There’s never a bad time for good champagne – but don’t take our word for it. Oscar Wilde was of the opinion that “only the unimaginative can fail to find a reason for drinking champagne”. Coco Chanel famously professed to drinking champagne on only two occasions: when she was in love, and when she wasn’t. And as far as celebrated wine author Willie Gluckstern is concerned, “in a perfect world, everyone would have a glass of champagne every evening.”
We don’t know about you, but we tend to find that the world’s finest fizz seems to taste better in suitably sumptuous surroundings. And, it just so happens that 27 October marks Global Champagne Day, so we have no doubt you’ll thank us for providing the below guide to the best bubbling bars in London.
116 Pall Mall, St James’s
Situated beneath the Grade I-listed 116 Pall Mall in what were once the wine cellars of King Charles, this bar has been transformed by hospitality experts Searcys into a unique spot from which to sip from one of the largest selections of champagnes in London. Expect bottles from the likes of Moët et Chandon, Drappier and Dom Pérignon, alongside champagne cocktails and a menu of bar snacks and canapés devised to pair perfectly with your tipple of choice.
116 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5ED, visit 116pallmall.com
Cakes & Bubbles at the Hotel Café Royal, Piccadilly Circus
There’s a reason that pretty much every afternoon tea in London comes with champagne as an optional extra. There’s just something about blending the sugar and fat in pastry with the palate-cleansing carbonation of champagne that really works. The opulent Hotel Café Royal has taken this combination to its most exquisite conclusion by enlisting Michelin-starred chef Albert Adrià, formerly of El Bulli and previously voted World’s Best Pastry Chef by Restaurant magazine, to create a selection of sweet treats to accompany the hotel’s finest bubbles. Choose from a range of a la carte pastries and champagnes or opt instead for the set menu, which features three courses of delicate desserts served alongside a glass of Veuve Clicquot. Savoury options are available but that would rather be missing the point…
70 Regent Street, W1B 4DY, visit cakesandbubbles.co.uk
The Stage at The Londoner, Leicester Square
More likely to find yourself in the West End? Another hotel on Leicester Square has also brought with it an elegant champagne bar ideally located for pre-show libations. An all-day affair where bubbles are served alongside breakfast, afternoon tea and a selection of oysters, charcuterie and bar snacks in the evening, the drinks menu has been carefully curated to offer vintage and non-vintage wines by both big-name houses and small producers, such as Ayala and Veuve Fourny.
38 Leicester Square, WC2H 7DX, visit thelondoner.com
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, The Strand
Decked out in a dramatic black-and-gold colour scheme that makes it one of the most recognisable bars in the capital, there are few venues better suited to a decadent night out than the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy. Taking its cues from the hedonism of the Roaring Twenties, champagne takes prime position on the menu, with bottles from lesser-known growers, such as Tarlant, Benoit Lehaye and Roger Coulon, sitting alongside the grande marques. You’ll also find an interesting selection of English sparkling wines from vineyards including Chapel Down, Rathfinny and Hush Heath.
The Strand, WC2R 0EZ, visit thesavoylondon.com
The Champagne Room at The Connaught, Mayfair
Looking to make up for lost time with a no-expense-spared get-together? The Champagne Room at The Connaught could be just the venue you’ve been searching for. Designed by Guy Oliver, this intimate space can host up to 20 people in surrounds that are flooded with natural light by day, and candlelit by night. While a full menu of wines, spirits and cocktails are available, as the name suggests, it’s the champagne that takes centre stage. Cuvées by Laurent-Perrier, Krug and Billecart-Salmon are available by the glass, while vintages from Dom Pérignon, Louis Roederer and Bollinger can be bought by the bottle. There’s also a concise menu of bar snacks and small plates, including an entire section dedicated to caviar.
Carlos Place, W1K 2AL, visit the-connaught.co.uk
Searcys, Battersea Power Station and St Pancras
On 18 October 2023, Searcys will be opening its newest bubbling venue at Battersea Power Station. The 76-cover bar and dining space will feature a mix of plush, deep blue velvet seating with polished brass detailing and a 15-cover marble-topped bar with the signature ‘press for Champagne’ buzzers at each table, so you can order bottles or glasses of Drappier Carte d’Or, Lanson Père and Fils, Laurent-Perrier and Möet & Chandon quite literally on tap.
One of Searcys other iconic venues, located in the heart of St Pancras station – and London’s gateway to France and the Champagne region – St Pancras Champagne Bar by Searcys is Europe’s longest Champagne Bar. This bar features an impressive Champagne list, served among Art Deco furnishings. It’s the best way to start any train journey.
Artists’ Bar, The Dorchester
The Dorchester is one of London’s most iconic hotels and its recent major redesign saw the transformation of Artists’ Bar, the jewel of the hotel’s Promenade. The glamourous interior is surrounded by art from lesser- known female creatives, and the high stools of the Artists’ bar offers the perfect location to enjoy a glass of champagne and indulge in all that the five-star hotel has to offer. Pick from Thienot, Cristal, Brut, Krug Grande and Franck Pascal to accompany your Irish rock oysters, lobster arancini, truffle pizzette and scallop ceviche.
53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA, visit dorchestercollection.com
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