Category Archives: Events

19 
Jun

Events Industry Update June

South West Summer Events IndustryIn the events industry, everyone is competing to stand out in a busy marketplace; but even with the threat of Brexit looming over the industry, event organisers are optimistic.

A recent report from Pulse reveals that events have now become a rich tool for marketing organisations.

Experience-driven marketing is the way forward apparently, with people preferring a sense of “camaraderie and shared culture. Why eat luxury cheese at home when you could tap into a community of cheese lovers at a festival or pop-up marketplace?”

80% of millennials reported that they would prefer to make sacrifices of material or luxury goods to participate in experience-driven exercises. This is very welcome news in particular for the festival industry.

The report continues to say that more creative events in increasingly creative spaces have become the norm in 2018. Passive marketing techniques which were previously employed are now being replaced with “more personable, and intimate event spaces… as brands look to engage each individual customer.”

Outdoor Festivals

More than 7,000 major outdoor events are held each year. Outdoor events cover all activities from major festivals, agricultural shows, sporting and charity events through to small village and craft events.

Following the Olympics in 2012, the UK has established itself as a world leader in outdoor events. Now many UK companies export their events industry expertise. The sector has witnessed huge growth; between 2005 and 2009 there was an average annual increase of more than 1.64M adults attending outdoor events in the UK.

Festival Food Trends

One trend that has expanded over the years and has now become a sophisticated part of festivals is catering. Once upon a time, when festivals started, visitors were lucky to find anything more than a greasy burger or a curled up sandwich. Those days, however, are long gone. Today the culinary credentials of a festival have become increasingly important, and this is an accelerating trend.

Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Festivals, Paul Reed says that spending on food and drink at independent festivals was 36% higher in 2017 than in 2008. “Customer expectations have shifted considerably and, in some cases, food and beverage options can be as important as the music and arts programming itself,” he comments.

In March 2018, CGA Strategy, a consumer research group, published a report on festival-goers’ attitudes towards food and drink based on 5,000 interviewees.

The research revealed that the range of food and drink was an important factor when choosing which festivals to attend. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (61%) cited “a diverse selection of food and drink stalls” as a significant factor when choosing a festival.

On average, a music festival ticket cost £150. This is a significant amount and attendees expect a more luxurious experience. In addition, and more importantly, they also bring the cash to pay for it. Thus festival organisers are placing more emphasis upon the catering, from gourmet burgers to fresh, healthy smoothies, sushi and vegan options.

For the catering fraternity in the events industry, the options are endless and accelerating to provide a variety of food for every palate.

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Published Date: 19th June 2018
Category: Blog, Events, News
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05 
Jun

Russia World Cup Fever Begins

FIFA Russia World Cup LogoIt’s time to start trading Panini stickers! After the excitement of the FA Cup, the Champions League Final and the domestic playoffs, we can now sit back and look forward to the next great sporting event, the FIFA Russia World Cup.

There is a feeling that this year, the anticipation is somewhat muted. Perhaps it’s too soon after the Euros when the England team was humiliated by a bunch of Scandinavian part timers with their chilling Viking thunder clap. Whatever the reason, the Russia World Cup starts next week and the strains of Three Lions will surely be heard in pubs and homes around the country.

Harry Kane leads the team as captain, a position which has been bestowed on many but successfully fulfilled by few. And here’s a couple of pub quiz facts for you: the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ teams provide 17 of the 23 players chosen by Southgate and Manchester United holds the record as the only club represented in every England football tournament squad since 1950.

Teams that should have but didn’t qualify include Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Scotland, Turkey, United States and Wales.

Group Stages of Russia World Cup 2018

For those who want to organise their events and viewing in advance, here is the schedule.

