Celebration and bubbles are inextricably linked. Be it Champagne, Cava or Prosecco, if there’s a glass of it to be found, it’s often in the hand of someone merrily toasting.
When I was crafting the ‘Sunrise and Bubbles’ experience for Lucky Dip Cards, I had a few things in mind. One was just how glorious a sunrise is, and the other, how it could be so much more magical if instead of just watching it then walking away, the moment could be savoured by expanding the experience to include the finest bubbles you could get your hands on.
‘Salute the morning! Find a truly beautiful spot and watch the sunrise, sipping the finest bubbles you can get your hands on.’
I purposefully kept the choice of bubbles open to suit the player’s preference and budget. However, if the world was mine to rule, there would be free-flowing Dom Pérignon and Dom Ruinart!
My greatest satisfaction as creator of Lucky Dip Cards comes from seeing how players bring their experiences to life. Stemming from the same prompt, each player does something unique...
With this in mind, I organised a bubbly catch up with a friend who is an ardent Champagne fan. Douglas Blyde shares his alcoholic encounters with readers of his weekly column in the Evening Standard magazine. Having not seen Douglas in some years, rather than asking him to methodically move through my questions via an internet connection, we seized the opportunity to meet in person, trying out Albert Adrià’s swanky ‘Cakes and Bubbles’ at Regent Street’s Hotel Café Royal. There we matched an artisan Cava (Llopart) with a slightly distracting pesto waffle, then paired honeyed, semi-sweet English bubbles (Nyetimber) with a sumptuous riff on a cheesecake.
It seems the noteworthy sunrises which Douglas has experienced to date have revolved around him planning and enacting parties for clients when he has been surrounded by still partying guests in various states of elation and disrepair.
Douglas also recalled getting up mighty early to work aboard a quartet of vintage first class train carriages, where he began ‘tasting’ Krug Champagne as the sun came up over the railway depot. Clad in glad rags, lucky guests then boarded the gleaming train after it slid into Victoria, later departing for Hampshire’s historic Watercress Line. There, at a stately pace, passengers were treated to distinctively opulent Krug Champagne, including vintage and rosé, often from magnums, alongside musical medleys orchestrated by bandleader, Jools Holland. Douglas’ role involved tasting, then explaining, over 300 bottles of Champagne throughout the day to ensure guests received a perfect serve.
At once I am jealous, and then rebalance my thoughts as I’m absolutely sure I don’t have the self-control to simply ‘taste’ each bottle, which would lead to me being quite green…
Despite being fascinating, and envy inspiring, I attempt to guide the conversation back to why we’re here together, I ask, ‘So Douglas, what would you drink, and where would you watch your sunrise?’. To this, Douglas quietly chuckles, finding it too difficult when pressed not to simply give a stock answer which isn’t heartfelt.
We say our goodbyes and promise to not leave it so long in between our next catch up. On the way home, on a far less luxurious train than the Champagne laden one Douglas was so positive about, I find myself jotting down a few notes about the importance of saying and doing things that we actually ‘want’ to as opposed to what we actually feel we ‘should’.
So easily we can get caught up with going with the flow, or playing to a particular role we’ve carved out. To find, within all that noise, our own voice - to question and answer what we’d dearly like to do - is quite a task. And as displayed so beautifully through my conversation with Douglas, without a prompt to get you to pause, to step back for a moment and mindfully ask what it is you want to do, you’re at the mercy of others to fill your time and create your memories.
The burning question behind each Lucky Dip Cards experience is, ‘What would you dearly like to do?’ After ripping open your envelope and revealing your experience, this question is what you should ask yourself! Now’s your chance - turn off the noise and create a truly memorable moment for yourself. If there is one thing that I would dearly love my game to do, it is to provide that regular prompt, to get you think about what you want to experience, and with whom, so when you get to the end of your year, instead of workplace memories, or memories created replicating that of someone you think you should follow, you have 12 really very special moments shared with your loved ones.
If you’d like to thoughtfully use your time to create special experiences, please do pick up your own copy of Lucky Dip Cards, and start asking yourself, ‘What would you dearly like to do?’
LUCKY DIP CARDS
EXPERIENCE INSPIRATIONS AND STORIES