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Could Bath be first to tax tourists?
Visitors staying a night in the World Heritage city Bath could soon be paying a tourist tax.
Conservative councillor Charles Gerrish, suggested that the council were looking at introducing a “tourist bed tax” to help generate revenue for the cash strapped local authority who are facing £37m in cuts over the next five years.
He told BBC Radio Bristol that it would be similar to charges levied on tourists in some European countries. “We’re looking at options for generating additional revenue,” he said. “If you go on holiday in Europe… when you stay in a hotel, you are asked to make a very small contribution to the local authority in addition to your hotel bill. When I stay in Italy, for example, I pay something like one euro per head per night. It is something we believe, in an area that receives as many tourists as we do from all over the world, we ought to be allowed to consider.”
While tourist levies can be found in Amsterdam, Rome and Paris and UK cities including Edinburgh, Brighton and London have considered it, there seems to be a reluctance in the UK to be first with the charge.
David James, chief executive of Visit Bath, urged the council not to “be the first to do it”. “We really don’t want the label of being the tax city of Britain”, he told the Guardian. “We market ourselves as the UK’s most beautiful city and that’s what I would like to keep as our accolade.”
Harry Tedstone, chairman of the Bath Independent Guesthouse Association added that the UK is already “one of the most expensive countries to come and visit”, pointing out that European cities that make the charge have VAT rates of between 5 and 9%.
The council does not currently have the legal power to bring in the levy but a new metro mayor for the West of England could change that.
A spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset Council said: “The council has recently started to discuss the matter again with the government, and is exploring the feasibility with other local authorities. However, no decision can be made without a change in legislation at a national level. Consequently, no such proposal forms part of the current council budget.”
Chewton Glen’s new restaurant and cookery school
The five-red-AA-star hotel has announced that its new cookery school and relaxed dining restaurant will open on 1st March.
The Kitchen at Chewton Glen will feature 12 cooking stations and a 40 seat restaurant. Chef tutor Rob Cottam is heading the new venture, working in conjunction with celebrity chef and TV presenter James Martin, who was a chef at the hotel earlier in his career.
Cottam will host classes with guest chefs including Martin, as well as Tom Kerridge, Atul Kochhar, Richard Corrigan and Dan Doherty. He was previously head of the cookery club on P&O Cruises Britannia ship and a senior teacher at Leith’s School of Food & Wine in London.
The restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner and feature an open-plan kitchen with a pizza oven. The Chewton Glen bakery will also be located there. Dishes will include wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers and salads.
Harbourside to get hotel and Bristol Eye?
Bristol’s harbourside could get a £24 million development featuring a ‘Bristol Eye’ big wheel and luxury hotel in plans put forward by Manor Property Group to Bristol City Council.
The site running alongside Bordeaux Quay has been earmarked by the council for leisure use and the development of a statement building.
Manor Property Group’s concept would create a major tourist attraction, luxury hotel, floating restaurant and covered area for events and markets. CODA Architects, of Queen Charlotte Street, Bristol worked on the designs with the hotel element potentially fulfilled by Hotel Indigo, an Intercontinental Group Hotel brand.
Mark Bailey, Development Director at Manor Property Group said: “We’ve been working on this scheme for around 18 months, having assembled an excellent team to deliver each element of this exciting offer. It would provide a new focus in the heart of Bristol bringing jobs, investment and extend the city’s leisure use.
“We would be looking to work with local restaurateurs to occupy those elements of the scheme and have already had some preliminary talks with the city council.”
Soil Association relaunch Food for Life
The Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark has been rebranded as ‘Food for Life Served Here’ . They say the new name is “designed to help caterers promote their dedication to serving fresh, local and honest food to consumers.”
It will be supported with a consumer focused digital campaign launched in April. The Food for Life Catering Mark has grown over seven years to cover 1,600,000 meals served every single day across the UK.
Rich Watts, senior Catering Mark manager at Soil Association Certification said; “1.6 million Catering Mark meals is no mean feat and we are in awe of those who have helped us reach this point. But to grow even more we realise that we need to improve wider public awareness of the scheme. If in future people are demanding Food for Life Served Here then its reach and positive impact will multiply.”
Exclusive Hotels buys next door in Castle Combe
Exclusive Hotels and Venues is acquiring the Castle Inn, adjacent to its 5-AA-star Manor House hotel in Castle Combe, Wiltshire.
The 11-bedroom Castle Inn dates back to the 12th century and will join Exclusive Hotel’s portfolio of a further three five-AA-star hotels and two luxury venues.
Danny Pecorelli, managing director of Exclusive Hotels and Venues said to The Caterer that the Castle Inn was set in “a beautiful location” in the heart of Castle Combe and would be “a natural fit with the individual personality and design of Manor House and the rest of the business”.
French company buys Taunton’s Ministry of Cakes
French manufacturer Mademoiselle Desserts have acquired Taunton-based dessert company, Ministry of Cake for an undisclosed sum.
Chris Ormrod, managing director of Ministry of Cake. said the deal would secure the jobs of those working at the firm, which employs over 400 people in Taunton and at its other factory in Torquay. It has an annual turnover of £30m and supplies chains including JD Wetherspoon and TGI Friday.
