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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

The Woodsman Restaurant Stratford in Avon Re-Opens on July 8

The Woodsman in Stratford on Avon is going to be one of the first restaurants in the UK to re-open to diners, with a date of July 8th confirmed in line with the current Government timetable for lifting restrictions.

Opened last year, and winner of the Good Food Guide Best New Entry 2020, The Woodsman situated on historic Chapel Street is famed for its use of game, wild and foraged food and great British ingredients, much of which is cooked over flame.

“Because of the spacious layout of The Woodsman, including private dining areas, a large terrace seating 40, and by re-purposing the bar area and other spaces, we are really in a better position than most restaurants when it comes to ensuring that all our guests can feel safe and welcome when they return to dine with us,” says Mike Robinson, Owner of The Woodsman.

“Lockdown has caused so much disruption to the hospitality industry, and I know how challenging it’s going to be for restaurateurs everywhere to be able to operate under the social distancing and hygiene guidelines, we’re very lucky to have the space options to give us the flexibility. The Woodsman can ensure proper distancing between tables while still having an amazing atmosphere.”

And for those who live outside Stratford on Avon, there is a special offer for overnight accommodation at the Hotel Indigo, which adjoins The Woodsman. For all those who have booked a meal at The Woodsman, they can have special room rates at the hotel starting from £89.00, less than half the usual rate.

The restaurant team has been following governmental guidelines which will allow The Woodsman to reopen a safe environment for both guests and staff. The measures which they have now put in place have been implemented to create a dependable and comfortable experience.

They will be serving a smaller number of guests, so that they can be following the advice of 2m of social distancing where possible. Where social distancing is more difficult and 2m would cause a detrimental effect to the guest experience, they will have additional control measures in place.

All reservations will need to be made by telephone so that a member of The Woodsman team can explain in more detail their new policies and procedures, and they will not be able to offer any tables of walk-ins or have the bar area open to the public however a comprehensive cocktail and wine list will be available for guests dining in the restaurant.

The Woodsman has always maintained a very high level of hygiene throughout and this will continue. Furthermore, the team will be undergoing additional training in line with government guidelines and will continually monitor all public areas to ensure guest safety.

The Hotel Indigo is planning on reopening on July 4 and will be fulfilling the IHG Clean Promise, complying with stringent guidelines, setting up controls in public spaces during a gradual re-opening, offering new check in processes, and sanitising and disinfecting all areas.

To make a booking at The Woodsman, please call 01789 331535. If you want to reserve accommodation at the Hotel Indigo at the special rate, this will need to be booked with the restaurant at the same time The phone lines will be open Monday – Friday 9 – 5pm.

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The Recovery Collective Will Offer Hotels a Free ‘Health Check’

Travel and hospitality experts Palm and 8th Floor have partnered to launch a new venture called The Recovery Collective.

With decades of experience in the industry and a personal, passionate drive to get businesses open and thriving again, The Recovery Collective’s purpose is to provide a comprehensive offering of streamlined solutions to accelerate hotel recovery post-lockdown.

The offering goes beyond communications, PR, social media and sales support to include a number of essential services in the current climate, including health and safety advice and commercial consultancy.

By integrating and streamlining services for the first time, hotels can easily access all the support they require to reopen and prosper post-Lockdown from a single entity.

The collective has hand-picked the best in the industry to deliver current business needs, including Ella de Beer Ltd, a hospitality and retail operations consultancy, and Virtually Be There, a creative technology company specialising in bespoke digital software.

With an acknowledgement that internal resources may be limited at this time, ‘The Recovery Collective’ will become a true extension of an hotel’s in-house team, plugging into requirement gaps, and providing an accessible and effective way to plan and implement strategy for recovery.

The venture’s mission statement is to successfully re-open hotels and return revenue to businesses, whilst protecting staff, customers and the brand.

