Tag Archives: Events


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.


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


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



Cotswold Hare Festival

Cotswold Hare TrailIn 2015, hordes of Gromits were spotted in Bristol as part of the Bristol Children’s Hospital’s Grand Appeal. They raised money for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and St Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Special Care Baby Unit).

Now it’s the turn of the people of the Cotswolds to expect something unusual in their towns and villages. This time, there are hares; lots of hares. The Cotswold Hare Trial is a trail of public art sculptures of over 80 five-foot high hares, decorated by professional, amateur and community group artists.

Hares Everywhere

Aimed at raising public awareness for creativity in the everyday world, the sculptures are strategically placed across 28 towns and villages throughout the Cotswolds for six months.

The Cotswold Hare initiative has been warmly embraced by local businesses and community organisations. It has created an accessible open-air art gallery in the region. The Cotswolds covers almost 800 square miles and runs through the counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.

Not only is the art visually accessible, but the hares can be touched and people are encouraged to handle and engage with the art. According to the organisers of the March Hare Trail,the hares are designed to promote an emotional response with people expressing a wide range of positive reactions. Their engagement is often felt moving many to tears and enabling people to connect to the pieces through their feelings.”

Community Spirit

Children in particular are enjoying the hares. Some of the hares have been designed and decorated by school children from nursery age to the students in higher education. At the end of the festival, an auction of the sculptures will be held, with art auctions houses and art galleries across the UK and abroad following its progress.

“This enables us to put back money into the community which has supported us. This year National Star and local museums being the beneficiaries of our net profits. The Festival retains its not-for-profit status returning any monies raised back into the project,” comment the organisers.

For inns, pubs and restaurants around the area, the festival is a welcome tourist attraction, enticing visitors from far and wide. It offers the opportunity for many establishments whom AC Services supports such as the Inn at Fossebridge and the Crown of Crucis  in Cirencester as well as the Egypt Mill in Nailsworth to open their doors to those on the trail of hares.

Both Royal Oak, Tetbury and Old Bell, Malmesbury are sponsoring hares. We hope they have as much fun as we did when we sponsored our Gromit. Without the sponsors there would be no trail and a lot less fun to be had by all.

Finding a route

One of our team has already started to work out a route to tick off a number of our customers and hares. He starts at the Sixteen Restaurant & Café, Witney, then to the Angel Inn, Burford before heading north to Stow on the Wold (No 4 @ Stow) and Broadway’s Dormy House Hotel and Russells.

Then a little west to Winchcombe (the Lion Inn) before the spa splendour of Cheltenham’s Daffodil and Wild Beer Co. South to Stroud (Bisley House Café) before arriving in the Capital of the Cotswolds, Cirencester. Its 20 hares would account for a day themselves. His route ends in Tetbury’s Priory Inn!

Thankfully our engineers don’t usually cover so many clients in one trip. And it would be silly not to spend some time with each hare on the way and visit their sponsors.

Events such as the Cotswold Hare are welcomed by our Cotswold customers as visitors can see for themselves the beauty and hospitality of the Cotswold communities from hamlets to cities,” comments Helen Hagger of AC Services (Southern). The festival runs until September with the auction taking place in October.


Published Date: 20th June 2017
Category: Blog, Gromit Unleashed, News
Tags: ,



Women’s Cricket World Cup

Women's Cricket World CupThe excitement of the end of season matches in rugby and football is now over. This summer sees us settling back to watch more sedentary sports like tennis and cricket.

They may not draw the same crowds as the winter sports, but there now seems to be an explosion of cricket with the Champions Trophy. But more importantly it’s the start of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup  taking place between 24 June and 23 July and which is attracting great excitement.

Hosted by both England and Wales, the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup is an international women’s cricket tournament which has been going for 11 years. It is the third time it has been held in England (after the 1973 and 1993 tournaments), both of which England won. No pressure there then…


Eight teams have qualified to participate in the tournament: Australia, England, New Zealand, West Indies, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Lord’s will host the final, and other matches will be played at the home grounds of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Good news for cricket fans: the ICC announced that 10 games will be shown live on television, while the remaining 21 matches will be streamed live via the ICC website.

