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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

The Glen Scotia Grand Tour to Start in March

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The Glen Scotia Grand Tour, organised by the award winning distiller Glen Scotia, will enable whisky fans around the world to have a taste of Campbeltown, Scotland’s smallest Scotch-producing region. The tour will start in London in March before moving to other countries, including the U.S.

Whisky lovers will be fully immersed in the Campbeltown environment via an interactive pop-up event reproducing the sights of the Glen Scotia distillery and the seaside town. The event will start with whisky-based cocktails and canapes, followed by a tasting experience of expressions from the independent distiller.

The Victorian themed room highlights the classic style of the era, with furniture and artefacts creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. The dunnage warehouse features original whisky barrels from the Glen Scotia Distillery and will sample drams straight from the cask. During the experience, attendees will be transported to the coastal town through virtual projections which will light up the surrounding walls.

“Glen Scotia had been quietly producing exceptional single malts for more than 150 years and the Grand Tour is part of our ongoing strategy to put this special Campbeltown single malt whisky firmly on the map,” said Scott Dickson, Marketing Manager at Loch Lomond Group. “This global experiential activation represents a major investment for Glen Scotia, and will increase visibility of the brand in markets worldwide. Campbeltown is known for producing some of the finest single malt whiskies and we are excited for consumers to experience the region for themselves.”

The Glen Scotia Grand Tour will take place from the 15th until the 17th of March 2018 at the Wine Pantry in Borough Market, London. One session lasts for 60 minutes and attendees must be older than 18 years old. As well as learning about Glen Scotia’s history and whiskies, those who attend will be in with a chance to win a trip to the distillery in Campbeltown.

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Shortlist for ACE Best Product Awards

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The shortlist for the 15th edition of the ACE Best Product Awards has just been revealed by the Association for Cultural Enterprises. This year sees 146 entries in 17 categories, from Best Range to Best Guide Book alongside Best Café and Best Shop, with nominees ranging from national to local teams, from the Natural History Museum to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The awards celebrate quality, innovation and creativity in cultural retail through products, publication, shops and cafés, with a judging panel made up of industry experts. Cultural organisations’ retail offerings and services are needed to bring vital income to national treasures by relying on unique brand identities and quality designs, cultural institutions remain top of their game to compete with high street offerings.

“The entries this year have shown strength in all areas. It’s clear that retail teams within the sector are full steam ahead in considering in-store customers as well as those who shop from afar in product development and choices,” said Jill Fenwick, Managing Director, Association for Cultural Enterprises.

The ACE Best Product Awards will take place on Thursday, the 1st of March 2018 in Brighton at the Annual ACE Conference and Trade Show.

Best Product (under £1 million): Wrexham Museum ‘The Action Dog’, Sir John Soane’s Museum ‘Adam Nathaniel Furman 1st Floor Mug’, National Museum of the Royal Navy ‘Ernie the Knitted Sailor’.

Best Product (over £1 million): Imperial War Museums ‘IWM Spitfire Pilot Watch’, National Trust ‘Virginia’s Books Scarf – Emerald’, Tate ‘A Bigger Splash Beach Bag’.

Best General Publication (under £1 million): Sir John Soane’s Museum ‘Sir John Soane’s Greatest Treasure: The Sarcophagus of Seti I’, The Charterhouse ‘Revealing The Charterhouse: The Making of a London Landmark’, Wellcome Collection ‘Sound by Bella Bathurst’.

Best Café: The Hepworth Wakefield Café, Edinburgh Castle Tearooms.

Best Shop: BALTIC, British Library.

Full list available here:

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Jusu Brothers Treats Mothers on Mother’s Day

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Jusu Brothers, the Notting Hill based restaurant, is planning a surprise for all the mothers out there. It will be offering a free delectable French Toast and a pink latte for all the mums throughout the Mother’s Day weekend. The offer can only be used when ordering a second main meal from the brunch or all day menu and customers will need to sign up to the mailing list in order to be eligible.

“The JUSU Brothers juice menu goes far beyond your typical kale fare,” says Partner, Joy Diter. “We worked hard to create unique blends that span from fruity fusions like the Ishiban to more adventurous options such as the Kyoto Drift – a combination of red pepper, lemon and apple, which gives you a great infusion of energy to start the day. All the juice names derive from the Japanese language and reflect our passion for authenticity.”

