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Hedonism opens wine focused pub, as UK pub confidence grows post-lockdown

Fine wine merchant Hedonism has opened a ‘wine-led’ pub in Mayfair, with access to their full range of 6,000 wines, as the Office for National Statistics releases its latest report on pubs and the coronavirus pandemic.

The White Horse claims to be ‘Mayfair’s first wine-led public house’.

Similar to Hide, the Michelin-starred restaurant from the Hedonism team, there will be an extensive bin list of fine wines by the glass and bottle, but also the option to order from 6,000 wines from the merchant itself.

‘We are a pub with a casual 6,000+ wines to choose from’ it announced on its Instagram account.

‘For our 100 bin list we focus on approachable, delicious, yet affordable bottles, but we also carry a full range of fine and rare wines and spirits for you extra fancy types out there.’

Wines on the bin list include Troplong Mondot, St-Emilion 2000, Vega Sicilia, Valbuena 5 2016, Mondavi, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 and Domaine Leflaive, Meursault 1er cru Sous Le Dos d’Ane 2018.

A selection of draft beers and spirits will also be available. Cheese and charcuterie from La Fromagerie is also served, with a small plates menu launching soon.

Pubs and coronavirus

The opening comes as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its ‘Economies of ale: pubs in the time of COVID-19’ report.

In May 2021 pub and bar owners had ‘high confidence’ about the future reached over 20% for the first time, after a difficult period due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In February 2021, this confidence was at an all-time low of 1%, said the report.

The report found that confidence among pub and bar owners has been both considerably lower and less stable than that of other business owners.

The percentage of pub and bar staff on furlough was also considerably higher than other businesses.

During the November 2020 lockdown, 91% of pub and bar staff were on furlough. It is now at around 55% – though restaurants, pubs and bars are experiencing also staffing issues thanks to the ‘perfect storm’ of Brexit and Covid.

Christmas profits – an important time of year for the hospitality industry – were particularly hard hit by lockdowns and the tier systems.

Mid-way through December 2020, more than 80% of pubs and bars recorded that their profits were more than 50% below what they would normally expect for the time of year, according to the ONS.

As restrictions have started to lift in recent months, those profit losses have started to decrease.

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