Yes, Prosecco is rising in popularity; there has been an 80% rise is sparkling wine sales in the last 5 years and yes, Londoners almost ran out of Prosecco over the summer due to the huge, soaring demand. However, that celebratory lunch isn’t quite the same without the real deal: that chilled, sparkling glass of effervescent Champagne. For a very reasonable supplement of £20, 28-50 Maddox Street is offering unlimited Irroy Champagne by Taittinger for 2 hours when you dine with them for a Saturday lunch.
You might not have heard of Irroy, which was a fading brand until the house of Taittinger swooped in to rescue the once-famous historical Champagne label. The taste has a refreshing minerality with aromas that remind you of wholesome green apples. With a limitless supply of Champagne, you need some top-notch seafood to accompany the fine beverages; thankfully their modern European menu has an abundance of appetising seafood options.
Going hand in hand much like strawberries and cream, it was impossible to order anything apart from oysters to complement the Champagne. The 2 varieties we tried were Maldon rock and Blackwater wild oysters. With both coming from the Maldon area, they both had a distinctive salty flavour from the world-famous salt marshes there, but my slight preference was for the latter, which it totally wild and handpicked and having a meatier taste.
Whilst you are relishing the luxury lifestyle, the recommended choice for the main course is their grilled native lobster. Although this dish is never cooked in a complex manner, here using mainly garlic butter, the sourcing of the crustacean is the key. Here, the shell has a vibrant warm red colour once cooked, the meat looks firm and succulent and is carefully skewered so the meat falls off the shell with ease. A simple aïoli sauce adds to the decadence of the dish along with some salad leaves as garnish.
This classy affair ended with a white chocolate mascarpone tart which was a daily special recommended by the staff. It was surprisingly light as described by the server, yet dangerously addictive with each mouthful of white chocolate.
The decor does have a certain sense of industrial chic, but also definitely a sense of refinement with dozens of gleaming, spotless wine glasses dangling from the top of the bar. This is a splendid venue to sample their exceptionally fine selection of wines, but personally I would be content with living life to the full with their bottomless Champagne experience.