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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

108 Brasserie Unveils New Menu

Local Marylebone favourite 108 Brasserie is delighted to unveil a brand new menu which takes inspiration from culinary delights from across the globe this summer. The menu focuses on light, fresh and healthy dishes; where seasonal produce take centre stage. The ever-popular restaurant’s new menu features bold flavours, alongside beautiful aesthetics, set to make 108 a truly memorable dining experience. 

108’s new globally inspired menu will take diners on a journey to discover the freshest and most delicious options the season has to offer. 108 Brasserie’s new lunch menu is divided into four distinct sections; Raw, Tostadas, Small Plates and Larger Plates. Highlights include vegan options of Sprouted Grain Hummus Open Sandwich with Avocado & Pickled Vegetable Slaw (£10.25) and a Lebanese Cauliflower “Tabbouleh” with Preserved Lemon, Pomegranate Seeds & Herbs (£10.75) alongside a Thai Massaman Tiger Prawn Curry with Steamed Jasmine Rice (£22) and Spicy Satay Chicken Tostadas (£12.75).

Choices to start on the dinner menu include Shallot & Thyme Tarte Tatin with Crumbled Roquefort (£9.75) and Seabass Ceviche with Sweet Potato, Avocado, Plantain, Lime & Chilli (£14.50). New main dishes include options of Dukkah-spiced Lamb Rump, Lentil Tabbouleh and Minted Yoghurt (£23.75) alongside a selection of salads bursting with flavour; Niçoise Salad, Seared Tuna, Green Beans, Soft Egg, New Potatoes & Olives (£14) and Honey-roasted Beetroot with Ricotta, Smoked Almonds, Sourdough Crisps & Summer Leaves (£12.25).

Delights on 108 Brasserie’s new dessert menu include Apricot & Amaretti Tart with Clotted Cream (£9.75), Pavlova with Summer Berries & Chantilly Cream (£9.50) and a vegan Raw Chocolate Panna Cotta served with Honeycomb (£7.25). The dessert menu also includes a wine pairing for each sweet treat and offers guests the choice of La Fromagerie cheese served with Tomato & Red Onion Jam (£14), or a selection of ice creams and sorbets (from £2.50 a scoop).

For those looking for a more classic option, 108 Brasserie has also kept a few of it’s definitive dishes known and loved by regulars on the menu. Favourites include the restaurant’s best-selling British staple Fish & Chips served with Pea Purée & Tartare Sauce (£18.50) – with £1 from every dish sold being donated to The Marylebone Consortium.

108 Marylebone Lane offers a truly local all-day dining experience, with an emphasis on fresh, light, and above all delicious, seasonal dishes. Set in the heart of Marylebone, 108 offers brasserie-style dining and is open all day, seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch, cream tea, and dinner; while its idyllic terrace – lavishly adorned with green foliage – provides a tranquil spot to sit back and enjoy the British summertime. Just off Marylebone High Street, 108 houses two distinctive areas; the bar, a chic and sophisticated drinking and dining area, and the brasserie’s dining space, where the vibrant, modern menu takes centre stage.

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Jelly Belly Launches New Collection

Jelly Belly Candy Company launches a delightful Donut Shoppe Mix with five favourite traditional American flavours inspired by bakery classics. Each Jelly Belly® jelly bean in this assortment delivers the same depth of sweetness and full-bodied sensory bliss expected from a freshly made donut.

This assortment of donut flavours includes Glazed, Chocolate Glazed, Apple Filled, Strawberry Iced, and Blueberry Cake. Each flavour is pure delight. The new Donut Shoppe Mix comes in a variety of packages, including the charming 28g Donut Tin, perfect for snacking or as a gift. The clear donut window invites a peek at the delicious mix inside, and the petite size is convenient for travel.    

The Donut Shoppe Mix 70g Grab & Go® Bags are currently available. The 28g Donut Tins and 1kg bulk bags are scheduled to be available this summer.   

