A few years ago it was suggested to me by friends that we go to Champagne Central for cocktails and I had no idea it even existed. When I heard that it was found within Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow Central Station I was bemused: isn’t that a railway budget hotel?
When I walked in the door for the first time I was absolutely stunned. I hadn’t ever looked in the hotels direction and in my head assumed that it was ‘just a hotel’; how wrong I was!
On my visit this time I was there for food and champagne tasting (woo!) with the Yelp team. Some of my photographs are taken by our resident Yelp photo-genius. We dined in the Tempus Restaurant, followed by champagne tasting in the Champagne Corner – a cheeky little room just off the Champagne Central cocktail bar. Both bars are elegantly furnished, comfortable and overlook the station concourse which I find really romantic!
I was thoroughly wined, dined and champagne-d (I’ve decided that this is a thing) for the evening!
We started with a rose champagne in the Tempus bar and we were shown into their private dining room. It was a round table in a round, low lit room with wine bottle and brick decor. Simple, modern and classy.
Thai Prawn Fishcake with a Trio of Beetroot
I had my first few bites of this and found it tasty but very crumbly and dry. I had almost written it off and decided that it needed a dressing or a sauce, when I tried it with the Beetroot salsa underneath which absolutely transformed it! It’s still very crumbly, but the Beetroot adds a punchy flavour and moistens it up.
Haggis Bon Bon with Bards Brie
I adore food served in cups. I think it’s because I’m a total tea-Jenny, so whenever I see a tea related items I get excited! I love haggis, and with plenty creamy sauce this dish was lovely.
Smoked Scottish Haddock with Soft Poached Egg, Hollandaise Sauce & Dill Vinaigrette
Fish + egg = amazing flavour. A couple of people at the dinner table seemed intrigued – it must be a well kept foodie secret. I think that the tender texture of fish with its bold smoked flavour, even on its own, packs a punch. Egg adds a richness to any dish, and it takes the sweet, flakiness of the fish to a whole new level. Add hollandaise sauce and you’re laughing. It was absolutely delicious!
8oz Sirloin Steak with Hand Cut Chips, Tomato, Mushroom & Béarnaise Sauce
I’m usually a fillet steak kinda girl but this sirloin really, really impressed me due to how lean it was. Apart from the edge of fat, the meat was gorgeous and juicy (cooked to a perfect medium) with no strings of fat. I loved it. Juicy steak, hand cut chips, mushrooms and some decadent béarnaise sauce. With champagne. Happy days!
While I remember, I’ve flagged this place as Gluten Free friendly. I was sitting near to a gluten free vegan(!) who was presented with beautiful, tasty and filling food that she really liked. Those chefs can handle a challenge!
Sharing Platter: Selection of berries, Meringue, Macarons, Marshmallows & Miniature Ice Cream Cones served with White Chocolate & Baileys Sauce
This. Is. Epic. The miniature ice cream cones absolutely stole the show for me – I love a novelty! Not just the novelty, but the fact you can comfortably put the whole thing in your mouth and enjoy the cone, ice cream and raspberry sauce all in one. My complaint? There are three ice creams so someone is going to get two and the other person will only get one. People could get hurt.
The sauce is Baileys and white chocolate which was really runny, which I found odd, and sickly sweet. The sauce was absolute perfection with the selection of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries as it pacified the tartness of the fruit. The meringues, Macarons and marshmallows were lovely too, even though the exact flavour of the green macaron has me totally puzzled!
Cheese, glorious cheese. Served with a vine of grapes and chutney.
Champagne & Wines
We moved upstairs to the Champagne Central area of the hotel and slipped into a little room called Champagne Corner, which looks like a VIP viewing box in a statism/arena. We found comfortable chairs and a great view of the Glasgow Central station below.
The Hospitality Manager was our sommelier for the evening and introduced us to their house champagnes – Lanson.
Lanson Champagne Rosé Non-Vintage.
This was a lovely, soft and fresh champagne that had a fruity berry taste.
Lanson Champagne White Label Non Vintage
This had a pear and floral taste to it and was very lively with lots of fine bubbles. I can imagine drinking this whilst lying on a sun lounger on a warm day in the garden.
Tsarine Cuvee Premium Brut NV
This was a very grand tasting champagne – it wasn’t as fizzy as the previous champagne and had a crisper, more acidic taste. Despite the acidity, it was a peach flavour and we were told it’s commonly used in cocktails.
The Cuvee Tsarine was made in honour of Tsarist Russia, the foremost export market for the wines of champagne during the XIXth century. The swirling bottle design is inspired by the spires of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow in Russia. A little factoid for you!
It was a wonderful night. Look at this face:
Only steak and champagne can make me look that happy! I asked an important question to the sommelier: do you offer wine matched meals? The answer is: not yet, but he is working with the chefs at the moment to produce this experience. I’m definitely going back as soon as that has launched!
Tempus Restaurant & Champagne
Grand Central Hotel
99 Gordon Street
0844 854 2910