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Most Popular Countries in Europe for Summer 2019

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 3 m read

When the warmer seasons roll around, everyone scrambles for that perfect summer holiday. Memories need to be made and adventures must be had, and the only way to have them is to find the perfect location! Fortunately, Europe has a whole bunch of them!

But where’re the most popular countries in Europe for a summer holiday in 2019? What makes them such a tourist hotspot? Well, read on to find out!


For family adventure, Portugal is absolutely the place to be. In fact, recently, a family of four undertook an exhilarating campervan trip through Portugal, citing the varied day-to-day activities the South Europe country offered. Some clans love that sense of spontaneity from their holidays, and the feeling that each day brings a new adventure. Stunning beaches, numerous opportunities for swimming, breath-taking scenery; what more could you ask for?


A country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, Croatia is full of stuff to do. From the Plitvice Lakes National Park that’s teeming with winding waterfalls to the stone walled city of Dubrovnik, there’s truly something here for everyone. Hikes or history, nature or urban offerings, all the environments have been beautifully preserved and maintained in their finest forms. Keen to relax an unwind in privacy? Well, Croatia is home to incredible villa holidays too in Porec, so pay a visit!


France is famous for a lot of things; exquisite cuisine, a musical culture, and historic cities in the form of Paris. In fact, the capital is often dubbed as the city of romance, so if you have a special someone in your life, you know where to go this summer! Of course, it’s not all about Paris – Nice is also an incredibly place to visit. Extravagant and often filled with glorious sunshine, you just can’t go wrong there. You’re also only a few miles from even more posh Monty Carlo, where casinos, booze and good times are aplenty!


Italy is home to Venice and Rome; two places that are must-see destinations no matter what age or how well-travelled you are. Ancient history, colosseums, enthralling statues, and like France, excellent food, all rule the roost here. You can strike out on a gondola down Venice’s many canals for a soothing and relaxing ride, or strut around Rome and be in awe at the remnants of an ancient civilisation and stand in the epicentre of art and culture in Europe. Ultimately, the possibilities are so vast and varied that there’s something for everyone in Italy!


While it’s true that many people have different demands of what a summer holiday should entail, Europe can more than please everybody due to its diverse range of countries. There’s a plethora of cultures and activities to get immersed in, and a never-ending amount of adventures to be had. Of course, there’s also more than enough opportunities to sit down and relax in a villa or on a beach, book and wine in hand. Anything is possible in Europe!

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Inside the Growth of British Cafés

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Ah, cafés: the home of chats, charm and coffee. If you love to frequent them, you’re not alone – they are, after all, designed for recreation.

As a visitor, it’s up to you whether you choose to unwind or socialise at this kind of venue, as it tends to offer opportunities for both. No wonder they’re so popular.

And their appeal continues to soar. In fact, according to industry experts, as of last year, 3.3 shops were opening on a daily basis in the UK. This number has likely grown since.

But why is this? Let’s examine the booming sector to find out.

Why is it Booming?

Cafés have attracted people for centuries; but their magnetism has heightened considerably over the past few years. Why?

It’s mostly down to societal changes. Public attitudes towards health have transformed over the past decade – more people are choosing to eat and drink healthily.

The number of UK pubs has decreased by 25% since 2001, for example. We as nation have begun to replace alcohol with less damaging substances, such as coffee, tea and other soft drinks, all of which can be found in cafés.

Tax rises on alcohol have also contributed to this shift in consumer habits. As alcohol prices have increased, more of us have turned to other public venues.

As a result, kitchen suppliers are starting to specialise in equipment specifically for cafés.

Has the Internet Helped?

In short, yes. The internet plays a huge role in most of our lives and is shaping consumer habits.

Its growth has been especially beneficial for the hospitality industry. Online stores are beginning to eclipse the high street – but this is actually benefitting the hospitality sector. Cafés are doing particularly well, for one simple reason.

You don’t need an actual store to buy goods; the internet can easily recreate the retail experience.

But it can’t offer what cafés can: social interaction, fresh food, and a space for briefly escaping from reality.

Will it Continue to Grow?

Nobody can predict the future; but the rise of cafés looks set to continue. And this is largely because of who’s visiting them.

A survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) illustrates the relationship between age and café trips.

While Generation X (38 to 53 years) makes up around 25% of café sales, Millennials contribute to 50% of coffee bought outside of home.

So, as the population ages, we’ll likely see the industry grow.

The café industry is flourishing. It could even become the main sector for leisure in the UK. This is a promising time for all hospitality entrepreneurs and coffee fans alike.

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Searcys to Cater Historic Stately Home Weston Park

British caterer and restauranteur Searcys has been appointed as the official caterer at Weston Park, a historic stately home in Shropshire, set amongst 1,000 acres of landscaped parkland. Searcys involvement marks a new chapter for the 17th century house and grounds. The UK’s first ever events catering company will bring 172 years of hospitality expertise to the extraordinary heritage of Weston Park estate, showcasing their legacy while striking the perfect balance with modern luxury.

The former ancestral home of the Earls of Bradford, Weston Park has a rich history, and has played host to British royalty, aristocracy and political leaders throughout the centuries. The medieval deer park, which still remains today, was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The third Earl of Bradford was Master of the Horse to Queen Victoria, a prestigious position within royal circles. Throughout the centuries, the family have gathered an internationally important art collection dating back to the Civil War and Restoration era.

Surrounded by 1,000 acres of stunning Capability Brown Parkland, Weston Park is a stately home, events venue, visitor attraction and luxury get away, all rolled into one. At certain times of the year guests are invited to share the estate with a wide variety of events that take place in and around the Parkland.

From June 2019, Searcys becomes the official caterer of this historic home. Drawing on the expertise of the UK’s oldest catering company, Weston Park’s new and seasonal culinary offering will include the launch of The Granary Brasserie and Bakery at Weston Park.

Additionally, Searcys will create bespoke hampers and chef’s packages for the charming holiday cottages across the estate, as well as developing food and drink menus for private and corporate markets. This diverse offering will include away days, weekend stays, supper clubs, and that most quintessential of English customs; afternoon tea.

Matt Thomas, MD of Searcys, comments: “We are honoured to be invited to become part of  the Weston Park estate. This is an incredible opportunity to partner with a landmark British location that shares our commitment to provenance and sustainability. We are looking forward to providing the highest level of service in these wonderful surroundings, to help create memorable experiences together for our customers.”

Colin Sweeney, CEO of the Weston Park Foundation, comments: “I am very much looking forward to working with the team at Searcys. We have a shared heritage, passion and vision in delivering exceptional food and service to our broad customer base whether it be a celebration in the House or Sunday Lunch in The Granary.”

The Granary Brasserie and Bakery at Weston Park

A popular local dining destination, The Granary Grill, located in the restored 1767 Great Barn on the estate, will be refreshed with a new name, look and a market-style Brasserie menu. Celebrating the best of British produce with locally sourced ingredients and an emphasis on English Sparkling Wine, the revamped Granary Brasserie by Searcys is set to be the region’s destination for special occasions, celebratory events and the weekly night out.

Drawing inspiration from both the history of the 1767 Granary itself and from John Searcy, a young pastry chef who went on to create the country’s first catering company in 1837, the Bakery will feature a simple and seasonal menu of British fare. Highlights include Searcys’ award-winning coffees and a range of freshly baked bread, homemade sandwiches and wholesome cakes. Throughout the day, enjoy savoury and sweet tarts, pastries and yoghurt pots, cakes, brioches and afternoon tea bakes.  The team will create a Weston bakery signature, which will join John Searcy’s original Bakewell tart, one of the oldest puddings in England.

In keeping with Searcys’ sustainability pledges, all tea and coffee is Fairtrade or Direct Impact sourced, with the bespoke coffee beans coming from family-run farms in Peru and Columbia. John Searcy was renowned for his delicious bakes and wonderful hospitality, and the bakery aims to continue his legacy, 172 years later.  

The Granary Brasserie and Bakery at Weston Park is open to the public all year round.

Private Occasions, Weddings Conferences and Events

The world-famous 18th-century landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was renowned for his ability to transform unpromising countryside into beautiful parks that seemed to be only the work of Dame Nature. Weston Park is a prime example of his work, with classical architecture and its own on-site Parish Church of St Andrews. For weddings and celebrations of all descriptions, Weston Park is an unequalled location that will create memories to last a lifetime.

