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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
23 Aug 2002

Julie Arkell writes:

Anyone who has stayed at a Ritz-Carlton hotel knows how they like to pamper their guests big-time. But their new establishment in Battery Park, New York, goes an incredible step further. Never mind the telescope in every harbour-view room, how about the notion of a bottled water sommelier?!

Filip Wretman is the world's first and is not only passionate about the effect of origin, mineral content and carbonation on each water's taste, but is also deeply into pairing water with food and wine. And as someone who detests ice in drinks, I was really pleased to learn that one shouldn't add it to still water.

For a flat fee per person, diners can sample as many different styles as they like from the list. And if your favourite brand isn't there (get this!) they will order it for you within 24 hours. I may have put this to the test if I'd been staying there for longer as no English waters are available. Having said that, I was perfectly content to sip Voss (a still brand from Norway, this is Wretman's ­ and, apparently, Madonna's ­ water of choice) and a bottle of Fiji came in handy on the flight home.