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Eco-friendly Catering Kitchen Design gains Momentum

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Whether your catering business is a hotel or fine-dining establishment or an in-house canteen or a cosy caff, there are many ways to make your catering business more eco-friendly and reduce your muddy carbon footprint to boot.

The Visuals 

Incorporate a green space into your catering design and you’ll have a visible statement of intent that your business embraces an eco-friendly ethos.

Convert a section of your dining area or an external wall that leads into it, into a green wall that will not only create a wow factor for diners but will work in an environmentally friendly way to remove impurities from the air. Plant it with produce to use in the kitchen, such as edible flowers, herbs and lettuce to make it even more functional. Other factors your vertical garden may impact are the absorption and retention of heat as well as offer a calming ambience for your diners and staff.

Where outside space allows, consider turning, such as a flat roof or yard into a herb garden and install a water butt to store rain water that can be used to water your plants.

Inside, pared-back interiors with exposed brick and pipework on show, are not only still trending as a visual aesthetic, it also leaves less of an environmental impact by not requiring materials to decorate the space.

For furniture in the dining area, refurbished old tables and chairs can be a viable and more characterful solution. The final look could be just as polished as one achieved with new furniture but without the impact a completely new product would have on the environment. 

Cooking appliances

When designing or re-designing a commercial kitchen, long term savings can be made by choosing energy efficient appliances.

By making eco-friendly decisions you could reduce your carbon emissions by as much as 50%, from many leading Catering Equipment & Supplies business. Eco friendly company ties and uniforms have been developed by corporate clothing companies and send a good message to you’re patrons.  Induction hobs and cookers are responsive to whether they are in use or not. With their rapid and responsive cooking, they act as a great energy saver. They can keep the atmosphere cooler, which may reduce the need for an air conditioning unit too.

New technologies in fridges and freezers mean they use less power, and when selecting a new boiler, you can find ones available that are made from 95% recyclable materials. Where possible avoid placing refrigerated units near heating elements to avoid appliances having to work harder.

With lighting, change to LED or CFL bulbs to lower electrical consumption and reduce energy use even further by ensuring lights and appliances are switched off when not in use. Add this to your business policy to really reinforce the importance to everyone of taking personal accountability for doing this. 

Food In, Food Out

Managing your waste is a key part of any catering kitchen design and it’s where a huge difference can be made from a carbon footprint perspective.

Manage food waste by using the anaerobic digestion method to avoid waste going to landfill. Anaerobic digestion recycles waste by producing fuel. A special treatment is applied to organic material that creates a biogas and digestate. The biogas can be used to power electricity and the digestate as an organic fertiliser.

Before reaching this stage think of ways to reduce the amount of food waste your business produces.

Giles Coran, the eminent food critic when asked by the Sustainable Restaurant Association what advice he would give to business about reducing waste, said, “smaller portions”. In particular, reducing meat portion sizes and choosing less-used cuts of meat are also ways to contribute to cutting the overall amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by livestock.

Other strategies to implement would be to turn potential food waste into pickles, preserves and stock; sell leftover food to another business, such as Too Good To Go that re-sells ready to eat food or donate to a local charity. 

Make a Declaration 

Link your brand with an eco-friendly message that resonates with you. Every time you share it with your staff and customers, the message is amplified. Go further and create a policy and make that accessible on your website and social media. By making it public not only will this appeal to your customer base, but it’s a great way to make you more accountable.

Be ambitious and create an eco-friendly goal, it could be something like a commitment to use green cleaning supplies; or source 70% of your produce locally and in season; or support eco-friendly initiatives in your local community. The number of options are endless.

The key point is to direct your efforts where you can make the most difference to your business and then move on and choose a new priority. By taking action on the steps above you not only increase your green credentials from design stage onwards but you could also save money, improve your brand image and be part of the momentum.

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Logitech Tap: The Next Big Thing in The World of Video Conferencing?

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Technology has completely revolutionised and transformed the way that we work in the modern age – everything is done on a computer and systems control everything, not to mention how it’s becoming less and less frequent to talk face-to-face with a colleague, instead opting for emails and chat platforms as a means of communicating. With this, the way that we hold meetings and conferences has also evolved, with technology not just changing, but enhancing the way that we work together. The newest gadget on the block to aid you with your workplace collaboration is the Logitech Tap – you can find all of the info on that, as well as the impact we think it might have on the business world below!