The stately home features 28 bedrooms, making an ideal location for private house parties, weddings, corporate events and celebrations of all descriptions. With its tranquil location, and easy access to major train stations and airports, guests can enjoy exclusive use of the house, alongside five-star service from Searcys dedicated culinary and front of house team.

Weston Park Holiday Cottages

The Weston Park estate also has a number of exquisite holiday lets within the grounds, which are well suited to families, wedding parties or corporate stays alike. As the estate’s official caterer, Searcys will design special packages to enhance the experience available within the holiday lets.  Guests staying in these cottages will be greeted with special hampers, arrival meal packages, bespoke chef’s dinners in their cottage or ingredient box deliveries.

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El Pirata Celebrates Its 25th Birthday

El Pirata, the Mayfair restaurant institution, will be celebrating its 25th birthday in June with a special Back to ’94 Menu that runs from Friday 14th June until Saturday 29th June. The third oldest Spanish restaurant in London will be dropping the price of the dishes on the special menu to their original price from when El Pirata first opened 25 years ago in June 1994.

For a quarter of a century, El Pirata has provided guests with a buzzing Spanish tapas bar experience in the heart of Mayfair, but not at typical Mayfair sky high prices. The ever-smiling Patron, Jose Rodrigues, ensures that every guest who walks through the doors is made to feel at home. Thanks to the warm hospitality of Jose and his team, El Pirata has survived for 25 years despite the fact that many restaurants sadly close during their first year of operation.

The Back to ’94 Menu will feature 12 tapas dishes and two wines at their original 1994 prices and each dish on the menu leaves change from a £10 note. Highlights from the menu include: calamares con arroz negro – black rice and squid £5.95; gambas pil pil – prawns in olive oil, garlic & dried hot chilli peppers £4.75; and montaditos de jamon serrano – toasted bread with olive oil and fresh tomatoes topped with cured ham £3.95.

El Pirata has not fallen to fads and has stuck to its roots with traditional Spanish fare and wine served with a smile in an informal restaurant that feels more like Madrid than Mayfair. Having consistently pleased customers and critics since 1994 El Pirata will have served over 6,000,000 tapas dishes by the time they celebrate their 25th birthday in June.

Over the years El Pirata has gained an ardent following, notable fans include Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp, Queen legend Brian May, the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, and Spanish World Cup Winner Cesc Fabregas. First Dates Maître d’ Fred Sirieix even named the restaurant as one of his favourite restaurants in London.

Evening Standard declared that “El Pirata successfully couples the comforting appeal of a central London grand dame with the energetic dynamism of a new opening. Zagat said “this casual, crowded Spanish gem is a winner thanks to terrific tapas that won’t break the bank, great sangria and smiling waiters who work as a seamless team.” El Pirata has also been named as one of London’s best Spanish restaurants by Time Out.

The Back to ’94 Menu will be available for a fortnight from 14th June until 29th June. El Pirata will also be transporting customers back in time with the installation of framed photos of iconic moments from 1994 and a bespoke Back to ’94 menu in the form of a newspaper featuring the biggest headlines from the year.

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Summer has Arrived at Caractère

With a new season brings new culinary joys and at Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari’s restaurant Caractère, their new summer menu is enough to bring joy to any table.

The new dishes include Roast John Dory served with grilled leeks, squid, deep green foraged leaves from the coast and a moreish beurre blanc. Also on the menu is rare grilled Salmon with sweet confit shallots, roast courgette, peppers and black olive sauce. Or why not go for crispy veal sweetbread, multicoloured heritage tomatoes with pine nuts and thyme jus?

“John Dory is at its absolute best this time of year and we’re serving it with gorgeous beachy produce like coastal herbs, sea kale and sea lettuce.  Another of my favourite dishes is our summery take on our veal sweetbread dish that we know our guests love. It does so well served with root vegetables over autumn and winter that we’ve brightened it up a bit for the sunnier months serving it with multicoloured tomatoes and fresh basil.  It’s simply summer on a plate.” – Says Emily Roux  

“We are so excited to have our first summer at Caractère. There’s so much colour and vibrancy in our new dishes, and of course wonderful summery flavours. We look forward to you trying them!” – Says Co-Owner and Head Chef Diego Ferrari.

