Morning! We’ve now been Rising & Shining for over a month. In case you’ve just joined us, this digital newsletter will get you up to speed bright and early on a Monday morning with everything happening in hospitality in the south and south west. It goes out to 22,000 fellow industry professionals. So if you have any news you’d like to share do get in touch with Carolyn Moss, our Hospitality News Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or tweet us at @BreadButterNews. Have a great week.
Brexit Boost for UK Tourism
Travel and tourism in the south is likely to benefit from the vote to leave the EU, according to independent insolvency firm Begbies Traynor.
The weakening of the pound against the euro and the dollar has seen more domestic tourists opting for ‘staycation’ and attracted visits to the UK by overseas tourists who have increased spending power.
According to Begbies Traynor’s Red Flag Alert research for Q2 2016, which looks at the financial health of UK companies, the finances of the British tourism industry were already improving in the run up to the referendum with levels of financial distress falling in UK travel and leisure businesses.
While the increased uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote is expected to hit much of the UK economy, Begbies Traynor predicts British tourism will be one of a few sectors to quickly benefit from Brexit. Recent reports suggest sterling’s weakness against the euro could add £245 to the cost of an average European holiday for a British family.
Begbies Traynor partner Julie Palmer said: “Despite the typically unpredictable British weather over the past three months, our data shows that levels of ‘significant’ financial distress actually decreased across all key sectors of the UK tourism industry in the lead up to the Brexit vote, suggesting the sector is in rude health ahead of its vital summer season.
“Since then, while most sectors of the economy have started to batten down the hatches to wait for the Brexit storm to blow over, in contrast the UK’s domestic travel and tourism industry is expected to be one of the first sectors of the economy to see tangible financial benefits from the Referendum result.
“The significantly weaker pound has already made international travel for British families so much more expensive, which should encourage more to favour staycations on home soil.
“Meanwhile currency fluctuations have also made travel to the UK from Europe and the US in particular more affordable, helping incoming tourists to get a lot more bang for their buck.
Prince of Wales’s £1.5m Plan to Help Small Farmers
Struggling small farms in the south will get free business guidance and one-to-one support thanks to a new nationwide scheme launched by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
Supported by HRH The Prince of Wales, the charity’s patron, the ‘Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme’ is a £1.5 million, five-year programme to support vulnerable farm businesses.
According to The Prince’s Countryside Fund, research earlier this month showed a steep decline in the number of small family farms. Small and medium sized farms have experienced unprecedented strain and in 2015, the average farm income fell below £20,000 for the first time since 2007. Their ability to survive economically is now so challenged that one in five are unable to pay their short term debts. In response, many are fighting the tide through innovation and diversifying their businesses into new areas such as leisure and tourism.
Speaking about the launch of the programme, The Prince of Wales said: “The small farms which have been such an integral part of Britain’s landscape for thousands of years are under threat. My Farm Resilience Programme is designed to respond to those threats by helping up to 300 hard to reach, vulnerable farm businesses. It is the most far-reaching programme ever offered by my Countryside Fund.”
Claire Saunders, director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “There has never been a more important time for practical action to help farm businesses. On top of the everyday problems for farmers, new and more life changing decisions are now required. Small farms add vibrancy and strength to rural communities and ensure that we have a diverse farming sector.
“By offering this programme we will provide many farmers with new skills to cope with the increasing financial, technical and human challenges faced by family businesses. The ultimate target has to be ensuring that we retain a varied and viable farming sector and nurture an essential part of our national identity by helping farms to make the most of their business.”
Recruitment for the Farm Resilience Programme will begin in September and workshops will run between December 2016 and March 2017 in locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Life is Suite: Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel’s £150,000 Refurb
It’s not like they were shabby to begin with but the five star Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel has just completed a £150,000 refurbishment of its luxury suites. Guests can now enjoy three new suites and a butler service that sees champagne and canapés served to the room every evening. Each suite – The Cavendish, The Belgrave Executive and the Grange Presidential – feature Georgian style four poster king sized beds, complimentary mini bars, luxury bathrooms with cast iron roll top bath tubs and panoramic views over the city.
New Foodie Pub Opens in South East Cornwall
The Carew Arms in the village of Antony, near Torpoint is now open after extensive renovation.
Great British Menu regional winner Emily Watkins of The Kingham Plough has worked on the menu with owner Tremayne Carew Pole. Head chef Jack Clayton will be offering a range of seasonal dishes and bar snacks using locally-sourced ingredients from hand-picked suppliers. The pub also features a general store with a café space serving barista coffees and cakes. On the first floor, the Loft Dining Room is available for private hire and community events.
