James Davy - About his Wine Bar on its new Venue in London
During an exclusive session with LWC, James Davy talks about his new wine bar, The Tappit Hen, opening soon in London.
James Davy is a Chairman of Davy's Wine Bars. They are soon opening a wine bar, The Tappit Hen, at a new venue in London. In a Q&A session with LWC, he shares interesting things about The Tappit Hen including what is the idea behind this bar and what they are going to offer the consumers.
Tell us about the new Tappit Hen. What can we expect?
The Tappit Hen has a really great feel exuding authenticity and history as per our favourite places - think Boot & Flogger - both from the building itself and also from the excellent location in St Swithin’s Lane, which is steeped in City history. The bar area is light and airy with a decent sized bar and enough seating for about 50 people. The dining room seats a similar number and then you have a labyrinth of connecting corridors leading to two wonderful private rooms in the old Sandeman’s cellars. The jewel in the crown in the amazing 13th-century cellar that due to its age and location has limited access; but we will be able to take small groups down there for some really special and atmospheric wine tastings.
Can you explain the unique historical drinks connection with the venue?
Though established in 1790 it was from 1805 that this location was the London home to Sandeman’s Port House. Port wine was shipped in Pipes (525-litre barrels) from Oporto to London Bridge and rolled through ancient tunnels to these cellars, from where it was bottled and distributed to the UK and beyond. Sandeman’s occupation of the premises continued up until the mid-1950s.
And that is reflected in the name as well?
Absolutely. A Tappit Hen is a 2.1-litre bottle of Port (three bottles in one) and it just so happens that we have stocks of Tappit Hens of the last vintage bottled at St Swithin’s Lane. A remarkable coincidence, but fitting gave our own history in the wine trade and especially our very strong connections with the Port trade over the last century. We have also used some ‘previously enjoyed’ Tappit Hens of Sandemans 1955 to create lights over the bar!
So can we expect to see some special Ports and exclusive wines at the venue?
Yes - with our pedigree as wine merchants and shippers we are proud of our ever-growing portfolio of exclusivities imported from around the world. That said there will be an excellent Port list available from stocks that will lie in the 13th-century cellar, just as per years gone by. These will feature not only Sandeman’s but others too as we have a good range from many of the major port houses.
How about the food?
Think classic City bar snacks in the bar, steak sandwiches etc. with a few modern additions, all ideal for a bottle of wine or craft beer (we offer a good range of softs too) in quick easy tasty style. The dining room will be British à la carte, an evolution of the current Davy’s menus using the principally UK and locally sourced ingredients. There will be some equally delicious set menus for the private dining rooms.
What sort of wider wine and drinks offer will it have?
The portfolio we offer in Davy’s wine bars will all be available. There are many exclusivities from around the world and the range extends to around 100 wines. Many available by the glass using Verre de Vin, Coravin and a wine preservation/dispense system similar to Enomatics. Craft beer on draft in this location will come from Camden, Davy’s Old Wallop will be served, and we have a strong offering of premium spirits and soft drinks. There will also be an extended Port and fortified list.