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Five Richardson seaside hotels go into administration
Five hotels in the Richardson Hotel group in the South West have gone into administration over unpaid tax bills.
Mark Boughey and Matthew Wild from RSM Restructuring Advisory have been appointed joint administrators of Richardson Hotels Limited and Fowey Hotel Limited, which make up the group.
The hotels now under administration include The Falmouth Hotel in Falmouth, The Grand Hotel in Torquay, The Metropole Hotel in Padstow, The Royal Beacon Hotel in Exmouth and The Fowey Hotel in Fowey.
The Grosvenor hotel in Torquay is not included and will be relaunched as the John Burton-Race Restaurant with Rooms in early February. The 46-bedroom hotel has undergone a major refurbishment in a bid to shake off the reputation it gained as the subject of Channel 4’s reality show The Hotel, before it was acquired by Richardson Hotels in 2012.
The five hotels will stay open while the administrators look at future options.
Joint administrator Mark Boughey said: “All the hotels offer enviable locations, architecture and facilities, so their rooms are in high demand from both existing and new customers. While things are at an early stage, we are therefore hopeful that a long-term future for of all the hotels can be secured.”
Polpo closes in Bristol and Exeter
The high profile Polpo restaurants on Bristol’s Whiteladies Road and in Exeter’s Guildhall Dining Quarter have closed suddenly.
The Venetian-inspired eateries opened in August 2016 in Bristol and April 2017 in Exeter after launching in Soho, London in 2009 and expanded to six sites in the capital and Bristol, Brighton and Exeter. The Polpo group is reported to have closed its gastropub, Ape & Bird, in London too.
Polpo, founded by Richard Beatty and Russell Norman, also runs sister site Spuntino in Bristol’s Cargo 2 shipping container development.
Butcombe have strong Christmas
Butcombe Brewing Co, owned by the Liberation group, have announced their festive season trading figures. Their managed like-for-like sales were up 6.5% and total sales up 114% for the four weeks to 31st December 2017.
Mark Crowther, CEO of the Liberation Group, said: “This is an excellent result driven by our teams of great people and the enhancements that we have made to the business over the last 12 months. Complimenting our Channel Island business, we now have a very high-quality portfolio of predominantly freehold West Country pubs to trade from in 2018 which together with the benefits from the improvements to the brewing side of the business augurs well for the coming year.”
Butcombe more than doubled its number of pubs to nearly 50 in 2017 and invested in a new distribution depot and bottling line which opened in November.
Loungers report festive success
The operators of more than 100 café-bar-restaurants under the Lounge and Cosy Club brand, Loungers, have reported successful trading over the Christmas period. Their like-for-like sales were up 4.8% for the four weeks to 31st December 2017. Total December openings, including new openings, were 28% higher than in previous years.
Loungers have opened 12 Lounges and two Cosy Clubs since the beginning of the financial year at the end of April. The group are looking to open 25 new sites in 2018.
Nick Collins, Chief Executive of Loungers, said: “Our teams have worked tirelessly to deliver another excellent Christmas. The weather didn’t help a great deal in early December or between Christmas and the New Year, but we are pleased with the overall result. The Cosy Clubs in particular traded fantastically in what is a very important period of trade for them. The Lounges again delivered strong growth, and this continues to be volume led with prices held.
“We are continuing to see some great property opportunities within the strict parameters of our rent model and our roll-out intentions remain unchanged. We are excited about what we can achieve in 2018 in terms of expanding into new locations, improving the experiences for our customers and building on the fantastic employee culture within the business.”
VisitEngland promotes round-the-clock UK
VisitEngland’s new digital campaign – Blue Monday – will celebrate round-the-clock travel experiences and activities across the UK. It aims to encourage Brits to “beat the January blues by taking a holiday at home.”
The campaign will include 24 short films by domestic and international bloggers and Instagrammers that will showcase activities across the UK throughout a 24-hour period.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “From a street art tour in Bristol to early morning surfing at Scarborough in Yorkshire, from a torch-lit tour of the Roman Baths to exploring the wilds of Hampstead Heath in London, this campaign shows that England is bursting with activity not only round-the-clock but year-round, with experiences to suit all interests and ages.
“With many of us looking for travel inspiration to beat the winter blues, these snapshots of destinations across the country will get Brits booking mood-boosting experiences, driving economic growth from tourism across the country.”
