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Paul and Emma Ainsworth Relaunch Rojano’s in the Square as Caffè Rojano

Paul and Emma Ainsworth are delighted to announce the launch of Caffè Rojano by Paul Ainsworth on 10 February 2020. After being the leaseholder of Mediterranean-inspired Rojano’s in the Square, Padstow for the past nine successful years, Paul and Emma have taken the bold decision to purchase the freehold and relaunch the restaurant with a brand-new interior and menu to match.

Caffè Rojano will reflect the vibrant café culture and Italian food scene that has inspired Paul and Emma on visits to New York. The interiors will be created by Emma and Eve Cullen-Cornes, drawing on 1920s inspired art-deco designs and will reference the city’s iconic, family-style Italian restaurants. The front of Caffè Rojano will showcase a marble counter displaying a pasta extruder that the chefs will use to create their signature dishes. Their homemade pasta also will also be available for guests to purchase, enabling them to take a slice of Caffè Rojano back to their own kitchens.

Chef Director, Jack Clements, working alongside Paul and Emma is creating a new all-day dining experience, mixing Mediterranean techniques with Cornwall’s abundant larder. The restaurant will be open every morning for breakfast and for Sunday brunch. Breakfast will feature dishes including French toast (made with their very own bacon, smoked and braised in house) and Land and river (toasted crumpets topped with a tartar butter, smoked salmon, lemon cream cheese, a poached egg and pangrattato). These will sit alongside American diner-style dishes like Buttermilk chicken waffles, and Cornish gypsy eggs.  For those looking to relax over a mid-morning tea or coffee, there will also be a selection of delicious baked cakes and scones, and pizzas to take away.

The à la carte menu will feature a wide selection of beautiful sourdough pizzas and homemade pasta dishes, using their Cornish and British suppliers alongside artisan Mediterranean suppliers like La Credenza and Brindisa, together with a new range of delicious, seasonal small plates. These will include Duck hearts persillade, chargrilled campaillou and devilled mayonnaise and Smoked cod’s roe, beef dripping crisps and smoked paprika. Taking full advantage of the local Cornish coastline, dishes will also include Mussels in fresh herb butter and a Fruit de la mer platter, whilst other plates are takes on hearty bistro classics like Ox cheek ragu with St. Ewe egg, tagliatelle, green soft herb dressing and pangratatto and Squid ink bucatini served with Padstow crab, chilli, garlic and confit tomato.

There will also be a range of gourmet sandwiches, featuring freshly baked breads like rye and campaillou, available from Monday to Saturday from Caffè Rojano’s in-house deli. The sandwich selection will feature classics like Slow cooked meatball marinara alongside Philip Warren’s smoked beef brisket with sauerkraut and triple mustard mayonnaise on campaillou sourdough. Caffè Rojano will also introduce its very own Cornish Hotdog topped with melting fontina cheese, pickles, crispy onions and shavings of black truffle.

For desserts, the restaurant’s popular, homemade Whoopsey Splunkers ice cream sundaes will be joined by a signature White chocolate, malt & passionfruit cheesecake and Brown butter ice cream cannoli with chocolate and pistachios.

There will also be a new wine list curated by Paul Ainsworth Group Sommelier, Elly Owen, and a menu of signature cocktails, designed by Paul Ainsworth at No6’s Bar Manager, Liam Evans – including a Cornish Negroni featuring Cornish gin and British vermouths.

Commenting on the relaunch, Paul said: “After nine fantastic years of Rojano’s in the Square, Emma and I have decided to re-launch the restaurant as Caffe Rojano as well as buying the freehold. This has been a huge decision for us, but we’re confident that we can create a new family-dining experience here in Padstow. I’m incredibly excited to reveal the new interiors and menu inspired by the incredible Italian food scene in New York.

Caffè Rojano’s Chef Director, Jack Clements, says of the new experience: “We wanted to create a place where everyone could come together and enjoy a delicious meal at anytime of the day. We’ll still have a few Rojano’s in the Square signatures on the menu; however, the other dishes will be brand new. I’m extremely proud to be a part of this exciting new chapter and can’t wait to welcome our first guests on 10 February.”

Caffè Rojano by Paul Ainsworth opens to the public on Monday 10 February 2020.

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How to Shop for the Best Ketogenic Bars

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 3 m read

If you are big on the Keto diet, you occasionally would have to deal with cravings, and a ketogenic bar could save you from filling up on some carb-rich snacks. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet known to be useful when it comes to weight loss. And while many of the in-between meal snacking options are high in carbohydrates and sugar, it is possible to find some good ketogenic options too. So how then can you find a snacking option that is entirely keto-friendly? Here are a few tricks you can employ. 

