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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

Skate Into The Season With Festive Films On The Ice at QUEENS

QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl, central London’s only all-year-round ice rink is excited to announce the launch of their Christmas pop-up cinema experience on ice, brought to you by Big Screen, one of London’s best loved screening event producers. Launching on Sunday 1st December, these uniquely festive film screenings will be sure to get even the grumpiest Grinch into the festive sprit.

With nine weekends of festive film fun, everyone will have the opportunity to see their favourite Christmas movies, either whilst lounging on candy striped deck-chairs, wrapped in cosy blankets, à la après-ski vibes, or on skates, enjoying all time classic movies, whilst twirling into the festive season. Enjoy a magical experience, whilst watching Holiday Season classics on the ice. Big Screen at QUEENS will offer Londoners the perfect festive weekend activity for families and friends alike, offering two screenings per-day at this novel indoor pop-up, complete with a super-sized LED screen on the ice.

Family Screenings: will start at 5pm on Saturday & Sunday afternoons, guests purchasing seated tickets are invited to enjoy the (ice hockey themed) SIN BIN café, over-looking the ice-rink before the film starts, where hot-chocolates and other winter warmers await.
Adult Screenings: will start at 8pm on Saturday & Sunday evenings, guests purchasing seated tickets are invited to enjoy the (ice hockey themed) SIN BIN, over-looking the ice-rink before, after and even during their film, where MEATliquor will be serving their irresistible cockle-warming cocktails. These perfect ‘date night’ screenings will feature multiple intervals for some much needed winter warmer drinks and snacks.

‘Tis the season to enjoy this stellar line-up of the nation’s Christmas classics including; Home Alone, Elf, the Holiday, Love Actually and many more favourites, each guaranteed to make these Big Screen On The ICE weekend pop-ups the best place to be this festive season. Guests can experience QUEENS’s brand new state-of the art lighting, programmed to amplify and accent each movie perfectly, as well as on-skates servers bearing popcorn and treats.

The SIN BIN is London’s only dedicated rink side bar and diner offering guests the perfect spot to refuel, recharge and relax. Guests can tuck into delicious dishes and Christmas cocktail concoctions from MEATliquor, or even take part in ten-pin bowling with pals in the 12 state-of-the-art bowling lanes at QUEENS.

With a multitude of activities for all, make it a festive evening to remember this holiday season. Be it with friends or family, everyone is invited to take to the ice for these wonderful winter movies.

Following Big Screen’s unprecedented success of the Rugby final showing earlier this month at QUEENS, as well as this summer’s event topped off by the supreme Wimbledon and Cricket World Cup Finals victories, the founders of Big Screen are delighted to curate an even more exciting offering this winter.

Quote from Rob Barry (Project Director at BSOTI):
“It is a pleasure to Partner with; QUEENS, a fellow leading brand in the entertainment sector for this much anticipated Festive Pop-Up campaign at this iconic London venue. Bringing together the community to enjoy these unique and immersive screening events, combining all-time festive classic films with ice skating and an on-ice experience.

Big Screen is hugely passionate about producing enriching novel events that incubate meaningful connections and real-life experiences, whilst challenging the status quo for passionate fans.”

Screening Schedule: 5pm for Families // 8pm for Adults
1st December | Frozen // Love Actually
7th – 8th December | Elf // The Holiday
14th – 15th December | Muppets Christmas Carol // Home Alone 1
21st – 22nd December | Miracle on 34th Street // Notting Hill
28th – 29th December | Lion King // Die Hard
4th – 5th January | Up // Cool Runnings
11th – 12th January | Wall-E // Dirty Dancing
18th – 19th January | Finding Nemo // Bohemian Rhapsody
25th – 25th January | Toy Story // The Greatest Showman
*new movie titles might potentially be revised or added to subject to any extension of dates

Ice Skating + Film tickets. NO seating
From £11 kids + £2.50 skate hire (u12)
From £12 adults + £2.50 skate hire (over12)

Ice Skating + Film tickets. PLUS private seating
From £13 kids + £2.50 skate hire (u12)
From £16 adults + £2.50 skate hire (over12)

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Gift Guide for Christmas

Christmas can be the most exciting time of the year, but finding the perfect gift is a challenge which only grows with each passing celebration, Because we know that finding something both quality and unique for loved ones is far easier said than done, we’ve come up with our own list of iconic gifts and treats for you to consider. For this guide, we’re focused primarily on drinks and tasty treats to either gift or enjoy for yourself over the Christmas period.

