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HoTel r e n Ow For the independent hotelier who means business www.hotelowner.co.uk || £4.95  || April 2012

Our friend in the north

James Martin returns to his roots

Ahead of the game

.Front . . . . . of . . .House ............. This month we meet former teachers Joan and Ron Reen, owners of the Ynyshir Hall Hotel

.Inspiring . . . . . . . . .Ideas ............ After a major revamp, the Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa now boasts a stunning interior

ISSN 2049-7709

Are you ready for the Olympics?


Editor's letter

Hotel Owner Managing Editor

Louise Hoffman

louise@hotelowner.co.uk Editor

Sam Guiry

sam@hotelowner.co.uk Editorial Assistant

Naida Ally

naida@hotelowner.co.uk Design/Production Editor

Tracy Jarvis

tracy@hotelowner.co.uk Deputy Production Editor

Lewis Bowes

copy@hotelowner.co.uk Online Editor

Michael Northcott

michael@hotelowner.co.uk Group Advertisement Manager

Kelly Smith

kelly@hotelowner.co.uk Deputy Group Advertisement Manager

Julie-Ann Kwok

julie@hotelowner.co.uk Deputy Advertisement Manager

Chris Keightley

chris@hotelowner.co.uk Sales Executive

Daniel Harrison

daniel@hotelowner.co.uk Accounts

Editor’s letter

W

ith the names of the Olympic torch bearers announced – including a sprightly lady who’ll be 100 when she carries the flame – many in the hospitality sector are hoping to reap the rewards as the runners pound the streets. Hotels and guest houses across the UK are expecting an influx of visitors as the torch passes through their cities and towns and also hoping that the nationwide coverage the event gets will showcase their local area to a global audience. Many hoteliers have already started planning for the Games, for example by promoting of special deals and activities, while others (including our regular contributor Peter Hancock) seem content to carry on as normal. He admits there is already pressure on hoteliers to go that extra mile to celebrate this iconic sporting event, but what they should be focusing on instead is simply delivering “the first class service” they offer to guests every day. Many in the industry are already questioning the impact of the Games and whether it really does represent such a huge opportunity. Hotel market research firm STR Global recently said that although the Games will boost occupancy levels and revenue per average room, it will not be at the levels previously hoped for. Perhaps Peter Hancock has the right idea when he says he will steer clear of London for the duration of the Games, avoid any promotion of the event and simply look ahead to its real legacy – favourable publicity of the UK that lasts well beyond the summer.

Maureen Scrivener

maureen@hotelowner.co.uk Customer Services

01206 767 797

customers@hotelowner.co.uk

Sam Guiry sam@hotelowner.co.uk

Contributing writers David Glover, Peter Hancock, Charlotte Mitchell, Angie Petkovic, Philippe Rossiter ISSN 2049-7709

HOTEL Owner

is published monthly by:

Mulberry Publications Ltd, Wellington House, Butt Road, Colchester CO3 3DA Tel: 01206 767 797 • Fax: 01206 767 532 www.hotelowner.co.uk The editor and publishers do not guarantee the accuracy of statements made by contributors or advertisers, or accept responsibility for any statement that they express in this publication. The opinion of the contributors may not necessarily be the opinion of the publishers. Articles are considered for publication on the basis that they are the author’s original work. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the permission of the publishers.

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Hotel Owner

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APRIL 2012 FEATURES

Our friend in the north

35-41 A complete whitewash

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A clean sweep

36

With costs of linen rising, hoteliers must keep bedding, towelling and tablecloths looking cleaner and brighter for longer

Mike Kiely meets Saturday Kitchen presenter and celebrity chef James Martin to find out more about his plans for the Talbot Hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire

A breath of fresh air

40

David Glover, managing director of Plasma Clean, explains how the smell and ambience in a hotel is key to guests’ overall experience

35

Charlotte Mitchell, sales and marketing manager at CDS HÖVER, says there’s no excuse for not cleaning rooms thoroughly, with technological advancements making it easy to leave hotels germ-free and smelling fresh

Ahead of the game

26

44

With so much attention focusing on the approaching Olympic Games, Peter Hancock reveals why he will be doing very little to promote this momentous event

REGULARS Editor’s letter Trade talk

3 6

The latest news from the industry

New appointments

10

Recent career moves in the hospitality sector

48 22

Marketplace 12

Fresh thinking

A selection of exciting new products and services for hotels, restaurants and bars

Comment 17

Inspiring ideas

Philippe Rossiter FIH, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality, explains how linen theft is having a major impact in the hotel sector

Front of house

With ‘Scotland’s larder’ at his disposal, Robert MacPherson, head chef at the 4 Red Star Airds Hotel in Argyll, has created a menu bursting with flavour and locally-sourced ingredients

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JP Kavanagh, general manager of the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh, reveals some key elements of the new design in the public areas and guest rooms

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Marketing matters

Joan and Rob Reen reveal how they swapped careers in teaching to run the Ynyshir Hall Hotel in the Welsh countryside

Dining out with…

25

A selection of innovative ideas from the food and drinks sector

33

This month, Angie Petkovic advises hoteliers to see their hotel through guests’ eyes and tidy and de-clutter to make a positive impact

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Check out

18

48

This month we look at a range of cooking equipment that can not only help the performance of the business, but also benefit the environment

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Tradetalk

Europe’s only B2B boutique hotel event gets new venue Boutique Hotel Summit, Europe’s “only B2B boutique and lifestyle hotel conference” has recently announced a new venue for the 2012 event, as well as an extra halfday of seminars, giving delegates a full two-day event for no extra cost. The summit will be held at Altitude London in Westminster, next to the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames on 21 and 22 May. The main conference sessions will be held in the venue’s media centre, which features London’s biggest state-of-the-art auditorium, while the breakout sessions and networking will be in the River Room, with its views of the Thames. The extra sessions added on the afternoon of 21 May includes ‘the hub of the wheel’, where a selection of top general managers will speak about the challenges of their role. The keynote speaker has also been confirmed as Gordon Campbell Gray, founder and managing director of Campbell Gray. Event organiser Piers Brown said: “We’re really pleased to have confirmed such an exciting nonhotel venue for Boutique Hotel Summit. The facilities and location at Altitude London are first class and will enable us to put on a really innovative, informative and enjoyable event. We’re also delighted to expand our agenda to two days, making room for a session devoted to general managers, and another focusing on spa and wellness offers.” For more information, and for speaker and sponsorship enquiries for the 2012 Boutique Hotel Summit, contact Piers Brown on piers@boutiquehotelsummit.com

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Biggest ever domestic marketing campaign urges people to stay in UK

Chief executive of MWB Group to step down

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) is urging hospitality businesses to support a new campaign aimed at boosting domestic business in 2012. The campaign, called ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’, is being led by the national tourist board, VisitEngland, with celebrity-led television advertisements asking viewers to visit www.great2012offers.com. The site offers details of special deals including hotel stays, meals, tickets to attractions and other offers that are being made by operators to encourage more home holidays this year. Chief executive of the BHA, Ufi Ibrahim, said: “The BHA is wholly behind the campaign to boost domestic holidays this year and, indeed, every year. We need to use every means to encourage more British people to stay at home and enjoy what Britain has to offer and Olympics year is an ideal year to launch such a campaign.” Ms Ibrahim said the BHA welcomed the Government’s support for UK tourism, including an additional £4 million grant to VisitEngland, which made the campaign possible.

Richard Balfour-Lynn has decided to step down as chief executive of the parent group of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin. Balfour-Lynn, who was also a director of the parent company MWB Group Holdings, described the move as “a hard decision”. He added: “I have been with MWB Group most of my working life. I will remain a committed and supportive shareholder and have every confidence in both the board of MWB Group and the management teams to take the group to the next stage of its development. We have two growing subsidiaries with strong brands MWB Business Exchange, Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin.” Balfour-Lynn founded the company 30 years ago as Warwick Balfour Properties, which was primarily focused on investment and development. The two hotel brands under the current parent business operate 26 hotels. Eric Sanderson, the group’s chairman said: “Richard is an exceptional entrepreneur who has built up a major hotel and business services group. He has always been passionate about developing great hospitality in the business. We would like to thank him for his drive and enthusiasm in building some exceptional brands.”

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Tradetalk

Diamond Jubilee prompts spike in demand for London hotels London hotels are enjoying a massive increase in demand compared with last year, according to hotel intelligence firm TravelClick. Hotels preparing for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June have seen committed occupancy rise 115 per cent compared with last year. Data for the following day, when Buckingham Palace is the venue for a star-studded concert, are similar. Hotel bookings on 4 June are currently running 81 per cent higher than the same date last year. International president for TravelClick, Jan Tissera, said: “The rise in committed occupancy this far in advance demonstrates the huge affection for the royal family from both Brits and audiences around the world. “The significant increase in bookings for 3 and 4 June, which coincides with the large spectator events for the Jubilee, is proof that visitors don’t want to miss out on the fun and are staying in the capital to make the most of the weekend.”

Texcare International draws close Texcare International, the “world market for modern textile care” is to be held in Frankfurt from 5 to 9 May 2012. This year, the Texcare Forum is to focus on two key subjects – sustainability and energy efficiency. Among those registered for the show are: Alliance International; Barbanti Carlo, Beirholms Vaeverier, Consorzio Unimatic, Ecolab, Girbau, Heprotex, Herbert Kannegiesser, Jensen Group, Kreussler, LG Electronics, Lavatec, Macpi, Miele, Multimatic, Pellerin Milnor, Renzacci, Unimac and Veit. Altogether, Messe Frankfurt expects to welcome around 250 exhibitors and 15,000 trade visitors and, as in previous years, the proportion of manufacturers from outside Germany is expected to exceed the 60 per cent mark. The complete conference programme can be viewed at www.texcare.com

Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH/Petra Welzel

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Amnesty for chef jackets to raise funds for charity Chef clothing company Denny’s Uniforms has declared a used jacket amnesty for all chef ’s jackets to be handed in to its London stores. From 19 March to 30 April, the company will be accepting used chef ’s jackets from any brand and in any condition, in return for a 25 per cent discount on new jackets from its existing ranges. Managing director for Denny’s Uniforms, Nick Jubert, said: “We hope kitchen brigades across London will get involved so we can donate hundreds of old jackets to TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development). “Their recycling policy not only helps the environment by reducing landfill and shrinking carbon footprint but, in addition, all profits go to help the world’s poorest communities with health, education and employment.” Chefs can take old jackets into Denny’s Soho at Dean Street or Denny’s City store at Watling Court.

