Berry Bros. & Rudd’s new Kingsman Dining Room just opened its doors at 4 St James’s Street. Fans of Matthew Vaughn’s blockbuster films will know that after the Kingsman HQ is destroyed in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the last two remaining agents escape to Berry Bros. & Rudd and down a bottle of Bourbon in their Napoleon Cellar. This venerable wine merchant isn’t commonly associated with Hollywood capers, but it nonetheless has many a story to tell from its 300-year history.
In its cellars, the exiled Napoleon lll, sheltered by a friend, plotted his return to power. And when the Sussex Cellar was built, a secret passageway was discovered leading to St James’s Palace.
Today, there are almost two acres of cellars beneath and beyond its historic premises on St James’s Street. These house 15,000 bottles and buzz with wine tasting evenings and dinners hosted by winemakers and famous names and cooked by chefs led by Stewart Turner (formerly of The Waterside Inn at Bray).
Berry Bros. & Rudd has supplied the British royal family since the reign of George lll. Its wines were on the Titanic and smuggled into prohibition-era America. These days the company’s services have grown to include
a wine club, a cellar plan, private wine events, a wine school, and an online wine exchange. It has outlets from Hampshire to Hong Kong. There is a new state-of-the-art shop around the corner at 63 Pall Mall with enomatic wine sampling machines and hundreds of wines to buy, ranging from £10 to £10,000.
Over the past year, Berry Bros. & Rudd has concentrated on bringing its special experience to more people. Building on the momentum created by the launch of the new shop in Pall Mall, it has renovated its entertaining spaces in St James’s Street (including the new Kingsman Dining Room). In May in south London it set up a pop-up bar. It has also partnered with artist Kate Boxer to launch its third limited-edition wine label for its best-selling Good Ordinary Claret, following similar collaborations with Luke Edward Hall and Paul Smith in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Located in the heart of London’s food and drink community for over 320 years, the brand’s British heritage is central to Britain’s oldest wine and spirits merchant. It has two Royal Warrants, a very British attitude to service and strong relationships with its wine growers and chateau owners nurtured over generations. Lizzy Rudd recently took over as the new chairman from Simon Berry, continuing the unbroken tradition of having a member of one or the other family at the helm.
It currently offers a selection of over 4,000 bottles, many own-brand wines crafted by some of the most accomplished winemakers in the world, such as Burgundian stars Nicolas Potel and Patrick Javillier.
It eschews pretension and is open to learning from its customers in an ever-evolving conversation about wine, which contributes to crystalising its ongoing success.
BERRY BROS & RUDD St James’s Street, London SW1A 1EG +44 (0)800 280 2440