  1. PLAYin Choc Calendar

To cover the festive season, our iconic Christmas Calendar of choice would be the offering from PLAYin CHOC. Organic, vegan, and as allergen-free as one can hope for (concerning soy, gluten, dairy, and also low-sugar), not only does PLAYin CHOC help you to feel good about a responsible purchase as a parent, but it’s calendar truly stands out from the crown. Unlike more basic calendars, this unique little treat not only includes your usual daily chocolates, but also 3D puzzle toys, fun facts, and impressive animal theming. What’s more, the whole calendar can even be opened up entirely into a play area for the full roster of toys when you’re done!

  1. Rita Farhi Hot Chocolate Bombs & 6 Way Box

While Christmas Calendars fill a very clear niche of daily treats, it’s also good to ensure you indulge appropriately during those cold nights when a sweet treat can make all the difference. We tried both Rita Farhi’s offering of Hot Chocolate Bombs and its 6 Way Box, with both impressing in the sheer quality and (in particular for the bombs) powerful flavour. The 6 Way Box, while more delicate in each of the six variations, offers more of a traditional gift box, but with a different spin to the norm.

  1. Niederegger Marzipan

Although we’re huge fans of marzipan, it’s rare for us to see either marzipan ever really stand out from other products on the market. But that’s where Niederegger is rather different.  Now world famous, Niederegger’s offers a host of gift ideas, including loaves of marzipan through to iconic gift boxes and even marzipan advent calendars! We’d strongly recommend either the Marzipan Klassiker Black & White selection as a beautiful gift to those who’d like to see what the top-end of the marzipan market is capable of, or Niederegger’s very own marzipan advent calendar for true addicts!

  1. Hedgepig Gin: Glorious Gooseberry & Zesty Elderflower

Christmas is the perfect time to settle down with an alcoholic cocktail or neat drink to take the edge off and add a little warmth by the fire. Although there are many premium, quality gins on the market, we found Hedgepig Gin to offer a very interesting combination of flavours and profiles to give you something a little different. In particular, we’d strongly recommend the Glorious Gooseberry gin as the perfect accompaniment to cheeses and desserts, while the Zesty Elderflower, with it’s much milder but elegant tones, serves as the ideal tipple for cocktail experimentation or a simple G&T.

  1. Stirrd Fudge

Although most of the items on this list are one-off treats, we thought the offering from Stirrd justifiably meets the criteria as a one-off gift, but also forms part of a very interesting subscription service. Perhaps some of the nicest fudge we’ve had the pleasure of trying, the Stirrd subscription incorporates monthly handmade fudge, with seasonal flavours, to be provide direct to the gift recipients letterbox. Not only will these treats make an impression on the day, but it’ll also be the gift that keeps on giving.

  1. Bolney Bubbly

Known for its zest, Bolney Bubbly comes out of the renown Bolney Wine Estate and offers something slightly different, and incredibly tempting for your Christmas tipple. Carrying notes of citrus, honeysuckle, and elderflower, Bolney Bubbly is able to stand toe to toe with many of the premium champagnes on the market thanks to its smooth, elegant sweetness. The difference? Bolney Bubbly is available at a fraction of the price of these competitors, not only allowing you to enjoy yourself without breaking the bank, but potentially doing so with a case rather than a bottle or two.

  1. Brick Brewery Beer

What Christmas lift would be complete without some craft beer to get you through the holidays? This time around we’d love to suggest Brick Brewery’s wonderful selection of pils, pales, ryes, and IPAs. Each tipple comes with a unique, alluring aroma (through the iconic addition of hops), but otherwise constitutes a lovely little staple, quality beer to expand your repertoire of known-beers.  

  1. Montezuma Chocolate Bar Collection

We’re always happy to promote and suggest British chocolate, and Montezuma’s is this Christmas’ perfect treat for you and your family. Although a wide range of chocolates are obviously on offer through Montezuma, this year includes the brand’s chocolate library, complete with wintery theme. Flavours are also seemingly tailored towards the indulgent nature of Christmas, but we’d strongly encourage you to venture out, explore the collection, and see what you can find! For us, the Rum & Raisin is potentially our take-away favourite for with a peaceful and relaxing drink.

