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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

ACE Pizza Launches in Hackney with 50% off This Weekend

ACE’s pizza dough is cold-fermented for 48 hours using a traditional biga starter to keep the base light and crisp. Combined with top-quality fresh ingredients including British mozzarella from Kentish cows, local vegan cheese from Black Arts Vegan and ACE’s house-made plant-based toppings, these are arguably the best pizzas in Hackney.

Among the pizzas on the menu are the ‘Honey Pie’, with spicy salami, fior di latte, fennel seeds, habanero-infused honey, guindilla chillies and pecorino; the ‘Papa Jones’, a vegetarian spin on a takeaway favourite with house-made vegan fennel sausage, spicy marinara, bell peppers, red onion, mozzarella, Italian herbs and garlic sauce; and the ‘Ndon’tya’, a vegan pizza with house-made fiery plant-based ‘nduja, Black Arts vegan mozzarella, tenderstem broccoli, rosemary and a sesame crust.

For the perfect takeaway treat, ACE PIZZA is great when paired with the full range of Five Points beer now available via the Five Points On Tap app or takeaway from The Pembury Tavern​. This includes two-pint draught bottles of the brewery’s Pale, JUPA, XPA and Pils beers.

ACE PIZZA is headed up by Executive Chef and Co-Founder Rachel Jones, formerly of Italian-American street food company, Capish. Rachel comments: “Since launching at the Pembury Tavern with Five Points, we’ve worked really hard to refine the menu. We’ve tried and tested lots of different ideas and are now really happy with our product.

With the pub being closed to the public during lockdown, there was a real catalyst for relaunching with a focus on takeaway. Coronavirus didn’t just force us to think on our feet and pivot our service to try and keep reaching our regulars, it actually gave us the time to start thinking about what ACE PIZZA would look like as a brand in its own right.

We’ve always been here to serve the local community in Hackney, and it felt frustrating that we couldn’t do that for a few months. But with the Five Points On Tap delivery app now live and the kitchen back open, we’ve been able to develop a way to serve beer and pizza to our locals again!”

ACE PIZZA opens for business on Wednesday 24th June and will be available via delivery and takeaway from newly launched Five Points On Tap app. For more information, please visit www.thisisacepizza.com/.

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Kopke Launches Two Limited Edition Ports from 1940

Kopke, the oldest Port wine house, has launched two very old Ports, a 1940 Colheita & 1940 White Colheita.  Kopke has a long-established reputation for producing the finest Ports, especially Colheitas, aged tawnies and aged white ports. These two limited releases cement Kopke’s reputation as a producer of fine Port, and the guardians of an historic and valuable library of aged Ports, passed down from generation to generation. Curated by winemaker Carlos Alves and his team, this special edition pair of Colheitas was launched at an online tasting across Europe.

“As is the case with many of the Houses in the Douro and in the history of Port, many facts, figures and documents have, unfortunately, been lost over time. However, it is likely that the 1940 White Colheita is made from Viosinho, Gouveio, Rabigato, Malvasia Fina grapes, a true ‘field blend’ commented Joao Belo, International Business Manager for Sogevinus. The wine shows expressive and intense aromas with notes of citrus, spice, beeswax, and hints of smoke.  On the palate it is fresh, with clean flavours of syrup citrus, white plum, and hazelnut with a long and consistent finish.

The 1940 Colheita is likely to be composed of Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and shows abundant complex aromas of dried fruit balanced with the expression of the wood, hints of spice and notes of coffee. In the mouth it develops in layers, complex, and ends with a long and textured finish.

1940 was an important year for Kopke as it was the year Kopke was officially recognised as the oldest Port wine House by the Trade Association of both Porto and Lisbon. Of the vintage, Carlos Alves states “1940 is recalled for being very wet, both in winter and spring, and very hot in the summer, causing several damaging fires in the vineyards. The harvest of 1940 is a rarity and it is extraordinary that these wines have survived the passage of time, wars and revolutions to be released to the market.”

He adds, “as a winemaker I am delighted to be able to be a part of such an amazing release and to be the custodian of such a significant library of aged Ports. Working with these two 1940 Ports has been remarkably interesting and despite their age, we had to do very little filtration work before bottling.”

