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The Alchemist Nottingham Opens Soon

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

The Alchemist has announced today that the opening date of its new Nottingham venue will be the 10th of February 2018. The £1.65 million investment that will operate in the former Hard Rock Café on King Street went through an expansion of an impressive 6,600 square feet across two floors, creating 80 full and part-time jobs for the local area.

This will become the brand’s 13th location and Macaulay Sinclair’s design will follow The Alchemist’s trademark ‘copper-cased wonderland’ of dark and mysterious interiors and gothic artwork. Spookily enough, contractors have reported ghostly sightings of a little girl during the fit out.

“We’ve had our sights set on Nottingham for a while, and we’re pleased it’s finally come to fruition. The site is intriguing – particularly with the eerie stories we’ve been hearing from the team. A number of unexplained goings on has certainly kept us entertained over the last few months. Nottingham is a fantastic city, and we have secured an amazing location – overall the venue feels a perfect fit for us,” said Simon Potts, Managing Director of The Alchemist.

This opening is just the beginning of a prosperous year, with the operator already confirming two regional opening in Bristol and Cardiff, as well as securing an additional £16 million in funding from Santander for its expansion plans in 2018.

“It’s a real joy to be able to announce positive plans for our continued growth at a time when there seems to be a lot of uncertainty in the sector. Our guests continue to enjoy our unique offering and I’m confident that The Alchemist brand will be a positive addition to Nottingham,” added Simon.

Established in 2002, The Alchemist offers unique experiences for guests due to its innovative presentation, sensational settings, and dark décor. The premium bar and restaurant provides a dining service from breakfast through to dinner, complemented by an expertly crafted drinks menu.

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Hilltop Honey Brings Three More Products in Sainsbury’s

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

The award-winning Mid Wales honey producer, Hilltop Honey, has secured three new product listing with the retail giant, Sainsbury’s. Starting with the 14th of January, customers will see across 343 stores nationwide a new range of honey products: Lavender Honey, Orange Blossom Honey, and Thyme Honey. They will be sold in jars of 227g and will raise the product list to six, after already having a contract for two years to supply its Organic Acacia Honey, Organic Multiflower Honey, and Cut-comb in Acacia Honey.

“It is with great pride that we are launching three additional lines into Sainsbury’s including our Lavender, Orange Blossom and Thyme – all of which form part of our honeys of the world collection. We already have a proven record with Sainsbury’s shoppers, with repeat purchasing remaining high, so we’re confident these new additions will offer consumers a premium, quality product with exceptional taste,” said Scott Davies, founder of Hilltop Honey.

These three new monofloral honeys will add premium value to Sainsbury’s honey offering due to their floral aroma and distinctive taste. UK customers are starting to show more awareness towards natural, unrefined foods, paying special attention to sugar free alternatives. Honey is a natural substitute to sugar and therefore it presents a better and healthier choice.
Scott argues that honey is great for breakfast: “Using a quality honey on toast can add distinctive flavor. Likewise, a drizzle of our Hilltop Honey Orange Blossom honey over porridge can infuse citrus aromas since the honey is gathered from the blossoms of orange groves. Such an intensely flavoured honey brings a new dimension to taste as well as being extremely versatile.”

Since its inception in 2011, the business has grown stronger and stronger. Last year it journey to become one of the UK’s leading premium honey brands by increasing production, moving into expanded premises, and investing in automated technology and staff. The new deal with Sainsbury’s could possibly amount to 78,000 jars per year, which means further growth and sustainability for Hilltop Honey.

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Doughnut Time Will Offer Free Donuts in Notting Hill

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Doughnut Time will be opening its third store on Saturday, the 27th of January in Notting Hill. The customers will have two hours of free donuts, including an exclusive Notting Hill donut, from 12pm-2pm on the day of the launching.

