Blur star Alex James gives out samples of his Britpop cider at Bonds Christmas launch
Fizz and festive cheer were on the menu when Bonds held its traditional festive celebration that signals the start of Christmas shopping and dining at the Evesham Road emporium and restaurant.
Run by Richard and Zoe Biggs, Bonds houses individual businesses selling everything from homemade candles, leather goods and jewellery to antiques and collectibles. There’s a wide range of interiors, including furniture, textiles, faux plants and decorative objects. There is also a deli where local suppliers and produces offer an array of artisan products, including fine wine and luxury chocolates.
One of the more well-known producers in residence on the night of the Christmas launch was Alex James, the indie star from Blur.
Already famous for his cheeses that he produces from his farm near Kingham, Alex was promoting his new cider, fittingly called Britpop. And was happy to chat to customers as he doled out free samples.
Naturally he says it is his new favourite drink. He told the Herald: “Crafted cider has seen a huge rise in popularity since lockdown. I now prefer it to champagne, which is basically grape cider with a marketing budget.”
He’s confident Britpop will help everyone to rediscover the delights of cider: “Cider is woven into the fabric of our history, a drink to rival any for taste – yet for as long as I can remember it has been undervalued and under-championed. But there is no better way of turning sunshine into sugar, and therefore the perfect winter drink,” said Alex.
He continued: “The resurgence of interest in British food and drink has been the most important cultural shift of the past 20 years and we have all started to recognise that the best we have to offer is now right up there, with the very best in the world.”
To make the cider Alex teamed up with established makers Weston’s and launched it this summer at Feastival, the annual festival he hosts on his farm. He explained: “The recipe for Britpop, although simple has been a labour of love, years in the making and I was delighted with the final results when Weston’s stepped in to help scale up production - but even I didn’t expect it to be such a runaway success. It completely outsold everything else at Feastival."