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Bristol’s Shipping Container Foodie Hub Takes Shape
Bristol’s new harbourside quarter, Wapping Wharf, saw the arrival of the first shipping containers that will be transformed into a new food-focused retail concept called CARGO.
The city’s first retail yard made of converted shipping containers will host a number of acclaimed chef’s new restaurant ventures including: BOX-E – modern British seasonal cooking by award-winning chef Elliott Lidstone featuring a four-seat kitchen table for those who want to experience the buzz of the kitchen, Woky Ko – a 40-seater Asian restaurant and takeaway headed up by MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen of Cen at Celtic Manor, and Chicken Shed – a “finger-lickin’ dine-in, dine-out chicken shop”, created by the team behind food festival Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, co-founded by Michelin-starred Bristol chef Josh Eggleton of The Pony & Trap, Amelia Twine, Nick Roberts and organic farmer Luke Hasell.
Cargo will also be home to artisan producers and specialist food and drink retailers including the Jolly Hog Sausage Company, Lovett Pies, the Bristol Cider Shop and Corks of Cotham. They join existing Wapping Wharf retailers Wild Beer Co, Better Food, Mokoko, Bertha’s Pizzas and Pizzarova.
Both CARGO 1, which includes 18 converted shipping containers, and CARGO 2, a similar hub adjacent to the first and including 28 containers, have received planning consent. Many of the units, which are set across two levels, have glass frontages, views out onto the waterfront and outside terraces. It is anticipated that the first retailers in CARGO 1 will open in September and in CARGO 2 later this autumn.
Stuart Hatton, director at Umberslade, the developer of CARGO, said: “It is hugely exciting to be involved in bringing a new retail concept to Bristol with the arrival of CARGO. This is a first for the city and will bring something unique to its vibrant independent retail scene. We are thrilled that Wapping Wharf has attracted such an eclectic mix of food and drink venues, ranging from pop-ups to cuisine from some of Britain’s top chefs.”
Elliott Lidstone said: “It’s incredibly exciting to have the containers arriving on site after months of planning. We’re desperate to get started on transforming our bit of metal box into something special, and I can’t wait to get into my own kitchen and start cooking. CARGO’s already got a strong sense of community about it and it’s great to be able to contribute to Bristol’s exploding food scene.”
Will Duckworth, senior retail surveyor at JLL, the property agent for Wapping Wharf, said: “The vision for CARGO has always been to provide a stepping stone for fledgling businesses including pop-ups and street traders and give them a chance to scale up. As it is so rare for independent retailers to be given the opportunity to come into a city centre regeneration project like this, we have also had interest from more established independents, but we are keen to get the right balance and there are still opportunities for smaller street traders to get involved in CARGO 2.”
Eden Hotel’s Bovey Castle Awarded 5 Stars
Two years after it was acquired by the Eden Hotel Collection (EHC), Bovey Castle in Dartmoor National Park, has been awarded five stars by the AA.
The private-owned EHC invested £3.5 million in improving the 60 bedroom property including restoration work and complete refurbishment of the spa, brasserie, restaurant, public areas and bedrooms. New staff training programmes have also been introduced.
This year has seen the first phase of the bedroom refurbishment, with 22 bedrooms completed and the remainder set for completion in the coming months.
The estate, which also includes 22 luxury lodges, is well known for outdoor pursuits. It boasts an 18-hole championship golf course and a busy programme of activities including falconry, tennis, archery, cider and sloe gin-making. It recently added an off-road driving experience in a newly constructed woodland track and the Gentleman’s Quarter – a dedicated men’s area in the recently-refurbished Elan Spa.
Garry Baldwin, Senior Hotel & Restaurant Inspector, AA, said: “Bovey Castle has been brought back to life and transformed into an excellent example of true hotel keeping. The high-quality refurbishment throughout the public areas, excellent dining options and top-notch bedrooms and bathrooms make Bovey Castle a really first-class South West destination”.
Mark Chambers, Managing Director, Eden Hotel Collection, added: “The dedicated team at Bovey Castle is committed to providing exceptional levels of service and hospitality. The recent refurbishment has taken the facilities and services on offer to another level and we are thrilled that the hotel and its hard-working staff have been given the recognition that they deserve.”
