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We’re here, bright and early, with everything you need to know this week about hospitality in the south and south west.
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Have a great week.
Taste of the West’s Biggest Ever Speciality Showcase
Taste of the West are planning to bring 22 of the west country’s finest food and drink producers to the Speciality & Fine Food Fair taking place in London Olympia from 4th – 6th September – their largest ever regional food and drink pavilion at the show.
Joining them in a dedicated area at Olympia will be artisan confectionery from newcomer Chocolarder, Kernow Chocolate and Buttermilk Confectionery; West Country cheese from Godminster and Paxton & Whitfield; a range of charcuterie, smoked meats, pies and pasties from Chesil Smokery, Chunk of Devon and Cornish Charcuterie; ice creams, frozen yoghurts, sorbets and hand-made lollies from Salcombe Dairy and Polar Pops; locally produced soft drinks, wines and liqueurs from Lyme Bay Winery, Friary Liqueurs and Luscombe Organic Drinks; organic foods and free range eggs from Tideford Organics, Rod & Bens, Natural Vitality, St Ewe Eggs and The Traditional Free Range Egg Company. Other speciality products from the region including rapeseed oil from Bell & Loxton, fresh shellfish from Favis of Salcombe, local chilli products from South Devon Chilli Farm and cereals from The Granola Girls Ltd will also be on show.
While showcasing the quality and diversity of food and drink from the region, Taste of the West will be talking to trade buyers about their new services offering consolidated delivery of tailor-made ranges of West Country food and drink. Find the Taste of the West pavilion in the National Hall, on the ground level.
Sharp’s Wins Eight Medals at International Beer Challenge
Cornish brewery Sharp’s have topped the medal table among UK winners of this year’s Global International Beer Challenge, picking up one gold, three silvers and four bronzes at the prestigious event.
Their 6 Vintage Blend was awarded gold. Wolf Rock, Sea Fury and Single Brew Reserve got silver. While bronze winners were Honey Spice IPA, Sharp’s Pilsner, Atlantic and Chalky’s Bite.
The International Beer Challenge has had the enviable annual task of picking the world’s best beers for 20 years now with entries from no fewer than 30 countries. Judges include brewers, writers and retailers with each beer being judged on aroma, taste, appearance and finish. Rather than assessing the entrants by adherence to a particular style, the judges look for simply outstanding beer.
Senior brand manager at Sharp’s James Nicholls told the Morning Advertiser: “We’re extremely proud of our growing portfolio of brands and it’s fantastic to have received such widespread recognition from a highly respected awards panel. These beers really showcase Sharp’s special brewing techniques and capture our uniquely Cornish heritage.”
Polpo Comes to the South West
Acclaimed Venetian-inspired restaurant Polpo has opened in Bristol’s Whiteladies Road. It’s the London-based company’s first site in the south west and follows recent openings in Brighton and Leeds.
The new restaurant has 60 covers with space for 12 diners outside and is on the former site of Greek eatery Entelia. Russell Norman, co-owner of Polpo, told the Bristol Post: “I often wonder how differently my life would have turned out had I got into Bristol University in 1985. Instead, I flunked A-level French and ended up at Sunderland Polytechnic. Bristol still holds a magic and fascination for me. It is a wonderful city full of beauty, culture and charm, and we are extremely lucky to have found a site for Polpo in Whiteladies Road.”
The first branch of Polpo opened on Beak Street, London in September 2009 and has received Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand for the last six consecutive years. According to the company, “Polpo is a bàcaro. This is a Venetian word to describe a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young Italian wines. We offer tasty small plates, Prosecco and Spritz in a setting that reflects the gloriously faded elegance of Venice, and the charms of its backstreet wine bars.”
New Restaurants to Transform Gloucester Docks
A neglected section of Gloucester docks is set to be transformed with a terrace of new restaurants. Gloucester City Council have given permission to convert the listed buildings in Commercial Road into a new restaurant hub, with the rear of the buildings forming a terrace that looks out over the quays. Called Ladybellegate Quay, the development will comprise four new cafés and restaurants ranging in size from 2,000sq ft to 6,500sq ft.
