Fine Living | The Reconnoisseur

A refreshing pit-stop amid the hurly-burly of shopping

How a glass of wine saved one shopper £500

A refreshing pit-stop amid the hurly-burly of shopping

August 24 2010
Catherine Moye

When deciding whether or not to go £100 over budget on a burgundy-coloured Marc Jacobs jacket, there are worse places for a girl to make up her mind than in Selfridges’ Wonder Bar. It is based on a mezzanine on the ground floor, wrapped around the store’s wine shop.

I’ve always preferred Selfridges to London’s other department stores – partly because it’s the closest to my home. Now that I have discovered the Wonder Bar, I find that I’m there even more often. Among wine-lovers it’s regarded as a fine place to sample wine, but for me it’s simply somewhere to rest from lugging around my shopping bags.

In the bar, as I discovered, you buy a card and pour your own wine in 125ml or 175ml measures from the jukebox-style dispenser that stands along one wall. This holds 52 regularly-updated wines costing from £3 to £100 a glass. There is also a tasting menu, bar snacks and a good cheeseboard to go along with your wine, with a choice of three cheeses for £9.50. Check out the delicious extra mature Ragstone from Hereford.

I can’t profess to be a one of life’s most ardent wine drinkers. I tend to stick to white and in particular the Mont Damnés Sancerre from the Loire Valley, which is packed with flavour and costs £7.75 for a 125ml glass. It put me in such a good mood that I had no desire to head back to the designer departments, so I saved nearly £500 by not buying that jacket.

Open Mon-Sat, 9.30am-9pm. Sun, 11.30am-6pm.