British Ambassador Simon Martin stepped back in time in more ways than one when he helped Lulu Hypermarket once again celebrate British Week in all of its branches across the kingdom.
He helped cut the ribbon and cake at the event’s inauguration at the company’s Juffair branch, along with Juzer Rupawala, Lulu’s regional director, and other invited guests.
Lulu did the UK proud with a towering mock-up bridge over the Thames, a classic red telephone box and an imposing image of The National Gallery which alone would have made the former Foreign Office’s director of protocol in London feel right at home.
Flashback two years and Simon and his wife, Sophie, were particularly thrilled that their start in the kingdom coincided with the 200th anniversary of relations between Bahrain and the UK, and one of their first duties was to attend a British brand launch at Lulu hypermarket in Hidd in front of a stand of kettles, toasters, stand mixers, irons, air-fryers and juicers.
Now, an old hand at the supermarket sweep, he deftly slipped past the small kitchen appliances into the phone kiosk to make a pretend call, and on to the numerous food stalls.
“I could eat for Britain,” he joked and pretty much proved the point, happily tucking into an array of treats being displayed along the aisles.
In between meat pies, cheese and cakes, Simon was in sensational form, playing an air-guitar-esque drum solo with a pair of rhubarb sticks, much to the amusement of a photographer, and performing his party trick of throwing a cherry tomato high in the air and catching it in his mouth, albeit on his second attempt.
Stuart Furlonger, Lulu Bahrain’s regional operations manager, was close at hand describing the rich array of British products on display.
The week-long promotion, which ends today, covers more than 10,000 British goods from fresh meat, seafood, vegetables and fruits to household white goods, plus popular processed food brands of chocolates, biscuits and frozen foods, with numerous special deals and offers on products.
Devonian Stuart admitted some of the items, such as the vast British cheese selection, were quite new to him as Lulu is acclaimed for the rich variety of UK products it sources.
As reported in GulfWeekly, the chairman of Lulu Group, Yusuff Ali MA, was bestowed with a British royal accolade for his contribution towards boosting international trade.
Lord Lieutenant John Crabtree, HM The Queen’s special representative, handed over the award to him during a glittering ceremony held at the Birmingham Council House. Later in the day she hosted a royal reception for the Queen’s Award recipients at Buckingham Palace.
The Lord Lieutenant said Lulu Group has helped open up a huge market for British products worldwide through its operations. Y International (UK) Ltd operates as a subsidiary of Lulu Group International and sources and exports a wide range of food products to more than 136 hypermarkets and supermarkets of Lulu Group, including the popular stores in Bahrain.
“Lulu Hypermarket takes pride in promoting products from all over the world. We have a large British community in Bahrain and it is only apt that we celebrate British Week as an annual event to import and promote quality products from the UK,” added Juzer.
Sophie, accompanied by her Bournemouth university student daughter, Lydia, on Easter vacation in the kingdom, obviously liked the sound of that. Inspired by Simon, they were spotted feasting on several samples too, before having to dash off for a dinner date.
As a result, they missed the Cod ’n’ Chips supper – deep-fried live on the premises and priced at a mere 900fils.
Cor blimey! The Szecowka family paid eight times as much for the same-sized portion in London’s Covent Gardens over the summer.
Now that’s food for thought.
Stanley Louis Szecowka
Editor/Journalist & Blogger, Restaurant & Motors Reviewer, FinTech Writer, Manager, Trainer.
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