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Michael Caines “shocked” by hotel closure
Chef Michael Caines has said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear of the closure of the four-star Devon hotel that features one of his restaurants.
The Kentisbury Grange, home to Caines’ The Coach House, closed its doors this week due to a “major infrastructural fault”.
The restaurant was part of the Caines Collection, which also includes Lympstone Manor and newly-acquired The Cove at Maenporth in Cornwall. However, Caines said in a statement that his company had no shares or business interests in Kentisbury Grange.
He released a statement which said: “I am shocked and saddened to hear the news of Kentisbury Grange and our thoughts are with the staff and customers.
“Michael Caines Limited has been consulting at the restaurant for several years but has no shares or business interest in the property and therefore we too are shocked to hear the news.
“At this stage we await to hear further updates, but we will work with the team to find alternative employment and facilitate them within our expanding portfolio.”
Kentisbury Grange released a statement on social media saying: “We are so sorry but due to unforeseen circumstances and a major infrastructural fault we are having to close both the hotel and restaurant indefinitely from Thursday 20th February.”
Lyme Bay wins Fabulous Fizz award
Lyme Bay Winery’s Sparkling Brut Rosé has won the ‘Fabulous Fizz – Best Sparkling Wine UK’ category at the People’s Choice Wine Awards.
It was the second year running that the Devon-based drinks producer has taken home the top prize in the category and was the 129th award for the winery since 2015.
Paul Sullivan, head of sales and marketing at Lyme Bay Winery, commented: “We are over the moon to win at the People’s Choice Wine Awards again. It is the consumers’ opinion that matters most so we all felt it was a huge accolade to win the award for best UK sparkling wine this year.
“We pride ourselves on an unstinting focus on quality and with this wine and others, it looks like consumers and critics alike love what we do. We’re thrilled that the judges enjoyed it as much as the 2014 vintage which won the previous year.”
Janet Harrison, founder of the People’s Choice Wine Awards said: “We are thrilled that Lyme Bay Winery’s Sparkling Brut Rosé has won the 2020 award – it was such a popular winner last year and proved to be top of the class again.”
The wines are available directly from the winery or online at www.lbwdrinks.co.uk.
Cornish hotel creating more sea view rooms
Work is underway at The Talland Bay Hotel in south Cornwall to extend the property to create new ocean-facing rooms
The independently owned luxury hotel will create a further superior sea view suite and merge two first floor rooms to create a spacious premier suite to add to its range of superior sea view rooms, sea view rooms and classic rooms in the main 16th-century building, with four garden suites in the grounds.
The new developments are part of a refurbishment process undertaken by owners Kevin and Teresa O’Sullivan, who took over the hotel in 2015. The majority of the individually designed bedrooms and main reception areas have now been refreshed as part of the programme of improvements, totalling a quarter of a million pounds to date.
“We’re seeing increasing demand for our luxury sea view rooms and wanted to create something a little extra special,” explains general manager, Jack Ashby-Wright. “There’s a definite trend for people coming away for a break in Cornwall who don’t necessarily have much time but want to enjoy the finer things whilst they’re here. We’re confident that the new superior accommodation will be a great match to the exceptional levels of hospitality that our guests have come to expect.”
Historic Bristol building to be new café bar
The historic Wellhead building at the Finzels Reach mixed-use development in Bristol is set to be transformed into a bar and café, following its purchase by a Bristol businessman.
Ian Johnson, who has already transformed the Clifton Observatory into a café with a rooftop terrace and plans to turn the Clifton Rocks Railway into a museum, has bought the building from Cubex.
The Wellhead building sits in a prominent position, right beside the s-shaped Castle Bridge which forms the main thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists going between Finzels Reach and the city centre.
Ian Johnson says: “We’re delighted to be working to launch The Wellhead, a new café and cocktail bar in Finzels Reach, which will complement the fantastic restoration of other historic brewery buildings on the site. We’ve always had an interest in working with old buildings, and the forerunner of Georges Brewery on this site was founded in 1788, just 22 years after the Observatory was built.”
Gavin Bridge, executive director at Bristol-based Cubex, says: “Although a relatively modest building in terms of its size, the Wellhead is very prominent at Finzels Reach, effectively acting as the ‘front door’ to the new neighbourhood and is clearly visible from Castle Park. We are therefore particularly pleased to have sold it to Ian Johnson, who has such an interest in bringing some of Bristol’s most fascinating historic buildings back to life.”
“The new café and cocktail bar with its public terrace will be a fantastic addition to the growing community at Finzels, with Bocabar and Le Vignoble recently joining Left Handed Giant and Mission Pizza and established independents Spice+Cole and Café Matariki.”
Wyke Farms increase green energy production.
The UK’s largest independent cheese producers, Wyke Farms in Bruton, Somerset, have installed a new solar array as part of their ‘100% Green’ sustainability plan. The company said it will save 24 tonnes of carbon per year.
