46 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 5AT
WLC Rank : 12
Glass from : £ 10 (125 ml)
BEST FORThe Wine Buff’s Wine List
Incredible decor and staff uniforms
First growth wine dinners
With flamboyant, detailed, masterly design by Martin Brudnizki, Annabel's has been remastered for a new generation offering lucky members a more considered vinous focus than ever before.
“I always had an idea it would become a wine destination,” says Master Sommelier, Clement Robert of the relocated and remastered Annabel’s. The extraordinarily lavish four-storey townhouse turned wonderland for well-heeled oenophiles is located on Berkeley Square, beneath which, legend has it, the wine reserves for the Caprice collection (running to at least 18,000 bottles) used to slumber. “Initially, we focused on the bars,” says Roberts (and in testament to those words, there are at least 600 bottles of tequila in the top floor Mexican restaurant alone), “and now we’ll be wine-forward.”
Robert oversees a massively endowed list of noble names, from Screaming Eagle to magnums of Montrose and Margaux, double magnums of Latour and Unico, Jeroboams of Dom Pérignon, Imperials of Haut-Brion and Lafite, and a “collection” of Romanée-Conti. Not all is ivory tower, however, with respectable bottle beginning at less than £30 for handpicked Slovenian Pinot Bianco, for example (Quercus, Vinska Klet).
In addition, beyond a bright green cover, The Wine Buff’s Wine List was launched by Robert within weeks of his tenure (post 28:50) as head of wine at Caprice Holdings and Birley Clubs. Implemented by Annabel’s head sommelier, Erik Simonics (ex of The Club at 10 Trinity Square), this stars at least five Champagnes, ten whites and twenty reds at a mouth-wateringly low margin – “sometimes as low as 5%” confirms Robert, albeit all is subject to a 15% service charge and conditional of a covetable membership to the club. Labels on this list are properly premier league and move more often than football transfers, and may include Salon Le Mesnil, Domaine Leflaive, Conterno Monfortino Barolo, Pétrus, Penfolds Grange and Chave Hermitage.
Quarterly wine dinners in the garden, complete with retractable roof, are an extravagant affair and have featured Mouton versus Lafite alongside wagyu cheek and truffled potato, and d’Yquem and Cheval Blanc served with thoroughly truffled beef Wellington..
By Douglas Blyde.