Champagne: wasted by F1 drivers but drunk by the stars, royalty, the wealthy and anyone wanting a bit of sparkle in their life. While a bottle of Rioja with takeaway Chinese is fine when watching Eastenders, special occasions require something extra and standard non-fizzy wine just won't cut it. The elegance of the long stemmed champagne flute and the amber elixir's ability to make drinkers giddy after just a glass and a half are all part of champagne's charm. Drinking it out of an Ikea goblet, while watching the gloomiest love triangles on TV, never quite does it. Champagne deserves to be drunk in more salubrious surroundings and Fluid has found the Top 10 bars to drink champagne in London.
By Nathalie Bonney.
Image courtesy of Flickr user MrB-MMX.
St Pancras Grand Champagne Bar
Kings Cross / Bar / Cuisine: British
Putting some glamour back into railway travel, the 96m champagne bar at St Pancras station is touted as the longest champagne bar in Europe but in winter months it could also be known as the coldest champagne bar, thanks to its large open entrances. But a glass of bubbly is a much better send off than a Big Mac and Coke. And the design of the bar, heated banquette seating and superb view of St Pancras's vaunted ceiling and passers-by make it a keeper on Fluid's list even in the cold months.
Texture Restaurant & Champagne Bar
Marylebone / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Icelandic chef Aggi Sverrisson has created a modern European menu that takes inspiration from his homeland with Icelandic cod, lamb served with broth, barley and root vegetables. His partner Xavier Rousset is one of the UK's high profile sommeliers and Texture's champagne bar makes for a great aperitif stop-off before dinner. An extensive champagne list boasts 88 by the bottle and five by the glass. Simple but plush creams and muted yellows give a high-class finish.
Beaufort House Chelsea
Chelsea / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: Traditional English
Chelsea - A truly unique space, Beaufort House's penthouse Champagne bar - click here to view the bar - has maintained the original pitched roofs & timber beams to create a loft style bar in a league of its own. The bar stocks an unrivalled selection of Champagnes and, with its mood lighting, this uber cool bar is ideal for private parties or those looking to impress. Intimate and stylish, this west London Champagne bar is somewhere special to lose yourself and be transported far from the busy streets of London. Have a glass of Champagne at the bar or enjoy a bottle of something extravagant with friends.
Liberty Champagne and Oyster Bar
Soho / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Seafood
Definitely a place for ladies that lunch - having spent a bucketload on Liberty's treasure trove of goods, shoppers probably don't think anything about spending £150 on a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvee. The former Edwardian storeroom is surprisingly light and airy, with a good sized curved bar that sippers can sit at. Not all champagnes are so pricey though: Liberty serves two by the glass starting at £8.50.
Chelsea / Bar / Club / Cuisine: Pan Asian
This relatively new addition to Chelsea attracts the smart set and is a definite party venue. Cocktails and world tapas are on offer but its Kings Road location makes a glass of bubbly a prerequisite. Five champagnes by the glass give a reasonable amount of choice and Juju has just launched its own champagne and cocktail lounge.
Fifth Floor Bar
Knightsbridge / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Playing up to its champagne chic credentials, the Fifth Floor bar is decked out like an art nouveau salon, the bar is full of lime green and acid pink velour upholstered chaise lounges, sofas and armchairs. Admittedly, the vibe can be a little 'aren't we rich' but it's a great Saturday afternoon drinks hangout. A cupcake from Ella's Bakehouse and glass of champers costs £15 on mid-week afternoons.
Champagne Henri Giraud Bar at Amuse Bouche
Fulham / Bar / Cuisine: Eclectic
Trying to prove that champagne tastes don't require a champagne budget, a glass of house champagne at Amuse Bouche costs just £5. A cosy garden area is perfect for a chilled glass in the summer. For the other 364 days of the year the interior is simple: high tables and chairs, wooden floor and pale green walls. This is the place to go if you'd like to go out for a glass of champagne but don't feel like putting on the gladrags.
Victoria / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Bar
Reunion was formerly the VIP lounge for first class rail passengers at Victoria station making it a sophisticated place to reunite before or after your journey whilst marvelling at the unique décor and art, all inspired by the golden age of railway travel. The Champagne list includes an extensive range.
Clapham / Bar / Club / Cuisine: Pan Asian
Clapham - SO.UK brings the glamour to the heart of Clapham. The young and funky venue is the perfect place for after work drinks, birthday celebrations or a girl's night out with light bites. The extensive and delicious champagne list is sure to thrill all bubbly connoisseurs; from Veuve Clicquot to Dom Perignon there is something to suit every palate.