The 288 panels, positioned on the packing hall dispatch building at their Wincanton site, will create 96kw of solar energy per hour and will be used to power the firms new chilled export dispatch store and packing lines.
Rich Clothier, managing director and third-generation family member at Wyke Farms, says: “Back in 2010 I was quoted as saying ‘we are a business that believes in the principles of sustainability’ since then we have been named as Europe’s sustainable business, but it doesn’t stop there; continual development of our green portfolio is a given, our aim now is industry change.”
“This is now our fourth business solar array set and takes us forward with our commitment to position solar on all of our South facing roofs where we use daytime power. Reducing carbon for us is really lower cost.”
FOOD AND DRINK NEWS
Wadworth create a new Mild
Wadworth Brewery, based in Wiltshire, has launched a new Mild ale called Jug ‘O’ Malt.
The 4.2% ABV ale is brewed with speciality malts Crystal 150, Crystal 90, Chocolate, Brown and Munich Malts along with Goldings and Bramlings Cross hops. It has “coffee, toffee and caramel tones” and “tastes great with braised beer and roasted red meats and strongly flavoured cheddars” according to the independent family brewer.
Commercial director for Wadworth, Jonathan Thomas said, “This is the first new Mild Wadworth has brewed for many years and we believe it’s one of the very best. It will be a great addition to pubs this March”.
Drury launches first Fairtrade coffee
Coffee roaster and tea blender, Drury, has announced the launch of Caffè Astraea, the Company’s first Fairtrade certified coffee. Named after the Greek goddess of justice, purity and precision, the timing of the launch has been planned to coincide with this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight which commences on February 24th.
The new blend is composed of 100% Arabica coffees from Colombia and Brazil. Roasted medium-dark, its flavour profile “evokes notes of walnut, milk chocolate, praline and jasmine with a hint of lime acidity.”
Drury MD, Marco Olmi said: “We are very excited to be launching Caffè Astraea Fairtrade coffee, which is suitable for a wide range of brewing applications including espresso, cafetières and filter equipment. Although this is our first Fairtrade product, it will certainly not be our last. Already, for the spring, we have plans to add a new collection of Fairtrade teas to our best-selling Drury pyramid teabag range.”
Caffè Astraea will be available in a full range of grinds and pack sizes suitable for any brew method. List price starts at £14.80 per kilo.
Bath hotel appoints new GM
No. 15 Great Pultney in Bath has announced the appointment of a new general manager. Guillaume Lesage will take the role on from managing director Jonathan Walker, who has been running the hotel, acquired from Ian and Christa Taylor last year by family-owned Guest Holdings, since December 2016.
Lesage joins the boutique hotel, converted from three Grade I Georgian townhouses, from his role of general manager at The Bannatyne Group’s Charlton House Hotel & Spa near Glastonbury. Before that he managed the Hotel du Vin in Exeter.
Lesage said: “I am thrilled to be taking up my new role at No.15, it is such a stylish hotel with a character and energy all of its own that immediately made a real impact upon Bath’s hotel landscape. I am much looking forward to working with Jonathan in the coming month as he hands over the day-to-day reins and meeting the dedicated hotel team of 35 staff for a seamless transition. Bath is a fabulous, world-class city and I am also excited about becoming part of the community.”
The Guest brothers comment: “In Guillaume, we are confident that we have found the person who can uphold all that has been so wonderfully created at No.15 to date and we now look to building on that success during 2020 and well beyond.
Former waiter returns to manage Taunton’s Castle
Ronan Hunter has returned to the four-AA-starred Castle at Taunton as general manager, having been a waiter there some 17 years ago.
Since his three year spell at the 44-bedroom Castle, where he started as a waiter and worked his way up to assistant general manager, he has since taken general manager roles at properties including Sudbury House in Faringdon, Oxfordshire; the Swan at Hay in Powys; and the Newbridge on Usk in Monmouthshire.
Hunter takes over from managing director Marc Mac Closkey who left the property last year after seven years and since joined the Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel as general manager.
Hunter said: “I’m delighted to return to the Castle, particularly in the year the Chapman family will be celebrating 70 years as custodians of this landmark hotel in Taunton. The Castle has always been renowned for its standards of hospitality and commitment to sourcing and using local produce, which is as important today as ever in our kitchens. I very much look forward to continuing in these fine traditions.”
Nick Chapman, chairman of the Castle hotel, added: “We are delighted to have appointed Ronan as general manager. He retains the core values of true hospitality and service. It is an amazing story that he has returned to the hotel after spending the early years of his career here. He already knows several members of our team and is excited to be back in Taunton, getting to know all our customers. We much look forward to an exciting new chapter for our family business.”
Management team for innovation centre announced
The Food Works SW has announced the first two management roles for their new food and drink innovation centre due to open in Weston-super-Mare next month.
The site, on the Junction 21 Enterprise Area, was commissioned by North Somerset Council and is part of a multi-million-pound development to create an enterprise zone for food manufacturers and agri-food businesses in the South West.