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Introducing the Jude’s Ice Cream Blue Vanilla Uni-Cone

Celebrated across the land for creating innovative, flavourful treats with great taste and quality at its heart, Jude’s is excited to announce the latest result of its ongoing, pioneering product development: Jude’s Blue Vanilla ice cream. 

Evoking childhood whimsy and imagination, Jude’s has taken its best-selling ice cream flavour, Jude’s Very Vanilla, which contains bourbon vanilla and milk from Matterley Farm, and created a vibrant bluescoop. The blue hue of Jude’s Blue Vanilla has been conjured up naturally using blue spirulina.

Launching at Taste of London on Wednesday 19th June 2019, Jude’s Blue Vanilla ice cream will be available to enjoy as a Uni-Cone serve, featuring a scoop of Jude’s Blue Vanilla ice cream, topped with unicorn sprinkles, a swirl of candyfloss and a wafer cone, sat atop a charcoal ice cream cone, priced at £4. 

A scoop of Jude’s Blue Vanilla ice cream without the Uni-Cone serve will be available to purchase for £3.50. Following Taste of London, the Jude’s Blue Vanilla will be touring the kingdom, and will be available to purchase at a variety of summer festivals.

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Father’s Day: Boundary London, Skewd Kitchen & Mamounia Lounge

Albion Shoreditch, an all-day café, bar and grocery location on the ground floor of Boundary London on Redchurch Street, will be offering ‘buy one get bottomless free beer’ with every Albion Special Beef Roast purchased this Father’s Day. Served from 12.30pm, the traditional Sunday Roast returns to Albion with all the trimmings, priced at £16. (T&Cs apply: 90 minute table allocation, walk-in-basis subject to availability for fathers dining with their children).

On Sunday 16th June, Skewd Kitchen, the award-winning, fine dining Anatolian restaurant and bar in Cockfosters, is treating every Dad who dines with a complimentary service from their friends at R.W.WOLF Barbers – together, an irresistibly insatiable combination! Cooked over British Woodlands’ coal, sourced from the best and prepared award-winning chefs, Skewd Kitchen will be doubling up on their famous meat dishes and offering the perfect man’s menu. The drinks equally have a ‘wow’ factor, with a special menu of cocktails designed for an esteemed gentleman – whether a whisky man or a wine guy, the perfect tipple awaits. Call now to avoid disappointment!

Mamounia Lounge, a Middle Eastern restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Knightsbridge, is giving Dad’s a contemporary Arabic twist on the traditional British Sunday roast this Father’s Day, with its Lebanese and Moroccan Sunday Roast menu. Created by Head Chef Thamer Darwish, it is designed to reinvent Britain’s most celebrated meal and pay homage to the ingredients and flavour combinations used in authentic Arabic cooking, with a selection of delicious mezze plates, salads, sides, centrepiece roasted meats, tagines and desserts.

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Morrisons Launches Giant Surf & Turf for Father’s Day

Morrisons is launching a super-sized surf and turf this weekend to treat the nation’s dads this Father’s Day. The giant ‘surf & turf’ deal includes one Morrisons The Best Tomahawk steak and two Black Tiger Prawns for just £20.

The enormous prawns are 25cm long and weigh 111g each – more than eight times the size and 27 times the weight of a cold water prawn – at 3cm long and 4g weight respectively. They are sourced from the warm waters of the Mekong delta in Vietnam, where they feed on a natural plankton diet.

The British Best Tomahawk Steak comes in at a huge 900g (over 32oz), the equivalent of nearly four average rump steaks. Served on the bone, the steak is hand prepared by Morrisons butchers at its own food making sites, where the meat is matured for 21 days to maximise richness and flavour.

Morrisons is introducing the £20 deal following the success of the Father’s Day Tomahawk in 2018 which saw the supermarket sell over 10,000 steaks over one weekend. However, meat and seafood lovers will need to be quick as the deal will only run between 13 to 16 June. Customers can also buy each product separately – two giant Black Tiger prawns will cost £5, and each The Best Tomahawk is priced at £15. 

