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View Quest Retro

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View Quest, a British-based company that develops innovative audio products, Offering award winning sound quality and packed full of innovative functionality including DAB+ and Apple device docking, the ColourGen range now consists of teal, brown, emerald green, blue and mustard, all of which will be added to the existing line up of black, cream and red.

Our panel of testers where extremely impressed with the look and sound quality of the View Quest Retro radio. they felt that tested alongside some of the more well – known market leaders available on the high street that this radio offered value for money (within this price range) and stood out against some of it’s more expensive peers.

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Warner Bros Team Up With IMAX For Major Movie Distribution Deal

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Warner Bros. Pictures has announced a multi-picture agreement with IMAX cinemas to release nearly 3 dozen films from the studio’s slate through 2020…

“With this multi-picture deal, IMAX and Warner Bros. continue a lengthy and substantial partnership, which is invested in bringing the highest-quality entertainment to the most awe-inspiring cinematic experience,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “But at its core, this deal enriches and broadens IMAX’s relationship with key filmmakers, who have always been a top priority for Warner Bros. in bringing the most compelling cinema to audiences around the world.” [Read more at Top 10 Films]

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Primrose’s Kitchen Launches Nationwide In Waitrose Supermarkets

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Primrose’s Kitchen today announces that it will be stocked in Waitrose stores across the country! Following the huge success of Primrose’s Kitchen in department stores and independent food stores across the UK and in Europe, the award-winning muesli producer is now stocked in 198 Waitrose stores nationwide. Waitrose will stock Primrose’s Kitchen Raw Vegetable Muesli in both the Raw Carrot & Cinnamon and Raw Beetroot & Ginger flavours.

The step from department stores and independent food stores to a major national supermarket chain has been important to Primrose’s Kitchen, helping more people to learn about a naturopathic diet. Founder Primrose Matheson, has a background in naturopathy and complementary healthy studies and creates products following the naturopathic principles: be natural, eat natural, live natural.

With increased awareness of the chemicals and preservatives added to many foods in this day and age, Primrose’s Kitchen offers a natural alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste. Naturopathic Nutrition stresses the use of whole and organic foods as medicine – an integral concept of healing in many indigenous societies. Today, we see that a return to chemical-free foods, along with other dietary measures, is an effective answer to many health complaints and common conditions.

Primrose, Founder of Primrose’s Kitchen, commented: “I decided to create Primrose’s Kitchen after feeling unenthusiastic about the ‘health foods’ available when looking for something for myself. I decided to invent my own delicious, nutritious and exciting products and they proved quite popular! To now be launching into Waitrose is an incredible feeling. Healthy foods are not just “health foods” anymore, they are becoming mainstream which is what they should have been all along. People are becoming more aware and responsible about what they are eating which is an important step in reconnecting ourselves with our bodies and health and being more connected to our planet as a whole.

“We have seen an increase in demand for our products as well as an interest from our customers looking to lead a more natural lifestyle. Waitrose will help us offer an alternative to traditional breakfast mueslis to a wide audience and we’re excited to see what the response will be.”

Primrose’s Kitchen products are not only fantastic as a nutritious breakfast but can act as a great snack or light lunch throughout the day. The Raw Vegetable Mueslis can also be used in a range of delicious recipes such as this gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free berry and beetroot mini cheesecakes:

 
Ingredients
1 cup Primrose’s Kitchen beet and ginger muesli
7 soft dates
2 tbsp water
2 1/2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
2 tsp vanilla extract
Frozen blackberries and raspberries

 

Method
In a food processor, mix the muesli, the water and the dates to combine until a dough forms.
Press the mixture firmly into muffin cups, use the back of a spoon or your fingers to flatten the surface. Set aside.

In a blender, whiz the drained cashews, agave syrup, lemon juice and vanilla till smooth.
Add the hot coconut oil and blend again.

Use a big dessert spoon to dollop the mixture over the base you have prepared. Pop some of the frozen berries inside.

When you have finished, set in the freezer for at least three hours. Transfer to the fridge to soften a little before serving. Right before serving, align the rest of the frozen berries neatly on top.

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Bringing a Ringtons Cuppa to the South of England

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The business-to-business arm of British tea and coffee merchant Ringtons is set for expansion in the south of England following appointment of a new Business Development Manager.

Brandon Thurley will be responsible for growing the 108 year old family business amongst cafes, restaurants, businesses and hotels across the south of England and the Midlands, as well as supporting and building on relationships with Ringtons’ existing national accounts.

Having left school at 18, Brandon ran his own car valeting business for seven years before embarking on a career in sales within the catering industry. Over the years Brandon has taken on a number of sales roles, promoting a range of products from commercial hot dogs, to take away ancillaries and espresso machines.

