The 3 Highest Champagne Bars in London

15th December 2014

The 3 Highest Champagne Bars in London

Gong, Shangri-La Hotel, Level 52 The Shard, London
Vertigo Bar, Level 42, Natwest Tower, London
Duck and Waffle, Level 40, Heron Tower, London

Does the name ‘Ken Chase’ mean anything to you? No, me neither, at least until recently. Mr Chase has the somewhat fanciful job of tasting wines at 37000 feet on behalf of American Airlines. One needs to be certain that the wines being served on flight AA5404 don’t change from acceptable to unacceptable once in the air. No, I’m not making this up.

As my ‘research’ budget doesn’t stretch to long haul flights, or short haul for that matter, I decided to scale three of London’s tallest buildings to conduct my own ‘wine with altitude’ experiment. By ‘scale’ I mean conventional ascent via the elevator, not with ropes or Spider-Man suit.

Here are my results:

Date Visited:
Gong: 20/7/14
Vertigo Bar: 17/7/14
Duck and Waffle: 17/7/14

Vertigo Bar:
Duck and Waffle:

House Champagne:
Gong: Deutz Brut Classic NV £16/glass
Vertigo Bar: Gallimard Brut NV £14/glass
Duck and Waffle: Veuve Clicquot NV £13.50/ glass

Clientele:Wealthy Hotel Guests and Couples / Couples / Tourists and Business People
Gong: Wealthy Hotel Guests and Couples
Vertigo Bar: Couples
Duck and Waffle: Tourists and Business People

Gong, The Shard

Gong, The Shard

Decor, Ambience, and View (out of 10):
Gong: 9.5 – 9 – 9
Vertigo Bar: 8 – 7 – 8
Duck and Waffle: 8.5 – 8 – 8.5

Complimentary Bar Snacks
Gong: Yes
Vertigo Bar: No
Duck and Waffle: No

Gong: 9.5
Vertigo Bar: 8
Duck and Waffle: 9

Gong: 9
Vertigo Bar: 7
Duck and Waffle: 7

Gong: ££££
Vertigo Bar: £££
Duck and Waffle: ££££

Duck and Waffle

Duck and Waffle

How Many Champagnes by the Glass, and by the bottle?
Gong: Glass 5 / Bottle 37
Vertigo Bar: Glass 7 / Bottle 47
Duck and Waffle: Glass 4 / Bottle 41

(No UK Fizz by the glass in any)

How Many UK Fizz by the Bottle?
Gong: 1 (Ridgeview)
Vertigo Bar: 1 (Gusbourne)
Duck and Waffle: 1 (Nyetimber)

Iconic or Unusual Champagne?
Gong: Billecart Salmon Le Clos St Hilaire 1998
Vertigo Bar: Krug Clos du Mesnil 1990 en Magnum
Duck and Waffle: Cristal 2005 en Magnum

(Disabled Access in All)

Bookings Required?
Gong: Yes
Vertigo Bar: Yes
Duck and Waffle: Recommended

Gong: 9
Vertigo Bar: 8
Duck and Waffle: 8.5

Sadly, my research into the effects of altitude on Champagne has come up with no solid results, meaning significantly more ‘research’ is required – Ken Chase might be onto something. The only correlation I found is that Champagne prices seem to go up relative to the height of the building!

The full article can be read in issue 2 of Glass of Bubbly - order online

The full article can be read in issue 2 of Glass of Bubbly – order online here

Written by Simon Stockton –

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