  • Thursday June 14 Russia v Saudi Arabia (A) Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm
  • Friday June 15 Egypt v Uruguay (A) Ekaterinburg 1pm; Morocco v Iran (B) St Petersburg 4pm;  Portugal v Spain (B) Sochi 7pm
  • Saturday June 16 France v Australia (C) Kazan 11am;  Argentina v Iceland (D) Moscow (Spartak) 2pm;  Peru v Denmark (C) Saransk 5pm; Croatia v Nigeria (D) Kaliningrad 8pm
  • Sunday June 17 Costa Rica v Serbia (E) Samara 1pm; Germany v Mexico (F) Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm;  Brazil v Switzerland (E) Rostov-on-Don 7pm
  • Monday June 18 Sweden v South Korea (F) Nizhny Novgorod 1pm; Belgium v Panama (G) Sochi 4pm; Tunisia v England (G) Volgograd 7pm
  • Tuesday June 19 Poland v Senegal (H) Moscow (Spartak) 1pm;  Colombia v Japan (H) Saransk 4pm; Russia v Egypt (A) St Petersburg 7pm
  • Wednesday June 20 Portugal v Morocco (B) Moscow (Luzhniki) 1pm; Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (A) Rostov-on-Don 4pm; Iran v Spain (B) Kazan 7pm
  • Thursday June 21 France v Peru (C) Ekaterinburg 1pm;  Denmark v Australia (C) Samara 4pm; Argentina v Croatia (D) Nizhny Novgorod 7pm
  • Friday June 22 Brazil v Costa Rica (E) St Petersburg 1pm; Nigeria v Iceland (D) Volgograd 4pm; Serbia v Switzerland (E) Kaliningrad 7pm
  • Saturday June 23 Belgium v Tunisia (G) Moscow (Spartak) 1pm; Germany v Sweden (F) Sochi 4pm; South Korea v Mexico (F) Rostov-on-Don 7pm
  • Sunday June 24 England v Panama (G) Nizhny Novgorod 1pm; Japan v Senegal (H) Ekaterinburg 4pm; Poland v Colombia (H) Kazan 7pm
  • Monday June 25 Uruguay v Russia (A) Samara 3pm; Saudi Arabia v Egypt (A) Volgograd 3pm; Spain v Morocco (B) Kaliningrad 7pm; Iran v Portugal (B) Saransk 7pm
  • Tuesday June 26 Denmark v France (C) Moscow (Luzhniki) 3pm; Australia v Peru (C) Sochi 3pm; Nigeria v Argentina (D) St Petersburg 7pm;  Iceland v Croatia (D) Rostov-on-Don 7pm
  • Wednesday June 27 South Korea v Germany (F) Kazan 3pm; Mexico v Sweden (F) Ekaterinburg 3pm; Serbia v Brazil (E) Moscow (Spartak) 7pm; Switzerland v Costa Rica (E) Nizhny Novgorod 7pm
  • Thursday June 28 Japan v Poland (H) Volgograd 3pm; Senegal v Colombia (H) Samara 3pm; England v Belgium (G) Kaliningrad 7pm; Panama v Tunisia (G) Saransk 7pm

Knock Out Rounds

LAST 16 (3pm and 7pm)
Saturday June 30: Sunday July 1: Monday July 2: Tuesday July 3
QUARTER-FINALS (3pm and 7pm)
Friday July 6: Saturday July 7
SEMI-FINALS (7pm)
Tuesday July 10: Wednesday July 11
THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF (3pm)
Saturday July 14
FINAL (4pm)
Sunday July 15

All that remains is to wish the England team the best of luck and please, no penalty shootouts. And for all of those in the catering businesses organising Russia World Cup related events good luck.

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Published Date: 5th June 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events
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22 
May

What Does Our MD Get Up To On The Weekend?

Royal Wedding ProtectorsIf you spent all week working with catering businesses that range from catering vans through to the finest dining in the land, what would you do for a weekend break?

That’s right you go to the biggest event in the country, where both types of catering businesses delivered royally.

MD Helen Hagger, as usual, was well prepared with a plan leaving nothing to chance. She travelled to a hotel in Slough West on Friday night with Allison, her friend of 35 years.

The alarm was set for 4.20 a.m in good time for the booked taxi to arrive at 5 am. Then a half hour trip to a misty Windsor; already rich with a promise of a beautiful day for the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Celebrities Around the World

Helen and Allison at the Royal WeddingHelen walked to Long Walk, where many hardy royalists had slept overnight for their prime position among the 100,000, who viewed the procession.

She was in good time to set up the front row directly behind Sky News and opposite ITV News. Perfectly placed for Allison’s and Helen’s image to be beamed around the world for the almost 2B viewers, among the enthusiastic crowd shots and scene-setting.

It was certainly a great place for celebrity spotting.

Alan Titchmarsh Royal WeddingRational Celebrities Chef and BertOur duo saw Philip Schofield, Julia Etchingham, Alex Beresford, Scarlett Moffat, Lucy Verasmy, Carol Kirkwood, Kay Burley and Alan Titchmarsh.