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Which Road Laws from Across the Globe Could the UK Benefit From?

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 7 m read

When we learn to drive and take to the roads in the UK, there are plenty of driving laws to make yourself aware of. If you head abroad and get behind the wheel though, you’ll also need to take note that different countries have their own road laws.

Take a look through a selection of the road laws from around the world and ask yourself, could Brits benefit from some of them being introduced onto UK roads? VW service providers: Vindis, investigates below. Carry on reading…

Road rage fines 

Enforced in: Cyprus

Road rage certainly appears to be rife throughout the UK, with a poll carried out by and involving 2,000 UK motorists finding that 61 per cent had fallen victim to either a verbal or a physical attack during a 12-month period. The same survey also established that one in five motorists were left too scared to get back behind the wheel after the ordeal.

In Cyprus, if you wave a fist at a fellow driver in anger or give another road user a rude gesture using your hands and you could be slapped with a hefty fine while driving. The law is linked to motorists being penalised if they unnecessarily raise a hand from their steering wheel while on the road. 

The Accident Advice Helpline has carried out their own research into road rage as well, in which they recorded that the average road-related bout of anger across the UK will only last for a few seconds but can take over four minutes for the driver to calm down entirely.

David Carter, from the Accident Advice Helpline, commented: “It’s very easy to get frustrated while driving — it happens to nearly all of us at some point. But road rage can end up being really dangerous. If you experience a bout of road rage, you may end up driving more erratically than whoever annoyed you in the first place.”

Carrying an additional pair of prescription glasses

Enforced in: Spain

If you get behind the wheel in Spain and require prescription glasses to drive, it’s a requirement that you always carry an additional pair of glasses in your vehicle. Fail to show a spare pair and you could be penalised with a small fine.

According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), there’s currently more than two million people in the UK living with sight loss. The RNIB predicts that this number will surpass 2.7 million people by 2030 before hitting close to four million by 2050.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) do have measures in place when it comes to the issue of driving and sight loss — you can find full details about the parameters here. Furthermore, figures which were released to Optometry Today following a Freedom of Information request revealed that the DVLA had either revoked or refused 42,519 car and motorcycle licences between 2012 and 2017 due to poor vision. During the same period, it was also found that 6,739 lorry and bus drivers had lost their licence as a result of their failing eyesight.

What is concerning though is that, according to a survey carried out by road safety charity Brake, a quarter of drivers in the UK haven’t had a vision test in the past two years from when the poll was conducted. What’s more, four per cent of respondents had never had their eyes tested.  

Trevor Warburton, the clinical adviser at the Association of Optometrists, stated to Optometry Today: “In the UK, there is currently no requirement for drivers to have regular sight tests. We believe that compulsory vision screening for all motorists would help ensure that drivers’ vision meets the required standards, significantly reducing the risk of someone having an accident due to their poor vision.”

Drivers must carry a breathalyser kit in their cars

Enforced in: France

Enjoy a drive across France and you’ll have to make sure you’re carrying a breathalyser kit in your vehicle — this includes when using a motorcycle. The devices are there so that motorists can check whether or not they are exceeding the drink-drive limit.

There are several penalties in place if a motorist is caught drink-driving in the UK. A guilty party can expect a hefty fine, a ban from driving, and possibly even imprisonment. 

However, there will likely to be little resistance if British motorists were requested to carry breathalyser kits in their vehicles at all times. This is especially after the Department for Transport reported that around 9,040 people were injured or killed on roads across Britain in 2016 after being involved in incidents where a driver was found to be over the alcohol limit to be behind the wheel.

Having a breathalyser kit to hand may also reduce the number of morning-after drink-drivers. This is after a survey commissioned by the AA involving close to 20,000 motorists suggested that one in five motorists had driven the morning after drinking during the previous day — despite the drivers being aware they may still be over the drink-drive limit.