A video of the tasting can be found here https://youtu.be/jy3XMuK4U5g.

Other wines showcased at the event entitled “Travelling through time with Kopke”, included the Kopke White Colheita 2003 and two other new Colheita releases the 1980 and 1960. These wines were chosen to show the consistency, freshness, and development of these tawny styles through the ages. The 1980 was described by Jamie Goode as being “very harmonious with lots of flavour intensity. Such depth and weight here, but the remarkable thing is the harmony and length. Thrilling stuff.” Of the 1960, Richard Mayson said it was “in very, very good condition, magnificent” and Jancis Robinson MW described the occasion of tasting the two 1940 Ports “a real treat”.

Junior Vianna MW summed up the tasting very well at the end, saying: “Thank you for sharing these wonderful wines and for a great initiative, it was very creative at this difficult time. I must also pay homage to the ancestors who are no longer with us for these phenomenal wines.”

When the wines reach the market, the 1940 wines will be available in the UK at approximately £799 and £899 or as a pair at £1399 (retailers TBC). Kopke is imported and distributed in the UK by Hayward Brothers.

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6 O’clock Gin Celebrates 10th Anniversary

One of the original pioneers of the UK gin boom, family-owned craft gin brand, 6 O’clock Gin is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year with a series of exciting new releases, promotions and events. 

Owned and operated by the family-run artisan spirit company Bramley & Gage, based on the outskirts of Bristol, 6 O’clock gin was one of just 23 spirit distilleries in England that, ten years ago, set about changing the way we drank gin. In an era where artisanal gin is one of the UK’s most popular drinks and there are now 441 distilleries across the UK, 6 O’clock Gin could be seen as a pioneering force behind the incredible rise of the spirit. Distilled in small batches, using traditional skills and only the best natural ingredients, 6 O’clock Gin soon became known for its carefully selected botanicals, led by juniper, and precisely balanced for a refreshingly clean taste. 

2020 sees two new products launched as part of the 10 year celebrations. The first is Romy’s Edition Gin, a limited edition mango, ginger and lime flavoured gin, available from June to November 2020. The gin is a collaboration between 6 O’clock Gin and celebrated British Indian Chef, Chef Romy Gill. Inspired by Romy’s memories of summers in India, the recipe’s herbs and spices are distilled before being infused with the juice of the native Indian mango. In July, three new RTD flavours will be launched; Exotic Orange, Damson & Ginger and Light, the perfect summery accompaniment to any picnic or barbeque. 

Rounding off the tenth anniversary year are a number of celebrations taking place in September 2020. True to its name, the brand will offer a free G & T from 6pm on Friday to 6pm on Sunday in participating pubs and bars in the South West throughout September. Those outside of Bristol will be able to meet face to face with the 6 O’clock team at over ten regional food and drink festival and events nationwide. 

The brand’s journey began in the late 1980s, when Edward and Penny Kain looked to diversify their Devon fruit farm. Putting their surplus fruit to good use, they started making, bottling and selling delicious liqueurs before setting up a distilling company, Bramley & Gage. In 2007, Michael and Felicity took over their parents’ now prosperous distillery and moved the business to Bristol. Their father, Edward remained involved in the business as Master Distiller, bringing his experience, skill and precision to the challenge of creating a new artisan gin for the premium spirits market. The name 6 O’clock Gin was inspired by the Kain’s long-held family tradition of indulging in the first G&T of the evening at 6 o’clock; a very British custom, still enjoyed at the distillery and shared by gin-lovers all over the world. 

Ten years on, the company is thriving, selling its gin across the country and worldwide, with a big focus on the US market. As well as its signature London Dry Gin in its iconic Bristol-blue glass bottle, the brand has expanded its range to include its exquisitely engineered export- strength Brunel Gin, as well as two fruit gins, Sloe Gin and Damson Gin. In 2018, 6 O’clock Gin 

collaborated with another Bristol business, Jekka’s Herb Farm to create the limited edition Jekka’s Gin and most recently, the brand ventured into the ready to drink market, with a London Dry Gin & Tonic alongside a low calorie, low alcohol version. 

