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Bodmin Jail to be transformed into hotel
The 18th century, reputedly haunted former jail could become a state-of-the-art visitor experience and glass-roofed hotel, if plans from London-based Twelve Architects are approved.
Built in 1779, the grade-II listed building operated until 1927, hosting 50 public hangings. The Domesday Book and Crown Jewels were kept there during World War I. It still runs as a tourist attraction but according to Twelve Architects, many of the buildings ‘are in a ruinous state, limiting its potential’.
The new 6,990m² scheme aims to deliver a ‘state-of-the-art visitor experience and teaching and learning resource; an upgraded venue for private hire; and a 63-bedroom hotel’. The derelict cell blocks will house the hotel with each bedroom formed from three cells. The interiors will be inspired by the weathered stone of the building and a glazed rooflight running the length of both wings will form the central atrium of the hotel.
The attraction will feature a new 1200m² building housing a ‘Dark Walk’ experience. This sequence of themed rooms will use sets, films and projections to help visitors experience what life was like for the inmates of Bodmin Jail.
The Governor’s Hall will remain as the main venue with an upgraded and revamped restaurant.
Matt Cartwright, Twelve Architects’ founding director, said: “This project will be important to Bodmin, bringing an important part of its heritage back to life and providing facilities for local people as well as for visitors. We’re looking forward to taking the project forward.”
It is hoped the proposals will grow visitor numbers to 200,000 a year. If accepted the work is scheduled to start on site at the beginning of 2018 and complete the following year.
Taste of the West caps entries
The Taste of the West Awards programme is limiting entries to 1200 this year so they can provide professional feedback for the producers who enter.
The awards aim to find and reward the best food and drink products in the South West and the regional food group can point to producers who have won awards who are now enjoying significant business growth.
Bath based Henny and Joe’s, producers of traditional chai infusions won the Taste of the West award for Champion (non-alcoholic) Hot Drink in the South West three years in a row from 2014-2016. Founder Ashley Bailey says, “Before we entered the awards we were a small producer supplying three cafés. As soon as we won our first award, business began to pick up. We left our day jobs and took things seriously. Three years later we are happy to say that we are now supplying over 130 cafes around the UK. The correlation between our awards and the growth has been incredible. We simply wouldn’t be where we are without the help and support from Taste of the West.”
John Sheaves, the CEO of Taste of the West said: “These awards are the industry’s chance to not only pitch their products for an award but also to have them professionally evaluated for their quality. Feedback is a vital part of this process so that producers can learn from the experts and improve their products. It is a huge task and we have already received many entries this year – so have capped entries at 1,200 products in total. We would encourage any producer, large or small to enter as it can really help a discerning market to choose your quality product over another one knowing that it has been independently assessed by experts, so get your entries in quickly – time is running out!”
Go to www.tasteofthewest.co.uk for more information on how to enter.
‘Bland and boxy’: council verdict on £40m hotel plan
Bournemouth council has given the green light to a new four-star hotel block in the city, although its design was described as ‘bland’ and ‘boxy’ by councillors.
The 131-bedroom hotel with sky bar is proposed for the site of the former Belvedere Hotel, now derelict.
Michael Bibring, co-founder of Fresh Lime Developments who are behind the plans, said: “We think it’s an absolutely first-class design and everyone who has seen it has agreed with that.”
Bob is back in Cirencester
Celebrated restaurant Made By Bob has reopened after a major refurbishment. The Cirencester eatery has been closed since September while the dining room and kitchen were revamped and a new bar added.
Made By Bob is owned by chef patron Bob Parkinson, who cooks dishes influenced by his time under Thai food authority David Thompson and at Bibendum earlier in his career. It holds a Michelin Bib Gourmand, recognising “good food at moderate prices”.
Events organisers buy Winchester café
Local events company and bloggers Cabinet Rooms have purchased The Art Café in Winchester. Located opposite the Theatre Royal on Jewry Street, the café will also be the temporary hub of the event they organise in the city – Winchester Cocktail Week on 6-12 February.
“We are really excited to take on the Art Café,” explained Gary Whiter, Managing Director of Cabinet Rooms. “There has been a café on this site for many years and we have a great opportunity to take an existing business and transform it into a new home for Cabinet Rooms. We have some exciting plans to maximise the potential of the space, which we’ll start working on in time for spring.”
