Columns on fashion, culture and ideas

Art & Culture / AnOther's Lovers

#WordWeek: Babycham Beer Mat

We unveil our favourite post on AnOther Loves, and interview its Lover

Babycham Beer Mat
Babycham Beer Mat

A vibrant Babycham beer mat has been the unanimous #WordWeek Loves victor for first time Lover Tom Gibson

This #WordWeek, we’ve been pretty comprehensive in our consideration of the best in language, typeface, handwriting and word art. We’ve got serious and romantic, literary and frivolous, visual and verbal. We’ve gone from the first line all the way to the last word. So really, it’s about time we relaxed with a drink, preferably one served from this fantastic vintage Babycham beermat loved by the founder of Ruby’s cocktail bar Tom Gibson, who has won the Loves vote with his first ever post.

"What this week has really taught us is that words are everywhere – lining our clothes, directing us places, gathering up our imaginations, making us cry, selling us drinks"

What this week has really taught us is that words are everywhere – lining our clothes, directing us places, gathering up our imaginations, making us cry, selling us drinks. Indeed, beermats are a great example of the ubiquity of the word, cushioning our current beverage while tantalising us with the suggestion of another. The first iterations were made of cardboard in Germany in 1880, before the Watney Brewery introduced cork versions to England in 1920, as a way to advertise their pale ale. While generally restricted to advertising beers or ales, other drinks brands have started making their own customised versions, with the trend also extending into politics and slogans. This Babycham beermat is a singularly sleek and sophisticated version, despite showcasing a drink not famous for its refinement.

Ruby's Cinema Sign
Ruby's Cinema Sign Courtesy of @josephowen
So, to toast the end of #WordWeek, we asked Gibson how he'd been celebrating, and to recommend us a delicious drink.

Why did you love this Babycham coaster?
I love the aesthetic of vintage beer mats. There are some amazing examples of illustration from over the years symbolised through these stamps of British culture. There is something delightfully nostalgic about Babycham. It's old fashioned, very English and slightly unfashionable. It’s something Graham Norton would pull out of his drinks cabinet. But it’s such an iconic brand and the typography and imagery on their marketing has always been really strong. The Cleopatra-esque face and the fashion reference make it very AnOther.

Where would you keep it if you owned it?
It would be up on the wall of my bar Ruby’s. All the beer mats are vintage and I go through so many so it’s important not to get too attached to them but there’s space on the wall for some of the more special ones.

What would be your perfect drink to have from it, and who would you like to be drinking with?
A sazerac is my drink of choice, it’s a stirred, rye whiskey based drink. I’d be sipping it with my partner-in-crime Laura Bradley.

How are you celebrating #WordWeek?
Talking. I don’t stop.

What is your favourite word?
Delicious. Not used that often but when it is, you know you’re onto a winner. Working within food and drink you’re on a constant quest for perfection and in culinary terms that word sums it up.

What was the last letter you wrote and who was it to?
To my nan, bless her, for helping me out with my accounts.

What are you looking forward to about August?
BBQs. They don’t come around often so you’ve got to enjoy them while they’re there.

What was the last thing you bought?
Coconut water. Yin needs yang. That sazerac needs balancing out by something!

By Tish Wrigley

Tish Wrigley is the AnOther assistant editor.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates