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Harbour win AA best UK Hotel Group
Harbour Hotels were awarded the AA Hotel Group of the Year at the AA Hospitality Awards 2018 held on September 24th at Grosvenor House in London.
AA inspectors identified “strong physical products, professional teams delivering good service and hospitality and a real passion for quality food led by Alex Aitken, Director of Food & Beverage.”
Other winners included Great Fosters in Egham, Surrey which was AA Hotel of the Year for England. John Strauss, former general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel London Park Lane, picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award. Claude Bosi, chef-patron of Claude Bosi at Bibendum, was named Chefs’ Chef of the Year.
For a full list of winners, go to https://www.theaa.com/hospitality-awards/hospitality-awards-winners
Michelin announces Bib Gourmand winners
Michelin has revealed the pubs and restaurants who have received its second-tier award, the Bib Gourmand, including a number of places in the South West.
Bib Gourmands are awarded for pubs and restaurants that offer “simple yet skilful cooking and great prices”.
There are a total of 143 names on the list, with 27 new additions. They include Antidote in Ilfracombe, Devon; Bell’s Diner & Bar Rooms in Bristol, Leaping Hare in Stanton, Gloucestershire; Root in Bristol; Tare in Bristol; The Bell Inn in Langford, Gloucestershire; The Green in Sherborne, Dorset; and The Crown Inn in Upton, Hampshire.
Michelin’s Great Britain and Ireland director, Rebecca Burr, said: “Prices and value for money are important but the Bib Gourmand is about much more – it’s about the ethos and philosophy of a restaurant.”
St Austell announces record turnover
St Austell Brewery has reported a 10.3% increase in annual turnover to a record level of £169.3 million in the 52-week period to 30th December 2017.
The South West independent brewer, which has a portfolio of 179 pubs, invested £15.7 million in capital expenditure including the opening of the new Hare brewery and bottling line in Warmley, following their purchase of Bath Ales in 2016.
James Staughton, Chief Executive of St. Austell Brewery, said: “The company’s approach of investing for the long term allows us to take strategic decisions that we believe are in the best interest of all stakeholders.
“The business has enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth over recent years. This growth in demand has led to an increased need for investment in production facilities, IT systems, infrastructure and people. We are committed to ensuring this investment will enable the business to grow profitably and sustainably.
“2017 was a good year for our pubs, beer brands and wholesale businesses with all areas performing well and outperforming the challenging market. Particular beer highlights included Proper Job IPA and Korev Cornish Lager which grew by 16% and 14.4% respectively while overall barrelage of St Austell Brewery beers grew by 2.7% in the year. Our managed pub estate achieved like for like sales growth of 3% while income from our tenanted pubs grew by 6.4%.”
Deer Park focuses on weddings and events
East Devon’s Deer Park Country House venue has announced it will focus exclusively on weddings and events in the future.
The Georgian manor house, set in 80 acres of countryside near Honiton, employs 55 staff and has until now offered four-star accommodation, dining and conference facilities.
Mark Godfrey, MD of Deer Park Country House, said: “The demand for Deer Park as a wedding and event venue just keeps growing. One of the secrets of a successful business is to respond to what’s happening in the real world, so we feel it’s the right time to focus on that side of our business and specialise in creating one-off celebrations for customers who are looking for something truly out of the ordinary.
“The great thing about this new chapter is that it’s a logical progression of all the massive effort and investment we’ve been putting in over the past few years. The house and estate have never looked better, and the brilliant team behind the scenes are excited by this change of direction. We have always regarded ourselves as part of the local community, and hope that we will in future be drawing customers to Devon not just from all around the UK, but from all over the world.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
New Forest reveal five festive ice cream flavours
New Forest Ice Cream are launching five new flavours for Christmas. They are Mince Pie, Cinnamon, Whisky & Orange, Gin & Pink Grapefruit Sorbet and Bucks Fizz Sorbet.
Key ingredients include real shortcake in the Mince Pie ice cream, plus Twisted Nose gin and Islay single malt whisky.
Christina Veal, Director, New Forest Ice Cream comments: “We understand the pressure Christmas brings to the foodservice industry and how having dedicated products to hand, not only give menus that festive touch but also saves valuable time and resources. Whether you’re looking for familiar favourites like Mince Pie or something a little bit more elegant like an alcoholic sorbet, there’s certainly something for every menu in our range of festive flavours.”
Visit www.newforesticecream.com or call 01590 647611 for more details.
Sharp’s launch limited edition stout collaboration
Sharp’s Brewery are launching a new limited edition beer, Crosshaven, in partnership with Irish craft brewery Franciscan Well and its brewing manager Christopher Cook.
Crosshaven Oatmeal Stout will be the fifth beer this year in Sharp’s limited edition series, following the cask lager collaboration with Czech brewery Staropramen.
North Cornwall-based Sharp’s describe the 4.2% ABV Crossshaven as a “smooth velvety oatmeal stout that pairs well with hearty and autumnal dishes such as stews, steak and ale pies, oysters and rich chocolate desserts. With a distinctive smooth flavour and balanced sweetness, Crosshaven is the perfect brew to be enjoyed with the changing of the seasons.”
Sharp’s Brewery’s Head Brewer Andrew Madden said, “Together with Christopher and Franciscan Well we have created a truly mouth-watering stout that we are very proud of. The oatmeal enhances the body of the beer and the roasted barley delivers wonderful depths of aroma and flavour. We are really excited about having this brew on the market until the end of October and to have such a great Irish-Cornish partnership that allows us to continue creating innovative new brews.”
Stroud Brewery’s small-batch brews
Organic beer producer, Stroud Brewery, are launching a range of small-batch limited edition brews.