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Tradetalk

AND BRIEFLY FSB concerned over budget failings The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the Chancellor’s Budget speech, but remains concerned about some weaknesses in the case for business. In a statement, national chairman of FSB, John Walker, said that while the federation welcomes measures designed to cut red tape, as well as proposals to simplify the tax system for small businesses, petrol prices “remain a major concern”. He also highlighted a specific area for which the body believes there needs to be provision: “We are disappointed that there were no plans to look into setting up a Small Business Administration – a department to champion small firms at the heart of government with a cabinet level minister. This is the missing link to ensuring that all initiatives have the maximum impact for small firms.” Small luxury hotels are on the move The company behind Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), has launched a new version of its website for use on portable tablets and mobile devices. The new SLH.com website provides users with on-the-move access to information on the website’s collection of 520 luxury hotels in more than 70 countries, in a tablet-friendly on-screen design. The move comes in recognition of the increasing portion of the UK’s adult population which own a smartphone. Paul Kerr, CEO of SLH said: “It is now vital that businesses move to mobile-optimised sites as 50.3 per cent of the UK now owns a smartphone.” Fladgate advises on £101 million hotel sale Fladgate LLP has recently advised Splendid Hotel Group on the £101 million sale of its InterContinental London Westminster Hotel development. The development was purchased by Supreme Hotels LLP, who will complete the 256-room, 5-star hotel, which is scheduled to open at the end of 2012. Fladgate property partner James Fry, a member of the firm’s hotel sector team, advised Splendid Hotel Group on the sale with assistance from real estate associate Philip Mundy. Fladgate is currently advising Splendid Hotel Group on the sale of two further hotel development sites and two trading hotels.

Jason Gardener opens Celtic Manor Resort fitness suite The Celtic Manor Resort, home to the Ryder Cup 2012, has refurbished its two fitness suites. Dylan’s Health and Fitness Club, located at the Lodge, was opened on the 11 February by Olympic sprint relay gold medal winner Jason Gardener. The health club offers a range of facilities and treatments with the sports person in mind. Forum Health Club was opened in March, offering an extensive range of facilities, including the award-winning Forum Spa. Celtic Manor Resort invested over half a million pounds into the refurbishment of both facilities in partnership with fitness supplier Technogym. New equipment includes the Wellness System, which allows the members to have their own dedicated paperless training programmes and a full range of Excite+ cardiovascular equipment with Visioweb and Element+ strength. The Celtic Manor Resort was voted the ‘UK’s Best Hotel Spa’ in the Spa Traveller Awards 2011. Celtic Manor director of golf and leisure Matthew Lewis said: “People expect a 5-star experience every time they set foot in the Celtic Manor Resort and this state-of-the-art new equipment from Technogym will certainly help us to deliver that in our health clubs.”

Investment opportunities in St Helena The British territory of St Helena is urging the private sector to invest now to take advantage of economic opportunities that have arisen in light of the recent decision to grant the island an airport. Scheduled to be operational by late 2015, this will be the first airport for this south Atlantic island, which is situated 1,700 miles north-west of Cape Town. With three years and 10 months until the airport opens, the St Helena government is actively encouraging investors to ‘get in early’ to maintain exclusivity, capitalise on the projected high-end tourism demand and reap an attractive return on their investment. Mike Dean, St Helena’s Tourism Development executive, commented: “The island is poised to undergo an economic transformation. This is a unique time for companies and entrepreneurs to seize advantage of this economic opportunity and be ready when the island welcomes the first plane.” Businesses interested in investing in St Helena should contact the St Helena Development Agency (SHDA) at www.shda.co.sh.

Generous support is a sign of the times Following the amputation of both his legs, Stewart Pickering is celebrating the success of his eponymous charity, set up with friends to give something back to the renal ward of the Royal Derby Hospital. Mr Pickering set up the charity for renal patients to be able to purchase medical equipment for the ward. Following support from companies such as HFE-Signs.co.uk, in the first year the charity has raised over £6,000 and has purchased a bladder scanner, a 42-inch TV for the day room with plans to purchase more medical equipment to benefit the hospital.

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New appointments

New appointments Keeping up-to-date with key personnel changes in your industry Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel The Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel has appointed a new general manager to oversee the completion of a major refurbishment over the coming months. Peter Sangster has taken on the role at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa, where he previously worked as deputy general manager until 2006. With more than 12 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, he will now be responsible for the overall supervision of the hotel, including overseeing a £1.5 million refurbishment, which will revamp the hotel’s public spaces and add 10 new bedrooms. He said: “I am thrilled to be returning to Ardoe House and look forward to keeping up our reputation as a premier destination in Aberdeen. I have a passionate commitment to taking the hotel as far as I can, and we will achieve what our customers expect from the Ardoe experience in terms of quality and service.”

The Doyle Collection The board of the Doyle Collection has announced the appointment of Garreth Walsh as the general manager at the Marylebone Hotel. Garreth has moved to his new role at the Marylebone Hotel after having worked as the general manager of the Kensington Hotel for six years. Garreth has been a key member of the Doyle Collection team since joining the company in 1998, and was responsible for overseeing the closure and subsequent re-launch of the hotel during the £20 million refurbishment in 2009 and 2010.

Clumber Park Hotel & Spa The Clumber Park Hotel & Spa based in Nottinghamshire, part of the Bespoke Hotel group, has just announced the appointment of a new spa manager for the New Leaf Spa. Leanne Davis, born and based in Worksop, brings to the hotel a wealth of hands-on experience thanks to a solid grounding within the industry due to her strong qualifications, past employment as a beauty therapist and also her time as an assistant manager for a thriving, local beauty salon. In addition, having worked in a fast-paced, demanding environment at the Mint Nail and Beauty Bar at Sheffield’s Meadowhall, she’s looking forward to putting her practical and managerial skills to good use at the hotel’s spa, which enjoys a tranquil location nestled on the doorstep of Sherwood Forest. Leanne said: “I’m delighted to be joining the team as it’s clearly a very strong and supportive one, and between us, we share the same goal – to maintain the high standards already associated with the hotel and spa, but to also build on them to try and make the customers’ experience even better than it already is.”

Bannatyne Hotel Darlington’s Bannatyne Hotel has appointed Scott Davidson as its new general manager. Scott joins Bannatyne’s after successfully establishing Wynard Hall as one of north east England’s leading hotel and conference venues. His appointment coincides with a recent refurbishment at the Bannatyne Hotel, which included the extensive upgrade of its wedding and function facility, the Wilbur Suite. With more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, Scott, who is originally from Newcastle, has worked at a number of leading hotels inculding the Savoy in London. Scott said: “Bannatyne Hotel has an excellent reputation and I am very proud to become general manager. I have always admired the hotel’s quality and commitment to excellent customer service, which attracted me to this role. I am looking forward to welcoming guests to the hotel from across the UK, who will enjoy our hospitality and make the most of what the north east has to offer.”

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Marketplace

 Bampton Design Limited, the Oxfordshirebased bespoke furniture manufacturer to the contracts market, has launched its new 2012 brochure. It showcases new statement pieces, including classic and contemporary dining; tub; stacking and armchairs; stools; sofas; tables; headboards and wood finishes. The company says: “The range of new pieces gives clients a sense of Bampton Design’s experience, expertise and forward thinking in model design; use of fabric, patterns and colour shades; as well as its brilliant use of a huge variety of different woods, lacquers and finishes.” Information: 01993 709 747 or sales@bamptondesign.co.uk

 Corkcicle from Caterstyle is a new, innovative wine gadget that looks like an icicle suspended within a bottle of wine. When inserted into the bottle, the Corkcicle will maintain the optimum drinking temperature of the wine, while the bottle is consumed. This patented product has already caused a stir in the US and was launched in the UK this February by Root7. The Corkcicle can be reused as it is made from a freeze gel and can just be put back into the freezer ready for the next time. To get the Corkcicle to its coldest point, leave it in the freezer for a minimum of two hours and it will then keep wine at the perfect temperature for approximately one hour.

 Quickfund offers a simple alternative to traditional bank loans and overdrafts without having to go through a lengthy application process or having to submit a business plan. Typical cash advances range from £3,500 to £100,000 and include such clients as general retailers, convenience stores, florists, dentists, hotels, bars and restaurants. Ed Stevens from the Glassblowing House commented: “We wanted to expand our already successful business, but the banks were very restrictive when it came to borrowing, even though we have been trading for a number of years. The service from Quickfund helped me to grow the business and carry out the refurbishment I needed. It was fantastic for us as you only pay money back as you earn it yourself. We aim to use the funding again in the future to help grow our business further.” Information: 01279 759 470 or www.thecfgroup.co.uk

Information: 0845 458 6940 or sales@caterstyle.co.uk

Marketplace  Artis, a leading supplier of cutlery, tableware, glassware and barware, recently unveiled a multitude of exciting new product ranges at Hotelympia. The new ranges were revealed alongside the new Artis brand identity and the Art of Artis marketing campaign. The company explains: “The selection set a firm industry benchmark and clearly demonstrated and reinforced Artis’s position as a market leader in the sourcing of innovative, high quality, design-led and sophisticated products for the table and bar, at a competitive price point.” Information: 0208 391 8542 or www.artis-uk.com

 Angel Refrigeration has recently introduced a range of dual purpose Everlasting Blast Chillers/ Shock Freezers. Ideal for catering, pastry, bakery, ice cream and dairy, these high performance cabinets are specially designed to chill down hot foods quickly and safely, in line with government standards. For those with space and budget limitations, the range starts with the King Tray ABF Mini Pro, which comfortably holds 3 by 2/3 Gastronorm pans. For those with the need to chill down higher volumes, the King Tray ABF 15P will take up to 15 Gastronorm or 60 by 40 centimetre trays at a time, while the large capacity King Trolley rooms are popular with caterers who want to avoid removing plates or pans from combination oven trolleys.

