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Swoon Supreme Champ as South West shows off its Great Taste
A gelato made in the South West has been named Supreme Champion at this year’s Great Taste Awards. Swoon Gelato’s Nocciola gelato was described as “faultless” by judges as it was crowned the best of all 12,772 entries from over 100 different countries submitted to Great Taste’s organisers, the Guild of Fine Food.
It was the first gelato to win the top prize in the awards’ 25-year history and is made from hazelnuts sourced from a single fourth-generation grower in Piedmont, Italy.
The team from Swoon received their trophy – and the Golden Fork for the South West region – at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner held on Sunday 1st September at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel London.
It was a good night for South West businesses with Gloucester’s Artisan Kitchen named Small Artisan Producer of the year. They have won accolades for 75 products since 2012, with 16 picking up awards in 2019.
Dorset’s Capreolus Fine Foods was presented with Great Taste Charcuterie Product of the Year for its Guanciale, a “perfect example” of cured and air-dried pork cheek, with “layers and layers of porky and herby flavour”.
Worley’s Cider from Shepton Mallet, Somerset won the Nigel Barden Heritage Award for its “sophisticated, clean and homely”, Special Reserve, a medium 5.4% ABV keeved Somerset cider.
Other winners on the night included Redhill Farm’s Free Range Shoulder of Pork (Golden Fork from the Midlands), Dark Woods Coffee’s Panama La Huella (Golden Fork from the North), Kreme dela Kremlin Imperial Russian Stout (Golden Fork from Northern Ireland), a heather mead from New Quay Honey Farm / Afon Mêl (Golden Fork from Wales), Hadley’s Dairy’s Burnt Honey Ice Cream (Golden Fork from East Anglia) and Salted Caramel & Liquorice gelato from Brighton’s Gelato Gusto (Golden Fork from London & the South East).
The Seed Fund for start-up food businesses was won by London based dairy-free cheese producer Kinda Co.
A record-breaking 12,772 products were entered into Great Taste 2019, with 3,409 awarded 1-star, 1,326 awarded 2-stars and 208 awarded 3-stars.
For a full list of 2019’s winners go to www.greattasteawards.co.uk.
Refill app hits 250,000 downloads to cut plastic pollution
The organisation behind the award-winning Refill campaign, City to Sea, are celebrating their free Refill app being downloaded by more than 250,000 people. The location-based app help users find local businesses and public spaces where they can refill their water bottle for free and so helps cut the purchase of single-use plastic bottles.
There are now more than 23,000 Refill stations listed on the app including thousands of independent businesses as well as Starbucks, Pret, McDonald’s and Costa Coffee. Participating places sign up to the app and display a sticker in their window alerting passers-by that they can come in and refill their bottle for free. City to Sea estimate Refill will have saved over 100 million single-use bottles from entering the waste stream by the end of 2019.
Lanie Sibley, Refill app, digital product manager at City to Sea said: “It’s incredible to see how much the app has grown in the last 8 months. What started out as a local Bristol campaign has now grown to become an internationally used app for people looking to refill their water bottle over buying a plastic bottle. We continuously look for ways to make small changes to the app for a more seamless experience. We recently redesigned the app for a cleaner look and feel based on feedback from our users and we have big plans for development over the next couple of months.”
The Refill app was named in the 10 best sustainable apps in Vogue, as one of the six apps to help you shop, eat and drink more sustainably in the Daily Telegraph and it was awarded Gold at the Global Good Awards.
Country Pub Group acquires two west country sites
The Country Pub Group, owned by Matthew Lowe, has acquired the Battleaxes in Wraxall, Somerset and the Castle Inn in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire from Flatcappers. They make up the group’s portfolio of three pubs with the Mendip Inn in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
Previously operations manager at Flatcappers, Tony De Brito, has moved to the Country Pub Group to head up operations.
Matthew Lowe said: “We’re excited to have purchased two venues that align with our group vision, and feature guest accommodation that is in line with the Mendip Inn’s latest addition, recently refurbished character bedrooms.
“Quality, simplicity and crafting beautiful dishes that are mouth-wateringly good is the foundation upon which the Country Pub kitchens work. We will be focusing on providing great service and even better food in all three venues, using locally sourced, seasonal produce, whenever possible.”
FOOD AND DRINK NEWS
Red Rose beer for Rugby World Cup
Salcombe Brewery Co. is launching a limited edition Red Rose beer to show its support for England throughout the Rugby World Cup in September.