Check the Packaging 

If you are shopping for the first time and don’t have any brands you fancy, you want to take your time when shopping through the shelves at your local store. The first place to look when you pick any product is the wrapping, and look out for the number of carbs and protein in the mix. It is best to settle for fewer carbs and high protein as it is the only way to guarantee the body stays in ketosis. 

Generally, it is a rule to avoid sugary foods when on a keto diet, so you should look out for delicious ketogenic Certified™ Bars without sugar alcohol. It would help if you opted for one with a good ratio of protein and fiber since they are more satiating and prevents you from overeating. 

Shop Organic 

In the age of trying to stay ahead of the competition, and also reduce production expenses, it is common to find manufacturers that include artificial ingredients in their products. These ingredients could put you in harm’s way when consumed in excess, and it is usually best to avoid them altogether. You should check for the all-natural, organic, or any other sign that says that the product is free from artificial ingredients. 

If there is collagen or milk as part of the contents, ensure that it is from grass-fed cows, and also scrutinize products that contain soy lecithin if you are allergic.  You should also check that the fat in your ketogenic bar is from whole and organic sources such as cocoa butter, almond butter, and coconut oil. You can check the piece below for what to avoid on a keto diet. 

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a19660747/list-of-keto-diet-foods/

Do your Research 

Before you purchase any product, you want to do your research to learn all you can about it. While the product packaging is an excellent place to learn about the ingredients and nutritional value of the product, you will need to dig deeper to learn even more. The internet is a great tool to research a product, read reviews from people who have tried it in the past. The main reason for doing a background check is to have a slightly informed decision about the product. And you won’t find much on how it tastes and feels by reading only the product packaging. 

Choose the Right Bar 

You would have to choose a keto bar that meets your needs, as there are different brands available that meet a specific demand. You can find bars that appeal to those looking to lose weight, while you can find others to provide you with a burst of energy. You also want to confirm that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients before making payments. If you intend to remain in a state of ketosis, you will have to do well to avoid products with high carbohydrates. You can check here to find out more about ketosis. 

It is also vital that you know that while keto bars are filling and nourishing, they should not take the place of a balanced meal. It will help if you keep your consumption to the barest minimum and avoid excessive snacking, as you could quickly increase your calorie count by doing so.

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GATO & Co Launch Cookies N Cream Range to Boots

GATO & Co, pronounced gateau, like the French for cake!) is a start-up brand with big ambitions, to change the way we tuck into indulgent treats with their feel good snacks. January 2020 sees the plant based bakers launch a brand new range: Cookies N Cream – a modern twist on classic cookie sandwiches (RRP £1.59 per 42g snack pack of two) exclusively to Boots stores nationwide. Handmade with whole, simple ingredients, expect deliciously crunchy cookies with a smooth and creamy filling; as an added bonus, they’re plant based, high in fibre, free from gluten, dairy and palm oil and half the sugar of similar sweet snacks.

Co Founder Kim Lamza says, “At GATO, we are passionate about creating super indulgent plant-based products that are better for you, your gut and the planet – the dream! Our treats are vegan friendly, packed with natural ingredients and contain much less sugar. We’re thrilled to be launching our new Cookies N Cream range to Boots, it seems fitting as the Aberdeen Boots was the first to give me a Summer job when I was back at school!.

In the range are the definitive Choc Vanilla cookie sandwich, GATO’s rival to a classic Oreo – expect deliciously crunchy chocolate Cookies with a smooth vanilla cream filling; Choc Peanut Butter, crisp-yet-gooey chocolate Cookies and rich, dreamy peanut butter cream; forget Nutella toast, GATO bring us sophisticated Choc Hazelnut Butter cookies: delicious chocolate cookies and a delightful, gooey hazelnut butter filling; lastly, there’s the ever-popular Salted Caramel cookie, the only Vanilla Cookies of the range with THAT choc-salted-caramel filling. All are packed with gluten free oats and ground almonds in place of flour and nut butters and coconut oil in place of butter. Containing 50% less sugar than comparable snacks, GATO cookie sandwiches are crunchy, creamy and just sweet enough, as well as being scrumptious and holistically healthier; they taste decadent but are guilt-free enough to become a daily sweet treat at only 99 calories per cookie!