Real Cider on the RIse at Great British Beer Festival
It might say Great British Beer above the entrance but more ciders and perries than ever before were available to drinkers visiting CAMRA’s annual festival, held in Olympia, London on 9-13 August.
There were 108 different ciders and perries featured at the festival this year with 35 new cider producers introduced for the first time. Over the past four years the festival has featured real ciders and perries from more than 315 different producers. This represents a substantial proportion of the producers in the UK.
The growing demand for cider in the beer festival community saw CAMRA dedicate two bars it this year. The first B1, is named after the current National Cider Pub of The Year, the Robin Hood & Little John in Nottingham. The second B20, is named after the previous National Cider Pub of the Year winner – the Castle Inn, Dorset. This is a picturesque pub with a giant chess set, board games and extensive outside seating, just up the road from Lulworth Cove.
A survey carried out by YouGov found that 60 per cent of the people surveyed drink cider on a night out in pub, and that 41 per cent of people knew the difference between “real” cider and other ciders.
Berkshire Beer is CAMRA’s Supreme Champ
Bingham’s Vanilla Stout, brewed in Berkshire, became the first speciality beer to win the Champion Beer of Britain Award.
The award comes after almost a year of local tasting panels and regional heats seeing the best beers across the UK invited to compete at the Great British Beer Festival with the final judging being held at the huge beer festival in London Olympia.
Bingham’s Vanilla Stout is a 5 per cent Dark Stout infused with vanilla and dark malts to create a smooth and dark beer. The Kent based Old Dairy brewery’s Snow Top claimed the silver award with Tring brewery’s Death or Glory, a 7.2 per cent Barley Wine coming third.
CAMRA national director Nik Antona said: “This year all the judges commented on how high quality all the beers were in the final stages of the competition and what a wide range of styles and beers they had to try and choose between. “Bingham’s Vanilla Stout is packed full of comforting flavours and I’m sure it will be a popular Champion Beer Choice. It’s great to see a speciality beer win the award for the first time in the history of the competition and our congratulations go to the brewery.”
Southampton’s WestQuay Watermark Picks Pizza and Thai
The £85m dining and leisure development has signed up two new restaurants, Italian pizza restaurant, Franco Manca and Thai restaurateur, Thaikhun.
They will join 15 other restaurants, including Bills, Five Guys and Jamie’s Italian already announced for the dining-led regeneration scheme next to the WestQuay shopping centre in Southhampton.
Franco Manca’s 130m2 unit on the scheme’s lower promenade will be the brand’s debut in Southampton and only its third restaurant outside of London. The Neapolitan pizzeria company will be bringing its specialist sourdough pizzas, topped with locally sourced ingredients to the city.
Also making its debut will be Thaikhun, with a 290m2 restaurant on the upper promenade. Their open kitchen style restaurant, adorned with artefacts from Thai street markets will serve dishes inspired by the street food of Bangkok.
Sarah Fox, Head of Restaurants and Leisure at Hammerson, commented: “…They are great additions to the restaurants already secured and further strengthen the scheme’s appeal as the South Coast’s leading leisure, dining and retail destination.”
Butcombe Gets 23rd Site
In the first deal for the Liberation Group since they were acquired by Caledonia Investments for £118m last month, Butcombe Brewery have purchased The Old Restoration, the oldest pub in Cheltenham.
Butcombe, the operator and brewer owned by Liberation, add the 15th century pub to their managed estate portfolio as part of a strategic growth plan that aims to see up to 20 pubs joining the Butcombe group between now and 2021. It follows their acquisition of the The Pelican Inn, Chew Magna and The Charlton Inn, Shepton Mallet in June.
Brownsword Acquires New Oxfordshire Inn
Andrew Brownsword Hotels has added a new property to their collection of countryside retreats with the acquisition of The Old Swan & Minster Mill on the banks of the River Windrush in Oxfordshire.
Andrew Brownsword said: “We’re delighted to have acquired the Old Swan & Minster Mill, adding an Oxfordshire property to our collection of beautiful country house hotels and our city centre ABode group. The hotel has a great offering for both leisure guests and the events market, and we look forward to working with its team to build its reputation still further”.