On the basis of its namesake, ‘Caractère’, the menu is divided into six character traits with up to three dishes to choose from in each section: Curious – Small Plates; Subtle – Small Plates; Delicate – Fish; Robust – Meat; Strong – Cheese; Greedy – Dessert. 

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Up and Coming Luxury Destinations

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Luxury holidays have largely centred around destinations such as the Maldives, Monaco and Monte Carlo. However, over the years more destinations have started to generate a more luxurious appeal. If you’re looking to jet off on a luxury-packed getaway, below you’ll discover some of the best up and coming luxury destinations you might want to consider.

Costa Rica

Although Costa Rica is already considered a popular tourist destination, it’s only been recently it has started to become known for its luxury appeal.

Travellers are now looking to explore this beautiful country without having to rough it. This has led to the development of luxury adventure retreats. The Gulf of Papgayo is a fine example of this new trend. It has become known as a premium luxury destination, offering a fantastic choice of luxurious rental properties and exclusive fine dining restaurants.   

Hannover, Germany

Those looking to enjoy a slice of luxury a little closer to home, might want to head to Hannover, Germany. The city is close enough to make travelling here by private jets a potentially more affordable option; adding to its luxury experience.

The city has become popular due to its impressive culture scene. It boasts a great choice of museums, green spaces and cultural sites. There’s even a fantastic range of luxury spas, such as the one featured in the Kastens Hotel Luisehof. The hotel also offers gourmet dining and is close to the Hannover State Opera House.


Another surprising destination to make it onto the list is Mongolia. Like Costa Rica, the country has seen a huge explosion of tourists looking to combine nature with luxury. This has led to the development of “Luxpeditions”. Travellers can now enjoy luxury experiences such as joining in with the Golden Eagle Festival or trekking across the Gobi Desert.

While it is becoming more luxurious, Mongolia still currently retains its isolated, nomadic culture. So, those seeking a more remote luxury getaway would definitely benefit from a trip to Mongolia.

Zakopane, Poland

The last up and coming luxury destination on the list is the breath-taking region of Zakopane, Poland. The mountain resort has been attracting skiers for decades, but it’s recently gaining momentum in the luxury travel sector too. Great for those looking to explore the mountains, hiking and witness nature at its finest, Zakopane is definitely a short-haul luxury getaway to consider. Stay in one of the luxurious villas, offering sensational mountain views.

As you can see, there are a lot of diverse luxury destinations you can head to. The benefit of travelling to any of the destinations featured above, is that they are only just starting to become popular in the luxury sector. This means, you won’t have to compete with a large tourist crowd, instead getting to benefit from total peace and tranquillity.

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How to make preparations to your garden for the warm months

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 4 m read

As we’re approaching April, no doubt the warmer temperatures will soon follow, and home entertaining will be on the minds for many across the UK. With that in mind, it might be a good time to start thinking about your garden and how you want it to look in the summer. Let’s face it, we’re not all gardening experts and so we tend to neglect our garden through the winter season. It’s an actual fact that the British public wastes up to £672 million on our garden because we don’t know how to take care of it.

So, we’ve put together this guide working with Flogas, specialists in gas for BBQs, that should help you best prepare you garden space.

Clear up your garden
Best place to start with your garden, would be to clear it up and remove any weeds, which would make drastic improvements to your garden before you do anything else. Set aside those expensive plans to enhance your yard with water features or a cabbage patch for now, as it will still look messy if you don’t take care of the essentials first. Weeding may seem like an endless task but removing them will make your garden automatically look a whole lot cleaner and presentable.

It would be to good time spruce up your timber decking if you have it, by clearing off any leaves or debris. Then, use a high-pressure cleaner to wash away any remaining dirt. Once you’ve done that, you can scrub the deck where required to bring it back to life in time for the sunshine. The same applies for any concrete or tiled areas. Make sure you replace any broken or chipped tiles and give it a thorough clean. As this area is usually the most walked-on area, it’s important to keep on top of maintenance here.

If your own a shed or have fencing, then why not give them a fresh coat of varnish or paint? The change in weather throughout the year may see them looking a tad tired and in need of brightening up.

