Hedonism in Mayfair - an Independent's Independent

Crazy hand cellar

While the words ‘unassuming’ and ‘Mayfair’ very rarely go together, that’s exactly how you can describe the outside of Hedonism on Davies Street. Nestled among a yacht chartering business, Claridge’s and seemingly endless tailors is Hedonism. It’s almost out of sight, but it’s a place that CEO Tatiana Fokina is intent on becoming a destination in its own right.Hedonism shopfront, wine glass light display, Tatiana in cellar

 

Flawlessly executed displays, a near-encyclopaedic product list and a well-trained team is how Tatiana has approached the industry, and the result is unlike any other place in the capital.

Building loyalty in London

 

A shop is only as good as its customers. Even in Central London, Tatiana is concerned with convincing customers to come back. When researching the market in London, she didn’t have many positive experiences: ‘Everyone should be greeted and asked if there is anything they need help with. It shouldn’t matter if I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Some wine shops were very unwelcoming.’ Challenging the traditional attitudes of Fine Wine is a daily occurrence at Hedonism, as Tatiana explains, ‘Our idea is to bring people into Fine Wine who are maybe a little intimidated by it. A lot of people might think ‘is it for me?’ but we have things for all budgets and tastes. We select the wines very carefully.’

It’s all about the product

 

Hedonism houses a considerable number of lines - 7200 in total, 700 of which are under £30 -Tatiana says, ‘the idea was always to have a selection of everything, like I guess a specialised merchant would probably have... You come here and you will find what you’re after.’ While Hedonism’s location makes it ideal for the kind of person who wouldn’t think twice about spending a few hundred pounds on a bottle, for Tatiana, the service Hedonism offers is the same no matter who walks through the door. ‘We’re lucky to have some Hollywood A-listers but it doesn’t matter who it is. The most important point is great customer service. The guys and girls here are incredibly knowledgeable and they also have a great understanding of what customer service should be.’ For them, pretension has no place in the store.

A taste of London

 

There is a real buzz about the tasting counter at Hedonism, not least because of the vinyl turntable where customers can select the music. The enomatic machines give Hedonism a chance to showcase all the ‘quirky, new and obscure things’ they have under their roof, as well as host bespoke tastings for customers, despite the surprising obstacle of Mayfair licensing laws. This is something that Tatiana believes sets them apart: ‘What we’re trying to do is tailor make it for them. There’s no set agenda. It’s totally up to them.’ You won’t find any Bordeaux vs. Burgundy here, unless of course someone requests it.

American dreams

 

Their piece de resistance, according to Tatiana, is the ‘largest collection of Californian wine in London.’ Here, boutique wineries sit alongside old vintages of sought-after producers, while the wines of Sine Qua Non have their own dedicated cellar with some rather funky hand sculptures, a reference to the winemaker’s penchant for drawing hands on his labels. But despite such an extensive array of Californian wines and the quirky wines and spirits from all four corners of the world, it’s the classics that still interest Tatiana. When asked what would she drink, if it could only be one thing for the rest of her life, the answer comes quickly, ‘Vintage Krug, every time.’ Not a bad choice. 

Date:
11th April 2014


Company No. 2550982 | 109a Regents Park Road London NW1 8UR | Call: 0845 263 6924 | AWRS Number: XVAW00000101595

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