For those who are unfamiliar with women’s cricket, it may surprise you to learn that the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup is the oldest and most prestigious international women’s cricket tournament in the world.

It was first held in 1973 two years before the inaugural men’s tournament. Since 2005, it has held a regular four-year slot. However, the international scene originally stretches back to 1934, when a party from England toured Australia and New Zealand and won.

To date, ten World Cups have been played in five different countries with Australia winning six titles and England three .

Where and When

The timetable for the qualifying matches is as follows:

  • 24 June: England v India, County Ground, Derby
  • 24 June: New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Bristol County Ground, Bristol
  • 25 June: Pakistan v South Africa, Grace Road, Leicester
  • 26 June: Australia v West Indies, County Ground, Taunton
  • 27 June: England v Pakistan, Grace Road, Leicester
  • 28 June: South Africa v New Zealand, County Ground, Derby
  • 29 June: Sri Lanka v Australia, Bristol County Ground, Bristol
  • 29 June: West Indies v India, County Ground, Taunton
  • 2 July: Australia v New Zealand, Bristol County Ground, Bristol
  • 2 July: India v Pakistan, County Ground, Derby
  • 2 July: South Africa v West Indies, Grace Road, Leicester
  • 2 July: England v Sri Lanka, County Ground, Taunton
  • 5 July: England v South Africa, Bristol County Ground, Bristol
  • 5 July: Sri Lanka v India, County Ground, Derby
  • 5 July: Pakistan v Australia, Grace Road, Leicester
  • 6 July: New Zealand v West Indies, County Ground, Taunton
  • 8 July: South Africa v India, Grace Road, Leicester
  • 8 July: New Zealand v Pakistan, County Ground, Taunton
  • 9 July: England v Australia, Bristol County Ground, Bristol
  • 9 July: West Indies v Sri Lanka, County Ground, Derby
  • 11 July: West Indies v Pakistan, Grace Road, Leicester
  • 12 July: Australia v India, Bristol County Ground, Bristol
  • 12 July: England v New Zealand, County Ground, Derby
  • 12 July: Sri Lanka v South Africa, County Ground, Taunton
  • 15 July: England v West Indies, Bristol County Ground, Bristol
  • 15 July: India v New Zealand, County Ground, Derby
  • 15 July: Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Grace Road, Leicester
  • 15 July: South Africa v Australia, County Ground, Taunton

The final will be held at Lord’s on 23 July.

The Women’s Cricket World Cup provides an opportunity for most catering businesses to run slightly different events than those for other sporting tournaments as it spotlights women’s sport. Given women’s sport is growing faster than men and the South West England focus of these matches it would be silly to miss out.


Published Date: 6th June 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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Something Unusual is Rising in the UK Events Industry

UK events industry trendsAccording to a 2016 report, the UK events industry sector is worth a minimum of £42.3B to the UK economy. Conferences and meetings are the most lucrative, followed by exhibitions and trade events with sporting events a close third.

With over 25,000 businesses in the sector, it is a market that is continuing to grow and for caterers, this presents an ideal opportunity.

2016 saw a notable rise in demand for conferences and meetings. This has been put down to the growing need for companies to communicate with staff and contacts face-to-face.

In addition, certain industries, such as pharmaceutical and finance, have seen changes to laws and regulations. This has led to a rise in meetings, as companies rush to update staff. Add Brexit to the mix as companies meet with clients to discuss the proposed changes and the result is clear: corporate is coming back.

The rise of the unusual venue

There are more than 7,000 major outdoor events held each year from festivals, agricultural shows, sporting and charity events through to smaller local craft events. This shows the capacity of the UK events industry to effectively host such events.

One area that has been increasing in popularity is the unique and unusual venue market. These venues range from wineries, sporting stadia, guildhalls, zoos, ships, theatres, castles, racecourses, visitor attractions, museums and distilleries. In fact anywhere that can accommodate people.

Unusual venues have always been very popular for corporate events. The government and public sector are particularly fond of unusual venues, which are used for 30% of their business.

However, choosing an unusual venue is not a random act. Corporate organisers choose a venue that has to motivate, inspire and encourage their clients. Although the classic purpose-built conference centre or hotel group still take most market share, unusual and unique venues are rapidly catching up.

