The cellar of an exclusive London nightclub is severely depleted after a man spent over £40,000 on drinks – for everyone in the club.

Richard Traviss, owner of top watering hole Brown’s in Covent Garden in the West End of London, was celebrating his birthday last weekend when he was delighted to be offered a drink by a German businessman.

Traviss said, ‘When I got back to my table, I found he had got us nine bottles of Cristal at £250 each. He went on to buy us 40 bottles altogether.’

The man then went on to extend his offer to everyone in the club, grabbing a microphone and announcing, ‘All the drinks are on me.’

The result was a bill for £42,000 (US$59,000) – and a list of drinks including 40 bottles of Cristal champagne, 49 bottles of Cristal Rosé, 20 bottles of Bollinger, 11 bottles of Moet & Chandon, 21 bottles of Moet Rosé, 27 bottles of Jack Daniels Bourbon and dozens of shots of spirits.

‘He went round the tables asking everyone what they would like,’ a spokeswoman said. ‘If someone ordered a glass, he would send over a bottle. He was very generous.’

‘The gentleman in question (who wishes to remain anonymous) was more interested in making sure the members at Brown’s were enjoying themselves than relaxing with a drink himself,’ Traviss said, adding that he had no idea why he was celebrating.

The spokeswoman added the club was used to big spenders – but not on such a scale. ‘We have a lot of people who spend five or six thousand pounds, and someone ran up a bill of £12,000 (US$17,000) about nine months ago.’

The club’s guests that night included footballer Frank Sinclair of Leicester City, Michael Greco of hit British soap EastEnders, singer Martine McCutcheon and a host of other celebrities.

The Guinness World of Records last night said it would consider evidence that the spree was a record for a single bill. It beats what was previously thought to be the most expensive tab ever – £44,007 (US$62,000) spent on wine at Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus restaurant in London in July. That celebration was split between six people.

Written by Adam Lechmere29 November 2001