Co-Founder Charlotte Dauzat, a self-described “French baking geek and foodie” with a love for simple, healthy and nutrient-rich food, founded GATO & CO in January 2017. Charlotte comments, I grew up in Provence with a love for simple, wholesome and naturally delicious food, but after years leading a frantic city life, this philosophy felt distant. When I figured out that cutting refined food and embracing whole, nutritious ingredients clearly improved my health and energy levels, I realised it was time to come back to my roots. I started this exciting baking adventure and began exploring a world of tasty and nutritious alternatives. After several months of training at Le Cordon Bleu, I created a new range of free-from, indulgent sweet treats that are both tasty AND packed with natural goodness…tadaa! GATO & Co was born! Selfridges was our first client and we launched there only months after I started working on GATO in my own tiny kitchen. Only 8 months later, we were selling in Sainsbury’s!”

Charlotte’s business partner Kim Lamza was a Strategy Consultant in London, at the same firm as Charlotte, for half a decade. Kim’s mum is a dietician who taught her how to cook so she could avoid processed junk with hidden sugars and weird ingredients! As soon as Charlotte told her about GATO she knew she needed to get involved in her friend’s venture, (as they were just like her mum’s home bakes!) trusting her vision to the extent that she invested her savings in GATO and went on to help Charlotte launch the product nationwide. 

After a lot of hard work, laughter, fun and not a lot of sleep, GATO & Co’s new Cookies N Cream range can be found exclusively via Boots nationwide, with more stockists to follow from Spring 2020.

GATO & CO BENEFITS

  • Lower in sugar
  • Free from Gluten & Dairy
  • Suitable for Vegans
  • Made with simple, whole ingredients (absolutely no nasties!)

INGREDIENTS & RRP RRP £1.59 per 42g pack of two

  • Choc Vanilla
  • Ingredients: Gluten Free Oats, Coconut Oil, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Fibre (Chicory, Citrus), Water, Almonds, Flaxseeds, Almond Butter, Cacao (3%), Arrowroot, Natural Flavour, Grape Juice, Rice Starch, Fibre (Potato, Psyllium Husk), Salt
  • 198kcal per 42g serving

 

  • Choc Peanut Butter
  • Ingredients: Gluten Free Oats, Coconut Oil, Brown Sugar, Peanut Butter (9%), Sugar, Fibre (Chicory, Citrus), Water, Almonds, Flaxseeds, Almond Butter, Cacao (3%), Arrowroot, Natural Flavour, Grape Juice, Rice Starch, Fibre (Potato, Psyllium Husk), Salt
  • 195kcal per 42g serving

 

  • Choc Hazelnut Butter
  • Ingredients: Gluten Free Oats, Coconut Oil, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Fibre (Chicory, Citrus), Cacao (5%), Water, Almonds, Flaxseeds, Arrowroot, Almond Butter, Hazelnut Butter (3%), Natural Flavour, Grape Juice, Rice Starch, Fibre (Potato, Psyllium Husk), Salt
  • 198kcal per 42g serving

 

  • Salted Caramel
  • Ingredients: Gluten Free Oats, Coconut Oil, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Fibre (Chicory, Citrus), Water, Almond Butter, Almonds, Flaxseeds, Arrowroot, Cacao (3%), Natural Flavour, Grape Juice, Rice Starch, Fibre (Potato, Psyllium Husk), Salt
  • 197kcal per 42g serving

ALSO IN THE GATO & CO RANGE

  • Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate & Hazelnut and Almond Butter & Raspberry ‘Nut Butter Cookie Bites’: £1.59 per 33g bag in Holland & Barrett
    • Each cookie bite is delicious, nutritious and packed with nut butter, oats and almond milk. Naturally gluten & dairy free, lower in sugar and loaded up with plant protein and fibre – tuck in!
  • Hazelnut Ganache & Chocolate Fondant; Chocolate Ganache & Coconut Brownie; Chocolate Ganache & Salted Caramel Blondie Dessert Bites: £1.85 per bag of 4 in Sainsbury’s 
    • Enjoy a little sweet treat after dinner, on the sofa or even on the go! Each bite is plant based (so better for you & the planet), has much less sugar and is packed with natural ingredients (GATO sometimes sneak vegetables in but they are so delicious you’d never know!). From only 55kcals per bite! 

STOCKISTS

  • Boots (Exclusive from January 2020)
  • Epicurium (Wholesale)
  • Tree of Life (Wholesale)
  • www.gatoandco.com

 

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Break Your Resolutions in Epic Style with Branston’s Broken Resolution Sandwich

Friday 17th January is officially ‘Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day’ – the day when most Brits will finally have had enough of their pledges and relinquish their New Year’s resolutions.

