The first thing you need to know about choosing a champagne bar is that the words ‘champagne bar’ may be the worst thing to look for. Some places with that name are just trying to put overpriced lipstick on a particularly plain pig. Do you really want to drink the world’s most expensive sparkling wine while watching people shop for shoes in a department store? We’d be more inclined to go for places that are really good bars and just do champagne well, even if it’s not their sole or principal offering. And hey! Some of them even include the C-word in their names. These things happen.
Champagne bars in London
This is one case in which the name champagne bar is a cause for cheers instead of caution. The place just looks so incredibly gorgeous, deftly done in dark wood and affording magnificent views of the whole Eurostar hall. There are a dozen wines by the glass, starting at an un-greedy £9.50, and from Sunday through Thursday you can order the house champagne for £35 a bottle. Try and bag a banquette to get maximum fun out of your fizz.Read more
Why would you pay £18.50 for a glass of champagne here when you could pay £13 elsewhere? Well, for starters it’s Louis Roederer champagne, one of the best non-vintage wines around – and in a 150ml measure rather than the standard 125. And then there are the bar snacks: nuts, crisps and whatnot, which come at no extra charge. And then there’s the knowledge that you’re sitting in one of the most famous bars in the world. And finally… well, it’s the Savoy, ffs. ‘Nuff said.Read more
Most people think of this lovely Art Deco room as a cocktail bar – and so do we! Why else would we have ranked it so high in our list of London’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars? But the room is lovely, and comfy, and never too noisy. And that makes it a very civilised place to sip Bollinger, that AbFab necessity, for £13.70 a glass. Proceed to the restaurant afterwards, or go out into the night seeking Soho thrills.Read more
The official name is Kettner’s Bar by Champagne Laurent-Perrier, so there are no prizes for guessing which champagne features most prominently. But there are dozens of others on the list, including rarities from small houses and growers. This all makes Kettner's a very special place, and explains part of the reason for its enduring popularity. But it’s the sense of history that really makes this place so special: it’s been here since the middle of the nineteenth century, and it looks like it. Glass prices from £12.50.Read more
Parsons Green has been getting no end of amusement from this unorthodox restaurant/wine bar since 2006. Champagne is the star attraction, not just because the selection is good but because it’s priced compassionately: glasses (a total of eight) from £7.50, bottles from £37. In appearance it’s more a local pub than a fizz-parlour. At these prices, a bottle of champagne between three people (the perfect number) cuts the spend even more.Read more
This perennial favourite isn’t a place you would necessarily think of as a bar (despite the name), but it’s just as easy to pop in for a drink at the long, gleaming-wood bar as it is for a meal. Champagnes start at £13.75 a pop, and shhhh! don’t tell anyone, but their non-champagne fizz is cheaper still. Oh, and you should resign yourself to ordering oysters. Order by the piece, if you don’t want to overindulge.Read more
Percy & Founders
Venue says: Join us for lunch or dinner on Valentine's Day and enjoy a glass of Champagne on us. Bookings required. email@example.com.
It should work: an expensive and well-designed interior; well-trained, smiling staff who are eager to please; and an experienced restaurant group that’s made a success of venues such as The Orange in Pimlico and Thomas Cubitt in Belgravia. For both looks and service, Percy’s a pro. But Percy & Founders failings are those of far too many smart West End restaurants: a dull menu, married to high prices. It’s a mistake to be innovative or wacky for the sake of it, but playing safe isn’t always the best route either. When you scan a menu and the most interesting items are tagliatelle or a grilled chicken salad, you wonder why you didn’t go to a Harvester. Prices were at times on the cheeky side. A main course of sea bass (£18.50) was a few fillets that would be a starter-sized portion in many restaurants. Side dishes (£4) were almost a requisite. Wine pricing followed a similar pattern of ambitious pricing. If you’re intimidated by a long wine list and order a simple glass of chardonnay, it’s £12.50 for a 125ml glass. Ouch. The cheapest wines by the glass do, however, start at £3.50. We liked the desserts best; treacle tart was good, as a small segment costing £7.50 should be. Chocolate mousse tasted fine, but looked as it had been accidentally tipped over the plate. At the end of an evening of faultless service but unremarkable food, all the little extras had mounted up to a pricey meal. Percy’s also has a quiet bar with attentive and smiling staff. But if you’re looking f
Now find cracking cocktail bars
So many cocktails, so little time. So just stick to the best cocktail bars in London by using our ranked list below. You'll find everything from dark and dirty speakeasy joints and secret bars to bold and brash party spots meant for a night out on the tiles. What they all have in common is mixed drinks that will blow your mind – and hopefully not your budget.Read more