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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

New General Manager Drives Business Forward at Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

As part of Legacy Hotels & Resorts redevelopment programme, the hotel appointed Gary Install as general manager at Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa, just outside Chester city centre, six months ago. Gary brings over thirty years’ experience of hotel management and an extensive resume of senior hotel management knowledge to this role.

Having a history of working with Legacy Hotels & Resorts, as well as with Chief Executive Officer Andy Townsend during their days at Lansbury Hotel together, the appointment has been an additional strengthening of the Legacy team. Gary has undertaken hotel management roles throughout the UK, as far south as Lewes near Brighton, all the way up to the Isle of Islay in Scotland. Gary is well versed in approaching properties with a fresh perspective and driving success.

“I’m delighted to be working with Legacy Hotels again and relish the opportunity to assist in the next stages of a fabulous property. The team has been incredibly welcoming, and I have been thrilled with the response from guests to our latest plans and activities,” said Gary about his appointment.

Gary has seen some exciting plans come to fruition during his first six months, including the refurbishment of the leisure facilities and gym. They have also recruited a new Head Chef, Peter Hazlehurst, who has been tasked with transforming all of the menus and growing the restaurant side of the business. Moreover, Gary has also been the driving force behind the start of a new project to add an additional seven guest bedrooms to the historic property.

Speaking about the future months, Gary said: “The next six months will be just as exciting as we develop new wedding packages, launch a new afternoon tea menu, and host our very first Murder Mystery dinner in September. There’s a lot of new opportunities to get excited about!”

The four-star Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa in Chester comprises 48 elegant bedrooms and suites, the Earl of Chester restaurant, and a locally renowned spa. Set in over 10 acres of landscaped grounds, the Grade II listed property plays host to around 80 weddings a year across five stylish function rooms.

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Chef Derek Johnstone Shortlisted for National Chef of the Year Awards

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Chef Derek Johnstone from Borthwick Castle, Scotland’s finest fifteenth century keep near Edinburgh, has been shortlisted for The Craft Guild of Chefs – National Chef of the Year Awards.

“We are delighted for Derek and wish him well in the semi-finals. Derek’s food is a delicate and contemporary take on Scottish cuisine which supports Borthwick’s primary desire to remain authentic whilst offering modern luxury. His finesse is obvious; his courage is inspiring; his demeanour is engaging –during his interview at Borthwick Castle, Derek presented a soufflé for dessert, bravely whipped up in a kitchen he hadn’t used before; it was truly the piece de resistance,” said a spokesperson from Borthwick Castle.

The Awards are overseen by Gary Jones, executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir as Chair of judges, David Mulcahy, Alyn Williams, Peter Joyner, Andrew Bennett, Russell Bateman, Phil Howard, Steve Scuffell, Sarah Hartnett, Gary Hunter and Willie Pike who whittled the impressive list down to 40. At this stage, all judges scores are based on descriptions of dishes, cooking method and photographs of the completed menus.

After the restoration work at Borthwick Castle came to an end in 2017, Chef Johnstone joined the team, turning the Castle into Scotland’s leading food connoisseurs private hire venue. His menus are classical based with contemporary presentation incorporating modern cooking techniques and seasonal produce. In late 2017, Johnstone launched an exclusive seasonal Dining Club at Borthwick which celebrates bespoke experiential menus paired with fine wines.

Before joining the Borthwick Castle, Johnstone won the inaugural MasterChef the Professionals in 2008 and started working with Michel Roux Jr. at Le Gavroche. After that, he continued to work with the Roux family dynasty in both London and Scotland. In 2014, as Chef Patron, Johnstone transformed the 1830s-built Golf Inn in Gullane, East Lothian, into a boutique restaurant-with-rooms.

The Sheffield semi-final of the Awards will take place on the morning of Tuesday, 12th of June 2018.

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Katy Perry Returns to the UK

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This June, Katy Perry will be returning to the UK for her WITNESS tour. Tickets will go on sale on the 9th of June and the programme for the tour is as follows: 14th and 15th in London at The O2, 18th in Birmingham at Barclaycard Arena, 19th in Sheffield at Sheffield Arena, 21st in Liverpool at Echo Arena, 22nd in Manchester at Manchester Arena, 24th in Glasgow at The SSE Hydro and 25th in Newcastle at Metro Radio Arena.

