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A New App Launched to Raise Awareness of Testicular Cancer

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

The UK charity OddBalls Foundation has launched a new free ‘Check Yourself’ app for testicular cancer. There are over 16,000 new cases of testicular cancer diagnosed in the UK each year, and an early detection will mean that 95% of males can achieve full recovery. Every month a different celebrity will be encouraging users to check themselves regularly, with international rugby referee Nigel Owens being the one for this month.

It is beneficial for men over the age of 14 to become familiar with that area of the body and a monthly self-exam means that testicular cancer can be detected at an early and curable stage.

The app features a guide on how to check oneself aiming to help men learn what everything feels like when things are normal and if anything ever changes, they will know it and will be able to do something about it.
With it being the most common cancer in males aged 18 to 35, the app has been welcomed by international rugby teams, premier league football clubs, and cricket clubs.

Stephen Harper, former Premier League footballer and Patron of the charity, said: “unless we get a reminder, most of us just don’t think about it. Most of us have our phones in our hands, so there is no excuse not to download the app. It’s very simple, with a monthly reminder so you can’t forget. This could save your life”.

The charity also funds a male health programme called ‘Offload’ run by the Rugby Football League. It is a twelve week programme designed to educate males on the importance of physical and mental health, with a week entirely dedicated to testicular cancer.

The OddBalls Foundation was set up in 2016 to raise awareness of Testicular Cancer. Their aim is to fit as many ‘check yourself’ guides into male toilets and changing rooms across the country. They hope to encourage males to check themselves regularly and in doing so to detect any problems early.

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Tom’s Kitchen and The Vurger Co are collaborating for Veganuary

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

January, known by the food lovers and vegans as Veganuary, is the month of changes in the menus and collaborations to suit the vegan lifestyle, so Tom’s Kitchen and The Vurger Co will create two new mouth-watering burgers.

The Vurger Co is known for revolutionising the fast food industry through the power of plants and it has created, due to this collaboration, a new burger with a hoisin roll. The Vurger Burger features a ‘hoisin glazed mushroom patty with crispy Pak Choi, topped with hoisin stir-fried oyster mushrooms and shredded crunchy spring onions, cucumber, and red cabbage’ that will sell at the price of £16 including fries.

On the opposite poll, Tom’s Kitchen has created The Lamb Slam, an exclusive burger with ‘lamb merguez burger, topped with a sweet potato hash, fermented cabbage and dill coleslaw, with a dollop of cashew nut mayonnaise and a saffron, turmeric, and chia seed bun. It will cost £18 including fries.

These burgers will be available for both lunch and dinner at Tom’s Kitchen restaurants in Chelsea, Canary Wharf and St Katharine Docks, from the 2nd of January until the 31st of January.

Vurger Co is a 100% plant-based restaurant that paved the way for a stream of plant based start-up businesses in London and is planning to open more restaurants at different sites this year.

Tom’s Kitchen currently has four sites across London, one in Birmingham, and one international flagship in Istanbul. It serves comfort food classics in a relaxed and informal environment with a concept based on using UK-based suppliers and local producers.

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Manahatta to Be Opened in Manchester

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Arc Inspirations, a multi-brand operator, will add to its portfolio the first Manahatta site in Manchester after a £1.8 million investment. It will bring glamour to its new site while applying a similar décor to the surroundings of its two existing sites in Leeds.
The New York inspired bar will open an impressive 230-cover bar and restaurant in the Royal London House on Deansgate. It is scheduled to open in the summer of this year and it will benefit of an extraordinary 8000 square foot space, creating 60 full and part-time jobs.

Guests will encounter a full drinks list including cocktails crafter by award-winning mixologist Mark Austin with expertise from the American Bar at The Savoy Hotel, London. Manahatta will also offer an extensive food menu, including its famous all-day American style brunch, available every day until 4pm.
The Yorkshire based premium operator has had a record-breaking financial year after the successful opening of Manhatta, Greek Street.
Martin Wolstencroft, CEO of Arc Inspirations, said about the launch: “I’m extremely proud to be developing the Manahatta brand and to make our Manahatta mark in the beautiful city of Manchester. The prestigious Deansgate location is a fantastic setting and will complement our existing Banyan venue perfectly.”

