Category Archives: Catering Business
There is really only one subject dominating the news at the moment and that is the issue of free school meals. School lunches have been offered for decades. Those in primary education in the 1960s and 1970s will probably still recall the trays of overboiled cabbage and swede, and solid pastry mince beef pies.
The great British school lunch menu has come a long way since then, with a choice of much healthier and more nutritious meals. The last week or so however, has seen a storm brewing over the axing of free school lunches due to Government budget pressures.
The Education Department has revealed that it does not think that “a free school lunch for every child in the first three years of primary school… is a sensible use of public money”.
Free school lunches came into effect in September 2014 and at the time, the introduction caused a great deal of consternation within schools as 2,700 primary schools had to install new catering facilities before they could even think about offering free meals.
However, the majority rose to the challenge and adapted their kitchens for the provision required. And the policy has shown results, with many schools reporting an increase in the uptake of cooked school lunches, not only by those entitled to free lunches.
Entitlement to Free Meals
With the old scheme, all children in reception, Years 1 and 2 automatically qualified for free school meals in England and Scotland. In Year 3, free meal eligibility is linked to benefits.
Now, parents earning up to £7,400 a year are entitled to a free school meal. The average cost of a lunch is £2.30, which equals £46 per month per child. Multiply that by two or three or four children at school and the cost rises to £92, £138 and £184 per month respectively.
Perhaps it is understandable why the National Union of Teachers general secretary Kevin Courtney said cancelling the universal offer of a hot meal in the day “mean-spirited and wrong-headed”.
Valentine Mulholland, head of policy at the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “after the nightmare of bringing this policy in at breakneck speed and all the capital funding spent to upgrade kitchens and dining facilities, it’s pretty sad to see this U-turn.”
A Department for Education spokesman said: “we continue to support the country’s most disadvantaged children through free school meals, the £2.5bn funding given to schools through the Pupil Premium to support their education and the recently announced £26m investment to kick-start or improve breakfast clubs in at least 1,700 schools.”
Best Meal of the Day
The only alternative on the table so far is free breakfasts, which are vastly cheaper at a 10th of the price, and if this is the case, then the catering staff may have to change the menus so that children get maximum nutritional value from the first meal of the day.
A sugar tax on fizzy drinks has just been announced and it is believed that the revenue from that (expected to be £200m+) could be reinvested in breakfasts. The days of the full English breakfast may be returning, with the most nutritional meals being served up to provide energy for the rest of the day.
Producers across the country are embracing local and organic ingredients and eco-friendly manufacturing methods, and Gloucestershire food producers are no different. Snuggled in the heart of England, Gloucestershire boasts a food heritage that goes back centuries.
Simon Weaver’s Cotswold Organic Dairy produces some amazingly creamy and award-winning cheeses. The company farms organically in the Cotswolds at Kirkham Farm where Fresian cows feed on organically grown grass. The milk travels a mere five metres to the creamery every morning where expert cheesemakers turn it into a delicious range of artisan products.
Choose from Organic Cotswold Brie, Blue-Veined Brie or Herb Brie. Importantly, the farm encourages and promotes wildlife with no artificial fertilisers or chemicals used to grow crops, and the creamery itself is powered using renewable energy sources.
Jess’s Ladies produces milk, cream and yoghurt and is run by the Vaughan family who milk 80 cows on a farm. The cows (the Ladies) produce un-homogenised, pasteurised milk on site. This is taken straight to local shelves to ensure the best possible flavour. Each lady is known by name and milked personally. As the milk is not homogenised, the milk retains its natural composition. The most recent addition to the menu is luxurious natural yoghurt, made by hand.
The Cotswold Farmer has been part of the local food community since the 1970s, priding itself on environmental responsibility. The company has sustained a well-deserved reputation for its sausages, using a mixture of ingredients and recipes. Toulouse Style pork sausages, Italian Style, Spicy Spanish Style, Cotswold Herb Garden Style are all on the menu. Their ingredients include red wine, garlic, toasted fennel seeds and traditional Italian and Spanish herbs and spices.
Also on offer are Cotswold Gluten Free pork sausages and as alternatives to pork, venison sausages and St Georges beef sausages. The pigs are bred and reared on the family farm in the North Cotswolds.
