London Food & Culture

The champagne bar at Searcys bar in St Pancras. We drink a Tiffany & Co cocktail there

What’s Champagne School all about, then?

Sampling British bubbly - or any bubble for that matter - and pretending it's an educative experience sounds good to us

Every month at the famous champagne bar in St Pancras – still Europe’s longest, even after a decade of existence – you can sip a selection of top fizz that may be quite new to you, while being talked through the intricacies of each glass by wine expert Joel Claustre.

And it’s all against the backdrop of the Eurostar trains gliding in and out, and under the auspices of Tracey Emin’s striking artwork, I Want My Time With You.

The extensive collection of champs is hand-picked from established houses and small, independent growers alike, the simple idea to share the knowledge.

And there are different themes each month: on our visit, which was accompanied by a three-course dinner at to celebrate 150 years of St Pancras (read our history here), it was all about English bubbles. Yay.


We tried three varieties: Greyfriars, a very gluggable blend of three classic grapes (chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier) from Surrey (a real English hotspot, it seems), which provided just the right amount of acidity to match a starter of Cornish sole, poached in a buttery wine sauce.

Fizz season. Photo: PR

Then it was down to Dorset for the classy sparkling rosé Furleigh Estate, made from the same trio of grapes (but a higher proportion of pinot noir) to give it a salmon-pink hue, and just a note of rosehip. It made a suitable companion to a suckling pig assiette of tender loin with a jowl bonbon, too.

But our favourite – and one of the UK’s best ‘champagnes’, it seems – was Nyetimber from West Sussex, all golden bubbles and a hint of honey, matching a sweet cream, meringue and jam pudding.

If you missed this, another evening of the same trio of English wines with small plates takes place on 14th Nov (£45), while for more festive fizz, 5th December sees the Prestige Journey, a tasting of three superior champagnes expertly paired with small plates (£65). Glug.

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