Here’s all that’s happening in hospitality in the south and south west this week. If you want to reach over 22,000 fellow industry professionals with the latest news from your business, don’t be shy…
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Bath Ales makes a stand with Bath Rugby
Bath Ales has extended its partnership with Bath Rugby as the new season kicks off. This includes renaming the refurbished West Stand at the Recreation Ground and adding more Bath Ales branding around the pitch and on the playing kit.
The newly named Gem stand has an extra 1000 seats and Bath Ales’ award-winning beer, Gem, will remain the Official Ale of Bath Rugby.
Karin Ashwell, head of marketing at Bath Ales, said: “We have enjoyed working with Bath Rugby immensely over the last two years and are so pleased to continue and grow the partnership with the club.
“Bath Rugby, like Bath Ales, is a key part of the local community, a genuine, hardworking and dedicated team – a natural fit for us.
“We’re putting our full support and commitment behind Bath Rugby and we hope for a very successful season ahead for this talented side.”
Tarquin McDonald, managing director at Bath Rugby, said: “We have established a very successful and enjoyable partnership with Bath Ales, so we are delighted to have extended the agreement. We are very appreciative of the support they have given the Club to date, and look forward to a further two years of working together.”
Bath Ales is now part of the St Austell Brewery family and shares with the Cornwall-based business a passion for rugby. Tribute, the brewery’s flagship ale, is closely linked to grass-roots rugby across the South West. St Austell Brewery supports 14 different leagues across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset and many local teams through individual pub sponsorships. The company is also the main shirt sponsor of Cornwall County Rugby and it sponsors the prestigious Cornwall Cup.
Devon food festival on the run returns
There’s still time to sign up for a Devonshire take on a wine-fuelled French foodie race called the Marathon du Medoc. Delicious Drake’s Trail returns for a third year on Sunday 2nd October 2016. Three hundred runners are expected to run, eat and drink their way along the 11.5 mile course with a dress-up theme of ‘Sporting Legends’.
Participants will get to sample some of the regions produce on the course including Midfields granola, Riverford home delivery, Column Bakehouse and the Bedford hotel. Liquid refreshment will come from Tavy Ales, The Royal Oak at Meavy, Frobisher’s Juice, Sandford Orchards cider plus a cream tea from Drake’s Café, The Moorland Garden Hotel will be hosting a local produce market at the finish line from 12 to 4pm . Triumphant runners will be greeted with a congratulatory cookie medal by Sweet Devotion.
Proceeds from the day will be donated to CHICKS, a children’s charity who provide free respite breaks to disadvantaged children from all over the UK. So far the Delicious Trails series of events has raised over £25,000 for CHICKS.
Jo Smith-Scott, the organiser of the Delicious Drake’s Trail, says: “Although a little shorter, this year’s route incorporates old favourites as well as some new offerings. We’ve made the trail more accessible to even more people, so we’re hoping to break our previous records in terms of number of entrants and money raised.
Entry costs £30 and the race is open to anyone aged 18 and over. For more information about the day, and to register to take part, visit www.delicioustrails.co.uk.
Gidleigh Park wins hotel of the year
The Andrew Brownsword owned hotel in Chagford, Devon won Rural Hotel of the Year and was named the overall Hotel of the Year by readers of Food and Travel Magazine.
Stephanie Hocking, CEO Andrew Brownsword Hotels commented, “This is a great reflection of the commitment and passion of all the team at Gidleigh Park and we congratulate them. It is a terrific achievement and each and every team member at Gidleigh Park has played a part in winning this award; we thank them for all their hard work as well as all our loyal guests who voted”.
Hattingley Valley celebrate 2016 awards success
The Hampshire sparkling wine producers are toasting a vintage 2016 which saw them win one trophy plus six gold, ten silver and two bronze medals.
Their rosé (2013 vintage) picked up a gold at the Sommelier Wine Awards, another gold and a trophy for Most Outstanding Sparkling Rosé Wine at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition and a gold and and best in class at The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships. Wine maker Emma Rice was crowned English and Welsh Winemaker of the Year too. Winemaker Jacob Leadley commented on the Sommelier Wine Award: ”This award makes us particularly proud given it’s the best Sommeliers judging the wines and they are the ones championing our wines face to face with consumers in bars and restaurants in a marketplace full of top quality wines so for this we are extremely grateful they enjoy the delicate style of rosé we aspire to produce”.
Hattingley Valley’s latest vintage Blanc de Blancs (2011 vintage) achieved gold at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition and the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships as well as best in class for English Future Release at the same ceremony.
