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#200 Selfridges Wonder Bar

February 24, 2011

Selfridges' own champagne, with the Wonder Room booze-shop behind it.

Sitting above Wine Store in Selfridges, sipping champagne, we discussed whether Wonder Bar was truly worthy of being included in our 211 countdown.  Admittedly is was Selfridges, and part of the Wonder Room which houses such exclusive brands and Cartier and Tiffany, and the Wine Shop was certainly no Threshers – so on one level it certainly counted in the ‘we couldn’t have done this in Reading’ criteria – but in the end we were very close deciding that, in essence it was just a glorified store café (and you wouldn’t really expect us to be writing about the café in Debenhams, would you), so we were about to just rule it out, when we noticed 2 things…

The future of bartending in London. Australians beware!

Firstly was the raucous and rowdy clientele – not what you’d expect from the world’s favourite department store.  This loud and unreasonable behaviour was not caused by copious amounts of special brew, but by a perfectly groomed, middle aged lady and her companion who had been served the wrong glass of wine.   This of course was disastrous and led half an hour of tears, tantrums and much gesticulation followed by hugs and kisses when the assistant was finally forgiven.  Really the lady came in everyday, so Selfridges should have known her usual…   In no way am I indicating that this argument was fuelled by alcohol, just an excessive of time and – and perhaps a little boredom.

After witnessing first hand this dispute, we ourselves were in dire need of additional fortification, which is when we noticed the device which sealed the raising of this bar to blog status.  There was a wine vending machine!   Yes, in Selfridges there is a wine vending machine.  You just buy a smart card, put it in a machine and choose yourself a glass of wine, poured at the perfect temperature.  How cool is that!  Something so ingenious that it led to our second and third glasses of wine, which I’m sure were delicious – but most definitely outdone by the technology.

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