How unique are you?

Unique is described as “something arresting, with individualism and personality, something outside of convention, defined by its difference”. Unusual venues offer rarity, and are pleasantly surprising, and rewarding and often capitalise on the UK’s culture, history and heritage. Castles and museums may be tourist attractions but for the events organisers, they’re also ideal venues.

Regardless of the venue, attendees have to be fed, and for the catering industry the UK events market is massively lucrative. If you are involved in catering, keep your eyes open for venues that could be suitable for corporate meetings and suggest them to events organisers. Or maybe suggest your own venue. Meetings and conferences are making a comeback, so make sure you jump on the bandwagon!


Published Date: 18th April 2017
Category: Blog, Events, News
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Spring Events Update

Spring events are not just horsesSo here we are, a quarter of the way through the year and the spring events calendar is still intriguing.

In sport, Barcelona have shown that they have the power to overcome with a stunning unexpected 6-1 win over Paris St Germain to reach the quarter finals of the Champions League. While England move onto the edge of back to back Grand Slams with a visit to Ireland to seal it.

March and April are busy months for sport. Austria is hosting the Special Olympics World Winter Games  from 14 to 24 March. With 4.4 million athletes from 170 countries, the Special Olympics organisation is the world’s largest sports organisation for children and adults with any intellectual disability.

The Masters

For golfing fans, April 3 signifies the start of the Masters Tournament in Augusta, USA. The Tournament was first played in 1934 and has been an eagerly viewed sporting favourite ever since.

For those who like facts and figures, Jack Nicklaus has the most Master victories, chalking up six wins between 1963 and 1986. The youngest winner of the Masters was Tiger Woods, who was 21 years, 104 days old when he won in 1997 and the youngest entrant was Guan Tianlang at the tender age of 14 years and 5 months.

Horsing Around

April 8 is a massive day in the horse racing calendar when punters try their luck on the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse. This National Hunt race is a handicap steeplechase over four miles 3½ furlongs, with 30 fences over two circuits. First run in 1839, it stirs the nation like no other horse racing event, with millions spent on betting for the race.

If you fancy something a little more interactive and local, try the Dawlish Walking Festival  21 April to 1 May. The festival is organised by Destination Dawlish, a partnership project aiming to encourage more walking and cycling in and around Dawlish. The walking schedule includes long rambles as well as short explorations.

Night Ramble

Or how does a spooky walk through Cheltenham sound? Cheltenham Ghost Tour  takes place on Friday 14 April. It is one of the events that the town has put on for locals and visitors. The darker side of Regency Cheltenham will be revealed, with tales of “unexplained supernatural events such as spooky maids at one of the town’s major hotels, murderous butlers, Cheltenham’s very own Jack the Ripper suspect, and tales of witchcraft from further afield in the Cotswolds!”

If, however, you prefer something a little less daunting, then there’s always Dinosaur Quest, taking place at Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves, Torquay. From 1 to 23 April, there will be cave tours all day every day with lots of Easter activities.

With Easter coming up, there are plenty of events to choose from. These include Agatha Christie’s home, Greenway which will be opened up for a Cadbury Egg Hunt from 1 April. Clues will be given to point you in the right direction to gain chocolate treats.

Spring is in the air and caterers, pubs, restaurants and event hosts are gearing up to welcome the public. If you are a caterer, then make sure that your kitchen appliances are in full working order. Book a service with AC Services and have peace of mind that your equipment is in the best working order to satisfy demand. And then why not promote your own spring events.


Published Date: 14th March 2017
Category: Blog, Events, News



2017 World Sporting Events Calendar

Although 2017 is not an Olympic or World Cup year, there are still plenty of events happening throughout the year from athletics to boxing and horse racing. Here is a 2017 world sporting events calendar listing the major sporting events for the year with other key holidays.

Aside from the domestic events, there are also many sporting treats around the world, including the World Baseball Classic, the Winter Military Games and the Invictus Games.

