Hedonism Wines on Davies Street in Mayfair is not your conventional wine shop.
It would be wrong to say that it was the window display that caught our attention, more the pavement display. What seem to be fields of beautiful flora have somehow found their way out of this shop and are taking over the walkway with glorious abandon. Hedonism Wines on Davies Street in Mayfair is not your conventional wine shop.
It was the street attraction that first piqued my interest and tempted me into the shop but wow, once I stepped over the threshold I was in awe. That rush of childish excitement that we probably all remember as youngsters, stepping into the local sweet shop with our school friends and parents to grab a selection of penny chews, was back. Although this time it was not the chocolate white mice, sherbet lemons and strawberry laces that had got me in all of a tizz but rather the dizzying array of champagne that was laid out to my right hand side, with our collaborators Champagne Laurent-Perrier in pride of place.
Vintage, non-vintage, rose, blanc des blancs, magnums, jeroboams and a Balthazar (a very wise man indeed if he had been to this shop!) were all vying for my attention. There are more champagnes here than there are coloured champagne coupes at RBI. Even if we include the beautifully etched champagne flutes and coupes we have in stock, we do not have enough unique drinking vessels to be able to claim you could sip each different champagne from an individually identified crystal coupe. This leaves us with a problem, suggest to Hedonism they cut down their stock levels or alternatively we go into creative overdrive and design a wider range of crystal champagne flutes. After a moments thought I decide on the latter!
But wait a minute, I am only an eighth of the way through this adult wonderland. I next spot the whiskies and a rather pucker gentleman getting very giddy about a bottle of Massougnes 1801 cognac for £222,000! I tap him on the shoulder and tell him that if he is going to spend that on a digestif then he needs to pay it the respect it deserves and savour it from one of our divine Forest Folly crystal cognac glasses.
Next I head downstairs to see what mystery and delights await. I am drawn to the glass wall at the far end of the basement. As I approach, it gently lights up to display the largest selection of Chateau d'Yquem I have ever seen. This place truly is a real life Aladdin's cave. The oldest bottle I find dates from 1894 but what really captures my eye is the 24-carat gold leaf wooden box containing four bottles of different vintages, 1927, 1937, 1947 & 1967. Suffice to say I could not countenance losing myself in this nectar from anything other than one of our uniquely engraved crystal desert wine glasses.
You know you are in a special place when you walk past row after row of Chateau Petrus with barely a second glance.
I head back upstairs and take time to view some of the marvellous accessories on offer. There are gifts here for the man and woman who have everything. However, there is one thing missing, the bespoke RBI six bottle hand-engraved crystal Antoinette champagne cooler. If you are going to fill it with the worlds finest champagne then this is the place to come.
Until I need my next fill of fizzy cola bottles, au revoir Hedonism!