With sheds in mind, it’s a good time of the year to clear yours. Sort out any items inside into ‘keep’ and ‘don’t keep’ piles and get rid of anything you don’t need. While people may not often see inside your shed, the build-up can get messy very quickly if you don’t keep on top of it.

Grow flowers and plants
Unless you’re an expert gardener, then the chances of your plants and flowers surviving the winter period are slim. It’s important to plan ahead when it comes to perfecting your bloom. It’s never too early to start getting your garden into shape. For example, hanging baskets can bring some colour to your garden all year round. To perfect your hanging basket displays in time for the summer months, you should ideally be planting them in April. However, be prepared to protect them from any potential frost well into May. Calibrachoa is a good choice to add to your basket, alongside blue petunias – a flower which is known for being weather resistant.

This applies to flowers as well. Be sure to check the optimum time of planting any seeds to make sure your display is up and running and ready for the wow-factor this summer.

Add furniture
To make the most out of your space, why not add furniture? It doesn’t matter what size garden you have, somewhere to relax is essential. For those with limited space, add a hammock, while for those with more ground to play with, a table and chair set can be used to help you create the perfect living area. You have to think about where you’d want to spend those sunny days relaxing, or indeed how you’d want to entertain any guests. Aim to position this furniture towards the bottom of your garden to give it the illusion that it’s bigger than it actually is.

Stick a mirror in your garden to give the space a larger appearance. If you do choose this, though, make sure you position a mirror, so it has something that it can reflect, such as a nice floral display.

As we said above, when the warmer temperatures approach, home entertaining will be in our minds you could consider adding a BBQ to your garden. While the UK may have unpredictable weather forecasts at times, as soon as the sun shines, the public clamour for a good BBQ. Make your spot the place to go and show off your garden space.

So, if you check off all the above, then your garden should be looking great for the warm months, which you’ll have the time then to unwind and not think about any jobs the garden needs doing. Happy Gardening!


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Why the world is going vegan

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 4 m read

It used to be that going vegan was met with ridicule or shock. Why? How? What about bacon?!

But now, the choice to go vegan is becoming steadily more respected. Yes, there’s still the sense of disbelief or lack of understanding, but increasingly, people are learning to love vegan food! From health benefits to environmental issues, to sheer celebrity trends, veganism has seen something of a rebranding. So much so that businesses need to start tailoring their services and goods towards veganism if they want to meet consumer demand.

And the demand is certainly there. Between 2016 and 2017, the sales of plant-based food in the UK soared by 1,500%!

The Vegan Society released some interesting figures surrounding veganism in the UK that support this rising trend:

  • 56% of adults in the UK practice vegan buying behaviours
  • 19% have cut down on buying meat and are checking cosmetics and toiletries for animal-testing
  • 13% actively choose meat-free or dairy-free meals when eating out
  • 51% are happy to see vegan food in shops and restaurants

People may not always be adopting a totally vegan diet, but are changing their eating habits to include more non-animal product foods (being a ‘flexitarian’, as it is known). Perhaps because of this, the mindset towards vegans has drastically improved, with 43% of people saying they respected vegans for their lifestyle.

But is there more to the trend than health and eco-awareness concerns? Looking at the results of 2018’s Veganuary, a movement that challenges people to sign up for a month of vegan eating, the top reason for people signing up was animal rights concerns (43%). This was followed by 39% of people who signed up for health reasons, and 10% who said it was for environmental reasons.

The Independent has suggested a slightly vainer reason. The newspaper noted that Google searches of the word ‘vegan’ has grown in line with searches for ‘Instagram’. In a world where we love to take photos of our meals and share them on social media, it’s not difficult to believe that Instagram has helped circulate numerous brightly-coloured vegan dishes to help improve its previously ill-held reputation of being nothing but leaves.