Not forgetting Rational’s own Chef and Bert, who being prepared, Helen had brought along for the great day.

Crowd Control for Event Success

The Long Walk and WaitThe crowds began to build once the first trains started to arrive in Windsor around 6 a.m. The atmosphere was amazing and the weather was glorious. And there to protect all were the police using the latest crowd science training developed to respond to various terrorist threats by the College of Policing.

Thames Valley Police were supported by 100’s of police officers drafted in from various police forces. Being there for six hours, Helen had many officers stand in front of her. All were brilliant, happy to chat to the crowd and delighted to be working at such a prestigious event.

The final officer during the actual procession was Slough Police’s Commander. She had just volunteered to man the procession route as a regular police officer and was not in charge on the day.

Sadly all the officers were ordered to face the crowds to ensure there were no incidents. So they were unable to see any of the Royal Wedding procession. Rather like those many catering businesses across the country who are fundamental to the success of an event, but are too busy working to fully enjoy it.

Ceremonial and modern protectors AC Services Southern

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Published Date: 22nd May 2018
Category: Blog, Events, News
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13 
Mar

Hotelympia 2018 Show Report

Hotelympia 2018Hotelympia 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.

Hotelympia 2018

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.

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Published Date: 13th March 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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28 
Nov

Last Call for Christmas Service

Keeping Rational ovens workingThere is no excuse for not knowing what is happening. The adverts are on the television. The decorations are up in the high street and we’ve just survived Black Friday. Not to mention the start of I’m a Celebrity and the Ashes! Yes, Christmas is just around the corner and here at AC Services (Southern), we are advising all of our customers to pay special attention to their ovens NOW.

From extensive experience, ovens are generally overlooked in the run-up to the big day.  Food takes priority: the turkeys have to be ordered, the menus finalised and the staff rotas arranged.  So the oven gets forgotten.

However, take time out to check essential items, especially cleaning materials. Order your materials before Christmas and avoid time-consuming manual cleaning and worst case scenario, appliance failure when you need it most. Over Christmas, you need your Rational oven to be performing at its peak.

Order Cleaning Products

Make sure that you have plenty of oven cleaning materials in stock. Most professional ovens, (and Rational Self-Cooking-Centres in particular), have automatic cleaning programs built into their software. When used with the right cleaning materials (which ACS Southern always hold in stock), you get cosmetic and hygienic cleanliness.

Order your approved cleaning products now. As a reminder, we supply all the assistance you need to service and maintain your oven, from Rational Grill Cleaner, Rational Rinse Aid, Rational Oven Cleaning Tablets for the SCC (SelfCooking Center®) range and for those with Care Control, Rational Care Control Tablets and accessories. For a full list of cleaning products, click here.

Service Oven

Also, there is still time for us to come and service your oven. If you haven’t recently had a scheduled service, give us a call and let us come and check that everything is working as it should. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t have time: it doesn’t take long and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Just imagine the nightmare of the oven packing up over the Christmas period.

There are some simple tasks that can be carried out on a daily basis to ensure optimum performance of Rational ovens. We advise our customers to take note:

  1.  Clean your appliance daily with the relevant Rational oven cleaning products.
  2. Wipe down the door gasket at least daily with non-abrasive cleaning agents.
  3. Check the air filter regularly: your appliance will let you know when the air filter needs cleaning.
  4. Clean the drip tray collector.
  5. Apply vegetable oil or grease to the inside of the cooking cabinet at regular intervals (every two weeks or so) to prevent corrosion.

Be prepared and make sure your Rational oven is in working order for Christmas service. Call us now and we can talk you through the options available on 01454 322 222 to make sure the Christmas season goes ahead effortlessly.

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Published Date: 28th November 2017
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, Events, News, Rational
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31 
Oct

Remembrance Day Events 2017

Poppies and memorial for Remembrance One hundred years on and the First World War is still remembered as fervently as ever.

World War I claimed the lives of over 41 million people across the globe. This makes it one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. At least 2 million died from diseases and 6 million went missing, presumed dead. One third of all casualties resulted from the 1918 flu pandemic. In military terms, more than 8.7 million men served in the British Army at some time during the four year conflict.

Throughout the years, Remembrance Day has been marked with events from services to exhibitions to concerts and this year is no different. However, many events are now giving the public the opportunity to view them for longer than the traditional Remembrance timescale.