With Witness, Katy finds liberation, in the changes in her own life and in the world around her, delivering songs that inspire both thought and movement. The singles released thus far – the Platinum-certified “Chained to the Rhythm” featuring Skip Marley, and the new singles, “Bon Appétit” featuring Migos and “Swish Swish” featuring Nicki Minaj – hint at the breadth of the musical and thematic elements found on Witness.

The British and European tour will kick off on 23rd May, 2018 at LANXESS arena in Cologne, Germany and will make stops in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle in June 2018. The run will include a Paris show on 29 May at the AccorHotels Arena and London on 14 June at The 02 – plus additional stops in Amsterdam, Stockholm and Berlin at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on 6 June.

The Tour is Katy’s first run since the sold-out, 151-date Prismatic World Tour, which concluded in 2015 and was hailed by Rolling Stone as “a show to damage retinas and blow minds.” Sponsors include COVERGIRL and KATY PERRY PARFUMS.

Katy made her Capitol Records debut with 2008’s One of the Boys after signing to the label in 2007. She cemented her status as a global superstar with the follow-up album, Teenage Dream (2010). PRISM, her 2013 album, debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in 100 countries and has sold more than 12.5 million adjusted albums worldwide.

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Create Your Perfect Gin Drink with Jawbox

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

This summer enjoy your very own Jawbox Gin cocktails made at home. Distilled in Belfast using a unique combination of botanicals, including local Belfast Black Mountain Heather, Jawbox gives you the perfect opportunity to branch out from the ordinary G&T and enjoy different combinations of gin.

To create your own relaxing summer evenings at home or to impress your guests at a summer garden party, the team at Jawbox has come up with some suggestions for you.

1. Gin and Ginger; an original and feisty combination of refreshing ginger ale and Jawbox Gin. To make it, you will need to pour 35ml of Jawbox Gin into an iced filled glass and then top up with 100ml of premium ginger ale. Squeeze and drop in a lime wedge to finish.

2. Jawbox Mojito; a different take on the original recipe of a mojito. In a tall glass, muddle 6 to 8 mint leaves, 15ml lime juice and 15ml sugar syrup and stir. Add some ice and 50ml of Jawbox and stir, top up with soda water and continue stirring. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedge.

3. Jawbox Gin and Honeycomb Cocktail; a cocktail that will definitely impress your guests.
Pour 35ml of Jawbox into a large ice filled gin goblet. Top up with some refreshing ginger ale and finish with some shards of honeycomb.

Jawbox is a classic style juniper-led gin that starts on the palate with citrus and juniper developing into pepper and subtle rootiness. It is triple-distilled very slowly in traditional copper pot stills and in small batches using a unique combination of botanicals including local Belfast Black Mountain Heather.

Distilled near Belfast, at the Jawbox Distillery located on a 300-acre 16th-century estate where the grain for the spirit is grown and harvested, Jawbox Gin is perfect for the adventurous, confident and curious gin drinker.

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No Dough Pizza Available in Supermarkets Nationwide

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

No Dough Pizza Co. has launched the perfect balance between delicious and healthy with its cauliflower-based, gluten-free pizza, available in Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Co-op stored all over the country. Moreover, this is also the first cauliflower-based pizza that can be eaten by hand, with no need for a knife and fork.

No Dough uses an innovative process in creating its base, which contains over 70% cauliflower, resulting in a meal that is less caloric and has lower carbs than the traditional pizza. In addition, it also qualifies as ‘one of your five a day’.

“We have been perfecting this recipe for quite some time and are now more than excited to announce the launch of No Dough in not just one, but three different supermarkets, across hundreds of stores throughout the UK. Our mission is to make great, healthy food accessible for everyone to enjoy. No Dough offers our customers the opportunity to enjoy their favourite pizza without having to worry about too many carbs or calories, so it no longer needs to be a treat saved only for the weekend,” said Philip Pinnell, Managing Director of No Dough Pizza Co.

Available from the chilled aisle, No Dough pizza is the quick and convenient solution for a delicious and healthy dinner. Sainsbury’s will be listing the product in two flavours: Ham and Mushroom and Vegan Margherita, while ASDA will be listing Pepperoni, the standard Margherita and Ham and Mushroom. Co-op will also be offering the Ham and Mushroom and the standard Margherita.

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The Bird Game Welcomes Chef Lisa Allen in an Exclusive Dinner

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

The critically-acclaimed restaurant The Game Bird launched a series of guest chef dinner events, welcoming many of the greatest chefs around the UK in its Stafford London restaurant. Following the great success of the event with Michael Wignall in March, Lisa Allen will be hosting the second dinner of the series on Thursday the 7th of June.

