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
Oscar Wilde was a fan of the bar at Kettner’s of old, where he rubbed shoulders with noblemen and their mistresses. But that was in the nineteenth century. Fast-forward to 2018 and the French restaurant and once-haut hangout is under Soho House’s wing. The new(ish) title of ‘Kettner’s Townhouse’ is symbolic of how the glory days are being evoked. That includes – charge your glasses – reinstating a champagne bar. Visit during what must be Soho’s swankiest happy hour. From 5pm to 7pm, a glass of blanc de noirs costs £7 while other aperitifs come in at a fiver.
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 £10.25, and you can try a monthly trio of tipples in 50ml measures for £19.50 to get the most out of your money. Try and bag a banquette to get maximum fun out of your fizz.
While the martinis get a fair bit of attention at this lavish little bar hidden away inside The Ned hotel, it also doubles as a champagne bar fit for its City audience. Come on over for a cosy celebration – there are plenty of vintage and non-vintage sparklers by the bottle, and eight by the glass (starting at £15). Plus, the common ground on the signature drinks list is champers, too, where it’s used as either an effervescent top for your tipple or crafted into cordial to really sweeten the deal. The champagne martini is not to be missed.
Why would you pay £20 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.
Okay, it’s not a bar per se, but if you haven’t come across this restaurant’s USP before now, get ready to have your drinking horizons blown. Because at every table of the plush Soho haunt is a ‘press for champagne’ button. And it works! Order from what they claim is the largest collection of champers in any UK restaurant – all your old friends make appearances, from Louis Roederer to Dom Pérignon. It’s definitely a splash-out sort of place, but that button-pressing makes it worth the expense.
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 £15 a glass. Proceed to the restaurant afterwards, or go out into the night seeking Soho thrills.
The setting is pure style at Rumpus Room, a hotel bar overlooking St Paul’s and with its own terrace for summer sipping up on floor 12. And what better to sip than champagne up at these dizzy heights? The house champers is Laurent-Perrier, but by the bottle you’ll find the likes of Ruinart, Dom Pérignon and Louis Roederer. Glitzy people populate the place and the room inside is super-blingy, so champagne seems like a sensible choice, even when you’re not toasting out on that terrace.
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 six) from £8, bottles from £39. 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.
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 £15 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.
The name pretty much says it all at this Brixton Village restaurant and bar – the second from reputable Champage importer, French Bubbles. The menu does extend beyond the eponymous options, so expect charcuterie boards, salads, desserts and French beer, too. But you’d be mad to come here and not sample the fizz, a strong selection of grower champagnes from lesser known houses, served in the charming and unexpected surrounds of Brixton Village market. Toto, we’re not in Champagne anymore.
While our food team didn’t necessarily rate the poshed-up hotdogs at this Fitzrovia hangout when it first opened in 2012, the fizz can’t be faulted (and perhaps teaming it with a sloppy joe is your idea of guilty pleasure heaven – fair play). Glasses of grower champagne start at £7 and the team are able to recommend a tipple to your taste in effortless fashion under the guidance of one of London’s top sommeliers, Sandia Chang.
Venue says Six years on from opening, we've undergone a bit of a glow-up! Now our interiors have been transformed into a chic Champagne drinking den.
Bette Davis and Winston Churchill are both quoted on the menu at the Connaught Hotel’s cosy Coburg bar, but you also get a bit of spiel about each Champagne house listed on the plush menu. With ten whites and four rosé champagnes served by the glass and a whole host stocked by the bottle, you’re in for a good time at the Coburg Bar. And bowls of crisps and olives, both outstanding in quality, are replaced when empty, which makes up somewhat for what will no doubt be a pricey night. Well worth a visit on special occasions.