The Thornbury-based distillery itself is still paving the way for new trends within the industry, while staying close to its artisanal roots. As one of the first solar powered and energy neutral gin distilleries in the country, the brand gives back to the grid and implements all kinds of green initiatives, such as bottle refills, compostable disposables and sustainable uses of spent fruit. Playing a big part in Bristol and South West England’s tourism industry, the distillery tours, led by the brand’s experts are a unique draw to the area. 

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Craft Whisky Club Partners with Edinburgh Whisky Academy

This June, the online whisky initiative Craft Whisky Club has partnered with highly respected pioneers of certified whisky education, Edinburgh Whisky Academy to create the ultimate online course and subscription service, for those who not only want to discover a new world of craft, artisan and innovative whisky-making but get a chance to try them too.

From casks to pairings, locally-produced to the exotic, learning and exploring the world of whisky is a fundamental part of the whisky experience. By teaming up with the Edinburgh Whisky Academy, Craft Whisky Club provides its members with the chance to explore the history, science, artistry and making processes which makes their favourite spirit so special. The collaboration offers members a wealth of opportunities to learn more about a wide range of whiskies from industry experts, and in these more confined times, courses can be taken from the comfort of your own home.

To celebrate the launch of the partnership, all members who sign up before Father’s Day (June 21st) will receive complimentary access to their ‘Focus on Flavor’ module. Existing Craft Whisky Club members will also enjoy a 10% discount on all their other courses, access to a monthly Q&A with an EWA expert, and much more! Edinburgh Whisky Academy’s Focus of Flavour is the perfect module to help members take their Craft Whisky Club membership to another level, helping them discover the new classics and experience the range of flavours being a member of Craft Whisky Club offers.

“We are very excited to enter into this partnership with Craft Whisky Club. Everybody at the Edinburgh Whisky Academy is passionate about first-class whisky education. Working together means we will be able to ensure more whisky enthusiasts can access our online courses and in-person Diplomas. Not only will members learn more about the industry and what makes whisky such a complex and fascinating product, but they can also be assured of an enhanced whisky drinking experience as they enjoy some of Craft Whisky Club’s incredible bottlings. Slainte!” — Edinburgh Whisky Association

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Scrap the Two Metre Rule, Save the Economy

The Government are reported to be considering relaxing the ‘two-metre rule’ for social distancing. About time. 

To be frank, while the two-metre rule remains in place, large sectors of the economy remain unviable. While some cafes and restaurants have opened for deliveries and takeaways, only a handful of people can enter shops at the same time; far fewer than would be required to cover costs. 

While these measures may have been prudent during the initial phases of lockdown, the two-metre rule is no longer fit for purpose, and should be reduced to one-metre.

To take just one example, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have been explicit in calling on the Government to reduce social distancing rules from two to one-metre. Even if beer gardens open, as rumoured by July, two-metre distancing will severely undermine capacity. Struggling pubs may appreciate any measures that stem loss, but this is far from the support the sector needs. 

In my business, which designs and builds exhibition stands for large conferences, moving to a one-metre distance would enable exhibitions to resume, whereas a two-metre distance doesn’t allow a sufficient footfall to justify exhibitions going ahead. 

If this sounds mad, consider that Germany, which has led one of the most effective Covid-19 responses in Europe, has announced exhibitions will not be classed as ‘mass gatherings’, enabling the resumption of shows as early as June.

Public transport represents another obvious flaw in the Government’s insistence on a two-metre distance. Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, claimed that public transport could only run at ten per cent of normal capacity with social distancing measures in place. Even self-powered commutes, for instance walking and cycling, often involve coming within two metres of another person. This is completely unworkable and contradictory to the Government’s stated desire for people to return to work.

It should be obvious to most reasonable observers that shutting down large sectors of the economy and public transport is not a viable option. Why then does the Government persist with this approach?

Supporters of the Government would argue that it has followed scientific advice in the interests of public health. On the face of it, social distancing has slowed the spread of the virus; the NHS hasn’t been overwhelmed. Most agree that we can’t risk a second wave of Covid-19, placing strain on the NHS and leading to another deep lockdown. 