Arts Remembrance Events

14-18 NOW and the National Theatre are presenting an exhibition at venues across the UK telling the story of the contemporary memorial ‘We’re here because we’re here’ created by Jeremy Deller.

On 1 July 2016, over 1400 voluntary participants in WWI uniform appeared unexpectedly in locations across the UK. This  was a reminder of the 19,240 men killed exactly one hundred years previously on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Having travelled across Wales, the exhibition will be based at the Theatre Royal Plymouth from 6 to 25 November 2017 and then Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 20 January to 14 April 2018.

In Bristol at the Hippodrome Theatre, the touring show War Horse  will be running from 18 October to 11 November 2017. Michael Morpurgo’s tale of bravery, loyalty, and the extraordinary bond between a young recruit and his horse is set in the First World War.

Actors work with life-sized puppets by the internationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company. The author discovered that over a million horses died in the war just on the British side with most of the surviving animals sold off after the war was over to French butchers. This became the inspiration for his book and subsequent play.

Remembrance Events

In Bovington, Dorset, the Tank Museum is hosting the official remembrance service on behalf of the Bovington Garrison on 12 November 2017. This is attended by serving soldiers, veterans and their families as well as being open to visitors. A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Royal Armoured Corps Memorial, outside the Museum. There may be a shortage of space but the Tank Museum itself is home to many historic vehicles from the WWI era and is worth a visit. New this year is the Tiger Tank Collection, where in a world first, the Tank Museum has brought every member of the Tiger Tank family together in one display.

On 7 November 2017, the Senedd in Cardiff is hosting a talk from Professor Alan Llwyd for the fourth annual First World War commemorative lecture. Alan Llwyd’s lecture will commemorate the life and work of Hedd Wyn, a centenary on from his death. Poet Hedd Wyn was tragically killed during WWI at the Battle of Passchendaele. He posthumously won the Chair at the Birkenhead National Eisteddfod in 1917.

On Remembrance Sunday, churches and communities throughout the UK will be honouring the fallen and injured of all wars and conflicts. Thus continuing a celebration of the lives of those who fought in the First World War; a tradition that has lasted a century.

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Published Date: 31st October 2017
Category: Blog, Events, News
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10 
Oct

The Restaurant Show 2017

Restaurant Show 2017 logoOne of the major exhibitions of the catering calendar took place at Olympia last week with visitors and attendees surpassing expectations.

Entering its 30th year of exhibiting, The Restaurant Show 2017 is an eminent trade event catering to those owning, operating and working in restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs and other hospitality establishments throughout the UK.

Incorporating Bar & Pub, Conscious Hospitality and Catering Equipment Expo, the Restaurant Show 2017 featured over 450 suppliers. All offering products, ideas and networking opportunities for anyone involved in the industry.

Live Events

There was plenty to keep everyone entertained and informed. It included live events, with culinary demonstrations, premier competitions and seminars addressing key industry trends, innovations and new talent.

The Show provided a daily Business Insights session. Here leading industry experts discussed the latest industry news, trends and controversial issues. These included how pubs can continue to stay relevant in the face of changing consumer behaviour.

There were also talks on wine tasting, serving tea and coffee, food presentation and the rise of the flexitarian. This is a cross between veggie lovers and carnivores who choose vegetable-based dishes mid-week and save sustainably-produced high quality meat for special occasions.

Bar & Pub Show

The Bar & Pub Show also hosted seminars with the focus on getting the most profit from serving drinks. Topics ranged from sake to cocktails. Did you know that 9.2 million consumers regularly choose cocktails at the bar making it a £499m category?

There was also a discussion on raising the bar with premiumisation. This is catering for young people, who simply don’t drink like we used to. Thus they are looking for more than just a cheap pub or bar.

Rob Fink, Founder of Big Drop Brewing explained that “more and more adults are moderating their alcohol consumption… including the 18-24 age group, in which 1 in 5 are teetotal, so pubs and bars have to adapt to stay relevant. But whilst people…are also being more demanding about their choice of drink and craft beers have been instrumental in making people think differently and expect more from their beer.

Restaurant Show 2017 Awards

The Restaurant Show also hosted the National Chef of the Year and The Young National Chef of the Year competition. These have been running since 1972 and are considered the UK’s most respected and sought-after culinary titles.

