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POP goes the Season

THE delightful sound of popping corks permeates the London Season, as each and every occasion celebrates in fizzing style.  girlhatderby.jpgMore champagne is drunk during the Season in London than is drunk the whole year in many a country, and while sporting prowess may wax and wane, cultural events excite or bore, the bubbly keeps on flowing.

At the Derby, for example, over 15,000 bottles of bubbly are drunk in two days, in addition to some 44,000 pints of beer and 3,000 bottles of Pimms.

Veuve Clicquot is particularly prominent, sponsoring a number of the Season’s occasions, notably the Gold Cup Polo and the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood. Bollinger is enjoyed by racegoers, especially within the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, where the Special Cuvee or La Grand Anee are served; and Dom Perignon hasdombottle.jpg launched its new vintage 1998 bottle in time for the festivities. Ayala, from within the Bollinger stable, is a name not known so well today but which was a great favourite in the 1920s/30s, now re-emerging here.   It is sponsoring the Albert Roux Riverside restaurant at the Henley Music Festival – one of the newer events on the calender, from the 11-15th July, immediately after the Henley Regatta.

Combine champagne with pretty girls and big hats and you have the essence of the Derby atmosphere - oh, and we mustn't forget the horses.
The young lady above won last year's Style on the Downs competition, awarded on Ladies Day. Right, Dom Perignon's elegant vintage bottle.


A special tonic on the lawns

THE SMART alternative to champagne is Pimm's.  This quintessential English summer drink, traditionally served at regattas, cricket matches and garden parties, somehow fell from favour from the 1970s on.   jugpimms.jpgPerhaps its up-market connotations and esoteric concotion – one part Pimm's, to two parts  ginger ale, Indian tonic or lemonade, slices of lemon, orange and apple, with mint and borage leaves – worked against it.  But in today’s climate of cocktail appreciation, such a mixture is very much in vogue, so Pimm's is back on the lawns. 

Invented in 1823 by a Mr  Pimm, as a healthy digestive to go with oysters in his City oyster bar, it was initially just available with a gin base, with quinine and herbs.  Such was its success that this ‘tonic’, known as pimmsbottle.jpg the No 1 Cup, was followed by Nos 2 and 3, respectively whisky and brandy based, then Nos 4, 5 and 6, with rum, rye and vodka. As the drink went out of favour, so the varieties were whittled down, so that only the original gin-based version remains, though the brandy one is served as a winter warmer, and the vodka is in limited production.

Some 150,000 glasses of Pimm's go with the traditional strawberries and cream served at Wimbledon over the course of the tournament. The Hampton Court Flower Show, Glyndebourne, Henley and the Gold Cup Polo event are other venues where Pimm's has retained its traditional popularity. For further information and recipes go to the official anyoneforpimms.com site or the very helpful the-picnic-site.com. The jug above shows how it is most usually served, as in the picnic-site recipe.

Make mine a Mint Julep

THIS YEAR , with the Queen taking in the Kentucky Derby, it might be nice during the Season to toast our American cousins with the top drink of that meeting - the Mint Julep.mintjulep.jpg

This has been the official tipple of the Kentucky Derby since 1938 and is a sweet Southern drink, based upon bourbon, mixed with sugar, water, mint and lots of crushed ice, served in a silver or pewter cup.  The following is claimed to be the authentic recipe of the track:
Boil 2 cups of sugar with 2 cups of water for 5 mins, then chill overnight in a jug with half dozen or so sprigs of fresh mint; make each julep by pouring a tablespoon of this liquid over crushed ice, adding a generous slug of bourbon – say, 2 ozs – stir and garnish with mint.

Bourbon  has been making some inroads into the UK market. Woodford Reserve, the bourbon brand that sponsors the Kentucky Derby and recognised as one of the best, has been producing the stuff at its Kentucky distillery since 1812.  It is stocked by good off licences and also in some supermarkets, notably Sainsbury’s, where it sells at £24.99 a bottle.


  Spring 07 edition

:: SAVILE ROW Style Magazine ::


This edition focuses attention upon the London Season, with all its fixtures and the social whirl that goes with them. And the forthcoming ban on smoking in public places also prompts a look at the prospects for smokers here.

contact Home - New Non-Smoking Jacket
contact Style 1 - Dressing for the Season
contact Style 2 – Morning Dress
contact Style 3 – Dinner Jackets
contact Style 4 – Blazers
contact Grooming – Oil the Wrinkles
contact Cars Brooklands revived
contact Drink – The Season goes Pop
contact Bars - Smoke Signals
contact Sports - Racing First
  Yachts - Cowes Week
contact Travel – Gastronomic Trend
contact Culture – Culture in the Country
contact Contact
contact Companions of Savile Row – listing of top tailors and interviews
contact Archives

::No Taste for Learning::

Young drinkers aspire to enjoying and understanding wine but don’t want the bother of learning about it.

That’s the message to emerge from a recent survey conducted on behalf of VINEXPO, the major wine and spirits exhibition that takes place in Bordeaux this June. 

It reveals that the 20-25 year old age group want to know more about wine but feel they lack the knowledge or understanding of their elders to enjoy wine to the full, and see the variety of wines on offer to be so extensive as to be an obstacle to their wine appreciation.

“They want wine made easy and simple to understand without engaging them in lengthy education,” the survey reveals.  “They … want to enjoy it with confidence but are baffled by it. They are eager to drink more wine in the future but forego the learning process. “

So, the suggestion is that winemakers and retailers should make a bigger effort to interest young adults and tackle wine’s complex image. "A special approach is needed to win them over," Robert Beynat, Chief Executive of VINEXPO told us.

The survey, conducted in the UK, Belgium, France, the US and Japan, goes on to reveal that there was strong interest in wine education especially adapted to younger adults  but that "they do not want to be seen to be singled out for special attention and education, but be treated like other adults”. Ye Gods!

Sadly, these findings point up all too clearly the modern distaste for studied appreciation.  There’s no short cut to understanding the esoteric standards and skills that go into making a fine wine, but what these young folk should realise is that acquiring the knowledge is half the fun.