While pompous palaces and a towering castle in its city center help make London a classy destination ideal for any traveler, the city’s numerous hotel champagne lounges should not go unnoticed in their contribution to the capital’s finesse and elegance. After a visit to any of these Forbes Travel Guide Star-Rated hotel’s bars, you are sure to indulge in some of England’s best when it comes to a glass of bubbly. We even found one place serving guests Lallier champagne and a three-course dinner all while catching up on Oscar-winning films. No matter what your fancy, an evening at any of these champagne lounges will make you feel like British royalty.
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy
The Savoy has a long track record of mixing fabulous drinks that goes all the way back to its opening days in 1889. Today, one of the main attractions at this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel is the Beaufort Bar, an Art Deco destination where old and new blend beautifully. It’s the kind of bar that coaxes you to put the iPhone away and savor a sip of something truly magnificent—whether it’s a glass of classic 2005 Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs, a rich taste of Gatinois Brut Grand Cru, a prestigious sip of Dom Pérignon or the unrivaled flavor of 1976 Salon Brut Le Mesnil.
Claridge’s Bar at Claridge’s
When the working day is through, many a Mayfair executive trades the desk chair for the stylish red leather stools and sofas at Claridge’s Bar. The eponymous gathering spot inside the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel is a common ground for the city’s chicest champagne fans. Sipping away at a bottle of bubbly is a popular pastime at this bar, which boasts more than 50 labels on its menu (including Louis Roederer Cristal Brut) and a list of innovative champagne cocktails for adventurous drinkers—we love The Julep, with champagne, calvados and raspberry preserve, garnished with fresh mint. There’s something for everyone here, and with some 60,000 bottles popped each year, it’s certainly safe to assume that everyone finds something worth coming back for.
Coburg Bar at The Connaught
Has a more perfect union than champagne and caviar ever existed? We think not, and if you find yourself in London, you’d be hard pressed to find a more relaxed and intimate place to experience this unmatched marriage of textures and flavors than at the Coburg Bar at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Connaught. Chef de Cave at Ruinart Frédéric Panaïotis has put together a sensual list of famous French champagnes specifically for the Mayfair bar, including a hand-selected 1982 vintage. Other cellar masters from well-known champagne houses have also curated special lists for the Coburg. Should you crave a bite of something more substantial than just caviar, peruse the bar’s tapas menu for tasty nibbles like smoked salmon, avocado and blinis with caviar, or lobster spring rolls with fresh ginger and tamarind sauce.
Film & Fizz at One Aldwych
The Film & Fizz series at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star One Aldwych is not your standard “dinner and a movie” combo. Instead, this luxurious film experience swaps soda and popcorn for a selection of Lallier champagnes and a three-course dinner menu from Axis at One Aldwych. The film lineup features the latest Oscar-winning titles, including Skyfall (April 26-27), Life of Pi (May 10-11) and Les Misérables (June 14-15), for you to enjoy, giving you a perfect excuse to catch up on any award winners you missed last year. You don’t need to don a red carpet gown or rent a tuxedo for this London attraction, though you may feel like a star as you clink glasses of Lallier Grand Réserve and settle into a pair of cozy leather armchairs as the opening credits roll past.
Photos courtesy of One Aldwych, Fairmont Hotels And Resorts, Maybourne Hotel Group