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If it’s happening in hospitality in the south west this week, you’ll read about it here.
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Glamping sites get star ratings
Quality in Tourism, the organisation that grades quality and facilities at hotels, B&Bs and self catering accommodation is extending its star grading system to glamping sites. Expect to see yurts, camping pods, converted vehicles and tree houses come under the new system, which was launched at the Glamping Show at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire on the 22-24th September.
A spokesperson for Quality in Tourism told Big Hospitality: “In response to popular demand in an expanding industry, Quality in Tourism is delighted to introduce VisitEngland’s new Glamping Scheme which was launched at the end of March 2016. The brand new standard developed by VisitEngland and agreed with VisitScotland and VisitWales is designed to recognise the quality of a product and offers a fresh, innovative approach to accreditation in this fast growing sector.”
Glamping venues that meet Quality in Tourism’s entry requirements will be able to join the scheme and receive receive benefits including business advice and approved suppliers discount alongside their star ratings.
Former Giggling Squid exec opens Thai takeaway in Bournemouth
One time marketing manager of Giggling Squid, Adam Webb, opened ThaiWorks takeaway in Westbourne, Bournemouth on 23rd September following a £100,000 refurbishment of the site. Operating seven days a week, it will deliver to homes within a four mile radius and is intended to be the first of a nationwide Thai takeaway chain.
A second opening is planned within the year, with a further two acquisitions in the following 12 months. Webb’s new company has attracted investment from a number of existing industry players and is apparently looking to initiate a crowd funded offering next year.
ThaiWorks will serve healthy, modern Thai dishes, freshly prepared and cooked on site in a state-of-the-art kitchen with skilled chefs who have previously worked at Chaophraya, Busaba and Koh Thai restaurants. The menu features classic Thai dishes of red, green and Massaman curries, plus innovative modern items such as cheeseburger spring rolls.
Webb believes too many takeaway operators skimp on quality produce to maintain margins: “There’s a strong demand for quality Thai takeaway food which peaks at the end of the working day and for party celebrations at weekends,” said Webb, adding, “The plan is to bring true quality food and service into the home delivery market place.”
While at Giggling Squid, Webb helped launch sites in Clifton, Salisbury, Billericay, Guildford and Esher, which grew the estate to 15 properties. He also helped set up Giggling Squid’s first home delivery operation in Horsham.
Hinkley C go-ahead good for hospitality sector
The government announcement giving the green light to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station could see opportunities for the hospitality sector take off, according to hotels specialists at Colliers International.
Simon Wells from Colliers said: “The announcement that Hinkley C will finally go-ahead will provide a further shot in the arm for owners and operators around the Hinkley development – and the ripple effect will reach those on the edge of the catchment area.
“Visitors and business travellers used to staying in hotels and B&Bs closer to the development may well find themselves pushed further out, which could boost hotel occupancy quite some distance away – such as the new hotels near Bristol Airport.”
The announcement coincides with a sharp upturn in hospitality spending in August which saw hotels, restaurants and pubs benefit as consumer spending hit a 13-month high.
Hotels directors Simon Wells and colleague Peter Brunt have agreed eight sales totalling £8 million since the referendum in June, and predict that the market will remain robust.
Smashburger to open third UK restaurant in Bath
The ‘better burger’ brand is set to open in the SouthGate shopping centre, taking the space occupied by Krispy Kreme Donuts and photography retailer, Jessops. The new restaurant will be Smashburger’s third opening in the UK, joining Milton Keynes and Brighton. It has sites lined up in Newcastle, Glasgow and Wednesbury and plans to have 35 restaurants in the UK in the next few years. The chain was founded by former McDonald’s exec, Tom Ryan, and has 335 restaurants across 35 US states and in seven countries.
Surf’s up at new Newquay restaurant
The surf-themed WAX is located on Watergate Bay and has been backed by £162,000 of funding from Lloyds Bank.
The loan helped owner Sam Karkeek purchase the building which has been refurbished and now includes accommodation alongside the restaurant and bar.
The food features takeaway staples like burgers, fish and chips and pizzas as well as fine dining.
Sam Karkeek told Insider Media: “Opening my own restaurant and bar that celebrates the rich surfer culture of the area has always been an aspiration of mine. It has quickly become a popular venue with locals and tourists, which puts us in good position for continued growth.”
Nick Rawley, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, added: “Newquay is one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations, and with its population increasing by around 100,000 people over the summer, it was the ideal time for WAX to open its doors, and offer a dining location that fully captures the surfer atmosphere of the bay.”
During a busy summer this year, WAX doubled its staff to 30 to cope with the crowds.
