To vinous Samaritans


Photograph: Jason Lowe

Photograph: Jason Lowe

Twice in recent weeks we have been pleasantly surprised by the kindness of strangers. Here, we thank these anonymous do-gooders for their acts of generosity.

In a city such as London, where commuters find themselves crammed together daily, our reluctance to acknowledge each other’s humanity is understandable. It is accepted that strangers are faceless, that streets are devoid of affectionate smiles and that the underground is chit-chat-less. Or so we thought.

Among us there are the selfless few: saviours of bottles forgot and gifts gone astray. Just a month ago, one of you altruistic souls happened upon one of our deliciously dark-green bottle bags with a tempting bottle of Chinese ice-wine lying within. Demonstrating unprecedented restraint, your thoughts didn’t turn to an appropriate pairing (ice cream, fresh fruit, or crème brûlée, perhaps?), to a suitable drinking companion or to the minimum chilling time required… Instead, you returned the bottle to our shop at No.3 St James’s Street, entrusting our team to reunite it with its owner.

Another vinous Samaritan witnessed a lady on the train reading a “Sorry you’re leaving” card; she abandoned the train in haste, accidentally forgetting her farewell gift – a £100 gift voucher. You didn’t dream of a lunch in our cellars, a bottle of your favourite Champagne, a case of choice Claret or an excuse to try that Australian Graciano you had had your eye on… No indeed. You posted it right back to us, entreating us to “reunite the lady with her lost gift”, asking only to be informed of the result.

We salute you, benefactors of the bibulous, angelic oenophiles – your strength in the face of temptation has been noted.

Our team was able to find both individuals and ensure safe return of their goods, resulting in a happy ending for all.