Fortnum & Mason, the world’s most exclusive grocer, has more than doubled the size of its wine department as part of a £24m refurbishment.
The original wine department, originally on the ground floor of the magnificent rococo store on Piccadilly in the heart of London’s West End, has moved downstairs and sits next to a new wine bar called 1707.
Other changes include an extra 200 wines on the list, which covers £6.50 own-label bottles to cult Napa cabernet Screaming Eagle 1996 at £2,100 a bottle.
‘We’ve always really struggled for space,’ said wine buyer Tim French. ‘Now we have a more glamorous environment and all areas have been expended, especially Champagne.’
The store is also set to win praise from those campaigning against high mark-ups in restaurant wine lists. For the first time, wine department customers will be able to purchase bottles in store and drink them in one of the four restaurants, although there is a £10 corkage charge.
‘It means customers will be able to buy Romanée-Conti or 1st Growth 1982s, have them with a meal and not pay crazy restaurant prices,’ French told decanter.com.
The changes are part of a 2-year refurbishment plan undertaken following a complete takeover by Canadian real estate moguls the Weston family in 2001.
Written by Oliver Styles