The first is LOL, or Light Organic Lager, a 4% ABV lager brewed using traditional lager malt and organic Brewers Gold and Sazz hops. It is available in 330ml bottles.
The second beer is a collaboration with Toast Ale called Melba. The 4.4% ABV beer is brewed using unsold organic Hobbs House Bakery bread plus organic Simcoe, Chinook and Mandarina Bavaria hops. It will be available in cask, keg and 330ml bottles with 5% of the revenues going to Stroud District Foodbank.
Greg Pilley, MD of Stroud Brewery, said: “We have developed this range of small-batch brews primarily to meet customer demand. As we see sales of organic produce up year on year, with sales of organic beer, wine and spirits up by 8.7%, it’s important that we are leading this from a brewery perspective and offering as much diversity in the category as we can. These small-batch brews we believe will also encourage new audiences into the category to try different styles of craft ales.”
Both beers are available to trade customers nationwide via Eebria https://www.eebriatrade.com/
Wickwar’s Halloween brew
Wickwar Wessex Brewing Co. have launched a Halloween themed ale. Wessex witchcraft is a rich 4.6% ruby ale with a “hint of bitterness and spice.”
Created using four malt and three home grown hops, it’s made with Cotswold water and has “cedar aromas and an orange, biscuit flavour.”
For more information visit wickwarbrewing.com.
Artis go gold for Christmas
Glassware distributor Artis have extended their range of vintage glasses with selected styles featuring a festive gold band around the rim.
Set to “be the sensation of the Christmas period” according to Artis, four lines of the Speakeasy and 1924 collections of vintage style glasses will be available with the gold rim.
List prices vary from £4.90 for the gold banded Speakeasy coupe to £5.50 for the 1924 gold banded gin goblet.
For more details call 020 8391 5544 or go to www.artis-uk.com.
Bath Apex appoints new GM
The Apex City of Bath Hotel has announced the appointment of Michael Musgrave as their general manager.
He joins the four-star, 177-bed property, now the city’s largest hotel, from a role as business development director at ‘food solutions’ company PSL. He has over 20 years’ experience in the industry, mostly at four-star hotels.
On his appointment, he said: “The hotel has achieved so much since opening its doors last year – not only providing Apex’s signature warmer welcome to the thousands of guests who have visited and stayed with us, but also bringing in more than half a million pounds to the local economy thanks to a fantastic conference and events offering.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to build the hotel’s reputation for offering a first-class guest experience to anyone who comes through our doors – whether they’re stopping by for a coffee, attending a conference or bringing the family for a relaxing stay.”
Cotswolds hotel has a new price of £1.6m
Burleigh Court Hotel near Minchinhampton in the Cotswolds is on the market with Colliers International at a new price of £1.6m for the freehold.
The 18-bedroom Georgian country house hotel was built around 1800 and remodelled a century later by Clough Williams-Ellis, the creator of the Portmeirion village in Wales.
Well located for Gatcombe Park and Westonbirt Arboretum, it is situated in two and a half acres of grounds in Stroud’s Golden Valley.
Peter Brunt from Colliers International’s Hotels team said: “The hotel’s location enables it to thrive on a good mixture of commercial and tourism guests.
“In addition to solid local trade business, many visitors drop in for the National Hunt Racing at Cheltenham and of course the Badminton Horse Trials.
“Our clients have owned Burleigh Court for the past 15 years and run the business under management, but with a young family to look after the decision has been taken to sell the hotel.”
The Restaurant Show
1st – 3rd October 2018
“The Restaurant Show is a trade-only event that offers commercial opportunities, knowledge, development, culinary discovery and networking for anyone working in: restaurants, pubs, hotels, leisure clubs, bars, cafes, contract catering, private catering, airline catering.” The show will include a dedicated Bar & Pub area and the Catering Equipment Expo.
Weymouth Guest House Owners Meet & Mingle Networking Event with Natwest
11th October 2018 – 2pm – 4pm
The Leam Hotel, Weymouth. Dorset
Join us and your fellow Weymouth guest house owners to pick up some top tips from colleagues and professionals. This is a free event, open to all regardless of your banking arrangements. The event will include a presentation with a Q & A session from:
David Potter – Dorset Councils Partnership
Simon Barrett – NatWest Business Banking
To register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/weymouth-guest-house-owners-meet-mingle-natwestboost-tickets-48954668732?utm_term=eventurl_text
Caffè Culture Show 2018
16th – 17th October 2018
Business Design Centre, London
“Now in its 12th year, Caffè Culture 2018 has established itself as the leading trade-only event for the UK’s café and coffee bar industry.”
Independent Hotel Show
16th – 17th October 2018
“The show presents a collection of over 300 innovative product and service providers from across the hotel supply chain.”
SALSA HACCP Level 2 Training Course for Breweries
23rd October 2018
Hanlon’s Brewery, Newton St Cyres, Exeter EX5 5AE
“Understanding HACCP is essential for producing safe products and becoming SALSA Approved. Developed especially for and dedicated to micro-breweries, this full day, practical and interactive course is aimed at those responsible for the development and application of HACCP.”
To book, please visit https://www.salsafood.co.uk/shared/index.php?p=17
Food & Drink Business Workshop – Strategies for a Successful Food Business
30th October, 2018 9:30am – 1:30pm
Dartington Hall, Totnes TQ9 6EL
This workshop is tailored to food & drink producers; practical ways to manage the balance between sales, marketing and finance to ensure profitable growth. The event will include presentations from Dartington’s own Barbara King who has a wealth of experience as a retailer and Victoria Townsend, Head of Retail Innovation at Bidfresh.
To book, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/food-for-thought-a-workshop-for-food-drink-businesses-tickets-46400444980