To make the occasion truly memorable, Branston is helping Brits ditch their resolutions in the most decadent style with a taste-bud tantalising treat to wow the senses. Introducing the Branston Broken Resolutions Sandwich – the ultimate deep-fried cheese, glazed ham and Branston Pickle sandwich – served exclusively from 17th-19th January.

For one weekend only, Branston has crafted this heavenly combination in collaboration with top chefs at The Cheese Bar in Camden – whose mission it is to celebrate the best of British cheese. This divine sandwich allows cheese and pickle enthusiasts to break multiple resolutions in one lip-smacking bite!

The tempting Branston Broken Resolutions sandwich is an unmissable British take on an Italian classic, “Mozzarella en Carrozza“. It’s filled with the perfect pairing of oozing smoked mozzarella from La Latteria, layers of luscious Crown & Queue Glazed Ham, and brimming with the hero ingredient – the nation’s favourite sandwich filler, Branston Pickle – to reach the pinnacle of perfection!

In case that winning combination wasn’t enticing enough, the scrumptious sarnie is then encased in crunchy breadcrumbs, coated in an extra helping of Smooth Branston Pickle, and deep-fried until warm, gooey and golden. What better way to mark the end of people’s 2020 healthy eating regimes than with a mouth-watering Branston, cheese and ham toastie of epic proportions?

If you’re not satisfied that this top-notch toastie has only broken your healthy eating and Veganuary resolutions, then Branston and The Cheese Bar also invite you to end your Dry January run by pairing your sarnie with a chilled pint of Four Pure Brewery Basecamp Pilsner. You can thank us later!

There are cheese and ham ‘toasties’, and then there are BRANSTON, cheese and ham toasties – the ultimate winning combination. Loved by generations of families, this iconic tangy and crunchy sandwich filler – available in Original, Smooth and Small Chunk – continues to inspire the nation to ‘Bring out the Branston’ to create delicious twists on the classic cheese, ham and pickle sandwich.

The Cheese Bar will serve the Branston Broken Resolution Sandwich from the 17th to 19th January 2020 at their Camden Stables restaurant – get yours quick while stocks last! The sandwich is priced at £8 and with the beer pairing for £12.95. To book a table, please visit www.thecheesebar.com/camden.

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Dalloway Terrace X Gstaad Chef Takeover

The highly anticipated transformation of Dalloway Terrace has returned, and this winter the most sought after spot of the season offers guests a taste of Switzerland in the heart of London. Visitor’s are transported to the affluent alpine town of Gstaad – a snow covered, picturesque winter playground for A-listers and global icons.

Described as ‘One of the world’s most Instagrammable restaurants’ by Vogue, this season the new incarnation – by Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart – sets a beautiful winter scene in the snowy Alps, replete with snow drenched pine garlands and traditional Swiss cow bells nestled amongst the frosty foliage.  

Located in the wide valley below what is arguably the most impressive mountain backdrop in the Alps – the Wildstrubel – Gstaad receives a high level of prestige and international fame for being one of the most luxurious ski destinations in the world. With notable regulars including Madonna, Valentino and the Ecclestone’s, the destination was also declared by Dame Julie Andrews as “the last paradise in a crazy world”. In the past the silvery slopes have also been frequented by international superstars such as Sir Roger Moore and Elizabeth Taylor. 

Popularity aside, the Swiss town is still a destination with its roots firmly entrenched in village life and prides itself on retaining a genuine alpine feel. Dalloway Terrace has fully embraced this side of Gstaad as part of its winter transformation, honouring the mantra of the swiss Town, ‘Come up, Slow Down.

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Top 10 Most Beautiful National Parks in Europe

The era of Romanticism is long over and yet more people than ever are drawn to spend time at one with nature. From spring to autumn, neon-coloured hikers can be found in the mountains and in some areas, the gentle rustle of the wind mixes with the clanking of chains on mountain bikes, the splashing of idyllic waterfalls and the satisfied mooing of cows. Picturesque nature can be experienced particularly well in national parks – protected areas where the original character is to be preserved and where little or no human influence is exerted. 

In Europe alone there are several hundred national parks, all of which are worth a visit. It is not easy to make a decision as to which parks should not be missing from any nature lovers bucket list. That’s why Holidu, the search engine for holiday homes, is here to help! Using data from Google, Holidu has put together a ranking of the top ten most popular European national parks. Prepare to be inspired and begin planning your next trip to one of the breathtaking locations!

