The locals at the Plough at Cadsden have had to get used to the bar filling up with Chinese tourists seeking out fish and chips and English ale. The reason is that it was the pub that hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping last October, when the then UK leader David Cameron took him to his local and Xi ordered just those things. The event was broadcast on China’s national TV news, and showed Xi talking with some of the Plough’s regulars and knocking back two pints of Greene King’s India Pale Ale with considerable ease. (Sales of that beer surged in China as a consequence.)
The establishment’s landlord has called it “the most famous pub in the world” and according to the Morning Advertiser, it has become “an attraction for Chinese tourists”. And this week Xi’s visit was to have even bigger consequences for the pub, with Christie’s brokering its sale to Chinese investors. Its new owner is SinoFortune Investment which plans to export the “English pub concept” to China and open replica Ploughs in major cities. It may be onto something. As we noted in issue 346, Chinese drinkers have been turning away from mass-produced local lagers to more premium foreign brews – much like the stuff on tap at the Plough.
WiC has a suggestion: now that he’s out of a job, maybe SinoFortune could hire Cameron to take on the role of chirpy publican at the ‘Plough at Shanghai’.