We all have our own traditions for marking the start of the weekend on a Friday afternoon. Some of us go for after-work drinks, some of us go home and put on pyjamas and catch up with Netflix, and some of us put on our glad rags and go out on the town, and they’re all excellent options!
The Shelbourne however, they do things a little differently. Every Friday at 18:24 – in honour of the year the hotel opened it’s doors – the hotel’s sommelier opens Champagne using the sabrage method. That is to say, with one single but flamboyant flick of a ceremonial sabre!
The tradition of sabrage is believed to have originated with Napoleon’s light cavalry, known as the Hussars. It is kept alive today by the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or, an international organisation of which The Shelbourne – through it’s sommelier Nisea Doddy – is the only Irish member, or Caveau. Sabrage removes both the cork and the surrounding glass collar from a bottle of champagne, making it one of the most impressive ways to serve a sparkling wine!
The Shelbourne have developed the Sabre Ritual into a unique social event, allowing guests and patrons to enjoy the skill and theatre of sabrage, as well as the champagne itself of course! Patrons are welcome to order a bottle of champagne which will be opened tableside by either Nisea or one of the team members she personally trained in the art of sabrage. Even more excitedly, guests are able to request to be taught how to sabre themselves! Count us in!
If you’d like to learn more, there’s a video on The Shelbourne’s Instagram account, as well as loads of other gorgeous photos!