The UK’s smallest five star hotel, Hillbark Hotel in Merseyside, is offering a £2,000 reward for the safe return of a stash of wine stolen last weekend, including three bottles of 1942 Perrier-Jouët.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, a host of fine wines, including a number of rare Champagnes, were stolen by two masked robbers in the early hours of 26 January.
Among the wines swiped were three bottles of 1942 Perrier-Jouët Champagne that had been hidden in France during the German occupation and distributed in England after the war ended.
The bottles have collars that say “reserved for England”, and are of sentimental value to the hotel, forming part of its historic wine collection.
“From a sentimental and historical point of view, we are devastated to have lost such a huge part of Hillbark’s heritage – a number of these bottles are part of our history,” the hotel’s general manager, Amanda Jane Arends, told the newspaper.
Other wines stolen in the raid include a magnum of Bollinger R.D. 1988; Louis Roederer Cristal 1985; Dom Pérignon from the 1971, 1982, 1993 and 1996 vintages; Krug Clos de Mesnil 1988 and 1990; Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1996; Henschke Hill of Grace 1995; and Penfolds Grange Bin 95 1989.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Wirral-based hotel is offering over £2000 to anyone who can assist with the safe return of the bottles.
Merseyside police are currently investigating the incident and are trying to find the perpetrators of the crime.
“To target a business in this way is unacceptable and we know it can cause great distress to the victims. We are determined to find those responsible and put them before the courts,” detective inspector Laura Lamping said.