With 10 years of experience in the commercial coffee industry, Brandon joins Ringtons Beverages after almost six years at Dutch coffee company Douwe Egberts and most recently he worked for Crown Coffee.

Speaking of his appointment Brandon Thurley said: “Having worked in the coffee and commercial catering industry for a number of years I was looking for a role which would allow me to apply my existing skill-set and offer me a new challenge, and Ringtons did just that. The opportunity to learn about tea from one of the UK’s longest standing tea merchants was a great pull for me and the fact Ringtons blends and packs all of its tea in its own UK factory is a big bonus which will appeal greatly to prospective customers.

“Ringtons also has its own coffee roaster which means businesses benefit from fresh, premium roasted quality coffee and there is some very exciting plans in the pipeline for growth in this area. For me it’s a great time to be joining the company and I’m sure businesses in the area I cover will be just as impressed by the full service beverage solutions Ringtons can provide.”

Outside of work, Brandon is a keen Tottenham Hotspur fan, has a passion for motorsport, and is a keen DIY enthusiast having just embarked on the renovation of his recently-bought 1900s home in Reading.

John Broad Ringtons Beverages sales manager said: “I worked with Brandon a number of years ago at Douwe Egberts so when we were looking for someone to take over our existing client base in the Midlands and expand the business further in the south of the country, I immediately thought of Brandon.

“Although geographically our careers have taken us in different directions we have always remained in touch, and Brandon’s experience, in particular in the coffee and espresso machine industries, makes him a great advocate for the quality coffee, machinery and customer service Ringtons is renowned for. There are some very exciting plans in the pipeline for the expansion of Ringtons Beverages and we are confident Brandon is going to be hugely successful in helping us reach our goals.”

Ringtons Beverages division has been operating for over 30 years. The division supplies leading hotels, restaurants, cafes and businesses with the highest quality tea, coffee, catering supplies and espresso equipment as well as training and venue design services.

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The Not So Humble Chicken Pie Crowned Supreme Champion

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A Chicken, Mushroom, English Mustard & Cream Pie made by Great North Pie Co. has taken home the title of Supreme Champion at this year’s world-renowned British Pie Awards. Beating 830 other pies to secure the much sought-after trophy and £1,000 cash prize, this truly remarkable Chicken Pie won the judges over with its exquisite appearance and perfect balance of taste and texture.

Neil Broomfield, pie maker from Great North Pie Co. commented: “The competition at this year’s British Pie Awards was huge and some of the pies were amazing. We’re so proud to win the award and be amongst some of the best pie makers in the country. We work hard to ensure that everything we produce is the best quality and that’s what we’re all about as a company. The team we have know this, and they put so much effort into keeping the standards we set. It is unbelievable that we have been named Supreme Champion.”

The seventh annual British Pie Awards took place in Melton Mowbray on 22 and 23 April and this year 830 pies were entered from 131 professional bakers and butchers. 109 top pie perfectionists were involved in the judging process, including TV chef Andy Bates, leading food critic Charles Campion and renowned food writer Xanthe Clay.

Matthew O’Callaghan, Chairman of the British Pie Awards, added: “What a year for the Awards – we’ve seen a truly varied and plentiful plethora of pies. The standard of entrants this year was higher than ever before, and Neil and the Great North Pie Co team can be very proud of being crowned Champion.

“Each year we hold the Awards to encourage innovation in pies and I believe we have outdone ourselves this year. I’d like to give my sincere thanks to all involved, including our judges, sponsors, volunteers and of course, all our wonderful pie makers.”

As well as the Supreme Champion, many other deserving pies received accolades. Most notably, Boghall Butchers in West Lothian, Scotland walked way with seven certificates including a first place for its Chicken Pie as well as being awarded second place in the Steak & Kidney Pie Class, the Lamb Pie Class and Dessert Pie Class and third place in the Fish Pie Class and the Vegetarian Pie Class.

Leicester-based, 190 year old pie makers, Walker & Son performed exceptionally well, sweeping the board with first second and third places in the Savoury Pie Class and receiving accolades in the Chicken & Other Meat Pie Class and the Bride’s Pie Class.

Classes at this year’s Awards were expanded to 20 in order to include a wider range of pies. One of the new classes for 2015 was the ‘Free From’ class, only allowing entries from pies free from gluten. Proving an exceptionally popular class, pie producers from across the country entered their gluten free pies, but the Free From Steak & Ale Pie produced by The Biddestone Arms pie came out on top.

James Hedges from The Biddestone Arms enthused: “We were very pleased to see that a class had been dedicated to gluten free pies this year and were absolutely ecstatic to be named the winner. This new class attracted a lot of entries; more than ever, pie makers are recognising a growing need for gluten free alternatives, so to be named class winner is very humbling.”