After a two-hour cook-off in front of a packed audience The National Chef of the Year 2018 was awarded to Luke Selby for his starter of sea vegetable minestrone, mussels and farfalle pasta with a poached scallop, British caviar and a lemongrass scented buttermilk sauce. His main course was roasted fallow deer, blackberry, celeriac, sprouts and bacon served with a venison sauce finished with chocolate. And for dessert warm walnut almondine, ginger infused bramley purée, caramelised cox apple filled with apple compote with cinnamon and ginger ice cream.

Other competitions included the UK Pastry Open and Kikkoman Masters. While three Compass Chef of the Year events focused on apprentice, junior and senior chefs.

The Restaurant Show 2017  lived up to all expectations. The industry is expanding and adapting constantly to changes in legislation, governmental policies and the impact of Brexit. This Show gave visitors and exhibitors the ideal opportunity to discuss issues relevant to the future of the hospitality industries under Olympia’s roof 

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Published Date: 10th October 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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19 
Sep

Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017

Speciality & fine foodAnother September, another Speciality & Fine Food Fair at Olympia. The venue opened its doors to the eager hordes of visitors and exhibitors to this prestigious event from 3 to 5 September.

Open only to the trade, the first show opened 17 years ago and since then, has expanded enormously to embrace all aspects of the speciality food market.

Kara Bowen, Event Manager, said “Speciality & Fine Food Fair has, without a doubt, been at the forefront of the UK’s gourmet food and drink industry for nearly 18 years. Buyers from retail, foodservice and wholesale rely on the Fair as it provides an exclusive opportunity for discovery and inspiration. It is also a fantastic platform for producers to grow their business.”

Debut and Returns

This year, more than 700 food and drink producers attended, including nearly 200 suppliers making their debut. Among a number of new features, the old favourites such as the Discovery Zone, the Great Taste Awards and the Chocolate Trail were eagerly awaited. The Discovery Zone unveiled the latest food and drink delights from new businesses. Its stands are exclusively reserved for companies who have only been trading in the UK for up to 36 months.

Despite the unpopular sugar tax, chocolate and confectionery are still firm favourites. The Speciality & Fine Food Fair is heralded as the UK’s finest trade showcase of luxury and gourmet chocolate. The Speciality Chocolate Trail did not disappoint and led visitors through the halls of Olympia to over 50 fine and artisan chocolate producers.

Flavoursome

Savour the Flavour: Live Kitchen, also drew the crowds. It featured practical tips and advice from some of the industry’s best known chefs and personalities.

This demonstration was supplemented with Food for Thought which offered visitors workshops on trending topics, and Scale Up which provided in-depth round-table discussions on key business queries. Topics covered included Cooking Successfully with Allergies, Mastering Cheese and The Proof is the Provenance.

A company that attracted a lot of interest was Grub, which offered edible insects. Apparently, as well as being tasty, insects are nutritious and sustainable, high in protein, minerals like iron and calcium and containing essential amino acids like Omega 3 and 6!

The Speciality & Fine Food Fair offers a platform for artisan food and drink, from centuries old heritage brands to up-and-coming new food businesses. The success of the 2017 show is to be repeated next year from 2 to 4 September at the same venue.

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Published Date: 19th September 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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01 
Aug

South West Summer Events 2017

South West Summer EventsSo far the summer has been a success with hundreds of events being staged across the South West and people enjoying a few good weeks of sun. Now all schools have broken up and the annual problem of what to do with the kids is yet again frustrating parents. Now is the time to check out the many South West summer events of which here is a sample.

A well-hidden treasure is to be found at Morwellham Quay,  a beautifully preserved Victorian village in Devon. This is a World Heritage site on the River Tamar, which features an historic port, a village and a copper mine.

However, Morwellham is better known for its narrow-gauge Mine Railway, which transports visitors along the banks of the Tamar and into the George and Charlotte copper mine. Here, the past is brought to life with real insights into the working conditions of Victorian miners. From 12 – 13 August, the venue is holding a Summer Festival of Steam Punk, celebrating the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s visit featuring music, dancing and lots of other events.

Revisit Camelot

Glastonbury Abbey is hosting a King Arthur Workshop throughout the month of August which is guaranteed to keep the younger and older members of the family interested. Members of the Living History Team will be offering King Arthur-themed interactive family drama workshops, travelling back in time to the days of the Round Table and Excalibur. The event promises to be great fun for the whole family who can discover the past in unique style and see the myths and legends of Arthurian times from a new angle. The event runs on various dates from 1 – 29 August.

