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Michelin-starred chef buys Dorset hotel
Michelin-starred chef Chris Staines has acquired the Bridge House Hotel in Beaminster, Dorset, off a guide price of £1.25m.
The deal, brokered by agents Christie & Co, sees Staines – executive chef at The Abbey Hotel in Bath – buy the grade-II listed hotel with Silvana Bandini, former assistant general manager of The Pig Hotel, near Bath. The previous owners for 14 years, Mark and Jo Donovan are pursuing new ventures.
Originally a clergy house and dating back to the 13th century, the property has been renovated but still retains stone mullioned windows, inglenook fireplaces and oak beams. The venue boasts a 50-cover dining room, a bar and restaurant with capacity for 30 covers each, alongside 14 ensuite guest bedrooms as part of the hotel. Set on a third of an acre of land, the site features parking for 20 vehicles, an enclosed landscaped rear garden, and a large covered terrace that can be used for weddings and functions for up to 30 guests.
Staines and Bandini said: “We are delighted to have found the Bridge House Hotel – it is the perfect first venture for us and we are extremely excited to be taking it on. We are going to be making some significant changes over the next few months, moving away from the formality of a hotel towards a ‘restaurant with rooms’ concept, and are planning a re-launch closer to the summer.”
Marriot’s Moxy Hotel coming to Southampton
Marriot International’s budget lifestyle brand, Moxy, is planning to open five hotels in the UK this year, including a 209 room property in Southampton. The other locations are London Heathrow Airport, Glasgow, Edinburgh and York. Future hotels are planned in Bristol, Milton Keynes and Manchester.
The Moxy brand has 20 hotels worldwide with 90 in the pipeline. Primarily franchised, key features include 24-hour grab-and-go food service and a vibrant lobby bar.
John Licence, vice-president of premium and select brands at Marriott International, Europe, said: “Moxy Hotels allow our guests to not take themselves too seriously, providing them with personalised experiences in a well-designed space that is surprisingly affordable, with the latest technology and plenty of social spaces that blend work and play,” he explained.“Giving guests all the fun, comfort and style without the hefty price tags has helped to set the brand up for success in Europe and beyond.”
Bristol-based online ordering platform crowdfund expansion
An online platform enabling users to shop from independent food retailers in Bristol is hoping to raise £150,000 through Crowdcube.
Good Sixty launched in Bristol in September 2016 and helps shoppers buy from farm shops, delis and speciality food shops and have their products delivered to their home. They now have over 70 independent retailers listed on their website and the company say sales have grown by an average of 15% every month since they launched. They hope to expand across the South West and into London through crowdfunding and the government’s SEIS investment scheme.
Mitch Tonks becomes ambassador for ocean-friendly seafood charity
Devon chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks has announced his ambassador role for The Marine Stewardship Council – the NGO that sets a standard for sustainable fishing around the world. Its blue fish label on seafood products and restaurant menus means that it’s fully traceable to a sustainable source.
Mitch is the owner of the six Rockfish restaurants on the south coast and the Seahorse in Dartmouth. He has authored six seafood cookbooks and runs the Seafood Academy in South Devon. He said: “Consumers want to know that they’re eating sustainable seafood. They also want to know more about where their food comes from. They don’t want to get caught up in the detail, they want to know that that’s been done for them – that’s where the Marine Stewardship Council come into play. When consumers see a restaurant or a business with the blue fish label on display, they know that the work has been done for them.”
George Clark, Senior Commercial Manager at MSC, said: “We’re delighted to have Mitch Tonks as our culinary expert and ambassador; being a seafood advocate, an ocean lover and with a true passion for sustainable eating, there’s no better person to tell our story about eating and cooking sustainable seafood and the importance of ensuring fish for future generations.”
Wadworth introduce accommodation webpage
Independent brewer and pub operator Wadworth have a new accommodation webpage dedicated to Wadworth Inns and Hotels.
The Wadworth estate has 278 letting rooms across 23 different managed pubs which can now be found on the dedicated page on its corporate website.
Rupert Bagnall, operations director for managed houses, said: “We are increasingly seeing more people wanting to stay in pubs rather than chain hotels or more formal hotel accommodation. With our investment programme including acquisitions over the last three years, we have developed a great selection of premium quality rooms with the added bonus of the informality and warm welcome you get from the teams in a great pub. Now customers can find rooms quickly with the new web page and view all of our west country pubs with accommodation in one place.”