Acres of Orchards
Another of Gloucestershire food producers is Day’s Cottage. It has over 20 acres of orchards to help the company produce award-winning apple juice for more than 20 years. Pure apple juice, cider and perry are all manufactured using traditional methods and apples from traditional, mature orchards in Gloucestershire.
No additives or preservatives are used in manufacture. The juice of over 1kg of fresh fruit fills each 75cl bottle. The orchards are all free from sprays, chemicals or artificial fertilisers. The ciders and perry are fermented and matured in oak barrels. Only old varieties are used, such as Morgan Sweet and Foxwhelp apples and Brown Bess and Blakeney Red pears.
Ethical Addictions based in Kingsholm, Gloucester, is a small family company that sources high quality coffee buying direct from the growers. The coffee comes from villages in Brazil and Tanzania. Products include the Grizzly Bear Ethical Coffee Blend and shade grown coffee.
Finally if you’re after raw coconut oil why not try out Bula Batiki which works with Fijian islanders directly to ensure their communities benefit.
Proving once again that there are some unusual as well as mainstream food producers in the counties served by AC Services (Southern).
Will it be Brexit, the Beast from the East, nerve gas poisoning, or Donald Trump?
No, what we are currently facing is a global shortage of currants, raisins and sultanas. This dried fruit crisis is not short term.
The dried fruit crisis is raising concern around the world and especially in the UK. All are concerned about the ready availability of this foodstuff in the future.
Britain is the world’s biggest importer of dried fruit. Since September last year, the price of raisins and sultanas has seen an exponential rise of up to 42%. Consider what the impact could be on hot cross buns and Christmas puddings.
One a Penny…?
There are a number of factors that have contributed to this price increase. Falling numbers of raisins in California and the reduction by Greek farmers in producing currants are the main culprits.
According to the BBC, California produces most of the raisins destined for the UK. But farmers in the region have decided that there are more lucrative crops than dried fruit. The forecast is for 275,000 tonnes of raisins to be produced in 2017-18 in California. This is an 8% reduction from the previous year and 15% below the five-year average. Also, land and labour costs have risen in the USA.
Turkey and Greece have become the go-to places. But Greece’s declining production is now forcing buyers to seek out other markets, notably Australia and South Africa.
Unfortunately, Australia’s harvesting of the sultana crop seems to be running slow due to an unprecedented heatwave. The good news is that Turkey is still producing large amounts of dried fruit.
The industry itself is reassuring worried fans of hot cross buns that a shortage is highly unlikely. But some cannot rule out traditional Christmas baking being affected unless a viable solution is found. Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, said anybody who is making hot cross buns for Easter will “already have the supplies in place”. Andrew Ciclitira, director of UK dried fruit supplier Demos, urged manufacturers to be “more creative” and look to Australia and South Africa as alternative suppliers of raisins and sultanas.
Whatever the outcome of the current (!) situation, at least it gives bakers an excellent opportunity to expand their menu and use other ingredients, such as dried exotic fruits including mango or coconut and, of course, there is always the fallback of chocolate! For example, Turkey will have a bumper crop of apricots in 2018 which can be dried and stored for several years.
The reality is the world is changing and dried fruit are not the only British basics under threat. So the dried fruit crisis is just one of many to come.
Hotelympia 2018 took place at ExCeL London last week (5-8 March). The Show has the accolade of being one of the oldest; being at the forefront of the industry for over 83 years. This year, Hotelympia brought together four new shows. This created an umbrella platform for all those involved in the pub, hotel, restaurant, casual dining and contract caterers.
The four shows are:
- Interiors and Tableware Show,
- Hospitality Tech Show,
- Foodservice Show and
- The Professional Kitchen Show,
The Professional Kitchen
This Show displayed the very latest catering equipment, with key senior buyers viewing the goods on offer, from kitchen designers to operations managers, executive chefs to managing directors and distributors. The equipment ranged from appliances for large mass catering kitchens to the newer trend of micro size kitchens.
On the Rational stand, Rational‘s expert chefs prepared different meal occasions with the SelfCookingCenter and VarioCookingCenter, offering samples and live cooking demonstrations. The company also showcased its specialist accessories including the Multibaker, the grill and pizza tray and the cross and stripe grill grate.
Foodservice and Hospitality Tech
The Foodservice Show was extremely well attended. Visitors were presented with hard-to-find speciality ingredients and craft drinks as well as leading food brands and franchises. In fact, the Foodservice Show had more food and drink exhibiting companies than any other UK hospitality event.
