Champagne – the Drink of Eccentrics

Champagne – the drink of Eccentrics as the Phoenix of Mayfair arose from the ashes of Cromwell’s Pogrom on Beauty

champagne mayfair life

Mayfair where Eccentricity has been a quintessential part of the English Character since 1660 when the merry monarch King Charles II decided the way to get his reign off to a swinging start was by pumping champagne through the numerous fountains of the city. He legalised theatre fine-food music art beauty dancing the arts tailors toy-makers bootmakers and maypoles on his first day in power (all were banned as papist and punishable by death under Cromwell) thousands of ancient manuscripts and artworks were destroyed by Cromwell’s New Model Army – All beauty was destroyed including the 141 Crown Jewels many which dated back to Edward The Confessor including the coronation crown.

Mayfair Champagne glass

Charles II had to wait for new crown jewels to be created before he could be crowned.

Building Mayfair was Charles II’s revenge on Cromwell. Paving over the Killing Fields with an opulent retail and residential utopia for sybarites – he hired the world’s first woman architect Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham to build his paradise of glass-fronted shopping arcades and garden squares surrounded by mansions thereby cocking-a-snook at the Puritans who had persecuted his people, bankrupted his coffers, martyred his father King Charles I exiled his granny the dowager queen Marie de Medici mother of opera and greatest benefactor of the arts that ever lived and his mother Henrietta Marie de Medici and his brother jolly James II and so it was, Mayfair arose, a sybaritic Phoenix from the ashes of Cromwell’s pogrom on beauty pleasure and art … when you walk through Mayfair you are walking on the graves of eccentrics, lovers of art, beauty and pleasure… as a child I believed I could hear the spirits that haunt the streets and mews in which I’ve spent my life guide me.

They are my muse…women martyred for wearing makeup or extraordinary frocks or chaps sporting a spiffy wiggie or enjoying a drink or night at the theatre, the child beaten for kicking a stone to his chum. Very few of those martyred at Tyburn were Catholics for they had secret passages and escape routes. Most were everyday dandies and dandizettes which is why Mayfair remains a beacon of tolerance and a reminder to all of the inevitable dark and bloody conclusion of Puritan ethics. Tea Tolerance and Theatre defined the 1660’s and we should never stop valuing this triumvirate of cheer, change and King Charles Cavalier spaniels. Champagne… the Drink of Eccentrics.