As Vegan Food & Living proves with 2018’s vegan food trends, there’s been a massive leap in the appeal of vegan dishes:

  • Veggie chips, such as parsnip chips and sweet potato chips, make for a healthier option than normal potato.
  • Edible flowers, to make your meal Instagram-worthy!
  • Vegan desserts, bringing back ice-cream and cakes in vegan-friendly ways. Ben and Jerry’s have released three delicious vegan-friendly ice creams: Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chunky Monkey, and Peanut Butter and Cookies are all sure to be a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike!  
  • Vegan Chocolate, to enjoy instead of chocolate containing animal products.
  • Fermented foods, while they might not conjure the most delicious image to mind, are coming into food trends in a big way. Think colourful kimchi and nutty-flavoured tempeh.

Now, businesses need to take note of the surge and offer more in the ways of vegan options. A recent survey found that 91% of vegans are having a tough time finding to-go meal options. The market is certainly there, and restaurants and supermarkets are slowly picking up on the potential gains to be made by catering to veganism.

A vegan diet can be beneficial on a personal level too. A new study was brought to the public eye by The Guardian, outlining that the “five-a-day” notion for fruit and vegetable consumption is, sadly, not entirely accurate. In fact, the study from the Imperial College London advises 10-a-day! The now-recommended 800g of fruit and veg daily would help reduce heart disease, strokes and premature deaths. Picking up a few vegan meals throughout the week, or switching to a vegan diet entirely, would certainly help hit this healthy target.

Whether you’re thinking of going vegan or just swaying a little more ‘flexitarian’, you can help boost your healthy choice with self-grown veggies! Even a small garden can house a few home-grown herbs and fruits. You can grab some growbags and start cultivating your own supply of tomatoes for a home-made tomato sauce, or cucumbers for the freshest salad you’ll ever taste. While you’re out there, maybe take the chance to tidy up the garden a bit, give it some TLC, maybe dress it up with some garden bark chippings and new plants beyond just veggies. Plus, a vegan diet has loads of proteins you can grow too. Think beans and seeds, like sunflower seeds or soybeans.

Why not start adding a few vegan options into your diet and seeing what all the fuss is about? You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how far vegan cooking has come, and if nothing else, you’ll reap the many environmental and health benefits.


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How to get a job in the catering sector?

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 5 m read

The hospitality industry is more than just simply waiting on tables! There a great number of roles that can appeal to everyone looking for path in the sector, and they all offer a whole host of challenges and opportunities. However, not all of the career paths are obvious though, there are certainly a few hidden bonuses to unveil. Take a look through this run down of some of the most interesting roles available in the catering industry.

Food technologist / food scientist

To be a food technologist, you will essentially need to become Willy Wonka – which can be used as an interesting response when people ask you what you do at social events. This is one of the most interesting roles in the production side of the catering industry, as you’ll be responsible for devising and testing new flavours, products and ensuring safe consumption. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of exactly what they eat, and this is being incorporated into the production line, testing and labelling these ‘zero fat’ and ‘high protein’ products that have become commonplace in supermarket aisles. You’ll also be involved in investing new ways to keep food fresh, attractive and safe, as well as finding ways to cut costs and save time in production. Along with blending new recipes, experimenting and creating sample products, you might also design the manufacturing machinery.

Where to start?
A common route to this role is through a degree, however you can also consider an apprenticeship and workplace progression that can lead you to the position of food scientist. Relevant higher education awards include Food Science, Food Studies and Food Technology. Chemistry and nutrition can also lend themselves to securing a role as a food technologist or scientist, but overall, some hands-on experience is always invaluable. Other options include the Food Technologist advanced apprenticeship, and progression from this could lead to a food industry technical professional degree apprenticeship. Those in employment can work towards these roles, in positions such as a lab assistant or a food technician, gaining qualifications while employed.

Average salary and working hours

You should expect to be working between 39-41 hours in this role and the starting wage is around £20,000, which can rise to £45,000 if you’re experienced. These roles might involve shift work, and this is predominantly during the evening.

Catering manager

Within the catering industry, you’re expected to work in a social environment. Catering is the backbone to many large conferences, parties, weddings and other events. Nowadays, catering can be used to create unique experiences for a whole host of purposes, and as a catering manager, you can be as creative as you want in this sense. From making contacts in the right places, to securing a catering plan that will make people’s big events as memorable as possible, the job is extremely varied. This role relies heavily upon communication, initiative and leadership, as well as the ability to think outside of the box. You’ll be at the helm of bringing together one-in-a-lifetime events for your clients, and no two days will be the same as a catering manager. Daily, you could be required to organise shifts and rotas, recruit and train staff, meet suppliers and negotiate contracts, cater for dietary requirements and plan various budgets.