Edmund King, the president of the AA, pointed out to the BBC: “I think people have kind of got the message when they go out in the evening, so they’ll book a taxi or they’ll have a designated driver and they’ll be responsible. But once they get home, they go to bed, they have some sleep, and then they kind of think well I’m OK, it’s the next day.

“So, they’re not equating the next day with what they’ve actually drunk and the problem is if you really have had a lot to drink, your body can only really break down one unit of alcohol per hour…it is relatively easy to be over the limit the next day.”

Compulsory to drive on the snow only with snow chains or winter tyres

Enforced in: Italy

When the snow begins to fall in Italy, it is compulsory that motorists only drive in vehicles that have been fitted with snow chains or winter tyres. Fail to follow this law and a driver can expect to be slapped with a fine if caught by the authorities.

Neither of these items are obligatory when the wintry weather hits across the UK. With the effects of the Beast from the East earlier in 2018 still relatively fresh in our memories though, should this change?

When blizzard conditions swept the nation at the end of February and into March, traffic came to a halt for several hours on the M80 between Glasgow and Stirling, various parts of the A1 were closed several times, and thousands of drivers were left stranded on roads throughout the UK. 

In general, Continental Tyres has suggested that there are 6,393 more accidents involving cars on UK roads in the winter than those recorded in the summer. 

Despite these findings, a poll carried out by Falken tyres found that a quarter of drivers refused to invest in a set of winter tyres due to the cost being too high in their opinion and 19 per cent said they couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of changing their tyres.

Matt Smith, the UK director at Falken, offered an alternative for Brits: “Switching to an all-season tyre could well be the solution for Britain’s drivers unwilling to commit to pure winter tyres. With many sizes on offer, it is often possible to find a tyre that fits the standard rims, eliminating the cost and hassle of having an extra set, solving another issue raised in the survey.”

A ‘colour coding’ system to fight back against major congestion

Enforced in: Manila, the Philippines

Planning a holiday in the Philippines and looking to rent a vehicle so that you can get in and around the metro area of the capital city Manila? If so, you’ll want to top up your knowledge on the district’s ‘colour coding’ system. Introduced as a measure to prevent major congestion throughout Manila, the law is linked to the final digit of a vehicle’s number plate. There are a few regulations in place, such as vehicles with a number plate ending in the number 1 or 2 being restricted from driving in Manila’s metro area between 7am and 7pm on Mondays.

Action to battle congestion across the UK will surely be welcomed. After all, a study conducted by traffic data firm INRIX has suggested that the UK is currently the 10th most congested country across the globe and that London is the second most gridlocked city in Europe, behind only Moscow.

INRIX’s research involved analysing direct costs, for instance wasted fuel and time, as well as looking into indirect consequences like the higher prices being charged for household goods because of increased freight fees. From this data, the organisation calculated that drivers in the UK wasted 31 hours last year when they were stuck in rush-hour traffic — at a cost of £1,168 per motorist.

Dr. Graham Cookson, the Chief Economist at INRIX, observed: “Combined with the rising price of motoring, the cost of congestion is astonishing — it takes billions out of the economy and impacts businesses and individuals alike.

“With the Office of National Statistics showing more cars on the road than ever before, we need to consider innovative new approaches to solving the issue. Increased flexible working or road charges have potential, however, transport authorities should be looking to exciting developments in data analytics and AI which promise to reinvent our approach to traffic management.”

As this article has no doubt highlighted, there are some road laws used in countries across the world which law authorities throughout the UK would benefit from enforcing too.


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James Cochran Launches 1251 Scotch Bonnet Jam

James Cochran, the hugely successful chef behind 12:51 in Islington, has now launched 12:51 Scotch Bonnet Jam. This sweet, fiery condiment comes in a stylish and distinctive jar, elevating any number of dishes. 

James has long incorporated the flavours and traditions of his mother’s Caribbean heritage into his cooking, and over recent years, his scotch bonnet jam has become a true signature recipe. The jam appeared on a goat dish that James prepared on BBC2 Great British Menu 2018, whilst his renowned Buttermilk jerk chicken with scotch bonnet jam has been available on his restaurant menus for over five years. People loved it so much they would always ask for the recipe and how to buy it, so James has now bottled it up and 12:51 Scotch Bonnet Jam is available for everyone to enjoy at home. 

