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Chattering Class

Prince Harry

Even republicans approve, surely?

Microwaving tea

Recommended by scientists, apparently. Disgusting

No televised election debates

Disappointing; we were rather looking forward to May vs The Sturge


Olivia Coleman = nailed-on Future National Treasure

Spring Bank holidays

Too close together! Very bad!


“I queued for THREE BLOODY HOURS at B&Q for a new recycling bin! The entire town’s in CHAOS”


To be listened to whole on a long journey for maximum effect

Using a proper paper map

Strangely satisfying

The “Flash” Flash ad

It’s back! Possibly the best ever singing dog in an advert ever

Crap tacos

Reheated, with too much chilli: middle-class kebabs, basically

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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    « Whose fault is it anyway? | Main | Chattering Class: Don't quit your jibba jabba »

    Maslow's hierarchy of sparkling water

    Continuing our investigation into how various brands stack up against the emotional needs of modern MCs, it’s the turn of sparkling water. Two things to note here before we plunge into the pyramid. Firstly, many of you seemed intent on derailing our ‘research’ by fixating on whether this product should be known as ‘sparkling’ or ‘fizzy’. This is worthy of a separate and thorough inquiry, certainly, but for now we’re sticking with ‘sparkling’. Get over it. 

    Secondly, we’ve introduced a special feature, the ‘bubbling under’ brand – the one that isn’t quite prominent enough yet to make it into the hierarchy but which is our tip for greatness in the not-too-distant future.

    Self-actualisation – San Pellegrino

    Maybe it was the fact that Leonardo da Vinci was one of the first to have a taster, maybe it’s the tightly controlled distribution or just its sheer hardcore Italian-ness? Hell, maybe it’s simply the naturally occurring bubbles? Whatever, San P exudes so much class we’re prepared to overlook the Nestlé ownership. For red star read gold star.

    Esteem – Badoit

    'The bubbles are more refined,' @MsAlliance says. And refinement is what Badoit is all about, regardless of accusations of being a tad salty. It feels elegant, understated and a little earnest, in keeping with its French origin. This is the water we think we should drink despite preferring the taste of San Pellegrino.

    Love/Belonging – Perrier

    Another paid-up member of Club Nestlé, the fact that Perrier is always so prominently stocked in the fridges of Foxtons means it will never rise any higher. A relic from the days when we were easily impressed by French chic, we still have a certain affection for its cheeky re-launch “Eau! Perrier” campaign following the Benzene scare circa 1990. And as @blinney points out, the ‘squat glass’ shape remains pleasing, never mind the ‘proper’ bubbles.

    Safety – Hildon

    Hildon is somewhat harmless and reliable (how English of it – indeed, it comes from Hampshire), but lacks anything that would bump it up to satisfy any more elevated middle-class need, and away from some un-helpful mid-market business hotel associations. The low-key bottle however still plays well with the core MC sensibility, although any attempts to appear even more understated would make it invisible. 

    Physiological – Highland Spring

    Unfortunate long term connotations with stuffy meeting rooms that smell of old sandwiches and carpet, mean that Highland Spring will never satisfy any need other than physiological. 

    Bubbling under – Ty Nant

    Translated as “house by the stream”, and coming from the hills of coastal Ceredigion Ty Nant is our one to watch. Winning over MCs with its ‘table-friendly blue glass bottle’, @bulkybren points out that it ‘soothes the conscience on food miles, too.’ So don’t get too comfy San P, this Welsh warrior could be about to kick your ass.


    Reader Comments (3)

    How can an Italian import, sold en mass by Pizza Express by considered MC and yet something like Belu is not even featured. A brand such as this which prides itself on its ethics, being carbon neutral and not using imports, surely these values deserve some ranking in the MC stakes? I can certainly except the Hildon, Ty Nant as they are not imported & the Badoit as much of France is closer to most of us than Scotland, but really struggle with the San Pellegrino, as the preferred brand of Tesco shoppers & PE diners?

    September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter@mattheweve

    I was a bit 'meh' about this particular hierarchy until I saw your bubbling under Ty Nant. Yay! It's been my sparkling water of choice for at least ten years (when needed for showing off purposes), while Highland Spring or Waitrose own brand are for day to day swigging.

    September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Vernon

    I happen to agree with this. San Pel is easy to get hold of, but only those-who-know pick it up. San Pel *in a glass bottle* is a vital part of any respectable dinner party.

    And it's "fizzy" by the way.

    September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJasper Broccoli

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