Services include:

  • Sales, marketing & revenue representation and commercial consultancy
  • Communications, PR & Digital services
  • Back & Front of House hospitality operations
  • Commercially viable food & beverage operations
  • Immersive video and digital content to showcase hotel rooms and spaces remotely
  • Health & Safety consultancy
  • Covid compliant solutions, design-led screens, social distancing mats, signage and sanitiser stations

Ben Couldridge, Co-Founder of 8th Floor says: “Our 8th Floor team has over 100 years of combined sales, marketing and revenue experience in the hotel sector and so we have a true passion to support the industry to recover in the best way, and as quickly as possible.

“With this in mind, we wanted to create a collective of the best in the industry, that would allow hotels to simply cherry-pick the services they most needed, without having to go to multiple points.

“We have allowed a great deal of flexibility and hotels can simply choose from an easy ‘menu’ of services to align with what is needed most.”

“This is the time to redefine your commercial strategy with effective and proactive actions to a wider audience, move market share with strategic support whilst boosting your brand awareness and above all growing revenues and giving you the edge over your competitors.”

Emily Keogh, Co-Founder of award-winning communications agency Palm says: “It is truly a time for the industry to pull together, to pool talent and resource in order to rebuild consumer trust and enable economic recovery and resilience in the right way.

“We have invested significant resource into researching other Covid markets and analysing the UK market’s needs. As a result, we are confident that The Recovery Collective will accelerate recovery in two ways: by providing a speedy trouble-shooting service, alongside strategy and implementation for longevity.”

Ella de Beer, Owner of Ella de Beer Ltd says: “We have seen our industry face adversity in numerous forms historically, we know it will it return better and stronger. We are excited to be a part of The Recovery Collective and support hoteliers, restaurateurs and operators move out of Lockdown and towards the future.”

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Lockdown Launch – Canned Cocktail Company Now Prepping for Pubs Reopening

When reopened hospitality means swift serving, limited handling and straightforward supply, could canned cocktails be the answer for every bar and restaurant owner?

That’s certainly the hope of Niche Cocktails, who inadvertently found themselves launching their new business just weeks before lockdown was enforced throughout the UK.

Having intended to focus its target at the hospitality arena, Niche was quick to pivot its planning and develop an online shop, in order to sell its three canned products direct to the thirsty consumer.

Since March, the small Suffolk-based entrepreneurial firm has been despatching its Blood Orange Old Fashioned, Manuka Honey Whisky Sour, and Matcha Mojito, to hundreds of homes where we’ve been mourning our pub outings and wishing for an easy ready-made fix.

But with bars, pubs, hotels and restaurants now getting set to welcome customers once again, Niche – the first UK company to produce canned shorts – is directly appealing to hospitality businesses to add their brand to the drinks menu.

Emily Mummery, Operations Director for Niche, says: “It’s been quite a time to launch a business – that’s for sure.

“As March 2020 arrived, we were all set to start for our full launch into the trade arena. We’d been chatting to pub and restaurant chains, had signed our first few clients, and were all ready with our point-of-sale items for busy footfall venues.

“Then, lockdown arrived. There was a momentary consideration around furloughing ourselves and ‘holding fire’ but then we realised what a huge growth in at-home consumption of alcohol was starting to be seen.”

Within just two days, the business transformed its website to create an online shop, whilst contacting family, friends, business contacts and networks, in order to establish some swift consumer sales.

The strategy worked well, and has seen Niche continue its momentum in developing its next two flavours – but now they’re turning their attention back to their original focus.

“We’re so proud of where we’ve got to in this period, but now we really want to start picking up the conversation with the pubs, bars and restaurants who might want to have our products on their post-lockdown listings,” continues Emily.

“What makes canned cocktails even better right now, is that these are easy-serve drinks with the same taste of combining all the original flavourings from multiple bottles, but created in just 30 seconds, straight from the can.

“This limits contact risks, but also increases speed of service – which is vital when venues are being told that they’ll not be able to have people queuing at a bar.”

Niche’s three current flavours are selling successfully at a price of £3.50-£4 retail, with an on-trade of between £6 and £10 per serve.

Paddy Bishopp, the company’s Commercial Director, says the team are mindful of the heartache and trauma that the hospitality sector has been through, and that they want to work alongside pubs and bars in an understanding way, to help them  get back to their feet.

