40 Dover Street
W1S 4NP London
40 Dover Street
CAN YOU TELL US A STORY, A FAMOUS ANECDOTE ABOUT THIS PLACE THAT MAKES IT UNIQUE?
The Arts Club was founded in 1863 by men of vision in order to provide a haven for those people who had professional or amateur relationships with the Arts, Literature or Sciences. The Club has provided this hospitality and friendship ever since, having survived two world wars including a direct hit on the building during the Blitz in 1940, as well as the fluctuations in the economy over the years.
The Club moved to its present house in 1896. 40 Dover Street is a fine 18th Century town house, affording its members a comfortable and impressive base in Mayfair.
In the course of its existence the club has included amongst its members many of the most outstanding figures in the history of art, literature and science. Writers such as Dickens, Wilkie Collins and Thomas Hughes; musicians such as Tosti, Charles Halle and Liszt; artists such as Leighton, Sickert, Millais, Rodin and Whistler as well as a dazzling array of pre-eminent surgeons, solicitors and professionals.
During 2011 the Club underwent a complete renovation, it has been completely transformed into a truly world class establishment.
It is very much a place where creative people come together to meet, exchange ideas, eat, drink, entertain and relax. The Arts Club has reclaimed its place at the heart of the contemporary cultural life in London and on the world stage.
IF THIS PLACE WAS A SONG, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Primavera, by Ludovico Eunaudi. It's contemporary, timeless, a modern classic.
HOW DID YOU BECOME SO PASSIONATE ABOUT WINE & SPIRITS?
I started drinking wine when I was about 16 with my older brother, when he'd bring back home an open bottle that he would have ordered for dinner in a restaurant. He thought it was nice to be seen drinking wine, reminded him of James Bond. Eventually we (the whole family) began doing our own "wine & cheese" nights more than once a week and now I like to joke around that my family is responsible for 10 centiliters of the Brazilian consumption per capita (which is less than 3.0 litres per year! All those caipirinhas…)
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER LOUIS XIII?
I used to work as the Head Sommelier for the Savoy Hotel (for the long waited re-opening) and had my first true taste of it in the iconic American Bar. But the one "special" time that it is now engraved in my memory was back in Cognac, visiting the Rémy Martin estate, tasting Louis XIII poured by Remy's Cellar Master Pierrette Trichet, straight from the cask. The cellar was dark, only lit by a few candles and the atmosphere was surreal. You could smell the unique perfume of Louis XIII in the air and that moment was as magical as a first kiss. Unforgettable!
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ABOUT LOUIS XIII TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER TASTED IT?
It is perhaps the most seductive cognac you'll ever taste. It combines character and elegance, a bouquet that is unique and ever so inviting, and it carries a century of history in a glass. It deserves to be savoured with time for contemplation.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DREAM IN LIFE?
To retire as a successful wine & spirits writer, settled back in the paradisiac mountainous south-east coast of Brazil, with a cellar to die for and family & friends to share all the spoils.
M. ROOS ATHILA
A Brazilian coming from a Marketing/Advertisement background in Sao Paulo, M. Roos Athila settled in London back in 2005 where he started as a receptionist for the Best Western Hotel group, before working his way up to management for a chain of up-market convenience stores in South London, where his interest for wine blossomed. He then moved on to work for Bibendum Wines (one of the biggest wine suppliers in the UK), where he managed a tasting club, got his accreditations from WSET and headed an internal marketing campaign which – amongst other achievements – led the company to win the "International Wine Challenge Corporate Social Responsibility 2010" and "The Drinks Business UK Green Company of the Year".
In 2009 he moved to work as a sommelier for Roka and Zuma Restaurant, in Knightsbridge, before becoming Head Sommelier at the Savoy Hotel. Since August 2011, he's been back with "the family" for the challenging re-opening project of the Arts Club to run the most exciting wine team in the country.