Simon and Heather Smith opened this independent wine shop in 2011 and have grown in strength, building relationships with locals and wholesale partners in the town and beyond.
The attractive shop is situated at the top of the Georgian town of Lymington.
The pair are now introducing a varied menu of pop-ups and matched tastings, using Heather’s knowledge gained during time spent at Ballymaloe and with ex-Masterchef winner Mat Follas, when he ran the Wild Garlic in Beaminster.
The couple have considerable experience in the wine industry and have spent many happy years travelling, learning and tasting as they go. Simon worked harvests in his gap year near Carcassone and in Australia – Coonawarra and Mclaren Vale – all funded by working at Majestic as a van driver. After graduating he returned to Majestic as a trainee manager. Heather and Simon met when she arrived as his trainee.
The advantages of going to a small indie wine shop is that they really know their stock and can advise as they get to know your tastes; the monthly emails keep you up to date with new arrivals, food pairings and pop-ups. We particularly enjoyed one afternoon spent trying three incrementally aged Comte cheeses on a sunny Friday in the Cellar’s courtyard garden, sampling chilled pale rosé from Chateau Maravenne.
Solent Cellar are consistently listed in Harpers 50 Best Independent Wine Shops in the UK and we suggest you visit soon!
By Penny Hopkins, Hampshire editor