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Champagne and Karaoke

Posted on 2011/03/27 09:52:40 (March 2011).

[Thursday 24th March]
In line with the now traditional celebrations this time of year I ventured out after work with my friend Kyle from the office in search of Champagne. We decided to go to Fortnum and Mason (and glad we went when we did, given the events later on in the week). Therein we each had the Billecart-Salmon flight at the 1707 wine bar which was very nice as always.

Next, we decided it might be nice to try another venue, and that it would be good to meet up with Al, so headed toward Kettner's in Soho, which I'd heard had a good Champagne bar. I liked this place a lot less, incongruous though it may seem Fortnum and Mason is actually pretty good value - especially their Champagne of the Month promotion - whereas Kettner's seemed to subscribe to the school of thought that it was somehow acceptable for bars and restaurants to charge about three times the retail price for a bottle of wine (and add a service charge on top of that). That might be OK if there was a particularly special atmosphere or decor, but the bar at Kettner's didn't really have either of these. The only slight plus point was that they had Champagne saucers in addition to the usual flutes. That aside I think I probably won't go back.

Next we decided dinner would be a good idea, and Kyle proposed going to Bar Shu, just over the road from where we were. It's a Szechuan restaurant, which meant just about everything was pleasingly spicy, and they had some really very tasty tofu dishes (I particularly liked the "bear's paw" beancurd).

After this I left Kyle and Al, and headed over to Smithfields, where Gav was having a bit of a shindig at the karaoke place there (I think it was in fact his brother's birthday). A bit of an incongruous mix given the evening's previous venues, but a lot of fun nonetheless. Between Gav and his brother they'd assembled an extremely lively crowd, I don't think I've ever seen a more actively engaged karaoke session, and it ended up being a bit of a late night.

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