Every second, the cork pops on a bottle of Moët & Chandon somewhere in the world, bringing friends, colleagues and families together. Think of Moët & Chandon and you envision glamour and elegance. Founded in 1743, Moët & Chandon is the Maison that contributed to introducing champagne to the world by offering a range of unique wines for every occasion. It has elated the royal courts of France under Louis XV, walked the red carpets of Hollywood, toasted the Grand Slams of the world, lit up Studio 54, flashed during Fashion Weeks, rejoiced with the Queen’s milestones, and now joins Harrods – an iconic London destination – to open its largest stand-alone champagne bar in Europe.
For those of you unaware, Harrods began as a wholesale grocer and tea merchant in East London, first opening its doors in 1834. Since then, it has grown to become the world’s most famous department store, known for its unrivalled range of luxury merchandise. As well as exclusive brands and myriad departments, one of Harrods’ most renowned attributes is its unparalleled service. Harrods continues to be guided by its philosophy of “anything is possible”, and customers remain at the heart of everything they do.
Champagne enthusiasts gather around.
The sumptuous Moët & Chandon bar on the ground floor at Harrods nestled between luxury cosmetic brands, provides an excellent place for a pit-stop between purchases.©Rupert Pearce
Settling in at the bar, I delight at the expansive selection of champagnes available to savour by the bottle – from 75cl to magnums – such as exceptional wines from the Moët & Chandon Legacy Champagne Grand Vintage and Legacy Champagne Rare Limited-Edition Bottle Collections. The range of prices suits a variety of budgets, starting at £16 a glass for their Brut Imperial NV up to £4,400 for their 1959 Grand Vintage Magnum.
Ethan Boroian, Champagne Ambassador UK for Moët, yes, that is a real job… chats to me whilst I’m carrying out my research (wink), about how the shape of a glass impacts the size and number of bubbles you will experience. The aptly named 870 Flute was designed to give the consumer the ultimate tasting sensation of 870,000 bubbles, scientifically proven to be the ideal effervescence for Moët & Chandon. Do not worry, you need not count, just enjoy!
To compliment your bubbles, an array of sumptuous sweet and savoury dishes has been thoughtfully and meticulously developed by Master Chef, Gareth Keown. I had the pleasure of sampling what’s on offer, and can confirm, foodies will not be disappointed. From the bar’s signature ‘Choux Love’ dish – a mouth-watering dessert of choux pastry buns with a mango & passion fruit diplomat filling (each branded with one of the four M O Ë T letters) – to the deliciously tempting ‘Cheese Délice’ – a Burrata Stracciatella, spicy Kimchi & black sesame toastie. Other notable dishes include the aptly named ‘The World Is Your Oyster’ – rock oysters, pear & cucumber, Oscietra caviar; the vegan-friendly ‘Not Another Faux Pas’ – faux gras, rhubarb, ginger and bread; and the unctuous ‘Moët Caramel’ – a dark chocolate shell (cleverly cast in the shape of a Moët & Chandon embossed bottle plaque) filled with 66 percent dark chocolate mousse & salted caramel, served on a crunchy biscuit.
The exquisite food offering of sweet and savoury dishes has been designed solely to complement your bubbles. ©moëtchandon.
To enhance the unique customer experience, dishes are presented on a selection of bespoke plates each bearing a different famous champagne quote, including “Pleasure without Champagne is purely artificial” by Oscar Wilde and “My only regret in life is that I didn’t drink enough champagne” – a remark once made British Economist John Maynard Keynes.
Lastly, I must mention the spectacular design of the bar from the global architectural designer, Sybarite. Inspired by Moët & Chandon’s heritage, Simon Mitchell, Co-Founder of Sybarite, oozed passion when he spoke of the painstaking process for the assembly of the sculptured, central chandelier, composed entirely of degrade metallic discs; the idea being one of celebration and effervescence, as it shimmers and oscillates above. The chalk bar counter channels the linearity of the terroir and topography of the Epernay wine region.
The dramatic main bar area was designed by Sybarite. ©Rupert Pearce
The Moët & Chandon Bar epitomises prestige, French etiquette and elegance, a sense of playfulness, and the philosophy and spirit of La Grande Maison. All the factors one anticipates with the pleasure of drinking champagne. Couple this with the backdrop of Harrods, and you have a truly magical, immersive experience!
Moët & Chandon Champagne Bar
Ground Floor, Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 9pm / Sunday: 12pm – 6pm
Words: Linda Hunting
Opening picture: © Rupert Pearce