How to get the overt look this Christmas

Red Christmas BerriesAlready in this series we have discussed how to install a traditionally festive ambiance in your restaurant or cafe this Christmas period and how to up-style your urban and minimalist establishment to fit this time of year, but in this piece we are embracing those who just love to sing and shout about December 25th.

We have dubbed this as an ‘overt’ style, though the designs on show here are never overbearing – a key point to remember.

Here the traditional colours of reds and greens are used – along with soft creams – but these base tones are then accentuated with the presence of familiar Christmas tropes on accessories such as napkins, tablecloths and other decorations.

Read on to see how we suggest decorating your restaurant by using printed napkins and tablecloths, but without being haughty, this winter. 

…continue reading How to get the overt look this Christmas

Optimistic outlook for the catering industry

Restaurant glassesA new report – conducted by the market research company JRA and the foodservice data specialists Horizons – has stated that over two thirds of operators have seen a year-on-year increase in food sales. Now that’s news to brighten up a Monday morning!

Over three hundred businesses were surveyed, including a large number of restaurants, pubs and hotels, and the results, as noted in the opening paragraph, indicate that the catering and food service industry is in rude health.

With there being a near sixty-six percent rise across the board, a quarter of those respondents described their increases as ‘large’.

…continue reading Optimistic outlook for the catering industry

A very expensive loaf

BreadAn early morning slice of bread, toasted, and then covered in butter and (lime) marmalade is one of the simpler things in life that I enjoy from time to time. Come to think of it, I really do like a good bread and butter pudding as well.

Basically, I like bread – this recipe is great too by the way.

However there is one freshly cooked loaf that I think would have to be kept away from the toaster or the oven. Instead of finding a home in the breadbin, it is more likely to take up residence in a heavily guarded Swiss bank account.

Robert Didier, who at one point trained with Raymond Blanc, has baked what is set to become the United Kingdom’s most expensive bread.

…continue reading A very expensive loaf

Apple (and bacon) salad – National Apple Day

Apple on the tree

Today we are celebrating the incredible diversity of the wonderful apple.

Over the world there are some 2,300 types to pick from, but here on these shores we stick to our traditional favourites such as the Granny Smith and the Cox – though recent trends have seen sweeter varieties like the Gala, Pink Lady and Jazz gain new levels of popularity.

However in the midst of all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the UK’s National Apple Day, there are some alarming statistics which have come to light, the most worrying one being that two-thirds of British orchards have been lost since the 1960s.

…continue reading Apple (and bacon) salad – National Apple Day

The first curry entrepreneur – Sake Dean Mahomet

Sake Dean MahomedToday, Wednesday 15th October, is slap bang in the middle of National Curry Week.

The event, which runs from the 13th to 19th of October, celebrates over two centuries of Indian restaurants and cuisine within the United Kingdom.

Some 23 million people, just under half of the population, eat curry in United Kingdom every year and those behind the Curry Week forecast that the average Brit will spend nearly £34,000 on traditional subcontinent cooking in their lifetime.

With the average wage coming in at £26,500, that means we spend fifteen months’ worth of our salaries on vindaloos, jalfrezis and tikka masalas.

…continue reading The first curry entrepreneur – Sake Dean Mahomet

Incentive healthy eating for children, study claims

school-tray-clip-resizAs parents, we know that it can sometimes be slightly problematic to get children to eat a varied and balanced diet.

Some take to their greens like the proverbial duck to water whilst others view fresh fruit and vegetables with a slightly more sceptic eye.

However researchers from the University of Edinburgh believe that if you play to a youngsters’ competitive streak, children are more likely to eat greens.

According to a recent study, the Scottish-based scientists found that primary school children consumed a third more ‘healthy options’ if mealtimes involved some kind of game.

…continue reading Incentive healthy eating for children, study claims

Sion aims to refine fans and reduce their raclette

Raclette CheeseWhen Saturday comes, opposing supporters visiting the Swiss town of Sion could be in for a gastronomic treat.

The city’s Raiffeisen Super League outfit, FC Sion, has adopted a forward-thinking strategy in an attempt to minimise crowd trouble at the Stade Tourbillon.

Instead of implementing a heavy-handed police-based strategy to root out troublemakers or imposing draconian restrictions on their rivals, Sion is attempting to refine their rivals.

Back in July at the start of their latest league campaign the club based with the western Valais canton issued a press release that said:

…continue reading Sion aims to refine fans and reduce their raclette

TripAdvisor creates award for service staff

golden-wreathWe live in an increasingly connected world where customers can voice their opinions within seconds and be heard by thousands in minutes. This social media age has changed the face of how restaurants react and respond to customer service complaints. But, despite the negative aspects, there are a huge number of positives too.

One website at the centre of this debate is the review-centric platform TripAdvisor and they have just announced the launch of their inaugural Exceptional Service Awards.

This new honour is set to honour and recognise those “remarkable hospitality professionals” who work across the entire service industry, including those waiting and bar staff who work in restaurants and other such similar venues.

…continue reading TripAdvisor creates award for service staff

A Christmas twist on an Urban-themed restaurant

knitting-silver1Urban and rustic decors have become very popular within the restaurant trade in recent years.

Characterised by exposed brick and woodwork, antiquated character pieces and open hanging light fittings; this scheme has been picked up by a new wave of establishments that have taken gastronomy to new heights of popularity.

On the surface, it may appear that Christmas themes may be out of the question. However there’s always a style to suit any and all venues. But by adopting a neutral base palette with flashes of brighter colours of white, silver and gold, traditional festive colours can be injected without in any way being overbearing.

…continue reading A Christmas twist on an Urban-themed restaurant

Fruit and vegetables linked to mental wellbeing

Group of vegetables

There are many numerous and well documented benefits to eating your greens and gobbling up your vegetables.

However a new study, conducted by researchers based at the University of Warwick, has revealed that eating your fruit and vegetables can boost mental health.

The people based at the Medical School, located in Coventry, collected data from the national Health Survey of England.

After crunching the numbers it was revealed that there was a correlation between a person’s mental wellbeing and the amount of fruit and vegetables that they consumed.

…continue reading Fruit and vegetables linked to mental wellbeing