What could be better than an evening full of cheese and wine? Well… tasty morsels and tipples from two heritage brands that have the Royal seal of approval.
Spend a foodie-focused evening in St James’s, where artisan cheese specialists Paxton & Whitfield and the UK’s oldest wine and spirit merchant Berry Bros & Rudd have plenty of delicious options to discover.
Try artisan cheeses at Paxton & Whitfield
Marvel at the shopfront
Follow your nose along Jermyn Street to Paxton & Whitfield, which is open until 6.30pm each day (5pm on Sundays). Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed by a window display good enough to eat. Make sure to take a photo beneath this Royal Warrant Holder's iconic black and gold signage – don’t forget to say “cheese”, obviously.
Tempt your tastebuds
Once inside, you’ll soon be drooling over a treasure trove of treats - even an experienced cheese connoisseur will discover new finds. Speak to the knowledgeable staff for recommendations – whether you’re keen on hard, soft, blue or washed rind – and make sure to try some of its many artisan samples made using milk from small-scale farms. Linger over some Caerphilly and don’t stint on the Stilton; just make sure to pick up something to take home for later.
Revel in the history
You’ll be following in the footsteps of royalty, both past and present, by visiting this cheesemonger, which has been in operation since 1742. Queen Victoria bestowed a Royal Warrant as far back as 1850, Queen Elizabeth II followed in her footsteps – as did her heir, King Charles III. Wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill also lauded its products – so you never know who you’ll bump into within this tantalising shop. Once you’ve had your fill and picked up something for later, take a five-minute walk through pretty St James’s to Pall Mall, where the world’s oldest wine shop awaits.
Discover world-class wines at Berry Bros & Rudd
Explore a historic wine sommelier
A St James’s icon, you’ll find Berry Bros & Rudd’s shop on 63 Pall Mall. Open until 7pm Tuesdays to Fridays, and 6pm on Saturdays, it’s the perfect spot for an early evening browse. This unrivalled wine and spirits merchant is the oldest in the UK, and has a loyal following – including the Royals who have awarded it numerous Royal Warrants over the years. So, if you want to know what King Charles III pairs with his cheese, the chances are you’ll find it here.
Talk to the experts
The world of wine can be as complex as a vintage Bordeaux, so let the experts guide you on the best options for you. Each team member has a different specialism, ensuring you’ll be matched with the ideal wine for your palate (and for pairing with that artisan cheese you picked up earlier).
Put it to the taste test
Once you’ve received expert advice, taste a range of wines from different producers – including highlights that change by the week. Its Enomatic machines keep the wine fresh, ensuring every sip is of the best quality. You can learn even more during special tasting series or sample new wines and spirits at complimentary in-store tastings that usually run from 3pm until 6pm – check out their website for the latest events.
Explore the fine wine room
Whether you’re keen to add to your cellar or simply want to know more about the best vintages around, the fine wine room at the back of the shop is a must-visit. Here, you can discover wines that are almost impossible to buy elsewhere, from mature Burgundies to rare Champagnes.
Join after-hours events
For even more wine-spiration, keep an eye out for upcoming evening events on their website, including a chance to meet producers at special “Lates”, which run once the shop has closed.
End the evening at home
Having stocked up on your favourite cheeses and wines, follow the experts’ advice by cosying up at home and pairing your latest purchases. Or, if you’d rather keep your wine for another day, why not mix up one of Dukes Bar’s famous Vesper martinis?