The fact that they invested £1.8 million into creating this new site “reinforces our offering and reassures customers of its quality. The expansion cements our reputation as pioneers of innovating dining and drinking experiences in the North of England, and I’m confident we can offer the people of Manchester something different, glamourous and a fantastic experience every time they visit an Arc Inspirations site,” continued Martin.
Arc Inspirations was established in 1999, and it currently operates sixteen bars in the North of England grouped into four brands: Banyan Bar & Kitchen, Manahatta, the Pit, and Arc and The Box.

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Grifco PR Will Manage the Public Relations for Visit Monaco

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Grifco PR, one of UK’s foremost luxury travel PR agencies, will be handling the public relations for the Monaco Government and Tourist Authority, Visit Monaco. It will be responsible for the consumer, trade, MICE, and social media communications within the UK and Scandinavia.

The agency abounds in ultra-high net worth clients, including North Island, Seychelles, and Bramble Ski & Haute Montagne, the Alps’ largest luxury chalet operators and it is fit to ensure that Visit Monaco is at the front of the traveller’s mind.

“We are delighted to welcome Grifco onboard to oversee our UK and Scandinavian PR campaign as the principality enters this new era, and have complete confidence in the team’s ability to deliver”, said Stephan Degueurce-Roberge, Managing Director at the Monaco Government and Tourist Authority. “Monaco is undoubtedly one of the world’s most iconic destinations, and we look forward to introducing visitors to a side of our principality they may not have known about before; the destination of choice for the indulgent traveller conscious of leaving a positive impact behind when they leave.”

Monaco is set along 3.83 km of deep turquoise coastline on the Mediterranean’s Côte D’Azur, inhabited by 38,000 citizens. The destination draws over seven million visitors per year, attracted by the stunning scenery, world-class hotels, restaurants, sporting events, and attractions on offer.

This year will also see the launch of ‘Green is the New Glam’ campaign in Monaco. Bridging the gap between luxury and sustainability has been a priority for the country for a long time. The initiative will see the destination’s luxury eco-travel credentials reach unparalleled heights, launching a variety of new experiences that are green and glamorous at the same time.

In 2017, Grifco PR became the UK representative for Wyndham Hotel Group, Hilton Seychelles, the Vietnamese beach resort The Anam, and YTL Hotels’ Monkey Island.

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These are the best places to eat out during Veganuary

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Those who are really excited about Veganuary, but don’t know what the options out there are for them should fear no more. Plenty of big name restaurants in London and around the UK have a great selection of vegan options and they have special offers available from Veganuary.

Zizzi is a favourite when it comes to eating out, but this month they have introduced a new Arcobaleno pizza and a 2 for 1 offer on the vegan main dishes. Las Iguanas also offers a 2 for 1 meal deal and some new dishes specially made for Veganuary.

For the burger lovers, Handmade Burger Company has created six vegan burgers: Cajun Vegetable & Bean, Veg-Mex, Falafel, Sweet Potato & Bean, Thai Vegetable, and the Veggie Stack (without the cheese).

ASK and Pizza Express are championing the dairy free mozzarella and cheese on their pizzas. ASK’s Blood Orange and Chocolate Tart was also the winner of PETA’s sweet treat 2017 award, so it is definitely worth trying.

Wagamama and Yo Sushi also have available plenty of vegan options. Wagamama has launched a fully vegan menu and Yo Sushi has made available a ‘Make it’ Menu that will run until the 19th of January and will feature 12 vegan dishes at £2.80 each.

All Bar One has confirmed that 7% of their meals sold during the entire 2017 were vegan, and in Veganuary alone they served over 30,000 dishes. They have also added some new options, such as Supergreen Laksa, Chilli Non Carne Tacos, and Lentil and Cashew Dahl.