 At the end of last year, Twyford Bathrooms unveiled its latest Rimfree technology. Developed to set new standards of hygiene and water efficiency, the Rimfree toilet features self-draining jets at the back of the bowl, which release water that flows entirely round the inside of the pan. As Twyford Bathrooms explains, “with no hidden rim, there is simply nowhere for the germs to hide, making the toilet bowl easier to clean.” The company now has three Rimfree designs – Moda, 3D and Galerie – and supplies to hospitals, schools and the hospitality sectors. Information: www.twyfordbathrooms.com

Information: 01327 810 370 or www.angelrefrigeration.co.uk

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Marketplace

 Outdoor areas can provide an attractive alternative for customers to dine alfresco and a Cinders Barbecue gives the chef an opportunity to extend menu choices. Customers can also watch the food being cooked and an artistic chef can indulge in the showmanship that goes with cooking for an audience. Cinders Caterer TG160 and Cavalier SG80 have been hand-built to operate all day without problems, and given that the alfresco sector accounts for an “increasingly large chunk of food consumption” in the UK, it makes sense for hotels, pubs and bars to explore this potentially profitable area. “Cinders Barbecues have been providing equipment for this reason since 1984,” says the company. Information: 01524 262 900 or www.cindersbarbecues.co.uk

 “If you own, have bought, or are selling a hotel, then you need to talk with a tax expert,” says Tax Ideas, the independent tax consultancy. Why your property could be hiding thousands of pounds that you can claim back, aims to help identify the scope of possible tax savings. “For a building purchased for £650,000, tax savings in the region of £90,000 are common, while for larger establishments worth maybe two million pounds, tax savings of £360,000 are not unusual. Typical claims take just 10 weeks.” For a copy of The Property Owners Guide to Capital Allowances contact Howard Givney.

 Greenvision Heating offers an ultra-efficient electric heating system that “gives savings on running costs compared to virtually all other heating systems.” The slim radiators accurately maintain a pre-set temperature thanks to unique patented Optimizer Energy Plus technology. Fully-controllable, they run off a standard fuse spur so no pipe work is required and they come with a 10-year, no quibble guarantee. Hilton Hotels and Best Western have taken advantage of the product, which can be financed through a loan from Carbon Trust Loan. Greenvision can provide a free heating consultation and trial. Information: 0115 854 7498, sales@greenvisionheating.co.uk or www.greenvisionheating.co.uk

 “Get ready to welcome the world with professional name badge and signage systems,” says Imprint Plus. Using its Microsoft-certified design software, language flags can be easily added to badges or multi-language signs designed to welcome guests and increase food and beverage sales. The company says: “The DIY badges and signs are elegant, convenient and re-usable, so you can be green while saving money. Re-using badges and signs is as simple as replacing the clear inserts that you print with just your PC and standard printer.” To get a free sample contact the office on the details below. Information: 01875 898 013 or suzanne.colville@imprintplus.com

 Sharp and Nickless Ltd is a Nottinghamshire-based confectionery company established in 1888. It supplies brandy snaps and biscuits to a wide range of delicatessens, gift shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. It uses traditional baking methods and techniques, together with fine quality ingredients to produce brandy snap rolls, baskets and cones; honey snaps; gingerbread biscuits; Easter biscuits and much more. Its brandy snaps can be filled with cream by caterers and the brandy snap baskets and cones can be used to make interesting dessert items. Information: 0115 973 2169, info@sharpandnickless.co.uk or www.sharpandnickless.co.uk

Information: 01233 640 985, info@tax-ideas.co.uk or www.tax-ideas.co.uk

 Furniture Realm, based near Bristol in Somerset, offers a wide range of contract furniture specifically designed for the hospitality and leisure sectors. “Give your guests a treat with our full range of bedroom, restaurant and reception furniture. Not only will we ensure that they have a night of restful sleep in an environment that wraps them in luxury, we are confident that our furniture is of such great quality, it will provide your clients with the type of relaxing night’s sleep that they need for a truly memorable stay,” says the company. To discuss a project further, contact the Furniture Realm sales team. Information: 01934 425 550, info@furniturerealm.co.uk or www.furniturerealm.co.uk / www.furniturerealmdirect.co.uk

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Marketplace

 The Barry Perrin Swan LED Desk Lamp won the 2011 ‘iF’ Design Gold Award in Frankfurt, with its “elegant appearance and innovative user-orientation design which reduces eye-strain.” The design allows users to adjust the lamp brightness with a simple contact memory button and has a colour-rendering index above Ra80 to reflect natural colours of different objects. The patented V-CUT filter provides a warm, anti-glare, daylight colour temperature of 6500K for reading and 1300 Lux at 35 centimetres from a desk for more detailed work. The lamps have a long life span, UV-free output and mercury-free production that conforms to current eco-friendly market trends. Information: 01992 611 415, barry@barryperrin.com or www.barryperrin.com

 With the Jubilee, Olympic Games and European championships all taking place this summer, flags and bunting will be top of many hotel and restaurants’ shopping lists. Greens of Gloucestershire is a specialist flag seller with over 2,500 different flag products available: value packs (pictured), bunting, cocktail sticks, table flags, large display flags, lapel pins, to name but just a few. Free UK delivery on all orders over £20.

 Court Colman Manor in South Wales, which has been a hotel since 1981, has recently undergone a refurbishment programme in which COCY Lock UK Ltd was chosen to supply and install the new guest room locking system utilising the classic F1 in brushed gold to match its luxurious décor. Information: 0845 680 1365 or www.cocylock.co.uk

Information: 01452 790 796, sales@greensofgloucestershire.com or www.greensofgloucestershire.com

 Lerwick has been established in commercial finance for almost 30 years. It specialises in hotel, guest house and leisure industry finance, re-finance, commercial mortgages and bridging finance. The company says it has built strong relationships with various banks and lending institutions, so clients can be sure it will give a first-class service. “We can help across a broad range of circumstances, even if you have credit problems or difficulty proving your income,” Lerwick says. Information: 0845 273 3322 or www.lerwick.plc.uk

The modern hotel has an array of different, standalone systems – PMS, POS, telephone, fire alarm – and SBL has developed i-Services to integrate these systems into one coherent, unified solution. For example, guest requests can automatically be forwarded to the relevant person via their mobile device, and fire panels can be linked with any mobile device or PC, minimising the time taken to respond to an alert. “The list of applications is endless.” Information: 0844 335 6455 or i-services@solutionbuilders.co.uk

 Decotel’s ironing centres have hotel guests in mind, with lightweight and easy-to-use features. All ironing centres, whether fitted with steam or dry irons, come with an in-built, auto shut-off safety feature. This turns the iron off, if it has been left motionless for more than 30 seconds in the ‘in use’ position, or after eight minutes in the ‘at rest’ position on its heel. The ironing cradle has an anti-theft cable ring, which prevents guests from being able to remove the iron from the centre. Supplied ready to use out of the box. Information: 01509 264 422 or sales@decotel.co.uk

 AMI Furniture presents the Anatini Stacking Chair, suitable for banqueting and conference situations, where both style and comfort are at a premium. The Italiandesigned frame is available with or without timber top rail to the back, and side and armchairs are inter-stackable. Upholstery can be in fabric, leather or COM and the show-wood stained or painted to your specification. The Anatini chair has a traditional look with a modern twist, so is perfect for hotels and restaurants or wherever storage space is limited. Information: 0115 985 0515 or info@angusmacrae.com

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Comment

Look after your laundry

Philippe Rossiter FIH, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality, says it’s time for the hospitality sector to re-think its management of linen

F

or every strip of lead stolen from a church roof, or railway cable removed, there is an equivalent amount of linen taken, mislaid or spoilt in UK hotels and restaurants. Stock is going missing. It might not make the headlines, but linen theft is happening and will have a major impact on the operating costs of the sector. Members of the Textile Services Association (TSA) have reported that numerous hotels had their laundry rooms raided last year, with all of their stock totally removed. For a large hotel that might be as much as £30,000worth of linen.

Everyone in the supply chain is

under pressure to manage their costs better, yet linen is regarded as disposable; forgettable The Institute of Hospitality is working with the TSA to raise awareness of the importance of linen and towelling within the hotel industry. The stock can be replaced, but at a cost to the commercial laundries that supply this linen. Reports of such thefts have to be taken seriously. Any theft of linen has an impact on the bottom line, but because the linen is rented, it is often not seen as a valuable asset. This is a big problem for UK commercial laundries, because to reduce costs and ensure quality control, hotels, hospitals, residential care providers and others rent as much as 90 per cent of their linen from specialist commercial laundries on long-term contracts, rather than buying it themselves. In normal times, this business

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model provides the hospitality sector with valuable economies of scale. But, these are not normal times. Everyone in the supply chain is under pressure to manage their costs better, yet linen is regarded as disposable; forgettable. Compare linen to another hospitality commodity – alcohol. How many bar cellars are left unattended and unlocked? None. Yet, how many laundry rooms are secure? When you consider the average hotel bedroom might have at least £55 of linen stock in it when a guest arrives, the value begins to add up. Typically, a hotel holds up to three sets of linen per room and if it is working with a commercial laundry there will be another two sets being washed, renewed or ready to be delivered. That’s at least £275 per room. Would you use a bath towel to clean the floor? Or clean drinking glasses with a pillow case? If staff know that a duvet cover might typically be worth £25 or more, or a bed sheet is worth up to £10, staff will understand why the right materials need to be used for the right job. Share the following guidelines with staff to ensure that the linen is used for the purpose it was intended: • Do not use linen other than for its purpose. • Do not use linen to wedge open a door. • Report damage and stains to the head housekeeper. • Keep laundry and cleaning materials separate to avoid contamination. • Report guest misuse or damage from hair

dye, fake tan or shoe polish. • Report all instances of bad practice and stock abuse to your laundry supplier. The TSA and Institute of Hospitality are running a campaign to encourage everyone to manage their linen better and report suspected linen crime. Anyone with a concern can report it confidentially to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Commercial laundries are aiming to work in partnership with their customers to make everyone dealing with linen more aware of its intrinsic value – to change the culture of linen use. So far, this approach has been well received. Here is some further guidance from the TSA: • Your linen store should be on the ground floor of your main building. • Make sure it is well-lit, dry and warm – with a lock on the door. • Rotate your linen stock regularly to avoid light damage and reduce wear and tear. • Work to an agreed schedule with the laundry supplier. • Check all of the deliveries and collections. • Never leave the laundry trolleys unattended. Commercial laundries and the hospitality sector will need to be on their guard for some time yet, as there is strong evidence to suggest that organised criminal gangs are behind the recent theft of laundry. But tightening up processes will help reduce the opportunity for fraud. By working together, the hospitality and laundry industries can stop linen crime before it starts.

