This year the UK may have suffered cutbacks, riots and phone hacking but here over the Channel anything British is still seen as cool and trendy. Admittedly this vision of cool Britannia seems to be distilled into one of red London Routemaster buses and telephone boxes, both of which have all but disappeared from British streets.
Everytime one of the promotional leaflets drops into our postbox I’m amazed by the amount of goods plastered with Union Jacks and the aforementioned buses and boxes on offer to the French buyer. Indeed just down the road in Parthenay you can buy a complete original telephone box, for sale at Comptoir des Loges, a large ironmongery and agricultural supplies outlet.
Of course the UK is not immune from this representation of cultural icons- how many times have you seen goods fashioned to represent French rustic charm or Paris café chic? The irony is they’re all probably made in China, or “fabriqué en Chine” as we’d say over here.