With over 300 years of history, Berry Bros. & Rudd is justly proud of its past. In 1698, the Widow Bourne established a shop at No. 3 St James’s Street. Over three centuries later, with two Royal Warrants and three Masters of Wine, the family business continues to flourish, with its heart still very much at No. 3.
Berry Bros. & Rudd’s business in Asia continues to flourish, with new websites and a physical presence in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2013 Berry Bros. & Rudd was the first major UK retailer to give the wines from China a permanent place on its shelves.
While the firm embraces progress, traditions are also valued. Everyone is welcome to the Widow Bourne's shop by the Palace, whether they want one bottle or a cellarful. Berry Bros. & Rudd is run by members of the Berry and Rudd families and continue to supply the British Royal Family, as they have done since the reign of King George III.
Most importantly, they still believe that everything you should look for in a wine or spirit comes down to one simple question: "Is it good to drink?"
1. Berry Bros. & Rudd’s colourful history includes running contraband alcohol into Prohibition-era America, mainly our famous 20th century Cutty Sark Whisky.
2. With seven Masters of Wine working for the firm, Berry Bros. & Rudd have more experts with this top industry qualification than any other wine merchant.
3. Napoleon III was a friend of the first George Berry, and used the cellars under No. 3 for secret meetings plotting his return to France from exile in the 19th century.
4. Berry Bros. & Rudd is famous for rare and fine wine, but we have hundreds of wines priced under £15 per bottle. We give the same high-quality advice and service to customers who pop into our shop at St. James’s or buy from the Bin End Shop in Basingstoke.
5. Framed at the back of the shop is the original letter, dated 15 April 1912, from the White Star Line informing ‘Berry Bros.’ of the loss of 69 cases of our wines and spirits in the sinking of the Titanic. No mention is made of the deaths of those on board.
6. The shop at No. 3, St James’s Street has hardly changed since the 18th century, but Berry Bros. & Rudd have always been at the forefront of innovation. The award winning website and app are just two of the ways that we lead the world of wine today.
7. Berry Bros. & Rudd is still very much a family business. Aside from the current Chairman, five full time members of the Berry and Rudd families work at the firm today. The youngest represent the eighth generation.
8. No. 3 was built on the site of King Henry VIII’s tennis courts, one wall of which still survives in Pickering passage. Also in the passage is a plaque commemorating the presence of the then independent Texas Legation, which rented space at No. 3 from 1842 to 1845.
9. When Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House was built in the 1920s, Berry Bros. & Rudd were chosen to stock the miniature wine cellar. 1,200 tiny bottles were individually filled with the best vintages of the age. The wines included Champagnes by Veuve Cliquot and Louis Roederer, with the bubbles specially removed to fit in the 1:12-scale bottles. The Dolls’ House is now on display at Windsor Castle.
10. The founder of the original shop at No. 3 was a woman, known only as the ‘Widow Bourne’. She passed the shop on to her daughter and son-in-law, and throughout the shop’s history women have been essential to the business, including Ethel Rudd, Chairman 1949-1965.