Take a deep breath: how ‘Cornish’ air sells for GBP60 a bottle (even if it’s from Devon)

Take a deep breath: how ‘Cornish’ air sells for GBP60 a bottle (even if it’s from Devon)

Name: Bottled air.

Age: Fresh as a daisy, sir, just bottled this morning.

Appearance: Invisible, but the boutiquey bottle is very nice.

And what is it exactly? Air in a bottle, sir, captured at coastal locations across the UK, and yours for GBP60 for the 500ml bottle or GBP75 if you want the 700ml version. There’s a significant saving, of course, if you do buy the larger size.

Of course. But let me get this straight. It’s air, put into a bottle, and it costs GBP60? Or GBP75 for the larger bottle.

Is this some kind of April fool’s joke? You know it’s only the start of March. No need to adopt that tone, sir. Coast Capture Air, based at Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, travels “the length and breadth of Great Britain seeking unspoiled places of natural beauty to monitor and capture the freshest coastal air”. Consumers all over the world fed up with breathing in car fumes are snapping it up as an aid to healthy living.

But this is madness! It’s an empty bottle! I’m sorry you feel that way, sir. The company bottles air from Suffolk, the Isle of Wight and Hartland Point on the Cornish coast.

Young woman with arms out, Brean Sands, Somerset, EnglandPosed by model Breathing fresh air at the beach GettyImages-480812475

Hartland Point is in Devon! There has admittedly been some pushback on that point down in the south-west. Coast Capture Air prefers to market its Hartland Point product as being from the “Cornish heritage coast”, and Devonians are not very happy about it.

You stir up the rivalry between Devon and Cornwall at your peril. The air battle has, sadly, been added to the controversy over Cornwall claiming to have invented the pasty when it was actually Devonian, and the long-drawn-out war over whether you apply jam or cream first to a scone in a cream tea.

It’s jam first if you want to maximise how much cream you can get on. But look, who cares if the air at Hartland Point is pure Devonian, or has come up from Cornwall, or across from Ireland, or all the way from Timbuktu? It’s just air, and you are trying to sell it to me for 60 quid. And very therapeutic it is, sir. Take a sniff of that. Perfect as part of one of your mindfulness sessions.

I don’t do mindfulness sessions. Well, if you did, you could purchase some coastal sounds, too, as the perfect accompaniment.

Oh, I give up! I need some air. I knew you’d come round to our way of thinking, sir.

Not to be confused with: Swiss Air Deluxe, which sells tins of Alpine air, or Vitality Air, which supplies air from the Canadian Rockies.

Do say: “People used to mock the idea of bottled water.”

Don’t say: “Many of us still do.”

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