You can’t go wrong with a spot of Champagne. It’s that little step up from what we are all used to drinking, it’s special, it’s celebratory and as Tirage taught me, it goes wonderfully well with certain foods.
Very close to the elite dining spot that is the Heron Tower in Bishopsgate, Tirage's owners have chosen wisely, setting it amongst the moneyed investment banks of the area. As you would expect, the two-tiered restaurant oozes contemporary luxury, combining high quality woods with exposed brickwork, high tables and stools and plush red velvet seating, it has the feel of something quite special. Not to mention the glass lined walls harboring what seems like an endless supply of Champagne; with the Champagne inspired quotes emblazoned on the stairwell walls also a nice touch.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
With Champagne and foie gras on the menu, the atmosphere was one of refined luxury. Tirage is very laid back, with the sense that everyone inside had a deep acquaintance with the finer things in life. If this doesn’t sound like your scene do not be put off, as the helpfully friendly staff create an inclusive feel that allows for an atmosphere of real fun and enjoyment. Tirage is smart, upmarket and refined, and the clientele reflect this - certainly not a place for you to kick back in trainers and a t-shirt.
The Food and Drink
When I heard that they had a huge list of sparkling wines and Champagnes to choose from, I guessed at a figure of between 50 and 60 varieties. I was a touch off the mark; their specially compiled list features 120 options, each of which can be ordered by the glass, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to make your selection.
Tirage's concept is that for every dish that you try, one of the expert sommeliers will make a suggestion of exactly which Champagne or wine to pair it with. Being novices we opted for the ‘Tasting Flight of 5’ in which we received 5 small food plates each, including Pan Fried Seabass, Cornish Scallop Ceviche and ethically produced Foie Gras, served at intervals with a perfectly paired glass of bubbly.
It really is a lovely way to spend an evening, especially for those of us not used to eating in style. It will certainly open your eyes to the benefits of food and drink pairings, as each serving comes complete with an explanation as to why the food and bubbly make such a perfect fit. For those that like to go it alone there is a small but tasty looking selection of ‘Plats’ that allow you to choose your own dishes with your own glass of bubbly.
Not the kind of place you’d visit every week but a quite special experience nevertheless. Tirage is perfect for those looking to impress a date, or as a spot to host a special occasion, in my humble opinion it is easily one of the most enjoyable and unique dining experiences in London at the moment.