What Is It?

If we’re honest, this seems to be where most people get confused with the Logitech Tap – they think it’s a standalone device that encompasses the video conferencing technology, but that’s a misconception from the start. Tap is a room control device designed to combine all of your collaborative technologies in one simple location, so you can control and adapt your conferences and presentations to tailor to the situation and flow seamlessly between chats, calls, whiteboards, and files. The Tap has a 10.1-inch screen that’s angled for a clean, non-glare effect – you can mount the device on a table, riser or wall within your conference room, whichever is best for you. You’ll connect the Logitech tap to your existing Windows 10 or Chrome OS device, then manage those different devices through the simple interface – you can even join, leave, and instigate video calls with one touch! 

The main focus of the Logitech Tap is to solve UI issues faced during meetings and video conferences, giving you a reliable control centre to monitor devices and control the meeting from. Devices can be connected to the tap via USB ports, so you can combine multiple collaboration platforms at once, whilst HDMI input ensures a professional, high-quality picture up on the screen.

How Can It Benefit Your Business?

Simply put, it becomes your all-in-one device for meeting room control – no more messing with multiple devices and a messy amalgamation of wires crossing over a table; the Logitech Tap is clean, professional, and effective. The initial price of $999 is a huge draw to companies of all sizes, with the low cost providing every business with the opportunity to expand and upgrade the way that they use the device as it progresses. 

You can integrate Microsoft Teams Rooms, Zoom Rooms, or Google Meet with the Tap, so whichever platforms you currently work on can continue to be used – there are no difficult new platforms to work with and you’ll be able to jump straight in! You can tailor your Tap to any size meeting room, whether you’re working in a small huddle space or a huge conference room, the device works perfectly thanks to a 10-metre radar and the ability to combine multiple devices at once. 

Having a room that’s designed with Logitech Tap in mind helps to take the practicality to another level as you’ll be able to utilise it in the way that the developers intended. You can have a custom-built video conference room designed for your business by companies such as Kinly, so you don’t have to struggle to try to find out how to do it yourself – it’s always best left to the experts. These revamped rooms will combine all of the vital technology – you’ll get the Mini PC for discreet use, the conference-cam with Rightsense technology, a PC mount with cable retention for a cleaner, more streamlined look, and, of course, the Logitech Tap controller!  With these custom-designed rooms, you can be sure that you’ve got the ideal space for your business that’s set up to give off the right tone, atmosphere and message that you’re looking to use to represent your company to colleagues, suppliers, clients, and partners. 

With all of these features, it’s hard to look at the Logitech Tap as just a fad – it’s so intelligent, purposeful, and effective in the way that it works that you have to consider it as a serious contender for the newest industry-leading conference room technology. Be sure to investigate the different ways that you can integrate the Tap into your company spaces with meeting rooms, they can truly revolutionise the way that your company collaborates and bring you into a new era of technology-driven conferencing!

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Visiting Spain: all you need to know to discover this beautiful country

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Land of wines and olives, pristine and green mountains, bullfighters and flamenco, Spain is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries to visit. Maybe that’s why everyone who goes there always wants to return. Spain has a diverse and very interesting geography. It extends from the border with the south of France to the distant Canary Islands on the coast of Africa and, in any case, it is a country that deserves to be visited on any trip through Europe.

What to visit in Spain?

Spain is not a “big” country, but it is divided into seventeen autonomous regions. Each region is a completely different world. Different culture, different gastronomy, different geography and, in some cases, different languages. Whatever your final destination is, the visit will be equally enriching, although there are some places that you should try to see at all costs: Madrid (the capital), Catalonia, Andalusia and, if what you’re looking for is mostly sun and beaches, the Canary Islands. 

To visit Catalonia, you can stay in L’Ampolla, a charming fishing village famous for its sea-food, its beaches and relaxed pace of life where can find great hosting deals. Plus, the village is just one hour and a half hours far from main cities like Barcelona, Tarragona, Lledia or Reus.

Madrid is the capital of Spain and it has a vibrant culture, astounding architecture, and masterful pieces of artwork that are housed in its world-renowned museums. Also, from here you can take daytrips and easily visit several interesting Spanish medieval cities such as Segovia, Toledo or Ávila.

