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Cheers! It's National Champagne Week

Posted in FOOD + DRINK By Maggie O' Sullivan

Glasses of Champagne©petrenkod/thinkstock

We were delighted to discover there’s a whole week dedicated to our favourite tipple starting on Saturday. National Champagne Week is a celebration of the UK’s thriving Champagne scene with lots of events, master classes, tastings, and even a Champagne safari.Searcys Champagne Bar, St Pancras, LondonThe week kicks off on Saturday night at Searcys Champagne Bar in London’s St Pancras Station. Ten different Champagne houses, including Taittinger, Laurent-Perrier, Veuve-Clicquot and Moët & Chandon, will offer a range of cuvées to try, with experts providing tutored tastings. The perfect send-off if you’re on the 20:01 Eurostar to Paris. 18.30-21.00; £40 per person. Afternoon tea at The GoringIf you miss out on Champagne Week, London is full of great ways to enjoy a few bubbles. Practically every hotel in the capital does a Champagne afternoon tea these days – we’re particularly partial to the the tea at The Goring, which comes with a glass of house NV and is served in extremely civilised surroundings. An extra £10 buys an upgrade to Bollinger Special Cuvée or for further £10 you can have a flute of Bollinger Rosé. Alternatively, skip the cakes, scones and sandwiches and just have the champagne – all drinks at The Goring come with free bar snacks, but time it right and you’ll be offered the best complimentary canapés in London. Champagne Afternoon Tea, from £42.50; glass of house NV champagne, £14. Champagne Bar, Vertigo 42Or how about champagne with a view? The View from the Shard gallery offers a Champagne Experience (from £33.95) which includes a glass of Lanson NV and a sweeping panorama across the capital. But if Lanson isn’t your tipple, try London’s highest champagne bar at the top of Tower 42, Old Broad Street. Vertigo 42 serves an extremely wide range of champagnes and champagne cocktails – or order a Laurent Perrier flight which includes a brut, a vintage brut and a demi-sec. It’ll save you going back to the bar…Mark's Restaurant, Fenwick of Bond StreetFenwick of Bond Street is one of our favourite London stores and now that Mark Hix has taken over the second-floor restaurant we’ll be combining our retail therapy with a reviving plate of pea and gorgonzola risotto accompanied by a glass of Moët & Chandon Imperial NV (£15.50). Mark’s Restaurant also offers a couple of English sparkling wines, including a classic cuvée from Hampshire’s Hambledon vineyard by the glass (£11). Champagne Room, The ConnaughtThe Champagne Room is one of the capital’s best kept secrets. The chic and intimate enclave is tucked away in Mayfair’s Connaught hotel and can be reserved for drinks for two or for a party of up to 25. It offers eight prestige champagnes and 40 rare vintages, from a pocket-friendly £20 glass of Bollinger Special Cuvée NV to a frightening £250 for a glass of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2003. The bar snacks are suitably delicious and include Lobster, Pea & Truffle toast (£10) and Duck foie gras terrine with sauternes jelly (£11). 30g of Alverta caviar costs a cool £186 – but then, you could hardly wash down that Krug clos du Mesnil with anything less.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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