Posted by: travelrat | February 13, 2013

A Concert … and Sauce!


LG Arena, Birmingham: 18th December 2012

Regular reader of these chronicles will probably have gathered that we’re great fans of André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra. So far, we’ve been to three of his concerts; two in Maastricht and one in London, and now, we’re in Birmingham for a fourth.

We’ve got a lot of time for the LG Arena; we’ve been here before, for the ‘Dancing on Ice’ roadshow, and, on this occasion, we had the best seats I think we’ve ever had at a live concert.

Now, you may remember that, at the O2 Arena in London, there were several restaurants to choose from. Here, there’s only one, but with several counters. If you want fish and chips, you queue at the appropriate counter; if you want a burger, you queue at another counter … etc., etc.

My favourite is the one I discovered on a previous visit … the pie and mash counter! The pies, they told me, are made to an Australian recipe, using British ingredients … and the result is not a million miles from a ‘Tiger’, as served at Harry’s Café de Wheels in Wooloomooloo!

But, there’s something I like on my pies in Britain that’s not often found in Australia, unless you look really hard for it. HP Sauce. And, there was none here!

Folks! This is BIRMINGHAM; the HOME of HP Sauce!

However, it’s a long time since it was actually made here; they closed and demolished the factory some time ago, and the stuff is now made in the Netherlands. But, it’s still as good as it ever was. It’s always been a favourite of mine, and it was from its label, I learnt my first words of French.

Back in the day, the blurb on the side of the bottle extolling the virtues of the sauce, and the uses to which it might be put were repeated in French for some reason.

But, I have been wondering for many years how to slip ‘Cette sauce de haute qualité est un mélange d’épices et de fruits orientaux’ into an everyday conversation.




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