Fancy a glass of wine? Have this then, I bought it from Majestic last week, it is called ‘Chateau North of £20’. Fancy a coffee? Well let’s go out then and buy a cup of ‘Capper Expensive’ from Costa Coffee.

For Majestic and Costa, and indeed for Costa’s parent company Whitbread, these are good times.

Pre-tax profits at Majestic were up 2.1 per cent. Sales of fine wine priced more than £20 rose by 9.2 per cent. For that matter, English sparkling wines were up 200 per cent. Majestic’s boss Steve Lewis puts the popularity of its fine wines down to all those cookery programmes.

At some point in the distant future, if archaeologists discover an old copy of the ‘Radio Times’ circa 2013, do you think they will conclude we are a nation of cooks, who put home cooking, fit to grace any restaurant accompanied with fine wine, above all else?

As for Whitbread, sales in Q1 were up 3.1 per cent, with like for like sales across its Costa Chain up 8 per cent during the 13 weeks to May 30. The group plans to open 300 new Costas this year.

© Investment & Business News 2013