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Mumm's the word as pounds 750 bath loses its fizz

Is the champagne lifestyle going down the plughole? This is the unavoidable conclusion to be drawn from recent proceedings at London's Portobello Hotel, haunt of the beautiful and famous, where one couple were living things up by sloshing around in a bath of champagne.

The pair, thought to be Kate Moss and Johnny Depp, had dried off and gone for dinner when maid Helen Lena went into the room, pulled out the plug and watched pounds 750 of Mumm drain away. While filling a bath with three cases of champagne is one of the services the hotel regularly offers, apparently Miss Lena was not aware what she had done.

Fortunately the couple, whom the hotel is refusing to name, laughed the incident off and didn't ask for a refill. "They saw the fun side," said Johnny Ekperigin, managing partner of the hotel. "When you earn over pounds 20 million a year it does not really matter, does it?" As to the identity of the couple, all hotel manager Hanna Turner would say was that they were an American actor and and an English model who were not currently an item.

Was it a secret assignation? "It's certainly possible," she said. Last night neither Moss nor Depp were contactable. Whoever they were, the couple were staying in Room 13 at the pounds 220-a-night hotel, understood to be the favourite of Van Morrison, who uses it when he is London. Mrs Turner said Miss Lena was embarrassed when she realised 36 bottles of champagne had disappeared down the drain. "It is quite an extravagant thing to do. Not many people do it but it is an occasional request, and Helen did not know about it."

- Andrew Buncombe