Harrods is going through quite the taste transformation. In November 2017, it underwent stage one of its self-proclaimed ‘revolution’, in which the dry goods section received a fresh lick of art deco-inspired paint courtesy of David Collins Studio. Now, its the turn of the wine rooms. Martin Brudnizki Design Studio – also behind the new Annabels – has transformed the industry-leading cellars, both conceptually and visually, (though Harrods-typical opulence remains perfectly in tact).
‘The new rooms will break down barriers and change perceptions on the world of wines and spirits by focusing more on the flavour profile of the product, rather than the specific categories and brands,’ explains Alex Dower, director of Harrods food and restaurants. ‘These rooms set Harrods apart from every other retailer in the world.’
Detail view of the Aroma Table, at Harrods Fine Wines and Spirits rooms
Throughout, the design sings of 1920s golden days, with a marble patterned floor and limed-oak timber wall paneling. But its in the immersivity – contemporary retail design buzzword du jour – where the space comes alive. Take the so-called ‘Aroma Table’, for example, where we are encouraged to fully immerse ourselves our senses at the newly interactive mis-en-scene of scents, guiding us through the flavours of each grape.
Likewise, the bespoke Education Room – a Harrods first – features bottle personalisation with an in-house engraving machine, personal consultations and one-off cellar plans for patrons looking to build their collections at home. Innovatively, it also offers live streaming to vineyards worldwide, allowing customers to see where the wine is crafted; an experience otherwise not available to the general public. No doubt, the world’s most storied department store is still guided by its founding principle: ‘anything is possible’. We’ll drink to that.