Vineyard Assistant James Matyear says “it’s massive [to win awards] and great recognition of the team effort that goes into producing each and every bottle of Hattingley Valley sparkling wines.” With the news of the best in class he adds “it’s a fantastic reward for the Blanc de Blancs as it’s a limited production from our best Chardonnay grapes from our best plots.”
Hattingley Valley’s signature Classic Cuvée was also very successful and consistent this season. The current 2013 vintage gained five silver medals, a bronze medal and a gold medal in The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in its magnum format.
New Forest’s food and drink festival
The New Forest will hold its first ever Food & Drink Festival this autumn from 21st October to 6th November 2016.
This week long event will feature events, tastings, featured dishes and activities for foodies and their children.
Leading Forest restaurants including Chewton Glen, Lime Wood, Careys Manor, the Michelin-starred Montagu Arms and the newly launched Burley Manor are all involved, as well as pubs, market stalls, artisan producers, bakeries and farmers.
There are 15 themes ranging from ‘Tastes of the Forest’ to ‘New Forest Forager’ to ‘Forest Fish & Fruits of Our Sea’ – each with signature dishes and producer showcases. Two cross-Forest, free events are also planned.
Chair of the New Forest Food & Drink Festival 2016 Anthony Climpson explains: “The New Forest is one of the most exciting food destinations in the British Isles. Our team of chefs, restaurateurs and producers are all very excited about this celebration of our sensational food – especially in the autumn against the rich canvas of the Forest and its riot of reds and golds.”
Got to thenewforest.co.uk/newforestfoodfest for more details.
Devon sausage company makes links with Co-op
Westaways, based in Newton Abbot, has won a contract to supply 140 Co-op food stores across the south west and is expecting to sell more than 400,000 of its sausages there before the end of the year.
Charles Baughan, managing director of Westaways, said to the Exeter Express & Echo : “We’re delighted to be working with the Co-op: I have always believed in the idea of local food for local people, and by selling our sausages through the Co-op’s local convenience stores we are achieving precisely that.
Judy Naylor, ranging manager for the Co-op’s food stores in the west country, said: “The Co-op has a heritage of supporting local suppliers, so we are pleased to be working closely with Westaways.
“Our convenience stores are located in the heart of the west country’s communities and this is a further step in the Co-op’s commitment to offering more locally-sourced produce conveniently.”
Westaways have been making sausages for over 100 years and uses fresh British pork from Red Tractor accredited farms in the south of England.
Vegan dining app launches in the UK
Vanilla Bean, the largest vegan and eco-conscious restaurant guide in Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Austria is coming to the UK. It will list more than 4000 restaurants and cafés for vegetarians, vegans and customers with food intolerances with an easy-to-understand traffic light system. Users will be able to filter results by regional and organic ingredients and other environmental criteria and it will be available as a web site as well as a smartphone app.
Co-founder of creators Grunzeug, Fabian Kreipl said: “As a consumer, we can work with conscious decisions to ensure that our world remains worth living for all. With Vanilla Bean, we show that one now has to make no compromises in enjoyment and quality of life. With the launch of our great website, we want to inspire even more people for a healthy and environmentally friendly food.”
Taste of the West Awards Ceremony Lunch
It’s one of the biggest networking event for foodies in the south west. And the four course sit-down meal will be as good as you’d expect given that it’s created using some of 2016’s award winning products.
Held in the Grand Nave of Exeter Cathedral on Tuesday 4th October, this year’s Taste of the West Awards Ceremony Lunch will host around 400 guests including food producers, top retailers, restaurateurs, food writers, buyers and leading chefs from across the region. BBC presenter Victoria Graham will be announcing the Champions of each category and the winners of the coveted 2016 Supreme Champion Product Award and No 1 Place to Go.
Tickets are available to purchase now, priced at £62.50 each (excluding VAT), with discounts available on tables of 10. To find out more about the awards ceremony, and to book tickets, call 07792 790257. Or email email@example.com.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Quoats me on that. New porridge pots hit the UK
Oats are so last year. Quoats porridge pots instead combine British quinoa, oats and flax. Developed by Jen Kent and her partner Rob Barker, they combine a natural source of protein, no added sugar and some omega 3 for good measure.
Jen Kent says: “Rob and I both have farming links – I am a dairy farmer’s daughter from Shropshire and Rob farms in Yorkshire with his parents as well as working as a crop consultant. With such a huge interest in provenance and traceability in the UK market, we understand how important it is to source our ingredients from the very best farms. We actively visited, networked and hand picked our farmers to source our British quinoa, oats and flax from.”
