CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Sussex Life today CLICK HERE

Phoenix and Plum wine shop in St Leonards

PUBLISHED: 11:52 08 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:52 08 March 2016

Phoenix and Plum

Phoenix and Plum

Archant

Jilly Goolden discovers Phoenix and Plum, a paradise for oenophiles and gourmands alike, in St Leonards

Wine is a compelling subject. Well I would say that, wouldn’t I? But truthfully it arouses greater passion than almost any other inanimate object. Take the owner of the new-on-the-block wine shop Phoenix and Plum in Kings Road, St Leonards. Mark Plummer, by trade a fashion photographer, became so obsessive about collecting wine and wine knowledge that it eventually drove him to open his own wine shop as a sideline. Not, as I understand it, as a business opportunity, but as an outlet for his all-consuming infatuation.

The first 40 wines he stocked in the shop were all wines he loved personally and drank regularly – he couldn’t wait to share them. And luckily for him locals seemed to be of like mind, lapping up the passion and the wines. They became regulars and now the list is 300 wines strong. Because his loyal following flooded in for regular tastings of a wide range of wines accompanied by interesting food, Mark realised he needed to expand to give more space for the tastings. More room for real food.

So he snapped up an unfinished restaurant opposite the shop last spring and opened it as a restaurant stocking all his wines. The food and wine pairing now has space to breathe. Plus there’s room for a deli and an absinthe bar too. Food at The Wine Shed is very much geared around pairing beautifully with wine and the sommelier isn’t shy about making suggestions. Mark himself, however, has to restrain himself from suggesting perfect wines, as his tastes are somewhat extravagant. More extravagant than those of his customers...

But back to Phoenix and Plum. The shop has two halves, European-dominated ‘affordable’ wine in the front and fine wine in the back. But much to Mark’s bewilderment, the big wow of the shop is the handsome oak barrels which serve wine on tap from big ugly silver bladders hidden inside. Customers buy a bottle (which can be reused) and fill up with Italian wines such as Pinot Grigio and Barbera (“not cheap, but worth it”; although Mark is a bit disdainful of the barrels, he is still enthusiastic about the contents...). Over Christmas they were removed to make space for festive indulgences, but they’re back now.

phoenixandplum.com | www.jillygoolden.com

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sussex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sussex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sussex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Brighton’s The Chilli Pickle is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Co-founder Alun Sperring talks about his passions

Read more

The 2018 Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are fast approaching, with the ceremony taking place at The Grand Hotel, Brighton on 25 October. We’re delighted to announce our finalists…

Read more

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Sussex really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more

Cuckfield’s Ockenden Manor offers a spectacular panorama while you eat

Read more

Laura Paton has found a great restaurant off the beaten track in Sidlesham – but keep it under your hat

Read more

Treat yourself, family and friends to lunch and afternoon tea with a visit to one of these fantastic Sussex tea rooms

Read more

There are some fantastic restaurants and cafés in Eastbourne serving up delectable food and catering for all tastes. We round up some of the best…

Read more

The market own of Horsham is home to some delightful restaurants and pubs. We round up some of the best

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory


Property Search