Jodie Bolland, Senior Meat Buyer at Morrisons says: “The giant surf and turf is our meatiest challenge yet for Dads on Father’s Day. We hope they enjoy it this weekend – whether they’re attempting it solo or enjoying it as a family meal.”  

Customers who aren’t up for the challenge, can ask Morrisons butchers to cut a slightly smaller steak – such as a fillet, rump, ribeye or sirloin. The supermarket has 2,000 professional instore butchers who can bone, trim, seam and prepare steaks, plus advise on recipes, cooking and wine pairing. All of the supermarket’s beef is sourced directly from British farmers.

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Craft Gin Club and World of Zing Create Gin Syrups

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Starting with their Summer Cup syrup, which launched earlier this month, Craft Gin Club will be introducing its members to a brand new range of gin cocktail syrups developed with partners World of Zing.

Craft Gin Club have been keeping their members up to date with the latest gin trends since starting the business in 2015. Their monthly boxes feature a full-size bottle of limited edition or exclusive gin, paired mixers, delicious snacks, inspiring cocktail ingredients and their 56-page magazine.

The club’s partnership with World of Zing, experts in molecular mixology, marks their commitment to finding new and exciting ways for their customers to enjoy gin.

“Gin has always been a perfect canvas for innovative flavours and exciting new drinks,” says John Burke, co-founder and commercial director of Craft Gin Club. “As distillers have become more experimental with their recipe creation and methods of distillation, so have the drinkers. Working with World of Zing means that we’re anticipating trends and creating the products people need to further their enjoyment of the spirit.”

The Summer Cup syrup leads with strawberry and basil notes to complement the club’s gin of the month for June, Nelson’s Gluggle Jug Gin. Brand new to the UK market, the gin is the perfect base for the Gluggle Jug Punch cocktail, which uses the Summer Cup syrup to create a summery, Pimms-style tipple. A 50ml bottle of the syrup was included in this month’s Gin of the Month box.

Pritesh Mody, founder of World of Zing and regular on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, is a leader in flavour innovation: “With our world-class cocktail development facility and partnership with one of the UK’s largest spice merchants, the World of Zing team is constantly pushing the boundaries of flavour and drinking experiences.

“The team at Craft Gin Club select the best possible gins for their members each month, so it’s our job to showcase the botanicals with these bespoke ingredients. It’s all part of delivering an elevated cocktail experience to at-home drinkers.”

More syrups are scheduled to be released in the coming months.

The Strawberry and Basil Summer Cup syrup will be available for Craft Gin Club members to re-purchase via their online store later this month – £6.99 per 250ml bottle

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Concept Eateries in Leeds lead Plusnet’s Humans of New Yorkshire Campaign

OWT and Fat Annie’s, two of Leeds’s Kirkgate Market most popular food vendors, have been named amongst 8 start-up businesses that are driving Yorkshire’s latest start-up boom.

New research from small business network Enterprise Nation, conducted in partnership with Plusnet, has dug deeper into this regional entrepreneurial trend to produce Humans of New Yorkshire, a content series launched via Instagram.

In 2019, Yorkshire businesses have outdone the rest of the UK with 43% of Yorkshire SME’s reporting a better financial performance in the past 6 months compared to 36% outside of the region. There have been over 5,000 loans given to Yorkshire businesses since 2012 averaging £8,126 each. This figure is higher than the London average of £7,771.

The Humans of New Yorkshire series will initially launch with eight businesses from Leeds, Sheffield, York, and Huddersfield.