The Institute of Hospitality is the professional body for managers and aspiring managers, providing support to improve and develop their professional skills. In addition to its suite of qualifications, it also offers a wide range of information services designed to help those working in the hospitality sector. Further information is available at www.instituteofhospitality.org

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Front of  House

Joan and Rob Reen share their “obsession” – owning and running a luxury hotel in the Welsh countryside for the past 23 years

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hen Joan and Rob Reen purchased Ynyshir Hall their only experience of running a hotel was the single hour the previous owners spent showing them the ropes. As Joan adds, “the hotel was open and running and was nearly full the day we arrived. The owners had promised to stay on for a few days to help us out but we arrived at 12 noon and they departed at 1pm, so it really was in at the deep end.” Both Joan and Rob were teachers – he was head of art and she taught geography at a grammar school in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Initially, their plan was to purchase an old property where Rob would run art courses and Joan would act has hostess and cook. As Joan explains, “Rob had always painted and exhibited his work and he was becoming more and more successful, with several oneman-shows to his name and teaching was becoming fraught with more difficulties.” However, the more the couple looked into the practicalities of running art courses, the more they realised that it wasn’t a viable option, so the alternative was to purchase a hotel and run the courses as an ‘extra’. Spotting a tiny advert in a hospitality magazine, they enquired about Ynyshir Hall, only to be told the property had been taken off the market. They still decided to go and see it, and

as Joan described: “It was spring and the whole area looked beautiful, with blossom and bulbs everywhere. When we came up the drive we were enchanted, despite the overgrown gardens and air of neglect. Like the sleeping beauty waiting to wake.” By this time, the couple were set on leaving their city lives behind and Rob very much wanted to return to his Welsh homeland. Reluctant to give up on their dream of owning Ynyshir Hall, their persistence paid off and two years later they moved in. The first few months certainly presented them with a few challenges, as Joan admits: “We knew very little about running a hotel – we didn’t even know how to get a gin from an optic!” However, she believes the lack of experience actually worked to their advantage, as they could see everything from a guest’s viewpoint. Joan continues: “After the first year we became so fascinated with the hotel trade that the art courses took a back seat and soon disappeared altogether.” However, Rob was able to put his skills to good use, casting an artistic eye over the entire décor. Joan says: “Each room is composed like a painting, and every view – both interior and exterior – must please the eye.” Joan has also added some decorative flourishes of her own, choosing the fabrics, making curtains and arranging

When we came up the drive we were enchanted, despite the overgrown gardens and air of neglect. Like the sleeping beauty waiting to wake”

the flowers. Their aim was to offer their guests “a haven from the stress of modern life with beautiful surroundings, fine cuisine and wines, and most of all a warm and pampering environment.” For a couple with no experience of the hospitality sector they soon grasped what it takes to succeed and Ynyshir Hall has scooped some of the highest accolades in the industry. It was Conde Nast’s Country House Hotel of the Year; Andrew Harper’s European Hideaway of the Year; and Wales’ best small hotel. It has also earned 3 AA red stars, a much-coveted Michelin star and – the Oscars of the hotel industry – a Cesar Award. Joan believes that this recognition does come at a price: “The more accolades we win, the harder it is to meet and exceed guests’ expectations.” Having spent 19 years establishing what is such an individual and iconic hotel, the Reen’s then sold it to the Von Essen Group, so that Rob could focus on painting. Joan stayed on as manager and when the hospitality group collapsed, she feared for the hotel’s future. She says: “I was devastated to think that it could fall into the wrong hands, especially someone who just saw it as a way to make money. Ynyshir is very precious to us and also to all of our regular guests, who would be really upset to see it go, or worse, just dwindle into mediocrity.”

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The Reens bought back the hotel – in collaboration with a high profile, anonymous business partner – and Joan is delighted at regaining ownership of what she describes as “her obsession.” She has been told by several clairvoyant guests over the years that “her soul belongs to Ynyshir,” and this certainly seems the case when she describes her feelings about the

re-purchase: “I have lived at Ynyshir Hall longer than any other place in my lifetime and I just couldn’t let it go because I feel a huge emotional attachment to the hotel.” One of the areas the couple hope to improve on, is the addition of more accommodation, as Joan adds: “One of the reasons we sold the hotel in the first place was that it needed to be a little bigger than

nine bedrooms for a Michelin-star-style restaurant and the quality of service that we provide.” The couple are currently planning two new cottage suites in the gardens, to be completed before the end of the season; upgraded bathrooms; and the re-modelling of the ground floor into a large suite. Joan also wants to install a small health spa and treatment centre in

Each room is composed

like a painting, and every view – both interior and exterior – must please the eye”

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Front of house

Ynyshir is our home, our

business, our passion, our life. It is a very unforgiving job, day-in and day-out”

the 12th century sawmill in the grounds: “We feel the wellness aspect is very in keeping with our philosophy and would be a natural progression, which would help boost Ynyshir as a year-round destination.” Joan admits that this is a very exciting time for the hotel and the re-purchase has given them a new lease of life. Joan readily admits: “The hotel industry is hard work, seven days a week. Ynyshir is our home, our business, our passion, our life. It is a very unforgiving job, day-in and day-out.” The couple believe the key to success in the hotel sector is not just dedication and stamina – although this certainly helps – it’s liking people and enjoying making them happy. In one instance, this involved serving a full Michelin-star picnic on a local beach. Joan also adds: “Guests should feel genuinely cared for,” and should be able to take away a lasting memory of their experience. With large numbers of repeat customers – and some guests coming to the hotel for as long they have been there – Joan and Rob have certainly made a lasting impression. Chief executive of the Machynlleth-based Mid Wales Tourism organisation, Val Hawkins, was delighted to hear the hotel was back under the Reens’ ownership and commented: “Joan and Rob Reen are very well-known and respected in the hospitality industry and I’m sure that Ynyshir Hall Hotel will have a very bright future under their guidance.” High praise indeed, for a couple that had to learn how to serve a gin and tonic all those years ago.

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1963 Hypnos Hotel Mag Ad 93x268 aw OL.indd 1

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Signature menu

Langoustines with cauliflower, green apple and sea lettuce

Dining out with… Robert MacPherson, head chef at the 4 Red Star Airds Hotel in Argyll has a fairly simple ideology in cooking – to take the finest ingredients, local if possible – and treat them with respect to extract the maximum amount of flavour

We are so lucky to have such fantastic produce on the west coast, most of which is sent abroad for consumption in France and Spain. Our location and good working relationship with local suppliers means that we are able to secure the very best that Scotland has to offer before it goes abroad. These langoustines, for instance, are creelcaught and delivered to our door the very same day, so in this particular dish we have kept it fairly simple with a puree of cauliflower and green apple. A jelly is made from the clarified langoustine stock and a few leaves added from the hotel garden. The dish is finished with some local sea lettuce.

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ith views out over Loch Linnhe and the Morvern Hills, the dining experience at the 4 Red Star Airds Hotel, situated in the peaceful and picturesque village of Port Appin, Argyll, is an unforgettable one. Head chef at the Airds with ‘Scotland’s larder’ at his disposal is Robert MacPherson. Robert began his career in Fort William in the Highlands, where he grew up. His genuine talent was very quickly spotted and at the age of 22 he was awarded three rosettes by the AA for food and has worked consistently at this level ever since. Robert has been a Master Chef of Great Britain for many years and was honoured to be made one of the first Fellows in 2005.

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Signature menu

Fillet of prime aged Scotch beef, beef cheek and confit potato: At the Airds Hotel we have been using the same butcher for over 20 years. Very few butchers these days will personally buy their meat ‘on the hoof ’ at the market, but our butcher, Alan, still does. He then hangs it to our specification of 28 days minimum to ensure the end product is of the highest quality and meets the strict standards of the Scotch Beef Club, of which the Airds is a full member. Here we have a beautiful tender fillet of beef, served with beef cheek slow cooked for 14 hours at 82˚C, which is then shredded down with caramelised onions, a puree of Kohl rabi from our polytunnel and a light beef and shallot sauce accompanying the dish.

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Vanilla bean mousse, pink champagne jelly and poached rhubarb There is always great excitement in the pastry section of the kitchen when our gardener comes in with the new season’s rhubarb, as it is an ingredient that provides a great deal of flavour and texture to a dish as well as a real vibrancy of colour. This dish accentuates all of these characteristics and is packed full of flavours. A light vanilla mousse topped with a fizzy, pink champagne jelly rests upon a thin crisp shortbread base. Rhubarb poached at 75˚C for eight minutes finishes the dish.