David Nute will be the senior technical and site manager while Zoe Plant will take the role of new product development and innovation manager.
David has over 40 years experience of working in the food and drink industry, starting from a small family bakery, he became a baking manager at a major retailer’s in-store bakery before working as a technical services manager for Allied Bakeries in 2008.
He said, “I’m excited to be a part of this innovative concept, The Food Works SW. My aspirations for the centre are to develop and support businesses in the South West to play a key role in supporting the sustained economic growth for both the businesses and the surrounding area.”
Zoe Plant has worked in the industry for 22 years, including nine years in product development and 13 years as a chef. She has created products for M&S and Sainsbury’s ranges and has worked with Gordon Ramsey, Angela Hartnett and for customers including the Queen and Prince Charles.
“I’m really looking forward to working with The Food Works team to help food and drink businesses in the region with their new products, ideas and questions,” she said. “Having worked with many different food and drink businesses of all sizes throughout my career, I’m excited to help startups and scaling businesses to take their next steps.”
The first phase of 12 purpose-built food-grade units, which are between 1,000 and 1,500 square foot, and four “state-of-the-art” development kitchens at The Food Works SW will be available to lease from April.
Dorset village inn for sale
The Stapleton Arms in Buckhorn Weston, near Gillingham, is on the market for £725,000 for the freehold with agents Stonesmith.
The Grade II listed inn dates to the 18th Century and offers four boutique-style en suite letting bedrooms, the main bar and dining area with 50 covers, a separate restaurant for 32 customers, a commercial kitchen, and 3 double bedroom self-contained owners accommodation. The large grounds include a car park for around 50 cars and an enclosed Trade garden with alfresco seating for 40+ customers.
The inn is situated in the north Dorset village Buckhorn Weston, located around four miles from Wincanton and Gillingham and eight miles from Shaftesbury.
Full property details are available from the website www.stonesmith.co.uk or call 01392 201262.
Expowest Cornwall: the South West’s food and drink on a plate for 2020
Celebrating its 40th birthday this year, Expowest Cornwall is the event that the whole Cornish business community makes a point of attending. Taking place between Tuesday 3rd and Thursday 5th March at The Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge, the show draws hospitality & catering exhibitors and buyers from the whole region. It’s where suppliers and buyers get to see and sample what trends and tastes will be on the menu for the coming year, with exhibitors that span the whole of the hospitality and catering market.
It’s all here, under one roof, over just three days. You’ll find everything from craft bakeries, artisan cheese and organic vegetables through to foodservice, kitchen equipment, furnishing, training and online booking systems… not forgetting the latest in beverages of all sorts; from cider to coffee and liqueurs to lemonade!
Making those all-important buying decisions is so much easier when competing offerings are shown side by side. The vibrant, inspiring atmosphere makes it fun and social as well as helping business to get done. And as well as ensuring you’re really getting the best products at the keenest prices for 2020, you’ll be able to see what new ideas are coming through that will whet customers’ appetites…and make your business more profitable.
Expowest Cornwall provides a unique opportunity to connect with a huge range of different companies – it really is one show that has it all. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a range of exclusive offers that exhibitors save especially for this show, which make a visit even more worthwhile!
For more information about the show, or to register to attend, please call 01934 733433, visit expowestcornwall.co.uk. or follow @Expowest_UK.
Industry EVENTS 2020
3rd – 5th March 2020
The Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge. Cornwall
“Perfectly timed and showcasing products that cover the whole of the hospitality and catering market; from tableware to furniture, catering equipment to business services, coffee to speciality food, this show really does have Cornwall covered!”
Register today at https://expowestcornwall.co.uk/
Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Show
3rd – 5th March 2020
“The UK’s largest event for the hospitality & foodservice industry split into four shows: The Foodservice Show, The Professional Kitchen Show, Interiors and Tabletop Show and Hospitality Tech Show. Meet with a range of leading suppliers, to taste, test and source new products.”
Scaling Up Successfully: Growing your own food business
25th March 2020, 9:30 – 13:00
The Hartnoll Hotel, Tiverton, EX16 7RA
“A business workshop targeted specifically at Food & Beverage producers who are working on scaling up their business in 2020. New sales opportunities are what every business looks for, but when sales are booming how do you keep up with demand, build a team you can rely on and how do you pay for it all? Join four successful entrepreneurs to discuss all this and plenty more.”
Tickets and more details available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/scaling-up-successfully-growing-your-own-food-business-tickets-92718602837
The Casual Dining Trade Show
25th – 26th March 2020
“Casual Dining gives senior decision makers from restaurants, pubs & bars, hotels and contract caterers the unique opportunity to discover new products and trends for their business.”
Food & Drink Expo 2020
30th March – 1st April 2020
“One of the UK’s largest and most well-respected food and drink focused trade exhibitions. The event unites five co-located shows, Food & Drink Expo, Foodex, The Ingredients Show, National Convenience Show and Farm Shop & Deli Show”