Man About Town: An endless stream of bubbly and a 5.45am wake-up call

Stag nights, fashion at Aintree, and a fancy dress party

Share

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the alien Ford Prefect describes hyperspace travel to earthling Arthur Dent as “unpleasantly like being drunk.”

When Arthur asks what’s so bad about being drunk, Ford replies: “You ask a glass of water.”

It’s the sort of thing you think of when you climb inside Krug champagne's special sensory pod. Through trickery of light and sound, it shows users what it might feel like to be inside a glass of champagne, without getting wet and sticky.

We were in the cellars beneath the Opera Garnier in Paris, where, outside the pod, we were served a suitable extravagant meal. One course included chicken cooked en vessie (ie. Inside a pig’s bladder), which then had a light inside and each came with an endless stream of bubbly.

All of which made my 5.45am wake-up call the next morning a struggle. But struggle I had to if I was to get to Aintree for the Grand National.

We were there as part of a stag party, but the stag very nearly didn’t make it in because he was wearing a jockey’s outfit. We thought it might be because they feared he might attempt a last-minute entry, but apparently it was because fancy dress is banned. This surprised us, as one or two of the ladies appeared to have dressed up as Willy Wonka's Oompa Loompas competing on Strictly Come Dancing.

Fashion at Aintree could be a column in itself (all life is there from the exquisitely-tailored to the shiny-suited), but the real sight there is, of course, the Grand National, which remains one of this country’s greatest sporting spectacles. It is also one of the most expensive sporting spectacles if, like me, you lose on every race during the meeting. While the animal welfare campaigners are still justified in taking issue with it, some of the biggest cheers of the day were not for the winners but for every jump that caused no horses to fall.

There might have been people fancy dress on Thursday night in the private room above Kettner’s restaurant in London, but I wouldn’t have known as I was wearing a blindfold. Eyes closed, people came round offering me strawberries, white chocolate and butter. No, I wasn’t trying out the seamier side of Soho, but at a tasting for Champagne Jacquart, which not only took the week full circle, but reminded me that Ford was right: it’s better to be the one drinking than the one being drunk.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Election catch-up: I’m not saying the Ed stone is bad – it is so terrible I am lost for words

John Rentoul
 

Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living