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Food and drink

Fresh thinking

Serving up the latest ideas from the food and drinks sector � Aspall Cyder Aspall director and head of export Henry Chevallier Guild says: “The trend for Britishness is likely to become even more prevalent this year with the events this summer such as the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics raising Britain’s profile.” In the UK, Aspall produces and distributes its range of cyders including the Premier Suffolk Cru, Organic Suffolk Cyder and the two new cyders: Aspall Imperial Cyder and Aspall Lady Jennifer’s. The company – now run by the eighth generation of the Chevallier family – also has a new range of premium vinegars and the new Aspall 100 per cent freshpressed English Apple Juice. Henry adds: “British food and drink is viewed very strongly in the global marketplace as consumers are drawn to British products with real history and heritage.” Information: www.aspall.co.uk

 Fry’s Vegetarian Leading meat replacement expert Fry’s Vegetarian has secured a deal with food distributor 3663 that will see its products available at hotels, bars and restaurants throughout the UK. The company says: “The diverse range of 18 products are all pre-cooked making them fast and easy for cooks to use. Taste is not compromised either with Fry’s winning five awards over the past five years.” Marketing manager for 3663, Angela May, says: “Having Fry’s on board is brilliant. We are passionate foodies here at 3663 and we know how important it is to offer our customers a fantastic choice of products.” Fry’s is able to cater for those looking reduce their meat intake, vegetarians or those who simply want a lower fat diet. Information: www.frysvegetarian.co.uk

 Norfolk Cordial Norfolk Cordial’s drinks are designed for the adult market and use only fresh, real fruit. The company says: “We produce our cordial by hand in small batches and our production methods are very similar to those used in the wine industry, whereby all fruit is cold pressed and then filtered before being mixed with sugar and citric acid to produce a cordial that is not only beautiful to look at but also tastes like no other” The cordials have no added colours, flavours or preservatives and are pasteurised in the bottle to ensure that everything is sterile and that nothing is lost in terms of flavour and smell. The company adds: “Our flavours are more on the sharper side than sweet and therefore cater to the more mature and discerning palette.” Information: 01263 570 251, hello@norfolkcordial.com or www.norfolkcordial.com

 Vittles Desserts Through a combination of cake and climbing, Vittles Desserts is hoping to raise £10,000 for the Rainbows Hospice for children and young people. Vittles managing director Martin Zalesny and operations director Peter Simpson will be heading for the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money in June, and the company is donating all of the profits from its bestselling Chocolate Fudge Cake to the hospice. Peter said: “We’re overwhelmed by the generous support we’ve received from our suppliers, who are donating the ingredients for the Chocolate Fudge Cake so we can pass all the profits on to Rainbows.” The moist chocolate sponge is made using organic Fair Trade chocolate, Cotswold flour and fresh eggs and sandwiched together with rich fudge icing. Information: www.vittlesfoods.co.uk

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Our friend in the north Since his first appearance in 1996, James Martin has rarely been off our TV screens. Today he fronts Saturday Kitchen, has put his name to the Leeds Kitchen and recently announced his collaboration with the Talbot Hotel in Malton. Here, he chats to Mike Kiely about cooking simple, honest food; going back to his Yorkshire roots; and a hatred of horseradish

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here’s no liquid nitrogen, there’s no foie gras, there’s no truffle unless it is Yorkshire truffle. It is important in terms of the ethos of this project and important in terms of the family who have a rich heritage.” James Martin has very definite ideas about how the rebirth of the Talbot Hotel, a country house owned by the Fitzwilliam Estate, is going to unfold. Which is not surprising given that he’s a local lad himself, born in Malton, the market town in North Yorkshire that not only boasts the Talbot, but also the annual Food Lovers Festival that attracts headline names from the cooking world.

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Interview

Hotel du Vin, Winchester

James is something of a celebrity chef himself, fronting the weekly Saturday Kitchen on BBC1, together with numerous other culinary TV projects. There was also a stint treading the boards on the prime time reality show Strictly Come Dancing, but let’s not go there. James’s return to his Yorkshire roots – he’s bought a house in the county – has not solely revolved around his role in the £4 million refurbishment of the Talbot; he’s also put his name to the Leeds Kitchen, a contemporary dining destination housed in the city’s Alea entertainment venue. In terms of the Talbot project, one of the big considerations was the listed status of the building. So, internally, the walls could not be touched, presenting a few headaches in the kitchen department about how best to utilise the limited area allocated on the footprint. The solution was to tap into the wealth of local ingredients and artisan producers to give the kitchen brigade much needed breathing space. “We have gone around individual bakers. I’ve met a couple of ladies who have set up shop at the end of their garden in what looks like a B&Q shed with a couple of ovens and they are just baking cakes. Now, why don’t we get them to bake the cakes for the Talbot for afternoon teas? “We’ve got a brilliant ice-cream maker in Helmsley, why don’t we use them? It is that kind of ethos – utilising all the great suppliers round and about – but it is the chef ’s skill to put it all together and make it appetising on the plate.”

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The best meal most people have eaten in their life was probably put on the table by their mother, rather than a professional chef

James is keen to emphasise the merits of simple, honest food, cooked with care and skill, pointing out that the best meal most people have eaten in their life was probably put on the table by their mother, rather than a professional chef. With that, he’s mentally salivating over more proud Yorkshire ingredients. “Say, you go to a smokehouse in Whitby – there’s one called Fortune’s, which has these amazing kippers, and if you get the kippers in the morning and serve them with some lovely homemade bread and a nice little pickle, or something like that, it’s delicious. Or alternatively, you can flake them up and turn them into a scotch egg. “We are talking about Sand Hutton asparagus. You know Sand Hutton is eight miles away from Malton. The asparagus season kicks in at the end of April, beginning of May. We’d be stupid not to use it, but we’d also be stupid to take Sand Hutton asparagus and blend it into a soup, with foam over the top, because that is not what people want. People want Sand Hutton asparagus chargrilled with a lovely hen’s egg from a local farm literally

down the road from us and a nice little hollandaise sauce.” James is no stranger to the pressures involved in getting a new hotel venture off the ground. In the mid 1990s he was at the heart of the launch of the first Hotel Du Vin in Winchester. The experience remains fresh in the memory: “It was a big risk for me. I was only 21 at the time, 22 when we first opened, and it was a risk for the owners as well, so we were almost venturing into the unknown. We were one of the first boutique hotels, I suppose. “I was thrown into the fire pit really because from day one we were fully booked for three months and I never had a break – there was no rota. There were three of us in the kitchen, seven days a week, working for a year without a day off. It was very different compared to the restaurant business where you could get out in the afternoon. You had so many different things to think about – the functions, the breakfasts. There’s a lot more going on in a hotel than there is in a restaurant. “I’d come from a restaurant training background, so it was my first experience of a hotel kitchen but the ethos of Hotel Du Vin was very different to what it was, say, at the Park Lane where I was working when I was 14, because we looked at the restaurant at Hotel Du Vin as a shop window for the rooms.” James is planning soft openings and a steady development in terms of the number of covers for the Talbot’s casual and formal dining options. “It would be

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Interview

If you put your name to a menu, you should be prepared to stand at the stove and cook it

stupid to literally open the doors and be fully booked for three months because the kitchen would then get hammered when it needs to slowly build up,” he says. He’ll be heading up service, too, for two important reasons: to support the kitchen brigade he has recruited; and because if you put your name to a menu, you should be prepared to stand at the stove and cook it. High-end restaurant and hotel services are renowned for pressure, but how does the heat of the kitchen compare with television? “I’ll be honest with you, if I do an hour and a half of Saturday Kitchen I’m more knackered than I am doing an hour and a half of service, because you are concentrating so much more. In the kitchen you can keep your gob shut and concentrate on your food. It’s when that red light comes on and it is you, and there is nowhere to hide, and 90 minutes later it will go off. But I love every minute of it. I feel that at Saturday Kitchen I have found my home.” James makes a point of doffing his cap to the late Keith Floyd when introducing the programme’s weekly serving from the BBC archive. What are his reflections on a man who was a TV original? “Really,

he was the master of communication in terms of television. Keith Floyd only ever did one take, and the situations he was put in, I mean, I’ve being doing it for a fair few years, but I have just got to look in amazement at what he does. We showed a little clip of him on a boat, and he was rolling around in the ocean and he did one take on this boat. It was a two and a half minute piece, solidly to camera, he turned round and cooked in this little galley. “Fair enough his food didn’t have any foam or liquid nitrogen or any of that sort of stuff; it was honest grub. He never went out there and told everyone he was a chef.

He was a food lover.” The local larder available to James at the Talbot will guarantee that the honest grub on the menu will be anything but ordinary when the hotel opens for business this spring. With this in mind, what is his idea of extraordinary food? Or, to steal a line from his Saturday Kitchen script: so James, food heaven and food hell? “Food heaven would be fresh crab. One of the joys of living in the UK is the shellfish that you find in the cold waters around the north and Scotland. Hell would be horseradish – cannot stand the stuff. Why ruin a perfectly good piece of beef?”

