If you're in a self-congratulatory mood and want to relax with a good bottle of bubbly, Amuse Bouche in Fulham may be worth investigating.
Located just up the road from the Sloaney Pony (as the White Horse is colloquially known) in leafy Parsons Green, Amuse Bouche offers the discerning visitor a taste of something very different to the gamut of style and theme bars that currently plague London’s environs. If Amuse Bouche has a central premise or theme, then it is a very simple one: very good Champagne at reasonable prices.
Unfortunately, this premise has made the miniscule bar very popular, and with everybody fighting tooth and nail for the few tables on offer, the Champagne-fuelled atmosphere can be incendiary on busier nights. Smokers can at least escape onto the street for a puff, but have to leave their glasses within the premises.
A heady blend of Sloane-de-Fulham with a hint of Chelsea-Noir; Amuse Bouche is pitched squarely at the Champagne guzzling set of the surrounding area, and the blend may at times have an unpleasant bouquet of arrogant superiority. However, the more insalubrious individuals aside, the clientele is generally amiable and friendly, as are the ever-busy staff, and the surprisingly low mark-up on Champagne ensures that no-one feels cheated.
Although primarily a Champagne bar, an intriguing range of food is available. As the name may suggest, Amuse Bouche offers a range of miniature bites and canapes to complement the fine Champagnes. The menu contains some quite unusual dishes - shots of soup, for example - which add a welcome touch of whimsy.
A wide range of Champagne is on offer at very reasonable prices, both by the bottle and, in many cases, by the glass. The extensive range includes specials, scrawled on chalkboards above the bar. However, the specials are far more likely to be hard to find or high-end vintages that the sommelier has located, than a buy one get one free deal.
If Champagne is not your thing, you will be pleased to know that the bar serves a number of good bottle beers (but no draught) at a high mark up. However, being bewildered by the variety of Champagne on offer is no excuse for opting for lager, as knowledgeable staff are on hand to advise and the wine list contain tasting notes.
The Last Word
Whether this bar will be viewed as a vintage in years to come is yet to be seen. Enjoy it while you can.