November 23, 2014
The Brown Palace
321 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Fees: Free for floors 4-7, check website for VIP
I’ve been remiss in posting about The Brown Palace Champagne Cascade, a Denver tradition. It was my first time to attend, and I was excited to see a cascade of Champagne tumble down a Christmas tree of glasses. The event wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was good to experience the start to the holidays with 27 year tradition.
The Christmas tree of 6,000 glasses stands in the lobby of the Brown Palace. Hotel guests, VIPs and other Denver elite enjoy a close up view from seating in the lobby to the first three floors of the hotel. The rest of us could watch the event from the 4th-7th floors. Despite a champagne bar being available on the 5th floor, I suggest arriving at least an hour before the event viewing from the closest floor possible.
It is difficult to see the champagne being poured into the four or five glasses that top the pyramid from a high level. The ceremony begins with a video highlighting a charity with whom the Brown Palace teams. After the presentation, gentlemen wielding sabres swing at the tops of the Champagne bottles releasing the corks and spewing Champagne in celebration.
Soon thereafter, a few gentleman are raised via an electronic platform to the top of the glass tree where Champagne is carefully poured into the balancing glasses. All 6,000 glasses are not filled as that would take over 1,000 bottles. The entire ceremony lasted less than 30 minutes.
A few bits of trivia as it relates to stacked Champagne glass and sabre swinging gentlemen are as follows:
1. Madame de Pompadour, a French socialite, is thought to be the first person to have stacked glasses at parties at Versailles.
2. When Napoleon Bonaparte’s armies scored victories on the battlefield that required celebration and a sommelier wasn’t available to prepare wine, Champagne was opened with the swing of a sabre.
Overall, while I enjoyed the experience and it was worth going once, I’m not sure I would make it to the Brown Palace annually unless I were a VIP. Having said that, the hotel and it’s magnificent chandelier are lovely, and I can appreciate the holiday tradition. ETB
For stocking stuffers, visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards and use the coupons MAKEMYDAY20 or HOLIDAY5