This view is perfectly sensible but forgets that two-metres was only ever a rule of thumb, rather than an objective measure of safety. The UK is a notable international outlier in its interpretation of a safe distance to avoid the spread of Covid-19. For instance, the World Health Organisation has recommended that a distance of one metre is safe, Australia one and a half metres; Italy and France one metre. 

I can’t fault the Government for taking a safety-first approach initially, even if the evidence pointed to two-metres being merely marginally safer than one metre. The point is that we now have evidence from other countries that imposed a less stringent requirement and now have fewer excess deaths from Covid-19 than the UK. The UK’s more restrictive interpretation has not made us safer, but has placed an enormous burden on the economy. 

Failure to relax the requirements under these circumstances indicate that the Government can’t admit it was initially overly cautious. So, while bars and restaurants are opening in France from the second of June, with one-metre social distancing, their British counterparts continue to suffer potential financial ruin. 

The second point is that, while Covid-19 has been framed as a public health crisis, the link between economic and physical wellbeing is well known. Unemployment and underemployment take a severe toll on individuals’ mental and physical wellbeing. The Government must now grasp the opportunity to make whole sectors of the economy viable again and enable people to return to work. 

I suspect the Government knows the two-metre distance doesn’t provide a significant increase in protection. The problem is that policymakers are scared of being seen to provide inconsistent advice, particularly in light of ongoing criticism of the failure to tackle Covid-19 and the widespread perception of hypocrisy by key government advisers.

If this is the case, the Government needs to get over itself. People will accept a relaxation of social distancing, and if anything will thank you for initially taking a cautious approach. What the public won’t accept is the fallout from the financial failure of large sectors of the economy. 

The Government must act now to scrap the two-metre rule to get the country back on its feet. In doing so it can save not just lives, but livelihoods.

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Burger King Drops Hundreds of Whoppers Across the UK

As Brits have spent nearly 12 long, tough weeks in lockdown, neighbours have gone from being people who live across the street to firm friends – relationships we will cherish and be thankful for long after lockdown ends. To celebrate and pay thanks to these new-found friendships, Burger King has surprised streets across the UK with deliveries of hundreds of free Whoppers, for Brits to tuck into with their neighbours.

Burger King UK received hundreds of responses, following a call on their social channels for Brits to nominate their streets for a Whopper-of-a door step delivery. Ten lucky streets from Bournemouth to Glasgow were then picked at random to receive Whopper-sized deliveries to enjoy a socially-distanced treat with their neighbourhoods, paying homage to the new-found friendships we’ve formed during lockdown.

Katie Evans, Marketing Director at Burger King UK said: “We wanted to celebrate the long-lasting friendships that have been formed with our neighbours during these long weeks of lockdown, and surprise neighbourhoods with Whopper-sized treats for them to enjoy with their street!”

Burger King is continuing its phased re-opening plan. The fast food chain will have reached the re-open milestone of 350 locations for delivery and drive thru, equalling three quarters of restaurants in the UK by the end of June.

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The Harwood Arms Launches Its Sunday Roast, Delivered to Your Door in London

In different times, trying to get a table for Sunday lunch at The Harwood Arms required several weeks’ notice. Now you can get all the elements of The Harwood Arms’ Sunday roast delivered to your door on Saturday if you order the Wednesday before, and it’s available for delivery from June 20 onwards.

Sally Abe, Head Chef at the Harwood Arms (London’s only Michelin starred pub and winner of the Gastropub and Gastropub Chef of the Year 2020) has got together with one of the finest beef producers in the UK, Lake District Farmers, to prepare the perfect roast for you to serve at home.

The Harwood Arms Roast Box is available for home delivery across London. It includes a ready to cook 500g piece of sirloin, the exact cut and size which is roasted to order when you eat at the pub in Fulham. To enjoy with the beef, Sally and her team are cooking the perfect sides – including their famous sauce which is enriched with bone marrow and braised beef for the roast; part-cooked potatoes which come with beef fat to be roasted to a golden crunch; carrots baked in hay, a bunch of beautiful greens; a generous fluffy Yorkshire pudding. All come in their own containers ready to pop into the oven and serve piping hot with the beef, alongside horseradish sauce. The box comes with full instructions.

