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Flagship food and drink centre gets go-ahead
Planning permission for FoodWorksSW – a regional food and drink development centre on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare – has been granted by North Somerset Council.
Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for economic development, said: “FoodWorksSW will provide a regional centre of excellence for food and drink manufacturers to help new businesses get started and established producers to innovate and grow.
“Situated within the DEFRA designated Food Enterprise Zone, it will create around 250 jobs as part of our employment-led regeneration of the Weston area.”
The council successfully bid for £9.36m Local Growth Deal funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership earlier this year. It will help fund the £11.3m first phase of FoodWorksSW on five acres of land within the Weston Business Quarter.
The plans say the development will include “two attractive and characterful buildings with recognisable landmark features such as the yellow free standing gable frames”. One building will provide a space for product development and research, exhibition and training, meeting rooms and a café area. The other building will include 12 food grade business units of between 60 and 100sqm targeted at start-up and growing businesses across the South West.
Building work will start in the autumn with an anticipated opening at the end of 2018.
Apex Bath takes international conference booking before launch
The Apex City of Bath Hotel has signed its first international conference ahead of its opening in August. The new 177-bedroom hotel will host Sweden’s leading beauty magazine, Daisy Beauty, for its annual international conference in September 2017.
It will be the first time the event has been held in a UK city outside of London. Guests will experience the purpose-built conference centre which can host up to 400 people. The new £35 million hotel will be Bath’s largest hotel in terms of conference space and number of bedrooms.
Kicki Norman, Daisy Beauty’s Editor-in-Chief and conference host, said: “Having held four events in London, we wanted to show our guests something new. Bath is lush, beautiful, friendly and quintessentially English – what better place to bring our guests? And the new Apex City of Bath Hotel promises all the facilities we need to host a fantastic conference.”
Tim O’Sullivan, General Manager of Apex City of Bath Hotel, said: “We are thrilled to have secured our first international conference ahead of opening – it’s something of a milestone for us. We hope that, by offering the city’s first purpose-built conference facility, we’ll attract even more events from businesses in the UK and beyond, bringing tourists to the city and giving the local economy a boost.”
Wickwar Wessex buys Cascade pub group and Moles Ales
Wickwar Wessex Brewing Company has acquired the six-strong Cascade pub estate and Moles Ales, based in Wiltshire.
The acquisition of the Cascade estate increases Cotswold-based Wickwar’s combined retail estate to 16 pubs.
The Moles Ales brands have been bought from Tolchards Drinks, which takes on the rest of the Cascade wholesale drinks business.
Wickwar and Tolchard Drinks have also formed a commercial partnership. Tolchards will supply wines and spirits across the Wickwar estate. Wickwar will supply Moles and Wickwar ales into the Tolchards business.
Wickwar chairman Mike Watts said: “This enhances the presence of independent brewing in the South West. We believe the quality and brewing craft of Moles and Wickwar align perfectly.
“This is a perfect example of independent businesses working in harmony to both preserve and enhance regional presence. I believe this is good for our respective operations and the continuance of locally sourced and admired brands.”
MSC Chef of the Year goes to Plymouth chippy owner
Craig Maw, the owner of Kingfisher Fish & Chips near Plymouth was named MSC’s UK Chef of the Year at their annual awards. The Marine Stewardship Council award was in recognition of Craig’s commitment to serving MSC certified sustainable, traceable fish. Kingfisher offers 12 MSC certified species on its menu and has earned the accolade of ‘most sustainable seafood menu in the world.’
Other winners included Whitbread-owned Premier Inn which was named UK Newcomer of the Year after becoming the world’s largest hotel group to be MSC certified earlier this year. Hilton hotels won UK Menu of the Year following their campaign for Seafood Week which saw hotel chefs using up to 14 MSC certified species on menus. Restaurateur Thomasina Miers was given the UK Special Achievement Award for championing MSC seafood across her Wahaca restaurant chain for almost ten years.
MSC Senior Commercial Manager North East Atlantic, George Clark, comments, “Craig, our MSC Chef of the Year 2017 has put sustainability at the heart of Kingfisher. A menu offering 12 MSC certified species of fish is no mean feat. It’s a great example of how a small business can have a massive impact on the environment by committing to sustainable sourcing. Every MSC certified fish supper served supports the fishermen making the extra effort to land catch that is sustainable and traceable. Our aim is for all fish and chip shops to eventually serve MSC fish and Craig is certainly leading the way.”
Clipper launches Tea Shop Awards
Tea company Clipper have announced their inaugural Tea Shop Awards, with the first six winners to be announced this August. Tea shops have until the 11th August to nominate themselves in one of six categories: Traditional, Quirkiest, Contemporary, Cosiest, Coastal and Best Afternoon Tea.
TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp will help Clipper select the winners in each category. There will then be an online public vote to pick the Clipper Best Tea Shop. The winner will receive the Clipper Cup in October and a £2000 cash prize.
Go to www.clipper-teas.com for more information.
Langham Wine Estate opens café with 2014 vintages
Dorset sparkling wine producer Langham Wine Estate are launching the new 2014 vintages of its three cuvées on Thursday 20th July alongside the opening of its new kitchen, The Vineyard Café, run by Andrew James Catering.
The three new wines are the Classic Cuvée 2014, Rosé 2014 and Blanc de Blancs 2014. They will be shared with trade and public with dishes from Andrew James’ Vineyard Café, which has been set up to offer homemade seasonal dishes to visitors.
Justin Langham, owner of Langham Wine Estate, comments on the new kitchen: “The opening of our tasting room last July meant even more people could come and enjoy our wines a stone’s throw from the vineyard; it was a natural progression for us to build a kitchen to offer delicious local food during their visit. Andrew James Catering was an obvious choice as his dishes perfectly complement our wines and ethos of high quality, Dorset produce.”
The Liberation Group bans plastic straws
Pub Group Liberation has stopped offering plastic straws in its pubs to help fight environmental waste. It’s the largest pub group to phase out plastic straws to date, removing them from its 100 strong estate across the Channel Islands and West Country, which includes Butcombe Brewing Co.
The Liberation Group will switch to biodegradable paper straws. Plastic straws are made from polypropylene. The straws are particularly harmful to marine life, with more than one million sea birds and a hundred thousand marine mammals killed by plastic waste each year. It is estimated that unless there is a significant shift, plastic refuse in the ocean is set to outweigh the fish by 2050.
As part of Plastic Free July, the Liberation Group is supporting the local “Straws Suck!” campaign. The campaign involves stopping the use of plastic straws and switching to biodegradable alternatives. Liberation pubs will be encouraging their customers to join the campaign and cut plastic waste through social media and on its pub blackboards with the #refusethestraw hashtag.
Jayson Perfect, Managing Director – Pubs and Inns at Liberation said: “Our pubs use millions of straws each year, so we see the switch really benefiting the environment. Plastic straws are a blight on our coastlines, marine life and our oceans. This is a problem which is entirely avoidable. As an Island company who supports many charitable organisations, I feel we also have a moral obligation to support helping marine mammal life where possible.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
New biscotti flavours from Britain
The Great British Biscotti Co are launching six new flavours for summer. The Dorset-based company were set up in 2015 to “offer something a little extra special and artisan Vs the usual ‘off-the-shelf’ hot beverage accompaniments.”
The new flavours include White Chocolate Cranberries & Pistachio and Chocolate Orange and on the savoury side; Jalapeno & Cheddar, Wild Garlic & Rosemary, Seaweed & Cracked Peppercorns and Sundried Tomatoes & Olives.
They join the company’s range of sweet and savoury British baked biscotti “with real flavour conviction” which are about to be made available in 3 on-the-go snack packs for the on-trade, hospitality and airline sectors. For more information go to www.greatbritishbiscotti.co.uk
Country inn on Somerset-Wiltshire border for sale
The Full Moon at Rudge is on the market at £350,000 for the freehold with Colliers International.
Situated in the village of Lower Rudge, it’s 20 minutes from Bath and close to Longleat Safari Park and nearby towns of Frome, Trowbridge and Westbury. This former coaching inn dates back to 1690 and has five en-suite letting rooms, a function room and a two or three bedroom flat for the owners.
Ed Jefferson from Colliers International said: “It has a loyal clientele, a large function room, and has previously achieved good levels of sales, suggesting it would do well in the hands of ambitious new owners looking to develop a destination pub.”
Lainston House appoints new executive chef
Andrew Birch will join the Exclusive Hotels & Venues Lainston House hotel in Winchester in August. As executive chef, he will be in charge of all the food offered in the 50-bedroom, 5-AA-star hotel including the 3-AA-Rosette The Avenue restaurant.
He joins Lainston from Fishmore Hall in Ludlow where he was head chef. Birch began his career with the Tanner brothers in the South West. He has also worked with Michelin-Star chef Kenny Atkinson at his restaurant on the Isle of Scilly and had stints at Whatley Manor, Lower Slaughter Manor and London’s Café Royal. Birch was then senior sous chef at the 3-AA-Rosette and Michelin-Starred Montagu Arms in the New Forest.
On his appointment, he said: “I truly believe that British suppliers are at the root of the success of contemporary British cuisine, and I’m extremely excited to bring to life a menu which reflects this.”
General Manager Gaius Wyncoll said: “Andrew comes to us from a hugely impressive background, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the team. We’re very excited about what Andrew has planned and are looking forward to an exciting new chapter at Lainston House.”
