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Kids options less healthy at visitor attractions
A league table ranking children’s food and drink at the country’s top visitor attractions has found that the children’s food is typically less healthy than adult’s.
Only 5% of parents asked say they think children’s food at popular attractions is good enough. Parents are twice as likely to think visitor attractions serve good food to adults, compared to the food they serve to children, according to the Soil Association’s Out to Lunch campaign
Key findings from the report include:
– Attractions are using promotional deals to push unhealthy junk food on families.
– Attractions are not being honest with parents about where children’s food comes from.
– British attractions are failing to support British farmers.
– Attractions are serving over-sized children’s puddings loaded with sugar.
– There is no correlation between meal price and league table position. Children’s meals at the top five attractions are, on average, 5p cheaper than children’s meals at the bottom five.
Rob Percival, coordinator of the Out to Lunch campaign, said: “It’s unacceptable that popular attractions are denying children healthy choices. The attractions at the top of the league table are showing that healthy and high-quality food can be fun and affordable. The attractions at the bottom are not giving families the opportunity to enjoy a balanced meal. Some of the food on offer is simply junk. Legoland should be re-named ‘Deep Fried Crap Land’.”
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Canteen at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo offered the healthiest restaurant menu, with two portions of veg included with every child and adult meal. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo scored in fourth place overall. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “The point of River Cottage’s collaboration with Whipsnade is to show that food that’s a treat for the whole family can still be healthy, vibrant and bursting with veg. Our kids’ menu ensures that our young diners get at least two portions of fresh veg included in their meal – that’s really important to us. Of course, we don’t see it as ‘job done’. We’re devising new dishes all the time and hope to make our menu even healthier and even veggier!”
Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh topped the league table, serving seasonal and organic produce from their own market garden. A variety of ingredients are sourced locally and from within Scotland, including all the meat on the menu, and meals are freshly prepared on site. All meat is farm assured and fish is MSC certified. Another notable venue is the Science Museum which has opened the first fully vegetarian café at a major UK attraction.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen seeks CVA with 17 sites to close
The Gourmet Burger Kitchen chain plans to close 17 sites to stay afloat after running up millions of pounds of losses.
Owners Famous Brands has become the latest restaurant group in 2018 to file for a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) and warned that 250 jobs are at risk. Earlier this month, they said GBK has booked a £47 million loss due to tough trading conditions.
Derrian Nadauld, managing director of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, said: “Given the challenging UK casual dining environment and over-rented UK restaurant estate, we are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability.
“We have held constructive discussions with our key landlords and strategic partners and will now seek creditor approval on our CVA proposal. This will provide greater security for our staff, suppliers, landlords and customers. GBK is a fantastic brand and with the strength of our core estate, we are confident the Company will emerge stronger from this process.”
Matthew Richards, a director at Grant Thornton, the accountants appointed to pursue the CVA, said: “The casual dining trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging, driven by a change in dining behaviour, long-term consumer trends and increased competition.”
Gourmet Burger Kitchen currently has nine sites in the South West including Bath, Exeter, Southampton and three in Bristol
Harbour Brewing opens R&D facility
Cornwall’s Harbour Brewing has opened a new 900 square metre research and development site to develop a new range of experimental and limited-edition beers.
The facility in North Cornwall features new equipment designed to expand the brewery’s capacity and capabilities. It is hoped beers developed there will utilise fruit from the on-site orchard, foraged herbs and native yeasts.
The project is being headed up by former Redchurch and Beavertown head brewer James Rylance. He said: “For anyone like me – with a passion for pushing the boundaries of beer and experimenting with new flavours – this new project is a dream. We’re surrounded by some of the best ingredients I’ve ever encountered, growing wild in the fields and hedgerows, and have planted lots of additional herbs on the land,”
“The new kit includes one of the country’s only mobile coolships, so we can now cultivate wild yeast from anywhere – whether that’s beneath a blossom-covered apple tree, or in a grassy paddock. The result is beer that we can truly call our own – with flavours unique to this spot in Cornwall, impossible to replicate anywhere else in the world.”
The first beers produced in the facility were available at Bristol Craft Beer Festival in mid-September. These included a hibiscus and pineapple sage pale ale, a lemon verbena and sage saison, and a cherry sour.
