Blog

07/05/2018

Champagne Charlie - the story

Charles Heidsieck himself was the original “Champagne Charlie” gaining the nick-name during his travels around America  in the mid-19th century, inspiring George Leybourne’s famous song.

champagne charlie poster

Some people go for funny drinks and down 'em by the pail, 

Like coffee, cocoa, tea and milk and even Adam's ale 
For my part they can keep the lot I never would complain 
I wouldn't touch the bloomin' stuff, I only drink champagne.  For, 

Champagne Charlie is my name 
Champagne Charlie is my name 
There's no drink as good as fizz, fizz, fizz 
I'll drink every drop there is, is, is 
All round town it is the same 
By Pop! Pop! Pop! I rose to fame 
I'm the idol of the barmaids 
Champagne Charlie is my name. 


I earned my famous title thro' a hobby which I've got 
Of never letting others pay however long the shot 
Whoever drinks at my expense has no need to complain 
For everyone I treat alike I make 'em drink champagne.

George Leybourne  

Unlike many other famous Chamapgne Houses of the period who were selling their wines to an insatiable Russian aristocracy, Charles headed across the Atlantic and introduced Champagne to America. 

Letters from Charles back to his family in Champagne tell of his popularity and reputation as something of a dandy and whose wines were some of the most popular of the time. He wrote “…there is around my personality a rumour, an excitement as they say, that we will greatly benefit from...the 200,000 people of Baltimore have the good taste to prefer Charles Heidsieck champagne to any other one and we have good friends who are now mine.” December 1860

Hugh Grant also played the part of Charles “Champagne Charlie” in the 1989 movie  of the same name.   This is the story of Charles Heidsieck who opened the market for Champagne sales in America just prior to the American Civil War.  He is a reluctant French spy and is captured and spends time in a Union prison. There are two parallel love stories going on and battles with his uncle for control of the family vineyard (because his father married his mother who the uncle also loved).

For the Foodies

Thoughout the year we offer some great dates for your diary - you can book any of these on their own or as part of a package: Call 051.389600 to book. 
 
Dunbrody Sunday Market Every Sunday from Noon - browse the artisan crafts and local food producers. There's lots of great gift ideas from Kevin Dundon's fruit cakes, gluten free fresh bakes, chutneys and books to hand-made jewelry, cards, walking sticks and spices.  A great gathering of local crafts people, foodies and artists every Sunday. The perfect way to spend a Sunday - followed by Jazz Brunch in the Local afterwards or maybe Afternoon Tea in the hotel.  The market takes place every Sunday.
 
Easter Sunday Jazz Brunch A leisurely stroll in the gardens and around the Dunbrody Easter market and afterwards a slap-up brunch with live jazz in the Local Pub at Dunbrody From Noon til 4pm. Not forgetting the Easter Egg Hunt too!
 
Spring Cooking Our fabulous new schedule of cookery courses is now available to book online as well as direct.  Check out Dunbrody Cookery School for all the information or call 051.389600 to enquire.
 
Dunbrody Classic Afternoon Tea €30 Now that the Spring has arrived why not treat yourself to the wonderful Duunbrody Classic Afternoon Tea complete with our delicious freshly-baked pastries and scones and made to order savoury snacks.  Served with the Tea Forte range of teas and Nespresso coffees. From 3-5pm Call 051389600 to book. 
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