Would you pay up to £26.45 for a bottle of water? Well, the exclusive new Luxury Water Menu at the Merchant has got you covered if you do!
Apparently we all have uniquely differing tastes when it comes to water – some prefer their H2O to have a heavy viscosity while others like their water to be more thirst-quenching and naturally cooler. Some just like it out of the tap.
Depending on your taste-buds you will either love or loathe – or feel quite indifferent – about some of the options available at the Merchant. But never fear – the luxury hotel complex has appointed two new water butlers, alongside vivid descriptions of the water and its mineral content in an attempt to guide guests through the labyrinth of the 13 options available.
I got the chance to go along and sample the menu and it’s certainly surprising how much water can differ in taste. One conclusion I can draw is that the price doesn’t necessarily indicate the best when it comes to water.
Here are the 13 varieties of bottled water available in the Merchant…
Iceberg, Still: Canadian Arctic Ice shelf Newfoundland – £26.45 750ml Btl
Verdict: The most expensive on the menu, this water possesses a zesty, refreshing, natural lemon after-taste, and gives white wine a ‘turbo boost’ of flavour. Cool, refreshing and ice-cold.
Fiji, Still: Fiji Islands Rainforest – £5.50 1000ml Btl
Verdict: If you like the more refreshing Volvic as much as I do you will enjoy this water. It is light and refreshing. However, if you’re a fan of Evian you might find the complete opposite.
Chanteldon, Sparkling: France – £8.45 750ml Btl
Verdict: This naturally carbonated water had a perfect balance of bubbles without too much of that awkward fizz. Definitely one of the better sparkling waters available.
Basalt, Sparkling: Faroe Islands Suouroy – £5.45 500ml Btl
Verdict: This had a definite ‘smokey’ taste and is definitely one for you if you prefer a less fizzy sparkling water. I particularly enjoyed this one, but others complained it went ‘flat’ too quickly.
Veen, Still: Finland Konisaajo – £7.95 660ml Btl
Verdict: For me, this was one I wasn’t particularly fond of. But if you prefer the heavier taste of Evian you will enjoy this one as it proved quite popular with the rest of the room.
Saint Geron, Sparkling: France Auvergne – £7.85 750ml Btl
Verdict: This is very salty on its own, and was even described as tasting like ‘fizzy paracetamol.’ However, when pared with white wine this proves an excellent palette cleanser and is remarkably different and more refreshing in taste.
SNO Glacial, Still: Iceland – £7.15 750ml Btl
Verdict: My favourite, by far. Ideal for anyone wishing to detox, this water has an extremely low PH Level and is popular amongst health fanatics wishing to ‘rebalance’ their body. This is by far the most refreshing, revitalising water. It tastes healthy, and you feel healthier after drinking it. This is definitely my personal favourite and one I would consider ordering.
Fuiggi Italy, Still: Frosinone – £11.50 1000ml Btl
Verdict: Although this was famously loved by Michelangelo,and claimed to be a natural medicine for kidney stones, urinary tract infections, gout, arthritis and arthrosis – Italy’s pride and natural wonder was disappointing. If you prefer a denser palette you might like this one, but I found this too warm, too much like Evian, and particularly drying. It left an oddly gravelly aftertaste too.
De l’Aubier Maple Sap Water: Canada – £15.50 750ml Btl
Verdict: This is the only water of its kind in the world. A still water of vegetal origin made from maple sap. It has a ‘wooden’ twist to it, but at the same time is fresh and revitalising. Definitely one of the best on the menu, and was particularly popular.
Vichy Catalan, Sparkling: Spain Girona – £6.45 1000ml Btl
Verdict: This naturally sparkling water rises from a unique hot spring in Girona at 60oc. It is a particular best seller especially in Barcelona, but was a bit of a hit or miss at the tasting. Despite containing lithium – designed to make you feel good – this water left me with a particularly bad taste in my mouth. It was even described as ‘sparkling seawater.’ However, if this is your kind of taste you will love it…and it apparently it goes especially well with a good steak.
Whitehole Springs, Still: UK Mendip Hills Somerset – £4.95 750ml Btl
Verdict: This was too ‘milky’ for my personal liking – but again is one meant to be particularly nice coupled with a nice white wine over your evening meal.
Speyside, Sparkling: UK Scotland Glenlivet Estate – £4.95 750ml Btl
Verdict: If you enjoy an effervescent sparkling water, you’ll love this one. It was one of the bolder sparkling waters, and should definitely appeal to fans of Perrier.
Borjomi, Sparkling: Georgia – £13.95 500ml Btl
Verdict: This had quite a ‘salty’ after taste, and was a bit on the heavy side. However, if you’re a fan of the taste of Evian and lots of fizz you might well love this option as it basically tasted like a combination of the two. This wasn’t to my taste but I could see how it would definitely appeal to others.