February 2018 will see the opening at One Tower Bridge of Prosecco House — “London’s first Prosecco bar.” The concept was devised by owner Kristina Issa in January when the idea came to her “over drinks with friends… I love Prosecco but could never find a glass of the same quality here in London compared to Italy.”
Prosecco House will feature exclusively Prosecco DOCG from family winemakers in Veneto, including five not currently available elsewhere in London, totalling over twenty varieties of prosecco hand-picked by Kristina herself. The prosecco menu will be supplemented by a selection of prosecco cocktails like the ubiquitous Aperol Spritz, the Bellini and other signature cocktails, as well as a small selection of snacks.
And yet it all feels a bit like the sort of thing that would pop-up under a white marquee at Ascot racecourse, made permanent. London is flush with fantastic wine bars, and prosecco is hardly new on the scene, having been the de facto Champagne alternative of under-40s for years. Putting it in a new venue of “hand selected marble from Italy and antique bronze tables with mirrored glass surfaces” and serving not just from bottles but also “magnums and … up to jeroboams” all just seems a bit vapid and — while it certainly ticks the “luxurious” box of its mission statement — is at odds with the stated mission that the bar is “open to everyone” and at which “all feel welcome.”
Surely it will be a hit with subscribers to the “high-specification apartments” and “five-star residents facilities” of the One Tower Bridge development, but one can’t help but wonder, not for the first time this year: is this actually what London needs?