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mumm champagne ice bucket designed by Patrick Jouin

Tastes change as you age. I've long held a dislike of mushy peas, parsnips and champagne for example. Bubbles in drinks leads to an expectation of sweetness in a drink, which is of course the opposite of what you find in glass of champagne. But where once a few sips at a wedding or christening were plenty thank you very much, I can't get enough of the stuff now! In fact some of the most enjoyable of lifes episodes have involved opening a bottle of bubbly - the Taittinger training it from London to Portugal for example, the Bisol Prosecco and the helicopter ride over the vineyards in Italy or even the cheap (and frankly awful) bubbly watching the sun slip away on a boat in Cape Town all made so memorable by the glass in hand.

As a dog is not just for Christmas, champagne should not be kept for just special occasions. A particularly gruelling week ended with a Chinese takeaway and a bottle of Cordon Rouge; now that is 'special'! A starter of tempura coriander prawns - brilliant, sweet and sour chicken balls with special fried rice - enlivened, and not forgetting a huge bag of prawn crackers - perfectly decadent.

The bottle of Cordon Rouge [Adegga / Snooth] came complete with "George", a specially designed ice-bucket by Patrick Jouin. I'm not really up on designers but Patrick (subject of an exhibition in Paris "la substance du design" until May 24th) has designed interiors (the Gilt restaurant and bar in New York, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower), theatre sets, urban furniture (automatic public toilets and the bicycle rental stands and terminals in Paris) and some stunning cutlery too (Zermatt flatware collection, a teak and plastic spoon for nutella).


Always a sucker for a bit of designer stuff the bucket is actually rather good. Taking the distinctive red sash of Cordon Rouge the bucket has a red lick that lifts at the back to act as a handle. There's a lip in the base to cradle the bottle too. A little designer piece of plastic to lift any moment to somethin special. Now if only they can do something similar to make parsnips palatable.


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