The new site features a large storage facility to help meet the increasing demand for Harbour’s products, as well as the business’ first tasting room with extensive outdoor space for large-scale tasting events.
Managing director Eddie Lofthouse added: “This project has been on our wish list for some time, so it’s brilliant to see it come to fruition.
“We’re extremely proud of our core range, and the team continues to create award-winning beers. The new R&D facility is an opportunity to take things one step further, with the capacity to be much more flexible and responsive as the seasons and ingredients change.”
The new releases will be available to purchase wholesale through distributor Kicking Horse, and direct to consumer via Harbour’s website.
HOSPA courses get Institute of Hospitality endorsement
HOSPA’s programmes in Finance Management and Revenue Management have been officially endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality.
The endorsement by the professional body for those working in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries involves independent evaluation by the Professional Review Panel.
The courses’ programmes were praised for elements including the quality of the online material, the access to e-libraries and databases and the work-based nature of the assessments.
Jane Pendlebury, Chief Executive of HOSPA, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that our Financial and Revenue Management programmes have been endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality. We know the quality of our offering, but it’s wonderful that it’s received official recognition and will serve to reinforce the benefit of participation to those looking to enrol.”
Head of Professional Development at HOSPA, Debra Adams commented: “This accolade confirms that our courses adhere to best practice standards for the delivery of online education programmes, are relevant to the needs of the industry and meet a wide range of essential criteria relating to quality standards and quality learning outcomes. We are committed to ensuring that our courses remain relevant and specific to the needs of those pursuing careers in these important roles in the hospitality sector. This endorsement provides evidence that we are fulfilling that promise. On successful completion of each level of our courses, following the submission of project work and the passing of examinations, the learner will gain international recognition and added value with a certificate endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality”.
North Devon holiday park sold
Europa Holiday Park, a holiday village on the North Devon coast has been sold off a guide price of £2,500,000 by Christie & Co.
The resort includes surf pods, caravans and glamping huts as well as camping and touring holiday facilities. It boasts a clubhouse, shop, restaurant, takeaway and indoor pool. It offers 52 self-catering units comprising of seven lodges and 45 cabins, plus 119 electric pitches available for caravans, motorhomes, trailer tents and campervans.
Situated within reach of Woolacombe, it was sold to experienced operator Henry Simmons.
Stephen Champion, Senior Business Agent based in Christie & Co’s Exeter office who handled the sale, comments, “We are thrilled to announce the sale to Henry Simmons. We carried out a comprehensive marketing campaign which resulted in interest from a variety of buyer groups.
“The buyer pool continues to expand for hospitality businesses in the South West due to a lack of quality opportunities available to satisfy demand from buyers who are keen to acquire proven robust profitable assets and financially proven to deliver within an agreed timeline.”
St Austell agrees 2-year Nicholson’s Pale Ale deal
Cornwall-based St Austell Brewery have agreed a new two-year deal to brew the flagship Nicholson’s Pale Ale.
Brewed exclusively by St Austell, the 4% ABV beer has been a permanent fixture in all Nicholson’s pubs since it was first launched in 2012. A new white pump clip has also been introduced.
Will Prideaux, Operations Director, Nicholson’s Pubs said: “At the heart of our ethos is serving the very best British ales at a consistently high quality – our Pale Ale is no exception. Drawing on over 160 years of experience, we chose St Austell Brewery to create Nicholson’s Pale Ale for us. The brand has become a staple of every Nicholson’s pub across the country.”
“The beer market has changed considerably since we first launched Nicholson’s Pale Ale. Bar standout has never been more important, and we hope the new-look badge will create even more recognition and interest for our much-loved ale. We’re all delighted with the outcome and look forward to seeing the revamped clips in our pubs.”
Roger Ryman, St Austell Brewery’s Brewing Director, said: “Great cask beer, like Nicholson’s Pale Ale is unsurpassable and an integral part of British pub culture. Nicholson’s Pale Ale is a quality classic English style ale which is timeless. We’re delighted to continue brewing it and look forward to continue seeing the beer being served in all of Nicholson’s pubs.”
Food & DRINK NEWS
Pipers Farm launch range of pies
Devon-based online butcher, Pipers Farm, have launched a new range of handmade pies with four different fillings.