The All Day Breakfast menu offers choices such as the Avo Don, a walnut bread topped with fresh avocado, antioxidant-rich Red and Yellow Bowls with toppings such as bee pollen, agave and home-made granola, and French Toast made with soya milk, cinnamon, coconut oil and coconut sugar.

The Mains menu champions JUSU Brother’s signature dishes, the Kale Salad and Okonomiyaki, an egg and cabbage cake with basmati rice, mushrooms, roasted with an okonomi sauce, and is accompanied by fresh-off-the-field juices. Also available are delicious vegan options such as the Maca Porridge made with buckwheat, Vegan Sushi and delectable bRAWnies (raw brownies).

Jusu Brothers was established by a collective of creatives from around the world that gathered together their passion for nutritious, healthy food, and Japanese culture. It is a celebration of natural and authentic ingredient, where the best produce is served. Jusu Brothers is a space where great food and great company come together.

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The Blind Pig Launches Cocktail Menu

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The Blind Pig, Jason Atherton’s flagship bar, will be launching the next chapter in the series of cocktails inspired by children’s literature for the World Book Day on the 1st of March. Eight new cocktails have been added to the menu and four classics now include a food element. Guests have the chance to reminisce over their childhood memories with the help of clever flavours and unique presentations.

The menu was designed by The Social Company’s Group Bar Manager Jay Doy, along with the team, and it is based on the smart storylines of Britain’s cherished children’s novels. New additions include the ABC Fizz, priced at £11, a visually striking drink inspired by Peter Rabbit and Chef Jason Atherton’s ‘Social Sweets’ cookbook. The cocktail uses ingredients associated with savoury dishes, but which are high in natural sugars and sweetness, including carrot and golden beetroot juice, celery sugar, fennel vermouth, apple soda, egg white and citrus with Remy Martin’s 1738 cognac.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar inspired 5-a-Day (£11) cocktail made from the five fruits from the story (apple, strawberry, pear, orange and plum), with Patron tequila, lime cordial and Sekfords newest ‘Tequila mixer’, served in a highball glass and garnished with a gummy Caterpillar sweet. Augustus’s Chocolate River Punch (£12) is made with Bulleit bourbon, chocolate liqueur, Agricolrhum, fudge, Choco bitters and chocolate milk, served in a glass milk carton with the customer’s own edible golden ticket.

The savoury Fowl Play (£10.50) has been inspired by Beatrix Potter’ s Jemima Puddle-Duck and is made with Duck fat washed Aylsbury Duck vodka, along with ingredients more commonly associated with cooking duck dishes such as honey, orange and thyme. Dedicated to J.R.R Tolkien’s the Hobbit, the Shire Brew (£11) is a ‘spiked’ cider with Johnnie walker gold label, berry and meadowsweet, while the Harry Potter offering is a pre-batch bottle of Best Bottle Butter-Bitter (£12) served with butterscotch beans.

The most expensive cocktail on the list is The Tiger’s Tea Party (£28.50), which is an extravagant cocktail take on tea- for-2, in a glass teapot with a mini bottle of Moet champagne and a cake selection on the side. The cocktail is made with Bird’s ‘Pisco’, Nikki tigers milk, cilantro Falernum, pineapple and jalapeno liqueur.

The ‘Long and Short Great British Tails’ menu will be accompanied by artwork that will capture the essence of every story. Overall, the menu is a nostalgic celebration of iconic British literature, set to reconfirm the bar’s position as a front-runner in London’s cocktail bar scene.

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First Abd El Wahab to Open in London

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Mason Williams Communications, a UK based agency, has been appointed by Ghia Holdings, the leading Middle East restaurant group, for the launch of its first restaurant outside of the Arab region, which will be opening in London in March.

The agency will be managing an integrated traditional and social communications programme in London and across the UK around the launch of Abd El Wahab. The programme will consist of activities including a series of familiarisation dining events with leading London hotel concierges, event and venue bookers and business leaders, as well as ongoing media engagement, and a VIP launch event, to be attended by the Ambassador for Lebanon on the 1st of March.

“We are delighted to be working with Mason Williams; not only is this London opening significant for the Abd El Wahab brand, but it is also a significant milestone for Ghia Holdings, as it represents the first international opening for the 45-strong restaurant group, and the first restaurant of our ambitious European expansion plans,” said Mark Dickinson, UK Director for Abd El Wahab.