According to the latest official statistics, more people are taking holidays at home and are spending more too. From January to September 2017 Brits took 47 million domestic holidays in Great Britain, spending £11 billion, an increase of 5% and 6% respectively on the first nine months of the previous year.
Hampshire sausage and pies competition
The annual Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition is now open for entries from local butchers and producers. Organised by local food group, Hampshire Fare, categories include Traditional Pork Sausage, Speciality Pork Sausage, Lamb/Beef Sausage, Hampshire Sausage – Hampshire Fare Trophy, Home-Cured Bacon, Meatballs and Faggots, Traditional Pork Pie, Pies – Hot Eating, Pies – Cold Eating, Black Pudding, Hampshire Charcuterie and Young Sausage Maker.
Last year’s competition attracted 201 entries from 38 butchers and producers. The title of Supreme Champion was awarded to LJ Smith Butchers, who went on to represent Hampshire at the Champion of Champions national competition.
Entries must be recited by 2nd February 2018. Go to www.hampshirefare.co.uk for more details.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Meet Kevin, Pieminister’s first vegan pie
Bristol-based pie maker Pieminister have launched their first vegan pie. Named after Kevin Keegan (because it rhymes with vegan) it’s made with British chestnut mushrooms, tomato and red wine with baby onions, red quinoa and thyme. The crisp vegan pastry was in development for a year. Kevin is registered with the Vegan Society and carries their trusted Vegan trademark.
Dominika Piasecka, spokeswoman for The Vegan Society, said: “We are delighted to register Pieminister’s very first vegan pie with our Vegan Trademark. The move shows just how much the demand for plant-based food has grown, and we are confident that it will be very warmly welcomed by the vegan community.
“Retailers should remember that vegan products are not exclusively for vegans; in fact, they’re suitable for most diets and religions, and often constitute a safe food option for all. Offering vegan options opens up a potential market to not only half a million vegans in Britain, but also to a million more vegetarians, the huge number of meat and dairy reducers, the lactose intolerant, and others who simply enjoy vegan food from time to time.”
The new vegan pie, like the rest of their 17 strong range, is delivered fresh and chilled with a minimum eight-day shelf life and can be frozen.
To find out more contact Pieminister’s sales team on 0117 950 4567 or email email@example.com.
Gluten-free pastries from Pidy
The Belgian producer of ready-to-fill pastry products, Pidy, has launched a new 4cm gluten-free tartelette. The bite-sized tart can be filled with “an array of different indulgent mouthfuls or savoury bites”.
Fabien Levet, National Account Manager – Foodservice at Pidy UK, commented: “Our gluten-free pastry has such a fantastic taste, texture and an authentic, rustic look; it can easily be used for all diners, with or without gluten intolerances. The buttery taste of our pastry is neutral, lending itself equally well to both savoury and sweet fillings, providing caterers with plenty of opportunity and a multipurpose product.”
Visit www.pidyuk.com for more details.
Lighter mixers from Luscombe
Luscombe Drinks has launched a new Light Devon Tonic Water, expanding its range of flavoured mixers.
Gareth Hess, head of sales at Luscombe Drinks says: “The tonic water sector is rapidly expanding, with sales exceeding £100 million for the first time – a rise of 37% in the past year. The new Light Devon Tonic Water is our response to customer demand for a premium tonic water with fewer calories.”
Made with Devon spring water and flavoured with Indian quinine and Japanese yuzu, the reduced calorie tonic joins Luscombe Drinks’ Devon Tonic Water, Elderflower Tonic Water and Grapefruit Tonic Water.
For further information visit www.luscombe.co.uk
Georgian guest house on market for £1.45m
A Grade II listed Georgian guest house in the Wiltshire town of Amesbury is on the market for offers in the region of £1.45m.
Located on the high street, Fairlawn House has 18 ensuite rooms to let which generate sales in excess of £300,000 per annum according to agents Colliers International.
Ed Jefferson of Colliers International said: “This is an impressive Grade II listed building in a High Street location, built in 1838 for a local surgeon. Three of the letting rooms are located in a converted coach house to the rear. Our clients acquired the business in 2010 and have worked hard to improve the property and restore business levels – not to mention creating a fantastic, three-bedroom family home.”
