guide at andbeyond sabering a bottle of champagne

Masters of ceremony In the spirit of celebration and not knowing what comes next, our rangers love the element of surprise…
by 6th January 2017

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year! May 2017 bring with it some much-needed kindness, a renewed sense of adventure and even more truly memorable bucket list adventures. Remember, life is not a dress rehearsal, so may the new year and its open invitation for a fresh new start inspire you to dream, explore, create new memories with loved ones and help make a difference to our planet.

Not sure about you, but keeping with tradition, our New Year’s Eve celebrations certainly involved the glorious popping of corks and the continuous, happy flow of bubbles to mark the end of a what can only be called an interesting year.

In the spirit of not knowing what comes next, and to celebrate the momentous (and everyday) occasions with a bang, our rangers love adding an element of surprise to every occasion and the ancient art of sabrage is one such surprise that always gets a smile and a cheer.

Above image © Mikelle Furman / Banner image © Irene Kelly.

Let’s face it. You can serve the finest, most expensive champagnes anywhere, expertly poured by a world-renowned sommelier, but that doesn’t guarantee a bona fide celebration. At &Beyond, our staff are trained to understand and apply the simple underlying adage – it’s not the ‘what’, it’s the ‘how’ – to their daily jobs. This golden thread applies to everything we do, each and every day, to ensure that our guests have a truly memorable and extraordinary experience while travelling with us.

It’s the small things that make a difference. We combine storytelling, theatre and beautiful settings with the all-important element of FUN. After all, if it’s not fun, will it even be remembered?

Sabrage encapsulates this to a T. For those of you that don’t know, sabrage is the not-so-easy, but always impressive, technique of ceremoniously “beheading” a champagne bottle using a saber. All of our rangers learn to master this often entertaining performance using a panga or machete (it can even be done with a butter knife or spatula, but that’s not very rugged or ranger-like!), adding a sense of fun and adventure to a simple champagne breakfast or celebratory sundowner in the bush.

So what would you prefer … a charming sabrage performance and overflowing glasses of bubbly poured by a khaki-clad ranger overlooking the most dramatic natural vista … or a stiff glass of Dom Perignon served with no-personality white gloves among chandeliers, formal company and strained conversations? To us, it’s a no-brainer.

Happy New Year!

“My only regret is that I have not drunk more champagne in my life.”
~ John Maynard Keynes