Lisa has created a unique four-course menu for the event, using seasonal British ingredients, presented in new and inventive ways. Guests will be welcomed with a glass of Moët & Chandon alongside canapes, including Lancashire brawn and English mustard and Southport potted shrimp muffin. These will be followed by Wild sea bass, young garden leeks, charred lettuce and iron cross oxalis, and Lisa’s signature English onion in its own skin. Veal ‘Rossini’, mushroom, aged madeira and parsley will complete the savoury dishes, whilst ‘Strawberries and Cream’ with organic mint will provide the perfect conclusion to the dinner.

Lisa Allen is the Executive Head Chef at the Michelin-starred Northcote in Lancashire. Her passion for local produce and seasonal ingredients can be found in her visual, elegant and flavourful dishes.

The third dinner of The Game Bird Guest Chef Series will be held on Thursday, the 27th of September with the renowned Edinburgh-based chef and restaurateur, Tom Kitchin. Tom will be showcasing seasonal Scottish produce with his signature ‘From Nature To Plate’ philosophy, and cooking dishes from his upcoming cookbook, Tom Kitchin’s Fish and Shellfish.

Lisa and Tim will both cook alongside the team at The Game Bird and Culinary Director of The Stafford London, Ben Tish. Further guest chef appearances will be announced in due course.

Tickets for the event will be priced at £80 per person and will include canapes, the Moët & Chandon on arrival, as well as the guest chef’s menu. Wine pairing will also be available on the evening.

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Chester Zoo Welcomes Baby One-Horned Rhino

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The birth of a rare greater one-horned rhino calf has been captured live on Chester Zoo’s CCTV. The male calf arrived to mum Asha (11), following a 16-month gestation and a 20-minute labour. Zoo conservationists have hailed the birth of the “precious, bolshie newcomer” as a big boost to the endangered species breeding programme, with the greater one horned rhino listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“Greater one-horned rhinos are a vulnerable species and every new calf is ever so special. This is a momentous new arrival,” said Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals. “Rhinos around the world are under increasing pressure due largely to the senseless poaching of their horn. We need more people to be aware of their plight and join us in the fight to end the slaughter and ensure these magnificent animals are around for the future. Asha’s precious new arrival, which is already developing into quite a bolshie little character, will hopefully go some way to keeping rhinos and the surrounding issues in the spotlight.”

As rhinos are threatened in the wild by the illegal poaching of their horns and habitat loss, Chester Zoo became part of a breeding programme coordinated by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), which focuses on sustaining the greater one-horned rhino population.

“At one stage, the greater one-horn rhino was hunted almost to extinction and there were less than 200 in the wild. Thankfully, steps to protect them were taken just in time and today there are around 3,500 in India and Nepal,” said Mike Jordan, Collections Director. “That number though is still desperately small and they continue to face threats to their long-term survival. As with the rhinos in Africa, they are targeted for their horns by poachers and much of the land where they once lived has been taken over by humans. It’s therefore vitally important that we act for wildlife to ensure the population doesn’t dip to critically low levels again.”

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Rocky Mountaineer Hosts Caesar Competition

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Canada celebrated National Caesar Day. With over 407 million Caesars being served every year in Canada to a population of only 35 million, it’s no wonder the drink became the country’s Official Cocktail.

To celebrate this achievement, Rocky Mountaineer hosted a competition on-board the First Passage to the West route, where six bartenders from the luxury hotel chain – the Fairmont – created a brand new version of the Caesar to be served at the hotels for the rest of the season.

All bartenders managed to come up with unique recipes, which were then judged by a panel of four travel writers, based on presentation, taste and creativity. The winning Caesar was Oisin Collins’ from Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, who offered a mango twist to the tradition recipe. What impressed the judges was the softer, ‘entry-level’ taste profile of the Clamato mixed with mango juice; thing that earned him top marks on creativity and taste.

To taste Oisin Collins’ Caesar, you will need 2 oz. Rye, 4 oz. Mango Nectar, 4 oz. Clamato Juice, ¾ oz. Lime Juice, a dash of Sriracha, Black Pepper and a dash of Worcestershire. Rim the glass with chili sugar and then garnish with a mango slice, fresh Thai chili, pepper jerky and grilled asparagus.