The first international Abd El Wahab will be located in Belgravia and will offer a dining experience over two floors, including private dining room and outside terrace dining, and a total of 120 covers. Abd El Wahab is an award-winning restaurants with branches in 18 locations across the Middle East region, including Beirut (Lebanon), Cairo (Egypt), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Dubai and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates).

Abd El Wahab will open on the 2nd of March and is located at 1-3 Pont Street, Belgravia, London. The restaurant offers both a la carte dining and set menus, with dishes representative for the traditional Lebanese cuisine. It serves hot and cold starters, salads, charcoal grilled meats, oven dishes and an array of desserts typical of the Arab region, as well as unique dishes developed by their own team of Lebanese chefs.

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Create an Instagram Cheeseboard

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No matter how hungry we are, when the food arrives on the table the first thing we do is not grabbing the fork and knife anymore. We garb the phone, take a few photos of the plate, eat the food, then edit the photo, and then post it on Instagram. However, not everyone knows how to take an Instagram-worthy food picture.

The Head Chef at Island Grill, Adam Woolven, has created the 40-Mile Cheeseboard with four cheeses all sourced from within forty miles of the restaurant and decided to give us a few tips on how to fashion a cheeseboard.

First thing we need to do is to make sure our cheeseboard has plenty of textures, strengths, and sources. The go to cheeses for a board are cheddar, stilton, and brie, however, we need to make sure we include at least one soft cheese and one blue cheese.

For a cheeseboard to look appealing, it needs a few colours and shapes, so why not add some fresh and dried fruit to it? In the spring and summer you could add cherries and berries, while in the winter you should go for dried apricots, fresh grapes, and apples.

A great cheeseboard should always include a variety of savoury and salty items, such as balsamic onions, olives, roasted nuts, and most important, butter. Other options could be celery, crackers, bread, and breadsticks. You should always add condiments that complement the cheeses as well. For example, honey goes well over blue cheese and goat’s cheese and if you’re up for something different, you could pair strawberry black pepper jam with brie. Chutney tastes best with aged cheddar and quince paste can be spread onto crackers and eaten with Manchego cheese.

To make your cheeseboard more Instagram material you could sprinkle some edible flowers, dried wine leaves, or herb sprigs on it.

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Aster Launches New Six Course Menu

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The Nordic French restaurant Aster, situated in Victoria’s new foodie hub, Nova Victoria, has just launched a six course ‘Taste of Aster’ menu created by Finnish Executive Chef Helena Puolakka in partnership with Laurent Perrier. The menu aims to transport guests on a journey through some of the world’s greatest kitchens, paired perfectly with Laurent-Perrier Champagne.

Helena was brought up on the south-west coast of Finland, which has had a direct impact on her cooking, bringing the uncomplicated and distinct flavours of Scandinavia together with the traditional skills of her French training. The exciting combination of the bold flavours from the North with the cooking techniques of France is showcased at Aster.

The first dish on the menu starts with the fresh flavours of scallop carpaccio with a sea buckthorn curd and lemon juniper dressing which come from her time at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Aubergine, where her love for scallops developed. Years later, she created this dish incorporating her flavours of Nordic sea buckthorn to complement “the vibrant sweetness of scallops next to the depth of spice from the buckthorn, and the freshness of lemon rounds it off,” Helena comments.

The second dish is inspired from her time in Paris, where she fell in love with Pierre Gagnaire’s pomme purée at Atelier Robuchon. Helena’s memory of this has shaped the next course, potato mousseline with smoked vendace, bleak roe and dill oil.

The following three courses are influenced by Helena’s time with Pierre Koffmann, which include foie gras poached in port with tender swede, baby spinach and a fennel melba, var confit salmon with green apple, anchovy and crispy kale, and roast Anjou pigeon with turnips, January king cabbage and a vin jaune sauce.

The final course is a complex and intricate dish of spiced beetroot sponge with a chocolate ganache and smoked beetroot sorbet, inspired by Helena’s ex-pastry chef at Aster, Olivier Mourellon.

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PG tips Launches New Brews

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PG tips has announced the launch of two new brews: The Tasty Decaf and Perfect with Dairy Free, which will become available in all major retailers from the 5th of March at the price of £2.60 for 70 teabags boxes.