In Andalusia there are some of the most beautiful places that you will find in Spain: the breathtaking Alhambra of Granada, the majestic Mezquita of Cordoba and unique cultural events such as the feria de Abril and Holy Week in Seville. To be able to visit all of them during the same trip you can stay in Malaga, which is located about 2 hours far from all of them. Plus, the gastronomy, beaches and cultural life of Malaga – Picasso’s birthplace is worth visiting itself.

The Canary Islands are best known for their ideal beaches, but there is also a wide range of leisure activities available: exhibitions, theater, music and shows of all kinds, water parks, zoos, camel safaris, theme parks and karting circuits. When traveling to the Canary Islands, you can stay in any of the great hotels listed in https://www.lopesan.com/en/. And, of course, you can not forget the wonderful gastronomy, which has brought to Spanish cuisine such delicious and original dishes as “ropa vieja”, “papas arrugás” or mojo picón. 

Good wheather and short budget, the two main reasons to travel to Spain. 

Spain has one of the warmest climates in Europe throughout the year. In winter temperatures rarely go below -10º in coldest mountainous areas, while in warmer areas they can reach up to 25º. The ideal time of the year to visit the country is autumn (September-November) or spring (March-June) to avoid suffering extreme temperatures.

As for the budget, Spain is one of the cheapest countries in Western Europe. But let’s say that within the country prices vary a lot. Catalonia and the Basque Country are the most expensive regions while Andalusia and Galicia are the cheapest. A low cost trip to Spain with a backpacker budget can be about 30 euros per day / per person including accommodation (hostel with shared bathroom), food and public transport. Tickets to museums or historical sites are the most expensive thing you will find in Spain. For example, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona costs 18 euros per person and the Alhambra of Granada 16 euros, although there are discounts for students and retirees, and also days and hours where admission is free.

Transportation and gastronomy

All the food in Spain is delicious but each region of Spain has its own gastronomic offer, so it is best to always ask for the typical dishes of each area: seafood in Galicia, paella in Valencia, callos and cocido in Madrid, gazpacho in Andalusia … It does not really matter, because everything tastes great. Plus, there are dishes and customs that spread throughout the country: ir de cañas and tomar el vermouth while tasting some delicious spanish tortilla, croquetas, jamón and the delicious tapas. 

In terms of extension Spain is not very large and you can easily travel by train, bus rental vehicles or car sharing. To move within the cities that you visit, there is a great offer of rental bikes and public transport. If you have the time and money, renting a car is one of the best options to travel through Spain because the distances are short and it is almost all freeway. Plus, there are many forests, coasts and natural spaces which can only be reached by car.

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Travel Ideas for Greece: 5 Islands that will Blow You Away

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Summer is already here and our bodies are asking for a well deserved rest under the sun after months of hard work. If you don’t have your holidays planned already, check out these travel ideas for Greece by Voyage Privé to go to one of the best summer destinations ever: Greece. Here are some of the islands that you can visit

Santorini

Santorini is one of the most popular destinations among tourists who want to discover Greece. Why? Well, mainly because of the beauty of each of its beaches, its sunsets and its differentiating element with respect to the surrounding islands: its geological characteristics. The island is located in a volcanic caldera that gathers different volcanoes, turning the area into the volcanic centre of the Aegean Sea -which translates into impressive beaches. Each beach of Santorini has particular characteristics that makes it unique and exceptional. The brilliant black rocks, and the white, black and red sand make up an unforgettable scenery. Most of the beaches are well organized and offer umbrellas and loungers as well as various water sports. The characteristic white houses of the Cyclades will let you discover their treasures little by little and the sunsets will take your breath away.

Rodhes

If you are one of those traveling ‘nerds’ who enjoy spending time in the beach but don’t know how to go on holiday and without also discovering the most cultural and historic part of the destination, Rodhes is probably the best destination for you if you want to travel to Greece.

This island was very famous in antiquity for having the great Colossus of Rhodes 30 meters high, one of the wonders of the world, which served as a lighthouse for ships arriving on the island. Unfortunately, an earthquake in 227 B.C. destroyed the sculpture, although its history remains alive in the city. 

Today, however, one of its most interesting places is the old city centre of Rhodes, declared a World Heritage Site, where its medieval past stands out with the great walls that surround it, in which you will discover cobblestone streets and labyrinths, stone palaces, fortifications, mosques, minarets and ancient temples. After getting to know every corner of the old city, you can rent a car and get to the beautiful village of Lindos, find the archaeological sites distributed around the island and bathe in the beautiful beaches and coves with turquoise waters.

