Champagne Central is a palatial bar in the Grand Central Hotel, offering a decadent backdrop for quaffing cocktails and sipping Champagne. Never ones to turn down a flute, we dressed in our finest, and totted on down.
On entering this marble-decked hotel bar, you immediately realise what's so grand about this hotel. The crowning glory is a stunning gold leaf dome over the main room, with regal pillars, golden cornicing and big bright windows dressed in silken drapes. The bar is clad in mirror panels and decked out in flutes and bottles, with chrome fittings and fresh flowers. Around the central bar area, tall stools and cocktail tables create a bustling, early evening, cosmopolitan vibe, while a lounge off the main space offers a more relaxed, seductive spot for long relaxed evenings.
The Atmosphere & Clientele
We called into Champagne Central in the late afternoon, joining tourists and small clusters of friends were lingering on over sprawling spreads of afternoon tea. Other guests included professionals in for a chic business meetings over coffee or drinks. As early evening seeped in, the bar filled up with a refined professional crowd, and ebb and flow of pre and post-dinner drinkers and couples enjoying a discerning date night.
The Food & Drink
Of course Champagne Central is all about the bubbly. The bar offers an extensive selection by the bottle and the glass, as well as sparking wines. On the cocktail menu, accomplished staff create an array of classic concoctions and contemporary tipples. Daiquiris, mojitos and martinis get a selection of their own, alongside bevvies named after some of the hotel's more esteemed guests. Sinatra, Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, peach and passion fruit puree and apple juice, topped with Prosecco, and the Charlie Chaplin, Plymouth Sloe Gin and crème d’apricot with a dash of lemon juice.
For edibles at the Grand Central hotel, Tempest restaurant and Deli Central lead the way in the food stakes, though for afternoon tea, Champagne Central offers some of the finest in the city. With several options of high teas on the menus, you can choose between sandwiches and rosé or whisky and cream scones, along with the usual classic tiered teas. With each cake, each crustless sandwich more, well moresome, that the last, if you're looking for a true treat in Glasgow, this is the place to come for it.
A decidedly opulent retreat in a splendid setting and a central location, Champagne Central is perhaps the most extravagant drinking den in all of Glasgow. While it lacks the rough and ready charm of other, less swanky establishments, it's charming staff, deep sense of history, and stunning preservation of its setting makes it no less endearing. With afternoon teas and chic tipples, this bar makes a select spot for a special evening, and a must visit for every Glaswegian - at least once.