Top restaurants accused of overcharging diners for champagne

12 April 2007 by
Top restaurants accused of overcharging diners for champagne

Britain's top restaurants have been accused of using their accolades and awards to overcharge customers for champagne.

Restaurants including Heston Blumenthal's three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck and Raymond Blanc‘s two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons have been criticised by a food and drink writer for charging "hideous" amounts for the fizzy drink.

Martin Isark carried out the research into champagne and wine costs in restaurants across the country. He said champagne at some of the country's top restaurants has become "far too expensive" adding there is an "unexplained variation" in price between restaurants offering the same quality dining experience.

Isark found that the same bottle of non-vintage Bollinger champagne, which costs £27 on the high street, could vary from £55 (Ransomes Dock in London) to £90 (both Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire and The Fat Duck in Bray).

He also found an even bigger price difference when it comes to vintage champagne with a bottle of 1995 Taittinger ranging from £145 (Kettners in London) to a staggering £255 (Le Manoir).

Isark said: "There's no doubt that great food enhances the pleasure of drinking wine and champagne but it can sour when you realise that a restaurant down the road of similar quality is selling it hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds cheaper."

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By Kerstin Kühn

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