Date(s)                 Sport                     Event                                           Location

Jan 14-Feb 5       Football                  African Cup of Nations                   Gabon

Jan 16-29             Tennis                    Australia Open                                 Melbourne, Australia

Jan 26-29             Extreme Sports    Winter X Games 21                          Aspen, Colorado

Jan 28                    Boxing                  Carl Frampton v Santa Cruz          Las Vegas

Feb 4                     Rugby                   Six Nations Scotland v Ireland, England v France

Feb 6-19               Skiing                    World Alpine Ski Championships St. Moritz, Switzerland

Feb 11                   Rugby                   Six Nations Wales v England,

Feb 12                   Rugby                   Six Nations France v Scotland

Feb 25                   Rugby                   Six Nations Ireland v France, Scotland v Wales

Feb 26                   Rugby                   Six Nations England v Italy

Feb 22-28            Multi-sports         Winter Military World Games       Sochi

Mar 9-22              Baseball               World Baseball Classic                    USA

Mar 10                  Rugby                   Six Nations Wales v Ireland

Mar 11                  Rugby                   Six Nations England v Scotland

Mar 14-24            Multi-sports        Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria

Mar 14-17            Horse racing       Cheltenham festival                         Cheltenham

Mar 18                  Rugby                   Six Nations France v Wales, Scotland v Italy Ireland v England

Mar 26                  Mothering Sunday

Apr 3-9                  Golf                       Masters                                               Augusta, USA

Apr 8                     Horse Racing      Grand National                                   Aintree Racecourse

Apr 12-14             Cycling                  World Track Championships           Hong Kong

Apr 16                   Easter Sunday

Apr 29                   Boxing                  Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko Wembley Stadium

Apr 21-30             Multi-sports        World Masters Games (Summer)           Auckland, New Zealand

May 3-7                Equestrian           Badminton Horse Trials                           Badminton

May 5-21              Ice Hockey            IIHF World Championship                       Germany, France

May 6                    Horse Racing       Kentucky Derby                                          Louisville, Kentucky,

May 7                    Cricket                  England v Ireland                                       Lords

May 12-22           Multi-sports          Islamic Solidarity Games                          Baku, Azerbaijan

May 27                 Football                 FA Cup final                                                Wembley Stadium,

May 28-Jun 11    Tennis                    French Open                                               Paris, France

May 29                                 Spring Bank Holiday

Jun 2                      Horse racing       Epsom Derby Festival                                  Epsom

Jun 3                      Football                UEFA Champions League final  Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Jun                         Basketball           NBA Finals                                                          USA/Canada

Jun 26-Jul 23        Cricket                  ODI World Cup for Women                          England

Jun 13-16             Extreme Sports     Summer X Games                                          Minneapolis, 

Jun 15-18             Golf                        US Open                                                             Erin Hills, Wisconsin

Jun 17-27             Sailing                   America’s Cup                                                    Bermuda

Jun 17-Jul 2          Football                Confederations Cup                                          Russia

Jun 20-24             Horse racing        Royal Ascot                                                         Ascot

Jun 30-Jul 5         Horse racing        Goodwood Festival                                            Goodwood

Jul 1–23                Cycling                  2017 Tour de France                                       Germany / France

Jul 3-16                Tennis                    Wimbledon                                                       London, England

Jul 16                     Motor racing       F1 Grand Prix                                                    Silverstone

Jul 14-30               Swimming           World Aquatics Champs                                  Budapest, Hungary

Jul 18-30               Multi-sports        Deaflympics                                                      Samsun, Turkey.

Jul 18-31               Multi-sports        Maccabiah Games                                            Israel

Jul 20-23               Golf                       British Open Royal Birkdale Golf Club        Southport

Jul 20-30               Multi-sports        The World Games                                           Wroclaw, Poland

Jul 21-30               Multi-sports        Francophone Games                                      Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Aug 4-13              Athletics               IAAF World Championships                          Olympic Stadium

Aug 5-18              Multi-sports        World Police and Fire Games                         USA

Aug 7-13              Golf                       US PGA Quail Hollow Club                             Charlotte, North Carolina

Aug 9-26              Rugby                   Women’s World Cup                                       Ireland

Aug 21–27           Badminton          BWF World Championships                           Glasgow, Scotland

Aug 28-Sep 10   Tennis                   US Open                                                            New York, USA

Aug 28                  Summer Bank Holiday

Sep 17-24            Cycling                  UCI Road World Championships                 Bergen, Norway

Sep 23-30            Multi-sports        Invictus Games                                                 Toronto, Canada

Sep 23-Oct 1       Rowing                 World Rowing Championships                     Sarasota U.S.A.