Corfu

In Corfu, Greece is mixed with Italy, a pinch of France and a touch of Great Britain. Each bite of this ancient city will make you fall in love with nature and history. Corfu is the greenest Mediterranean island, with 3 million olive trees, and it is also packed with small rocky coves, only accessible by boat. The old town of Corfu, is a marvel with influences in its buildings of the different conquerors, among which stand out the Ancient Fortress built by the Venetians, the Square of the Esplanade or Spianada, or the palace of Achileion, summer residence of Sissi Empress, located on the outskirts of the capital. Pontikonisi, a small island on which the Pantocrator Monastery is located, one of the most photogenic places on the island, is only 15 minutes from the centre by car and we recommend you not to miss it.

Crete

Crete is the biggest island of Greece and here you can satisfy every one of your desires. You will be fascinated by the crystal-clear beaches and the rugged mountains, dotted with caves and gorges, you will be amazed. The traditional cuisine, the beautiful villages and their charming people, and above all the numerous archaeological relics will not leave you indifferent.

Therefore, if the legends of the Minotaur or Icarus resound in your head, then Crete is your destiny. Greece’s largest island hides hundreds of secrets that any enthusiast of history, beaches and good food should visit. Here you can get lost among archaeological sites such as the impressive Knossos Palace, with its murals and striking red columns, or Festos and Gortina, worthy of a visit.

Kos

Cos is one of the pearls of the Aegean Sea. It goes from west to east giving life to one of the most international localities of Greece. Besides being rich in history because of the importance of its archaeological areas –only Rodhes has more, Cos is also the paradise of cyclists. You can rent a bicycle for 5 euros a day and the trails are very well maintained. It is one of the main destinations for Europeans and is one of the meccas of Greece’s nightlife: once the sun sets, the party begins and never seems to end. The long beaches are ideal for families with children but also for all those who love being on the beach without sacrificing comfort.

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Food and Wine Pairings You Should Try This Summer

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As the days get longer and the weather improves, we’re usually looking for cool, refreshing flavors to offset the warmth outside. Whether it’s humans adapting to nature or vice versa, we tend to gravitate towards food which grows best in the weather conditions of a given season, which is known as seasonal eating.

During the warmer months, we’re keen to eat al fresco, with dishes including fresh fish, barbecued meats, and ice cream proving most popular. The bursts of salt, sugar, and fat these foods offer makes them easy to accompany with the right bottle of wine to bring out previously hidden depths and flavours, arguably providing easier pairings than at any other time of the year. Here are three of our perfect matches.

Beaujolais and salmon dishes

Wine expert Karen MacNeil’s take on Beaujolais is regularly cited as the definitive description of this legendary Burgundy variant, calling it “the only white wine that happens to be red”. It has the reputation of a particularly delicate red wine and, as food journalist Fiona Beckett notes, it is often paired with snackier French foods like patés or cheeses. However, with wine brokers pricing the finest bottles from its ten primary Crus at no less than £75, you’d be forgiven for wanting to match it to something a little more substantial this summer.

If you fancy opening a bottle of Beaujolais to celebrate the weather getting warmer, pick up some salmon to grill alongside it. While fish is traditionally served with white wine, Beaujolais works particularly well with salmon thanks to the low tannin count of the grapes in the region. This causes the wine to taste less bitter than many heartier reds, providing an excellent accompaniment to a richer fish.

Malbec and barbecued meats

If you’re in the mood for something strong to sip as you throw another burger on the grill, look no further than the darkly complex, fruity flavours of a Malbec. Originating in the South of France, it’s an extremely versatile wine available in both old and new world varieties, but most commonly known nowadays as an Argentinian grape.

Indeed, serving Malbec with barbecue is very much a traditional Argentinian custom. As the International Wine And Food Society notes, Malbec works particularly well with grilled meats thanks to its “smoky, charcoal scents…seasoned with just a dollop of oak”. These flavours match beautifully with the similar smokiness of barbecued meats, as well as most accompanying marinades and sauces.