Win an Exclusive Package to the First Hambledon Wine Festival
Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire is embracing the summer and hosting its first wine festival. It will be the perfect opportunity to enjoy many wines from all over the world in one place – at England’s oldest commercial vineyard. Take a wine tour, feast on local Hampshire produce or just kick back and relax and enjoy the jazz band.
The exclusive package prize will include:
A pair of tickets to the festival
A pair of tickets to the English Sparkling Wine Masterclass with Ian Kellett.
A bottle of Hambledon’s Classic Cuvée.
To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question:
Q: What year did Hambledon release its first commercial wines?
Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Competition Terms & Conditions:
1. Closing date for entries is 28th July 2017.
2. The winner will be chosen at random and notified by Hambledon Vineyard.
3. The prize doesn’t include subsistence or travel the winner may incur.
4. Participants must be over 18 years of age to enter the competition.
5. The prize cannot be transferred to another person.
6. No part of a prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize.
7. Hambledon Vineyard accepts no responsibility for any misdirected or lost entries claims for prizes.
Hampshire Food Festival 2017
1st – 31st July
Various locations in Hampshire
“The Hampshire Food Festival is an opportunity to show people what is grown and made in the county and offer unique experiences. From walking with buffalo to distillery tours or watching demos from top local chefs, the festival offers something for all tastes.”
The Mid Devon Show
Knightshayes, Tiverton, Devon
“Experience a true celebration of rural Mid Devon with an eclectic mix of breathtaking entertainment, food, shopping, music, horticulture and farm life.”
Powderkeg Tap Takeover and Summer Party
Saturday 22nd July, 9pm – 12am
The Grapevine, 2 Victoria Rd, Exmouth EX8 1DL
“Powderkeg throw a summer party at excellent pub The Grapevine in Exmouth. It’s our first proper Tap Takeover – woohoo! – as we launch our summer special Mandarina Kolsch. Enjoy the full Powderkeg range: Cut Loose, Speak Easy, Faram’s Fault, 4ours & Five5, and Mandarina Kolsch, all together for the first time ever.”
New Forest & Hampshire County Show
25th – 27th July
The Showground, New Park, Brockenhurst
“Three days of agricultural fun and entertainment for all the family – now rated among the top ten agricultural shows in the country.”
FoodWorks SW Summer Workshops – Where to source money?
27th July, 9am-3pm, £25
The Hive, Weston-Super-Mare, BS24 8EE
“Do you have a product but want some ideas on how to finance getting it to market? This highly interactive workshop aims to help you get your food and drink project financed.”
Bristol Sausage & Cider Festival
4th – 5th August
Old Passenger Shed, Temple Meads Station, Bristol
“Music, real cider, and great sausages from artisan producers.”
South West Coffee Festival: Coffee & Cafe Culture Show
4th – 6th August
Powderham Castle, Devon
“The South West Coffee Festival is the first of its kind here in The South West! A Trade & Public show, it’s the perfect place for business owners to discover new suppliers and products, and a great place to talk directly to their consumers.”
Great Dorset Chilli Festival
5th – 6th August
St Giles House, Wimborne St Giles, Dorset
“A great day out for chilli enthusiasts, food lovers and families. A glorious weekend of “chilli fiesta”, with stalls selling all things chilli, plus cooking demonstrations; talks on growing chillies; artisan food producers and spicy street food.”
Hambledon Vineyard Wine Festival
6th August, 11am – 4pm
Hambledon, Hampshire PO7 4RY
“The perfect opportunity to enjoy wines from all over the world at England’s oldest commercial vineyard! Take part in a wine tour, feast on local Hampshire produce or just kick back and relax with a glass of something delicious.”
Tickets are £10 per person (children under 16 are free) which includes entry, a glass and 2 tokens for you to get started on your wine tasting adventure.
CAMRA Great British Beer Festival 2017
8th – 12th August
“Celebrating its 40th Anniversary – Real Ale and other Craft Beer, Cider and Perry plus English Wine, Street Food and Entertainment.” Includes the CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain competition.
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
19th – 20th August
Newchurch, Sandown, Isle of Wight
“There are huge garlic and food marquees and cooking demonstrations from top Island chefs in the all new theatre kitchen”
The Melplash Show
The West Bay Showground, Bridport, Dorset
“One of the South West’s premier agricultural exhibitions, the show is packed full of exhibits including livestock, horses, homecrafts and horticulture. There are over 350 trade stands selling everything from locally produced food to tractors….and plenty in between!”
River Cottage Summer Festival
26th – 27th August
River Cottage HQ, Axminster Devon
“There’ll be demonstrations from well-known chefs, inspirational speakers, masterclasses to take part in, tasty street food to sample, not forgetting our very own River Cottage chefs preparing the best seasonal food for you to enjoy.”
Witcombe Cider Festival
26th – 27th August
UK’s largest Cider Festival. 50 Ciders and a strong line-up of national music artists.