“Following our successful openings in Central and East London, we can’t believe it’s already time to hit West London! So far our doughnuts have conquered Londoners’ hearts, and we’re looking forward to sprinkling a bit of fun on this iconic area of Notting Hill,” said Damian Griffiths, the founder of Doughnut Time.

The shop is right next door to the famous Notting Hill Bookshop, where the characters of Julia Robert and Hugh Grant first met in the British romantic comedy, Notting Hill. To celebrate their location, the bakers from Doughnut Time have partnered up with the Great British Bake Off 2017 Finalist, Steven Carter-Bailey, and created a limited-edition brownie-packet donut named after Julia Robert’s character, ‘Anna Scott’.

The creation is made up of dark chocolate glaze with milk chocolate drizzle and curls, and topped with a daisy flower. Inspired by one of the film’s most popular scenes, the last brownie contest, Londoners have the chance to taste this chocolate delight for free during 12pm-2pm on the 27th of January.

For the future, the Doughnut Time has planned to open a Doughnut Academy above its Shaftesbury Avenue store, offering customers the opportunity to showcase their artistic and culinary skills as they decorate and customise their own donut creations. Additionally, the expansion will continue to grow, as the business is set to open new kiosks in London City Airport and other London locations.

Doughnut Time is a specialist in creating hand-dipped donuts in small batches. They are carefully designed to make customers fall in love, with flavours ranging from conventional (original glazed, salted caramel, jam and cream) right through to the unique (maple bacon, hibiscus and Nerds).

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Asda and Aldi to Ban Energy Drinks to Under-16s

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Asda is the first of the ‘big four’ supermarkets to ban the sale of high caffeine energy drinks to people younger than 16 in all of its stores. This would apply to 84 products starting from Monday, the 5th of March and customers wishing to purchase one of these products will have to show an ID in-store and online. This decision followed a similar ban imposed by Waitrose.
“We have listened to our customers and want to take a leading position in this area to support parents and teachers in limiting young people’s’ access to high caffeine drinks,” said Andrew Murray, Chief Customer Officer at Asda.

Aldi also announced that anyone that will buy soft drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre will have to prove their age across all of its stores in the UK and Ireland, starting with 1st of March.

“We are introducing this age restriction in response to growing concern about the consumption of energy drinks among young people,” commented on this decision Oliver King, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi.

In 2010, The British Soft Drinks Association introduced a voluntary code of practice that suggested that high-caffeine soft drinks should not be promoted or marketed to those under 16. Following that, in 2013 Morrisons announced a similar ban on energy drinks in some of its stores.

The campaign group Action on Sugar (AoS) found out last month that the typical serving sizes for energy drinks were larger than other sugar-sweetened drinks, at an excessive 500 ml. Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine and AoS chairman described these drinks as ‘completely inappropriate’ to be consumed by children and that they should be banned for those under-16.

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Union Street Café Will Serve a New Pizza Trend

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

An Italian pizza trend will be brought to London by Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café on the 6th of February. Pizzas will be turned into a fine dining experience, with the use of best dough recipes and the finest ingredients.

Taking place during one night only, the six course pizza tasting menu will see the Italian dough expert Matteo Attianese and Davide Degiovanni reuniting for an unforgettable evening, working side by side to create the menu and showcase this popular trend from Italy. La Cascina dei Sapori is one of the top ten best pizza restaurants in Italy for which Matteo Attianese masters the finest dough-making.

Some of the dishes included in the menu are ‘Fritta’, which is a fried pizza dough topped with crudo of tuna, turnip tops, chili, and bergamot, ‘Dal Mare’ with Mediterranean octopus, stracciatella, and ‘Nduja, and ‘Dolce’ with a sweet dough topped with sheep’s ricotta, pistachio, lemon, and chocolate. Each one of them will be served as a small portion, closer to the idea of fine dining than the pizza experience everyone is used to.

