Let’s play a game of spot the difference:
Well done, you win. As Big Ben (or Elizabeth Tower if you insist) continues to undergo extensive renovations, the famous HP Sauce label, bearing the Houses of Parliament, has undergone a revamp of its own.
To mark the 160th anniversary of Big Ben’s first chimes, HP Sauce bottles will show the iconic tower in its current scaffolding-swaddled state. The new labels will stay on bottles until sometime in 2021, when it’s hoped the iconic clock tower is fully restored.
The Big Ben bell first pealed over London on 31 May 1859 (and soon after cracked, but that’s another story). It’s widely believed that ‘HP’ stands for Houses of Parliament — and that’s the official line from its manufacturers — although other origin stories are out there.
HP claims that its label has only been changed once previously, when a lengthy French description, suggesting the spicy condiment as an accompaniment to “meats hot or cold, fish, ham, cheese and salad, and to enhance the flavour of soups, hashes, and stews” was ditched. In fact, a rudimentary Google search shows that since the HP Sauce name was trademarked in 1895, the label has been revamped multiple times. Much like Big Ben itself.
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