Strut down the “Diamond Walk” a corridor of ultra-luxury brand stores featuring Prada; Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana; Cartier; Burberry, and many more. An imposing 150 meter hand-made crystal chandelier hangs overhead and upon reaching the end of the walkway, you find yourself at the Arque Champagne Crescent.
Thursday 8 August was the launch of this dazzling champagne bar which seems perfect for after work drinks or taking a break from a marathon shopping spree. The bar offers a variety of French Champagnes and locally produced ”Methode Cap Classique”
The event organizers and the interior designers created what felt like an indoor Japanese garden spa with beautiful bright lighting, green faux grass, with gold and cream furnishings. The room was covered with a sea of three-dimensional paper Japanese anemones. Guests were transported to a Belle Époque – French for ”Beautiful era”. This was a period in France spanning from about 1871 to the beginning of the First World War in 1914. It was a period characterized by beauty, economic prosperity, regional peace and Joie de Vivre.
Perrier Jouët is one of the most premium champagnes enjoyed by the fashion-forward and the mega-wealthy. It is said to have been Princess Grace Kelly’s champer of choice it was even served at the royal wedding of Princess Charlene Wittstock and Prince Albert Grimaldi of Monaco. We unfortunately only sampled the ”entry level” non-vintage rosé and blanc de blanc. The vintage Belle Époque bottles, with the painted flowers, were displayed on shelves strictly within our visual reach only.
The canapés were presented as haute couture cuisine. Much like haute couture clothing, the food was more a feast for the eyes, and less about the palate and the function of filling empty stomachs. I was eventually forced to put down my glass and sit down, so as to have two free hands to tackle the cocktail party hors-d’oeuvres. The food tasted good, but the difficulty involved in eating the food was off-putting. I was particularly impressed with the goat’s cheese and beetroot balls.
There was no shortage of A-listers at the Arque Champagne launch event. There were television presenters, music artists, actors and prominent business people throughout the soiree. This is a swanky drinks place and the management has been very zealous in the pricing of the drinks. A glass of entry-level champagne will set you back a whopping R 220.
Question is: Can this venue be sustained by our own local market, or is it more suited to foreign currency wielding tourist, staying at luxury hotels within the Sandton vicinity?
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 9:00 am till 9:00 pm
Address: Unit 26 Diamond Walk, Upper Level, Sandton City, Sandton, Gauteng
Tel: 0113268163 / 0113268138
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