They come in three flavours – original, coconut & raspberry and date & pecan. All pots come in 60g portions with a shelf life of six months and a suggested retail price of £2.00 per pot. More details at www.quoats.co.uk.
New Bristol booze brand launches
Espensen Spirit, a range of flavoured vodkas, gins and whiskies has launched in Bristol. Founded by Sam Espensen and her business partner Phil Gillies, they are made using fresh fruit and base alcohol from Langley Distillery and no artificial colours or flavours. Available in 50cl, 20cl, 5cl and 3cl bottles, launch products are Gin Genie – Blueberry Gin, Ruby Cuby – Rhubarb & Custard Vodka. PG Sips – Pink Grapefruit & Raspberry Vodka and Pump Up the Jam – Raspberry Gin.
Sam Espensen, co-founder, Espensen Spirit said that: “I can’t think of a better place to start a company than Bristol, particularly a spirit brand, as the South West is historically linked with rum and gin, and today the city has a thriving pub and bar scene.”
Chris Scullion, co-founder, of stockist Independent Spirit of Bath said that: “Espensen Spirit is one of the most exciting spirit launches in recent years, producing contemporary flavours for a more cocktail and social-oriented customer base. They are bringing a breath of fresh air to a category of drink that often gets relegated to cocktail addition, rather than the main event.”
Go to espensenspirit.com for more details.
Hebridean Food Co introduce new soup range
Based in the island of North Uist, on the atlantic coast of Scotland, The Hebridean Food Company are all about “sourcing the very best the Hebrides has to offer”. Their new range of soups use wild atlantic seafood among other locally-sourced ingredients. The ten flavours include Cullen Skink, Lobster Bisque, Smoked Salmon Chowder, Mussel Chowder and Beef, Ale & Barley.
The company was established by Douglas Stewart, a lobster fisherman’s son from North Uist. Go to www.hebrideanfoodcompany.com for more information.
Industry Events During September
SITT Autumn Manchester
19th September 2016
The Point at Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester
“SITT is a crucial tasting for both new and seasoned trade professionals, across the independent on- and off-trade sectors.”
SITT Autumn London
21st September 2016
Lindley Hall, The Royal Horticultural Halls, London
“SITT is a crucial tasting for both new and seasoned trade professionals, across the independent on- and off-trade sectors.”
21st & 22nd September
The Business Design Centre, London
“The UK’s only dedicated trade show for the food-to-go sector.” “This year’s show will feature over 350 food, drink, packaging and equipment exhibitors, with over 100 companies new for 2016, giving you an unrivalled opportunity to keep up-to-date with all the latest trends and innovations.”
South West Food & Drink Breakfast 2016
The Canalside, Bridgewater
“The Breakfast will be a showcase for the industry: find out how the region’s food and drink companies are faring, and their plans for 2017.”
Wiltshire Game & Country Fair
24th & 25th September
Bowood House, Wiltshire
“Food Glorious Food is perfect for food lovers. Chefs cook up some tasty delights and regional producers sell delicious food and drink.”
The Restaurant Conference 2016
Grand Connaught Rooms, London
“The most important date in the calendar for all senior executives involved in the UK branded restaurant market; the annual restaurant conference is a significant session of insight into restaurant operations, condensed into one day, to enable effective access to, and networking with, the highest level of operators.”
A ’Bridge Too Far
North Korea has just held its first ever beer festival. And the south west made it all possible with a surprising link to the national beer, called Taedong. According to state television: “The Pyongyang beer festival shows our people’s lives filled with happiness and optimism… It’s a people’s paradise and a highly civilised socialist country, while smashing the US and its heinous followers.”
The beer though, comes (indirectly) from Trowbridge in Wiltshire. In 2000, the North Koreans dismantled the famous Ushers’ brewery that once dominated the market town and shipped it brick by brick to be rebuilt in Pyongyang. The visiting buyers were apparently most amazed by the plastic cups and toilet seats at the brewery, when they had a look around.
More than 2000 tonnes of equipment went from Trowbridge to Avonmouth docks in Bristol for a month long sea voyage to the secretive communist state. The shipment was almost stopped when customs officials had concerns about the nefarious uses the giant steel fermentation vessels could be put to, according to The Independent. But the brewery did make it over to its new site on a cabbage patch and after nine months of being put back together brews beer in seven styles, called Beer Number One, Beer Number Two etc. Surely there’s an opportunity to bring it to Britain as a new hipster craft beer import?