In Brief

Moët & Chandon’s bijou bar pops up at Selfridges London

Retail therapy just got even better thanks to this cocktail bar with an arty twist

london_calling_bar_by_moet_chandon_selfridges.jpg

Never mind that 6pm dinner booking, Moët & Chandon has created a champagne hideaway that requires no reservation. The London Calling pop-up at Selfridges on Oxford Street is a ten-seater bar situated in the heart of the store’s Beauty Workshop on the ground floor. Serving high-brow snacks and all things Moët, the minimalist space riffs of the design of a London phone box, only infinitely more chic and futuristic looking.

The bar also doubles as an art exhibition, with the walls adorned with photographs that capture key “Moët moments” in the English capital from the turn of the last century through to the 1990s. These images include a 1967 snap of singer Lulu pouring a glass of bubbly to toast her first US hit single, and another showing a group of Royal Toastmasters celebrating the birth of Princess Anne’s first baby outside the city’s St Mary’s Hospital in 1977.

Lulu, pictured at her London flat celebrating after she has learnt that her single To Sir With Love has gone to number one in all the American pop charts, and is on the way for a golden disc
B/W Negative 6x6 X9518

Mirrorpix

The pop-up bar’s patrons can also drink in an image shot by late US photographer and Magnum legend Burt Glinn that shows young socialites arriving at The Savoy Hotel on a Saturday night in 1957 (below). The photo captures the buzzy energy of London; an energy that, thanks to fun endeavours such as this new attraction at Selfridges, will slowly but surely come to the fore once again despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

ENGLAND. London. 1957. A Gentleman's London. Entrance to the Savoy Hotel.
ENGLAND. London. 1957. A Gentleman's London. Entrance to the Savoy Hotel.

©Burt Glinn / Magnum Photos

Small but perfectly formed, there is indeed much to learn at this bijou bar. For example, did you know that in 1893 Moët & Chandon became an official supplier to Queen Victoria? Or that the first recorded delivery of Moët & Chandon to England was 270 years ago, in 1750?

The drinks menu is an education in itself, featuring recipes from top London cocktail bars including Soho’s Disrepute: the members’ bar is represented by “Feline Fugitive”, a zingy mix of fruit-infused gin, lemon juice, mint, teapot bitters and Moët & Chandon Impérial champagne. Aspiring mixologists can book cocktail masterclasses as well, with two coming up; the first on 11 November with Andrei Marcu from London’s French cocktail house Coupette, and the second on 25 November with Andrei Pantiru from Disrepute. 

Just a word to the wise for those planning a visit: Moët shouldn’t be pronounced the French way. Claude Moët, the founder of the House, was of Dutch origins, so it’s actually pronounced Mo-wet with a hard T.

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