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Inspiring ideas

The glass wall alongside the new staircase depicts Eilean Donan Castle

The Scottish-themed artwork is avant-garde and pushes at the boundary of what is usually thought of as art

Inspiring

IDEAS

The main granite floor is treated in strips of different finishes, playing with the roughness of the material

The back-lit resin wall behind reception is clad in stainless steel sculpted with stag heads to create a 3D effect

Lighting always plays a pivotal role in our designs and on this project it was especially important due to the lack of natural light in the centre of the build

Large structural columns on the ground floor feature a striking textured resin material and are backlit, effectively converting them into works of art

The hard materials are complemented by the warm tones of the timber and upholstery, as well as the brightly coloured tartan rugs

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Inspiring ideas

The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh has recently undergone a major refurbishment with MKV Design, creating contemporary new public areas and guest rooms. General manager of the hotel, JP Kavanagh, reveals some of the key aspects of the new dÊcor, which blends contemporary comfort with cutting-edge technology The hotel’s guest rooms boast spectacular views of Edinburgh castle

All of the rooms and suites have a media hub enabling guests to connect wired or wirelessly to the TV and sound system provided in the room We wanted to add depth by using highly textured surfaces

The design is clean and contemporary and the detail is more in the richness of the materials used

The design needed to appeal to both male female guests

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Comment

MARKETING MATTERS Angie Petkovic says that now is the time to take a fresh look at your hotel and see what you can do to improve upon that all-important first impression

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hanks to Ruth Watson and Alex Polizzi, countless establishments are now hotels for a guest experience, rather than extensions of the proprietors’ living space! A recent visit to a hotel made me think of how often I have gone into properties and seen them filled with clutter. Family-run or small hotels are renowned for their individuality and having the stamp of the owner on them, but all too often a cornucopia of ‘treasured’ keepsakes can spill over the line, damaging your hotel’s aesthetic. The hotel I went to had clutter everywhere and I felt the family had got rid of the stuff from their houses that they couldn’t bear to pass on and shifted it to the guest areas. The items were totally incongruous in the rooms including stuffed birds; dusty silk and dried flower arrangements; about 20 different styles of art; dolls and ornaments by the ton! Since that visit, and having talked to many hoteliers about this, I find they all say the same – things just get put in the hotel and then forgotten about. This month’s simple marketing suggestion (yes this IS marketing!) is that it’s time to put on (or take off) those glasses and take a clear look at your hotel from your guests’ point of view. Book some time out of the diary to actually walk round using a route that your guests use. Start with the entrance and check if the tourist information leaflets are up to date. Tidy, if it is cluttered, and ask yourself the following questions: • Would you know where to look to find local things to do? • Do you have a book of your favourite places to visit with a description of why they are good and how long it will take to get there? • Is the reception or the bell for attention clearly signed? • Do you feel good as you walk in the entrance? • What is your first impression and how can you improve upon it? Travel round each public area of the hotel and look with fresh eyes. Check if pictures are straight, and whether the messages that you want your guests to receive are clear, or are maybe too dictatorial in tone. Are the menus and wine lists fingerprint-free and current? Do all the areas smell fresh? Imagine if you were buying the hotel from someone else, what would be the elements you would immediately want to change? Make a list of what needs doing and then set a priority list to start sorting it all out. Standing outside, check if signage is clear and if it looks welcoming from the outside. Is the parking clearly marked? Are the bins on show? Once you have done this and compiled together a list, ask two members of your family or your staff to do the same exercise. Their lists will have things that you picked up on, but they will also see different things – don’t let them know

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what’s on your list before they go. Reconvene, share and set up an action plan. Often the day-to-day running of a small business takes up all of your time and you forget what it was that made your establishment so welcoming and appealing in the first place. I would recommend entering your property as a guest on a regular basis and seeing what a first time visitor sees. This makes sure that your hotel shows a direct and positive representation of you and your vision.

Travel round each

public area of the hotel and look with fresh eyes

Angie Petkovic is the managing director of apt marketing & pr, an integrated full service agency based in Cheltenham. Angie is an ex-hotelier herself and a wellconnected tourism ambassador who understands the business. With a long pedigree in hospitality, spa and tourism client campaigns, Angie’s team help their clients boost occupancy, maximise their profile and improve their customer offering by formulating a realistic, cohesive and affordable strategy. Ring Angie for a coffee and a chat on 01242 250 692 or email angie@aptmarketing.co.uk to find out how her expertise in effective communication can help you, whatever your current business situation. For further information go to www.aptmarketing.co.uk

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Spring clean

A clean sweep Charlotte Mitchell, sales and marketing manager at specialist cleaning solutions provider CDS HÖVER says there is more to ensuring the comfort of guests than vacuuming the carpets

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hen choosing a hotel, many people base their decision on the cleanliness and comfort of the rooms, having narrowed their search down based on price, facilities and location. Obviously, the physical tidiness of a room is important – guests are unlikely to stay somewhere that has a dirty bathroom or unmade beds. However, it is the subtler things, such as fabrics bearing faded yet visible stains, which determine whether a guest’s experience is a good or a great one, and affects the referrals they could generate, as well as their own repeat business. Even with traditional cleaning methods, fabrics may be left looking fresh but still contain millions of germs, bacteria and dust mites. People generally remember their overall experience more than the finer details, and falling ill, suffering allergic reactions or being irritated by dust mites is unlikely to make a guest want to return in the future. Thankfully, technological developments have made it simpler and more cost-effective than ever to ensure fabrics receive a deep clean, leaving them not just looking good but feeling soft, smelling fresh and free of germs. It is simply a matter of knowing how and where to apply them. Curtains and blinds attract dirt, germs, stains, odours and dust mites and are often overlooked for deep cleaning because of the hassle and downtime associated with removing them from their tracks and sending them off-site for cleaning. Upholstery cleaning is another way of going the extra mile to ensure guests enjoy a hygienically-clean room. Even the faintest odours, palest stains and smallest dust particles can hinder the look and comfort of a chair or lounge and thus the overall experience of a room. The most common stains found in hotel rooms include a build-up of oil and perspiration, coffee and tea stains, wine and make-up. As well as being unsightly if left untreated, such stains can quickly cause fabrics to deteriorate, reducing their lifespan. The hot water extraction method is a less well-known, yet superior method of cleaning carpets and upholstery. Unlike steam cleaning, hot water extraction does not saturate the fabrics being cleaned, which helps to significantly reduce drying time. Moisture is kept to a minimum through the specialist flow controls available to the technicians. Specialist technicians also consider a multitude

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of variables prior to commencing cleaning, such as the different filler materials, constructions and cushioning, as well as the fibres themselves. As such, a full identification process is undertaken to ensure treatments are effectively and appropriately tailored. As part of the cleaning process, fabrics are vacuumed and agitated, then spot checked and treated with appropriate stain remover. The cleaning solution is then sprayed onto the fabric, carpets are scrubbed with a soft mechanical brush and the top-spec machinery undertakes a cleaning and rinse process through the hot water extraction method. On completion, carpets and fabrics are buffed back to raise the pile and complete the process. Scotch Guarding protection can also be used to help prolong the life of the fabrics. However, it isn’t just cleanliness that is an issue – built-up dirt and grime can reduce the effectiveness of the fire retardant coating on fabrics, creating a health and safety issue. Ideally curtains, carpets and upholstery should be given a deep clean every six months, or at least once annually as a minimum. Particularly in a year in which we will be celebrating major events such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics – and with the premium prices commanded during such events – it is more important than ever for the UK hotel sector to provide an unrivalled experience for foreign visitors, to showcase itself, and the UK more broadly, to the world.

Technological developments have made

it simpler and more cost-effective than ever to ensure fabrics receive a deep clean

CDS HÖVER is a subsidiary of the CDS Group, formed in 2005 specifically to specialise in commercial interiors. The company has since grown to produce a turnover in excess of £26 million, incorporating all aspects of commercial interiors, electrical, mechanical, manufacturing and maintenance. For more information on CDS HÖVER, call 0800 652 9603, visit the website at www.hover.uk.com or email press@hover.uk.com

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Mitre Linen

Spring clean

A complete whitewash With the growing cost of linen supplies, it is essential for hotels to maximise the use of their bedding, towelling and tableware

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ccording to the Institute of Hospitality in one of its best practice guides, “linens and towelling are two of the most important commodities in a hospitality sector establishment, and with soaring cotton prices deserve to be looked after properly.” In conjunction with the Textiles Services Association (TSA) and UK Housekeepers Association (UKHA), the Institute of Hospitality offers hoteliers some key tips on saving money by improving the way they manage their linen. This includes the selection of fabrics that have a polyester/cotton blend for reduced shrinkage, durability and affordability. In recent months, Mitre Linen has seen an increase in customers moving from 100 per cent cotton products to their 70/30 and 50/50 polycotton ranges. Polycotton provides a greater tensile strength and improves the longevity of the bed linen during the laundry process, and the polyester also absorbs less moisture,

decreasing drying and ironing time. The company says: “We have increased our range 50/50 polycotton to include a T180 and T240 satin stripe duvet cover. The satin stripe finish gives a beautiful, crisp look and the high threadcount ensures a comfortable nights’ sleep.” To complement the satin stripe duvet covers, Mitre’s new 70/30 polycotton supreme range is available in flat sheets and pillowcases and has the added benefit of being cotton-rich. Mitre adds: “It looks and feels good, as well as being more durable and these ranges allow our customers to achieve comfortable, crisp bed linen that is durable and easy to launder.” Duni Ltd has developed a new alternative to table linen in the form of Evolin, which scooped the award for most innovative product at the international hotel and catering fair, Horecatel in Belgium. According to Duni, “Evolin is a revolutionary new fabric that combines the beauty and luxury of linen with the convenience of single-use.” The panel of judges at Horecatel were impressed by the innovative material, which has the same elegance and lustre as linen and drapes gracefully over table edges. They said: “Evolin is a perfect option to linen and has a fine quality. It’s always nice and clean and at a fixed cost and made of renewable materials.” The Institute of Hospitality suggests that care must be taken when storing large quantities of linen, including the use of smooth shelving to avoid snagging, and rotating the linen round to reduce wear and tear. Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire is one of the country’s premier health resorts, processing close to two tonnes of premium towelling and linen per day. Beauty treatment towels can pose a particular challenge, as they can be covered in dried-on make-up, oils, waxes, fruit extracts, hair dyes, mud and other products. These can require an extra-intensive wash programme to ensure items are finished to the high standards required. Operations manager at Ragdale Hall, Nicola Hansard chose five 25-kilogramme capacity Girbau HS-6023 washers for the on-site laundry. Four of the machines are the LOGI model – with up to 10 wash programmes – and one is the more advanced INTELI with up to 99 programmes. She says: “We’ve found upgrading to the new Girbau washers has helped us to cut wash times from up to 75 minutes with our old machines to just 50 minutes today, which has improved efficiency and productivity as well as increasing our overall operating capacity.” The Institute of Hospitality says it is essential to site the laundry room in the right place, away from damp walls or cellars. Never store any linen that might be damp and any used linen must be stored in plastic bags, well away from the clean linens. To ensure that laundry is dry when it is put away, Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems has recently announced the launch of a new range of tumble dryers. The Huebsch range incorporates overdrying prevention technology (OPT), which not only cuts energy costs, but also reduces drying time, improving productivity. The final moisture content for each cycle is fixed by the operator and the OPT system delivers it with the optimum balance of heat input and cycle time. Sophisticated sensors deliver a constant stream of dryness data to the control system and the dryer uses high temperature heat at the beginning of the drying cycle because wet work can handle more heat than dry fabrics. As the load dries, the heat input is progressively reduced. The company says: “The outcome is a win-win combination of lower energy costs and shorter drying times. Additionally, preventing over-drying reduces