Harbour Hotel’s The Jetty wins Seafood Restaurant of the Year
The Jetty, situated on Mudeford Quay in Christchurch, Dorset were crowned winners on 15th September at the competition organised by Seafish UK and The Caterer. They beat shortlisted restaurants including Rockfish in Brixham, Ondine in Edinburgh and One-O-One in London.
Announcing The Jetty as the Restaurant of the Year judge José Souto said: “The Jetty is a stunning restaurant that does a lot of work on assuring responsibly sourced fish. Alex Aitken is a passionate chef who leads by example. Alongside this, the restaurant has a stunning location which is matched by the interesting and extensive menu and great food sourced at the highest of standards.”
AJ Aitken, Food and Beverage Director for Harbour Hotels said: “This award symbolises everything we stand for at the Jetty and Harbour hotels. Sustainability is at the top of our agenda. It’s especially timely as we expand the Jetty brand across four new locations where we can showcase our fresh, seasonal and local ethos.”
As part of the prize, members of The Jetty team will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Brixham or Peterhead, where they will expand their knowledge of catching and processing seafood.
Giraffe’s new look debuts in Basingstoke
The family friendly restaurant chain has unveiled a new look at its Basingstoke site. The interior references different locations from around the world including a Cuban bar and features a painted wood ceiling with oak beams, upcycled bottle walls and brightly coloured tiles.
Food takes in huevos rancheros from Mexico and Turkish shakshouka for breakfast with ‘Bowl for the Soul’ or ‘San Fran Super Salad’ for dinner.
Giraffe’s MD Tom Crowley, said “We are very excited to be re-opening Giraffe in the heart of Basingstoke, sharing our passion for world cuisine with the Hampshire community.”
West country wows at Speciality Food Fair
Regional food and drink group Taste of the West introduced some of the west country’s finest food and drink to visitors at this year’s Speciality and Fine Food Fair.
Their pavilion at the show, held at London Olympia on 4th-6th September, showcased 22 producers to visitors including buyers from high profile retailers, food halls and retailers as well as hotels and restaurants. There was even a delegation from Hong Kong looking for regional British produce.
“Being part of the Taste of the West area at Speciality was yet again a great success. We were able to showcase our new ranges, see many existing customers from across the world and meet some exciting new prospects. It was also lovely to be alongside some great brands from the South West.” said Olivia Hope-Hawkins, Marketing Director, Buttermilk Artisan Confectionery.
Jeremy Bowen, from Paxton & Whitfield commented “Joining Taste of the West at Speciality allows us total show confidence and peace of mind. 2016 was another great show and being part of Taste of the West is a complete no brainer”.
John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West said “The show was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the diverse range of food and drink coming out of the south west region. 2016 is Taste of the West’s 25th anniversary year and we were delighted to host the largest pavilion yet at the show – with real interest from buyers looking for products which demonstrate our core values of quality, integrity and provenance.”
Taste of the West is already planning the pavilion at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017 and are inviting expressions of interest. Contact Evelyn Muir on firstname.lastname@example.org
New Bristol, Bath and Somerset Awards announce finalists
New tourism awards celebrating operators in the area have announced their finalists in 20 different categories that reflect the diversity of the region’s hospitality industry.
Entrants went through a three stage judging process, taking into account websites, reviews, social media and a widespread programme of mystery visits by industry experts. All evidence was then presented to a judging panel.
Gold, silver and Bronze awards will be won at the awards ceremony at the Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House Hotel near Congresbury on 19th October.
Robert Sinclair from headline sponsors Bristol Airport, says “The West Country is blessed with fantastic tourist attractions. Creating a positive first impression for visitors is at the heart of our brand and a key consideration in the designs of current terminal developments. The West’s world-class tourism offer is also a key factor in attracting new routes and airlines to Bristol Airport. For all these reasons, we are delighted to sponsor these awards and wish all entrants the best of luck.”
The Bristol Bath and Somerset Awards are run by Services for Tourism, who already run tourism awards schemes across southern England. Co-organiser Nell Barrington says: “We’re absolutely delighted that so many high quality businesses have entered into this new scheme and I am really looking forward to celebrating with them all on awards night.”
Further information is available from www.somersettourismawards.org.uk
Gidleigh Park gets new General Manager
Andrew Brownsword Hotels have appointed Paul Shanahan to manage the hotel in Chagford, Devon, starting on 23rd November.