New Gastropub for Cheltenham
The Bottle of Sauce will be opened in the winter and will be Oxford based Dodo Pub Co’s first foray into Gloucester. The menu will feature the wood-fired pizzas, burgers and sides plus an extensive selection of drinks that go down well in their Oxford pubs – The Rusty Bicycle and The Rickety Press. The new pub is on the former site of The Quaich on Ambrosia Street in Cheltenham.
Bristol City FC Make Star Chef Signing
Ashton Gate Stadium have revealed that local Michelin starred chef Josh Eggleton will be providing matchday menus inspired by his acclaimed restaurant The Pony &Trap.
Following a previous partnership with the Ashton Gate hospitality team for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Josh will work with executive head chef George Opondo to provide platinum VIP Club Seat and box-holders with high quality food at the home of Bristol City FC, Bristol Rugby and Bristol Sport.
Josh Eggleton commented: “I’ve always had an association with sport in Bristol. My first job was selling programmes at Bristol Rugby for my dad’s printing business.
“Ashton Gate is designed to give customers a great hospitality experience and to be a national leader, something I fully support. We’re looking to create an excellent customer service and food experience for sports fans.”
Chief of stadium operations, Mark Kelly said: “Having Josh join us for the first season in the ‘new’ Ashton Gate Stadium is tremendously exciting. His passion for food and sport is fantastic and to have a chef of his calibre, on our doorstep, wanting to partner with us is a huge compliment.”
Newquay Hospitality Training Company Celebrates 20 Years
Newquay for Excellence Training Ltd (NfET) celebrated two decades on Thursday 21 July with an afternoon tea at Trenance Gardens, Cornwall.
The independent training company was started by Ruth Atkinson and Gill Moore in 1996 so tourism businesses could access training on a local level. It has brought funding to tourism and hospitality businesses in Newquay, with successful projects now delivered nationwide.
A spokesperson for NfET said: “We wanted to celebrate being in business for 20 years, there are not many independent small training providers who reach this milestone. Over the years we have worked to ensure businesses receive training that is worthwhile to their business… As we all know tourism and hospitality many years ago was seen as a ‘summer job’ and ‘not a proper job’, things have changed and the career opportunities are fabulous, you can work anywhere in the world in hospitality. Once a person has those skills and knowledge it can offer so many life experiences.”
Save the Planet One Cup at a Time
Popular independent café chain Boston Tea Party are now offering customers a 25p discount off their hot drinks every time they use a reusable coffee cup. This follows the company looking into the environmental impact of coffee cups as recently exposed by Hugh-Fearnly Whittingstall and his Wake Up and Smell the Waste campaign. It’s estimated that 2.5 billion ‘paper’ coffee cups are being thrown away in the UK every year. Very few of these – less than a quarter of one percent – are being recycled. Whittingstall claimed that the UK’s biggest coffee sellers like Costa and Starbucks do very little to address the problem and often have misleading symbols on their cups which suggest that they can be recycled through normal public recycling services.
Boston Tea Party Party, which has 19 cafés, mostly in Bristol and the south, looked to address the problem of most paper coffee cups ending up in landfill by investigating a compostable cup from Vegware, However they decided that they faced similar issues of there being no suitable recycling services available to handle them. MD and owner Sam Roberts said : “With this in mind, we decided not to invest the additional £30-40k per annum these compostable cups and lids would cost us, but rather use these funds to invest in what is, in our opinion, the only truly environmentally friendly option, a reusable coffee cup. So we will now offer all our customers a 25p discount off our hot drinks every time they use one… Plus, we’ll continue to badger local governments to invest in some appropriate waste infrastructure and keep an eye on what progress is made with solutions for a completely recyclable or compostable paper cup.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Dorset Farm Shop Wins Two Taste of the West Awards
The Udder Farm Shop have received a gold award for their farm shop and a silver for their coffee shop in the Taste of the West awards for 2016. Located on the edge of the Blackmore Vale, the farm shop was opened in 2005 by farmers Jane and Brian Down and features a deli, fishmongers and butchery.
Granny’s New Apple Sauces
A Cornish Granny is taking on the likes of Levi Roots by bringing her own secret recipes to a homemade range of dressings for the family cider farm. Joy Healy has longed wowed friends and family with her passion for dressing and jam making but has no need for BBC’s Dragon’s Den as her two grandsons, Joe and Sam Healy who run the Cornish Cyder Farm say she is “impossible to say no to”.
The first two products, Granny Joy’s Scrumpy Mustard Dressing and a Granny Joy’s Rattler Cyder and Sweet Chilli Sauce have now been launched, with ingredients including the farm’s popular Rattler and scrumpy cyders and apple juice.
