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Bath Mineral Hospital to become luxury hotel
The Royal Mineral Water Hospital in Bath is going to be transformed into a luxury hotel by the Singapore-based Fragrance Group.
Hospital staff and services currently housed in the Grade II*-listed city centre building are being transferred to new facilities in a move expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
Martin Rogers of Global Hotels & Leisure Consultancy, speaking on behalf of the new owners said: “The Fragrance Group has a track record of breathing new life into historic city buildings that are no longer required for their original purpose.
“Since the group acquired the Royal Mineral Water Hospital in Upper Borough Walls, Bath, it has appointed leading architects from the city’s Stride Treglown practice with a brief to sensitively develop plans for a four-star hotel which respects and honours the original building.
“They have been working with other leading consultants and liaising closely with the conservation team from Bath and North East Somerset Council and with Historic England, who have both offered expert advice.”
Fragrance Group acquired the building 18 months ago to add to its six operational UK hotels. These include the Imperial in Blackpool, the Crown Hotel in Harrogate and the Townhouse in Manchester. They also own a further six hotel development projects.
Newquay’s new restaurant
A new restaurant and rooftop bar has opened in Newquay, Cornwall. 12 Beach Road overlooks Towan Beach in the seaside town and is hoping to bring “modern, relaxed, family dining to the north Cornish coast.”
The all-day beachside dining restaurant has been set up by Pollocks Pub Co Ltd, the team behind Charlestown’s steak and seafood eatery The Longstone and the Short & Strong Café and The Winestore.
Chef director Ben Ambridge, an alumnus of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, overseas the food for the group. The menu for 12 Beach Road includes sourdough pizzas, grills, tacos and plant-based options as well as fresh fish dishes cooked in a choice of styles: Thai Coconut, Herby Israeli, Curried Moroccan, Fresh & Green or the Beach Road house style.
Local suppliers working with the new restaurant include Yallah Coffee, Ross Withers, M&W Meats, Matthew Stevens Fish, The Real Crab Company, Callestick Ice Cream and Trewithen Dairy.
Co-founder (with John Marquis and Tom Gaze) of owners Pollocks Pub Co Ltd, Mel Marquis said: “We offer a relaxed, yet professional and attentive service which caters for people who’ve come straight off the beach for a beer and a bite to eat, to those joining us for a family occasion, or enjoying celebratory cocktails with friends. The laid-back vibe is perfectly suited to our location on Towan Beach and we’re excited to be here in Newquay.”
Burning the candle at both ends
A company making candles from used wax is calling for restaurants and hotels to boost their green credentials by recycling their burnt candles through them.
The Recycled Candle Company in Exeter creates new candles from scrap wax using a special process devised by founders Richard Hills-Ingyon and Sargon Latchin.
Richard said: “The concept is simple; wax from used candles is melted down, filtered, dyed and scented to create beautiful new candles, while lower grade wax is used for firelighters.
“As far as we know, we’re the only company providing this opportunity for recycling large amounts of candle wax in the UK, if not the world.”
Currently, the company get most of their used candles from London hotels and restaurants but they are keen to encourage more local businesses to recycle their candles.
Sargon said: “We will happily arrange the collection of used candles, and we’ll take any candles including tea lights as we can also recycle the wick sustainers.
“This is a great way for hotels to boost their green credentials and help the environment by keeping old wax out of landfill.”
For more information, visit therecycledcandlecompany.co.uk or email email@example.com to discuss recycling candles.
New version of Caterbook software launched
Hotel booking software company Caterbook have released Version 5 of their software package. Caterbook 5 has been in development for two years and is a “modern, cloud-based PMS with innovative features as well as an integrated website booking engine and links to Expedia and booking.com. As with previous versions, the platform is able to integrate with a range of 3rd party EPOS systems, and this time adds support for SMS guest messaging.”
Managing director Chris Noon said: “We’ve built Caterbook 5 from the ground up, using all the experience, knowledge and feedback we’ve accumulated over the years from our clients. We were lucky that GDPR was big news during our development phase, because where other software vendors had to reverse engineer their solution into existing platforms, we built ours with security in mind and that in turn has simplified our PCI compliance.
“The aim was to produce a solution that would be simple to use but punch above its weight in terms of cost, enabling us to attract more larger hotels with 50 or 60 bedrooms. We seem to have done that, our average support workload is around 25% less per customer, despite being in the middle of a process of migrating existing clients onto the system.”
Caterbook is available from £85 per month for a ten-bedroom property, with a £3.50 charge for each additional bedroom. Visit www.caterbook.com or call 01840 298298 to find out more.
