Myself and Ben were kindly invited along to Veeno in Leicester and jumped at the chance to go, Leicester other than London is my favourite UK city – we lived in the city for a year, Ben went to uni there and it’s a place that’s very close to both of our hearts and despite the fact it’s not too far away it’s not often we can find time to make an excuse to go back for the day.
Day to day I’m usually a rose wine drinker, I’ll drink white (if someone else is opening a bottle and they don’t like rose), and rarely can I stomach red – although I’n definitely starting to notice a shift in my tastebuds and I’ve began to appreciate it a bit more over the past year since we visited Italy for the first time last year.
Veeno is a lovely little venue located in the heart of the city centres nicest bars and restaurants, the space isn’t huge (which is nice IMO, less opportunity for large groups and therefore noise) and has a nice outdoor area which I imagine in warmer months would be a lovely place to spend an afternoon sipping on wine in the sunshine. We were the first people in the door and made the cafes record for the first people to be at a full blown wine-tasting at 12pm… in our defence we had to have time to let the alcohol pass through the system before the drive home (which meant a cinema trip to see Blade Runner 2049) and be back in reasonable time to let the dogs out.
Downstairs sits the main bar area with big glass windows which overlook the beautiful old bank and people walking by, in the day time the big full length windows make the bar lovely and bright, and I imagine in the evening the lovely filament bulbs, hanging wine bottle lights and dark walls create a nice, cosy atmosphere. The best of both worlds for both times of the day.
The front of the store features a selection of wines and delicacies which can be taken away to be enjoyed at home, they also do some perfect hamper baskets which I know would make perfect presents coming up to this time of year for family members you never know what to buy for.
We took up a pew at one of their barrel tables, which had a rather fun cork detailing underneath the glass, I’d quite like to make way for one of these as a breakfast bar when we move house, I’ll start saving the corks now. We had our five wines laid out in front of us by the manager and were introduced to Oli who was going to talk us through the wines alongside the quite frankly amazing antipasti platter that was laid out in front of us.
We were invited to join them for their Selezione wine tasting (£26.90 per head), which featured five wines from the Veeno family vineyard in Sicily. Each of the wines was accompanied with a selectionof Sputini, meaning appetizers – breads, cheeses, meats and breads.
The tasting session featured a mixture of wines to suit all tastebuds, Veeno offer a variety of different experiences, and the Selezione is the one which features their more premium selection of wines.. Over the past year I’ve moved very much from a sweet wine to a dry wine palette, whilst I normally prefer rose, my favourite out of the bunch was actually the first one we tried which was the driest of the five and a white. Accompanied against a gorgeous mild creamy mozzarella the combination of the two made my mouth practically drool.
We moved on to a sweeter white with a thick smoked ham, to a hard cheese alongside another sweet wine, that time the house rose. The final two wines were red, accompanied by a thinly sliced beef and finishing with gorgonzola – I’m getting closer to be able to drink a full glass of red, I didn’t quite manage it on either of these, however Ben did not let them go to waste! The last red wine in particular had Ben’s seal of approval (don’t tell him, I’ve got plans to get him a bottle for his birthday!).
Lastly, but certainly not least we were told to make room for some dessert, as there was a dessert on it’s way with some dessert wines. I’ve only had a dessert wine a handful of times in the past but I can tell you already that I’m going to be getting a bottle of this to treat ourselves to around Christmas. I hate coffee so was a little nervous about the dessert when they said it was a tiramasu, and nervously looked at Ben and gave him the eye as if to say that “you’re going to have to take one for the team here, darling”, but even my coffee hating tastebuds ended up enjoying this family shared recipe.
We both fully enjoyed the whole experience at Veeno, the service was wonderful and attentive at all times. And it was enjoyable to learn more about both how the different wines were made as well as stories behind different foods (world war II cave stored cheese anyone?). We’ve already got plans to revisit with friends, hopefully in December around Ben’s birthday, but if not we’ll be revisiting some time in the early new year. I think the whole experience was fantastic value for money, I’d say in terms of glasses of wines they equated to a small glass, each, with the platter, dessert wines and dessert I think just shy of £27 is a fantastic price.
Veeno has bars up and down the country and I’d thoroughly recommend this as place to enjoy a more sophistiated night out as a date or with friends and family. Thank you for inviting us along, I’ll be back to try the wine cocktails soon, There’s an Italian Prosecco Mojito with my name waiting on it!
Experience gifted in exchange for an honest review. Review based on our experience.