The Speciality Class at this year’s British Pie Awards encouraged pie makers to create showstopping pies fit for the centrepiece at a wedding. Judges for the ‘Bride’s Pie’ class munched their way through carefully crafted creations, ornately decorated pastry and delicious sweet and savoury fillings. The Chicken, Champagne & Truffle Pie produced by Nice Piewas chosen as the ‘Bride’s Pie’ class winner and deemed truly fit to ‘pie the knot’.

Katharine Walmsley from Nice Pie commented: “The Speciality Class is a real chance to show how creative you can be as a pie maker, and creating a ‘Bride’s Pie’ is the perfect platform to show off! With so many wacky and wonderful wedding entries to this class, we were delighted to be named class winner.”

 

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Matt Downing Appointed Head Chef at the Magdalen Chapter

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The Magdalen Chapter is delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Downing as Head Chef. Matt will oversee the entire culinary direction of the top exeter hotel. He has been Sous Chef at the hotel since it opened in 2012.

Matt said: “I am so thrilled to be taking the reigns of The Magdalen Chapter. I am looking forward to really putting my stamp on The Restaurant, looking at things with a fresh pair of eyes, but still keeping our core ethos that our guests know and love – uncomplicated, unpretentious, great tasting seasonal food. I’m working with our bar manager to make The Magdalen Chapter the place to be in Exeter for socialising. Whether it’s a light lunch, cocktails and tapas or a glass of wine and a pizza sat on a deck chair in the garden, I want the hotel to be enjoyed by all.”

Hotel General Manager Fiona Moores said: “Matt has truly demonstrated his commitment to excellence and dedication to The Magdalen Chapter over the past two and a half years. We’re thrilled to have seen and supported his progress and his visions for The Restaurant in his new role as Head Chef are really exciting, so watch this space.”

Former Professional South West Chef of the Year, Matt has a rich pedigree of experience having been mentoured in Charcuterie by Marc Frederic. This training enables Matt to bring his extensive knowledge of cured meat dishes such as Bresaola, Coppa Ham, Pancetta, Chorizo and Black Pudding to menus at The Magdalen Chapter.

Matt joined the kitchen brigade at The Magdalen Chapter following 10 years at The Jack in the Green.

Matt is a seasoned professional when it comes to cookery demonstrations having appeared at numerous Food Festivals including Torquay Food Festival, Exeter Cattle Market’s Celebration of Beef, Matford and The Devon County Show to name but a few.

Matt has his own allotment and is passionate about top quality fresh produce. He relishes making his own preserves and chutneys from the produce he has grown. Matt’s perfect Sunday would be spent with his wife Kerry and two sons Jack and Jasper digging up potatoes and picking strawberries on his vegetable plot.

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London Prepares for a Royal Welcome

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The world is once again buzzing with anticipation as London prepares to welcome the new royal baby in true British style.

To mark the arrival of the newest member of the royal family, many of London’s hotels, restaurants and attractions are celebrating with regal themed afternoon teas, packages and special offers. London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional company for London, has selected the very best celebrations taking place across London.

Gordon Innes, CEO London & Partners, said: “The year of HRH Prince George’s birth was a record-breaking year for tourism, with London welcoming almost 17 million international visits in 2013. The full year visitor figures for 2014 are due next month and forecasts suggest that we are on course to top this figure.

Royal occasions such as this, combined with a continually spectacular and diverse tourism offering in London, help boost visitor numbers to the city and maintain London’s position on the world stage – and we are anticipating that the capital will welcome 2.7 million more international and domestic visits in 2015 compared to 2013.”

Community spirit

Continuing with tradition, the new Prince or Princess will be born at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where well-wishers have already started to gather. PaddingtonNow, the Business Improvement District for the area around St Mary’s, is bringing together the community across the district to lead the way in celebrating the Royal birth.

Join the street festivities in Paddington as news of the birth spreads. The streets surrounding the hospital will come to life with celebratory bunting in either blue or pink and a town crier will march the streets to call for locals to toast the new arrival. Those with the same name as the baby will be in for a treat as neighbouring bars and restaurants will welcome them for giveaways and more celebrations.

Royal-Tea

The Park Lane Hotel, is hosting a very special Royal Baby Shower Afternoon Tea. Available until the end of May in the hotel’s beautiful art deco lounge, The Palm Court, visitors can indulge in tasty treats such as a hazelnut and polenta pram cake, a milk bottle panna cotta or a sticky apricot cake ABC learning block.

Just down the road, London Hilton on Park Lane will celebrate the birth of the latest addition to the Royal family at their exclusive CC Bar which is available for private hire Baby Showers. A Champagne Afternoon Tea will be served, to all members of the party including a selection of freshly made sandwiches, pastries and miniature fancies alongside a selection of teas from Harney & Sons and Pommery Champagne.