The Hospitality Tech Show revealed how technology is revolutionising the hospitality sector. It showcased solutions and latest innovations to improve all aspects of the industry from back-room operations to enhancing the customer experience.
The Interiors and Tableware Show
Interiors and Tableware catered for every front-of-house need for a wide range of establishments from restaurant groups, bars, cafes and spas to holiday parks, schools and offices with the latest designs and products.
Another popular section was the Salon Culinaire which offered four days of sculpting and cooking. Categories here included wedding cake design, sugarcraft showpiece, sculpted novelty cake and best decorated Easter Egg! There was also a category for best sugarcraft on a hat which attracted some amazing entries and lots of attention.
Along with a host of headline speakers holding seminars on a variety of relevant subjects, Hotelympia 2018 also hosted The World Food Innovation Awards. These are designed to celebrate excellence and innovation across every category of the global food industry. As the longest and most established awards scheme in the industry, these awards were gratefully received by the eventual winners.
Finally, the Women in Hospitality day was a huge hit. This celebrated the successes and the challenges and opportunities facing women in the hospitality industry. As well as discussions on the contribution made by female hospitality entrepreneurs it also introduced some potential future stars.
The Westpoint Exhibition Centre in Exeter was the setting for the 2018 Source Trade Show which took place on 6 and 7 February. This prestigious show gave visitors the opportunity to escape the big cities, where the majority of trade shows take place, and travel to the beautiful West Country and the historic city of Exeter.
The 2018 Source Trade Show was exactly as described. A venue that allows owners and managers the opportunity to source whatever they need for their premises, whether it be food ingredients, staff or equipment. As with previous shows, representatives from the pub and bar industry, the public sector including schools and hospitals, supermarkets, hotels and farm shops attended the Show.
Food and Other Stuff
Over 250 exhibitors from Taste of the West, the South West, and beyond also attended the show. 17 newcomers all from the South West exhibited at a trade show for the very first time. 83 companies also braved Source for the first time. Exhibitors comprised key South West, UK and international food and drink producers, as well as service providers.
Newcomers are more than welcome at the Source Show as the organisers explain. “We offer them special rates, or a leg up as it were…one of the biggest challenges new companies have is actually getting their products to market and the Source also connects them with distributors, who in turn get the chance to add exiting new products to their ranges.”
Visitors were able to source more unusual local products and meet face-to-face with local producers and learn the provenance of their products. The organisers wanted to present the show on all sensory platforms – taste, smell, presentation, packaging, a feat they managed admirably. Food was not the only attraction. Visitors also took advantage of other goods on display from kitchen equipment, EPoS systems, uniforms and tableware.
The Demonstration Kitchen was a huge and popular success, boasting “inspirational chefs, masterclasses, talks and more!” Perhaps the most popular area was the artisan section. But there was a massive presence from local, regional and national manufacturers and regional food and drink producers.
Some of the most popular producers included ice-cream makers, Dartington Dairy . It uses sustainable farming practices and innovation to produce their range of goats’ milk ice-creams. Their latest offering is Kefir, a super tasty cultured goats’ milk drink.
Healthy Recipes Ltd introduced MezzeSoul, a fresh pomegranate juice sauce brand which brings the heat, warmth and soul of the Mediterranean into the UK. JEAM Super Mixes is a range of award-winning, nutrient rich organic bread mixes, organic, nutrient rich and delicious. The chosen ingredients are sourced extremely carefully and are all tested thoroughly before committing to production.
And of course we should mention Rational UK. They were showing off the latest advances in their Rational oven range at the 2018 Source Trade Show.
The next year’s show is already under planning. To book your place, visit the Source Trade Show website.
In 2017, 67% of PUB17 visitors were either owner, director or manager level. While 86% of visitors claimed direct purchasing authority.
So when the doors opened last week, there were high expectations for 5000+ visitors from across the pub industry for PUB18.
The show is the only one dedicated to the UK pub industry. Since its inception in 2015, it is the perfect opportunity to meet with suppliers and learn about current and future industry issues.
New and Old
PUB18 featured some familiar favourite titbits, including the WSET Taste Table, which offered hands-on tastings. Also returning was the Pub Garden, an ideal spot to meet and network with those in the industry.