Brewer, Sam Beaman said: “We are huge rugby fans here at Salcombe Brewery so we were very excited at the prospect of creating a beer to celebrate the World Cup. Just like the competition, Red Rose brings together some of the best ingredients from across the globe with hops from Britain, New Zealand and the New World. We like to think that the result is a world-class beer and we hope that England will be coming out at the top of the table too!”
Red Rose, a part of Salcombe Brewing Co.’s seasonal range, is a “(ABV 4.0%) mahogany malty beer that has a spiced caramel and toffee malt base with a balanced bitterness followed by a smooth fruity finish”
For further information visit www.salcombebrewery.com, email email@example.com or call 01548 854888.
Sharp’s red ale returns
Cornwall-based Sharp’s Brewery is bringing back its Sunset Red autumnal ale in September. The fourth of its five limited editions this year, it was first brewed in 2012 as Sharp’s Autumn Red. The brewery team have updated the original recipe with hops “that impart seasonal fruit flavours, reminiscent of autumnal hedgerows.”
Ed Hughes, beer sommelier at Sharp’s Brewery, said: “Sunset Red has a wonderfully fruity, full-bodied flavour, with a good balance of caramel notes from the malt and prominent dark fruit/hedgerow notes from the hops. It is perfect for pairing with darker roast meats or the wonderful hearty autumnal veg that appears during these slightly cooler months.”
Sunset Red (4.2% ABV) will be available at certain outlets nationally from 1st September 2019 through to the end of October or from Sharp’s online shop at https://www.sharpsbrewery.co.uk/sharps/shop.
St Austell collaborate with craft brewer
St Austell Brewery are teaming up with New Zealand craft brewers Yeastie Boys to produce the limited edition Session Black IPA, Anthracite (4.3% ABV).
The collaboration came about when St Austell Brewery’s head brewer, Roger Ryman met James Kemp – who heads up Yeastie Boy’s UK team – at a brewing event in 2018.
Anthracite is a ‘coal coloured’ beer. The black IPA is brewed with hops from across the world – including New Zealand sourced, Moutere – providing “refreshing, tropical and tangerine flavours.”
Rob Orton, brewing & bottling manager, St Austell Brewery said: “The Yeastie Boys are a great bunch of guys who are well known for their innovative brewing techniques, so it made sense to brew an All Black beer, inspired by New Zealand – a nod to their flag and their sports teams.
“Anthracite has been brewed through our small batch beer club, which is designed to push boundaries and showcase our skillset, whilst always trying to learn new techniques. We feel with this collaboration, we’ve ticked every box and produced a top-quality, unique and dynamic beer.”
Anthracite will be on sale at select pubs that are part of the Small Batch Beer Club from 2nd September. To find your nearest outlet visit: staustellbrewery.co.uk/smallbatchbrews.
Alcohol-free spirit for gin lovers
Sea Arch is a premium non-alcoholic gin alternative “inspired by the rugged coastline of Devon.”
It contains eleven botanicals and is twice-distilled in a traditional copper pot with spring water. The alcohol is then removed. The creators say “Each sip offers juicy top notes of cardamom, blood orange and grapefruit, with a smooth long-lasting finish, drawing on samphire, cardamom and sea kelp, hand-harvested from the South Devon coast. Gin lovers will love the unmistakable base flavour of juniper.”
Sea Arch is the brainchild of Devon-based Sarah and Geoff Yates who recognised the demand for non-alcoholic drinks from the wine bar they owned in Torquay. Co-Founder Sarah Yates said: “Our vision was to produce a premium drink accessible to anyone, from one of Britain’s most beautiful coastal towns.
“For many reasons, consumers want more choice from the sugary and one-dimensional soft drinks on the market. Crisp and celebratory, Sea Arch is made more beautiful without alcohol, while remaining calorie sweetener and sugar-free. It’s a toast to Devon; to the sea, to life and all its possibilities.”
Sea Arch 70cl bottle (£24.99) is available nationally at notginltd.com and wisebartender.co.uk.
Pickled egg meal deal
Gloucestershire-based Purely Pickled Eggs have got their single pickled egg snack pot into Morrison’s meal deal shake up promotion. It will be available along with items including a bratwurst & sauerkraut sandwich and teriyaki salmon sushi salad.
Owner and pickling director Sue Tyley said: “The idea behind our most recent innovation, the single egg pot was to set the pickled egg free and allow pickled egg enjoyment to take place whenever and wherever the mood might take you. We’re so excited to see it arriving on Morrisons shelves and very proud to be a part of their meal deal shake up.”