Pinot Grigio and vanilla ice cream

Of course, summer food isn’t all about savoury snacks, and while your dessert preferences may be scoffing strawberries while watching Wimbledon, there’s nothing more satisfying in hot weather than a couple of scoops of ice cream. And while wandering up to the ice cream van with a wine glass in hand seems like a strange combination, it’s becoming an increasingly popular summertime treat.
Ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins recently released a series of recommended wine pairings to match toits 31 flavors, from Riesling with pralines and cream to rosé with rainbow sherbet. But our choice is the most simple and widely-available: Pinot Grigio and vanilla. The rich dairy texture of the ice cream is complemented perfectly by the crisp fruit notes of the wine, bringing you what is arguably the true taste of summer.

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Pralines, Bread or Pickles: How to Sell Food Online

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Ordering food online becomes more popular each year. So why restrict your business to a local target group? Here is a guide on how entrepreneurs can sell their delicacies worldwide.

The way people eat today has changed a lot during the last years. Food is no longer something we need to survive, it’s about the experience you get by eating it. Nowadays, there are many food lovers around the world who enjoy spending money on a rare piece of chocolate or a homemade marmalade that reminds them of their childhood. Therefore, people like to order delicacies from around the world. But when it comes to selling food online, many chefs have trouble getting started as there are a lot of different laws and restrictions that come with it.

If food is your passion, these legal barriers shouldn’t stop you from starting to sell online. Just remember, whenever you get frustrated about a regulation, they were invented to make food safer for the customers and that – by following them – you can avoid getting people sick from your delicacies. If you are struggling too much with the regulations, consider consulting a lawyer who has experience in the food industry.

First of all, you need to decide what kind of food you would like to sell. Maybe you already have a physical store in a good area and now you want to expand your business. But if not, you have to find a niche in which your idea fits into. If you are looking for new inspiration, have a look at the current food trends and see if you can work with that.

Set up your Store

Once you decide on a certain kind of food, you can set up your web store. You can easily do this yourself without spending a lot of money on a developer with platforms like Shopify. But before you publish it, don’t forget to do some research: what makes your product better than your competitor’s? Compare your brand to others to see what you can learn from them and to better them.

Make sure that you have everything ready before getting started and don’t forget to think about your business operations. In a local restaurant, you have a restricted number of seats and therefore guests you can serve in a day. The internet doesn’t work that way. It’s hard to estimate how high the demand will be. Therefore, it can be helpful to use a manufacturing scheduling software that helps small manufacturers optimise their operations. The software will make sure you have enough ingredients in stock whilst you can concentrate on preparing the food.

As people cannot try before they buy, the way it looks on your website is essential. Your product has to tell a story through the package design, photography and the description. By looking at the product page, the customers must be able to imagine how the food might taste.

Last, but not least, develop a marketing strategy for your store. This should include setting up social media pages, optimising your website for the search engines, and starting an email campaign.

Now it’s up to you! Happy selling!

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Bee Bags Bring Skip Hire Into The 21st Century

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Getting rid of rubbish can be a major headache. If you’ve got waste material left over from decorating projects, moving house or major decluttering exercises, you need a way to get rid of it all. Perfect for today’s busy lives, Clearabee have come up with a simple, convenient alternative to skip hire. They offer Bee Bags – strong bags that come in four different sizes that they collect once filled with rubbish. Created with the customer’s requirements in mind, this waste removal service is just what the everyday person needs.

Up To Date Rubbish Collection

You can order a Bee Bag online, 24 hours a day, from your phone, tablet or laptop – perfect for anyone who has a full week with little time to spare. With just a few clicks a bee bag is ordered and it will be delivered the next working day. You don’t have to be ready to use it straight away if your plans change, you have a full 12-month window to load up the bag at your convenience. Once it’s filled up with all the rubbish, simply get back online to order a collection slot. In most instances it is removed within hours, but it will definitely all be gone within 24 hours. Regular skip hire is never this simple to arrange.

A Greener Way To Get Rid Of Rubbish

Clearabee have answered the call to be more environmentally responsible by taking all the unwanted junk to the correct waste station. This means that around 95% of all rubbish collected is diverted from landfill and gets recycled or reused. They also plant thousands of trees to offset their carbon emissions. With more than 100 locations, they make sure that their vehicle use is kept to a minimum to ensure fuel consumption is as low as possible. Bee Bags are re-usable, and when used again customers get a reduction in the collection fee.

Do Things Your Way With A Bee Bag

Clearabee like to be as flexible as possible, because they know this is what people want. The Bee Bags come in four different capacities so the right size for the job can be ordered. The website offers a handy guide to give a rough idea of what can fit inside each one. When you start to fill it, you can choose where to place the bag as long as it isn’t too far from the kerbside, so put it somewhere that suits you. And if you find that you have more rubbish than you expected, Clearabee will still collect it for an additional surcharge.