  • Fat Annie’s is an artisan hotdog vendor founded after owner James accepted redundancy from his previous office job. To create the perfect hotdog, he travelled to New York for five days on a pilgrimage and returned with the knowledge and passion to build a place where both meat eaters and vegans could enjoy the best ‘dog’ possible. James’ aim is to change the perceptions of traditional marketplace-goers and inspire a new meaning for meat in a bun.
  • OWT, the sustainable, fully-cyclical café who start off with an empty fridge every day. They serve traditional Yorkshire food that locals want and can purchase the ingredients for just a few steps away. With an everchanging menu and close community focus, they aim to bring the social element back to Yorkshire food by bringing more attention to sit-down dining.

The businesses will also benefit from local exposure via InLink points in Leeds. The InLinks will feature OWT and Fat Annie’s Humans of New Yorkshire content and direct locals to the businesses.

Speaking of the project, Nick Silverwood, Plusnet’s Head of Business, said: “Plusnet is a born and bred Yorkshire company and we wanted to shine a light on the amazing people that make this area so special. As a provider to so many small businesses in Yorkshire and beyond, this is our way of showcasing the amazing people that are redefining the perceptions of our home turf – less flat caps and more flat whites!”

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UK Sports Clubs and Stadium Owners Must Modernise

Oracle Food & Beverage has announced the results from their new Stadium of the Future report which highlighted the opportunities for UK stadium owners to increase revenues through the modernization of their hospitality services and in-stadia fan experiences.

“A growing number of sports clubs have successfully monetized the experiences of fans outside of stadium through digital marketing activities,” said Simon de Montfort Walker, executive vice president and general manager, Oracle Food and Beverage. “But many are ignoring the opportunity inside the stadium and are failing to meet the needs of fans, with the average UK fan’s match-day spend being one of the lowest. In fact, the lack of action was highlighted with the recent opening of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which many experts claim is the only stadium in the UK that meets the needs of the modern-day fan, bringing the same conveniences they have in their everyday lives – self ordering, food delivery, mobile payments, etc. – to their favorite sporting venues.”

Modern Technology Scores with Fans

The sports industry is fast-paced and stadiums need to keep up with the growing demands of their extremely loyal fan base. The survey showed that when it comes to food and beverages, fans would welcome self-ordering from kiosks and mobile apps to speed the process. And much like they have come to expect from emerging food delivery services – they want the food to come to them in their seat, so they spend their time watching the game. And, they expect all this to be paid for via the click of a button, via cashless or modern payment systems or loaded tickets. 

While fans were also open to AR/VR to view menus and drone food delivery, they drew the line at robots delivering their food. 70% of UK fans want to spend for goods via contactless or mobile payments, and 61% would be interested in loyalty programs.

The study of over 2000 sports fans from the U.S., UK, Germany, Australia and Canada, highlighted what fans expect from their game-day experience.

The view from UK fans:

·         Attendees currently spend an average of £19 per game, lower than Canada ($33), Australia ($34) and the USA ($42). As such, there is room for improvement to increase average spend.

·         UK fans ranked being able to stay in their seats as the most important way to improve the food and beverage experience.This is higher than quicker transaction times, the ability to order anywhere in the stadium, and having an easier time placing an order.

·         56% of UK attendees would spend more on concessions if their wait time were cut in half. In fact, 10 minutes was the maximum acceptable wait time to buy food and drinks according to the UK fans surveyed.

·         69% were highly interested in using a mobile application to order food and beverages, and 64% said they would use a self-service kiosk, mobile app or tablet for purchases.

·         Fans are already using paperless tickets and contactless payments, but are less interested in too-futuristic technology. For example, 97% of fans were not interested in receiving an order from a robot, while 42% prefer staff members. 

·         61% would be interested in loyalty programs. Fans globally are interested in joining a loyalty rewards program with Germany and the US leading the way on 70% and 69%. However, less than 4% actually participate in these programs in the US and 1% in Canada, showing more needed to be done to engage the fans and make it worth their while.

·         70% prefer cashless payments to improve the fan experience.