  1. Snowdonia National Park, Wales – 4,9 out of 18.522 reviews

Europe’s most popular national park is located in Wales and is a park of superlatives: Snowdonia is not only the oldest national park in the country, but is also home to the highest mountain, Mount Snowdon, and the largest lake, Bala Lake. The verdant landscape extends over 2000 km2, offering mountain ranges, clear lakes and plenty of fresh air. Deserted ruins provide mystical experiences and the countless sheep as well as the view of picturesque valleys complete the idyllic location. If you are not so much into long hikes and strenuous mountain tours, but would still like to experience the impressive landscape from the highest point, that’s not a problem. Just take the UK’s only public rack and pinion railway straight to the 1,085 metre peak of Mount Snowdon. The steam locomotive runs from around mid-March to the end of October and conquers an altitude difference of around 1,000 metres. Once you have reached the top, you will surely understand why the Welsh called this park “Eryri” – The Land of the Eagle. 

Good to know: Watch out for the monster at Bala Lake, “Teggie” (derived from the Welsh name of Bala Lake, Llyn Tegid). It is said to be up to no good. 

  1. Bieszczady National Park, Poland – 4,9 out of 10.295 reviews 

Second place goes to the Bieszczady National Park in Poland, which covers 292 km2 and is one of the most unspoiled landscapes in Europe. The reason for this is a sad one: in 1947 around 100,000 villagers were forcibly resettled as part of the “Operation Vistula”. As a result, the park is far away from civilization and is mainly inhabited by animals: bears, wolves, lynxes, big game and bisons live here in paradise. Since 70 percent of the park is closed to visitors, animals and nature are largely undisturbed. Those who visit this protected area and walk along the paths will find an almost original landscape and absolute peace. Picturesque scenes of rivers meandering in front of gentle hills with nobody to be seen for miles around. This park is an excellent alternative to crowded tourist magnets! 

Good to know: In Wetlina, which is an excellent starting point for tours through the park, the small, rustic restaurant Chata Wedrowca is open from the beginning of May to the end of October and enchants its guests with wonderful blueberry pancakes. A must-have for anyone with a sweet tooth! 

  1. Rila National Park, Bulgaria – 4,9 out of 7.990 reviews 

The top three of the most popular European national parks closes with Rila in Bulgaria. The protected area covers 80,000 hectares and contains the largest mountain in Bulgaria (Musala, 2,925 meters), 120 ice-age lakes, even more during snowmelt periods, and numerous idyllic hiking trails. For a special nature experience you should start the hike past the seven Rila lakes. The views are magical and let you forget everything else! Discover with your own eyes the fitting names of the lakes, some of which are called “Tear”, “Kidney” and “Twin”. Not to be missed: At 1,147 metres above sea level is the 10th century Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest orthodox monasteries in the world. Further special objects of interest are the only active geyser of southeast Europe in Sapareva Banya in the north and the clay pyramids in Stob at the edge of the national park. 

Good to know: Those who aim high have to pack warm clothes for the greater part of the year. In nine out of twelve months, the temperature at the top of Musala is below zero. In summer it stays fresh and it rarely gets above 15°C. 

  1. Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, Spain – 4,9 out of 7.795 reviews 

If you like fantasy movies, you will love the landscape in the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park! Barren mountain slopes, with dazzling colours in some places, remind you of the desolate region of Mordor, in the “Lord of the Rings”. The feeling is reinforced by the location of the national park in the region of Aragón and by the mountain Monte Perdido, “Lost Mountain”, which gives its name to the park. Not convinced yet? Then you should know that the National Park is also called the Grand Canyon of Spain, belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage and has a lot to offer! Picturesque valleys surrounded by rugged mountain ranges, deep gorges, rushing waterfalls and magnificent vantage points are just waiting to be discovered. During the summer months, only official buses are allowed into the National Park. But most of the area has to be explored on foot – the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature! 

Good to know: God only knows where all the birds come from! In the Escuain valley, curious people have the chance to observe vultures and hunting birds nesting here. 

  1. Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany – 4,9 out of 5.897 reviews 

Next up is the Saxon Switzerland National Park in Germany. The rocky landscape of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains is unrivalled in this country and the motto of the national park “Bizarre Rocks – Wild Gorges” certainly does justice to the dramatic appearance. Whoever visits Saxon Switzerland and walks through the stages of the famous Painter’s Way will immediately understand how painters like Caspar David Friedrich were inspired by the landscape to create their romantic masterpieces. The National Park consists of three protection zones and a core zone. In the latter, a strict rule applies, and anyone who strays from the path should expect a fine. There is plenty to discover on the marked trails anyway: Walk through the bastion area, with a view of the world-famous Bastei Bridge and enjoy the stunning sight of Table Mountain Lilienstein. You won’t forget the impressions you take with you from a visit to Saxon Switzerland – and who knows, maybe you’ll paint your own picture afterwards? 

