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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Ted lays in waite …


… oh c’mon Ted tell us about one of your favourite places in the fabulous Borough Market … well since you asked so nicely I will tell you about a fabulous place hidden almost in plain view on the edge of the market.  Yes, folks my favourite independent wine merchant’s flag ship store is right here in the railway arches – Laithwaite’s Wines.

Started over 40 years ago from humble beginnings by Tony Laithwaite and his wife Barbara (the business brains of the outfit) they have gone from strength to strength and are the biggest independent wine merchant in the UK and probably the world.  And yet, it has none of that big business feel, even though you can tell there is a huge and efficient buying, blending, production and supply machine behind it to deliver the variety and great value for money that is on the shelves every day. 

Little known fact though … when you’ve been with Laithwaite’s for two years you go on an all expenses paid trip to Bordeaux, where you are taken on wine appreciation trips that give you that exposure and experience that you can only get “on the ground”. Tony (like all true wine appreciators I venture) is a romantic and hence the headquarters of the French negociant company are in Le Chai de Quai in Castillon which is a beautiful building that lay derelict for many years after WWII. It was accidentally bombed by the allies in the war when the explosives planned to blow up the nearby bridge were somewhat over charged and also took out quite a number of the buildings on the shore. Tony saw it, bought it, and has restored it to its former glory and made into a functional negociant winery and business headquarters.

Back to London now … when I go into the Borough Market store I always feel like I’m talking to a member of the family, whether I’m talking to Grant, Karolina, Eva, Cedric or Emma, the incredibly knowable folks at the coal face. Their range is huge, and will meet every price point, but is about 300% better than what you’ll buy from the supermarket for the same price. They also do very accessible fine wines at great prices for those special occasions.

Don’t know what you want??? … then simply ask and you’ll see their knowledge shine through. They’ll let you taste different wines to get a handle on your flavour palate so they can tailor it to your tastes. All and all it’s a very pleasant experience to buy wine.  Later when you drink said purchase you know it has the propensity to be absolutely spiffing with your chosen cuisine too.

Their "pay for" tastings are always great value … rumour has it that nearer to Christmas they are planning a “Champagne goes with everything” tasting … watch this space and don’t miss out … it will be enormous!!!

6 comments:

Gunn said...

I think I will try to find this place!
Lucky Ted....

Sharon Anck said...

Oh yes, this sounds like a place I would enjoy. I would also enjoy that "champagne goes with everything" tasting. Sounds like my kind of event.

jabblog said...

Oh wow!I should have stuck with Laithwaite's . . . love the photos, too:-)

William Kendall said...

I do like the look of the place!

Lowcarb team member said...

Looks a great place - love the photo's

All the best Jan

Jack said...

Wow. A great place. With excellent merchants. Running a place where every customer-facing employee seems like a member of the family takes great skill and management.

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