The Mill will become the 13th in the Andrew Brownsword Hotels collection. Founded in 1994 with the purchase of The Bath Priory Hotel, the collection includes Gidleigh Park in Devon, Amberley Castle in West Sussex and three Cotswold properties, The Slaughters Manor House, The Slaughters Country Inn and Buckland Manor.
Staycations Rise in Devon as Pound Falls
Devon tourism is experiencing a “golden age” thanks to the increase in staycations that’s been further accelerated by the crashing value of the pound post Brexit, according to Derek Philips Honorary Secretary of The Devon Hotels and Restaurants Association.
He said: “Members are reporting an unprecedented increase in customers enjoying domestic holidays. Thanks to the strong visitor numbers and occupancy during the summer of 2015, hoteliers and restaurateurs had been preparing for a positive year ahead. But I don’t think any of them could have anticipated quite the influx we have experienced. The members have really upped their game and are exceeding the requirements of a tide of visitors looking for more than a cream tea and a walk on the moor”.
According to travel company ABTA, there has been strong sales for domestic holidays this year with many going to Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands. They also reported that between 2014 and 2015 there was a 13% increase in people taking domestic holidays – something they forecast to increase further throughout 2016.
Derek Phillips concludes, “Devon is experiencing a real golden age at the moment within the tourism industry. With the results reported by our members the Association is looking forward to continued success and another hugely popular year, both this and the next. For now the efforts of our hotels, restaurants, and activity providers have put our fantastic county firmly on the map for domestic and international visitors alike.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Back by Popular Demand
Lime Bay Winery in Devon are relaunching their Raspberry Reserve Liqueur. It joins their award-winning range of small batch liqueurs including Elderflower & Lemon Vodka Liqueur and Sloe and Damson Gin Liqueurs.
Raspberry Reserve Liqueur is made from handpicked raspberries steeped in 40% ABV vodka. After the soaking process, Lyme Bay’s winemakers dilute the mixture with water and sugar to 22% ABV in order to maintain its “delicate raspberry flavour and sweetness”. For more details go to www.lymebaywinery.co.uk.
Only Restaurant Space at The Dunes Now Available
Property advisors Christie & Co are looking for a buyer or tenant for the newly built Dunes Restaurant as part of a new luxury development on the North Cornwall coast. Due for completion in 2017, the restaurant is on the ground floor of the 11 house, 29 apartment development on the former site of the Ponsmere Hotel in Perranporth.
According to the agents, “the restaurant provides a unique opportunity to acquire a contemporary, architect-designed building and develop a restaurant offering in this landmark location.” The town of Perranporth is within easy walking distance.
Stephen Champion, Business Agent at Christie & Co’s Exeter office who is handing the sale comments, “This location is highly sought after for restaurateurs and we expect strong interest from local operators as well as others looking to start a successful restaurant business in Cornwall.
“This is the only business opportunity available at the Dunes development, and will provide space for over 70 covers inside and an evening sun-facing terrace for additional covers outside.
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 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.
Great British Food Festival
20th – 21st August
Bowood House, Calne, Wiltshire
Over 80 top local producers offering a variety of stunning food to sample and a selection of real ale and wine bars. Top chef demos from Great British Bake Off finalists Howard Middleton and Luis Troyano and MasterChef’s Luke Owen.
Mid-Somerset Agricultural Show
Cannard’s Grave, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
One of the highest profile and most respected agricultural shows in the south west. Includes the South West Cheese awards, the Somerset Cider Championships and Honey Show.
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.
THE LAST BITE
Waste to go
Two British entrepreneurs are tackling the problem of food waste with a new app. Called Too Good to Go, it gives restaurants a way to sell people the food that was destined for the bin.
That might not sound ultra appetising but think of it more as lastminute.com for restaurant and cafe dishes. Users can order and collect their food up to an hour before closing time at a big discount. The Evening Standard reports prices from £2 to £3.80 for items that wouldn’t make it to the next service, which is enough to get any food lover’s interest. Too Good reckons that every unsold meal costs the average restaurant £1 to throw away so everyone is a winner. Founded in Denmark in 2015, it launched in the Uk at the start of the year and covers Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester and Brighton with its sights set next on London. With humankind wasting 1.3 billion tonnes of food a year, we look forward to doing our bit for the planet by saving some great meals from the bin soon.