No Room For Traditional Skip Hire?

Bee Bags offer the perfect solution for places that don’t have much space. The bags take up much less room than a skip and they can be placed in smaller, more awkward locations as long as they are easy to access. This is ideal for homes with no driveway, or a an uneven front garden or a place where skip lorries can’t go.

Convenient Rubbish Collection

Rubbish collection services are not always very convenient to organise. Some require a phone call during office hours, payment by cheque, advanced booking and someone to be at home on delivery. None of that is necessary with Bee Bags. Everything can be arranged at any time of the day or night with a service that is quick, simple and without fuss. Same-day collection is also available if you want all your junk gone immediately. And if you already have a hippo bag or similar, you can use these as Clearabee will collect 3rd-party bags too.

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Luxurious Scottish Highlands and the Scotch whisky experience

From climbing the peaks of the Lake District to surfing in Cornwall or savouring the Scotch whisky experience in Scotland, the British Isles are home to a wealth of fantastic travel hotspots and destinations.

Top pursuits for tourists include a Scotch whisky experience (Edinburgh has many) and staying in luxurious accommodation nestling in the Scottish Highlands, such as CLC Duchally Country Estate.

The beautiful Scottish Highlands

A long-time favourite with holidaymakers looking for a unique and amazing travel experience, Scotland has seen more high-end travel options open in recent years than ever before. Discerning travellers are not only looking for experiences such as whisky tasting, but also somewhere special to call home for a week or two.  Why not stay at the stunning CLC Duchally Country Estate and visit the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh?

For the adrenaline junkie and adventure enthusiast, luxurious lodge accommodation at CLC Duchally is close to many of the attractions that can be found in any decent guide to Scotland. Exciting activities visitors can indulge in include, jumping into a private helicopter to tour the Scottish Isles from above and taking to the pistes at one of the country’s five luxurious ski resorts and experiencing some of the most breath-taking slopes in the UK.

History, culture & the Scotch Whisky Experience

Scotland is a diverse destination, and for those looking for an extraordinary travel experience in the UK, there really is something for everyone. Rich history abounds in cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, while the wild, rugged Highlands beckon to be explored. But the real draw for many visitors is the world-famous Scotch Experience Edinburgh.

There are more than 120 active whisky distilleries throughout Scotland – an impressive feat for one of the smallest countries in Europe and indicative of the importance of the golden spirit. The five whisky-producing regions are Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside. A Scotch whisky experience allows enthusiasts to learn about the history of the revered drink, which spans more than five centuries. Luxurious accommodation such as CLC Duchally Country Estate provides the opportunity to enjoy the Scotch Whisky Experience in a dedicated bar. CLC Duchally Country Estate has been appointed a ‘Whisky Embassy’ under the ‘Scotlandwhisky’ scheme and offers more than 50 quality varieties from all over Scotland. Each bartender has an in-depth knowledge of the best Scottish whiskies and guests can indulge in an evening of tasting, while learning about what exactly makes them the finest in the world – from grain to glass.

From hiking to relaxing in luxurious surroundings and enjoying the Scotch whisky experience, Scotland is a unique destination just waiting to be explored.

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The Best Places to Drive to and Around in France

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France is a treasure trove of delights, twice the size of the UK but with roughly the same population, its traffic free country roads are a joy to travel and take you back to a bygone age of picturesque sleepy villages and stunning medieval towns.  Exploring France by car restores the enjoyment of driving which gridlocked UK motorists may think a thing of the past.  However confident you are in your vehicle, punctures and breakdowns still happen, so be sure to be prepared.  Having European breakdown cover ensures that you get the benefit of roadside assistance when driving in Europe.  Hopefully you won’t need to use your cover, but if you’re going to break down anywhere, the French countryside is at least much more attractive than the M25.  

There are countless wonderful French villages, towns and cities which merit a visit but here are just five mouth-watering delights to set you on your way.

Bourg-en-Bresse

Situated in Eastern France this charming medieval city retains a centre of half- timbered buildings, which now serve as fascinating specialist shops offering a range of outstanding local produce.  The city’s star attraction is the Royal Monastery with its extraordinary glazed roof tiles, three two storey cloisters and outstanding marble tomb effigies. When you’ve exhausted the medieval delights of the city, it makes an excellent base from which to explore the many attractions of the delightful Bresse countryside.

