Harrods axes fine wine and spirits basement to make way for restaurant

27 September, 2016

Harrods is axeing the fine wine and spirits department it unveiled in 2013 and replacing it with a 225-seat restaurant.

The wine department, which spans 7,000 sq ft in the basement of the Knightsbridge luxury store, was relaunched to great fanfare three years ago after first opening in 2010.

The management envisaged it becoming “the ultimate wine shop”, featuring 2,000 still wines, 200 Champagnes and 500 spirits.

But now it is poised to be stripped out to make way for the new restaurant, although Harrods pledged to find a new home for the department elsewhere in the store. 

“The aspiration of the basement restaurant is to provide the Harrods guest with the opportunity to experience a high-quality evening dining service outside of trading hours,” said a report by Woods Hardwick, the architect for the project. 

Harrods still plans to offer a “leading fine wine department”, but said it regularly reviews its space “to ensure we provide the best possible products and services”.

It said: "There have been inaccurate reports that the fine wine department is closing down. This is categorically untrue. Whilst we have submitted a planning request to redevelop the space in the lower ground floor to make way for a restaurant, we are not closing down the department. We will continue to host a fine wine department [somewhere else] in the store, providing the same range of high quality products and brands to customers."

Kensington and Chelsea council council will rule on the application to convert the basement later this year.




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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