There are bars, and then there are bars. The champagne bar in Kettner’s Townhouse falls into that latter category; it’s a bar that’s far more than a bar.
It’s dark and cosy (and open late!) and it has that old school glamour that makes me think of a lost time when women wore pearls and fur and gloves.
Add to that a fantastic list of champagnes, both NV and vintage, to order by the glass (or bottle). To me this is the epitome of luxury; to go here, sit down at a cosy table with its own table lamp, on a comfortable sofa and order a glass of delicious vintage champagne, served in a coupe glass.
The interior has an art deco vibe that I love and the whole townhouse is wonderful. I must plan a staycation here soon. It’s obvious in the details that Kettner’s is part of the Soho House Emporium, but it has a different vibe and feels smaller and more intimate. And a little more decadent.
It’s a treat every time I go here and I will keep coming back. This is hand’s down one of my favourite bars in London!
Kettner’s Townhouse, 29 Romilly St, Soho, London W1D 5HP
I know, you’re probably giggling at the headline, but that is the actual name of a restaurant in Malmö. A very nice restaurant in fact. It’s been around for a few years now and is always busy which is a good sign.
The atmosphere is best described as cosy meets big city, as it definitely feels the restaurant would work just as well in London or New York as in little Malmö. The focus of the food is on meat and unusual cuts and they have the same menu in the bar area and restaurant.
When I came here with my friend Carina one evening between Christmas and New Year we hadn’t booked but we came early enough to get a table after just a ten minute wait in the bar. We started off with a glass at the bar; champagne for me and a glass of white for Carina.
Sitting down we both had a lovely white burgundy (La Châtelaine 2015) that we stuck to the rest of the evening. We also had the charcuterie board which I would say is compulsory here. It’s more mixed than Terroirs, but just as nice.
After a while we decided we were still hungry and ordered the burrata (mainly for Carina) and the sweetbreads (mainly for me). The burrata was really nice and the oranges and pomegranate seeds balanced the creaminess very well.
The sweetbreads were cooked to perfection (such a joy!) and the sauce was incredible too, but I found the carrots as a dull pairing. I would have liked something with more acidity or bite to balance the heavy sweetbreads.
With that said we really enjoyed the meal and our evening here. I love that every single waiter or bar staff we spoke to were so passionate about the menu, wines and the business in general.
Bastard, Mäster Johansgatan 11, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden
After the sushi lunch and some quick shopping for me, it was time to try Denmark’s only champagne bar; Balthazar (to my knowledge not related to the New York and London restaurants).
Although located in the famous D’Angleterre hotel the bar has its own entrance off the street (Ny Østergade), but I’m sure it’s connected to the rest of the hotel in some way. We came here in the late afternoon on a weekday between Christmas and New Year, so it wasn’t exactly buzzing but a few tables were occupied and the ambience was really nice.
So was the service. Our waitress was very attentive but also left us to enjoy our drinks. Three of us had champagne (Pol Roger if you’re wondering) while the fourth person wanted a cocktail not on the menu, but the bar staff were happy to oblige.
I must say I really like Balthazar. Partly because they serve many decent champagnes by the glass, but also because they’ve managed the not so small feat of balancing a luxurious feeling with a relaxed vibe. Make sure to visit on your next trip to Copenhagen!
Balthazar, Ny Østergade 6, 1101 København K, Denmark
After dinner with my parents at Den Gyldene Freden, they went back to the hotel and I went on to have drinks with my now Stockholm based childhood friend Carina at Tweed in the old town.
I’ve heard a lot about this bar (mainly through my Instagram feed) and I was so thrilled to finally try it out, as I’m not in Stockholm that often.
When I arrived, a bit early (for once), I had a glass of cava by the bar while I waited for Carina. When she arrived we were shown to our table and Chesterfield armchairs. The whole interior was similar; very colonial, but it worked just as well as an American Bar works in London. It was cosy, busy but not too busy, and the absolute best thing was the sounds proofing; we could easy chat at normal volume while the music was playing. I don’t know many bars where that’s possible!
We moved on to drinks later and I had two perfect pisco sours. Carina joined me for one but also tried a drink with elderflower, raspberries and egg white from the menu – also very nice!
This is such a gem and the perfect place to go when you want to go out but still be able to talk and not have a crazy late one.
Tweed, Lilla Nygatan 5, 111 28 Stockholm, Sweden
Although this is a food blog, I quite often get the question of which bars to go to, so I thought I’d post a few favourites as and when I’ve been.
One favourite where I recently took my visiting friends from home, Daniel and Maria, is Bar Americain, part of Brasserie Zèdel by Piccadilly. Set in a lovely art deco bar it feels like you’re stepping back in time. Especially as the hostess greets you in a flapper dress and the bartenders and waiters wear bow ties. It’s just one of those comfortable not-quiet-but-not-too-loud bars that I like. It’s busy and buzzing but you can carry a conversation without shouting. And sit comfortably while you sip your cocktail.
Bar Américain, 20 Sherwood Street, London W1F 7ED