Good to know: Boofen – spending the night outdoors on the rocks – is permitted in the national park. This tradition of the Erzgebirge is traditionally reserved for mountaineers. 

  1. Stołowe Mountains National Park, Poland – 4,9 out of 5.752 reviews 

Dramatic rock formations are also waiting for you in Stołowe Mountains National Park. Bizarrely shaped rock formations made of sandstone and breathtaking Table Mountain structures take the visitor to a fantasy world. The nearly 64 km2 large park consists almost completely of forests, which allow for extensive walking routes. The absolute highlight of the national park are the “mushroom rocks”, which stand like oversized mushrooms in the forest and intensify the feeling of being in a fairytale. Apart from that, the rock town and the rock labyrinth attract young and old alike. The highest mountain in the park, the Szczeliniec Wielki (919 metres), should also be visited. The impressive Table Mountain has been formed in the last 70 million years mainly by wind and water. 

Good to know: Not far from the protected area you can visit the Kaplica Czaszek (Skull Chapel) in Czermna. According to a tradition that probably began in the 12th century, it is decorated with the bones of more than 3,000 people and in the crypt there are about 21,000 other bones. 

  1. Durmitor National Park, Montenegro – 4,9 out of 5.483 reviews 

Those seeking an adventure will find what they are looking for in Durmitor National Park. Have you always wanted to try extreme sports? Then throw yourself into one of the following activities this national park offers for its visitors: Paragliding, rafting, dirt bike riding or flying with a zip line over the Tara Gorge – everything is possible here! Of course, the mountain massif, which has 48 peaks with a height of over 2,000 metres, can also be explored in peace and quiet and in winter the ski area attracts winter sports enthusiasts. In this UNESCO World Heritage Site, everyone gets their money’s worth! The biggest attractions are certainly the Black Lake near Zabljak, which in suitable weather reflects the surrounding landscape, and the Tara Gorge, which measures 1,300 metres at its deepest point. This deepest gorge in Europe is crossed by a 365 metre long bridge offering spectacular views! 

Good to know: The origin of the name “Durmitor” is not documented, but it probably comes from the Celtic words “dru mi tore”, meaning mountain full of water. This is true in any case, as there are over 18 glacial lakes in the national park. 

  1. National Park Mount Olympus, Greece – 4,9 out of 2.191 reviews 

We are moving into the realm of the gods with the eighth place in the ranking of the most popular European national parks. The legendary Olympus was declared the first national park in Greece in 1938. According to ancient myths, Mytikas, the highest peak of Olympus (2,918 metres) was the place where the gods met, and Stefani (2,909 metres), the slightly lower summit, was the throne of Zeus, the father of the gods. If you get to these heights, you can certainly feel the sensation of being on top of the world. Two other peaks at similar altitudes, Skolio (2,911 metres) and Skala (2,866 metres), will also delight mountaineers. Information on hiking trails, monasteries and ancient sites in the area, as well as native plants and animals, can be found in the Visitor Centre close to Litochoro. The place is also an excellent starting point for your excursions. 

Good to know: A special event is the annual Olympus Marathon, which brings Greek mythology to life: The route, which starts in Dion at the foot of Mount Olympus, is a reminder of the pilgrimage of the ancient Greeks, who climbed Zeus’ throne in his honour every year. The route is 44 kilometres in length and extends over 3,200 metres in altitude. 

  1. Jotunheimen National Park, Norway- 4,9 out of 2.058 reviews 

From the gods to the giants: The Jotunheimen National Park in Norway is known as the “Empire of the Giants”, with over 250 peaks over 1,900 metres towering into the sky. The highest peak is Galdhøpiggen (2,469 meters). The highest heights in this national park are not necessarily the most popular destinations. Between mid-June and mid-September, park visitors push their way in large numbers along the Besseggen ridge – there are about 17,000 of them every month! The efforts are rewarded by magnificent views of the river, mountain lakes and beautiful peaks. Those who prefer solitude should visit less known valleys, e.g. Leirungsdalen, which is by no means less picturesque. What nature has created in this national park takes your breath away! 