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Spring clean

stress on the fabrics, thereby extending their life.” Storing linen in damp surroundings can also result in the growth of moulds and spores, and the Institute of Hospitality also advises watching for other signs of infestation such as bedbugs. On-premise laundry provider, PHS Laundryserv offers a wide range of commercial washing machines to cater for every laundry requirement. The company has also developed the Laundryguard O3 system a disinfection system which the company explains, “uses Ozone technology first applied to purify bottled and drinking water to systematically kill bacteria, viruses and moulds including MRSA and Clostridium Difficile.” It also offers shorter wash cycles and, unlike thermal disinfection, can be used at temperatures of 40°C. Additional benefits of the system also include reduced drying time, improved fabric softness and less energy consumption as higher temperatures are not required in this cleaning method. Ensuring a crease-free finish to bedding and tableware has been made easier with the introduction of new, professional flatwork ironers from Miele. Due to be launched in June, they are able to process more than 200 kilogrammes of laundry per hour, equating to more than a tonne of laundry per day. The company says that a number of innovations have been introduced aimed at producing perfect results, including adjustable roller contact pressure, which can be modified at the push of a button. This can be selected by the operator so the machine irons multi-layer items such as bed linen and thicker items such as cotton tablecloths just

as fast as thinner fabrics. Similarly, trough temperatures and roller speeds are also user-selectable. The Institute of Hospitality emphasises how, “the selection of materials for a hospitality facility varies based on the type of facility and budget.” Many of the higherrated hotels make significant investments in the luxury fabrics are used. BC Softwear has been supplying towelling products and slippers to some of the finest hotels and spas in the UK for the past 10 years, from lightweight bathrobes King of Cotton to deluxe 5-star towels. It has always placed great emphasis on the longevity of its products with the softness, fluffiness, colour retention and absorbency “lasting longer than the average towelling product on the market.” Its wide range of products includes the Sumptuous Bathrobe in white which has proved popular with high end hotels. It has recently introduced the Luxury Velour Robe with a narrow, stripe design and towels in ontrend colours such as purple, slate grey and chocolate brown.

Supplier listing Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems: www.armstrong-laundry.co.uk BC Softwear: www.bcsoftwear.co.uk Duni Ltd: www.evolutionoflinen.com Girbau UK: www.girbau.co.uk Miele Professional: www.mieleprofessional.co.uk Mitre Linen: www.mitrelinen.com PHS Laundryserv: www.phs.co.uk/laundryserv

Duni Ltd.

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Spring clean

A breath of fresh air

David Glover, managing director of Plasma Clean, highlights the unwanted odours that can build up in hotels and looks at evolving methods of dealing with them

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oes your hotel have an odour problem? It can be highly flammable, and develop into a real safety hazard. It is not surprising how many do. Even the best hotels can have just the fire risk you have to worry about either; if there is no serious trouble with bad smells, but the issue is often overlooked, provision for smoke in place, the fire brigade has the power to even by the best in the business. In the worst case scenarios, it temporarily shut down the whole operation until preventative can even lead to hotels being temporarily shut down, causing measures have been installed. It can be a very costly oversight and hefty losses in revenue. The air quality should be right at the top I have seen one UK chain lose £90,000 in revenue when a new of the agenda for any hotelier who is serious about offering his refurbishment was shut for this very reason. or her clientele the 5-star treatment. The smell and ambience An often-neglected area of the kitchen, where it is essential within a hotel can make a big difference to guests’ experiences and to get the air quality right, is the food storage area. When many satisfaction despite excellent facilities. different foods are stored together they can quickly become All hotels create unwanted odours on a daily basis, originating contaminated with foreign tastes and smells. While traditional from a number of different sources. My line of work has helped methods of odour control such as air fresheners would not be me identify five main causes of hotel odour problems – some feasible in this situation, modern technology like ionisation can more obvious than others – such as kitchen ventilation, food keep the air fresh and offer additional benefits by extending the storage, food waste, washrooms and public areas. The kitchen shelf life of fresh produce by killing airborne microbes. by its very nature is awash with smells; One of the most common sources of many good, some bad. While most people odour problems throughout the hotel enjoy the smell of freshly prepared food, industry is from the waste storage areas. he sheer volume and they are not so fond of smoke, waste and It doesn’t matter if you are a large or variety of traffic passing grease aromas which can escape through the small operation; the likelihood is that kitchen ventilation system. through the lobby means some form of waste storage is going to be The hotel kitchen is also home to a housed near public areas. Bins and waste bad smells can quickly build potentially dangerous air quality issue. If storage units can kick up a real stink and up, turning the air stale grease is allowed to build up, and create a some of the biggest names in the UK film within the ductwork, it can become hotel industry have seen these foul smells

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Spring clean

The smell and ambience within a hotel can make a big difference to guests’ experiences and satisfaction despite excellent facilities

The smell of success Research has shown that what makes an experience more evocative and liable to be remembered are the scents and fragrances associated with it. Whereas positive images improve a person’s mood by 46 per cent, a positive smell has far more impact, enhancing mood by 75 per cent. Senti recognises the importance of creating a good impression through smell and the company has become the sole UK distributor of the luxury brand of Dr Vranjes room fragrances. Used in some of the world’s most exclusive hotels including II Salvatino in Florence, the Capri Palace, the Capital Hotel, Knightsbridge, and the Bingham Hotel in Richmond, the range includes room scents and the recently introduced Linen Collection, which can be sprayed directly on to clothing and bed linen to freshen the fabric. Big and bulky to use, there is an expensive initial outlay and they require high power. The maintenance costs also quickly build as the carbon ‘sponge’ has to be replaced on a regular basis as it gets saturated. A method of cost-effectively eradicating smells at their source once and for all is odour ionisation. Small ionisation units can be installed directly onto the walls of problem areas, such as waiting areas, or easily slotted into the ductwork where appropriate. Ionisation systems use ions which combat the bad smells through oxidisation and involve a low initial outlay, while being easy and inexpensive to maintain. With the technology available today there is really no excuse for hoteliers not to offer their guests the 5-star nasal treatment!

drift into courtyards and other public areas. Another often overlooked source of bad odours is in the hotel lobby. Considering this is where most guests will get their first impression of the hotel, it should be a key area for getting quality just right. For the majority of hotels the lobby is the main thoroughfare of the operation, with staff members and guests passing through all day and night. The sheer volume and variety of traffic passing through the lobby means bad smells can quickly build up, turning the air stale. Traditionally, air fresheners and carbon filters have been used for the purpose of odour control, yet new technologies are emerging as more efficient and cost-effective alternatives. Artificial air fresheners are often used to combat the problem. However, all they are really doing is ‘masking’ the smell rather than truly eradicating the problem. Chemical perfumes are not to everyone’s tastes and can be off putting to guests, especially when over-used. While not particularly effective at controlling problem odours they are also a consumable, making it an expensive method to battle bad smells throughout a hotel. Another odour control method which can be adopted is the installation of carbon filters, often used in commercial kitchens. Designed to act as a sponge filtering out the bad smells, they are usually installed into the ductwork and use fans to pull the affected air through the filter. While they work much better than chemical ‘masking’, the main downsides are installation and cost.

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The 5-stars of air quality • Do your own evaluation of air quality in the hotel. • Try to combat problem odours at source. • Don’t rely on air fresheners which just ‘mask’ smells. • Think long-term, the cost of consumables soon adds up. • Ignoring air issues can be dangerous and costly.

Five key areas for odour control • Kitchen ventilation • Food storage • Food waste • Washrooms • Public areas

David Glover is the managing director of Plasma Clean, one of the UK’s leading developers of innovative air purification systems, providing cost effective odour control solutions for a wide range of applications. Established in 2002 by the University of Manchester, Plasma Clean has led significant developments in the air cleansing sector with cutting edge technologies and products. It works with partner organisations, distributors and tradesmen in the air cleansing sector to radically improve air quality.