The Steak and Otter Ale Pie uses the farm’s award-winning Red Ruby beef and root vegetables. The Chicken and Ham Pie combines two of Pipers Farm’s “most celebrated meats”. The Butter Chicken Pie is filled with the Properly Free Range Chicken that Pipers produces while the “hearty vegetarian option” is provided by the Goat’s Cheese and Spinach Pie.
Pipers Farm’s entire range of Handmade Pies are all available to order from www.pipersfarm.com, RRP £3.95.
Salcombe Gin go sloe in new collaboration
Salcombe Gin are releasing their first sloe & damson gin on the 1st November as part of the Voyager series.
Developed in collaboration with Portuguese wine-maker Dirk Niepoort, the gin is named ‘Guiding Star’ after one of the Salcombe fruit schooners built in 1874. The new recipe has been created to take “into account the residual sugar content of the fruit and handpicked botanicals which would complement the natural aromas and flavours whilst drawing out the fruit’s natural sweetness.” Rather than adding sugar as is the case in most sloe gins, the gin gets natural sweetness as it is finished for three months in an 80-year-old tawny port cask that previously held Niepoort’s Colheita 1997 20-year-old tawny port.
Dirk said: “It was a pleasure to work with the team at Salcombe Distilling Company to create this truly exceptional gin. Angus and I worked together at our winery in Portugal to refine the recipe, choosing botanicals that would complement the complex aromas and flavours in our tawny port and to hand-pick the perfect cask for ageing the liquid to ensure a perfectly balanced flavour that the Niepoort family are proud of.”
“We are extremely excited to be working with Dirk Niepoort and his team at the world famous Niepoort Winery to create this very special addition to the Salcombe Gin Voyager Series. With a shared love for distinctive flavours and combining tradition with innovation, we have worked together to create this exceptional premium sloe & damson gin.” commented Angus Lugsdin, Salcombe Gin co-founder.
Guiding Star is priced at £65 per 50cl bottle and is available from selected independent retailers and online at salcombegin.com.
Edwardian mansion hotel for sale
The Grade II Fieldways Hotel and Health Club near Trowbridge in Wiltshire is on the market for £1.2 million with Colliers International.
The 13-bedroom, family-run hotel in Hilperton is set in its own gardens and has a bar, restaurant and function rooms.
Ed Jefferson from Colliers International’s Hotels team said: “Our clients have owned the hotel since 1991 and set about an extensive refurbishment adding the function facilities, gym, spa, steam room, sauna and swimming pool.
“Recognising that the hotel and health club is now in need of a further round of updating and refurbishment, they have decided to retire.”
The hotel generates net sales in excess of £369,000 and is located just off the A361, near to Longleat Safari Park, Bath, Stonehenge and Lacock Abbey.
Cornwall Tourism Awards Ceremony
1st November 2018
“The ‘night of the year’ for the cream of the Cornish Tourism Industry, with approx 400 finalists and sponsors gathering for what will be the biggest ever Cornwall Tourism Awards occasion.”
Dorset Tourism Awards Ceremony
8th November 2018
The Lighthouse, Poole
“The 2018 Dorset Tourism award ceremony will be hosted by BBC Dorset’s Steve Harris, with guest speaker Debra Stephenson.”
The European Pizza & Pasta Show
13th – 15th November 2018
“The European Pizza and Pasta Show is the ultimate engagement channel for sellers and buyers in the European pizza and pasta industries.”
Bristol, Bath, Somerset Tourism Awards Ceremony
15th November 2018
Apex Hotel, Bath
“This black-tie dinner is the event of the year for Somerset, Bristol and Bath leading tourism businesses and will be hosted by BBC Radio Bristol’s Laura Rawlings with guest speaker Giles Adams.”
Food Matters Live 2018
20th – 22nd November 2018
“Featuring 400 speakers across 100 free-to-attend conference and seminar sessions – challenging assumptions, sharing insight and debating the issues shaping the future of food, drink and sustainable nutrition.”
Devon Tourism Awards Ceremony
22nd November 2018
Highbullen Hotel, Golf & Country Club
“The ‘night of the year’ for the cream of the Devon Tourism Industry, with up to 300 finalists and sponsors gathering for the annual celebration of Devon excellence.”