“This has been the most awful time for pubs and restaurants, so we want to ensure that role we play, as a supplier, is one that’s really considerate around supply processes and payment terms,” he says.

“We’re focused on wanting to have a flexible and supportive relationship with all those we supply, so I’m looking forward to hearing from venues about how best we can work with them to enable them to add our products to their offering.”

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Eazy Egg Launches the First UK Made Free Range Egg White

Egg nutrition specialist Eazy Egg launches the UK’s first free range egg white in a convenient 1kg bottle that lasts 6 months unopened, removing messy egg white separation for the consumer and cutting down food waste and freeing up fridge space for the retailer.

A revolution in sports nutrition and home baking–Eazy Egg have launched their first free range egg product aimed at the sports fitness and home baking sectors. In a UK first, Eazy Egg’s Free-Range Egg White utilises a revolutionary pasteurising process. This allows it to be stored at room temperature and free up valuable fridge space in the retail store and the home.

Not only can it be stored at room temperature,but the product has an impressive 6 months shelf life (unopened) removing retailer risk and eliminating food waste for this type of line. Normal egg whites last 2 weeks and needs refrigerating.

Eazy Egg are targeting two distinct markets with this new line, the sports fitness market and home baking. It comes in a 1 kg recyclable bottle with a retail ready designed film and a convenient pouring scale measure down the side.

The product contains a minimum of 30 egg whites and is priced comparably to the equivalent shop bought egg (£5.99 MSRP)removing the need for messy and time-consuming egg white separation by the consumer.

The brand is focused on hen welfare and will only use free range egg in their current and extended ranges due for release later this year. They will include a range of ready to drink flavoured egg whites and egg white protein powders for shakes.

The egg whites can be purchased online now from www.eazyegg.co.uk and a growing list of online retailers, shops and gyms and advanced discussions are ongoing for listings in the major supermarkets

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UK Food and Drink Industry Publishes Post-Covid Recovery Proposals

Food industry figures across the United Kingdom have published a ‘path to recovery’ for the industry post-Covid 19. The proposals, endorsed by over 30 UK food and drink organisations, outline steps Government and industry can take to future proof the sector, and call on the Government to address the UK’s negative balance of trade in food.

Michael Bell, Executive Director of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) and coordinator of the report said:

“Covid-19 has challenged the UK food and drink industry in a once in a generation way. Food manufacturers have been working harder than ever to ensure that the nation is fed – with companies having to adapt to an evolving situation at a rapid pace, responding to changes in demand and implementing social distancing measures. Within a short period of time, firms have reengineered and reimagined processes, requiring a significant level of investment. Put simply, the industry has demonstrated both its ingenuity and its necessity in these unprecedented times.

“Just as the Government has taken courageous and rapid decisions to address the challenge of the pandemic, we now need to deliver a ‘pathway to recovery’ for UK food and drink. Industry stands ready to work with Government on this, and our proposals published today outline actions Government and industry can take to future proof the sector. In the short term we need to protect our capacity in food production, ensuring our domestic farming, processing and food service sectors are able to emerge from this crisis intact.

“In the longer term, the Government needs to reassess its policy on food and drink. For too long, successive governments have been content to witness continual decline in self-sufficiency in food. The strain that Covid-19 has put on the food chain has exposed the inherent weaknesses in this approach, and we now have an opportunity to reverse that trend. It will require serious investment, but the economic and societal gains would be immense. The UK currently has a trade deficit of some £24billion in food. Assuming 30% of this could be produced efficiently in the UK, a balance of trade benefit of up to £8billion could be realised.

“The UK’s food and drink industry and the wider ‘eating ecosystem’ of other sectors it supports – farming, transport and logistics, cold stores, packaging, catering, food service and retail – contributes £460billion to the national economy, employing millions of people across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The ‘path to recovery’ proposals published today provide the opportunity to build on that success, and deliver new gains for society across the UK as we emerge from this pandemic.”