“Venues can no longer think of game-day as a moment in time,” added de Montfort Walker. “It’s an opportunity to engage fans before, during, and after a game in an easy and seamless manner for a fan. For example, loyalty programs members may receive a coupon for a beer during the second half of the football game, or a burger at a venue owned restaurant outside the stadium after a game. It’s a win-win that rewards the fan and helps the venue move product and increase revenue.”

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Marqués de Cáceres Launch Limited Edition Rioja

Strictly for the connoisseur, Rioja wine estate, Marqués de Cáceres has released its latest edition wine, Generacion MC 2016, complete with a limited edition label, which appears on just 2,500 of the almost 16,000 bottles in the latest vintage.

The striking label is inspired by the passion and tradition of Flamenco high fashion. Designed in partnership with SIMOF (the Salón Internacional de la Moda Flamenca), the MC bottle celebrates the history shared between winemaking and flamenco.

2019 marks seven years of partnership between Marqués de Cáceres and SIMOF, a collaboration which combines the expertise, tradition, design and singularity shared by wine and haute couture Flamenco fashion.

Each year, fashion designers submit proposals that are evaluated by a committee of experts – including exhibitors, event organisers and renowned designers – supervised by Cristina Forner, President of Marqués de Cáceres.

This year’s label for the annual event is designed by Virginia Vargas, an expert in Flamenco fashion and it shows the distinct personality of designer Aurora Gavino.

Generacion MC is new-generation in style. This 2016 Rioja is a young, expressive wine made from 100% Tempranillo grapes, selected by hand from 65-90 year old vineyards.

Aged for 15 months in new French oak barrels, the resulting wine has an intense, dense, dark cherry red colour with flavours of blackberry fruits, creamy oak and refined toasted notes.

This limited edition wine was first released in June 2018, but the 2,500 bottles featuring the bespoke SIMOF label were launched in tandem with the SIMOF festival in February 2019.

The new and elegant design is also the first to demonstrate the wine’s new name – Generacion MC. Formerly named MC, the 2016 vintage has been aged in bottle for a minimum of six months, providing an ABV of 14% and a liquid best served at 14 degrees celsius.

The SIMOF limited edition Generacion MC 2016 is available from Fine Wines Direct UK RRP: £31.99 when contacted on 02920 787 500.

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Bean & Wheat’s Exclusive Beer-Tasting Series Continues with The Wild Beer Co

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

On Saturday 15th June, Adam Handling’s sustainable café and bar, Bean & Wheat will collaborate with Somerset’s The Wild Beer Cofor an exclusive beer-tasting evening in the event space at Bean & Wheat.  

As part of a series of events running throughout the year, Bean & Wheat is collaborating with some of Europe’s best independent microbreweries including Burning SkyPressure Drop Brewery, Mikkeller and Verdant Brewing Company. The collaborations offer a unique experience for guests to discover forward-thinking speciality craft beers, which have been expertly paired with a bespoke tasting menu from Chef Adam Handling’s award-winning restaurant, The Frog Hoxton.

Showcasing an exclusive selection of their beer portfolio, The Wild Beer Co will present guests with a number of unique craft beers such as, ‘The Blend 2018’, ‘ Modus Operandi’ and ‘Breakfast of Champignons‘, alongside a matching tasting menu which will include delectable dishes such as, Adam’s signature ‘Cheese doughnuts’,  ‘Cornish hake, tomato, fennel, bisque’, Retired dairy cow, courgette, basil, black olive‘ and ‘Grape, verbena & honey.’

The chefs at The Frog Hoxton will take guests through each innovative course to explain how the chosen ingredients perfectly complement the individual characteristics of its matched beer. Guests will also have the opportunity to quiz the brewery owners themselves at an exclusive Q&A session.

The series of micro-beer collaborations will continue throughout the year with a number of exciting craft breweries:

Verdant Brewing Company on Friday 5th July

Pressure Drop Brewery on Friday 2nd August

Mikkeller on Friday 6th September

Burning Sky Brewery on Friday 4th October.

Tickets for each event are priced at £40pp, including all food and drink and can be purchased here:

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