Sep 27-Oct 9       Gymnastics         World Championships (Artistic)                        Montreal Canada

Sep 28-Oct 1       Golf                       Presidents Cup Liberty National Golf Club New Jersey

Sep 30                   AFL                      Grand Final                                                         Melbourne, Australia

Nov 7                    Horse Racing      Melbourne Cup                                                Victoria, Australia


Published Date: 3rd January 2017
Category: Blog, News



BBC Good Food Show 2016 Birmingham

BBC Good Food Show BirminghamIt was Birmingham’s turn to host the latest BBC Good Food Show and the halls of the NEC were filled to bursting point with visitors and exhibitors.

The show itself travels the length and breadth of the country, with venues at Glasgow SECC, London Olympia, Hampton Court Palace and Birmingham. The NEC hosts the show twice a year in the winter and in the summer.

Even the bitter cold spell didn’t discourage visitors. They flocked in their thousands to mingle with TV celebrity chefs and take away inspiration from the demonstrations and vast amounts of delicious food on display.

As usual, the stars were out in force. TV favourites Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood kept the crowds entertained as did the Hairy Bikers, Raymond Blanc and the winner of the 2015 Great British Bake Off, Nadiya Hussain. Other celebrity chefs included Tom Kerridge, James Martin, Michel Roux Jr, Barney Desmazery and Marcus Bean. Also spotted in the lineout was Eddie the Eagle Edwards!

For all food lovers, there was plenty of action at the show. Wherever you looked, something food-related was happening. The ever-popular Supertheatre was standing room only for most of the event, with celebrity chefs showing their culinary skills over the three days. There were cookery demonstrations ranging from baking to roasting to the more exotic. Both hosts and guests enjoyed the freedom of the dedicated area to create traditional and innovative food.

Staged Events

Another popular event was the BBC Good Food Stage where live interviews and demonstrations with the nation’s favourite chefs and experts took place. Similarly, the BBC Good Food Kitchen enabled visitors to dine on dishes inspired by recipes by bbcgoodfood.com

For those just wanting to browse and experience different foods, there were shopping opportunities at every turn, from local producer markets to international food pavilions where food from all continents was available for purchase. With November being ‘World Vegan Month’, the BBC Good Food Show revealed tasty treats and food for all vegan palettes, with some exciting new flavours and brands.

New products included additive free handmade breads and patisseries from Hedonist Bakery like the Farmers Country Grain loaf which was packed with grains and nuts. Munchy Seeds provided various flavours including honey, chilli and even sweet varieties like choccy apricot enriched with omega 3.

The BBC Good Food Shows are all about live entertainment, cooking inspiration, shopping and tasting in combination with award-winning UK’s chefs and experts cooking live. The NEC will be hosting next year’s summer spectacular, but there are shows taking place everywhere around the country. So go along and be inspired.


Published Date: 6th December 2016
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
Tags: ,



Poppy Day Legacy

Poppies and memorialArmistice Day has hit the headlines, at least on the back pages of the tabloids, thanks to the Prime Minister’s intervention in the debate over whether international footballers should wear the poppy emblem on the field on 11 November.

Calling the ban decision “utterly outrageous”, Theresa May has backed the FA and SFA’s rejection of the ban on England and Scotland’s footballers wearing black armbands bearing poppies in their 11 November World Cup qualifying match.

Football Ban

Although FIFA insists that the football laws prohibit political or religious messages from players’ kit, many, including the FA believe that displaying poppies represents respect for the fallen. In a statement, the FA said: “The FA intend to pay appropriate tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by having the England team wear black armbands bearing poppies in our fixture on Armistice Day.

The strength of feeling echoes the sentiment around the country about remembering the Great War. Events are taking place this weekend across the nation, with many centred in the South West and Wales. On Saturday 12 November 2016, the University of Worcester’s annual Women’s History Conference is taking place with debates about the significance of the First World War as an agent of social change for women. This conference will focus on women’s voluntary involvement in charities, organisations and local politics.