Where to start?
Many hotels across the UK are looking to provide their own, innovative training schemes in order to attract recruits into their roles. In fact, numerous Hotels near Alnwick  offer these initiatives, as the catering industry continues to grow. Many catering managers start off as graduates or on an entry-level scheme, learning on the job and attending courses in order to gain the relevant qualifications. It is certainly worthwhile looking into such establishments in your location, finding out where these schemes are available. Experience is favoured, even if it is just in the form of a generic events management/catering role. Apprenticeships to pursue for a role as a catering manager will be focused on management, and a college courses to consider is the Higher National Diploma in Hospitality Management.

Average salary and working hours

If you’re new to the role, you should expect to earn around £19,000 and if you’re experienced, you can earn up to £40,000 depending on location. The hours for this role are slightly more than any typical catering position, working up to 41-43 hours per week. It can be demanding, and often working patterns will fall on weekends and can include bank holidays.

Food manufacturing inspector

With allergies and manufacturing practice being increasingly emphasised, the role of a food inspector is certainly work considering. Many food and beverage companies have placed a lot of focus onto their health and safety departments, and as a food manufacturing inspector, you’ll be at the forefront of these all-important processes. Your day to day duties could include inspecting conditions in processing plants, carrying out quality control checks, testing samples of raw ingredients and processed products, presenting results and interpreting data, ensuring that practices meet the required standards, checking labelling is sufficient, producing quality reports and advising manufacturers on how to improve, as well as issuing warning notices if standards are not being met. The training processes relating to these roles is meticulous, due to the complexity of the work.

Routes to take

To start your career path, you need GCSE education or an equivalent certificate, but you can also pursue various apprenticeships. The Level 2 Award in Food Catering, or a Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety in Catering are two options to look out for. College courses such as the Level 3 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations is also recommended, providing a combination of theory work and hands-on experience. Candidates could apply directly to a vacancy or gain experience in the field then progress through an existing position.

Average salary and working hours

If you’re new to the role, then you can expect to be paid around £15,000, and if you’re experienced it should go up to around £30,000. The typical hours are set between 40-42 per week, and the role can involve being on call. For this reason, a driving license can prove to be an advantage.

So, could the catering industry be right for you?

Sources –

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The Coral Room Celebrates English Wine Week

The Coral Room – winners of the ‘Best English Wine List’ at the Wine List Confidential awards – are delighted to be teaming up with the Bolney Wine Estate and will be offering a flight of their award winning wines in celebration of English Wine Week (25th May – 2nd June).

English Wine Week Flight – £27


Sussex, England


Sussex, England


Sussex, England

Described by the Evening Standard as a ‘hotel bar done perfectly’, The Coral Room is a vibrant grand salon bar set in the heart of Bloomsbury. Designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studios and recently nominated for Best Interior at The GQ Food & Drink Awards 2019, the bar boasts one of the largest English sparkling wine lists in Europe and is overseen by General Manager Giovanni Spezziga – formerly of Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood London. The distinctive coral coloured walls, five beautiful bespoke Murano glass chandeliers and stunning fused glass and marble topped bar mirror the buildings iconic, extravagant heritage.

The wine list has been created by Anne McHale who is an award-winning Master of Wine and wine educator based in London. Throughout her career in wine she has worked for businesses as diverse as Mistral Wines, New Zealand Wines and most recently for 10 years with the prestigious Berry Bros. & Rudd.

Bolney Wine Estate is a third-generation family business founded in 1972 and make some of the finest English wines in the world: red, white and rosé, still and sparkling, all grown and hand-crafted at their Sussex vineyard. The Estate is led by chief winemaker, Sam Linter who is also supported by an industry leading team of wine experts who handcraft their wines with love, passion, pride and attention to detail. 

Bolney Wine Estate has been guided by nature since the first vines were planted in 1972. They have roots firmly planted in the local community and continue to forge and shape the burgeoning English Wine industry with grapes grown and hand-crafted into award-winning varietal wines at their 104 acre vineyard.

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