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Danone Launches Fundraiser ‘Cook Along For Families’

Danone is set to launch an exciting new initiative this month which will give UK families some fun whilst also taking care of dinner. Cookalong 4 Families will be live on YouTube and is designed with the reality of family life in mind, which is why each episode is short, easy to follow and provides a simple healthy meal at the end. By partnering with Family Action and making fundraising a defining part of the campaign, Danone is also able to help provide nutritious meals to vulnerable families who are experiencing poverty, disadvantage and social isolation; for every view of the videos the brand will donate £1* to the charity.  

Danone recognises that during this difficult time, trying to keep up with routines and good habits whilst juggling work, home-life and home-schooling, can be a challenge for parents. The brand wants to help keep spirits up and champion moments spent together as a family while at the same time helping families to whip up some food for teatime. 

Cookalong 4 Families will see ambassadors from the Danone Family, including author Madeleine Shaw and author and one fifth of girl band The Saturday’s Frankie Bridge host a series of weekly, cook-a-long livestreams showing kids (and the whole family) how to make imaginative recipes for teatime using everyday ingredients, including Danone’s recently launched range of no added sugar** yogurts.

The first livestream will be hosted by Madeleine Shaw on the Danone Yogurt UK & Ireland YouTube channel on Wednesday 10th June at 4pm.

Rachael Hann, Brand Marketing Manager, Danone says; “For Danone, doing good is about more than just making delicious yogurts with no added sugar**. It’s about doing our bit for families, our communities and our planet. We wanted to do something that can help keep kids entertained and also sort a healthy dinner for families too. Importantly our partnership with Family Action means that we can help vulnerable families too at a time when many are under increased pressure. 

All the recipes will include everyday ingredients, including our new no added sugar** yogurt range, helping kids and their families to maintain and build good eating habits.”

David Holmes CBE, Chief Executive from Family Action says; “Support like this from Danone is vital in our efforts to continue to help disadvantaged families across the UK. Lockdown may be easing and with it lives returning to a sort of normal, but for many of the families we support their need has never been greater. The summer holidays this year will be even more important than usual as a time to supply free and nutritious meals.”

Other brand ambassadors who will be hosting a live Cookalong 4 Families session include Laura Jackson, Fiona Connor and Hannah Michalak.

Cookalong 4 Families Schedule – information on the series can be found @danone.yogurt and all live cookalongs will be hosted on the Danone UK & Ireland YouTube Channel  

Madeleine Shaw, Wednesday 10th June, 4pm 

Laura Jackson, Wednesday 17th June, 4pm

Frankie Bridge Wednesday 24th June, 4pm

Hannah Michalak Wednesday 1st July, 4pm

Fiona Connor Wednesday 8th July, 4pm

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Scottish Distillery Unveils New Artisan Rum Range

One of Scotland’s fastest growing micro-distilleries has unveiled its innovative new rum collection, Liv Rum. The new Liv Rum range, inspired by the nation’s love for craft spirits and locally made produce, is handcrafted from start to finish using natural and seasonal ingredients.

Developed by family-owned spirits business, Matugga Distillers, the range includes two award-winning white rums – Pot Distilled White Rum (42.5% ABV) and Navy Strength White Rum (57.5% ABV) – and Black Spiced Rum (40% ABV) infused with Scottish heather.

The artisan collection also includes two flavoured liqueurs celebrating Scotland’s abundant fruits and botanicals. Raspberry & Hibiscus Rum Liqueur (32% ABV), made using seasonal hand picked raspberries and Honey & Lavender Rum Liqueur (32% ABV) created using Scottish honey and locally sourced lavender.

Situated in Livingston, central Scotland, Matugga Distillers is owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo, Paul and Jacine Rutasikwa.

Head Distiller, Paul Rutasikwa, said: “It’s been a roller coaster of a year for many of us. Getting our new range to this point, bottled and ready, has been a challenge but we’re proud to be able to unveil our innovative new collection. It’s a celebration of our love for craft rum, of Scotland’s nature, and the nation’s growing commitment to quality, local producers.

“Liv Rum is the next step in Matugga Distillers’ story, we wanted to create an accessible range of high quality rums that are of great value and showcase the diversity and flexibility of the spirit.”

