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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

International PR Collaboration: The Food & Wine Republic

Ten independent food, wine and hospitality specialist PR agencies are launching a new collaboration platform and website. Going by the name of The Food & Wine Republic, the collaboration will be easy to find for brands, regions or AOPs who are in need of international marketing and publicity from March 2019. All the participating agencies are owner run, independent, specialists and 100% active in the world of food and wines. Even though the agencies are established in different countries, they all have the same background and the right methods to connect foodies and wine consumers with brands through media. w

The agencies are based in Stockholm, Copenhagen, London, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid and Milan. All companies have excellent contacts with traditional and digital food media. They are working on brand activation, press releases, press trips, media events, social media and digital marketing on a daily basis. Activities include organising tastings, launches and openings, together with having a presence at international fairs and local food festivals.

This collaboration between agencies makes it easier for clients to profit from the connections of agencies in surrounding countries. The initiative was set up after more and more food clients asked their PR partners to link them to like-minded agencies in other countries. The aim of the participation is to broaden client portfolios and cooperate on international campaigns whilst every agency keeps its own independence.

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Dominique Bakery Launches Its Easter Egg & Soldiers

Dominique Ansel Bakery London is delighted to reveal their take on a British classic to celebrate Easter this year: The Easter Egg & Soldiers.

Atop a seemingly classic milk chocolate Easter egg sits a handmade white chocolate “soft-boiled” egg with a vibrant orange yolk accompanied by “toast soldiers” made of golden buttery sablé Breton. This is available from today and priced at £12, as pictured below.

The bakery is also launching “The Sunny Side Up Religieuse” made with the classic two-tier choux dressed as a fried egg and filled with creamy milk chocolate crémeux and passionfruit caramel. This is available from the 19th of April and priced from £6.10.

Additional items to celebrate the occasion include chef Dominique’s beloved Peep-A-Boos, Hot Cross Buns and an Easter Hamper that includes a variety of seasonal treats, as detailed below.

Easter Egg & Soldiers
Details: An Easter twist on a childhood breakfast favourite, with a handmade white chocolate “soft-boiled” egg with a vibrant orange yolk set atop a milk chocolate shell, alongside golden buttery sablé breton “soldiers”.
Price: £12
Dates available: 5th – 21st April


Peep-A-Boo Easter Eggs

Details: Adorable marshmallow chicks nestled inside real eggshells, which, once cracked, reveal a dark chocolate egg surrounding a fluffy marshmallow chick with a gooey salted caramel core.
Price: £20 for 5 Peep-A-Boos
Dates available: 5th – 21st April

Sunny Side Up Religieuse
Details: A double-decker sunny side up egg-inspired cream puff just in time for Easter, filled with creamy milk chocolate crémeux and passionfruit caramel.
Price: Eat-in £7.20; Takeaway £6.10
Dates available: 19th-21st April

Hot Cross Buns
Details: A traditional Easter classic made with a soft brioche with warm cinnamon spice, orange and bergamot zest, raisins, dried cherries, cranberries and candied orange peel, finished with a cinnamon star anise glaze.
Price: £12.50 for a box of five and £2.50 each
Dates available: 5th-21st April

Easter Hamper 
Details: A selection of Easter treats, including Peep-A-Boos, Easter Egg & Soldiers, Hot Cross Buns, Lemon & Lychee Mini Me’s (miniature meringues), and Pistachio & Crushed Raspberry Brittle.
Price: £35
Dates available: 5th-21st April

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Gourmet Getaway at The Feathered Nest

The Cotswold’s Feathered Nest Inn is offering guests a special gourmet getaway to celebrate Head Chef, Kuba Winkowski, being named National Chef of the Year.

The getaway will include a stay in one of the The Feathered Nest’s luxurious individually styled rooms, sumptuous tasting menu, traditional breakfast plus a special gourmet charcuteriegift box and tour by Chef Winkowski.

Winkowski was recently named Craft Guild’s National Chef of the Year 2019 by a panel of 21 expert judges including Claude Bosi, Clare Smyth and Tom Kerridge. The competition has a well-regarded history with previous winners including Mark Sargeant and Gordon Ramsay.

Originally from Poland, Winkowski moved to the UK and gained experience at venues such as Le Gavroche, Rhodes 24 and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons before joining The Feathered Nest. His seasonal 3 AA Rosette award-winning menu features modern European cuisine with Eastern European influences. 

