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Would you pay £26 for a nice bottle of sparkling water? ... some guests at one of Belfast's top hotels would

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 24/07/2015

Becky Carr at the launch of the water menu
Becky Carr at the launch of the water menu
Iceberg, Still: Canadian Arctic Ice shelf Newfoundland £26.45 750ml Btl
Laura Motiejunaite from the Merchant

It's cool, clear and refreshing - and will cost you up to £26 a bottle.

Parched patrons of the five-star Merchant Hotel in Belfast are now able to take a sip from the city's most extensive water list.

Along with the hotel's more familiar cocktail and wine menus, the Merchant is taking thirst quenching to new lengths by offering H20 from all around the world.

Some of the most exclusive aqua is sourced from the thousands-of-years-old ice in a glacier on the other side of the world.

The hotel in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter has just employed two water butlers to guide guests through its new luxury water menu, including Iceberg (£26.45) from the Canadian Arctic.

The Merchant is offering an exclusive range of 500-1000ml still and sparkling bottled waters from places such as Italy, Iceland, Finland, The Faroe Islands and Fiji.

While consumers in the Republic are battling the authorities over bills for domestic water charges, it seems there is a market in Northern Ireland for water ranging from £4.95 to £26.45 per bottle, including Chateldon (£8.45) from France - a naturally carbonated water filtered through the rocks of the Chateldonnaise mountains and bottled since 1650 - said to be a favourite of King Louis XIV.

For some, water is about more than hydration. Also on offer at the Merchant is Fiuggi Italy (£11.50), hailed as the country's go-to water for gout, urinary tract infections and arthritis.

For a pick-me-up you can go for the lithium and mineral-rich Vichy Catalan (£6.45), a sparkling water from Girona that is said to make you feel good and goes well with steak.

Merchant Hotel general manager Gavin Carroll said: "The ethos behind the new water menu is to allow our guests to have the chance and choice to curate their own bespoke food and beverage experience.

"Our water butlers can help customer decide on the type of water that will best complement the food and wine they choose, to enable them to experience the perfect taste journey.

"The brands featured on our new menu are some of the world's best and have been sourced from a range of global locations including glaciers, tropical islands and mountains.

"Of course, we know these luxury waters won't be to everyone's taste.

"The new menu will be offered as an additional option to our current water menu that includes local Irish brands, and for those that don't want to splash out on water, we can still offer a glass of 'Belfast water', free of charge."

The Merchant is sourcing its new water range from Aqua Amore Limited, a regular supplier to "Michelin-starred restaurants, five star hotels and premium catering firms and discerning water lovers".

The water menu

Iceberg, Still: Canadian Arctic Ice shelf Newfoundland £26.45 750ml Btl

Fiji, Still: Fiji Islands Rainforest £5.50 1000ml Btl

Chateldon, Sparkling: France £8.45 750ml Btl

Basalt, Sparkling: Faroe Islands Suouroy £5.45 500ml Btl

Veen, Still: Finland Konisaajo £7.95 660ml Btl

Saint Geron, Sparkling: France Auvergne £7.85 750ml Btl

SNO Glacial, Still: Iceland £7.15 750ml Btl

Fiuggi Italy, Still: Frosinone £11.50 1000ml Btl

De l'Aubier Maple Sap Water: Canada £15.50 750ml Btl

Vichy Catalan, Sparkling: Spain Girona £6.45 1000ml Btl

Whitehole Springs, Still: UK Mendip Hills Somerset £4.95 750ml Btl

Speyside, Sparkling: UK Scotland Glenlivet Estate £4.95 750ml Btl

Borjomi, Sparkling: Georgia £13.95 500ml Btl

Belfast Telegraph

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