Liv Rum’s core range of three rums – Pot Distilled White Rum (RRP £25.99); Navy Strength White Rum (RRP £31.99) and Black Spiced Rum (RRP £25.99) can be ordered online at www.livrums.com With the seasonal flavoured liqueurs (RRP £23.99 each) available for pre-order ahead of release in July 2020.

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New Survey Reveals Lucrative Opportunities in Plant-Based Sector

Plant-based cheese, ready meals, seafood, and alternatives to eggs are among the biggest opportunities in the plant-based sector, a major new survey of over 6,000 consumers has found.

ProVeg International recently conducted a survey of 6,221 consumers across nine European countries in order to identify priorities for product improvement and development, based on consumers’ experience of purchasing and consuming plant-based products.

In-demand products

Plant-based cheese is the product that both reducers and plant-based eaters would most like to see more of in supermarkets. Plant-based ready meals is the second most in-demand product for reducers, and the third most in demand for plant-based eaters. Reducers would also like to see more plant-based meat alternatives which mimic meat, while plant-based eaters are looking for more plant-based baked goods and chocolates.

Verena Wiederkehr, Head of Food Industry and Retail, ProVeg International, said: “Both plant-based cheese and ready meals represent huge opportunities for growth. We recommend that manufacturers focus on expanding their ranges of these in-demand products and, particularly in the case of plant-based cheeses, work on improving taste and texture. The data supports the view that good quality, affordable plant-based cheeses have a good chance of penetrating, capturing and retaining a large part of a fast-growing and lucrative sector.”

For predictions on the growth of plant-based categories, manufacturers can look to the market for plant-based meat alternatives, which is predicted to double within the next five years. According to figures provided by Markets and Markets, the market is valued at 12.1 billion US$ in 2019 and is predicted to grow at an annual rate of around 15%, reaching almost 28 billion US$ by 2025. The global meat market, by comparison, is only predicted to grow by 3% a year, according to Kearney.

Plant-based seafood and egg alternatives

Major growth opportunities have also been revealed in plant-based seafood and egg alternatives. Only 16% of reducers have already purchased and tried plant-based seafood, while for egg alternatives the consumption rate is even lower, at only 11%. This is despite strong potential demand for both product categories, particularly in the case of egg alternatives among reducers.

Wiederkehr said: “The combination of strong potential consumer demand and low consumption rates is a recipe for extensive growth opportunities. We are seeing this in the plant-based seafood sector, which is still very much in its infancy, with relatively few manufacturers and little competition. So we recommend that manufacturers seriously consider expanding their product portfolios to include plant-based seafood.

“There are very few stand-alone egg alternatives on the market, far fewer than egg replacements for baking. If we also factor in eggs’ versatility, their breadth of function, and the frequency with which they are consumed, it becomes clear that the plant-based egg space is another major opportunity that is ripe for investors looking to support innovative startups.”

Other key findings

There are not enough plant-based options available in retail locations in almost every food category. The results also reveal that consumers want to see more variety in terms of product types, raw materials, textures, and flavours.

In terms of purchase drivers for plant-based foods, the most common reasons cited were curiosity to try new products, health benefits, trust in a brand, and taste.

In terms of product attributes (convenience, texture, taste, appearance, naturalness, price, and nutritional value), price was the main area of dissatisfaction in almost all product categories.

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One Sage & Apple Gin Launches in Tesco

Following a successful debut with Craft Gin Club last spring and increasing on-trade interest, this month sees One Gin’s Sage & Apple expression launch into grocery retail with a national listing in Tesco.

Originally a spin-off of ethical bottled water brand One Water, One Gin donates 10% of its profit to fund life-changing water projects in the world’s poorest communities. One’s vision is a world in which everyone has access to clean safe water forever. The brand’s premise is that you can’t change the world in one day, but you can change lives, One day at a time, One bottle at a time.

It is a shocking fact that over 785 million people around the world still don’t have access to safe, clean water and the arrival of Covid-19 further highlights how critical clean, safe water and hygiene are, as millions of people endure this crisis without that basic right.