Working in the hospitality industry since 1994, Paul joins Gidleigh Park after a five year stint as Operations Manager at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
He replaces Federico Aresti who stepped down for personal reasons.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Give me s’more
S’more is American for a campfire toasted marshmallow sandwiched between two chocolate digestives. If you haven’t had the pleasure, add it to your bucket list forthwith. But if the autumnal weather isn’t really right for campfires, you can now add the flavour to lattes, hot chocolates and milkshakes with Sweetbird S’mores Syrup. It’s milky chocolate, toasted marshmallow and biscuit in bottle with no need to make your clothes smell like a bonfire.
Available now, contact email@example.com for details.
For the love of cod – Seafood Week approaches…
The plans for a seven day celebration of seafood are continuing a place. Taking place nationwide from 7th – 14th October 2016, and organised by industry authority Seafish, there’s still time for businesses to get involved.
Over the course of the week, Seafish will be encouraging the public to explore a variety of seafish, both well known and obscure species. Friday 7th will kick off the week with the second annual #fishpunday where Twitter users will turn social media into a fish-tastic pun off. For more information about what’s happening in the south west, head to www.seafoodweek.co.uk.
Industry events during September and October
Pubs Code Regulation’s & Market Rent Only Experts (PAS) Roadshow
The Navy Inn, Plymouth
“A chance to discuss and pick apart the new pubs code with the countries foremost MRO experts Chris Wright – Dave Mountford”
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.”
The Shine Awards
8 Northumberland Ave, London
“The Shine Awards celebrate the unique skills and contribution that women, and those who support their career progression, bring to the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry”
The Restaurant Show
3rd – 5th October
(Alongside The Bar & Pub Show, The Conscious Hospitality Show and Catering Equipment Expo)
“The definitive platform for the restaurant and foodservice market.”
London Cocktail Week
3rd – 9th October
“London Cocktail Week is the biggest, most vibrant celebration of the capital’s fantastic cocktail scene. The week is filled with masterclasses, tutored tastings, supper clubs, meet the maker evenings, parties and pop-ups, hosted all across the capital.”
Taste of the West Awards Ceremony Lunch
The Great Nave of Exeter Cathedral
“Don’t miss out on your chance to attend the biggest networking event for foodies in the South West”
Slips, Trips and Falls Conference
4th – 5th October
Farmers & Fletchers, London
“An essential conference for anyone involved in managing slips, trips and falls in the workplace in any sector.”
Dorset Magazine Food, Drink & Farming Awards 2016
Lulworth Castle, Dorset
“These awards are designed to showcase the great and the good in Dorset, and reward the hardworking people behind them, including suppliers and producers, small farming businesses, chefs, restaurants, pubs and hoteliers.”
ALMR Bar & Nightclub Conference
Tuesday, 11th October 12-6pm
Bafta, 195 Piccadilly
Monday, 17th October
The Ham Yard Hotel, London
“The forum will present an exciting programme of specialist speakers together with panel debate from key leaders within the hospitality sector. The forum focuses on the future of technology, online platforms and social media within independent and multisite operators across the sector.”
Independent Hotel Show
18th – 19th October
“Inspiring and Informative, the Independent Hotel Show, is the UK’s largest and best established business event in support of the luxury, boutique and independent hotel sector.”
Institute of Hospitality Southern Branch “Wake Up & Smell the Coffee” Event
Winchester Coffee School, Winchester. SO23 7QN
The evening will include a talk and theory about coffee beans, choosing of the beans and grounding, the practical aspect of using a barista and making coffee. Hand-made food to taste whilst enjoying the coffee. Members & non-members welcome.
New Forest Food Festival
31st Oct – 6th Nov
New Forest, Hampshire
“A week of culinary events, produce, tastes, dishes and activities for every foodie. 15 themes with amazing Headline Events hosted by leading Forest venues & producers all with a special twist. Tasting menus, celebrity chef evenings, tea parties – there’s something for everyone.”
While the craft gin movement shows no sign of slowing down, one man has found a real point of difference. He’s created the world’s first alcohol-free spirit.
Seedlip’s drinks are made in copper stills with botanicals and best served with tonic but the similarities with gin end there. Founded by Ben Branson in his kitchen when he started experimenting with a 1651 book called the Art of Distillation, Seedlip’s two spirits – Spice 94 and Garden 108 use natural and wild ingredients individually distilled “to capture nature’s true spirit”. They are also sugar and sweetener free, contain no artificial flavours or any calories.
Seedlip launched in Selfridges ten months ago. They sold the first 1000 bottles in three weeks, the next 1000 in three days and the next 1000 in 30 minutes, according to Branson. Seedlip’s two products are now stocked in over 30 Michelin starred restaurants worldwide.
With alcohol consumption falling, particularly among the young, this could start replacing some gin brands on the back bar. Although we also wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it used as an ingredient in alcoholic cocktails too…