Further south on the River Thames, history fans can enjoy a Royally Rich Afternoon Tea with City Cruises. This special cruise will take passengers through 150 years of Royal children, with a photographic exhibition and lectures by world renowned royal experts Ian Pelham Turner and Helena Chard. Passengers can discover the fascinating history behind the new Royal baby’s bloodlines, as well as stories of a secret Royal residence and why Battenberg Cake is a particular Royal favourite.

For those who are craving more than just afternoon tea, the Royal Garden Hotel is running a competition for a chance to live like a royal. Guess the Royal Baby’s name correctly and you could

win a two-night stay in a Garden Room overlooking Kensington Palace, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s residence, an afternoon tea and two tickets to tour Kensington Palace.

Regal retail therapy

Parents-to-be, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have the choice of London’s top retailers, including Oh Baby London, an independent boutique for baby clothes situated on Brick Lane and Carry Me Home, an adorable store for unique baby clothes in Kingly Court. During her first pregnancy Kate kept stylish in maternity clothes from Peter Jones. Maternity fashion is booming in London, with high street stores and luxury retailers offering a varied selection of maternity wear for all budgets.

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Harvey Nichols Announces Exclusive Collaboration with Glynn Purnell

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Harvey Nichols, the world’s leading luxury retailer, today announces an exclusive collaboration with celebrity chef and owner of Michelin starred Purnell’s restaurant, Glynn Purnell. The partnership will see Purnell curate an unrivalled experience in luxurious, contemporary all day dining for Harvey Nichols’ new design concept store, opening in July in Birmingham.

This inaugural partnership builds on the retailer’s reputation for the most stylish edit in hospitality, fashion and beauty, setting the bar for outstanding food and luxury shopping intrinsically linked to provide customers with the ultimate and most stylish retail experience.

Purnell has worked closely with Harvey Nichols to develop an exclusive and stylish all-day menu, mentor the restaurant’s new Head Chef and hospitality team to be announced in due course, recruit local suppliers, and source the specialist ingredients used in each dish.

Trailblazing the movement for premium casual, flexible all-day-dining executed exquisitely, The Harvey Nichols Brasserie will offer customers the finest in customisable all day luxury dining, serving as the blueprint for the retailer’s future hospitality offering.

Harvey Nichols Group Hospitality Director, Marion Carpentier said of the partnership: “Our design concept store in Birmingham offers our customers an unrivalled experience in luxury retail and we are thrilled to be working with Glynn to curate the most stylish in destination-dining.”

Glynn Purnell said of the collaboration: “I’m really excited to be working with Harvey Nichols and the fantastic hospitality team to create a bespoke and informal dining experience to add to the diverse food and drink scene in Birmingham.”

The Harvey Nichols Brasserie, with glamorous cocktail bar, enjoys the elevated vantage point of the store’s mezzanine floor and can be accessed from the store’s dramatic sweeping staircase or via a separate entrance after hours.

As well as in the restaurant, guests will have the choice of enjoying Purnell’s menu, created for Harvey Nichols, at the tapas-style Chef’s Table, in the private dining room accommodating up to 15, and in the communal table in the Harvey Nichols Wine Shop. Available in the Foodmarket is the most stylish edit in artisanal produce and luxury hamper offering.

Harvey Nichols’ new design concept store and restaurant affords 45,000 square foot of Birmingham’s premier shopping and lifestyle destination, The Mailbox, the ultimate location for designer shopping in the Midlands.

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Food Ambassador Calls Upon Businesses to Enter the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards

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Recently announced as the chair of the Scottish Food Commission, the founder of the world-famous Three Chimneys restaurant on the Isle of Skye, Shirley Spear, is today calling upon businesses to enter the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards.

Shirley Spear said:

“I’ve relished my involvement in the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards over the past few years. It’s the ultimate recognition of excellence for local food and drink businesses and a shortlist or win at the awards can provide a significant launch pad for businesses of all sizes. I’d urge both new and established businesses to get involved and consider entering. I’d say go for it!”

Her new role charges Spear with leadership and guidance of the Scottish Food Commission in its efforts to help Scotland become a Good Food Nation and improving the country’s attitude to eating fresh and healthy produce. She is an ambassador for the Highlands & Island Food & Drink Awards.

With just over a week to go before entries for the prestigious awards close on 8 May, food and drink businesses from across the Highlands and Islands and Cairngorms National Park area have the opportunity to enter a range of categories ranging from the Young Shining Star and Restaurant of the Year to Export and Healthier Food & Drink.

Now in their 11th year, the awards are delivered with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and with 2015 marked across Scotland as the Year of Food and Drink, this year’s awards look set to be higher profile than ever before. Gordon & MacPhail, one of the UK’s leading independent wine, spirit and whisky wholesalers, is headline sponsor.

The deadline for entries is Friday 8th May. The shortlisted finalists will be announced on Friday 26th June with winners announced on Friday 23rd October at the awards ceremony at Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness.

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