Mademoiselle Desserts has eight sites in France, the Netherlands and the UK with more than 1,400 employees.
Artis keep their temper
Leading glassware supplier Artis are launching their 2017 catalogue at the Great Hospitality Show 2017 on the 23rd January.
Among the new products featured will be new coloured additions to the tempered glassware range, Picardie from Duralex. Two different colours, ‘Soft Touch Black’ and ‘Smooth Frost’ have sprayed-on finishes giving them a “velvety smooth feel to the touch.”
Artis will also be adding a further eight new stemware ranges, including three crystal glass collections, a new filigree patterned collection of glasses, coloured tableware and an expanded range of copper barware.
Get more details from www.artis-uk.com
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Seaweed spice from Ebb Tides
East Devon edible seaweed seller Ebb Tides have introduced Ocean Spice to their range of products made from sustainably harvested seaweed.
Based on the classic Moroccan blend Ras el Hanout, it includes ground dulse seaweed. Ebb Tides suggest using it with oil as a marinade, in curries and with any food that would benefit from its rich smokey flavour.
More details from www.ebbtides.co.uk
Heligan Gardens chutney collaboration
The Lost Gardens of Heligan have got together with Cornish preserve producer Boddington’s Berries to make a new range of chutneys.
Heligan’s head chef has developed the recipes which use only natural ingredients and are made in the traditional open pan method.
The range includes; Heligan Butternut Squash and Tomato Chutney, Heligan Pear Chutney and Heligan Apple and Sultana Chutney.
Go to http://www.boddingtonsberries.co.uk/news.asp for more information.
The Calcot Collection appoints Le Manoir marketing manager
The Calcot Collection have hired Claire Wilson to be their new group marketing manager. She joins them from her digital marketing manager role at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
Wilson will be based at Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds and focus on developing the group’s digital presence.
Richard Ball, executive chairman of The Calcot Collection commented to Boutique Hotelier: “We are really pleased to welcome Claire to our team. The digital agenda is increasingly important within our overall marketing strategy and Claire is the right person to drive this forward and also help us streamline the brand direction of our collection.”
Bath brewer adds new spark
Electric Bear brewery has appointed a new head brewer. Ian Morris joins the Bath-based brewery this month and was previously at the award-winning Arbour Ales and Bingham Brewery.
Morris will be overseeing the core range of beers including Edison Pilsner, Livewire IPA and Elemental Golden ale while also developing a new range of experimental beers.
Chris Lewis, founder of Electric Bear Brewery said; ‘We’ve had a really exciting year this year winning three awards at the World Beer Awards, getting listings with national restaurants and running an extensive calendar of events at our taproom. To keep up with demand we needed to recruit more top talent into the brewery and that’s what Ian brings to the table.”
The Telegraph Travel Show
13th – 15th January, 2017
This year’s show includes: the Food & Wine Theatre – “Professional chefs and expert sommeliers in live demonstrations” and World Food Pop-Ups – “Savour tastes from across the world.”
Sirha – The World Hospitality & Food Service Event
21st – 25th January, 2017
Eurexpo, Lyon, France
“With 11 sectors dedicated to food products, equipment and services for professionals, Sirha embodies the global market for the catering, hospitality and food service trades. Taking part in the Sirha trade exhibition places you at the heart of the largest observatory for worldwide food service.”
The Great Hospitality Show
23rd – 25th January, 2017
“The UK’s largest exhibition for foodservice and hospitality in 2017 – celebrate everything great in British hospitality. Back and bigger than ever for 2017, the world-class culinary competition, Salon Culinaire, returns to the Great Hospitality Show this January with a jam-packed programme of competitions designed to showcase the wide range of talent within our hospitality industry.”
Business South Local Produce Show 2017 – Producers & Suppliers
24th January 2017
Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, West End, Southampton
“Business South, Cavendish Ships Stores and Hampshire Fare invite producers and suppliers from the South to exhibit at the Local Produce Show 2017. The event is a great platform for producers and suppliers to showcase their fantastic range of local food, beverages and products to a wide and influential selection of catering & hospitality trade buyers from the region.”
The South West Tourism Alliance Conference
27th January 2017
“The Challenges Facing Rural and Coastal Tourism”
The Tiverton Hotel, Tiverton. Devon
“Keynote speakers will be Neil Parish MP, who is Chair of the Rural Tourism Enquiry and Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive of Visit Britain and Visit England. We will have speakers from The National Coastal Tourism Academy as well as presentations about how SW businesses can get involved in Discover England funded marketing promotions. The Conference will be gathering the evidence from the day to submit to the Rural Tourism Enquiry, so this really is a chance for you to come and influence priorities.”
South West Tourism Excellence Awards
2nd February 2017
Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol
“The culmination of a 10 month programme, the finalists include winners from the Dorset, Bristol, Bath & Somerset, Cornwall and Devon Tourism Awards, all of which have been celebrated at county events during the autumn. They also include direct entries from Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.”
