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Apex Hotels remove plastic straws
The national family-owned Apex Hotels group has promised to remove plastic straws from its hotels, bars and restaurants in time for World Environment Day on 5th June 2018.
The hotel group calculated that over 33,000 straws were used in the past 11 months in Apex properties. Customers will instead be offered paper or biodegradable vegware alternatives.
Angela Vickers, CEO of Apex Hotels, said: “It is our duty to be environmentally conscious so it was important to us to ensure plastic straws were banned from all our hotels. When you think of the potential billions of straws that are used every year here in the UK, this is a step in the right direction to ensure we are doing our bit to help reduce the plastic that is put into the environment.”
Apex Hotels will only stock Plastico PLA Cold Drink Straws which are made from 100% renewable resources, and the Utopia Paper Straw Range which is fully recyclable, biodegradable and food safe.
All the hotels in the Apex portfolio, including those in London, Glasgow, Dundee, Bath and Edinburgh, have also just become water refilling stations as part of the Refill UK wide initiative to reduce plastic waste.
This means Apex Hotels will be listed on the Refill app as a refill station, allowing members of the public to come into the hotel with their own water bottle and refill with water for free.
Star licensees can now access beers from 900 brewers
Star Pubs & Bars have announced that its 2,900 licensees now have access to beers from 900 brewers across the country – nearly half the brewers in the UK.
The company are increasing their cask beer range to over 300, giving it “one of the most comprehensive beer choices for licensees of any pub company.” This expanded range complements the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) deal agreed by Star last year. Lawson Mountstevens, Managing Director for Star Pubs & Bars said: “Great beer is at the heart of great pubs. And cask beer is completely unique to the on-trade giving it a huge point of difference for drinkers. Every pub in our estate is different which means our entrepreneurial licensees can tailor their beer offering to their customer, whilst adding value to their business.
“With 2,900 pubs from Penzance to Stornoway, and Great Yarmouth to Holyhead, getting beers from breweries all over the country, this is hugely positive news for millions of consumers, thousands of licensees and the entire brewing industry.”
Sri Lankan street food brand expanding
The Coconut Tree, which specialises in Sri Lankan street food and cocktails, have announced plans to expand across UK towns and cities.
They are looking to add a site in central Bristol in addition to their existing restaurants in Cheltenham and Oxford. They have appointed leisure property specialists Fleurets to explore further sites.
The restaurants serve Sri Lankan street food, tapas-style, and based on the ethos of always having an extra place at the table. Dishes include coconut samba, hoppers and spicy battered cuttlefish, accompanied by cocktails.
Brand director Anna Garrod, previously of Po Na Na and the Lucky Onion group, said: “Both Cheltenham and Oxford have been welcomed by customers and critics alike and we believe strongly in the brand, which we are confident will work throughout the UK. The quality of the food and atmosphere sets us apart and we are excited about the next phase of our growth.”
Kevin Conibear, head of urban markets at Fleurets said: “Whilst, unfortunately, we have witnessed some casualties in recent times, good quality concepts from emerging operators are thriving and The Coconut Tree has quickly established itself as a highly respected bar and restaurant, backed by an experienced team, with the quality to grow throughout the UK.”
Self-catering specialists add new properties to meet staycation demand
Self-catering company Beach Retreats have added 20 new properties to their portfolio since the start of 2018, giving them a total of 159 holiday lets across Cornwall.
The company says this increase reflects research by NFU Mutual that staycations are on the rise with Cornwall in the top four destinations. They say they are already “seeing the benefits with May half term at a 98% occupancy despite ‘Beast from the East’ getting spring off to a delayed start.”
Beach Retreats managing director Andrew Easton said: “Finding your ideal home from home is about booking the right property, in the best location, that you trust will offer a complete experience. This is why we work closely with local businesses and individuals to offer activities such as wild food foraging and family yoga to our guests staying by the beach. We’re always striving to bring the best of what Cornwall has to offer to the doorstep, to keep people coming back year-round.”
Beach Retreats have properties in popular coastal areas including Watergate Bay, Mousehole, Widemouth Bay and Fistral.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Belvoir launch Organic Lemon & Mint Cordial
Belvoir Fruit Farms have launched a new Organic Lemon & Mint Cordial to add to its range of organic drinks which it says are aimed at “consumers seeking indulgent simplicity”
The cordial is made from a blend of organic lemon juice, organic sugar, and aromatic garden mint. Yellow in colour, it comes concentrated in 500ml bottles which make around 22 glasses.
Belvoir’s range also includes Organic Elderflower Cordial, Organic Elderflower & Rose and Organic Ginger Cordial. They are widely available in supermarkets, wholesalers and farm shops. Visit www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk for more information.
Salcombe Brewery’s new pale ale
Salcombe Brewery have introduced its new Salcombe Pale Ale as the first keg product in its range of craft beers.
Salcombe Pale Ale (4.6% ABV) is also available in 330ml bottles and sits alongside the other beers in the range including Seahorse, Lifesaver, Devon Amber, Shingle Bay and Salcombe Gold.