Wadworth has invested £9m on upgrading rooms and acquiring pubs with rooms over the last two years. They recently added two en-suite bedrooms at the ancient George Inn in historic Lacock and three high-quality rooms at town centre pub, the Kings Arms in Melksham.
Hubbox win Best Chain in Bristol award
South West restaurant group Hubbox won the Best Chain category at the Bristol Good Food Awards on 25th February. The award comes less than a year after they opened in Bristol and saw them beat The Ivy, Wahaca and Giggling Squid to the prize. Founder Richard Boon said: “Great food, value and service in a nice environment will always prevail! We were certainly in esteemed company in this category so we were stoked to win, although ironically we don’t see Hubbox as a chain, just a small family of great places to eat and drink.”
Hubbox have restaurants in St Ives, Truro, Pentewan Sands, Exeter and Plymouth as well as Bristol, their first site outside Devon and Cornwall. However, they are also due to open in Taunton this spring, open a second site in Plymouth and move to larger premises in Exeter.
Hubbox specialises in “American inspired street food & great drinks”.
Butcombe to reopen renovated Dorset pub
Butcombe Brewery have announced the reopening of The Castle Inn near Lulworth Cove is set for March 28th after an extensive 3-month refurbishment, following its acquisition in Autumn 2017.
The pub is the Bristol-based brewery’s first site in Dorset and has been “transformed into a stylish destination inn” with 12 bedrooms, each boasting an individual design and unique furnishings.
Interiors include “tasteful nods to the building’s traditional architecture and original design elements evident throughout the bar, extended dining room and bedrooms, brought to life with bright, contemporary fabrics and eye-catching feature walls.”
Head chef Ashley Walcott (who has previously worked at Fat Duck in Bray under Heston Blumenthal) will oversee a daily-changing menu with seafood and Dorset produce sourced within 30 miles of the restaurant.
Jayson Perfect, managing director at Butcombe Pubs and Inns, said: “The Castle Inn is an incredibly special property close to the hearts of locals and the frequent visitors to this beautiful corner of Dorset’s coastline, so we knew that the renovation had to preserve the distinct character of the property and do its heritage justice. We can’t wait to open its doors and show everyone exactly what we’ve been working so hard to create.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Prima bake new gourmet sausage rolls
Cornish-based Prima Bakeries are launching a new range of gourmet sausage rolls, available to wholesale clients and in-store at their Scorrier bakery, near Redruth. The two new flavours are The Classic Gourmet and The Spicy Mexican.
The Classic Gourmet is made from 60% pork, thyme, basil and cracked pepper. The Spicy Mexican is made from puff pastry sprinkled with chilli flakes with 60% pork, chilli, paprika and cumin.
Mark Norton, who has been running the bakery since 2010, said: “We noticed a demand for gourmet sausage rolls and with the spike in the food to go market we decided to develop the two new flavours“.
For details on wholesale orders call 01209 820321.
Sharp’s launch new pilsner brand
Sharp’s Brewery has announced a new brand and identity, Offshore, for its Cornish Pilsner. The rebranded 4.8% ABV pilsner will also be available to off-trade in a 330ml can with the keg product, Sharp’s Pilsner, to be renamed Offshore from April.
Offshore has “been inspired by those rare moments when the wind goes offshore, creating perfect waves off the North Cornwall coast, Offshore provides a perfectly blended balance of tropical fruit with a crisp, clean taste and a brisk, citrus finish. Offshore has been brewed using a pale Pilsner malt, creating a refreshing flavour and herbal lemon aroma.”
James Nicholls, senior brand manager at Sharp’s Brewery, said: “Offshore is the result of our ongoing product development and innovation pipeline here in Rock. Cornish Pilsner was popular amongst Sharp’s drinkers so we wanted to retain the much-loved taste but refresh the brand to bring it in line with the rest of the Sharp’s family. This re-launched Pilsner is continually recipe-matched and taste-matched using the same ingredients to ensure we provide the same great flavour profile and consistency.”