Winchester Cocktail Week
6th – 12th February 2017
“The city of Winchester will light up with a dazzling array of workshops, master-classes and parties in over two dozen of the city’s top retailers and hospitality businesses. Throughout the week, wristband holders will be able to access exclusive discounts as they imbibe and dine their way around Winchester.”
The Food to Go Conference
7th February 2017
Ham Yard Hotel, Soho, London
“MCA’s successful Food To Go Conference returns in 2017, with a further focus on THE most dynamic and fast moving sector in the UK’s eating out industry. Leading operators and specialist will shine a light on growth plans as well as operational, marketing and supply challenges and opportunities, which will define the sector’s future landscape.”
7th – 8th February 2017
The only UK trade show dedicated to the UK pub industry. 200 innovative suppliers, 20 talks/workshops and multiple networking opportunities.
The Source Trade Show
8th – 9th February 2017
“The Source is the South West’s biggest and best trade show for anyone with a serious interest in speciality foods, quality drinks, profitable catering and inspired hospitality. A complete one-stop shop for everything a food business needs – covering not just speciality food and drink but everything from raw ingredients to high quality food service products, furniture to EPoS, kitchen design to business services.”
2017 West Country Tourism Conference
8th – 9th February 2017
“Running alongside the ‘Source Trade Show’ – the 8th February will focus on tourism ideas, news and excellence in customer service and the 9th February will be ‘Marketing and Digital day’ including ‘working with Tripadvisor’ by Justin Reid of Tripadvisor.”
Casual Dining Show
22nd – 23rd Feb 2017
Business Design Centre, London
“The award-winning trade show for restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels and contract caterers. Casual Dining will feature over 200 food, drink, equipment and tableware exhibitors as well as a world-class keynote programme featuring leading industry names.”
7th – 9th March 2017
Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge
“Showcasing products that cover the whole of the hospitality and catering market; from tableware to furniture, catering equipment to business services, coffee to speciality food, this show really does have Cornwall covered!”
The Retailers’ Retailer Awards
7th March 2017
“Described as the UK’s eating and drinking-out sector’s “Oscars”, the Retailers’ Retailer of the Year Awards recognises the best companies, concepts and individuals in the restaurant, pub, coffee shop and late-night bar market.”
The Publican Awards
14th March 2017
Battersea Evolution, London
“The Publican Awards recognises the best in every aspect of the pub industry – from the best brewing pub companies to the best late-night operators. Iconic chat show presenter Jonathan Ross has been announced as the host of the biggest night of the year for the pub industry.”
The Hotel, Catering & Retail Show
14th – 15th March 2017
Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
“The Hotel, Catering and Retail Show features new and innovative products, hundreds of delicious food and drink product tastings, the latest trends and exciting developments from industry, and a chance to network with current suppliers, peers and key industry players.”
The International Food & Drink Event (IFE)
19th – 22nd March 2017
(including – Pro2Pac & Waste-Works)
“Together the three events cover the entire supply chain; from farm to fork to fertiliser to fuel.” IFE is “the UK’s biggest and most important food and drink trade event. The 2017 show will be bursting with food and drink inspiration.”
Pro2Pac is “the UK’s only packaging event designed exclusively for the food & drink sector.”
“Waste-Works, the only waste & sustainability event for the food & drink industry.”
British Tourism & Travel Show
22nd – 23rd March 2017
“With the UK domestic tourism sector valued at £127 billion, this lucrative industry deserves a dedicated and focused exhibition. Bringing together over 3,000 top level travel buyers.”
Whiskies & Spirits Conference Europe
30th March 2017
The Waldorf Hilton, London
“The 2017 Whiskies & Spirits Conference Europe brings together the industry’s international leaders in a unique open forum to talk about the commercial opportunities and challenges that confront the global spirits industry.” Including, the ‘World Drink Awards 2017’ presentation and drinks reception.
Pinterest’s Food Trends
Food is the number one reason people use photo sharing, taste broadcasting website Pinterest. If you want a snapshot of what the Western world wants for its dinner, this is the place to go. Which is why their list of the top food trends for 2017, compiled from analysing billions of pins, is a good indicator of what people will be chewing over this year…
This tropical fruit will be used a meat substitute apparently. Its chewy texture has seen it compared to pulled pork and chicken.
Photogenic bowls made up of veg, protein and grains will go from strength to strength.
We’re sure Nigella pioneered this time-saving idea years ago. Adding pizza toppings to naan cuts kneading and baking time so you an concentrate on the toppings
Slow cookers are so 2016. Cooking in a temperature controlled water bath like a top chef is where it’s at and new cheaper, app controlled sous vide devices will help this previously professionals-only technique grow.
Kale chips were only the beginning. Healthy, natural vegetable snacks will only get more popular according to Pinterest.
Up 30% in popularity and very photogenic, octopus is more easily cooked than most people think.
IPA’s reign could be coming to an end as sour beer appeals to the craft beer crowd and wine lovers too.
This delicious snack, best thought of as a Mexican pasty was pinned more than 2.5 million times last year.
Looking to supplant Korean kimchi, homemade sauerkraut will be fermenting into a big pickled trend this year.
Olive oil will take a backseat as grapeseed and flaxseed oils come to the fore with a lower price tag and higher smoke point.