Category Archives: Champagne

Hot Night at El Morocco

Okay, I don’t have any pictures, but we were there. One of the hottest nights in my memory, as if a garbage filled blow-dryer was pointed at your face. It was NYC, 1974, Robin and I in our long Laura Ashley dresses, getting drunk on champagne while Mother and Pop Bossa Nova’d and didn’t pay attention to anyone else. Listening to “Midnight at the Oasis”. Later, I passed out in the taxi. My first faint. Stay cool out there this summer.

Years later, in a strange, worlds collide, my husband and I were living in Hell’s Kitchen and we’d just had our first child, Harry. We lived in Manhattan Plaza, a building for people in the performing arts. An old lady named Mrs. Valentine who had been Toscanini’s secretary lived a few floors down from us and knitted booties for Harry. Her husband, Harry Valentine had been the Maitre ‘d at El Morocco until his retirement in the early 80s and probably poured us all into the taxi!


Babycham Monday

Like Champagne for Little Girls!

When the IRA was bombing London and a couple of threats were called in to our school (The American School in London) we had to evacuate and so went to the pub nearby and tried, with the biggest platform shoes and the greatest amount of lipstick, to look old enough to order Babycham, Sparkling Perry.

Originally called “Champagne Perry”, Babycham was invented by brewer Francis Edwin Showering in Shepton Mallet, Sommerset, England.After the French complained about the use of the appelation Champagne, the name was changed to “Sparkling”.  Perry is an ancient alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears traditionally popular in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and parts of south Wales as well as in Normandy and Anjou, France. 

Despite its juvenile fawn mascot and name, Babycham made us feel like grown-ups even as the real grown-ups in our world were acting like children.