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Britain's Original Wine Merchants; Berry Bros. & Rudd

Posted by on in Insider Guide to London
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Berry Bros and Rudd

With two Royal Warrants, more than 300 years of history and eight Masters of Wine, Berry Bros. & Rudd is Britain’s original wine and spirit merchants. The shop's rich history includes secret meetings held by Napolean III during his exile in the 1840s. We speak to London store manager Francis Huicq to find out more about this London gem...

In the 17th century, the Widow Bourne started a grocer’s business at No.3 St James’s Street. In the 1690s, selling wine was almost certainly not on the agenda: instead, the Widow was a purveyor of goods such as tea and the era’s most fashionable beverage, coffee. To this day, the sign of the coffee mill remains outside the shop at No.3 in tribute to our roots.

Over three centuries later, the family business continues to flourish, with its heart still very much at No.3. The company’s colourful history encompasses London’s last duel to the death with swords, supplying smugglers running alcohol into Prohibition-era America, and sheltering Napoleon III in the cellars beneath our shop.

While much has changed over the years, we are still owned and managed by members of the Berry and Rudd families and we continue to supply the British Royal Family, as we have done since the reign of King George III. We continue to weigh customers on a giant set of coffee scales, a tradition which began in the 1760s, with Lord Byron, William Pitt and Beau Brummell among those who have had their weights recorded in our ledgers.

With services including a Wine Club, Cellar Plan, Tutored Tastings, Private Wine Events and a Wine School, we provide the closest link between those who make the wine and those who drink it. Most importantly of all, we continue to hold to the simple belief that wine is meant to be enjoyed and that all wine knowledge can be distilled to one simple question: “Is it good to drink?”

Find out more about Berry Bros. & Rudd or speak to a member of our Concierge team.

Berry Bros cellars




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Guest Tuesday, 28 March 2017