Hold the Eau de Paris (unless it's in whisky)

We used the water filter for a couple of weeks but in the end got fed up and used it as a vase

Share
Related Topics

As marketing initiatives go, the decision by the Paris water board to change its corporate image and rename the company Eau de Paris in the hope of persuading bottled water addicts to switch to tap water is a stroke of pure genius. I don't think it would work here. London Water doesn't have quite the same appeal. On the contrary London Water has a distinctly sanitary ring to it, reminding you that every drop of water that comes out of the tap all gets flushed down the lavatory and is recycled seven times before it eventually hits Old Father Thames and gets shuffled sluggishly out to sea.

As marketing initiatives go, the decision by the Paris water board to change its corporate image and rename the company Eau de Paris in the hope of persuading bottled water addicts to switch to tap water is a stroke of pure genius. I don't think it would work here. London Water doesn't have quite the same appeal. On the contrary London Water has a distinctly sanitary ring to it, reminding you that every drop of water that comes out of the tap all gets flushed down the lavatory and is recycled seven times before it eventually hits Old Father Thames and gets shuffled sluggishly out to sea.

I don't drink water. I know I should, at least three litres a day if I want my inside to look like the gleaming engine of a brand new five-series BMW rather than the clogged and blackened and mechanical infrastructure of an industrial loom in a Victorian cotton mill. The fact is I don't like water and rarely drink it unless it is topping up a large whisky.

The man who used to live in the flat below us was briefly employed as a salesman for a company that sold water purifiers. I was his first customer. I agreed to buy the wretched thing only to stop his interminable sales spiel about how many chemicals and other alien additives it was filtering out and how much better it tasted. To my admittedly untutored palate it didn't.

The water that came out of the purifier tasted exactly the same as the tap water that had gone into it, but I felt sorry for him - he was a hopeless salesman - so I dutifully went through the motions. Like a wine taster I took a thoughtful sip, smacked my lips, said mmmm, squealed excitedly and lied through my teeth. We used it for a couple of weeks, meticulously changing the filter bags as instructed and keeping it clean and cool and covered but, in the end, like all the other innovative gadgets that have passed through my kitchen, yoghurt makers, slow cookers, organic juicers, we got fed up and used it as a vase.

There are few fates worse than being cornered by a water bore. I know because as a junior reporter in a place long since vanished called Fleet Street, I had the misfortune to sit next to one. He was the newspaper's resident food writer, vertical tastings co-ordinator and restaurant critic. We were all multi-taskers in those days, none of this specialist nonsense. I did children's fashions, gossip, posh weddings and watered the sports editor's tomato plants.

So anyway, Justin, as I shall call him, was the archetypal foodie with a particular interest in bottled water. He could bore for Britain, and often did, on the size of the bubbles in Badoit, the earthiness of Evian, the purity of Perrier, the viscosity of Vichy. He once devised a series of menus suggesting not suitable wine but suitable water to accompany each course, which made a bit of a splash. He was invited on to a few chat shows. Personally I thought it a load of tosh but said nothing. Justin was inundated with food parcels from farmers, manufacturers, chefs, shops looking for a write-up and I frequently went home with enough supper for a family of six in my handbag.

The extraordinary thing about bottled-water anoraks is that while lecturing you at length about the dangers of tap water they are usually stuffing their faces with junk food. It's the marketing, of course, all that blurb about virgin springs and pictures of Scottish mountains and sparkling waterfalls. The last Scottish waterfall we trekked to for a family picnic had a dead sheep in it, its mouth gaping in a hideous grin presumably because it had found that the water's crystal purity combined with the naturally beneficial mineral deposits made the water both delicious and healthy.

Frankly I couldn't give a toss if 53 per cent of Parisians continue to spend 300 times more for bottled water than for the new improved re-branded Eau de Paris. Irrespective of taste and cost you can't argue with the fact that lugging home six massive bottles of spa water from the supermarket is exercise and exercise is healthy. If I were a businesswoman I would bottle the water we get from our very own Highland springs under our holiday house on the Isle of Lismore in Scotland and flog it to my London friends. There's no mains water on the island - you have to make your own arrangements. Everyone who has been to stay says it tastes wonderful. "Just like the stuff you buy in Tesco," said one enthusiastically.

We could use old wine bottles to put it in. Wine into water: now that does sound like a miracle.

React Now

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

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Political satire is funny, but it also causes cynicism and apathy

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
It is much easier to correct errors on the web than in print  

There would be no need for corrections if we didn’t make mistakes in the first place

Will Gore
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links