Guests booking the gourmet getaway will be able to sample new spring dishes including the likes of Brill, prelude clams, Jersey royals & peasGuinea Fowl, morel mushrooms, egg yolk & wild garlicAsparagus, duck egg custard, parmesan and chivesSpring Lamb, broad beans, buttermilk tzatziki & mint and Scallop, carrot, miso with caraway.

Winkowski is passionate about charcuterie and has built his own smokehouse on site, where he cures a delicious selection of meats. On the gourmet getaway Winkowski will provide a tour of the kitchens and smokehouse in addition to sitting down with guests to discuss all things culinary.

Owned by Amanda and Tony Timmer, The Feathered Nest Inn is located in the pretty village of Nether Westcote and offers stunning views of the Cotswolds countryside.  The orginal building is thought to date back to the 15th century and the Timmer’s have updated and thoughtfully refurbished the property to ensure it retains its period charm.

The Gourmet Getaway package is available on overnight stays on Thursday and Sundays only and represents a 15% discount. Prices start from £332 per night for double occupancy, including 4 course dinner (excluding supplements) , bed & breakfast & vat.  The Cockerel’s Roost is £332 per night, the Dove Cote and Pheasant Nest are £362 per night and The Cuckoo’s Den is £375 per night. 

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Highland Whisky Festival Is Approaching

Having been named one of the Lonely Planet’s ‘Best In Travel’ destinations in 2019, eight Highland Distilleries are proud to introduce a brand-new Whisky Festival to celebrate the established Highland Whisky Trail. The Highland Whisky Festival, which will take place in May 2019 is a celebration of the region’s finest distilleries on the North Coast 500 route.

With each distillery hosting an open day with exclusive events and tastings, it’s an unmissable experience for even the most seasoned of whisky enthusiasts. The North-East Coast of Scotland is breath-taking – impressive scenery, fantastic accommodation, and exceptional dining experiences. The Highland Whisky Festival will be held between the 10th – 17th May 2019. Eight distilleries will come together for the first time ever for a series of exclusive tastings, tours, and events. Each will host visitors from the world over to showcase the centuries of tradition, process, and craft of their home.

Event and ticket information is now available via the website www.highlandwhiskyfestival.co.uk – with a host of tastings and tours, plus a handy planner inclusive of accommodation and restaurant options to ensure your trip is as seamless as possible. The Festival team are working hard behind the scenes with local and national businesses to offer a truly unforgettable experience for attendees.

On the 10th of May, Wolfburn will be offering tours, with tastings taking place on the distillery floor in front of the stills, led by Brand Ambassador, Mark Westmorland.

Old Pulteney will hold two very special masterclasses with Malcolm Waring, alongside tours and pairings on the 11th May.

The 12th of May brings us to Clynelish. From Game of Thrones tastings to an insider peak of Brora, the schedule at Clynelish is a special one.

Visit Balblair on the 13th May to share a tasting with John MacDonald, or a showing of the ‘Angel’s Share’ and dinner in Dunnage no. 3.

The 14th May brings us to Glenmorangie. Distillery tours, tastings of old and rare expressions and a truly special single cask dinner are the order of the day.

On the 15th of May, The Dalmore is hosting a distillery tour led by Distillery Manager Stuart Robertson and Operations Director Shane Healy, followed by an intimate tasting on the banks of the Cromarty Firth. Join Richard Paterson and Shauna Jennens to enjoy four very special expressions.

The Singleton of Glen Ord hosts the Festival on the 16th with a chance for visitors to get up close and personal and test their skills as a distillery operator.

The 17th of May bring us to our final stop. The team at Tomatin are offering bespoke tours with live cooperage demonstrations, an exclusive festival bottling & an evening dinner to round off your festival journey.

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Skewd Kitchen Gets Best Fine Dining Restaurant Award

Last month, a prestigious event took place which brought together celebrities, politicians and most importantly, restaurateurs. The British Kebab Awards is a glittery occasion with highly sought after awards which kebab chefs have fought for since 2012. It was a calm evening outside but in the Park Plaza, Westminster, the anticipation was climbing and rumours of who the victors might be grew from ripples to raucous waves in the minds of every nominee.

