Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.
Elizabeth Coombes and Simon Hill opened Artisan Wine And Spirit Co two years ago and find themselves busier than ever.
But business is nothing without customers. “The best part of the job is chatting with our customers”, says Elizabeth. “I have been in the wine trade for 27 years and can’t imagine doing anything else. We have some incredible customers who have now become firm friends.
“I absolutely love all of our events, but I think the most rewarding times are when someone literally pops their head around the door to say, ‘Just wanted to let you know, that bottle of rum you recommended the other day was absolutely delicious, thank you!’”
When asked about the events she has hosted in the past, Elizabeth doesn’t know where to begin.
“Wow – where to start! The most recent was our Love In The Square Valentines Walk in February. This latest in our series of history walks and drinks started and ended at The Old Ale & Coffee House.
“We started with a drink, then a couple more on the walk and ended with something hot and hearty to eat back at the pub. Timezone Tours did a fabulous job guiding us on a Valentine’s Day tour to find out about the meaning and history of Valentine’s Day.”
So what does the future hold for Artisan Wine And Spirit Co? “An exciting event we have coming up is The Big Spring Tasting, where there will be around 20 suppliers and all sorts of new wines and spirits that we’ve been busy hunting down – watch out for the English Sambuca!
“These tastings are massively popular because they’re an absolute bargain. There are up to 200 different things available for you to try (we wouldn’t suggest you aim for all of them. We’ve been doing this for years and we’d be hard pushed to do that).”
Elizabeth and Simon are proud to have won the “Best UK Newcomer 2022” award within less than a year of opening.
The future is really exciting for the Artisan Wine And Spirit Co and, as Elizabeth says, “the possibilities are endless!”