The sweet, spicy, warming flavours of the jam make it a perfect accompaniment to chicken, cheese, burgers, barbecued meats, sandwiches and many other homecooked meals. It also makes the perfect gift for chilli-loving friends and family. Produced in east London, 12:51 Scotch Bonnet Jam is made from all-natural ingredients with no added preservatives and is also vegan and gluten free. The jam is available to buy online at 12:51 Deli and at James’s Islington restaurant 12:51. 

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Lancashire Family Estate Unveils Its First Gin Collection

A family from the idyllic village of Bashall Eaves in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley has created a unique range of craft gins, Bashall Spirits, inspired by recipe books that date back to the 1700s.

A London Dry sits at the heart of the Bashall Spirits range, along with three uniquely flavoured full-strength gins.

Taking botanical cues from the Forest of Bowland and the protected woodland surrounding the village, the juniper-forward London Dry Gin includes cranberry, elderflower, caraway and hazelnut.

The flavoured gins – Orange & Quince Gin, Damson & Elderberry Gin and Parkin Cake Gin – are a celebration of recipes which have been handed down through the Worsley-Taylor family for generations.

The golden-hued Parkin Cake Gin is based on a Victorian-era family recipe for the traditional Lancashire bake, and is rich with treacle and ginger.

Traditional marmalade recipes inspired the zesty Orange & Quince Gin, while the Damson & Elderberry Gin is an homage to the many orchard and fruit wine recipes found in the antique recipe books.

Fiona McNeill, co-founder of Bashall Spirits, said: “Our family have held these unique handwritten recipe books for centuries, and we wanted to find a way to bring these flavours to life in a contemporary way. This truly is a unique range of gins that showcase Lancashire’s rich heritage of food and drink, our village and the beautiful landscapes which surround it.”

Bottled at 40% ABV, this collection of small-batch gins, the first from family-owned Bashall Spirits, is distilled by an award-winning partner distiller based in Arbroath, Scotland.

Bashall Spirits’ range of craft gins are available to both on-trade and off-trade.

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Iceland Adds 18 Plastic-Free Products to Its Christmas Range

Iceland will be the only major UK supermarket to offer its customers the choice of a plastic free or reduced plastic packaging Christmas dinner this year.

From this week, Iceland customers will be able to choose from 18 Christmas products that are completely free from plastic packaging, as the retailer continues to make strides in its commitment to eliminate plastic packaging from its own label products by the end of 2023.

The new range will allow shoppers to pick up a starter, main course and dessert with minimal plastic packaging. Products such Iceland’s Luxury Beef Wellington, Stuffing Balls and Luxury Black Forest Layered Pavlova have had their packaging redesigned from last year and are now completely plastic free.

As part of the Christmas range, Iceland is also offering customers eight products that have had their plastic packaging significantly reduced. One example of the redeveloped packaging is Iceland’s Perfect Turkey Crown, which was previously packaged in a plastic bag and is now offered in a recyclable paper wrap with only a remaining plastic band seal.

In total, Iceland’s new range of plastic-free and reduced plastic products now contains 97% less plastic packaging than in previous years, showcasing just how much progress the supermarket has made since making its plastics pledge at the beginning of last year.

Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland said: “We’ve been working hard all year to develop alternative packaging solutions and I’m proud to be offering Iceland customers the choice of plastic free Christmas products. Christmas is a crucial time of year which sees retailers go head to head on product innovation, and we were keen to incorporate our sustainability efforts into this. We know that there is a significant appetite for reduced plastic packaging and that plastic consumption increases significantly at Christmas, so we were keen to take on the challenge and demonstrate to the industry and our consumers that it’s possible to have a sustainable Christmas.

“The development of the new range has involved exploring and testing hundreds of alternatives, before developing a series of new-to-market solutions which have either significantly reduced, or entirely removed, plastic from the packaging of our new Christmas range.”

Since it made its pledge, Iceland has removed more than 2,100 tonnes of plastic from its own label packaging and has plans to increase this figure significantly in 2020. As part of these plans, Iceland has announced that it will have removed all black plastic packaging from its own label products by January 2020.

The reduction and removal of plastics from Christmas product packaging was awarded ‘Best Retailer Initiative’ by The Grocer earlier this month.

