Look up “hedonism” in the Oxford Dictionary and you’ll find the following:
1 The pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.
1.1 philosophy The ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.
Hedonism in London’s Mayfair believes that wine is one such pleasure – and we agree wholeheartedly. This beautifully designed luxury boutique stocks some 5,500 wines and 3,000 spirits, all of which have been sourced from fruitful regions around the world by knowledgeable buyers (led by former Harrods buyer, Alistair Viner). The booty runs from the classic to the quirky and caters to all budgets – though especially the bigger.
The sprawling two-storey shop is owned by Yevgeny Chichvarkin, the founder of Russia’s largest mobile-phone retailer, and manned by friendly specialists who speak several languages. The first floor is decked out with a natural palette of brick, oak, copper and stone and overseen by a glistening chandelier of 125 suspended Riedel glasses. Downstairs is temperature and humidity controlled (the lights are heat-free), with cashmere throws provided to keep you cosy while tasting. This is also where you’ll discover the custom-made, wood-and-slate wine cellar, whose illuminated niches house the best of the bunch (think rare Dom Pérignon vintages).
Hedonism may be a treat for the tastebuds but it’s also a feast for the eyes.
Hedonism Wines, 3-7 Davies Street, London, W1K 3LD.