Rocky Mountaineer is the world’s largest privately owned luxury tourist train and, since 1990, has welcomed more than two million guests to inhale the mountain air and let nature take their breath away. Guests can choose from over 65 vacation packages and four unique rail routes, which travel through iconic destinations such as Seattle, WA, Vancouver, B.C., and the majestic Canadian Rockies in Alberta. The unparalleled experience onboard the all domed fleet offers rich, historic storytelling, world class cuisine, and a first-hand look at the vast and untouched wild beauty of Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

Rocky Mountaineer is considered one of the best ways to see the Canadian Rockies, having received numerous international awards and accolades for service excellence. These honours include eight World Travel Awards for “World’s Leading Travel Experience By Train” and “World’s Leading Luxury Train,” and being listed as one of the world’s “Dream Trips” by Travel + Leisure magazine.

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Brother Marcus Opens Second Restaurant

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Brother Marcus, renowned for its award winning brunch, will be opening a second, larger site in Islington this June. With a brand new evening menu, the restaurant will be serving Mediterranean inspired small plates with a focus on tradition Cretan flavours, taken from family recipes. Located near the Angel station, the venue will be available for brunch, dinner and cocktails.

The evening menu was designed for sharing and it is divided into four sections: earth, land, sea and snacks, with an emphasis on vegetarian and vegan dishes. Snacks include fried feta with honey and sesame; homemade crisps with oregano and lemon zest salt and daily home-baked Lagana bread. From the sea, there is a grilled octopus on a bed of fava puree with pink peppercorn vierge and charcoal oil, while from the Earth there is chargrilled aubergine with mint, chilli, lemon zest tahini and pomegranate seeds and stuffed courgette flower with lemon, thyme, goats curd and pine nut piperade. The land brings cracked pork belly with a Metaxa and date glaze with apple labneh and walnuts. For anyone that has room after all that choose from either honey bombs with cinnamon syrup and sesame or sticky toffee and Metaxa pudding with dates and cream.

Winner of Time Out Love London Awards 2018, Brother Marcus’ famous brunch will be coming to Angel, featuring the Step Sister, sweet potato, courgette and feta fritters with mashed avocado and spinach; crispy kale and turmeric yogurt topped with a poached egg.

The cocktail menu will incorporate Mediterranean ingredients, bringing fresh and delicate flavours to some old school cocktails. Choose from eye opening combinations including Balkan Whip of rye whiskey, ouzo, red apple and egg white, and Smoke and Honey with mezcal, lime and Greek honey water. The Brother Marcus boys will be offering a list of wines from around the world, including some Greek wines, and bottled beers.

The interior will be a warm and friendly environment with wooden inbuilt banquet seating sitting below falling foliage intertwined in a steel grid. There will also be a semi-private dining room that seats 12 for those looking to have their own parties.

This summer, Brother Marcus is set to transport you to the beaches of Santorini and the winding cobbled streets of Mykonos straight from the streets of London.

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KERB Caters to Help Street Child Charity

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KERB Caters, street food pioneers, have announced a new partnership with UK charity Street Child, which will see 15p from every meal bought at one of the KERB’s private events donated towards helping children in some of the world’s poorest countries get off the streets and into school.

Street Child has supported over 15,000 families since 2009 to set up or expand their own business and now, with the support of KERB, they will reach even more people. Together they will be able to educate and empower vulnerable families to set up their very own street food businesses.

KERB Caters generated almost £1 million for its traders across 150 private events in 2017, and now a portion of this revenue will go towards supporting parents in West Africa in setting up their own food businesses to help them pay for school uniforms, books and pens for their children.

KERB Caters are the UK’s leading street food business, with access to over 90 street food traders and offering full-service, onsite event management from start to finish – including pre and post event consultancy and unrivalled knowledge and experience about street food, London spaces, and how small businesses work.

Building their commitment to environmental sustainability, KERB have also made the decision to ban ALL plastics across their private events including bottled water and plastic cutlery, making them the only events company to do so inside heritage venues such as Natural History Museum and Somerset House. Instead, KERB Caters now use compostable serviceware made from compostable material and are partnering with waste removal partners wherever possible.

Street Child UK is a charity helping some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable children to live in safety and go to school. The charity was founded by Tom Dannatt in December 2008 with one project, for a hundred children. Less than a decade later the charity has made significant contributions to the lives of more than 120,000 children across Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nepal and Nigeria.

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