Good to know: The nature is extraordinary in the Jotunheimen National Park, where you can also observe animals that may not be commonplace for you: Reindeer and moose are the classics here, but lemmings can also be seen. Just be careful: according to some reports the lemmings are not shy of contact and may bite. 

  1. Vikos–Aoos National Park, Greece – 4,9 out of 1.869 reviews 

Greece, like Poland, is represented by two national parks in this ranking and closes the top ten with the Vikos Aoos National Park, located in a region called Zagori. The National Park is named after two gorges, of which the Vikos Gorge is the better known – partly because it is in the Guinness Book of Records. The reason: the ratio between the deepest spot and the lowest width is the largest in the world. A crooked stone staircase full of serpentines, the steps of Vradeto, lead directly down into the gorge. Also fascinating: the 45 villages of the Zagori region are connected by old stone arch bridges and winding donkey paths. Today they form the route network for day hikes and multi-day tours and provide idyllic panoramas that take you right back to the Middle Ages. 

Good to know: Also in this park you can find various animal species: Besides brown bears, there are also wolves, red deer, wild boars and snakes in Vikos-Aoos as well as the usual suspects such as cows, sheep and numerous bird species. Typical of the park are also wild horses, and some of the visitors swear to hear them trot through the mountains from time to time. 

Methodology: This ranking was created in November based on Google data. All European national parks that were marked as such on Google were taken into account. The top 10 was created on the basis of Google ratings, whereby only national parks with at least 100 ratings were considered. 

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Burns Night: Celebrate with J&B Rare’s Bobby Burns Cocktail

There is no better way to shake off the January blues than by celebrating Burns Night on the 25th January 2020. Observe this historic event and raise a glass to Robert Burns with the classic Bobby Burns cocktail, which has been given an unexpected ‘Rare’ twist by world-renowned Jason Scott, owner of Bramble Bar and the iconic blended Scotch whisky, J&B Rare.

This year why not take a twist on the traditional and make J&B Rare Scotch whisky part of your celebrations. Created in the 1930’s (at the very same time the first known printed recipe of the Bobby Burns appeared in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book), J&B Rare has a light flavour profile, which makes it the perfect canvas for whisky cocktails such as The Bobby Burns.

Craddock’s original recipe called for Italian Vermouth and Scotch Whisky with 3 dashes of bitters, Jason Scott’s twist on the traditional combines J&B Rare with Balthazar Vermouth, Benedictine and Peychaud bitters, creating a subtle yet complex Bobby Burns.

Now in its 219th year, Burns Night is a true celebration of friends, food and whisky. What better way to mark the occasion than with Jason’s instant classic. To make the J&B Rare Bobby Burns simply:

Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Pour in 50ml J&B Rare, 25ml Balthazar Vermouth, 5ml Benedictine and 2 dashes of Peychaud Bitters. Stir and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a fresh lemon peel twist.

J&B Rare has been distilled, blended and bottled in Scotland since the 1930’s and is a blend of 42 malt and grain whiskies. The heart of J&B Rare is formed from the finest Speyside malts including Knockando, Glen Spey, Auchriosk and Strathmill. The blend is returned to the cask for a further three years’ maturation which brings together the bold flavours of the single malts with the lighter grain whiskies adding fullness and depth to the blend.

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Matt Worswick Appointed Executive Chef at The Shanghai EDITION

Globally renowned hotelier and designer Ian Schrager and restaurateur Jason Atherton are delighted to announce that Matt Worswick will be joining the team at The Shanghai EDITION as Executive Chef from February 2020. 

Worswick will be taking over from Scott Melvin, who departs at the end of the month. Melvin launched the hotel in July 2018 and has worked alongside Jason for the past 15 years. 

Jason Atherton commented: “I’m so pleased to be welcoming Matt to the team. He’s a fantastic chef with a wealth of experience which will only add to the brilliant reputation The Shanghai EDITION has acquired since opening. I’d like to wish Scott and his wife, Kim Melvin, the best of luck with their new adventure and thank them for their many years of hard work and loyalty.” 

Atherton’s team currently oversee the three F&B outlets within the 145-bedroom hotel including Shanghai Tavern, HIYA and Canton Disco in collaboration with Black Sheep Restaurant Group. 

Worswick noted: “I’m thrilled to be working alongside Jason and the team at The Shanghai EDITION. I’ve long admired Jason’s work, not only in London, but across the globe and I’m extremely excited to be a part of the team from February. My role will include overseeing the three F&B outlets and I’ll be based predominantly at Shanghai Tavern. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Pennyhill Park and would like to thank all the team for their continued support.” 