A full list of the range can be found below:

Plastic free Christmas products:

  • Luxury Beef Wellington
  • Stuffing Balls
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Rocky Road Cheesecake
  • Salted Caramel Cheesecake
  • White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake
  • Luxury Black Forest Layered Pavlova
  • Luxury Raspberry & Pistachio Layered Pavlova
  • Luxury Toffee & Pecan Roulade
  • Luxury Lemon Roulade
  • Cheese Truckle, Cheddar & Chilli
  • Cheese Truckle, Oak Smoked Cheddar
  • Cheese Truckle, Wensleydale & Cranberry
  • Mini Pies
  • Mini Cottage Pies
  • Mini Beef Pasties

Reduced plastic Christmas products:

  • Perfect Turkey Crown
  • Three Bird Roast
  • Stuffed Turkey Breast Joint
  • Extra Tasty Turkey Crown
  • Prawn Marie Rose Sauce
  • Pickles
  • Fine Ruby Port
  • Black Forest Ice Cream
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How Can We Make Use of Our Plastic Waste?

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 3 m read

As we well know, when our plastic based products are cast aside, they are polluting are atmosphere and land. These days, humans produce a phenomenal amount of plastic goods due to its cheap production and versatile nature. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest concerns for our planet right now. 

In the UK, there are in the region of 13 billion plastic bottles used each year — with only 7.5 billion currently being recycled. Here, we take a look at some of the best ways our plastic can be recycled to ensure that we limit the damage to our planet. 


Perhaps unsurprisingly, we can buy items of clothing that were once part of a plastic bottle we’d have drank from. With the likes of polyester, nylon and other synthetic fibres forms of plastic, companies can use recycled plastic to help create their new garments. Did you know that it only takes approximately 10 bottles to create enough plastic fibre for a new t-shirt? As well as this, the insulation in a ski jacket can be created by just 14 recycled bottles.  


The UK is a nation of outdoor lovers — even if we don’t always get the weather that’ll help us best use our outdoor space! Studies have found that the average Brit spends over two hours a week in their garden space. Many take pride in their outdoor area and love to entertain guests throughout the year. To do so, they need a space that is suitable, and decking has seen a huge increase in popularity. Since first being released in 1990, artificial decking has become more favourable due to its low maintenance, look like real wood, and have a long life span. These boards are made up of 95% recycled wood fibres and plastic, making them environmentally friendly as well as easy to upkeep. 

Bed sheets

Great news! You can soon relax in the knowledge that you’re being environmentally sustainable while lying in bed! Ecozee, a company that is set to launch bed sheets made from recycled plastic, states it is going to help you ‘save the environment in your sleep’. With the average plastic having a ‘useful life’ of approximately 15 minutes, it’s clear to see that bed sheets made from recycled plastic will turn this into a much greater lifespan!

Home décor

It’s not just companies who can create great uses for old plastic. Users on social media channels are always sharing the DIY skills regarding old plastic material. Stand out examples include jewellery stands, themed plant pots, and pencil organisers — all created using the bottom of plastic bottles and milk bottles. Some much more extravagant examples by those with creative flair include hanging chandeliers and Christmas trees!


Moving away from home comforts, did you know that many forms of transport use recycled plastics in production? In 2018, vehicle manufacturer Volvo set itself a goal of using 25% recycled plastics in cars by 2025. This can range from fishing nets to old bottles and can be used in areas such as dashboards and carpets. Currently, the company states that approximately five per cent of plastics in its cars are made from recycled materials. 

Elsewhere, in 2017, pilot and environmentalist Jeremy Rowsell made history by flying a light aircraft across Australia using conventional fuel that was mixed with fuel which derived from plastic waste. This journey, which saw him travel 500 miles from Sydney to Melbourne, saw the fuel used include a blend made up of 10% end-of-life plastic that was usually found in the ocean and landfill sites. It was a breakthrough in potential future fuels for light aircrafts.

Of course, there are many other ways plastic can be recycled. And, when you recycle materials, it uses far less energy than creating them new, so recycling has many benefits. While recycling is a major topic of discussion, we still have a large scope for improvements regarding the subject in order to help save our planet. It’s not just up to companies to use recyclable products either, so recycle today to reap the rewards tomorrow!



