The worldwide organisation dedicated to the noble art of Champagne sabrage will host two exclusive events in Cambodia next month at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh and, for the first time ever, at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap.
Confrérie du Sabre d’Or is internationally renowned among Champagne aficionados for the ritual, which involves severing the top of the bottle with a sword. Champagne sabrage dates to the era of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who is said to have cherished a drink of Champagne from bottles newly opened with a military saber after every winning battle. Raffles is the only establishment in Cambodia where one can experience the official ceremony and has scheduled two exclusive events in March.
Raffles Hotel Le Royal’s Restaurant Le Royal on Friday, 17 March will serve a special four-course French menu with Champagne pairing. Each guest is invited to saber a bottle of Champagne and officially join the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or. This will mark the second time the ceremony has been held at the hotel; the first occurred in 2019.
Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor on Sunday, 19 March will host the ceremony for the first time ever, with a luxurious brunch at Café d’Angkor including live music.
Established more than 200 years ago by stylish young French military officers, the traditional sabrage ceremony will be conducted by the Grand Master of La Confrérie du Sabre d’Or in the historic Raffles properties.
The master holds a bottle of Champagne by the heel, then slides his or her sword up and down the neck of the bottle to warm it. Then, in a single smooth movement, the master accelerates their arm forward, sliding the saber firmly along the neck of the bottle and – hopefully – decapitating the ring, or top neck of the bottle, and sending a gush of Champagne all over the floor and sometimes fellow guests.