The ‘Midsummer Mayhem’ Family Fun Day is taking place on 5 August at The Bishops Palace in Wells Somerset. The South Lawn will be given over to the annual day with games for all ages, a bouncy castle, dressing up, face painting, crafts and activities and whether you bring a picnic or enjoy the food from The Bishop’s Table, the event is expected to draw large crowds.

Dip into the Arts

If however, you want some quality adult time for yourself, then take yourself down to the Iford Arts Festival, an internationally renowned event taking place in the Peto Garden of Iford Manor, near Bath in the South West of England.

According to the website, “captivating and intimate opera performances are staged in-the-round for an audience of 90 in the miniature Italianate cloister and are all sung in English.” Informal promenades are on offer together with seated cloister concerts are part of the festival programme and the award winning gardens present the perfect backdrop.

Finally, make a note in your diaries (4 November) for the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, the UK’s largest winter carnival. It has its roots back in the 1600s, when the people of Somerset took effigies of Guy Fawkes to be burnt after the foiled Gunpowder plot. Nowadays, the procession comprises over 100 bright floats, music and dancing and is visited by crowds of up to 150,000, who all stay around until the procession ends to watch ‘squibbing’, described as “an explosive tradition where hundreds of fireworks on sticks are held out along the road, giving the effect of light raining down.”

There are so many South West summer events,  why not take advantage of the events on offer and take a day out to visit the region to see for yourself.

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Published Date: 1st August 2017
Category: Blog, Events, News
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09 
May

Food & Drink Trade Show Malvern

Food & Drink Trade Show MalvernThere can be no better location for a trade show than the Three Counties Showground in rural Malvern. The town where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein often met for a social pint (check out the Unicorn pub) is overshadowed by the  Malvern Hills. The showground lies at the foot of the hills and has a vast amount of space to host the annual Food & Drink Trade Show. The show was billed as a unique blend of inspirational speciality food and drink products and exhibitors ranged from small, regional suppliers to international traders.

Decision makers from the food service and hospitality, caterers, cafes, guest houses, hotels and restaurants, holiday parks, takeaways and pubs attended the event. Representatives from numerous retail outlets from delicatessens to farm shops and grocers, supermarkets to tourist attractions, garden centres and independent stores also came to see what was on new in food and drink.

Food & Drink Trade Show Offers

The show offers were a fantastic incentive for visitors, with price deductions and free tasters for anyone purchasing at the show. Boddington’s Berries offered 10% of any orders placed at the show. Ethical Addictions Coffee promised free delivery, installation and training on all Fracino espresso machines ordered or a free grinder. Particularly popular was When in Rome who offered free shipping and a wooden wine refill dispenser. While those ordering over 20 wine boxes also could get 20 free refillable bottles.

There were plenty of other goodies. Blacks Cheese showed off its range of award-winning cheese made allegedly, “with love, milk and some magic.” Celtic Vale’s Natural Mineral Water and Hatterrall Ridge Spring Water are bottled at source from two natural springs locally situated in the Herefordshire/Welsh borders.

Aagrah Foods exhibited its Kashmiri and Indian Tarka cooking sauces, handmade in Yorkshire. While local company Hamptons Sweet Cakes went down a treat! And Hay Wines revealed its exclusive range of Proseccos, including the UK’s only zero sugar Prosecco. The selection also included good-value organic, vegan, low-sulphite, natural wines featuring the only sparkling orange wine.

Demo Kitchen

The Demo Kitchen was very well populated, with chef demonstrations taking place on the Love Food Roadshow‘s demonstration kitchen. Hosted by celebrity chef, Felice Tocchini, the kitchen featured a range of exciting and informative cookery demonstrations.

Other chefs included Andy Link, chef patron at the acclaimed Riverside Inn at Aymestry, a finalist in the ‘Best Eating Out’ category at the Visit Herefordshire Awards for Excellence 2016. Local chef Matt Slocombe recently won the ‘Best Cider Pub’ in the Great British Pub awards. His pub, the Crown Inn at Woolhope was recognised for its Sunday lunches in the Best British Roast Dinner Awards. Yvette Farrell, Principal of Harts Barn Cookery School, demonstrated her signature Taste of Forest Menu. This comprised forest mushroom ravioli, griddled wild boar with wilted buttered garlic greens.

The Malvern Food & Drink Trade Show organisers were delighted with the turnout, the quality of visitors and welcoming a number of newcomers to the event.

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Published Date: 9th May 2017
Category: Blog, Events, News
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