New for 2018 was the Pub Trends theatre, set to highlight what your pub must stock for the coming year. Also debuting was the New Brew Area, where the newest drinks and innovations were on show.
The seminars and talks were extremely well attended and offered real insight into improving trade and turnover. The PUB18 ‘Debate: Reasons to be Cheerful’ set out the challenges the pub industry faces in 2018. A panel of senior figures looked at the current climate in the sector, and suggested areas where operators need to focus their energies.
Leading chefs and operators then shared their ideas in the ‘Specials Board Standout: Driving your food offer forward’. Here, suggestions included how to make a pub’s food business stand out from the crowd and how to maintain and drive profitability in a world of rapidly increasing food costs.
Food and Drink
Millennials featured in an intriguing talk entitled ‘Last Orders at the bar? – Turning Millennials back onto the on-trade.’ Statistics suggest that millennials are abandoning the century-old tradition of going down the pub. Multiply UK has created a report titled ‘The Millennial Hangover – Why generation Y is not getting on with the on trade‘ which formed part of this interesting presentation.
The questions posed were simple: “why are bar visits and alcohol consumption on a sharp decline among younger audiences? Who are these Millennials, and what do they value? Most importantly, what can brands and businesses do to target this reluctant yet strategically crucial audience?” The debate raged about how to entice Millennials back!
According to the Beer & Cider Academy, “any day of the year is a day for beer and the different seasons offer an opportunity to showcase the myriad hues, flavours and characteristics of the nation’s favourite alcoholic beverage.” Hence the ‘Taste of Summer’ showcased the beer styles synonymous with the summer months and suggested complimentary food choices.
Finally, CAMRA Good Beer Guide’s Roger Protz suggested how to use the industry traditions to harness the 13M foreign tourists who visit UK pubs annually!
All in all, there was plenty of food for thought and the organisers and visitors were delighted with the outcome. PUB19 takes place 5-6 February 2019 at Olympia London so make sure you book a place for next year.
If, like me, you struggle to get your head around the plot of Doctor Who, then you’ll have your work cut out understanding Brexit. It’s not entirely sure whether the politicians themselves fully comprehend the process but in an attempt to bring you up to date with the latest events, here’s a brief Brexit update.
What do we know so far? The EU began after the Second World War to foster economic co-operation. The reasoning was that countries that trade together are less likely to fight each other. It evolved into a single market where goods and people are able to move around as if the member states were one country.
The UK has voted to leave the European Union with a scheduled departure of 11pm on Friday 29 March, 2019. There are three key “divorce” issues:
- how much the UK owes the EU,
- what happens to the border in Northern Ireland and
- what happens to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and vice versa.
Agreement on these issues was reached on 8 December: the so-called Breakthrough Deal. There is also a plan to be finalised for a two-year transition period.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Prime Minister Theresa May was initially against Brexit, but now has no choice but to acquiesce to the British people. The day after the referendum, the pound slumped but it is now regaining its losses against the dollar, while remaining 15% down against the Euro. Indeed, the UK’s economy was estimated to have grown 1.8% in 2016, second only to Germany’s 1.9%.
The negotiating teams from both the UK and EU meet face-to-face for one week each month with the aim of getting the transition agreed in March, with a deal on permanent future relations hopefully agreed in the Autumn.
We hear a lot about Article 50. Basically this is merely a plan for any country that wishes to exit the EU. It stipulates that any member state deciding to withdraw must notify the European Council and negotiate its withdrawal with the EU, with two years to reach an agreement. It also states that the state wishing to leave cannot take part in EU internal discussions about its departure.
The Food Industry
According to a report issued last week, “Brexit risks increasing food prices, lowering safety and welfare standards, causing food shortages and worsening a public health crisis in the UK.”
A third of the food Britons eat currently comes from the EU. The UK already has a “catastrophic” £22.5bn trade deficit in food. The warning was issued to UK producers who will be under pressure to produce cheaper food after Brexit. The fear is that leaving the EU will lead to higher prices and a reduction in choice.
Named items that could increase significantly in price are beef, cheddar, tomatoes and broccoli but National Farmers Union director general, Terry Jones, called for a “well-regulated industry with short supply chains rather than adopting an ‘all-comers’ approach”. He believes this could act as a safeguard for standards and prevent food fraud.