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Employers Urged to Prepare for a Raft of Employment Law Changes in 2020

2020 is set to be another year of change from an employment law perspective.  Not only will employers have to deal with legislative changes affecting contracts of employment, pay and tax, they will also have to grapple with the political uncertainty created by Brexit and the impact of the General Election. 

Paula Bailey, Partner and employment law expert at Howes Percival explains, “2019 has been a busy year for employment legislation and despite the political turmoil created by Brexit and the December General Election, we expect 2020 will be no different.  

“While some of the proposals aimed at strengthening workers’ rights outlined in the Good Work Plan have fallen – because they had not completed the legislative process in time – there are still plenty of legislative changes employers need to prepare for.  In addition to updates in statutory pay rates in April, a raft of amendments including changes to contracts of employment and taxation are expected to come into force. 

“With so many legislative changes on the horizon, it’s essential that employers plan ahead to ensure they remain compliant.  They should review their current employment contacts and resource models to ensure they have the correct relationship with individuals that they engage ahead of the changes.” 

The busiest day in the 2020 employment law calendar is set to be 6 April, with several changes expected to come into force including: 

Contracts of Employment

All employees and workers will have a ‘day one right’ to a written statement of terms.  The statement has also been expanded and contains additional details previously available to the employee in a separate document. 

Agency Workers

Temporary work agencies will be required to provide agency work-seekers with a Key Information document, including information on the type of contract, the minimum expected rate of pay, how they will be paid and by whom.  In addition to this, with effect from 30 April 2020, the Swedish Derogation provision will no longer apply.  

Average Holiday Pay

The reference period to be used to calculate average weekly pay for holiday pay will be increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.  

Tax changes

The off-payroll working rules (relating to IR35) are scheduled to be extended to large and medium-sized companies in the private sector.  Affected companies will be required to determine the employment status of individuals engaged through personal service companies or intermediaries.  They will need to provide that determination to fee payers and workers and adopt a resolution process in the event of disagreement.  They will also be responsible for the payment of tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) where there is deemed employment.  

HMRC have developed an online checking tool, the ‘Check Employment Status Tool’ (CEST), which, if completed correctly, they will accept.  Whilst the new rules are scheduled to apply from 6 April 2020, the final legislation to introduce these changes remains incomplete and many businesses and professional organisations are calling for the changes to be postponed.  However, at this time, the information available indicates that it is likely that the new rules will be implemented as expected. 

As a result of the tax changes and the changes to the Swedish Derogation model, many organisations are looking at their resource models going forward. 

All termination payments above the £30,000 threshold will be subject to class 1A NICs. 

Information and Consultation

The threshold to request an information and consultation agreement will be lowered from 10% to 2% of the total number of employees. 

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

This Act provides for parents to be entitled to 2 weeks’ leave and statutory bereavement pay if they lose a child under the age of 18, which includes where a child is still born after 24 weeks.  However, the regulations to set out and implement this Act, i.e. when it can be taken and safeguards against detriment (redundancy or dismissal) have not yet been published.

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Leeds Diners Support Children in Poverty

Shoppers in Leeds have helped provide over 650,000 meals to children in poverty with Rola Wala and the One Feeds Two Foundation, which donates a meal to hungry schoolchildren around the world for every meal sold.

The fast food vendor at Trinity Kitchen is one of the founding food partners of the cause, and to celebrate reaching the impressive milestone, diners can win a Rola Wala lunch for up to 10 colleagues. Details are available at www.rolawala.com/feedanuary.

The popular #KarmaKorma is also returning for January, offering a healthy, vegan-friendly, sweet potato version of the curry house classic, which is free from nuts, dairy, heavy oil and sugar.

Mark Wright, Rola Wala Founder, said: “The success of the One Feeds Two Foundation has been incredible. We want to say a big thank you to all our supporters and customers in Leeds, which is why we’ve decided to bring back the popular ‘Feedanuary’ campaign to win a meal for up to 10 colleagues at Rola Wala.”

He added: “Every time someone has a meal with us, they are directly helping schoolchildren living in one of the world’s poorest communities. The campaign is so important, as it aims to tackle global child hunger, encourage attendance at school and improve concentration and all-round health.”

Danielle Harris, Marketing Manager at Trinity Leeds, said: “The One Feeds Two Foundation is fantastic and it’s great to see a Trinity Kitchen vendor – and our loyal Leeds shoppers – show support for such a worthwhile cause.”

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