Thursday, December 13, 2007


"At £50,000, it's the cost of a Jaguar car or a terrace house in Castleford. But that hasn't stopped the orders coming in for what is probably the most expensive Christmas hamper assembled. The idea came from a well-heeled customer at the Vivat Bacchus restaurant in London who asked the co-owner to put together a goody basket for the festive season.
When Neleen Strauss asked for a budget, the client told her £50,000. Strauss set about putting together the special hamper - believed to be the most expensive on sale in the UK - which is stuffed with 22 bottles of prized wines, champagnes and spirits. They include the sought-after Meinert Merlot 2000, ...Strauss describes it as "priceless". Also thrown in for good measure is a £15,000 bottle of Romanee Conti 1970 - one of the best burgundies in the world - and a Chateau d'Yquem 1959 dessert wine (£2,400). The restaurant, which straddles Clerkenwell and the City of London, is a haunt of lawyers, bankers and City financiers who are often flush with bonuses. Word got around in the restaurant of the £50,000 hamper assembled for the customer, a banker. "Then, before I knew it, a lady had ordered another two" said Strauss". (Guardian, 11 December) RD

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