These two solutions come after a huge customer demand for Decaf tea that tastes as great as the original one. In addition, finding a tea that mixes well with dairy free alternatives was also something PG had to take care of. The PG Master Tea Blender, Joyce, tasted teas from over 20 origins in hundreds of different combinations until she found the two perfect teas.

The Tasty Decaf waves goodbye to the weak, ‘wishy-washy’ decaf tea, and welcomes the rich, fresh, and rounded taste of a regular cuppa, but without the caffeine. Its natural flavour is inspired by the tea gardens in Kericho, Kenya.

The Perfect with Dairy Free allows you to use any alternative you prefer, whether it’s soya, almond, coconut, hazelnut or anything else, because it complements it and creates a great tasting cuppa.

The nation’s favourite tea brand has taken care of its customers once again and listened to their desires for a perfect cuppa. Both The Tasty Decaf and Perfect with Dairy Free will be stocked in Sainsbury’s at the price of £2.60 per box.

PG tips has been enjoyed by the people of Britain since the 1930s and since then, the team of experts has developed a terrific range of teas, from Decaf to Premium Range, to Fruit, Herbal, and Green teas.

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Denby Pottery to Relaunch

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The British manufacturer of pottery Denby Pottery will relaunch itself into the hospitality sector at Hotelympia, the UK’s largest foodservice and hospitality event. Making great food look beautiful has always been one of Denby’s core values and research shows that nearly half of us think the way our food is presented is just as important as how it tastes.

The trends of plain white tableware have long gone and now, people want to see more interesting plates and bowls that showcase dishes both at home and when they eat out. Denby’s artisan handmade ranges of tableware are eminently placed to provide a beautiful canvas for all kind of cuisines.

The company has an experience of over 200 years in design and craftsmanship, which makes them specialists in colour and reactive all over glazes that are totally unique and extremely hard wearing. By using the Derbyshire stoneware clay, which is very strong and fully vitrified, the products acquire strength, durability, and chip resistance. They are made to resist the hard conditions of commercial restaurants and kitchens and to prove how confident Denby is in its range, it offers the Denby 10 year Edge Chip Warranty.

The manufacturer’s ranges are designed to be beautiful and practical at the same time, being tested to tough industry standards as well. Every single one of their plates and bowls are designed to stack and they all are dishwasher, freezer, microwave, and oven safe. They have an extensive range of shapes and patterns, with over 25 coupe plates that complement how modern chefs present their dishes.

Denby already has a customer base that includes restaurants from all over the world. If you are interested in Denby’s fresh look and the range it has on offer, the company can be found at Hotelympia between the 5th and the 8th of March on Stand No. 2237.

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Bluebird Café to Open at Television Centre White City

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The Bluebird Café expansion is due to start this April, as the Chelsea restaurant and café will open at Television Centre White City, one of London’s hottest new developments. Bluebird Café White City will be at the heart of the £8 billion regeneration that will be open to residents, diners, and revellers, for the first time in its history.

The new Bluebird sister will bring a chic, all day drinking and dining destination to West London. It will be perfect for everything, from power breakfasts to leisurely elevenses, working lunches and afternoon teas. In the evening it will evolve into a restaurant and bar where guests can enjoy a glass of wine and a few cocktails or have dinner with friends.

Bluebird Restaurants’ Executive Chef Simon Gregory has created a modern European menu which will be served from 8.00am until 11pm daily and features dishes such as Nduja crusted yellow fin tuna with grilled onion and green sauce, Butter chicken curry with basmati rice and burnt chilli and Spiced King prawns with yoghurt and pistachio. Seasonal specials will also be highlighted throughout the year, as well as a selection of legendary desserts and classic pastries from award winning Executive Pastry Chef, Roger Pizey.

The interior has been designed by David d’Almada’s Sagrada and incorporates a mix of British styling from the 1960s and modern Bluebird Chelsea glamour. The artwork has been sourced by Fraser Scott and includes works by young British artists as well as designs inspired by Bridget Riley and Celia Birtwell.

“I’m incredibly excited to be a part of such an iconic redevelopment – the Television Centre couldn’t be a better home for the first Bluebird Café. We can’t wait to bring the very best of Bluebird’s all-day dining to the West London community,” said Simon Gregory. The Executive Head Chef.

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