Fairlawn House is situated two miles from Stonehenge and around eight miles from Salisbury.
Cotswold Fayre New Product Launch Show (South West)
16th January 2018
Kendleshire Golf Club, Bristol. BS36 2UY
“Cotswold Fayre will be on the road with all their brand new suppliers. These events are for the retailer, to give them the opportunity to see and taste the product ranges, all in one place and to meet the people who make them!”
23rd-24th January 2018
Ricoh Arena, Judds Lane, Coventry, CV6 6GE
“BevExpo2018 (incorporating Cellar to Seller and BrewEx) is an opportunity for the wider beverage industry to meet, learn and discover the excellence of products and services within the entire beverage industry supply chain.”
Business South Local Produce Show
2018 – Producers & Suppliers
25th January 2018
Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton
“Business South, Cavendish Ships Stores, Hampshire Fare, Hampshire Farmers’ Market, Paris Smith, Southern Coop and New Forest Marque invite producers and suppliers from the South to exhibit at the 10th Local Produce Show 2018.”
South West Tourism Awards Celebration Dinner
1st February 2018
Arena at the Riviera International Conference Centre, Torquay
“The dinner is the grand finale for the awards across the South West, attended by over 400 of the region’s top quality tourism businesspeople, as well as a great opportunity for the region’s tourism businesses to meet up, celebrate and enjoy each other’s company.”
6th-7th February 2018
“The only dedicated show for the UK Pub industry. Keep up-to-date with trends, share ideas, network and gain inspiration with almost 200 of the sector’s most innovative operators.”
The Source Trade Show
7th – 8th February 2018
Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter
“The 2018 Source trade show provides the perfect mix of passionate producers, alongside the hottest hospitality and catering companies, and the freshest food service.”
Westcountry Tourism Conference
7th – 8th February 2018
Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter
“Running alongside the Source Trade Show, the conference is designed for anyone working in the tourism industry across Devon, Somerset, Dorset and further afield. It will provide tourism businesses with the opportunity to listen to industry experts who will be offering advice on a diverse range of topics.”
The Food to Go Conference & Study Tour
7th – 8th February 2018
Ham Yard Hotel, London
“MCA’s successful Food-to-go Conference returns with a further focus on THE most dynamic and fast-moving sector in the UK’s eating out industry. The 2018 Study Tour will visit key forward-thinking food-to-go operations in London and include operator talks and sampling.”
21st-22nd February 2018
Business Design Centre, London
“Casual Dining is your only trade show entirely dedicated to the branded restaurant and pub sectors. Casual Dining gives you the unique opportunity to meet over 200 food, drink, equipment, tabletop, furniture, interior design, technology and services suppliers, taste and try products.”
The Bed & Breakfast, Retail and Self-Catering Show
21st & 22nd February 2018
Thornbury Leisure Centre, Bristol. BS35 3JB
“The fourth Exhibition and Conference covering the Bed and Breakfast, Guest House, Inns, Small Independent Hotel, Independent Self Catering Owners and Owner Managed Hospitality businesses.”
Food & Drink Business Workshop – Strategies for a Successful Food Business
27th February 2018, 9.30am – 1.30pm
The Cedars Inn, Barnstaple, EX31 2HE
“This workshop is tailored to food & drink producers, including practical ways to manage the balance between sales, marketing & finance to ensure profitable growth. The workshop will be packed full of ideas and suggestions so that you leave with your own tailored action plan.”
For more details & to book – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/food-for-thought-a-workshop-for-food-drink-businesses-tickets-40802090150
Packaging Innovations 2018
28th February – 1st March 2018
“Visitors will be able to meet with new and current suppliers supplying the latest in innovative food & drinks packaging, tap into the industry’s hot trends, and network with the world’s biggest brands under one roof.”
Co-Located with Label & Print 2018 & Empack 2018
Professional Development Courses for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector
28th February – 16th March 2018
“Practitioners can develop their skills through a series of masterclasses and half-day courses to develop operational and strategic thinking. Delivered through interactive workshops and networking with leading academics, the courses are aimed at developing contemporary knowledge of critical business aspects that influence profitability and performance.”
For information, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/tourism-hospitality-shortcourses
To book https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/professional-development-courses-for-tourism-hospitality-professionals-tickets-38863372393