Granny Joy said: “I like to make sure that my sauces and dressings have a little bit of kick to them, keeps everyone on their toes! I’ve always been asked to make these recipes for friends and family and I thought that it would be fun to see if others like it as much as we do. Without the help of my grandsons I wouldn’t have been able to get the idea off the ground, but they know not to get on the wrong side of me, so I guess they didn’t have much of a choice!”
The Sweet Chilli and Rattler Sauce blends Rattler cyder with chillies and garlic, vinegar, concentrated apple juice, and sugar to take the edge off the sharpness of the other ingredients. It’s said to complement chicken, pork and fish cakes or equally versatile as a marinade or dipping sauce.
Scrumpy Mustard Dressing features a modern twist on a classic dressing with the addition of concentrated apple juice for intensity. The juice is blended with the farms own coarse grain mustard, vinegar and healthy rapeseed oil, for a fresh-tasting complement to any salad.
Luxury Cotswold Hotel Creates a Buzz
Lords of the Manor, the award winning country house hotel located in the heart of the Cotswolds which boasts the only Michelin-starred hotel dining room in Gloucestershire, have a perfect addition to their cheese trolley. Lavender from their hotel garden is turned into lavender honey to the delight of their foodie guests. Renowned for their eight acres of beautiful lawns and gardens, Lords of the Manor have recently added a new herb garden.
Drink Beer, Save the Rhino
Devon based Bay’s Brewery and Paignton Zoo are helping raise funds for Rhino conservation with their limited edition Rhino Ale. Available throughout the south west until the end of September, the Rhino Ale is a light golden ale and for every pint sold, Bays Brewery are donating 10p to Rhino conservation. This is not the first time the award winning brewery have joined forces with Paignton Zoo and brewed a special ale in support of animal conservation. Following in the footsteps of the Great Gorilla Ale in 2013 came the original Rhino Ale in 2014 and the Tall Order (Giraffe) Ale in 2015. Nearly £10,000 has been raised for the conservation of these animals since 2013.
Ringwood Restaurant For Sale
A popular thatched restaurant in Ringwood is on the market for £699,999 with Hilton Smythe. The Old Cottage restaurant is housed in a 14th century building on the edge of the New Forest. The business was established in 1982 and has been under the current owners since 1989, who are retiring. It’s been open for six days a week with approximately 60 covers and offered traditional Sunday lunch, weekday specials and a A La Carte menu of English and international cuisine.
Bristol Sausage & Cider Festival
5th – 6th August
Old Passenger Shed, Temple Meads Station, Bristol
Music, real cider, and great local sausages from Artisan producers.
CAMRA Great British Beer Festival
9th – 13th August
The home to over 900 real ales, ciders, perries and international beers
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
20th – 21st August
Sandown, Isle of Wight
A vast array of eats, treats, sights and sounds to suit all tastes and ages. There are huge garlic and food marquees, along with cooking demonstrations from top Island chefs in the all new theatre kitchen.
The Cheese & Chilli Festival
20th – 21st August
North Walls, Winchester, Hampshire
Cheese and chillies from around the world, along with a fantastic beer festival from local microbrewery, Downton Brewery.
Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Festival + Beer, Cider & Perry Festival
20th -21st Aug
The Wharf House, Over, Gloucester
Local beers, ciders, Perry and tapas will all be on offer at The Wharf House’s annual event – with live music set to entertain festival-goers this year.
Melplash Agricultural Show
West Bay Show Ground, Bridport, Dorset
The South West’s premier agricultural exhibition packed full of exhibits including livestock, horses, homecrafts and horticulture. There are over 350 trade stands selling everything from locally produced food to tractors.
The Big Feastival
26th – 28th August
Alex James’ Farm, The Cotswolds
Jamie Oliver and Alex James present The Big Feastival, a unique weekend celebration of music, food and fun for all the family.
London Gets Dressed, Paris Gets Naked
London’s naked restaurant is moving to Paris. The Bunyadi opened in London in May and attracted positive reviews and a waiting list of thousands. Diners were keen to try the naturist vibe which saw them undress – if they wanted – behind screens, don robe and slippers and eat on wooden stalls with edible cutlery. As founder Seb Lyall explained at the time ‘We believe people should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colours, no electricity, no gas, no phone and even no clothes if they wish to’. Now in an interview with Country and Town House magazine he has confirmed that the London restaurant will close and relocate to Paris.
Lyall said: “We’ve built a community and we want to share that with Paris now. It’s been brilliant – we’ve built a lovely following. Everyone who comes is really liberal, educated, and open to new things. We’re very niche. It’s easier for us to close after two months here. We need to start planning for Paris. It’s been really hot in London and our current venue isn’t suitable for our plans to grow. It’s been warm and there’s no air conditioning.” Let’s hope they wiped everything down on their way out…
UK naturists shouldn’t despair though as he is planning a naked members club for the capital.