Chinese New Year 2024

On Tuesday 20th February, we held our annual Chinese New Year celebration in Phoenix Palace, a wonderful restaurant near Baker St, famed for its excellent food, lavish traditional Chinese decor, and status as a senior Caveau de Sabrage. This was our biggest turnout yet for this event, with over a hundred attendees.

The event started, as one might expect, with sabrage, including the Intronisation of eight Novices and the promotion of four members to the rank of Chevalier. The Champagnes were from Damien-Buffet, the oldest wine-growing family in the Premier Cru village of Sacy (on the Montagne de Reims). The family boasts some fifteen generations of winemaking experience; we were fortunate enough to visit their vineyards on our 2023 Champagne tour, and were therefore delighted to be able to offer their Brut Expression to start and Brut Rosé to finish.

After a lengthy, convivial reception, we sat down to a fabulous banquet, starting with the chef’s selection of dim sum, followed by the classic crispy aromatic duck, then a selection of main courses, and finally ended with toffee fruits (view the full menu here).

After dinner, our Ambassador thanked everyone for coming, then informed them that it was a special occasion not just because it was the start of the Year of the Dragon, but also because it was the birthday of one of our longest-serving members, the one and only Dame Commandeur Peggy Williams. This called for some celebration, and what better way to celebrate than by asking the birthday girl to come to the front and show everyone how sabrage is done, by opening a Jeroboam of vintage Joseph Perrier (as seen above), then surprising her with an incandescent cake?

Peggy received a standing ovation for continuing to harbour the secret of eternal youth, then the celebrations—and Champagne—continued long into the night. Suffice it to say that everyone felt the lunar new year was off to a suitably sparkling start!


  • To Chevalier: Gus Machado, Jodi Schofield, Christopher Wannell, Matthew Warden

Learn more about our ranks here, or apply for membership here.


Categorized as Events

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