Food & Drink

Where To Drink: La Maison Rémy Martin

Thought cognac was just for Christmas? Think again

La Maison Rémy Martin has always been something of a best kept secret among London’s night owls; a two-week long member’s-only pop-up, nestled somewhere chic (the location changes each year) in the heart of the capital. This year, though, things are a little different. Rémy has opened La Maison at Bibendum by Claude Bosi, Bosi’s two Michelin star restaurant in Fulham – and for the first time it’s open to everyone.

The Maison’s precise location is Michelin House, a 1960s Art Nouveau head-turner of a building, which was built by the tyre company as their UK headquarters. Nowadays, the building is owned by British designer Sir Terence Conran who, as well as designing Claude Bosi’s Bibendum, also had a hand in putting together Rémy Martin’s swish London look. On the left as you enter Michelin House’s impressive facade, La Maison is all large windows, tiled floors and mid-century furniture, perfectly capturing the French charm that Rémy, Bosi and, previously, Michelin itself brought to the building. There’s even limited-edition Bibendum chairs in attendance, which were inspired by the roly-poly Michelin man himself.

If the architecture is what draws you to Michelin House in the coming months, then La Maison will be the reason you stay. Renowned as a fancy French cognac brand, Rémy Martin has moved over into the crowded cocktail arena with this bar. Boasting a comprehensive selection of well-considered cocktails, the bar’s menu invites you to try cognac in a range of dangerously drinkable new guises.

On arrival, the first I had to try was the Royal Sidecar. Made with Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal, Cointreau and a smidge of lemon juice, it’s a zesty cracker of a cocktail, served in an elegant coupe. Next out the gates was the Baptiste, a refreshing long drink with Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal, maple syrup and orange bitters. It’s cognac, yes, but as I’d never tasted it before. Unusually (for me),I found myself reaching for a third – their Maison Old Fashioned. Inspired the classic whiskey cocktail, this reinterpretation by Rémy Martin is an utterly quaffable concoction of Rémy Martin XO, fig liqueur, salted honey syrup and bitters. It’s meant to be enjoyed after dinner but, well, I would happily drink this at midday, like the Queen’s lunchtime gin and Dubonnet.

Thankfully, La Maison also does a substantial food menu to wash down the cocktails, created by Claude Bosi himself and designed to be enjoyed as pairings alongside the food. Highlights of this includes the fried chicken with crab mayo, crispy ravioli with nduja sausage, and the Morecombe bay oysters, served from Bibendum’s oyster bar. If you fancy more of a substantial meal, though, then the same Rémy Martin cocktails are also served upstairs in Bibendum – but for that one it’s probably best to book.

La Maison also has a packed schedule of special events for its members (you can sign up here), with cognac masterclasses, guided tastings, Q&As and other exclusive events. It’s the place to be if you’re a real cognac aficionado. After visiting La Maison last week, I think I might be one.