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Friday, January 05, 2007

Water, Water, Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink

Water, water, everywhere, and it's all a lot of poncey crap from Italy and France, beautifully packaged and carefully marketed, that wends its way into the receptacles of Londoners who use it as prop to help them make believe their city is chic like Paris when it is nothing of the sort, it is just the grubby old capital of a country that obtains its water from across the sea.
The point I am trying to make, through this un-dignified rant, is that water is indeed everywhere and it all tastes the bloody same. Perrier, for instance, though I could have easily picked out Badoit, Barisart or Pellegrino, arrives on the shelves of our abundant supermarkets in sexy looking, stylish bottles that are pleasing to the human eye. There is little wrong with this, beauty has its place. The home should be filled with gorgeous things. But it's the human tongue that counts here and mine says the only dissimilar thing its buds can gauge between the continental waters and our very own mountain spring collection is that the former seem to have a little more fizz about them.
So buy a soda stream and fizz your own tap water.
Or better still, if it's the purity of the mineral water you are after, go on a bike ride to Buxton and bottle it at source, using, perhaps, an empty Perrier bottle that has already travelled 400 miles or so anyway.
No, I don't know where Perrier is.

Rob x


  1. Anonymous11:58 am

    I hate to say it but I don't agree with Rob that all water tates the same - Badoit, for example, has a distinctive flavour - and tea tastes much better made from soft water than from London tap water.

    I once actually sent some water back in a restaurant - having ordered a bottle of Perrier with my lunch, it arrived open and without any bubbles. That was at the Sheraton in Abu Dhabi where the local tap water is desalinated.


    PS I almost forgot - I like the blog.

  2. I'm totally with you, Rob, the craze for water from the Jurassic mountains, the Alps or even Fiji (!) is absolutely ridiculous. I have actually been to Buxton recently – guess what they’re drinking – Malvern! At least it wasn’t Evian or Volvic.
    But of course, mineral waters do taste slightly differently – I can’t say I ever had a problem with any of the British ones though. The only water I positively dislike is a relic from my childhood: In Germany in the 1980s sparkling water was the absolute norm, the only still option – presumably for people with a sensitive stomach or some such ailment and always served at room temperature – was staatl. Fachingen. Now this water is more like a medication than a beverage and tastes of a variety of minerals, the dominant being salt. Thankfully, most mineral water companies in Germany introduced medium and still versions in the 1990s and it is no longer frowned upon to ask for some ice.
    At home I drink filtered tap water, and I use it for tea and coffee, which, of course, taste miles better without lime and chlorine. But it isn’t cheap! My filter has to be changed at least once a year by the H2O engineer – on the other hand, I’ve been using the same kettle since 1999 without ever having to descale it! I’m happy to supply you with a few litres if you like: bottled at tap in Hammersmith.

  3. Hi Ulrike, thanks for your fabulous comments - not just because you agreed with my view, but also because you wrote so eloquently and with great enthusiasm. Sarah and I really appreciate your getting involved.

    I stand vehemently behind my comments on foreign mineral waters being sold in this country when English ones are so abundant, but am willing to let Sarah's dad attempt to educate me on their differing tastes. I have no doubt he is quite right on this point.

    stattl. Fachingen sounds revolting, I'm glad German mineral waters aren't as trendy as their French and Italian counter-parts!

    Yes, we would love some of your uber-trendy Hammersmith water!

    Love, Rob x