The single pickled egg will be available from 16th August in selected stores, initially in the South West.
Wadworth pub portfolio sold to Red Oak Taverns
A portfolio of 18 Wadworth pubs has been sold to national pub company Red Oak Taverns by Christie & Co.
The group of leased and tenanted pubs are located across the South and South West of England and bring Red Oak’s estate to 179 pubs across the UK.
Chris Welham, chief executive of Wadworth comments, “We are delighted to confirm a sale has been agreed to Red Oak Taverns. The sale has involved all parties working closely together to cause minimal disturbance to the tenants and their business.”
Mark Grunnell, co-founder of Red Oak Taverns said: “We are delighted to have secured this quality portfolio of pubs from Wadworth. We believe that the pubs and the licensees will benefit from Red Oak’s flexible approach to operating leased and tenanted pubs and from the £1m of investment we have planned for the acquired portfolio. Our focus has already turned to building the strong relationships with our new tenant partners that are required to preserve the sustainability of these great British assets and the invaluable contribution they make to our communities.”
Simon Chaplin, Senior Director at Christie & Co who handled the sale, said: “This is further proof of the continuing strength in the pubs market as the sale attracted interest from numerous parties looking to acquire these assets in a popular and attractive part of the country. We were pleased to have secured a buyer in Red Oak who have a proven track record of investing in their estate and tenants.”
Cornish landmark inn back on market
The Old Ferry Inn in Bodinnick near Fowey is back on the market with Colliers International after being bought last summer.
Ed Jefferson from Colliers International’s hotels team said the owner had only acquired the hotel last summer and had carried out an extensive infrastructure refit, but personal reasons had forced him to put the property back on the market at £1.2 million for the freehold.
Originally a coaching inn, the Old Ferry Inn offers 11 letting bedrooms – including ten doubles – with sea views as well as bar, restaurant and river terrace. There is also a two-bedroomed private flat with lounge and family bathroom for the owners.
Ed Jefferson said: “This genuine, characterful inn makes an ideal stopover for people taking one of the main walking routes which begin and end at the property – and the steady stream of motorists heading further into the peninsula.”
INDUSTRY EVENTS 2019
Speciality & Fine Food Fair
1st–3rd September 2019
“The centre of excellence for the high-end food and drink world.”
The 2019 Global Cheese Awards
12th September 2019
West Woodlands Showground, Near Frome, Somerset
“One of the oldest, most respected industry events in the country; celebrating producers and retailers of all sizes from across the globe.”
Taste of the West Awards Ceremony Lunch
12th September 2019
The Great Hall, University of Exeter
“A fantastic networking opportunity for anyone involved in the South West’s thriving food and drink industry. The Champions of each product, hospitality and retail category, the 2019 Supreme Champion Product, the No. 1 Place to Go and the South West Producer of the Year will be announced at this event.”
HABC L3 Food Allergy Training Course by Food Allergy Aware
17th September 2019
Haskins Garden Centre, Southampton. SO18 3HW
“This qualification is aimed at individuals responsible for the purchase, delivery, production and serving of food in the catering industry and is also suitable for those who own/manage a small catering business.”
For more information and to book, visit https://www.fatc.co.uk/events/highfield-habc-level-3-award-in-food-allergen-training-management-sept/
Hospitality Design Show
18th-19th September 2019
“The Leading hospitality event for design trends, ideas and innovations.”
18th-19th September 2019
“The UK’s Leading Hospitality Event Dedicated to Improving Your Hotel Profitability.”
Hotel Facilities Management Expo 2019
18th-19th September 2019
“Transform the way you manage your hotel facilities.”
Hotel & Spa Tech Live
18th-19th September 2019
“Connecting hotels & spas with the technology of tomorrow.”
Food Drink Devon Zero Waste Breakfast Workshop
19th September 2019
Exeter Golf and Country Club
“If you are conscious about the amount of waste your company produces each year this workshop is for you. The workshop will include presentations from Less Plastic UK, Circular Food from the University of Exeter, Old Mill and Two Drifters Brewery and Distillery.”
To find out more and book tickets, please visit
19th–20th September 2019
“A unique trade show that brings together the entire food-to-go industry under one roof.”
The Restaurant Show
30th September – 2nd October 2019
“A unique trade event that brings together the best of the hospitality industry.”