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Go Fish! for the Deal of the Day this Black ‘Fry’Day

Do some of the Black Friday deals look a little fishy to you? Well this year, there’s good reason, as Sarson’s and Fish! – one of London’s finest seafood restaurants – have partnered together to offer discount devotees and dine-hard fish and chip fans an unmissable Black ‘Fry’Day meal deal.

With the nation gripped by Black Friday deals, Sarson’s is celebrating the Friday fish and chip tradition with a twist by inviting the public to dive into a delicious limited-edition discount of black fish and chips.

The squid-ink battered fish and chips are a modern twist on a British classic and will be served with mushy peas, tartare sauce and lashings of Sarson’s.

Just ask for the ‘Sarson’s Black ‘Fry’Day Deal of the Day when dining-in at Fish!, Borough Market on Friday 29th November, to enjoy the exclusive Black ‘Fry’Day offer.

The fastest 100 foodies will catch the ‘deal of the day’ for just £9 (usual RRP £18), while stocks last, and leave with a complimentary bottle of Sarson’s vinegar, to ensure families can continue the much-loved British tradition of Fish Fridays at home – black batter optional.

Whether you’re laden with shopping bags, or anctipating a few home deliveries of Black Friday orders, respect your chips this Black ‘Fry’Day with a splash of iconic Sarson’s malt vinegar.

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Chef Adam Handling Launches Ugly Butterfly

Ugly Butterfly, a sustainable casual restaurant, Champagne bar and sustainability conversation hub, has been opened on the King’s Road, Chelsea, on Wednesday November 13th 2019.

Aiming to demonstrate that zero-waste can be luxurious, and creating something beautiful from ingredients which are usually thrown out, Ugly Butterfly represents the second generation in sustainable hospitality, and is a collaboration between award-winning chef and restaurateur Adam Handling;  Cadogan, the long-term family business that owns and manages part of Chelsea; Quintessentially Foundation – the award-winning and grant-giving arm of Quintessentially Group, providing funding and building awareness for UK registered charities; and The Felix Project, a London-based charity which collects surplus food from food industry suppliers, and delivers it to local charities and primary schools to help feed vulnerable people.

Open for walk-in diners from lunch time until the late evening from Wednesday to Sunday, Ugly Butterfly will offer an exciting and delicious menu of snacks and small plates, served alongside a Champagne list (by the glass) from the region’s top wine makers.  The interiors have been created using up-cycled and re-utilised materials throughout.

All dishes will be made from the parts of ingredients that are usually discarded as waste, most of which will come from Adam Handling Chelsea, with an emphasis on the four most-wasted foods; bread, milk, eggs and bananas.

As well as providing a great place to eat and drink, Ugly Butterfly will become a hub for business and community sustainability initiatives to be promoted and supported, with pioneers in sustainable food and drink, restaurants, fashion, technology, and art and craft, holding free conversations and creating experiences for drop-in diners twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 7.00pm.  The conversations will include talks from Mike Robinson, leading game chef, founder of The Woodsman, co-owner of the Harwood Arms and a wild food specialist, and Steve Bannatyne of The Wood Store, sellers of recycled and reclaimed wood and creators of most of the up-cycled handmade furniture at Ugly Butterfly.

The menus include some daring dishes created by Adam Handling and his team at Adam Handling Chelsea (located at the Belmond Cadogan hotel on Sloane Street), such as deboned crispy fried chicken feet with caviar; Adam Handling’s iconic cheese doughnuts made with left-overs from the cheeseboard; banana bread and chicken butter; lobster shell soup; broccoli stalk Caesar salad; retired dairy cow tartare, crispy potato peelings; reformed doughnuts (made with leftover bread) and overripe fruit jam.

2.5% of the takings will be donated to The Felix Project to support their many projects fighting food waste, and two dishes on the menu will use Feast Fairly pullet eggs which are usually disposed of due to their small size. Funds from Feast Fairly egg sales are donated to The Felix Project.

Adam Handling says: “This is such an exciting collaboration. Across my restaurants and bars we have a strong commitment to achieving zero waste and in setting up Ugly Butterfly, we can help to move the sustainability agenda forward even further by bringing together the pioneers in sustainable food and drink, fashion, business, furnishings, technology, arts and crafts and giving them a home for some really interesting discussions.  We want everyone to be able to drop in for some really tasty food, and delicious Champagne, and to contribute to building awareness of how we can live our lives, every day, on a more sustainable basis.”