The Harwood Arms Sunday Roast Box for two is £70. There is a larger box available for four people too. It is delivered by refrigerated van to keep everything fresh.

To complement the roast, the Harwood Arms is offering bottles of Brooks Runway Red Pinot Noir from Oregon for £25.

Lake District Farmers have built up a strong reputation for premium, breed specific meat, which is produced by 50 farmers in the Lake District. They have invested in a unique breeding programme to produce the finest native breed beef and other meats.

The boxes will be on sale from 9am Saturday 13th June from www.lakedistrictfarmers.co.uk the cut off for orders for the weekend is the Wednesday before at 4pm. There are only limited numbers available each week, so get the order in fast!

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How To Use A Flower Vape To Get The Most Out Of It

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 4 m read

If you want to experience the full effects of your favorite herbs, without necessarily smoking it, vaping is a great alternative. The vaping technology uses special heating elements that produce vapor so you can get the most of your CBD flowers. So, how do you use a flower vape or herb vaporizer to get the most out of it? Check out the answer below.

What Is a Flower Vape?

A flower vape is also called as dry herb vaporizers consisting of atomizers and tanks. Also, they are known as dry herb vape pens, which are used to enjoy your herb without smoking it or using a lighter.

Here are the major parts of a flower vape:

 

  • Atomizer or Heating Chamber: It converts liquid into a mist, heating vape juice to produce vapor. Atomizers contain heating coils or vape coils that can also heat ground herbs, like CBD flowers. You can browse this page to find out the best CBD flowers to vape. 
  • Battery or Electric Heating Source: It provides power to the dry herb vaporizer.
  • A Fine Screen or Filter: It’s a replaceable part of the vape device that filters the herb to ensure purity and optimum flavor, so you can get the most of your vaping experience. 
  • A Mouthpiece: The part of the vaporizer where you draw vapor. 
  • Accessories: It’s a good idea to invest in some key accessories to fully maximize the power of your dry herb vaporizers. These vape accessories include herb grinder, a vaporizer case, a funnel, or any loading tool, airtight glass containers, and a small poking and packing tool.

 

How to Use a Flower Vape

Flower vapes are used not only by recreational users (who want to gain pleasurable benefits from buds), but also by medical users and those who want to gain the therapeutic benefits of CBD flowers and other herbs. It’s a great alternative to smoking cigarettes to achieve a healthy lifestyle. So how do you use a flower vape to gain these benefits fully?

For easy packing, make sure that your vaporizer is off (not hot) before you pack herb to your flower vape. Otherwise, you’ll lose its precious vapor and even burn your fingers. 

Here’s how to use a flower vape:

  • Ensure your vaping device is fully charged before using it to avoid disruption when you’re already started vaping your favorite herb. 
  • Grind your flower to a fine to medium grind vaporizers that require a fine to medium grind. While some convection vaping devices allow you to use full buds, grinding them is still best to make the most out of it. 
  • Use a scooper or small business car to place the dry herb into the oven or herb chamber of your vaporizer.
  • Use your finger or packing tool to pack the herb in, which also makes the surface relatively flat. A firm pack maximizes the surface area of conduction vapes. However, don’t pack it in too tight because airflow is still needed to pass through. On the other hand, you can pack convection lose for an even consistency.
  • Turn on the vaping device and choose your desired temperature.

How to Inhale From a Flower Vape 

A novice user may take some time to get used to vaping cannabis flowers or CBD buds using a flower vape. It’s because the vapor it produces feels different in the lungs than smoke. At first, it may induce coughing, but once you find the best temperature, you’ll get used to it like a pro. 

Here’s how you should inhale from a flower vape:

  • Before you take the first puff, wait for about 30 seconds after the vaporizer reaches its temperature.
  • Just take a few gentle puffs to prime the dry herb vaporizer.
  • Inhale through the mouthpiece, fill your lungs, and exhale gradually to experience the flavor and aroma fully. 
  • For a too tight draw feeling, hit the vape with loose lips on the mouthpiece.