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43


Olympics 2012

AHEAD of The Game With the Olympic Games drawing closer, Peter Hancock reveals why he has little interest in this iconic sporting event

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ne phrase that has dogged me these past few months, due to its incessant repetition, is this: “What are you doing for the Olympics?” Being neither a sportsman or one who has ever had much interest in competitive games, my natural reaction is to say: “Nothing, and you?” in the hope that the questioner’s own plans are sufficiently well formed to take over the spotlight. My dream would be to avoid London for the duration and to be tuned into radio and television channels exclusively for sport-avoiders. The Hancock household contains no Lycra shorts, goggles, bats or balls, save for a half set of golf clubs that I deploy without skill when friends invite me to play – the lunch afterwards always being the high point of any game. So, having applied for no tickets to London 2012, it appears I am one of the few who got exactly what they wanted. Of course, what one is really being asked

is not personal but commercial. We are all expected to have come up with a series of exciting initiatives to capitalise on the marvellous opportunities afforded by London 2012 and its associated ‘legacy.’ To many in our trade, this means special deals, special menus, special events and as many references to the Olympics in our marketing output as possible. The situation takes me back to 1999 and the approach of ‘Y2K’. I was producing hotel guides at the time and our customers had expectations that the year 2000 editions would in some way reflect the excitement of this momentous landmark. Almost out of obstinacy we merely showed the new date on our covers in exactly the same font and left it at that. People still bought the books and enjoyed following our recommendations. More importantly, the guides did not look out of place once the fuss had died down and everyone felt they had heard quite enough about ‘the

We are all expected to

have come up with a series of exciting initiatives to capitalise on the marvellous opportunities afforded by London 2012 dawning of the new millennium’. Having said that, the 2012 games do represent a wonderful boost to the promotion of this country as a destination, and because of them, VisitBritain and VisitEngland have new money to play with, both from the Regional Growth Fund and the Department for Culture Media & Sport’s Olympic budget itself. Over £20 million of extra cash is going into their marketing pot, which almost certainly would not have materialised without the Games. This, in my view, is the real legacy we can look forward to, since any favourable publicity for this country should have an effect that lasts well beyond this summer, although actual visits directly attributable to the Games themselves may disappoint hospitality

All images: VisitBritain/Craig Easton

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Olympics 2012

operators outside London. Apparently fewer than 10 per cent of the tickets sold have gone to overseas residents and the talk now is of regular business being lost during the event and Londoners seeking sanctuary elsewhere. If all this sounds a bit negative I should make one thing clear: I met Lord Coe at a conference earlier this year and his enthusiasm is amazing. With personalities like him in charge we can expect the Games to go brilliantly and the world to be duly impressed.

Olympics or no Olympics – our job is to deliver a first class service to all of our guests every day

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My point is that – Olympics or no Olympics – our job is to deliver a first class service to all of our guests every day. At Pride of Britain the majority of our customers already live here and those who visit from abroad are expecting a truly British experience. This could include walking in the Yorkshire Dales or browsing antique shops in the Cotswolds, fishing in a Welsh river or working through a selection of Scottish malts in the bar. They might revel in a traditional English breakfast, a cream tea, a gin and tonic before dinner, or a soak in a nice hot bath, while the rain lashes on the window, and anyone who is into sport will appreciate a decent TV on which to catch up with the medals. Let us consider the opportunity for hotels around the country where no Olympic activity is being staged. These places are perfectly suited to the vast numbers who live and work around London and who don’t relish fighting for a parking space or a seat on a train during the Games, deciding instead to get away for a few days. Will they head for the airport? Not if they have any sense. A luxurious short break, a couple of hours away by car, is the ideal antidote. On reaching their rural idyll, will they crave some reminder of the event that has driven them away from their home turf? I rather doubt it. According to VisitEngland, over 70 per cent of English residents took a break in England last year. This is extremely welcome news as it suggests a national habit forming, even when there are no extraordinary factors at work. This strong demand for leisure breaks must therefore be based on what is already on

offer – lovely places to visit and stay. So this is what I am doing for the Olympics: along with my colleagues, I shall market to the best of my ability a collection of fine hotels where the priorities are good food, good service, good housekeeping and good taste. In other words, I’ll be doing precisely the same as at any other time. I realise that hating sport places me in a minority, especially among the male of the species. Let me conclude, then, with a round-up of the things I personally find abhorrent about sporting events and which will guarantee my own absence from the forthcoming spectacle: • Shouting fans; • Wide screen televisions in bars with the sound on; • Shaven heads painted with national insignia; • Cropped hair dyed as above; • Men in Lycra; • Men in goggles; • Sweat patches on anything; • Endless discussion of a game, race or contest, hours after it has finished; • Gum shields; • Lines of limousines at taxpayers’ expense blocking the road; • Discarded takeaway packaging; • Previously digested food deposited on doorsteps. I can confidently assure all readers that none of the above will ever feature at our hotels…not even in 2012.

Peter Hancock FIH FTS is chief executive of Pride of Britain Hotels, a consortium of 43 luxury independent hotels throughout the UK and the official hotel partner to the National Trust (prideofbritainhotels.com). Peter is also a professional after-dinner speaker and event host and belongs to several hospitality industry bodies.

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Focus on

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cooking equipment

FOCUS oN...

Well-built and well-maintained catering equipment not only has a positive impact on the environment, but can also help the performance of the business by delivering consistent results, and improving efficiency and safety

ccording to Mick Shaddock, chair of the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA), “sustainability has to be the focus for everyone buying or specifying catering equipment. Not just because it’s the right thing to do for the environment, but also because it’s the right thing to do for business.” With running costs on the rise, a product which cuts consumption of resources may cost more in the short-term, but will pay for itself through the savings, sometimes in as little as a few months. As well as investing in the latest technologies, Mick also says: “The best way to look after equipment is to have it regularly serviced. Cost-wise, it’s a win-win situation as efficient operation minimises running costs and regular servicing will maximise the life of the equipment.” A long service life is central to the design of the U.C.I lamps from Under Control Instruments Ltd. Offering 8,000 hours of use, the company says the lamps last 60 per cent longer than most competing units on the market. Novel design features give them stability in catering environments and all lamps are CE approved and manufactured to EN60335-1:2005 and EN60335-2-30:2003, the Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC and the RoHS Directive. The company also supplies U.C.I infrared halogen quartz lamps, which heat up instantly allowing heat to pass through an object by radiation and convection. The company explains: “This means that our halogen lamps keep heated counter food warm with even heat and very high efficiencies. This reduces heat loss and improves quality consistency.” Sous vide cooking has become increasingly popular with many modern chefs who favour this method of sealing food within a vacuum pack and immersing it into a hot water bath to retain its moisture, flavour and nutritional content. This style of cooking requires accurate temperature control and TME’s new Sous Vide Temperature Kit is ideal for professional chefs who want to ensure the safety of their sous vide dishes. The kit includes TME’s robust high-accuracy MM2000 thermometer with an impressive threesecond response time, which the company says is up to 10 times faster than the competition. It is able to measure both the internal temperature of food and the water bath temperature, is

e Dawson Foodservic Equipment Under Control Instruments Ltd

Samsung

Contacto

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Focus on

dishwasher-proof and accurate to within ± 0.5°C (HACCP and Food Safe compliant). Another form of cooking that is becoming increasingly popular is the induction method which works by creating a powerful magnetic field transferring heat directly to the pan. As CESA says it is not only very energy efficient but also very fast. Convinced of the increase in demand for induction, due to the energy and cost saving benefits, Contacto steers its customers towards its broad range of pots and pans suitable for induction, wherever possible. The international supplier to the hotel and restaurant trade via professional distributors and manufacturers, launched a number of new utensils, light equipment and tableware items at Hotelympia. Its range of over 4,000 quality items for every conceivable food and beverage operation includes professional pots and pans, utensils and knives. David Watts, senior manager at Samsung Professional Appliances (SPA), has also seen a rise in the demand for commercial microwave ovens, as they have become the ‘must-have’ option for cooking in cafes and takeaways. He says: “They’re fast, reliable, they can cook or reheat lots of different products and they are easy to operate. They don’t produce large quantities of steam, heat or odours so, in most cases, they don’t require much in the way of extraction or ventilation.” SPA has just launched the new range of Samsung commercial microwave ovens including the ‘SnackMate’ CM1079. This compact, robust unit offers 1,100 watts of power and is easy to operate – the user just sets the time and power with the buttons on the front. A favourite with many top chefs, the SuperFast Thermapen thermometer is described by manufacturer ETI Ltd as “probably the fastest reading contact thermometer on the market today.” Rick Stein says it’s one of his most valued pieces of equipment enabling chefs to measure the temperature at the very centre of any piece of meat or fish. The SuperFast Thermapen takes rapid temperature measurements in just three seconds, with the large digital display giving a precise read-out over the range of -49.9 to 299.9°C with a 0.1°C or 1°C resolution and a high accuracy of ±0.4°C. It has a long battery life of 1,500 hours continuous use and a washable casing with ‘Biomaster’ additive to reduce bacterial growth.

Under Control Instruments Ltd.

When it comes to intelligent innovation and ecological efficiency without compromise, Dawson Foodservice Equipment – and its Combination Oven manufacturing partner, Lainox – says it doesn’t cut corners. “Our commitment to continuous product development and advanced cooking technologies allows us to compete at the forefront of the commercial catering equipment market, providing chefs and caterers with the most advanced production systems available to date.” The latest advance is the Lainox Heart Green range, ideal for any catering operation large or small. Available in 6, 8, 10, 14, 20 and 40 grid options, it features EcoSpeed and EcoVapour, which reduces water and energy consumption and offers shorter cooking times and more consistent results through the trapezoidal shaped cavity and bio-directional ventilation system. Angel Commercial

Oven unit wholesaler Angel Commercial is a leading supplier of convection ovens and offers a few tips for hoteliers on the benefits of this form of cooking: • Convection cooking is considered to be an efficient and consistent method of cooking. When moving from static to convection oven method, temperatures and cooking times generally need to be reduced and some recipes adapted. • A convection oven can also be suitable for defrosting, sterilising and drying foods. • Some convection ovens offer a grill feature so that products can be baked and then grilled for the perfect finish. • Cooking temperatures normally range from 50˚C to 300˚C – this allows the user to produce a wide menu from the one oven (gastronomy, bakery, patisserie and confectionary). • Some ovens are produced with enameled steel cooking chambers, others with stainless steel. Stainless steel is normally more expensive but considered to be easier and longer lasting. • Coupled with improving the food quality, reducing production times and energy savings, many businesses find these ovens are a valuable investment. Supplier listing

TME

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Angel Commercial: www.angelcommercial.co.uk Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA): www.cesa.org.uk Contacto: www.contacto.co.uk Dawson Food Service Equipment: www.dawsonmmp.com Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI) Ltd: www.thermometer.co.uk Samsung Professional: www.samsungprofessional.com TM Electronics TME (UK) Limited: www.tmelectronics.co.uk Under Control Instruments Ltd: www.undercontrol.co.uk

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Hotel Owner Magazine April 2012