The politicians have just over a year to smooth out the wrinkles in the deal. The same applies to British food manufacturers. They have the opportunity to take the bull by the horns and dictate the industry to their own high standards.
Finally, and for many people, most importantly, we will still be able to enter the Eurovision Song Contest. Participant countries need only to be a member of the European Broadcasting Union (which we are) which is independent of the EU.
The unsteadiness created by Brexit and other external influences worked in the hotel industry’s favour at the beginning of 2017, with a record-breaking occupancy and room rate growth across UK hotels. Despite fears that this trend would diminish rapidly, news this week reveals that there’s still buoyancy in this market.
According to hotel data company STR, an influx of tourists from overseas and a boost in domestic tourism as overseas travel for UK residents became less affordable during the first half of 2017. This meant that hotels recorded a relatively flat occupancy increase 0.5%. The average room rate (ARR) and revenue per available room (revpar) were up by 3.6%.
Conference and banqueting was up 0.4%. But alarmingly for the industry, any growth was cancelled out by a 0.1% drop in food and beverage revenue.
Hoteliers Fight Back
So what must hoteliers do in 2018 to increase profitability? A recent conference (the 25th Master Innholders Annual General Managers’ Conference) made a few key suggestions.
Firstly, more young people should be encouraged into hospitality. Hoteliers were urged to spread the message that fulfilment and satisfaction in a job wasn’t always immediate. It came over time. Similarly there was the potential for excellent rewards.
Tech-free time needed to be introduced into the hotel workplace to allow teams to build social skills and relationships.
In addition, the National Minimum Wage should be adhered to. The hospitality industry is being targeted by the taxman for not correctly paying staff. Six teams are now specifically devoted to the sector.
The Future is Green
However, one of the more interesting suggestions came from the food angle. It promotes focusing more on plant-based dining or as it is more commonly known, veganism. As an example, Selfridges has opened a vegan waffle bar and more hotels are urged to continue this trend.
New trends in food should also be adopted such as:
- heme (a protein found in plants and meat used to mimic meat in vegan food);
- timut (a Nepalese pepper with mouth-numbing qualities) and
- hydrogen water (water into which hydrogen gas has been dissolved, said to have health benefits).
Selfridges was also singled out for praise for its ‘Wasted Event’, where chefs were challenged to create dishes from kitchen waste.
There is also good news for hotels with the merger of two main trade associations to “deliver a powerful new unified voice to support the dynamic hospitality sector to deliver its full growth potential”.
The BHA and the ALMR are to merge as UKHospitality, which will actively speak out for the UK’s third largest private sector employer. The new body will “champion the breadth of innovative and vibrant hospitality businesses across the UK, giving an authoritative voice to over 700 companies and 65,000 venues”.
In the very heart of England, Worcestershire borders Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.
Renowned for fruit farming and the cultivation of hops, today only the Vale of Evesham has orchards still worked on a commercial scale.
Banner Foods are based in Bromsgrove, was established over 100 years ago back in 1906 by Sam Banner and his wife. Nowadays the business has three distinct sectors: a farm shop butchery with takeaway food; a manufacturing unit that produces meals for all catering establishments; and most recently a restaurant.
The butcher’s side of the business provides excellent cuts of meat, including lamb in mint and onion gravy, lamb Marrakech with orange, sultana and chickpeas and lambs liver. More exotic meals include curried fragrant guinea fowl breast and rich venison casserole.
Fruits of the Earth
One of the Worcestershire food producers serving the UK is Primafruit is based in Evesham. It is the place for fresh fruit. The company specialises in the sourcing and supply of fresh fruit and works with some of Britain’s best-known retailers and foodservice customers.
Fruit is sourced from around the world and Primafruit prides itself in its excellent relationship with growers and suppliers. The product range includes stone fruit, citrus, grapes, kiwi and pineapples all year round as well as melons and bananas.
No waste is sent to landfill; with a local dairy farm taking significant volumes of fruit waste as cattle feed and compost material.
Ice Cream and Herbs
For those who love ice cream then Bennetts is a familiar name in the county with a delightful selection of traditional and contemporary flavours. All recipes are suitable for vegetarians and are gluten free except amaretto, lemon meringue and champagne sorbet.
There are over 50 flavours of truly traditional ice cream to choose from. This made on the farm in Worcester from milk supplied by Bennett’s own dairy herd and fresh double cream from a local independent dairy.