Note: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the proper steps in cleaning your dry herb vaporizer. Generally, you can deep clean your flower vape by taking apart all its removable parts. Rub down each part with an isopropyl alcohol-soaked cotton ball. Avoid soaking it in a cleaning solution overnight because it may cause device discoloration or damage.

Conclusion

Using a flower vape or dry herb vaporizer is a great way to consume your favorite herbs by producing vapor. By following the tips and steps above, you’ll get the most out of your vaping experience, whether you aim for pleasurable or therapeutic benefits or both. Make sure to use and clean your vaping device properly to avoid delays and interruptions, so you can fully enjoy vaping your buds whenever you like it.

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Coronavirus Restaurant Survey Publishes Global Insights

The Coronavirus Restaurant Survey, undertaken globally in May 2020, has published its findings following analysis from 7917 consumers and 2700 chefs. The results give insight from frontline workers regarding their employment, how they see the future of the industry and how to rebuild. From a consumer point of view the data highlights how restaurant goers have dealt with lockdown, new cooking habits and sentiment towards dining out again.

Industry Overview
– Concerns for the future of the restaurant industry are evident with 86% of industry workers fear restaurants will not reopen after the crisis.
 23% believe an entire overhaul of the industry is required.
– 51% of restaurant professionals anticipating the financial situation would get worse over the coming six months.
 27% believed their governments provided adequate support for the industry.

– Of those who were currently unemployed, 65% lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19.
– 72% of those currently in work fear losing their jobs because of the pandemic.

– Rebuilding stronger is a priority for the industry and 65% of those surveyed said chefs would play a vital role in reinventing the restaurant business in many ways:
 69% of respondents called for improved business models,
 48% called for better unemployment benefits,
– 42% for extra support and stimulus packages from governments
 23% called for a complete redesign of the industry.

Consumer Overview
– Consumers learned to cook more, 60% of respondents said they had learned new cooking skills during lockdowns
– 40% citing baking as their main achievement
– 39% learned new cooking techniques
– 33% of respondents learned more about food waste.

– Delivery and take-out is up with a quarter of consumers using more delivery services more during lockdowns
– …except France, the only country where delivery did not increase.

– Consumers missed the experience of dining:
 40% said they missed the social aspect of dining out most, more than the chance to try new food.

– Safety is key to convincing diners to return to restaurants when lockdowns are lifted:
 69% of consumers stated they would rely on safety measures taken by restaurants, higher than measures taken by governments.
– Only 10% trusted the media to tell them when it’s safe to return
– Only 20% said special incentives and deals would encourage them to return to restaurants.

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Kray Treadwell Announces Plans to Open First Restaurant in Digbeth

Great British Menu finalist, Kray Treadwell has announced plans to open his first restaurant in Digbeth, Birmingham. Named after the weight of his daughter when she was born four months prematurely, 670 Grams will offer a set 10 course tasting menu at £60 per head.

Ever evolving, the handwritten menu will be available to view 48 hours earlier on the restaurant’s website, and take in a mix of European influences and Asian-inspired flavours. Playful elements such as dishes inspired by takeaway food and a ‘Tesco cheese and onion sandwich’ will also feature, as well as the peach dessert that saw Kray reach the finals of The Great British Menu.

The 16-cover restaurant, designed by 2G Design & Build, will operate over two floors and showcase an open kitchen upstairs, overlooking a two-person chef’s table and a table of four with the remaining covers downstairs.

Kray, who’s CV also takes in the Hand and Flowers and Purnell’s, said, “670 Grams will be a unique experience designed to attract all kinds of people.

Keeping the experience as accessible as possible is hugely important to me. The menu represents amazing value, and our location in the city’s creative quarter, Digbeth, means we’re on the doorstep of a really interesting mix of retail, residential and creative businesses.

Ultimately, my aim is to bring my eclectic take on food to as many people as possible, without the stuffiness and pretention that fine dining can sometimes bring with it.”

670 Grams will open August 2020 – subject to Government guidelines in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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