The Champagne Room at the Connaught Hotel Is a Triumph
London's poshest hotel gets a shiny new bar dedicated to bubbly
If we had to name an official beverage for The Connaught—the historic hotel that's resided across the street from London's royal Hyde Park since the 1800s—tea would have been a likely answer. That is until recently. While the hotel has become known for its traditional afternoon service, it's another beverage that's stealing the spotlight.
The Champagne Room is a gilded bastion of bubbly, where a skillfully edited menu offers some of the rarest bottles in the world. Selections include such treasures as one of the last remaining bottles of Pol Roger’s legendary 1914 vintage and the exceedingly scarce Bollinger “RD” from 1976. But champagne isn't the only thing the space has going for it.
Conceived by British designer Guy Oliver, the Champagne Room's interiors take a cue from the drink itself. Metallic accents (gold-rimmed tables, a brass humidor-inspired bar) punctuate a neutral palette with regal blue undertones. An oval skylight—the same shape as Tadao Ando's water feature at the entrance to the hotel—provides a breath of fresh air, giving the room the feel of a clandestine courtyard. "The Champagne Bar is very Jules Verne in concept and in feeling," says Oliver. To his point, a life-size bronze sculpture of a diver in motion by artist Sophie Dickens and abstract photography by Gilles Bensimon on the walls echo Ando's water theme. And a roving tolley allows white-gloved bartenders to prepare cocktails table-side. The combination feels like living in a very stylish bubble—one that seems, somehow, unlikely to ever burst.