Company Overview, Kate Thal



The idea for Green & Blue was first germinated by Director Kate Thal in late 2001 and, after years spent researching the market, raising the finance and finding the perfect site, the first shop and bar eventually opened in early summer 2005.  We hope that with a lot of hard work, a little luck, and a reputation for great wine, Green & Blue Lordship Lane will be joined by half a dozen more over the next few years.

The business plan is for 5 – 7 sites in the Greater London area over the next 5 – 7 years.  Kate was a sommelier with the Conran Group and then went on to work as Drinks Buyer for the Hartford Restaurant Group.  She now consults to RTL Hotels Ltd.

Also on board is Simon Wright, the man behind the phenomenally successful Room Restaurants in Leeds and Glasgow, as well as former F & B Director for both the Great Eastern and Ian Shrager Hotels.

Kate Thal

South African born Kate Thal had never planned on a career in wine although, with hindsight, there were early indications.  Aged 3, she was hugely appreciative of the sips she was allowed from her beloved Grandmother's glass and one of her first sentences was "I am like you Granny, I like wine".

Growing up in Stellenbosch, she had ample exposure to wines on the farms of school friends but, as quantity at that age was more important than quality, perhaps a veil should be drawn over this time.

On dropping out of Cape Town University in order to save money for travel to the UK, she took a job at the Stellenbosch Wine Tasting Centre over the long, hot summer months and it was in the cool calm of the walk-in fridge that she had her first wine epiphany.  While taking the surreptitious sips she allowed herself when her spirits flagged, it first struck her how truly delicious and multi-faceted a drink of wine could be; and then how a relatively small amount could revive one most remarkably and give the day a certain glow which other forms of alcohol were incapable of inducing.

Fast forward seven years later and Kate was working at the newly opened Mezzo in London's Soho where she was awarded a trip to Taittinger Champagne. Here, over dinner at the Chateau, undoubtedly aided by the fine food, wine and surroundings, the decision as to exactly what she was going to do with her life suddenly seemed preposterously obvious.  She was going to go into the wine trade.

Her grandmother would have approved!

After years of working first as a Sommelier at Mezzo and then as a buyer for a London restaurant group, Kate wanted to start her own company.  She believed passionately that the great joy of truly good wine – both the more humble bottles and those for special occasions – should be available to everyone and that, currently, it is often difficult for people to buy the really good stuff on the high street in a friendly environment.  This is when her idea for Green & Blue was born and her great hope is that the shops and bars will be responsible for their fair share of wine epiphanies in many of her customers.