With a mix and match option, Chipotle gives the option to create your own vegan food, choosing from black beans, fajita vegetables, guacamole, and tomatillo green-chili salsa. You have tacos, tortillas, salads, and rice bowls that can be topped up with whatever you please. Unfortunately, all of its franchises are based in London.

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EasyJet makes an attempt at the insurance market

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

EasyJet, the low-cost British airline, has started a new partnership with Collinson Group and it will be offering its customers travel insurance solutions underwritten by Zurich Insurance, available on its website.

Zurich says that the customers will be welcomed by “persona-based products if their booking matches the profile for specific covers like winter sports, business travel, or sports such as cycling and golf.” They also have the option to buy the insurance separately from the flights through the easyJet website.

The pricing engine will also use variables such as the traveller’s destination, time of year, group size, and flight add-ons to make a suggestion regarding the type of product needed.

“We believe there is significant opportunity to introduce more tailored products at the point of sale, in addition to products that add greater customer engagement. We will continue to work with easyJet to create market differentiators to drive customer satisfaction and support their brand values,” said Greg Lawson, head of travel insurance at Collinson.

This new partnerships proves that the combined strengths of two businesses have the potential to innovate the market, offer better services, and understand the customer’s needs.

The airline is pleased with their partners and is happy to be able to sell travel insurance across Europe. The product will be available in 13 European markets, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Portugal, Greece, Denmark, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.

Collinson Group is a global leader in shaping and influencing customer behaviour to drive revenue and add value to its clients. Their areas of expertise are Loyalty, Lifestyle Benefits, Insurance, and Assistance, and together with their clients create value, engagement, and loyalty in their relationship with their customers.

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The East India Company welcomes the new year with a new gin

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

The beginning of this year will see a consumer launch of the new London Dry Gin developed by The East India Company. It is the brand’s first gin product and the first spirit in the company’s 400-year old trading history.

Since its creation in 1600, it has built a small empire based on sharing the East experience with the UK through the production of premium teas, rare coffees, artisan biscuits, jams, and marmalades and other fine food offerings. At the end of last year, it embarked on a new journey with the creation of London Dry Gin.

The current owner of The East India Company, Sanjiv M, said: “When I took the helm, I set about developing high quality tea, coffee and hospitality, but creating a spirits collection was also a very serious ambition. Gin felt like an obvious place for us to start due to the original trade of botanicals and historical connections to The East India Company. I am delighted to be creating a very prestigious gin as our first adventure into spirits.”

The brand has been working on its inaugural spirit since 2007. The goal was to develop a premium, commercially viable alcohol product that would reflect the company’s history and commitment to quality ingredients sourced from all over the world.

The development team spent 3 years researching through the company’s own records and the archives held in the British Library, Kew Gardens, Maritime Museum and the V&A, to source the key information that will create the perfect recipe for their new gin.

Jamie Walker, the Commercial Director, said that history and quality of flavour represent the key to success: “For centuries, The East India Company has traded the natural botanicals essential in the flavouring of a true London Dry Gin, and even pioneered the popularity of the original G&T. We’ve come full circle, in a sense, with the creation of an authentic London Dry Gin that is distilled in London using the world’s finest botanicals and created by a brand that stands for quality.”

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New Hotel Opening in the UK in 2018

A new year means new holidays and for those who want to try something new this year, here are the new openings from the UK.

The earliest opening is in January by the New Road Hotel in Whitechapel, London. It will be an independently owned business offering 80 rooms that reflect the East London scene. It will be perfect for both business and leisure travellers and the prices start from £169 per room based on a bed and breakfast deal.

The Academy will reopen this April in London. With its New York-based Champalimaud Design, it blends the modern and antique, showing the lives of the Bloomsbury Set who lived in that area in the early 20th century. The guests will be welcomed at their arrival by a beautiful garden courtyard, a breakfast bar and buffet, and cosy corners.

