Let’s rewind to 1863, the year we brought bubbles to the Brits.
Britain gets its thirst well and truly quenched by Perrier, for the very first time…
1863. Now that was a good year to be British. After all, that was when Perrier brought its naturally refreshing, bubbling brilliance to Blighty. And talk about rolling out the red carpet – very soon our sparkling mineral water was given a Royal Warrant, by Appointment of His Majesty the King. Making it the bubbles of the elite. The top of the pops. Yep, 1863 really was when the entente cordiale started to fizz.
But as the people of Britain went ‘eau minerale naturelle’, what were else they up to that made 1863 such a year extraordinaire to be alive? Let’s rewind and take a peek…
Perrier wasn’t the only thing bubbling underground
Technology was steaming ahead right about then, with the world’s first underground railway being built in The Big Smoke. That’s right, 1863 was the year the Victorians had the brilliant idea of digging great big holes in London’s streets, then filling them over to create a massive network of tunnels, now known as The Tube. It was ambitious, fiendishly clever, incredibly expensive, and very thirsty work, we’d imagine. Luckily, Perrier had arrived bang on time.
Britain gets a taste for fine dining
These days you’ve got your Jamies, your Gordons, your Nigellas, in fact, an unending menu of celebrity cheffery to choose from. Back in 1863, the one and only big name domestic goddess, was Mrs Beeton. With her ruffled sleeves rolled up, she wrote the Book of Household Management, a knockout best seller that gave Victorian Britain a taste for the finer things in life (and for that we salute you, Mrs B). With recipes like Roast Pheasant and Tongue and Gooseberry Tart to tuck into, it wasn’t long before Perrier became the go-to thirst quencher of choice. Known as champagne of table water, synonymous with splendour and celebration, it was quaffed with abandon by those who savour the extraordinaire.
What was à la mode, back then?
In 1863, for the well presented lady it was all about the bell-shaped skirts, high necks, floral wreaths and ostrich feathers. Simply magnifique! And that’s not to mention the uncomfortable looking crinoline cages they wore to exaggerate their 26” Kim Kardashian-esque waists. For the well turned-out gentlemen, top hats, single-breasted jackets, centre-partings and cravats were all the rage, and quite the thing to be seen in out and about or at a high society do. So distinguished. So refined. So very Perrier.
The beautiful game got a face lift
It was in this very year that footy as we know it was born. Yep, with the arrival of The Football Association, football finally got its house in order and set up some rules to play by. And what was once a brutal and lawless brawl was stunningly transformed into the beautiful game. Leaving the rough and tumble to the terraces as Victorian fans tried to get their heads around the offside rule for the first time, and ask ‘Who ate all the pies’ (Mrs Beeton’s, presumably).
So there it is. 1863 in all its glory. Mass underground public transport, the first ever British celebrity chef, sharp togs, footy and naturellement our sparkling water arriving on these fair shores. Water year extraordinaire it was. We’ll drink to that…