Food in this country has improved hugely in my lifetime. Why can’t water do likewise?
In the UK, water is something that comes from the tap. Other options are a major ripoff: the choices are “still” (utterly flat, not as nice as tap water) or “sparkling” (obscenely gassy). That seems to apply to expensive brands with classy-looking labels, just as much as supermarket “value” brands. Only the flavoured variants are (in some cases) nice to drink.
Italy was different. There’s a culture of drinking water, so for example, if you go for a restaurant meal there’s an automatic expectation you’ll drink water (as well as whatever else you drink – typically wine). With that culture comes water that’s altogether nicer to drink. In particular, water that’s neither flat nor gassy, but naturally effervescent (best) or slightly sparkling.
Recently I’ve looked out for something drinkable amongst the (expensive) foreign waters on sale here (isn’t it just obscene that we should import water here)? There’s one Italian brand: San Pellegrino is familiar from my years in Italy, but was never one of my favourite brands. It’s sold here both in plastic and glass bottles, but alas, only the glass bottle stuff – the most expensive of all – tastes good.
But now at last, I have in the fridge a botted water that’s both nice and a little less expensive. I think it’s french: called something like Badoit, though I forget the name. I think I may have found a brand worth drinking, though I resent paying as much per litre for water as for fruit juice!