With breakfast and brunch well and truly covered - and a little pudding topper too - our next stop on this journey of Champagne discovery is the Fortnum's confectionery counter. Here, we find another exquisite example of our commitment to bubbles: our extraordinary Marc De Champagne Truffles.
Much like the jams, the recipe for our famous truffles is a closely-guarded secret, and if you've ever tasted one, you'll realise quite why we are so protective of it. One thing we most definitely can confirm, however, is that there is no little amount of tipple in these bite-sized delights, nor a half-measure of delicious chocolate either.
Made in England and elegantly packed – these decadent truffles come coated in pale pink or milk chocolate and are dusted in icing sugar. One bite will reveal a boozy centre of intense Marc de Champagne. Giving – or receiving – a drum of these silky truffles will leave you tickled pink.
Whichever truffle drum you lift the lid on, the contents are perfect for after-dinner treating, devoured over the course of a relaxed weekend or eaten in a single sitting, with a glass of bubbly and a good book - and nobody else - for company. So we're reliably informed, anyway...
Last, but by no means least, we come to the important business of the Champagne itself. As any discerning sipper knows, there is precious little which does not go well with a glass or two of fizz. But which vintages from our vast selection should we plump for?
There are countless bottles of bubbly in the wine cellar beneath our Piccadilly home, but the three we are most proud of are our Blanc de Blancs, Brut Rosé and Vintage Champagnes. Created by three of the most esteemed houses - Laurent Hostomme, Billecart-Salmon and Louis Roederer, each of which is one of the last surviving family-owned Champagne-makers in the world.
Our Blanc de Blancs Champagne is the perfect aperitif Champagne, produced by Laurent Hostomme from his own vineyards, located within the Grand Cru region of Chouilly. The blend is always 100% Chardonnay and aged for three years ‘sur latte’ for extra complexity. It is extremely elegant, offering light floral notes and a refreshing acidity.
The Fortnum & Mason Brut Rosé has been aged in Mareuil-sur-Ay and released at its optimum maturity. Created by Billecart Salmon using the ‘Rosé assemblance’ method to obtain maximum elegance and finesse. This unique cuvée is made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.
And finally, our Brut Vintage Champagne is specially produced for us by Louis Roederer. The grapes (including Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay) are sourced from the young vines of Louis Roederer and also purchased fruit from the Marne. The dominance of black varieties offers roundness and complexity, while the Chardonnay provides elegance and freshness. This cuvée is a deep gold colour and offers a wonderful brioche character. It is particularly delicious when enjoyed with food.