Ed Hughes, Beer Sommelier at Sharp’s Brewery, said: “This Pilsner matches perfectly with light fish dishes, such as lemon butter plaice, which is complemented by Offshore’s crisp, citrus fruit taste notes… Pilsners are set to be a huge trend in the beer industry in 2018. The US continues to lead the way on the global stage, and we’re seeing a lot of experimentation with both pilsners and lagers.”
Offshore will join Sharp’s portfolio of beers that includes the UK’s best-selling cask ale Doom Bar and Atlantic, a pale ale that features in England and Wales’ top 30 best-selling ales.
Nisbets offer three new tableware ranges
Nisbets have unveiled three “on trend” tablewares ranges that “combine good looks with day to day practicality.” All come with Nisbets’ Edge Chip Warranty.
The new Olympia Fresca range has a hand-painted look which combines vibrant patterns and reflects a Mexican design influence. It comes in three different designs and four colourways for mix and match options for Mediterranean, Mexican or Caribbean dishes.
The Olympia Chia collection, has unique irregular edges and a distinctive reactive glaze, for a relaxed, hand-finished look “particularly well suited to serving natural looking, healthy menu options.”
The Olympia Birch range is a new nature-inspired collection that has a “natural and organic finish”.
All the new ranges are microwave and dishwasher safe.
Visit www.nisbets.co.uk or call 0845 140 5555 for more details.
Framptons announces new head chef in Bath
Sam Stone has been appointed as the new head chef of Framptons Café Bar and Kitchen in Bath. He is moving from the independent restaurant group’s Tunbridge Wells site to take over at the restaurant on Grand Parade.
A new menu will launch in March with all ingredients sourced within a 20-mile radius. Dishes include homemade crumpets with whisky and oak smoked Somerset beef short rib, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and pickled shallots; and rosemary crusted cannon of spring lamb, fondant potato, parsnip and a red wine jus.
Welcome to Excellence courses
8th March – 3rd May 2018
Exeter, Bournemouth and St Austell
“Welcome Host Gold customer service courses and Welcome All disability awareness courses running in locations across Devon, Dorset and Cornwall. Enhance the customer experience and reap the rewards in increased customer loyalty and repeat business. Provide great service to every single one of your customers – smart businesses know how to make everyone welcome.”
Further information available at http://www.purplecloudconsultancy.com
To book https://purplecloudconsultancy.digitickets.co.uk/tickets
The Publican Awards
13th March 2018
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. Gold standard comedian and top television presenter Rob Brydon will be joining us to host the awards.”
2018 BAPTA Ball and Award Ceremony
15th March 2018
The Lighthouse, Poole. Dorset
“Set to be one of the largest tourism events in Dorset with over 500 guests attending, to celebrate the achievements of business that contribute to tourism and hospitality across the BH postcode area.”
To find out more and to purchase tickets, visit http://bapta.co.uk/
Art of Being Brilliant
15th March 2018
Westpoint Centre, Exeter
“Businesses have no divine right to succeed. As competitive pressures and customer expectations continue to rise, it’s your people that will ultimately make the difference. The key to a brighter future is brilliant people. It’s as simple as that! Let us give you and your staff a motivational boost for 2018 through our inspiring seminar the Art of Being Brilliant.”
Further information available at http://www.purplecloudconsultancy.com
To book https://purplecloudconsultancy.digitickets.co.uk/tickets
Northern Restaurant & Bar Show 2018
20th – 21st March 201
Manchester Central Convention Complex
“Northern Restaurant & Bar returns bringing the entire industry together for two days of networking, discovery and innovation. It is the place to source new products and services from 275 exhibiting suppliers and be inspired by 65 live food & drink demos.”
British Tourism & Travel Show 2018
21st – 22nd March 2018
“Britain & Ireland’s essential domestic tourism exhibition. It is packed full of inspirational travel ideas to ensure that your forthcoming brochures, programmes and itineraries are fresh and innovative, even for the most seasoned traveller.”
Grow your business! Resilience and planning training workshop
28th March 2018
9.30 – 4.30
7, Kingsdown Orchard, Hyde Road, Swindon SN2 7RR
“This Amelia Bishop roundtable business training workshop looks at the opportunities for your business out of Brexit. We are giving you the tools to ensure your business continues to grow during these changing and uncertain times by sharing our knowledge and experience and equipping you with the tools to prepare and transform your business in the years ahead.”
For more information & to book – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grow-your-business-business-resilience-and-growth-workshop-tickets-43832545323