LM: How many covers can you do in one sitting at Hide, and how many staff do you employ as it’s split over a few floors?
TF: We can do 174 covers over the three floors and the four private dining rooms, and we employ around 170 people including at the head office. To be able to produce the food of this quality almost around the clock, and provide the level of customer service we strive for, we need a very large number of chefs and front of house staff. All staff members are selected through a rigorous recruitment process, as it is my firm belief that it is the people who make the restaurant really special.
LM: It has been reported that Hedonism Wines has stock worth over £10 million. What are the most expensive bottles that you currently have for sale?
TF: For me, it is not so much the most expensive bottles that make Hedonism an amazing wine store, but the incredible buying experience that it offers. It is the depth and breadth of the range, customer experience like nowhere else, the knowledge of the team behind it and the opportunity to find some very rare bottles at any price point that it offers.
Our most expensive wine bottle is an 1847 Chateau d’Yquem at £96,400. It is liquid history and a very desirable collector’s item too. As it is a dessert wine, it would be drinkable now and probably tastes heavenly, as it was one of the best vintages of that century.
LM: What’s your ambition for Hide and Hedonism Wines going forward?
TF: I am a perfectionist, so there is always room for improvement. Both businesses are currently growing, with more and more people from all over the world becoming our customers and guests every day. It is essential that our high standards are maintained. For Hide, the short-term goal is certainly trying to obtain the second Michelin star for Above.
The menu changes all the time, but what remains the same is the lightness of touch and wonderful flavours. We are investing a lot into wine and whisky stock to provide our customers with even more choice, so it is a constant work in progress.
LM: Do you see Brexit as a way of creating new opportunities for your business?
TF: We have accounted for Brexit in our business plans as we are dealing with lots of EU suppliers and customers, and most of our team are EU citizens who moved to the UK. We have prepared for it according to the guidelines given, but we are yet to see what exactly will happen.
LM: What are your luxuries in life when you are not working, and what have been some of your most extravagant purchases to date?
TF: Free time is the biggest luxury, not having to rush anywhere or do anything (this literally never happens), so just reading a book, travelling with family and friends, going surfing and not checking my emails would be my definition of it. I have recently purchased some land abroad and am currently building a house there. Hopefully, it will be finished soon, and I will actually find some time to spend there!
Hide and Hedonism Wines – Where and How?
Hide Bar and Restaurant is located at 85 Piccadilly, London W1J 7NB, United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.hide.co.uk.
Hedonism Wines can be found at 3-7 Davies St, Mayfair, London W1K 3LD, United Kingdom. For further information, visit https://hedonism.co.uk.
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