Of course, the Skewd team was in attendance and prefer standing on stage to sitting in the crowd. They were delighted when their name was announced as the winner of the Fine Dining award! Having another trophy to add to their collection is a testament to two crucial components of their story.

Skewd’s entire ethos is centred around ingenuity, innovation and seeing food from a slightly different angle to everybody else. They have a team of award-winning chefs who never stop pushing the boundary on gastronomic greatness. From their molasses to our meats, everything is carefully sourced so that they have supreme ingredients; combining this with the wizardry in the kitchen, the menu is a magical selection of exquisite dishes for the esteemed palate.

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Chocolate Pasta for Easter at Pasta Remoli

Let’s be honest, Easter time is all about the chocolate. But if you’re looking to try something a bit different this year, head to Pasta Remoli as they’re celebrating Easter with what they do best, an exclusive chocolate pasta dish. Yes, you read that correctly – chocolate pasta!

Delicious deep-fried chocolate ravioli filled with ricotta and moreish chocolate chips, served with white chocolate and drizzled with rich milk chocolate sauce – it’s indulgent comfort food at its finest. Created by chef and founder Simone Remoli, this gorgeous dish is ideal for chocolate and pasta lovers alike and is certainly a memorable way to celebrate Easter with the family.

“I love eating chocolate over Easter, but I thought this year, why not combine it with my lifelong love for pasta? Creating this dish was lots of fun – almost as fun as eating it!” said Simone Remoli.

Available across the Easter weekend, Pasta Remoli’s chocolate ravioli is priced at £7.50 and can be found at Pasta Remoli Finsbury Park and Ealing. To book your table, visit www.pastaremoli.co.uk

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Londoners Rally Together to Buy a Historic Pub

The Baring Trust, a local heritage organisation, have triggered the Community Right to Bid for this nominated Asset of Community Value. Friends of the Baring Hall Hotel in Grove Park, Lewisham are calling on the whole community to club together to help buy this historic public house, which is ‘dripping with history’ according to campaigners.

In June 2018, The Baring Hall Hotel and associated stable block was added to the list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. The building is now Listed Grade 2. It is also one of the first pubs to be nominated as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act 2011. The community now have until May 6th 2019 to put in their bid to buy.

The Friends of the Baring Hall Hotel are urging local residents to get involved and take action to save this beloved pub because they believe that, despite the protections of Grade 2 and ACV listing, there is a strong likelihood that if the bid fails the pub will eventually be turned into residential flats.

The Baring Hall Hotel has always been at the hub of Grove Park. Locals have expressed that the pub is a key and essential part of community life in an area where there are very few venues to meet and socialise.

During its time, the pub has played host to successful comedy nights with special guests Al Murray The Pub Landlord and Harry Hill, family occasions, The Queen’s 90th birthday party celebrations as well as many community group meetings. Campaigners stress that there is potential to do a lot more, such as restoring the hotel upstairs as part of a training scheme for young people in the area wanting to work in the hospitality industry.

The current owners are selling the pub and the campaigners have until May 6th 2019 to submit the bid and are working with locality to build a coalition of serious investors and crowd-funders to purchase the Baring Hall which is on sale for over £1 million.

People who would like to support the community in building capacity to develop their community right to bid can donate via the Campaign’s Local Giving page: https://localgiving.org/charity/the-baring-trust/

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Baxters Raised More than £100k for Macmillan

Much loved UK food group Baxters has raised £117,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, helping support 350 people living with cancer.

The sum raised through soup sales and staff fundraising efforts surpassed the £100k target set for its 150th anniversary year and will now fund one Macmillan nurse for 25 months.

Staff at Baxters’ sites across the UK coordinated a range of fundraising activities, from daredevil sky dives and bungee jumps to exciting raffles and race night events to help generate vital funds for the charity; while a limited edition on-pack promotion saw a proportion of sales from its Favourites soups donated to Macmillan.

Furthering their support, Darren Sivewright, Baxters’ Chief Innovation Chef, dropped off tins of scrumptious soup and celebratory scones made using Baxters’ signature jam for staff at Macmillan’s Information and Support centre at the Western General in Edinburgh. Here patients, families and carers can access expert information about treatment, practical advice and support around living with a cancer diagnosis and signposting onto other services such as benefits advice.