Union Street Café is known for its openness to bring the Italian spirit to London and Davide together with his team bring all sides of Italy with them in style and personality, as well as in the way they treat the guests as if they are welcoming a friend into their home and sharing their memories of Italy with them. It is a ‘must go’ for the lovers of food, wine, and conversation; a place to spend quality time in the company of friends and loved ones.

This event is the first of its kind organised at Union Street Café and guests will start their pizza journey in the subterranean Olive Grove bar, before heading to an evening hosted by the chefs. It will take place on Tuesday, the 6th of February, and the six course menu, including the aperitif, costs £35 with an optional £15 for beer pairings.

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Arundel Castle’s Tournament Will Celebrate Ten Years

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

The annual Jousting and Medieval Tournament organised at the Arundel Castle in West Sussex, England will mark its tenth event this year and it will introduce a ‘Champion of Champions’ edition. The six day event will take place from the 25th until the 30th of July.

Those wishing to attend will see knights on horses jousting in competition for the ‘Order of Arundel’. In the past years, teams of knights used to compete against each other, but this year the highest scoring individual jousters from previous years will join the field. Specially trained horses and knights will then fight to become the finest jouster to contend at Arundel Castle.

“I have no doubt in my mind that this year’s event will be the biggest and best to date! The tournament is unique, testing the physical and mental prowess of each competing knight, as well as their chivalry, horsemanship and stamina,” said Stephen Manion, the Castle’s Manager.

“We are delighted to be hosting a ‘Champion of Champions’ edition in celebration of its tenth outing at the Castle – our visitors are in for a real treat. I look forward to seeing the excitement on the faces of our visitors this July, as they cheer their chosen knight to victory,” added him in regards to this year’s edition.

Arundel Castle will also be the host of a medieval foot tournament, in which competitors will be pitted against each other in a show of combat strength. Alongside these competitions, visitors can expect combat displays, craft showcases and a host of cookery, costume, and weaponry demonstrations.

Discounted entry is applicable for group travel organisers, as well as special admission rates to the jousting tournament. More information about the event and the costs are available on arundelcastle.org

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PepsiCo Launches the PepsiCo Go Trendsetter Challenge Project

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

PepsiCo has opened the second edition of the PepsiCo Go Trendsetter Challenge and those wishing to participate have until the 20th of February to register. The project is aimed at young graduates from Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa to use their entrepreneurs’ skills and identify the next revolutionary idea in the food and beverage industry.

The participants will have to create their unique product or choose to develop an existing PepsiCo product. The best ideas will be chosen to go further and will be under the surveillance of hand-selected mentors. The finalists then will have the opportunity to win a place in one of the company’s top programs dedicated to graduates.

“PepsiCo Go Trendsetter Challenge represents an extraordinary platform that can help the graduates not only to present their own business ideas, but also to start their career. Moreover, at the second edition, the program will take place in nine markets, comparing to three, therefore we are expecting that the ideas presented during the competition would be even more daring than until now,” said Becky Taylor, Senior Director Digital for PepsiCo Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The project will be available in nine countries: UK, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Serbia, Romania, Greece, Russia, and South Africa and the candidates will be faced with the opportunity to start an international career and work with colleagues from all over the world. After the 12 weeks, PepsiCo will create a top of the best graduates and will offer those with unique ideas a full-time position at PepsiCo.

The first stage of the program is submitting the ideas online before the 20th of February. The second phase starts in March when PepsiCo experts will choose the concepts that have the biggest potential on the market and pair the selected participants with an experienced mentor. During the last stage, the finalists will present their ideas in front of a panel of PepsiCo marketing specialists and all of them will have the chance to get a place in the Digital Graduate program.

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One Gin Was Selected for the National Television Awards

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One Gin was selected as the gin supplier of choice at the National Television Awards 2018, held at the O2 London on the 23rd of January. It will be serving the signature ‘One Sage Smash’ cocktail and a classic G&T with its partner Fentimans Tonic. Those who are doing Dry January were not forgotten, and One Gin will offer One Origins, a botanically infused spring water range. The other beverage partners for the awards are the international household brands Heineken, Echo Falls, and Champagne Collet.