One Sage & Apple Gin

IWSC Gold award-winning One Gin launched back in 2017, uniquely distilled with fresh English sage and with a humanitarian cause at its heart. With a desire to add a fruitier expression to the fold, the team introduced One Sage & Apple Gin last spring. Picking up a Silver award in the Gin Masters, it debuted exclusively through Craft Gin Club, the UK’s largest gin subscription club, and was one of their most successful gins to date. John Burke, Co-Founder of Craft Gin Club, commented that “More than 100,000 gin lovers around the UK tasted the gin that month and the feedback was incredible. The listing with Tesco is a real testament to One Sage and Apple Gin’s delicious and unique flavour”.

Ian Spooner, Co-Founder at One Gin says, “From a flying start thanks to Craft Gin Club, this last year has demonstrated a huge appetite for our orchard fresh twist on One Gin. It is a wonderfully crisp, fragrant spirit and a perfect balance of juniper, crisp russet apple and fresh English sage. It responds to the trend towards fruitier gins, but maintains a unique freshness. We are hugely grateful to Tesco for helping us to share this with a wider audience and further support our cause of delivering safe, clean water to the world’s poorest communities.

One Sage & Apple Gin goes sale in Tesco with an RSP of £38. One Gin donates a minimum of 10% of their profit to The One Foundation (UK Registered Charity No.1118810), to help fund water utility infrastructures in poor communities, ensuring universal access to safe, clean water. So far, the One brand has raised over £20m for life-changing water projects, changing the lives of over 3.8 million people, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.

One Gin is vegetarian, vegan and kosher.

Tasting Notes:

One Sage & Apple Gin has an overall aromatic nose of fresh and candied apple, freshly cut wood and juniper, with hints of gooseberry and orange marmalade. This leads to a palate of fresh apple, orange peel and soft juniper, mixed spice and Turkish delight.

Perfect serve:

Pour a large measure of One Sage & Apple Gin into a glass filled with ice, and top with a premium tonic water. Garnish with fresh slices of apple and a sage leaf or two. Or for a deliciously fresh apple shot, serve neat directly from the freezer.

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Adam Handling Comes Hame, with New London Home Delivery Service

Chef and restaurateur, Adam Handling, has launched a new food delivery and collection service, Hame – the Scottish word for home – to offer a taste of his restaurant experience to be enjoyed in homes in and around London.

The menu offers some of chef Adam’s most loved dishes from his restaurants, The Frog Hoxton, Frog by Adam Handling and Adam Handling Chelsea, and a few that he has developed whilst cooking at home during lockdown. You can expect to see Cheese Doughnuts; Nanny Sophie’s Fried Chicken; Whole lobster, carrot, lemongrass, and – for family sharing – you can opt for a whole Beef Wellington with clotted cream mash, spring greens, and roast carrots.

Rather than providing hot dishes, the food from Hame will arrive fully prepared, ready for cooking and plating at home, complete with recipes and full step-by-step video instructions.

“I’ve been asked on countless occasions to launch a food delivery service and I’ve replied in the same way every time, ‘I would honestly love to but my food just won’t travel well’,” says Adam. “So, we’ve come up with a way that I think is going to work perfectly.”

“We’ve done all of the food preparation ourselves to make it as simple as possible. Just scan the QR code on the recipe card, included with your order, to see a video of me showing you how to cook all the prepared components and put the finishing touches to your dishes.”

In addition to the food, you can order classic cocktails from the Eve Bar list, and matching wines, to complete the perfect home dining experience.

Hame is available Thursdays to Sundays and orders must be given 48 hours ahead of preferred delivery/collection date.

If you would like to collect your Hame order, you can do so at Frog by Adam Handling. Any orders below £150 must be collected or a delivery charge will be applied. All collections have to be pre-arranged, in order to comply with social distancing rules.

Delivery is available, for free, with orders over £150 within a 10-mile radius of Frog by Adam Handling. If your location is outside the 10 mile delivery radius, you can email enquiries@adamhandling.co.uk and they will do their best to accommodate the request.

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