Hugh Seaborn, Chief Executive, Cadogan comments: “Adam was a breath of fresh air when he opened his destination restaurant on Sloane Street earlier this year – we are delighted to champion his brave zero-waste ethos further at this exciting new venture and use it to stimulate conversation around sustainability more widely, as well as raising funds for the impressive Felix Project. Ugly Butterfly resonates strongly with our ongoing commitment to long-term stewardship and reducing environmental impact; we hope that it is a creative way to inspire the community, both residents and businesses, to think differently for the future.”

Mark Curtin, The Felix Project CEO says: “The Adam Handling Restaurant Group is leading the way defining a new responsible and sustainable business model; we at The Felix Project are extremely grateful to be chosen as their charity partner and excited to help Adam and his fantastic team push the message of food waste reduction and sustainability in such an innovative and exciting environment.”

Ben Elliot, Chairman of Quintessentially Foundation and Co-Founder of Quintessentially says: “We’re excited to be involved in the Ugly Butterfly project spearheaded by Adam Handling in support of our charity partner of the year, The Felix Project who are leading the fight in tackling food waste. This is an amazing concept that will highlight the issue and disparity between food waste and the hunger of our nation’s most vulnerable in society.

“1.9 million tonnes of avoidable food waste is generated by the UK food industry each year. At the same time food poverty is a huge and growing problem, almost 4 million children in the UK live in households that struggle to afford to buy enough fruit, vegetables, fish and other healthy foods.’’

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KERB Extends Event Catering Portfolio with Kew Gardens Christmas Win

The UK’s leading street food organisation, KERB, has partnered with Kew Gardens for their annual winter trail, heading up the food and drink over the 40-day event with their incredible line-up of London’s best street food traders.

In its 7th year, Kew Gardens’ winter trail takes place from 20th November 2019 to 5th January 2020 and is one of London’s most popular Christmas activities. As the first time KERB has partnered with the world-famous botanic gardens, the street food pioneers are delighted to secure the contract and provide tasty food and festive drinks from ten independent street food traders and six bars.

This most recent partnership for KERB Caters, joins a series of impressive large-scale events secured by the private event arm of the business, which originally formed in 2014. In the last twelve months alone, KERB has supplied food for 190 events, generated revenue of £2 million for traders, and became the first and only street food company to be an official supplier at prestigious London heritage venues Natural History Museum, Somerset House and Alexandra Palace

KERB is bringing the same flavour and diversity from their street food markets and recently opened Seven Dials Market to some of London’s best venues. As part of the KERB ecosystem and mission to grow and support London’s independent food businesses, KERB Caters gives street food traders an opportunity to showcase their services through a new platform. With 30 out of Time Out’s 44 ‘Top Street Food Traders in London’ being KERB members, KERB events guarantee incredible service and innovative, delicious dishes.

Born out of a changing tide in event catering, KERB Caters offers clients a new and exciting way of entertaining event guests and incredible events management experience. As proud winners of ‘Best Event Caterer’ at the recent London Catering Awards 2019, KERB is firmly establishing their position in the events catering industry.

Alana Buckley, Commercial Director at KERB says, “This partnership with Kew Gardens is such a great way to mark another great year for KERB Caters. Following the launch of our first permanent market, Seven Dials Market, and collaboration on a number of large-scale events, 2019 saw continued growth for KERB. KERB Caters is one of the many ways we support independent food traders to grow, outside of our regular street food markets, new permanent site and food incubation programme. Event catering is a fantastic way for KERB members to gain exposure, experience, and revenue, with our five highest earning traders each securing over £70,000 from KERB private events alone in the last 12 months.” 

Harriet Hutton, Commercial Events Manager at Kew Gardens says, “We’re really excited to have KERB onboard for the first time this year. It brings a new element to Christmas at Kew, and it’s great to be supporting local, independent businesses. Visitors are in for a treat with a variety of enticing, festive options available – I’m most looking forward to My Pie and their award winning pies, and being able to treat myself to a steak and chips from Beefsteaks.”

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