Champagne lovers, rejoice. The French tradition of ‘sabrage’ – slicing open a Champagne bottle with a cavalry saber – is being given a new lease of life at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour’s award-winning Champagne Bar. Bringing together expertise, drama and a luxurious sensory experience, ‘sabrage’ is the best way to enjoy Champagne, the French way.
Every night from 5pm (from 3pm on Fridays and Saturdays), hotel patrons and outside guests alike are invited to visit Champagne Bar and order their very own ‘sabrage’ ceremonies – a great way to savour the world’s finest Champagnes and vintage cuvées against the dazzling backdrop of the Darling Harbour skyline. At the end of the ceremony, guests are offered a beautiful box with the cork, to bring back home as a memento of their experience.
And for the ultimate romantic factor, hotel guests can also order a private in-room ‘sabrage’ ceremony for a supplement, to surprise their loved ones, sweep them off their feet or celebrate special occasions.
The glorious art of ‘sabrage’ goes back to the days after the French Revolution when Napoléon Bonaparte’s cavalry, whose weapon of choice was the saber, used the trick for celebratory bubbles on the go. Always on the move, soldiers came up with a way to open the bottles without having to put either their sabers or their horses’ reins down. Napoléon, who famously said, “Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it,” no doubt approved.
There are many stories about the tradition of ‘sabrage’. Legend has it that it was also encouraged by Madame Clicquot herself, who had inherited her husband’s Champagne house at the age of 27, in 1805. She used to entertain Napoleon’s officers in her vineyard near Reims, and as they rode off in the early morning with their complimentary bottle of champagne, they would open it with their saber to impress the rich young widow.
“Sabrage is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s fun to do. It’s entertaining to watch: corks fly, Champagne bubbles over, crowd cheers and glasses clink. Once you witness this spectacle, merely popping Champagne will forever feel mundane,” explains Champagne Bar Manager Sutari Martinez.
Greg Brady, General Manager, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, adds: “Nowadays, modern luxury voyagers demand unique, authentic experiences. Offering ‘sabrage’ to our guests is a great way for us to share our expertise, bring something different to Sydney’s bar scene and celebrate French joie de vivre – in line with Sofitel’s DNA of modern French luxury. But be careful, don’t do this at home with any bottle of sparkling, as it takes practice and skills to do ‘sabrage’ safely!”
Sabrage at Champagne Bar:
Complimentary sabrage is offered for every bottle above $299 purchased at the bar,
or for a $25 supplement for any bottle under $299 (including the memento box).
Please allow for 15 minutes cooling time, as the neck of the bottle needs to be very cold.
No booking required.
Champagne Bar is located on Level 3 of Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour,
12 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Opening Hours: from 5pm daily (from 3pm on Fridays and Saturdays)
To view the full menu or for information, please visit the website or call (+61) 2 8388 8888
Sofitel Hotels & Resorts is an ambassador of modern French style, culture and art-de-vivre around the world. Established in 1964, Sofitel is the first international luxury hotel brand to originate from France with over 120 chic and remarkable hotels in the world’s most sought after destinations. Sofitel exudes a refined and understated sense of modern luxury, always blending a touch of French decadence with the very best of the locale. The Sofitel collection includes such notable hotels as Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg, Sofitel London St James, Sofitel Munich Bayerpost, Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Ipanema, Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort. Sofitel is part of Accor, a world-leading travel and lifestyle group which invites travelers to feel welcome in 4,800 hotels, resorts and residences, along with some 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe.
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