Sam Beaman, who joined Salcombe Brewery as one of the two brewers last year, said: “It’s been exciting to create a new beer which we know will have a huge following as it’s so on trend. Part of the great appeal of being a brewer is that you can continually be innovating as well as ensuring that everything made is of the highest possible standard.”
RAK Porcelain’s black tableware range launches
RAK Porcelain have appointed Parsley in Time to distribute Karbon, its upmarket black range of porcelain tableware.
Karbon will be Parsley in Time’s first launch since being appointed as a distributor by RAK, one of the world’s leading tableware manufacturers, based in the UAE and with a production capacity of over 28 million pieces per year. The range features a selection of plates, bowls and cups in a shimmering black colourway that’s sprinkled with crystalline specks.
Rob Blunderfield, marketing manager of Parsley in Time said: “The flamboyance of the Karbon design is typical of the brand. RAK Porcelain is a brilliant extension to our tableware portfolio. Their range of colours, shapes and finishes offers caterers a real point of difference for table presentation.” Karbon is available in a wide choice of shapes and sizes. There are square and rectangular plates, including an ultra-slim design measuring 33 x 11cm, as well as flat and deep coupe plates and oval platters. Add in the various bowls, cups and saucers and Karbon comprises 34 different pieces.
Karbon has list prices starting from £3.28 per piece, for the 11cm plate. For more details go to www.parsleyintime.co.uk, call 020 8317 5080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carpigiani’s new ‘freeze and go’ batch freezer
Dessert equipment manufacturer Carpigiani have launched the Freeze&Go, which they claim is “the most compact countertop professional batch freezer in its class.” Introduced to the market at this year’s Commercial Kitchen Show, the Freeze&Go can produce 5kg of fresh, high-quality gelato or sorbet per hour, and up to five portions in six minutes, with a compact 300mm width. Carpigiani suggest that with their new machine, chefs will be able to “create wonderfully fresh gelato and diverse dessert offerings, on demand and without wasting valuable kitchen space” and also “build a menu around fresh, seasonal ingredients, packed full of vibrant flavours, without wastage.” Paul Ingram, managing director of Carpigiani UK, said: “We are delighted to bring the new Carpigiani Freeze&Go to market following a number of years of extensive research and development. Combining many of the state-of-the-art features found in our larger appliances, the Freeze&Go offers outstanding consistency and quality, yet achieves unrivalled space efficiency thanks to its compact, countertop design, making it the smallest batch freezer of its type on the market. “Ideal for chefs and operators looking for a solution to creating limited portions of authentic gelato or sorbet for maximum freshness, the Freeze&Go is able to produce up to 5kg per hour. Finished in an eye-catching cream colour, reminiscent of the Carpigiani heritage, the new Freeze&Go is ideal for use both front and back of house.”
Visit www.carpigiani.co.uk for more information.
Cheltenham Hotel sold to former oil industry exec
The Beaumont House Hotel in Cheltenham has been bought off a guide price of £2.1 million by Fiona Burke of Willow Boutique Hotels, in a deal brokered by Colliers International.
Burke has moved to the hospitality sector following a 20-year career with BP including a six-year stint at Canary Wharf working in currency risk management and oil derivative sales.
Commenting on her plans for the hotel she said: “…there is plenty of potential to build up the business, by adding more rooms and small suites aimed at the business traveller. They often stay over for two or more nights and love the idea of their own kitchen space. I also want to cater more for families and hope to add spa treatment facilities along with daytime coffee and cakes.” Peter Brunt, a director in the Hotels team at Colliers International, said Beaumont House was arguably the pick of Cheltenham’s privately owned guesthouses.
One of Britain’s oldest pubs up for sale
The Cridford Inn in the village of Trusham in the heart of the Teign Valley in Devon dates back to 825AD and has been put up for sale.
The current owners are inviting offers for the leasehold of the business or the freehold.
Commercial property specialists Charles Darrow are on the hunt for new owners. Director Jon Clyne said: “Our clients purchased the Cridford to preserve the public house for the village and locals alike and having heavily invested in many aspects of the building, they are now keen to step away and concentrate on other business interests within the trade.
“They are very much open to proposals on a tenancy, lease, or would consider a straight freehold sale.”
The village inn was bought by its present owners in 2007 who are now selling to pursue other business interests. It boasts a thatched roof, small windows, part panelled and part exposed stone walls and slate floors and has a lounge bar, restaurant, function room and four ensuite bedrooms. It is also reputed to be haunted by two ghosts – a nun from the early history of the property and a Cavalier from Trusham’s conflict with neighbouring Ashton during the Civil War.
Bellavita Expo London: Italian Food & Beverage Trade Show
17th – 19th June 2018
Business Design Centre, London
“Bellavita Expo London is the UK’s biggest trade event promoting the finest Italian food and beverages to thousands of buyers, as well as educational content including the latest trends, masterclasses with Michelin-starred Chefs, seminars and debates.”