Ronay guide attacks price of champagne

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The Independent Online
The Egon Ronay guide - the most prestigious guide in the hotel and restaurant industry - yesterday launched an attack on restaurants for the amount they charge for champagne.

According to the guide, bottles that cost pounds 15-20 in off-licences are being priced at double that in restaurants.

This did not prevent the popping of corks at the Cliveden Hotel in Taplow, Berkshire, yesterday when when the guide voted it Hotel of the Year for 1995.

The Cliveden, the former residence for the Astor family and the scene of the Profumo scandal, opened as a hotel 10 years ago and was praised by the guide as "one of the finest, if not the finest, hotels in the country".

It is, the guide added, "a unique building meticulously restored and brilliantly converted to its present role".

The 1996 Egon Ronay's Cellnet Guide to Hotels & Restaurants also bestowed an honour to one of the year's success stories.

Rick Stein, whose book Taste of the Sea has only just been knocked off the top of the best-seller list by fellow televison chef Delia Smith, won Restaurant of the Year for his Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall.

The launch of the new guide also introduced a new drive to ensure that no diner is charged for tap water.

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