This spring will also hold the opening of the Monkey Island Estate in the historic village of Bray-on-Thames in Berkshire. The island has a history dating back 800 years, with monarchs, aristocrats and artists using it as their own meeting place. This superb renovation will consist of 27 bedrooms and three deluxe suites, aiming to bring all the Londoners to their private countryside escape.

The Grand Central Hotel in Belfast will become Northern Ireland’s largest hotel and will open in June. It will add 104 rooms to its 200 existing ones, creating over 150 jobs and offering over 300 luxury bedrooms, a restaurant, bistro, rooftop lounge, retail units and offices.

Another re-opening is Surrey’s 18th century inn, The White Horse in Dorking. It received a £3million refurbishment, benefiting of an addition of 16 new bedrooms, a total re-design of the ground floor restaurant, bar, and events spaces, There will also be a new restaurant concept for an all-day dining space that will integrate the hotel’s long-standing history.

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The ENTERTAINER had a great year and it is planning an even better one

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

The app-based business, the ENTERTAINER, is on track to have a successful year. It has planned to achieve 1,000 operators across 4,000 outlets by January 2018.

The ENTERTAINER is the leading provider of offers from well-known dining, leisure, hotel, entertainment, and beauty brand across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In the first five months of trading in the UK, it secured 500 hospitality operators, and brands like Banana Tree, Busaba Eathai, Snog Frozen Yogurt, and Belgo are happy to join the app.

Karthik Ramakrishnan,the Group Operations Manager of Banana Tree said about this partnership that it “enables us to drive footfall and loyalty, whilst attracting a whole new customer base. Most importantly, we haven’t cheapened our brand with too many discounts.”

What this business offers is a platform for the brands to promote their offers and promotions to an audience they might otherwise not have. It limits the discounts available to consumers to three per year to protect the brand’s values and the offers are valid 7 days a week, for a 12-month period.

The volume of customer data collected by the app also gives a valuable insight into customer behaviour and intention. It organises its customer data by types of offer redeemed, frequency, location, and savings.

The Global Marketing Director of the ENTERTAINER, Mike Rich, is enthusiastic about the new partners and thinks that the uncertainties coming from the Brexit are making the operators more loyal. He also adds that “the most difficult part of retaining loyal customers is acquiring them in the first place. Through offers and incentives, operators can drive footfall, leaving their front and back-of-house teams free to do what they do best – delivering a fantastic experience that leaves customers wanting more.”

The ENTERTAINER app is free to download for iOS and Android and new users have the opportunity to try one offer for free.

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Healthy Hospo launches its first event

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Healthy Hospo, a newly launched non-profit platform for the hospitality industry, will be hosting its first event on the 15th of January. The event will bring together professionals from different areas of hospitality to share their knowledge in the field.

The event will consist of a series of 20 minute talks and workshops covering mental health, exercise, nutrition, healthy drinking, yoga/pilates, and meditation. The speakers list includes Tim Etherington –Judge, the founder of Healthy Hospo, Camille Ralph Vidal, the Global Ambassador of St Germain, Adrian Hodson, the founder of Real Kombucha, and many more.

Healthy Hospo aims to build a healthier, happier, and more productive hospitality industry with the help of its project that incorporates events, a website, and consultancy services. The website offers free information, advice, and support, while the consultancy programme will work with the employers to improve the workplace.

This social enterprise was developed by Tim Etherington-Judge, who, after a mental breakdown in 2016, has decided to use that experience to help others: “In 2016 I had a very personally traumatic time but I wanted to take this experience and turn it into something positive. Healthy Hospo will seek to improve the health and wellness of hospitality professionals throughout the industry through preventative measures enabling them to lead healthier, happier working lives and build more sustainable careers. I also hope that by doing this we will also benefit business owners, helping them build a healthier workforce resulting in increased profitability, staff retention and reduced lost days to sickness.”

The hospitality industry is known as one of the unhealthiest ones, because it lacks the securities and benefits that other industries have. The healthcare and insurance depends on country and employer and the paid sick leave is rare. There are also not a lot of organisations within the industry to support the rights and wellbeing of its workers.

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