West Country operators take on Cheltenham pub
Pub operators Sarah Pert and Andy Taylor have taken on The Five Alls on Bath Road in Cheltenham and are undertaking a major refurbishment with Stars Pubs & Bars. The plan to create a premium community pub serving fresh food, using locally sourced ingredients, from breakfast through to dinner, reopening mid-September.
They previously opened their first pub The Why Not Inn in Redditch earlier this year. Before that Sarah held general manager roles at national chains including Chiquito and ran The Exmouth Arms in Cheltenham. Andy worked for Mitchells & Butler where he was involved in the launch of The Craft Beer Residency and managed The Island Queen in Islington.
The pub will be open from 9am for breakfast and coffee. The menu will be made up of an eclectic selection of small plates and platters for sharing and grazing with influences from tapas, mezze, thali and cicchetti. The drinks focus will be on premium quality beers including Beavertown and Birra Moretti, plus an expertly curated wine list and a selection of aperitifs.
Sarah said: “Andy and I worked in Cheltenham together 10 years ago and have both wanted to run our own pub here for many years, so when the opportunity came up to take on The Five Alls, we leapt at it. It’s in a fantastic friendly neighbourhood and we’re ensuring our pub will be different from the other pubs on Bath Road.
“The Five Alls is our first experience of running multiple sites. Our ambition is to have six in places that make geographical sense for us based in Cheltenham and Birmingham.”
Caren Geering Star Pubs & Bars regional operations director said: “Sarah and Andy have some great individual and combined experience, so it is fantastic to have them take on The Five Alls. They both have bags of energy and are full of lots of exciting ideas… We’re delighted to be co-investing £400,000 with Sarah and Andy to create what will be a fantastic unique neighbourhood bar.”
FOOD AND DRINK NEWS
Harry’s launch new cider
Somerset-based Harry’s Cider Company unveiled a new cider at the Taunton Flower Show on 2nd August.
The new Medium Farmhouse Cider is described by the producers as “a smooth, clear cider with a rounded flavour. Its generous apple aroma helps to create a well-balanced and refreshing drink.”
It will be sold in traditional one-litre glass flagons and available from selected farm shops, independent supermarkets and directly from Harry’s Cider Farm.
Cidermaker Toby Fry said: “This will be our third year at the Taunton Flower Show and we thought it was the perfect place to unveil our new cider. We have created the blend especially for the flagons and we’re pleased with the result. The distinctive character really demonstrates our West Country skill of cidermaking – it’s refreshing, rounded and delicious!”
Harry’s Cider was named the best cider in Britain at CAMRA’s National Cider and Perry Championships 2018 and Supreme Champion at last year’s British Cider Championships. For more details visit www.harryscidercompany.co.uk.
Three new ice creams for summer
New Forest Ice Cream have launched three new products in their impulse range of wrapped ice creams and frozen lollies.
The new Salted Caramel Cone, Double Bubble and Twisted Trio are “all part of the company’s investment across the entire range to ensure retailers and operators can maximise their impulse sales this summer and beyond.”
The on-trend Salted Caramel Cone is made using 100% naturally-sourced ingredients and sits with the existing range of dairy cones that includes Mint, Vanilla & Chocolate, and Strawberry. The Twisted Trio is aimed at the younger members of the family and comprises a lemon sorbet, strawberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream, shaped into a spiral design. The Double Bubble lolly has a “true nostalgic bubble gum flavour”, is pastel blue and pink and has no artificial colouring or flavouring.
Christina Veal, director, New Forest Ice Cream said: “With summer in full swing, we have launched three new additions into our impulse range to ensure retailers and operators can meet the demands of all consumers searching for a refreshing treat. Impulse sales have continued to perform strongly across both the retail and foodservice sectors due to their convenience and suitability for all members of the family to consume on-the-go, so it’s important to update offerings with some exciting new products year on year!”
To find out more visit www.newforesticecream.com or call 01590 647611.
Seaside café home on English Riviera for sale
Babbacombe Bay House in Devon is on the market for £1,150,000 for the freehold with Colliers International.
Originally a hotel and seaside café, it has been reconfigured as a five-bedroom home incorporating several holiday apartments as well as a café.
The café has an open plan area opening onto a patio with space for 48 covers. There is a one-bedroom apartment for staff and a dedicated staircase leads to four well-appointed self-catering flats. The private house includes five ensuite bedrooms and a roof terrace with views over the bay.
Ed Jefferson from Colliers International said: “Babbacombe Bay House can certainly be described as a completely refurbished property! Our client bought the building in 2013 and carefully restored it in order to trade as a hotel.
“He has now restored it once again to create an impressive family home including the stunning roof terrace featuring views across the bay, along with four holiday apartments and the thriving café.
“Having spent an enormous amount of time and effort completing these transformations, the owner has now decided to retire, giving new owners an exciting opportunity for a new life running a thriving business on the English Riviera.”