• Why Duty Free Is Crap

Simon Hoggart’s column in today’s Saturday Guardian is as amusing and to the point as usual.  He gives a withering dismissal of Eurovision, there are more Barry Cryer jokes and a priceless toilet warning from Bristol airport (which I can’t resist reproducing at the bottom).  But it was the following story which really caught my eye.  I’m a huge fan of Camel Valley, whose mid-Cornwall vineyard is barely 30 minutes away and whose stock of award-winning Brut has been drastically reduced by my regular visits.

Simon Hoggart’s week (26 May 2012)

• My friend Bob Lindo, former RAF pilot, now world-renowned winemaker, staged an angry protest of his own the other day. Bob makes Camel Valley, which along with some other wines has made British sparkling wine among the very best in the world – some say close to being the best. He was at the duty-free in Gatwick when he saw a display of sparkling wine labelled “Best of British”. It was for Lanson champagne, which is of course made in France. The bottles were wrapped in Union Flag jackets. He was furious, and refused to leave the store until they took down the display, following up with a letter to Theresa May. As he points out, in a recent blind tasting Lanson came 87th, behind no fewer than 83 British sparklers. I wonder how the French would feel if Bob sold his Cornish wine at Charles de Gaulle under a label, “Gloire de France”.

Postscript

• Margaret Crisell and John Post spotted this warning sign outside the Ladies at Bristol airport: “During a terminal evacuation, red lights will flash … “

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