Mont St Michel

Once seen, never forgotten, this gothic abbey rising from its island base is like a vision from a fairy-tale and when the tide is in and water surrounds the island, it is transformed into a mirrored miracle of climbing cobbled pathways and soaring architecture.  It’s little surprise then that with over two and a half million visitors each year, the Mont St Michel is one of the most visited places in France.

Vannes

This walled and gated town founded by the Romans and modified and expanded over the next 1500 years is a unique survival.  Wander its alleys and cobbled squares and enjoy the medieval atmosphere of this vibrant town, which also boasts a great range of bars and restaurants, museums and churches and the gorgeous Jardins des Remparts.

Nice

Popular with English tourists since the Eighteenth Century this capital of the French Riviera has plenty to keep you entertained for as long as you choose.  Great beaches stretch out alongside the Promenade des Anglais and of course there are enough bars and restaurants that you could graze all summer long and never visit the same establishment twice. There are museums, most notably the Musee Marc Chagall, a gilded cathedral, palaces and at the Parc Phoenix, one of the largest greenhouses in Europe.  And when you’ve had your fill of culture, there are the endless shopping delights of the Avenue Jean Medecin.

Bordeaux

The centre of Bordeaux, a World Heritage Site, is an exquisite example of Eighteenth-Century architectural harmony on a grand scale.  Bordeaux is a city in which it is a pleasure to walk and simply gaze upwards at the endless invention of the buildings.  On the banks of the majestic Garonne, the restaurants of Bordeaux have access to the finest local produce, oysters, mushrooms, duck, asparagus and of course world-famous wine, which you can develop your appreciation of by visiting the world’s best wine museum.

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How Gourmet Food Can Enhance Stay-at-Home Entertainment

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When it comes to the atmosphere of an event, it’s the food that makes it. Where there is great entertainment, there should always be great snacks to fill up one’s belly. For some of the most famous feasts of all time, we can turn to https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink. The Medici wedding in 1600, for example, was an epic banquet during which 50 courses were served, including the very special dessert of milk and honey sherbet. Or there was the Regent’s Banquet of 1817, which featured 127 dishes, including a mosque made out of marzipan (GBBO eat your heart out!).

But you don’t need to be a monarch or hold some noble title to enhance your entertainment with gourmet cuisine. You can do it yourself and we’re showing you how.

What Can Food Bring to Entertainment in the Home?

Events outside of the home are expected to deliver opulence and grandeur, but the food you serve at events in your home is just as important. Not only does it help relax your guests, but it will also impress them. They’ll be positively bewildered that you managed to offer such delectable delights, all from the kitchen in your semi-detached.

This is especially useful when paired with at-home versions of not-at-home entertainment. You could, for example, invite your friends round for a casino night in which you try your hand at games like baccarat, roulette and blackjack without going out to a real-life casino. Live casino offerings like those at https://www.mrgreen.com/en/live-casino already enhance the atmosphere – with a live croupier who deals the game to you – but by offering tasty casino snacks your home will feel like a proper casino. Get out the shrimp cocktail, meat skewers and mini bruschettas and that’s an extra special night in right there.

Or, if you’re hosting a movie night, then turn on the surround sound speakers, dim the lights and serve up some popcorn to make your squad feel as though you’ve transported them to an actual movie theatre. You could even level up your popcorn to really “wow” your pals. Suggestions from https://greatist.com/eat/healthy-popcorn-recipes include apple pie popcorn, lemony kale popcorn, and spicy cilantro lime popcorn.

What Gourmet Food Can You Make at Home?

We’ve already given you a couple of event-specific gourmet recipes you can make to impress your guests, but how about some more general dishes? Ones that suit any occasion? The party appetizers detailed at http://recipegeek.com/food-talk are sound winners: mini pizzas, 4 ways, offers a yummy, bite-sized way to enjoy the classic Italian dish, while the fresh Thai salad rolls are incredibly easy to put together. Not only will this snack look the part, but with all those vegetables, it’s a healthy way of chowing down!

Food is massively important when it comes to entertaining. You want to be a good host that puts smiles on faces and food in bellies. Ditch the usual crisps and nuts and go big with the gourmet recipes we’ve outlined above.

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