Visit the Wine Shop That Supplies the British Royal Family
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Ever wondered where the royal family gets their booze? They definitely don’t leave the corner liquor store with a brown paper bag stapled shut like the rest of us.
Berry Bros. & Rudd, a sophisticated London wine merchant, has been the official wine supplier to British royals since the reign of King George III, though the brand itself dates back to 1698.
The original founder was said to be a woman, known as the Widow Bourne. She passed the shop on to her daughter and son-in-law, William Pickering (a tawny port in his name is still sold at the shop). The nearby Pickering Cellar, which hosts the Berry Bros. & Rudd wine school, is also named after the young man.
Eventually, the Berry brothers came into possession of the store, and they quickly catapulted the shop’s reputation. (After all, one of the Berry brothers was a close friend of Napoleon III, and Berry Bros. & Rudd is known to have shipped Cutty Sark whiskey into the United States during Prohibition.)
Between the two London shops, Berry Bros. & Rudd now has over 5,000 different wines from more than 25 countries available for purchase. Bottles range from £10 (about $14) to £10,000 (about $13,560). The company also has a wine school in the aforementioned Pickering Cellar, and a fine wine and dining venue on St James’s Street.
Travelers in London should absolutely carve out time to visit the storied merchant. Sample a few wines — they have more than 20 varieties available for tasting at any given time — and choose a bottle to bring back to your hotel room. Berry Bros. & Rudd also has six masters of wine (this is the highest level wine qualification that can be obtained) to help point you in the right direction.
The store is also famous for selling (and supplying the royal family with) exclusive Berry Bros. & Rudd spirits. Some of their most famous include the classic No.3 London Dry Gin; a Mauritian-style rum, Penny Blue; The Glenrothes Single Malt; and The King’s Ginger liqueur (TPG Travel Editor Melanie Lieberman came home with a bottle after her last trip to London).
According to shop legend, The King’s Ginger was originally formulated to fortify King Edward VII after his morning carriage ride, as ginger is known for its healing properties. Today, it’s more commonly mixed with with whisky, or used to create a spicy mulled wine.
Berry Bros. & Rudd surely puts most local liquor stores to shame.
Both Berry Bros. & Rudd shops are located in central London (the original storefront has stood at No. 3 St. James’s Street for more than three centuries), and travelers can either pre-book existing events or tastings online, or simply stop in to sip and shop.
There are plenty of ways to get between the United States and England. WOW Air offers extra cheap fares, but you’ll have a layover in Reykjavík (KEF). Norwegian is another low-cost option for travelers who would prefer to pay cash.
If you’ve got a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer some to British Airways, but you may end up paying hefty fuel surcharges on BA award tickets. United is a another option if you’d like to transfer points from Chase, with reasonable saver award availability in economy, especially in low season. Aer Lingus is another Chase transfer partner, but you’ll have to stop in Dublin before continuing on to London.
Travelers can also redeem Delta SkyMiles or American AAdvantage miles to fly to London nonstop from major hubs, or with just one stop from many markets across the country. With the right strategy, you can even fly to London for free using points and miles.
Where to Stay in London
Although London hotel stays can often be pricey, there are seemingly endless options if you’d like to use points. Here at TPG we recommend the Sheraton Park Lane and the London EDITION. The city also has a number of Radisson Blu properties that are centrally located. If you’re ready to splurge, stay at The Savoy — just make sure to use your Citi Prestige card to take advantage of the fourth night free benefit. For more information on selecting your perfect points hotel, consult our comprehensive guide to redeeming points in the Old Smoke.
Feature image by Nicolas Asfouri – Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/3/23.
- Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
- 6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
- 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
- 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
- Terms apply.
Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.