Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

England Time Bread

I’m willing to bet that this about-to-open shop in Liuzhou bears no resemblance to its Chinglish name, England Time Bread (英伦时光面包). In fact, I hope so. If I were to open a shop featuring English bread and coffee, I’d keep very quiet about it. French bread and coffee – OK. Italian bread and coffee – OK. English bread and coffee?

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(Before anyone gets on their high horse and provides examples of great English breads and coffees (no doubt from the Kentish coffee plantations), let me say “I know there are excellent English breads and that some people can brew a decent coffee, but lets be fair, the average is very average. There are things we do better.”)

You can bet it will be the usual “cake” and unrecognisable “sandwiches” with pretty bad coffee.

The owners have already signposted their lack of authenticity with the idiotic claim that they have been around since 1928. Only if they mean 19:28 last Tuesday.

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I’ll be checking this place out when it opens in the next few days and will no doubt report back. Especially, if I am wrong and they do stock Mother’s Pride.

It’s on the lower stretch of the pedestrian street, downhill from McDonald’s, Xinhua bookstore and the Red Star.

I have, since originally posting this, got round to visiting the place. As I suspected, the cakes are the usual sickly Cantonese concoctions. The shop has nothing English, at all. The nearest were some French style baguettes which must have been baked in the Qing dynasty. They were so stale they would have made very effective weapons in the next uprising. Or useful the next time you have to hammer masonry nails into concrete. Given that they are  ¥8 each for baguettes half the size of the much better ones sold by RT Mart for ¥3.20, I don’t think I’ll be back.

I didn’t try the coffee.

Incidentally, despite popular misconceptions, the pedestrian street is not called Five Star Street (五星街). As any street sign will confirm, it is 解放南路 or Liberation Road South.  Five Star Street (五星街) is the somewhat derelict and deserted offshoot (but which was actually opened first) which starts at the clock tower and the little McDonald’s ice cream stall, then curves round and comes out on the other side of McDonald’s proper.

UPDATE: January 2014

The place appears to have closed down. It lasted roughly six months. I guess selling stale cakes at inflated prices in a quiet location isn’t a good business model.

. This entry was posted on Friday, May 24th, 2013 at 4:28 pm and is filed under Chinglish, Food and Drink, Liuzhou News, Strawberry Fields. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “England Time Bread”

  1. David Says:

    Proper English bread is far tastier and with more texture than the equivalent French or Italian breads which are fine in their own way . I wish you’d stop denigrating good English food (no smart arse responses , please) there is so much of it out there now that these sort of snide comments are really outdated . We all know that most Chinese versions of ‘foreign’ cuisines fail and it doesn’t matter , that’s not why we love the country , its food….and people , if not its system , which , I suppose , is none of ‘our’ business .
    Industrialised bread is available all over the world for those that know no better or have no interest , even in France and Italy , as I witnessed recently at supermarkets in those countries , and , if that’s what the people want , well …who are we ?
    Even the ‘Mail’ doesn’t get me THAT riled ….. !
    Still , love the foody articles , just stop knocking English cuisine . Not worthy of you .

  2. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Try reading what I write before deciding what is worthy of me or what I constantly do.

    Where do you get this idea that I denigrate English cuisine? I most certainly do not and would not. I went out of my way to say that there are good English breads.

    (The Chorleywood process is still an English invention, though.)

  3. David Says:

    I did and have done again. Fair enough , but it was just the ‘Mothers Pride’ jibe that lit my admittedly sensitive fuse. I think you’ll agree that we suffer enough ignorant comments about great English food from others without any of our own. But I’m with you on the cake and coffee prediction … and I bet the coffee’s crap too … and reverentially served in tiny cups – cold !



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