Expensive champagne, diamonds and roses are a girl’s best friend. I love a tall glass of golden liquid, effervescent with delicious bubbles – just the thought of it makes my tongue tingle. But no cheap imitations please!
My gentlemen know how I like the finer things in life. My first taste of truly magnificent champagne came during an over-night stay at the Dorchester in Mayfair with a client called Paul. Paul was twenty years my senior and a champagne connoisseur. Earning a six-figure salary in the City, he never skimped on quality. I was simply dazzled.
We sat at a quiet table in the bar; I was dressed in my first elegant designer cocktail dress, diamonds at my ears and throat. We had shopped first along Bond Street and he had picked me out accessories without even asking the price. The shop assistants looked on enviously as I tried my hardest not to squeak with excitement. I think I may have been a little bit in love with him if I’m honest… anyway, back to the matter at hand – champagne.
Paul signalled for the barman to come over and ordered two glasses of vintage Dom Perignon, smiling at me in the process. ‘Have you tried champagne before?’ he asked me. I grinned, ‘only as a toast at Weddings. ‘Then you’re in for a treat!’ was his enthusiastic reply and I half expected him to clap his hands. ‘I will educate you tonight.’ I felt very pampered as the barman returned with a silver tray. “If you like it, we’ll have a bottle. Hold the glass by the stem so the bowl doesn’t become warm in your hand,” Paul advised, leaning in close and tickling my ear with his voice. I did as I was told and my mouth exploded with taste and bubbles and … deliciousness. I almost closed my eyes. The barman looked as delighted as my date. They chuckled knowingly between them and the bottle magically appeared on the table, nestled in an ice bucket. As I sipped, Paul gave me a little champagne history lesson, his voice wafting in and around my brain in a haze. We did manage to finish it between us, if you were wondering, and yes I did have to hold onto Paul’s arm afterwards as we headed upstairs.
I think I may have been spoilt from that moment on as I won’t even touch a £20 bottle from Tesco now. How can you compare a Brut Cava to Dom Perignon at £70.00 by the glass or £650.00 a bottle? But several more dates with my champagne expert saw us supping Cristal, Krug and Bollinger at celebrity named restaurants, Jumeriah Carlton Tower Hotel and the Ritz. I emptied my wardrobe of my most elegant outfits and he refilled it with gifts. We painted the town red for about a year together and became regular faces in the Chelsea and Kensington social circuit. It was at this point that I bought my Mayfair apartment which Paul came to view with me.
And then disaster! Paul went to Rio de Janeiro on business, met a fellow socialite in a five-star hotel and married her within weeks. Now she has taken my place on his arm and although I wish him well, it’s very hard to give up such a fabulous lifestyle, even if it wasn’t yours to begin with.
This Christmas I’ve treated my parents to a bottle of Perrier-Jouet Belle Époque which my Dad won’t even have heard of but will enjoy with relish. Paul would have considered it cheap at £380.00 but I felt very glamorous walking back into the Dorchester and ordering a bottle ‘to take away’…