A welcome retreat from the hyper-capitalist wonderland within which it lies, Searcy's quenches more than a just a physical thirst. Surprisingly understated, Searcy's Champagne Bar was to serve a refreshing escape from the high tide of blissful shoppers that occupy this consumerist paradise.
Sitting pretty upon the ground floor thoroughfare of Stratford's Westfield shopping centre, Searcy's Champagne Bar finds itself nestled amongst some of the most prestigious boutiques in town; in spite of it's context, Searcy's carries itself with modesty and flair. Low level seating affords a good view of the tides of shoppers wandering in and out of shops, whilst the intimacy provided by the booths reinforce the feeling that this is very much a retreat. The most impressive feature of this bubbly hideaway is undoubtedly the central chandelier, flying high above the walkway and spectacular in its decadence and ornate detailing.
The Atmosphere & Clientele:
This swish little hotspot pulls in a clean cut crowd of fatigued shoppers, ready to refuel with a glass of bubbly and a rich platter of indulgence. The crowd is by no means uppity as one might expect from such a venue, particularly in light of its exclusive location; rather, lunch time deals offering a Champagne Lunch for £10-£15, or a trio of Champagne flutes for £18 pulls in an everyday crowd. A great spot for people watching and a welcomed retreat from the hubbub of Westfield Shopping Centre, Searcy's Champagne Bar offers a little respite but at no point does one feel removed from their context.
The Food & Drink:
Searcy's treats its guests to a wide and varied selection of bubbles. We kept it modest, opting to sample four varieties, all of which were recommended by our knowledgeable waiter. First up, was the Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut NV, a fruity blend that was married nicely with a crisp glass of Canard-Duchere Cuvee Leoni Brut; a wonderfully effervescent choice. Whilst we were savouring our drinks, our friendly waiter delivered a large charcuterie board, paired nicely with a large cheese board; the carefully selected nibbles tenderly drew out the subtle flavours of the champagne we sampled, a careful and well considered accompaniment. To finish, we moved onto two rose varieties: the Brice Brut and the Bollinger; a delightful way to round off an afternoon.
Despite my initial reservations about the price tag, clientele and setting, I was soon won over by the charm of Searcy's Champagne Bar; modest and unassuming, I was struck by how well they had managed to transport a high-end formula to the masses, ensuring that this sleek venue pulls in a wide and varied crowd. Searcy's offered the right amount of commercial respite, but managed to retain an openness that offered a happy balance between immersion and escape.