Winchester Magazine Christmas Issue 2017 Winchester Magazine Christmas Issue 2017 - Page 45

FOOD & DRINK FROM HAMPSHIRE TO HARRODS AND BEYOND Why Hildon has become the connoisseur’s water of choice B ottled water is bottled water, right? Wrong, says Debbie Jones, executive director of Hildon, which sources its water from an underground aquifer in Broughton, right at the heart of the Test Valley. “That’s why it’s regularly selected by world-class chefs and sommeliers as well as the Institute of Masters of Wine and is the only bottled water brand ever to win the Chefs’ Choice Award for four consecutive years.” “Hildon is a natural mineral water, which means that it is untreated and must be bottled direct from source,” Debbie says. “Unlike classified drinking water, natural mineral water must have a natural stable composition and come from a registered source. Hildon water is purified by the natural rock strata which it runs through, making it pH-neutral [pure water, neither acidic nor alkaline], consistent in character and completely untainted in flavour. The Hildon story is a good one. Canadian and American airmen first discovered its water source on the Hildon estate during the war. When polo player and entrepreneur Christian Heppe became the owner he decided to bottle it, and in 1989 the first bottles of Hildon Water went on the market. Since then the company has become the water of choice for top-end hotels and restaurants, not only in the UK but also in 36 countries across the world. Locally, Hildon water can be enjoyed at Lainston House and at Chewton Glen, and The Ritz and The Waterside Inn are also among its high-profile hospitality clients. Hildon is also the water of choice for the royal household, and gained a Royal Warrant earlier this year. It’s sold by top retailers like Fortnum & Mason and Harrods as well as online at Ocado. Home and office delivery are available across the UK via the Hildon at Home service. “Our delivery service is particularly popular at Christmas, when people are entertaining family and friends and don’t want to lug bottles from the supermarket,” Debbie says. Hildon is committed to enhancing and supporting the environment in which it operates. “As a company we support charities like the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Naomi House & Jacksplace as well as smaller local good causes through the Hildon Foundation,” Debbie says. "We have introduced beehives this year to complement our onsite wildlife programme, and we ensure we reduce, reuse or recycle as much of our waste stream as possible. “Hildon was created very much as a family business, and the team that works here is passionate about what we do. That commitment to quality is what has kept Hildon so much in demand, not only here in Hampshire but across the world.” 45