Tanks and Poppies

Moving further south, the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset is continuing its exhibition of the story of the tank, from its invention in 1915 through the 20th century and into the future. On 13 November, a commemorative service will take place, attended by serving soldiers, veterans and their families and members of the public. The service will take place in the Cold War Hall with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Royal Armoured Corps Memorial, followed by a unique display of poppies dropped from planes. The service is free to attend on a first-come, first-served basis.

In Wales, Caernarfon Castle is the first location in Wales to host the ‘Poppies: Weeping Window’, a display by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. The concept is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies, originally seen at the Tower of London as part of the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’. Caernarfon Castle is hosting a number of WWI commemoration events, as part of the Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 national centenary programme of remembrance.

The Devon Remembers Heritage Project is giving local people a chance to explore the county’s experience in the First World War, led by the South West Heritage Trust. There will be a programme of high profile events, talks and activities around Devon as well as First World War learning events.

At the core of the project is the establishment of the Devon Remembers Collection within the Devon Archives and Local Studies Collection, a collection of archive material related to Devon’s contribution to the Great War, which will permanently available to all those interested.

Whatever the event, here at AC Services (Southern) we will be on hand to help with caterers, restaurants and pubs who may be staging commemorative events. If you need any advice or have any problems with your Rational ovens, contact us and we will be more than happy to help you.


Published Date: 8th November 2016
Category: Blog, Events, News
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Gloucestershire’s Puppy Dog Pies and Onions

Painswick GloucestershireEngland is renowned for its quaint traditions, especially Gloucestershire, where strange and ancient events take place annually. Where else can you see cheeses rolling down a hill, football matches in rivers or burning tar barrels carried on the backs of local townsfolk?

Here at AC Services (Southern) we relish the unusual and the quirky and the town of Painswick in Gloucestershire is up there amongst the best. Every year, on the Sunday after the Feast of the Nativity of St. Mary (in everyone’s calendar, surely), there is the Painswick Clypping Ceremony.

This year taking place Sunday 25 September, the event is still going strong since it was revived in Victorian times. The Clypping ceremony involves the parishioners of St. Mary’s at Painswick joining hands around the church exterior and dancing around it singing their Clypping Hymn as part of a patronal festival.

Puppy Dog Pie is an integral part of the festival. Although myth has it that a local innkeeper served up his pet pooch when he ran out of meat, today the only meat that the Puppy Dog Pie contains is chunks of beef! However, in keeping with the old tradition, china dogs (neither too small to be swallowed nor too big to detract from the flavour) are symbolically baked in the pies.

Ducks and Giant Otters

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, make your way to the Slimbridge Wetland Centre where there is the launch of a new Celebrity Dusty Duck Trail this year to celebrate its 70th anniversary. The trail features six-foot-tall Dusty along with 14 giant models designed by celebrities. The event is on until 1 September but if you miss out, there is always the Giant LEGO® Trail at the same venue from 17 September to 6 November. The LEGO® brick models include a giant otter and a huge twelve-times life-sized dragonfly!

If you can’t think of anything else to do on 11 September, try the Speech House Vintage Show, a steam and vintage machinery family day out in the Forest of Dean. Children’s amusements, trade stalls, live music, falconry displays and duck herding are just some of the events taking place in Coleford.

Also at Speech House on 2 October is the Forest Showcase Food & Drink Festival  with a wide selection of over 100 local food stalls ranging from handmade scotch eggs, artisan breads, local beers, preserves, farmhouse ciders, cheeses, homemade cakes and pastries. Not to be missed is the turnip tossing competition.

And don’t miss the Newent Onion Fayre on 10 September 2016. Hazarding a wild guess, this show is presumably focused on onions: apparently there’s a traditional onion eating contest, best onion and other competitions and even the opportunity to enjoy some onion soup! There’s also live music, a dog show and a funfair for those who really don’t like onions.

It’s never dull in Gloucestershire so take advantage of the events at the end of the summer. Do something out of the ordinary and eat whatever takes your fancy!


Published Date: 30th August 2016
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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