Council Leader Paul James said : “We want uses that will draw people from the quays and the northern part of the docks and to link those areas with the city centre. We want Gloucester to be a single and cohesive destination and to have an attractive offer to draw people from the quays to the docks and city centre, which is extremely important.”
No potential occupants have been named yet for the development.
Gloucester Rugby Stars Bring Grillshed to the Docks
It’s all happening down at Gloucester docks. It’s set to get a taste of California thanks to four Gloucester rugby stars and the opening of their Grillshed restaurant.
Gloucestershire Live reports that England international Jonny May and his team-mates Henry Trinder, Charlie Sharples and Paul Doran-Jones are investors in the American smokehouse-inspired Grillshed, opening on the city’s waterfront in October.
Paul Doran-Jones said: ”We’ve all probably been guilty, me included, of going away from Gloucester as a squad for days out and places to eat and it will be brilliant for us to have somewhere like this to be able to go as a team and also just to give something back to the city because we get so much from it in terms of our bread and butter.”
The menu designed by Californian chef Shane McBagley will include pulled pork, beef brisket and buttermilk chicken alongside tuna steaks and salads. Craft beers, premium spirits and a wine list will also be served.
New Sponsor for the Source Trade Show’s Newcomers Area.
The special area at the Source trade show for new companies will be sponsored by Diverse Fine Foods – a “perfectly suited sponsor”, according to show organisers Hale Events.
The Newcomers area is reserved for businesses that have never attended a trade show before, with the aim of helping them bring their products to market, connecting them with distributors and giving buyers the opportunity to get their hands on the latest, newest products before anyone else.
Diverse Fine Foods deal with luxury, smaller brands and help take them to market via high end food outlets. They are also committed to bringing independent retailers the very best products available as they aim to make each brand a success for producers, customers and consumers.
Mark Wiltshire, Director of Diverse commented: “We are delighted to sponsor the Newcomers area at The Source trade show. These emerging businesses are innovative and are the future of an exciting artisan food and drink industry in the UK. These are just the kinds of businesses that we want to work with and help bring their products to market”.
Mike Anderson, MD Hale Events added: “Not only are we delighted to have a sponsor for the Newcomers at The Source trade show in 2017, we are especially pleased that it is Diverse Fine Foods, who actively and positively support the emerging businesses that they deal with to help them grow and flourish.”
The Source trade show takes place the Westpoint Exhibition Centre in Exeter on the Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th of February 2017. For more information about the show, to book a stand, or register to attend, please call 01934 733433, or visit www.sourcetradeshow.co.uk.
Bournemouth Stable Doors Open on 16th Restaurant
Where once there were leaflets and confused tourists, now there’s craft cider and gourmet pizza as The Stable chain opened its 16th venue last Friday, 19th August in Bournemouth’s former Tourist Information Centre.
The west country restaurant business, which uses locally sourced ingredients, was founded by Richard and Nicci Cooper in 2009. It currently has sites in Bath, Bristol, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Cardiff, Falmouth, Fistral, Whitechapel, Winchester, Weymouth, Winchester, Plymouth, Southampton, Kew Bridge and Poole.
Co-founder Nikki Cooper told the Bournemouth Echo: “When we first started The Stable six years ago, we had an ambition of opening our second restaurant in Bournemouth but couldn’t find a site. Finally we have realised this and are delighted to open in such a prominent building next to the park.
“We know that Bournemouth is at the heart of cider-loving country, so we look forward to welcoming the locals to sample a few and to enjoy our delicious West Country pizzas.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Pressing On: Cotswold Juice Company
A new company dedicated to delivering juices and smoothies to the businesses and people of Cheltenham has launched in the city.
Founder Kathryn Green says she wanted to share her passion for juicing by making nutritious drinks that can be delivered directly to people at work.
