. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to finish a glass of wine you’re not enjoying!


3. What is something fascinating you’ve been told over lunch?

There isn’t actually a word in Arabic for broccoli — probably testament to the fact that it doesn’t really feature in Middle Eastern food! I’m not sure it even grows in the region.


4. In whose company do you most enjoy drinking wine?

My dad. He loves his wine — always red of course. There’s nothing more cosy to me than seeing my dad on the sofa with a glass of red wine in hand and jazz playing in the background. I remember as soon as he could introduce me to his favourite wines he did — it definitely took me a little bit of time to get into it so I think he was probably a bit disappointed at first but now I love seeing him light up when he’s cracked open a bottle and I say I want a glass!

Safia ShakarchiSafia Shakarchi
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5. Can you describe your ideal combination of wine, music, and setting?

A tiny little tucked away wine bar that not many people know about — just a few tables, dim lights, candles and very chilled music.

6. What sort of food would you add to the equation?

A small menu with a few great seasonal sharing plates. It would have to start with very good sourdough, and it would end with just one great dessert. Dessert wines aren’t my thing but I love finishing off whatever I’ve been drinking throughout the meal with a good dessert.

7. What is the most memorable bottle of wine you’ve drank?

The really light insanely good red you guys served at our preview night! Please ask James for the name of it 🙈


8. Where did you drink it?

Planque ran the bar at the preview night for Another Pantry’s pop-up grocery store in Coal Drops Yard earlier this month, and that red was one of the wines there. The format of the night was that only two bottles of wine were open at one time and once they’d finished, we moved onto the next so everyone got to try a range of wines over the course of the evening. It was a lot of fun, and such a good way to get people chatting and asking questions — I feel like that’s exactly what tasting wines should be like!

Safia ShakarchiSafia Shakarchi

9. Is there a characteristic you look for in a wine and in a friend?

Exactly what or who you want to spend the evening with after a long day or a busy week.


10. What is your approach to drinking?

No pressure — if you’re feeling it start with a glass and see where it takes you, but if you’re not up for it that night then that’s totally okay.


11. Do you apply this approach in other aspects of life?

I think I probably should! It’s easy to put a lot of pressure on all the time but I think there’s so much more value in just taking it easy, listening to ourselves and seeing where things go. I’m definitely working on approaching things like that more often.


12. What shall we open next?

A Lebanese wine would be very cool. We went to a vineyard in Beirut years ago — we tried some really delicious wines and ate lunch in a beautiful setting next to the vines. I’m Arab but I grew up here in London, so I’d love to learn more about wine from Middle East — I don’t think there’s too much from the region but there definitely are things happening there.

Opening Hours

Wednesday to Friday 6:00 - 9:00pm
Saturday 12:00 – 2:00pm & 6:00 - 9:00pm
Sunday 12:00 – 4:00pm

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