By 2020, almost one in two people will get cancer at some point in their lives, which is why Baxters Food Group and Macmillan Cancer Support worked together throughout 2018 to raise the much needed funds.

“We wanted to partner with a charity that our staff, customers and consumers would feel passionate about supporting and Macmillan Cancer Support was the ideal fit thanks to the incredible work they are doing all over the UK. The whole team here at Baxters really got behind our fundraising efforts and played their part, with each site smashing their targets. We’re proud that the total we raised will go towards enabling Macmillan to continue to provide invaluable specialist care and support to those living with cancer,” commented Audrey Baxter, Executive Chairman at Baxters.

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A ‘Bistro with Beds’ to Open in Grasmere

The Yan at Broadrayne, a contemporary bistro with beds, will be opening this summer in the heart of The Lake District. A stone’s throw from the idyllic village of Grasmere, the 17th Century former farm will have seven plush en-suite bedrooms, a rustic bistro and open-plan lounge area. Family-run, The Yan will epitomise Cumbrian hospitality, offering guests a wholesome welcome, hearty food and stylish interiors, placing the new bistro with beds as the perfect base for those who want to explore The Lakes.

Nestled amongst the Central Fells, and named after the Cumbrian word for the number ‘one’, the centre-piece to The Yan will be an open-plan bistro and lounge area. The area will combine elements of old and new to create a contrasting yet welcoming environment – a theme that will run throughout the interior design. Floor to ceiling windows and skylights will fill the communal areas with natural light, allowing guests to look out onto the breathtaking natural landscape, while exposed steel girders and ceilings, wood clad panelling and slate features will create an industrial feel.

Each of the seven plush ensuite bedrooms will have their own individual characteristics, reflecting the unique surrounding landscape and the original quirks of the historic building. Varying in size, the en-suite bedrooms will range from cosy doubles to spacious suites that will sleep up to four, catering to the needs of individuals, couples and groups. Two of the bedrooms will also be pet-friendly, allowing guests to bring their furry friends away with them to explore the area.

The bistro will be open to both overnight guests of The Yan and the public, serving seasonal, hearty dishes inspired by the farm’s rich history. A casual yet classy eatery, the menu will use locally sourced and sustainable ingredients as the focal point, creating rustic Cumbrian classics and nostalgic British favourites. Each dish will incorporate contemporary twists, with sharing plates used to add to the social feel of the bistro, creating a wholesome menu and ambience.

The Yan will be the latest addition to the Broadrayne Farm site, which is already home to Grasmere Glamping and Broadrayne Farm Holiday Cottages. Previously an independent hostel, the The Yan is seeing an investment of over half a million pounds from David and Sally Keighley, who bought Broadrayne Farm in 2012. Moving to the area from Yorkshire, the pair have worked to successfully grow the Broadrayne Farm business, upgrading and expanding the site’s offering, whilst improving guest service.

The Yan will open in July 2019 with room rates starting from £90 per night for a Standard Room and £110 for a Deluxe Room.

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New Interior Revealed for The Chequers Inn

Ahead of its reopening to the public, The Chequers Inn at Ettington, in Stratford-Upon-Avon, has released visuals of its newly designed bar and restaurant. The 18th century pub has undergone an extensive renovation and will re-open in time for Easter.

The 38 cover restaurant has been completely refreshed, creating an inviting and unique dining experience. The space will provide visitors with intimate snug areas along with spaces suitable for larger parties.

The new Spring menu will take in pub classics like fish and chips and handmade burgers alongside a selection of dishes such as Braised Lamb Shoulder with Spring Greens and Pan-Fried Seabass with Wild Rice, Black Olives and Cherry Tomatoes. The menu will be comprised of the best quality, local ingredients and a range of ever-changing sharing platters and seasonal menus will also be available. The drinks menu will offer an extensive wine list, and ciders, lagers and ales –  including The Chequers Inn’s own pale ale – along with a selection of cocktails.

“We are extremely excited to welcome customers back to the Chequers Inn after a much-deserved facelift, just in time for Easter. We want to provide diners and drinkers alike with a comfortable and friendly environment, whilst offering the best quality produce possible. It has been a real labour of love, and we hope that the public will be as impressed with the new menus and the design of the bar and restaurant as we are,“ said Proprietors Paul and Aman Bhandal.

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