Kathryn said: ‘I’ve always loved juicing, and the health benefits associated with drinking fresh juices, but rarely found the time to make them in the morning before work.”
The company has launched with four juices made from raw and organic ingredients, using the cold-press extracting method to retain more vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They include Revive, packed with kale, ginger and apple; an Energy Smoothie that’s designed to be for drinking at breakfast; Heart Beet, which is based around vitamin c-rich beetroot, and Carrot Espresso, said to be “a powerhouse of disease fighting antioxidants”. Each 300ml bottle costs £4.50. More details at www.cotswoldjuices.com.
Roly’s Roll Out Gin and Lemon Fudge
Craft gin is getting everywhere. Even into a new Salcombe Gin and lemon fudge flavour created by Roly’s Fudge in Salcombe, appropriately enough. This fruit and alcohol combination uses local, handcrafted Salcombe Gin and Sicilian lemon oil for a result the creators describe as “a melt in the mouth texture with a subtle gin taste and a distinct citrus kick.” It has been so popular that they have begun to cook it at their Dartmouth shop too.
Roly’s started in Devon 28 years ago and is now a franchised business with over 32 shops across the country.
New Ice Machines: Less Energy, More Ice
FEM has launched four new modular ice machines in its Manitowoc Indigo Series. They say the new models offer the highest levels of energy and water savings, while delivering a high production rate of quality ice.
The new ice makers are modular machines, air-cooled as standard, that produce Manitowoc’s dice cubes – a hard, clear, slow-melting ice cube that provides maximum cooling and quick production.
The Indigo models meet or exceed the stringent Energy Star and CEE performance criteria. FEM claim operators can cut energy costs further by scheduling ice production levels by time of day, either taking advantage of off-peak energy rates or to keep pace with varying demand throughout the week.
Now all we need is a late summer heatwave.
Gainsborough’s New Moon
The Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel has appointed Dan Moon as their new head chef.
He previously worked as head chef of Hunstrete House, Bath before winning three AA rosettes at Homewood Park, Bath in 2010. The chef prides himself on sourcing local ingredients and using flowers, blossoms and cresses in his dishes.
Dartmoor Café – Your cup of tea?
Crumbs & Cuppa, a café in South Brent, a small town on the southern edge of Dartmoor National Park, has come to the market through specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co. with a lease for a premium of £60k, and a yearly rent of £7.5k.
It’s located in the centre of town and is being sold by the current owner due to other business commitments.
Tristan Courtney, Business Agent at Christie & Co’s Exeter office who is handling the sale comments, “We are delighted to be able to offer this charming cafe for sale in a fantastic location. Dartmoor is an increasingly desirable area for prospective business owners.
“The current operation has been run by a hands-on owner and is well supported by locals in the area and tourists alike. The business provides a great opportunity to continue the already stable and profitable trade as well as develop it further, and it would suit both new and experienced operators.”
Melplash Agricultural Show
West Bay Show Ground, Bridport, Dorset
The south west’s premier agricultural exhibition packed full of exhibits including livestock, horses, home crafts 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.
Cheltenham Real Ale Festival
26th – 28th August
Cheltenham Town Hall
Returning for its 2nd year, the event is organised by Cheltenham’s CAMRA branch and will offer visitors the chance to sample over 150 beers and ciders.
Born With a Silver Spoon in his Mouth
Although Donald Trump might present himself as a man of the people to the American electorate, when it comes to his day job as a hotelier his tastes are on the decadent side, at least if you go by the dining and drinking on offer at his new Trump International Hotel, coming soon to Washington DC. You’d probably expect a fancy bar with artisanal ice chipping for custom drinks, a luxury lobby lounge and maybe even a rolling champagne cart, complete with ceremonial sabreing to open the bottles. However, even the classiest eyebrows have been raised at the news, reported by the Washingtonian, that fine wine will be served by the spoonful. And what would that spoon be made from? Not even silver is good enough for the refined lips Trump is looking to attract. Instead guests will sip their wine from a crystal spoon…