To London House (well, not literally: us what blog from our garrets by a candle’s flicker don’t actually have a budget, let alone one which stretches to Beijing), where a programme of upbeat seminars and lectures on lovable London is underway. The installation has been set up with a view to promoting our wondrous city for matters non-Olympian. Business investment, tourism, study-trips, that sort of thing.
You will recall that we reported on Boris’ Olympic cost-cutting exercises back in June, wherein Gordon Ramsay was ditched, delegates dumped and even flight arrangements were down-graded. The enterprise was further jeopardised when the Chinese made it homeless, but it was eventually rehoused with the help of the LDA.
So all well and good. Ramsay may be a national poppet, but Londonist isn’t entirely sure that his fare is entirely representative of standard British comestibles. So what pray are they feeding guests in its place? What snippets and tidbits are they using to entice occident prone Chinese? Hm. It seems that they are relying on a pastiche of buffet dishes, featuring cucumber sandwiches, pasties and sausage rolls. This has already led a delegate to comment:
“I'm surprised that people are eating food with their hands; I don't think that's the sign of a very advanced nation.”
And they’re washing it down with tea – the words ‘coal’ and ‘Newcastle’ spring to mind. The concept of an English afternoon tea may be internationally renowned and utterly delightful, but it is a well known fact that the Brits are peasants in their treatment of the leafy brew.
Mix this with a range of *tantalising icons* ranging from Big Ben to cricket matches, and you would be forgiven for thinking that you have slipped into an old episode of The Prisoner. Some mandarin at City Hall seems to be of the impression that the Chinese will only respond to familiar images. Condescending eegit.
Anyway, we hope it all goes well, ‘cos we care, and ‘cos a busy city is a happy and prosperous city. But we don’t really feel that we’re missing anything.
Afternoon tea from bitboy's flickr stream under the Creative Commons Licence.