Champagne

Where-to-drink-champagne-in-london

Last week, I was invited to a Champagne tasting at Flute Bar to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Our hostess was Champagne expert Jayne Powell who also goes by the name of Champagne Jayne. And as we listened to Jayne telling us the stories behind each glass we tasted, it became very clear that International Women’s Day and Champagne were indeed perfectly matched.

Did you know that the Houses of Pommery and Veuve were established by women? Widows in fact? Jayne’s stories were both awe-inspiring and compelling!

So how did the night go?

We were initially greeted with a glass of  Heidsieck …

Which was accompanied by servings of mushroom crostini …

 

And as Jayne regaled us with tales of  ‘The Woman Behind The Bubbles’, we tried the Champagne Philippe Gonet Belemnita 2004 (Le Mesnil) …

Champagne Paul Bara Grand Rose (Bouzy) …

 

And Champagne Pommery Cuvee Louise 1999 Petrossian, which was served alongside Smoked Salmon with creme fraiche.

The night ended with the Armand de Brignac (Gold) – aka Ace of Spades – which has been voted number one Champagne in the world. This treat of a Champagne arrived with Flute Fries seasoned with Truffle Salt – a wonderful accompaniment.

The whole night was a real delight and the selection of Champagne, sublime. Each tasting had its own idiosyncrasy so it was difficult to choose a clear favourite.

The evening was further enriched by Champagne Jayne guiding us through the evening and I’m excited to congratulate her on her Best French Wine (Australia) Award by the Gourmand World Wine Book Awards for her first authored book Champagnes: Behind The Bubbles.

 

Thanks Jayne for a fabulous night! See you in May!

True, I’m abstaining from booze for as long as my system can handle it. But this doesn’t mean I have to stop writing about my favourite subject. And perhaps the next couple of weeks will give me a chance to catch up on my champagne and cocktails posts!
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Before Christmas and after a delicious time at Burger and Lobster, I popped into Sushinho for a glass of champagne using my Champagne For Life card.

I was with the bf who opted for a beer. Ha! It does make sense why this membership is for women only. *wink*

After my glass of champers, I moved onto cocktails and ordered a Lychee Martini! This martini wasn’t on the menu but as I searched for it, the barman asked me what I fancied. I replied, “a lychee martini” but said I couldn’t find it. The barman then said it didn’t matter and that he could make it. He spoke with such confidence, I trusted him and the result was very delicious! I’ll definitely be going back for more.

Since the place opened, I’d never really bothered popping into Sushinho for drinks before. But I’m glad my Champagne For Life card led me there. Their iPhone app is so cool. It determines your location and pinpoints all the Champagne For Life bars, clubs and hotels nearby. It makes deciding where to go so much easier. So roll on 2012 and plenty more bubbles! Let’s make this a delicious year!

*UPDATE: Since receiving a Champagne For Life card as a gift from the brand, I have had a couple of problems with bars accepting my card and I have also had to explain what the card is to venues who are on Champagne For Life’s. Before signing up for the membership, it may be worth hanging out with someone who already has one to see how it works and to see if it is for you.*

Last weekend, I popped into Blakes Hotel’s bar to use my Champagne For Life card.

I’d never been to Blakes before and I loved what I’d discovered:

The intimate bar, which sits in the hotel’s basement and adjoins the restaurant is tastefully stylish. The design is Chinese influenced.

We were there on a Sunday afternoon, so it was pretty quiet. But apparently, on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night (especially), the whole place is rocking.

That afternoon I had a couple of glasses of champagne:

But I hear Blakes also make a delish Chinese Mojito. This is just one reason to return. The end of week party vibe as well as the restaurant are a couple more!

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but champagne is for life. This is my new mantra thanks to the ladies at Champagne for Life who have assisted my inauguration into this fabulous mindset.

Champagne has always been a way of life, from sipping mini Moëts through straws whilst watching Sex and the City’s first run to sharing bottles around the world at my favourite bars, which includes the Opera Bar in Sydney.

My initial champagne appreciation lends itself to Casablanca and the line from Captain Renault: “May l recommend Veuve Clicquot ´26, a good French wine,” which always leaves me feeling tingly inside.

On Sunday, I revisited The Collection to continue my champagne evolution and this time I arrived with my Champagne for Life card in hand. Champagne for Life is a lifelong membership for women only. The subscription fee is £500 and it allows members to receive one free glass of champagne every day for the rest of their lives.

The only condition when claiming the free glass of champers is that another glass of bubbles would have to be purchased, either by the member themselves or by an accompanying non-member: a somewhat two for one deal. And given the selection of venues which have already signed up to this scheme, you’ll hardly be in a rush to leave any of these fabulous bars.

As well as The Collection, other local venues include Boujis, The Botanist, Sushinho and Blakes Hotel. There are other bars around London, from Battersea to Soho and from the City to mainland Europe. And if you’re in the area, Champagne for Life’s smartphone app will flag up all their nearby venues. Now that’s amazing service for you. Clinks glasses!

*UPDATE: Since receiving a Champagne For Life card as a gift from the brand, I have had a couple of problems with bars accepting my card and I have also had to explain what the card is to venues who are on Champagne For Life’s list. Before signing up for the membership, it may be worth hanging out with someone who already has one to see how it works and to see if it is for you.*

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