Food & Drink NEWS
Vodka with a programmable message
MEDEA Vodka comes in the world’s first and only bottle to feature a programmable LED display. By using a free smartphone app, users can create and display a scrolling message on the bottle.
The vodka inside is from the Herman Jansen distillery, which has been operating in Holland since 1777. Their MEDEA vodka is made from European wheat and artesian water and has won several awards including a Gold Medal from the San Francisco International Spirit Competition.
A glorifier for retailers presents the bottle and demonstrates the LED technology to drive impulse purchases. For more details go to http://medeavodka.com.
Burts expand healthy options, not your waist
The Plymouth-based crisp producer, Burts Chips, are bolstering their Better For You range by launching a new ‘lighter snack’ Quinoa Crinkles.
Due out in January, these 20g bags (available in cases of 16 packets) contain less than 90 calories each and come in two flavours; Sweet Pepper & Chorizo and West Country Cream Cheese. Burts are using ingredients that reflect its Devonshire heritage for the range, including chorizo from local manufacturer the Good Game Company.
This new range follows the success of Burts’ Lentil Waves range which launched in 2014. They are currently the fastest growing ‘Better For You’ snack in the market, reporting +74% sales growth year on year.
Simon Knight, Sales and Marketing Director of Burts Chips said: “With innovation and taste at the heart of Burts Chips, we wanted to create a healthy new snacking concept following the success of our Lentil Waves range. The ‘Better For You’ market is now worth approximately £145 million so our new product will lead the way in this growing category. After many months of development, Quinoa Crinkles will deliver a delicious indulgent flavour and crunchy crispy texture, with the added benefit of offering an exciting lighter alternative to health-conscious consumers.”
The launch is being supported by point of sale material and sampling as well as being part of a wide-scale integrated marketing campaign that includes PR, events and social media.
The first certified compostable packaging range
Parlsey in Time are supplying Vegware, the only UK packaging brand with compostability certification for its entire range.
Their products are made from renewable natural materials, recycled card, paper and bagasse (recycled sugar cane fibre) and include cups, cutlery, takeaway boxes and trays, sandwich and wrap boxes, deli containers, carrier bags and napkins. They are certified food safe and can be recycled with food waste, breaking down in under 12 weeks.
For more information visit www.parsleyintime.co.uk.
Falcon’s new combi ovens
Cooking equipment manufacturer Falcon are launching new models of its combi ovens.
These include the top of the range T Models which feature an upgraded user interface using a tablet-style touch screen. This can be configured to suit different kitchens and store recipes with notes and images. Multilevel and Just in Time cooking enables menu items with different cooking times to be cooked simultaneously, with the combi oven intelligently recognising compatible recipes that can also be cooked together.
All of Falcon’s new 7 and 10 shelf models have new Liquid Clean automatic cleaning and descaling systems which have detergent and descaler containers built-in.
“The new Falcon combi is a really excellent machine, says Shaune Hall, product development chef at Falcon.“It is full of innovative and useful features and the touch screen is very easy to use. I love the fact that you can adjust the programme settings even during any stage of the cooking process. The accessories really do make a difference too, making it even easier to produce great food.”
Visit www.falconfoodservice.com for more information.
Pack Taverns grows Cotswold portfolio
Pub operators Pack Taverns have bought the Swan Inn at Ascott-under-Wychwood in a deal brokered by Colliers International. The pub has seven letting bedrooms, a function room and a garden and was on the market for £599,500.
Charlie and Willow Crossley, who run Pack Taverns, already operate the Bull at Charbury. Colliers International hotels director Peter Brunt said: “Charlie and Willow have done a great job at The Bull and their new purchase is a short distance away… Set in an affluent Cotswolds village between Burford and Chipping Norton, the Swan is just off the A361 and ticks all the boxes for people looking for a good business in one of the most popular visitor destinations in the country”.
The Source Welcomes Newcomers
The Source Trade Show is all about discovering everything new and innovative in hospitality and catering. So it stands to reason that the Newcomers area – which showcases companies from the South West who have never exhibited at a trade show before – is a great place to spot rising stars. It’s the food and drink equivalent of seeing a band in your local pub who could then go on to headline Glastonbury.