The farm holds 240 Holstein/Friesian cows. In the summer, the cows graze in luscious pastures, set between the rivers Severn and Teme. The creamiest and freshest morning milk is collected, pasteurised and turned into delicious ice cream within 24 hours. There is a huge choice from Banoffee Fudge, Blue Bubblegum, Caramel Honeycomb & Fig Ice Cream, Coconut & Pineapple Ice Cream or Honey & Ginger.
Finally let’s talk about herbs! Red Deer grows fresh herbs in Worcester and then distributes them nationwide. Established in 1986, Red Deer Herbs concentrates on processing herbs and related crops to the highest quality standards. The choice includes red and lemon basil, chervil and chives, lovage and fennel and borage, a taste similar to cucumber.
Worcestershire food producers are the last in the first AC Services series of local food producers in the area it serves. But there are so many good local ingredients, we’ll soon start spotlighting some more.
We also have the Winter Olympics in South Korea and the Invictus Games in Australia and loads of other sporting attractions.
However, 2018 also promises to be a huge year for the Royal family, with an eagerly anticipated wedding between the world’s most eligible bachelor and a glamorous American actress and the birth of the fourth in line to the throne.
Listed below are some sporting and other interesting events in chronological order: start booking those days off well in advance or prepare events for your customers:
Jan 15-28 Tennis Australia Open, Melbourne, Australia
Jan 15 World Religion Day
Jan 25 Burns Night
Jan 25-28 Extreme Sports Winter X Games 22, Aspen, Colorado, USA
Jan 26 Australia Day
Feb 4 Gridiron/Football, Super Bowl , Minneapolis, Minnesota
Feb 9-25 Multi-sports, Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang, South Korea
Feb 13 Shrove Tuesday
Feb 14 Ash Wednesday, Lent begins
Feb 16 Chinese New Year , Year of the Dog
Feb 28 – Mar 4 Cycling World Track Championships , Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
March 1 St David’s Day, Wales
March 9-18 Multi-sports, Winter Paralympics, Pyeongchang, South Korea
March 17 St Patrick’s Day, Ireland
March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 30 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Sunday
Apr 5-8 Golf Masters, Augusta, USA
April 4-15 Multi-sports Commonwealth Games , Gold Coast, Australia
Apr 14 Horse Racing, Grand National, Aintree, Liverpool
Apr 23 St George’s Day, England
May 16 Ramadan begins
May 19 Royal Wedding , Windsor
May 19 Football FA Cup final. Wembley Stadium, London
May 26 Football UEFA Champions League Final, Kiev, Ukraine
May 27-Jun 10 Tennis French Open, Paris, France
14 Jun -15 Jul Football FIFA World Cup, Russia
15 Jun Eid al Fitr, end of Ramadan
Jul 7-29 Cycling, Tour de France
Jun 14–17 Golf, US Open , New York
Jul 2 Tennis, Wimbledon
Jul 19-22 Golf, British Open , Carnoustie, Scotland
July 20-22 Rugby World Cup Sevens, San Francisco, U.S.A.
Jul 21-Aug 5 Hockey World Cup, Women, London, England
Aug 4-12 Multi-sports, Gay Games, Paris, France
Aug 16-19 Golf, US PGA, Town and Country, Missouri
Aug 18-Sep 2 Multi-sports, Asian Games, Jakarta, Indonesia
Aug 27 Tennis, US Open, New York, USA
Sep 1-9 Rowing 2018 World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Sep 9 Rosh Hashanah/Jewish New Year
Sep 11-23 Multi-sports, Summer Youth Olympics, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sep TBC Multi-sports, Invictus Games, Sydney, Australia
Sep 28-30 Golf, Ryder Cup , Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
Oct 25 – Nov 3 Gymnastics, World Championships (Artistic), Doha, Qatar
Nov 6 Horse Racing, Melbourne Cup, Victoria, Australia
Nov 7 Deepavali (also known as Diwali), Festival of Lights
Nov 24-Dec 16 Hockey (Field) World Cup – Men, Bhubaneswar, India
Dec 7-11 Swimming, World Swimming Championships, Hangzhou, China
Don’t forget that while this is the World Events Calendar 2018, there are lots of local events and celebrations around which to create a theme.