‘Drinking, dining and revelry since 1867’ is the bold claim of this much-loved Soho landmark, opened by the eponymous Auguste Kettner (chef to Napoléon III) and still cutting the mustard today. Much attention now focuses on the Champagne Bar, which offers two bookable ‘nooks’ and over 100 celebratory corks to pop, whatever the occasion or budget: choose from a dozen by the flute, or blow your holiday money on a bottle of 1996 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay (a mere £2,900). In between, consider Pierre Gimonnet 1er cru, Ulysse Collin Extra Brut, Drappier Rosé, et al, or look to the cocktail list for a ‘high and Wilde’ bellini named in honour of Oscar the wordsmith. Accompanying nibbles bring rock oysters, charcuterie, ‘tiny burgers’, blinis and the obligatory caviar, while special ‘gin, fizz and jazz nights’ every Tuesday are added incentives to visit.
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