All of these emerging businesses are innovative and many are really pushing the boundaries. Here are just some you should visit if you want to see how exciting artisan food and drink can be…
Cracking Nuts hand roast a variety of deliciously moreish nutty treats from their base in Devon. They use only the finest nuts and 100% natural ingredients, including responsibly sourced vanilla and fair-trade Himalayan sea salt.
Cornish Edible Insects
Try some of this company’s foodstuffs and you’ll be sampling some of the healthiest and most sustainable food available. Made from locally-grown and imported insects, their products and ingredients are high-protein, low fat and deliciously different.
Dartmoor Conservation Meat
Eating Taffety pony meat sustains the wild pony herds of Dartmoor, roaming free, naturally, choosing what they eat and how they live. Taffety tastes similar to beef with a slightly sweet gamey flavour. It’s low in fat and high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Totally Wild Aloe
Totally Wild were established in May 2016 as the UK importer and distributor of unique Aloe Ferox products from South Africa. TW Juice Blends are available in five exotic flavours and contain no added sugar, sweeteners or preservatives. A safari in taste!
Lavender & Co
Lavender & Co grow 15 varieties of lavender on their single estate lavender field in Axbridge. The plants and oil are used to make a range of speciality products for trade and retail outlets.
This new business makes Soil Association-certified organic ghee in small batches from organic West Country butter. It’s not just for curries. With its high smoke point, it is a tasty and healthy alternative for every day cooking. Tastes like butter but better!
Kumbites is a passionately run, African flavour inspired enterprise which produce vegan ‘sauces’, no pickles, no chutneys, no jellies, no jams, using locally sourced, fresh ingredients implementing traditional preparation methods.
Salcombe Brewery Co
This new brewery is a unique concept based on a decommissioned water reservoir utilising the ambient temperature of the underground facility and solar heating. The new beers and branding, developed by our award winning brewer Tom Madeiros from USA, combine classic recipes with new hop varieties.
Scott’s Chocolate make 100 gram chocolate bars and 37 gram mini bars with 10 great flavours from our chocolate HQ in North Somerset. All the range is carefully handmade, 7 of the 10 flavours are gluten free.
For more information about the show, to book a stand, or register to attend, please call 01934 733433, visit http://thesourcetradeshow.co.uk/, or follow @SourceFoodDrink.
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.”
Why consumers choose the food they choose:
A Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) event for Food & Drink Producers
21st February 2017
Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6LD
“This CIM event will answer the question – when you are shopping, why do you choose the products that you choose? For food and drink companies in a highly competitive market this is a fundamental question. Peter Burgess, who has over 18 years’ research experience in consumer and sensory sciences, will draw on a range of examples to illustrate the techniques and approaches his team use each day to help food and drink companies answer that question in pursuit of the perfect product.”
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.”
The Bed & Breakfast, Retail and Self-Catering Show
22nd-23rd Feb 2017
Thornbury Leisure Centre, Bristol
“The third year of our flagship show will once again be bringing a greater range of exhibitors along with exclusive speakers and seminars to Bristol to help you build YOUR business.”
Free Food Hygiene, Health and Safety & Employment Law Update
1st March 2017
Holiday Inn, Winchester
A free seminar hosted by Simply Safer and Kate Underwood HR & Training. Topics to include: Food Hygiene Rating Scores, Food Law Enforcement, Health & Safety and Employment Law.
Please register at –
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.”
Food Allergy Awareness Workshop
14th March 2017
1.30 – 4.30pm
Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
“Add value to your visit to the Hotel, Catering & Retail Show 2017. Attend the food allergy awareness workshop and come away with a tool box that can benefit your business. Attend a discounted workshop on managing the FreeFrom customer, and get help and advice on creating your menu and processes.”
Delegates will receive a letter of attendance. To take advantage of the special pre-show rate of £35 (saving £5), book at http://www.fatc.co.uk/events/food-allergy-awareness-workshop-bournemouth/
The International Food & Drink Event (IFE)
Including – Pro2Pac & Waste-Works)
19th – 22nd March 2017(i
“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.