“We are honoured to be selected as the gin partner for the National Television Awards and excited to serve One Gin to such a talented audience. We hope they will be inspired to spread the word about One Gin and the good work of The One Foundation,” said Ian Spooner, Managing Director at The Spirit of One.

The IWSC Gold award winner is distilled using nine botanicals from around the world plus one signature botanical, fresh sage from the grounds of the distillery, which gives it a unique flavour. Its smooth finish comes from the fact that it is hand-crafted in small batched in a copper pot still.

‘Sage’ is a word derived from the Latin word ‘salvare’, which means to heal. This meaning ties perfectly with One’s vision to channel profits into helping the estimated 663 million people that have no access to clean water.

One Gin is perfect for a classic G&T with a slice of crisp apple and a sage leaf to garnish and for those who like to try new drinks; the brand has also designed a range of cocktails. It is available for purchase in selected bottle shops across the UK, Harvey Nichols stores, Hawksmoor Restaurants nationwide, and top bars like Mr Fogg’s and The Gibson.

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2017 Was a Record Tourist Year

According to official statistics released today, there had been a record number of international tourists visiting the UK in the first nine months of last year. 30.1 million inbound visits were recorded, which is 7% higher than 2016.

Visits from China increased by a whopping 33% to 268,000 visitors that spent a record £557 million while in the UK. Oversea visits from Spain grew by 11% to 1.9 million, with a spending of £861 million. Record numbers come from German visitors as well who overall paid out £1.3 billion.

The figures are not based only on tourism revolved around London. Other English regions received record numbers as well, with 12.7 million people visiting cities and places all over England. Scotland was up 14%, while Wales grew with 6%. London also saw an increase in international tourists, with 7% more than January to September 2016.

“It is fantastic news that towns and cities across the UK are benefiting from the boom in tourism, and as the new Tourism Minister I want to ensure that this trend continues,” said Michael Ellis, the Tourism Minister. “Promoting the UK as a must visit destination to the rest of the world is paramount in ensuring that local areas can reap the benefits of tourism and I am committed to working with the sector to drive economic growth across the UK.”

The only regions that saw no growth at all or even a decline in international visitors were the North East with no change from 2016, Yorkshire which was down 4%, and East Midland down 5%.

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New Game Releases Announced for 2018

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

This year is said to bring some of the most anticipated console games ever on the PS4. Last year has seen some great titles for gaming lovers, such as Doom, Syberia III, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Battlefield 1, Final Fantasy XV, and Titanfall 2, but this year is going to be even better.

The first one on the list is Spider-Man that follows unto its film success. Sony will therefore, create a new Spider-Man action-adventure video game, self-contained, and not based on the movie or the comic books.

Days Gone is an action-adventure survival horror video game set in a post-apocalyptic open world. Most people have been turned into zombie-like creatures and one man gets tired of living in human encampments and decides to aim for the open road.

The Canadian video game developer will release Anthem, an upcoming online multiplayer action role-playing video game. It is played from a third-person perspective and it is set in an open world environment where Javelins fight beasts and marauders.
Conan Exiles is a promising open world survival video game set in the world of Conan the Barbarian. The player characters are convicted of several murders and crucified under the scorching sun, until Conan comes to the rescue. The adventure then starts and the player will navigate and try to survive in the desert wasteland – the Exiled Lands.

One of the most eagerly-awaited games of 2018 is the sequel to the massive hit Red Dead Redemption. It will be released this spring and from the videos provided, it seems to be one of the most visually stunning video games ever.

The eleventh instalment and the fifth main title in the Far Cry series – Far Cry 5 – is awaiting release this spring as well. Set in an open world, the players can do virtually whatever they want while battling a cult preacher and his grasp over the local community. Unlike the previous titles however, this one will allow the player to customise its character.

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