The wine enthusiast is spoilt for choice when it comes to a London stay. The city’s hotels offer some of the biggest and best wine lists in the world, chosen by some of the most talented sommeliers you’re ever likely to meet.
Here’s the LHI pick of where to stay in London to enjoy the fruit of the vine…
Luxury Knightsbridge hotel The Berkeley boasts one of the best restaurants on the planet, led by one of the best chefs in the country.
The two-Michelin-starred Marcus, which has shortened its name from Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, reopened last year after a refurbishment.
And there is quite a selection of fine wines to go with the gourmet food. The wine list includes 1,000 bins comprising a wide range of countries, grapes and styles. Even the best wines are offered by the glass so you can try a few of the vintages handpicked for you by executive sommelier Michael Deschamps.
Small in size but big on old-fashioned values, The Beaumont prides itself on providing the sort of hospitality you would have received in the pre-war years.
Just like the hotel itself, the wine list certainly isn’t the biggest in the capital, but it does have some of our very favourite producers, including the excellent Corison Vineyards in the Napa Valley, Ridge Vineyards in California and the well-run estate of Chateau Beaumont at Cussac in France’s Haut-Médoc.
Once upon a time it was pretty impossible to find a decent wine by the glass.
But that certainly isn’t the case at the Bar Boulud in the basement of the Mandarin Oriental, which always has a decent, mainly French selection. Head sommelier David Vareille, who hails from Chablis in Burgundy, has launched a series of Friday Wine Evenings at the High Table, delivering informal master classes that are sure to inform even the most ardent wine lover.
The St James’ Palace hotel The Stafford boasts a wine cellar which is both historic and extensive.
Built in the 17th century by Lord Francis Godolphin, the cellars here were used as an air-raid shelter in World War Two. Today, they house some 8,000 bottles of fine wine, including many rare vintages. Master sommelier Gino Nardella hosts wine tasting and wine journeys where guests focus on particular grapes and styles. You can even dine with Gino in the cellars themselves.
Also offering an irresistible sommelier’s table deal, you can turn your meal on its head at The Connaught, in Mayfair.
While usually you might be asked to choose what you want to eat before trying to find a wine to match perfectly, The Connaught does things the other way round with its sommelier’s table events.
Here you can enjoy a bespoke food menu dedicated to the wines you love. You and your guests can dine beneath The Connaught’s kitchens where a vast collection of 6,000 vintages is held in a limestone-clad cellar.
For many of us, wine adds to the sense of occasion on a short break, whether you treat yourself to a glass of bubbly when you arrive in your room, start your evening with a crisp, clean white before heading to the theatre or relax before bed with a robust, warming red. And with expertise on hand in London’s top hotels from ultra-talented sommeliers, you may just find a new favourite vineyard or variety during your stay in the capital.
Photo credits: Jeff Kubina, The Berkeley, The Beaumont, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, The Stafford, The Connaught.