Issue 5 - March 2012
Guoman Hotels: Unique & Exclusive
Stewed! • L'Anima • COYO Coconut Milk Barnsley House & Calcot Manor • The Harrington MADD • Aspire • Ellis Wharton Wines
jackets • pants • headwear • aprons • knives • shirts available in over 40 countries across the globe
Issue 5 - March 2012
ESDMAGAZINE.COM Editorial Director Laurie Cuthbert T: +44 (0) 1223 971160 M: +44 (0)7842 628881 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Art Editor Rick Koobs T: +44 (0)1603 628529 Email: email@example.com
Hello and welcome to Issue Five of EatSleepDrink Magazine - the first issue to reflect our new branding. Given the surge in traffic to our new-look homepage – www.esdmagazine.com – we’d like to think that we’re doing something right, so keep on sending us your suggestions and feedback and help us become your first port of call for all things EatSleepDrink. As always, we’d like to say a big thanks to our readers, feature companies and advertisers who make all of this possible. To everyone that’s joined the ESD revolution in the last month: we salute you and keep on spreading the word! Picking up where we left off last month with What on Earth, Club Gascon, Exclusive Hotels, Lancaster London, Bibendum Wine and AOk Drinks, in this month’s issue we caught up with some of the UK’s most enterprising companies. Indeed, our exclusive feature on Guoman Hotels highlights the extraordinary investment of one of central London’s most ambitious hotel groups, while our article on The Harrington reveals the secrets of setting up a one-bedroom boutique hotel in trendy Brighton. We are similarly thrilled to be featuring Barnsley House & Calcot Manor – two delightful properties in the Cotswolds that continue to remain the ‘go-to’ hotels for celebrities, families and just about anyone seeking luxury and relaxation. Speaking of luxury, pleasure-seekers shouldn’t miss our feature on L’Anima – a truly sublime Italian restaurant famed for its spectacular dishes and focus on quality ingredients. Tapping into our focus on unique and independent businesses, this month’s features on Ellis Wharton Wines, MADD and COYO Coconut Milk will interest anyone looking to follow their dreams of starting their own food and drink business. While our feature on Aspire – the UK’s first proven calorie-burning drink – is sure to have everyone talking. Last but certainly not least, our article on stewed! is a heart-warming story of passion and hard-work – something that owner Alan Rosenthal has in abundance. Indeed, building on the remarkable success of his one-pot perfection, stewed! is just about to open a kiosk at Reading train station, and with ambitious plans for further growth, we’re tipping it for great things in 2012. We hope you enjoy Issue Five of EatSleepDrink as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it and we can’t wait to hear your feedback on the newlook magazine! As always, we love hearing from you, so why not tweet us @goeatsleepdrink or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great month. Laurie Cuthbert Editorial Director P.S. Our 2,000th follower on Twitter will receive a very special prize that we’ll be announcing soon, so keep your sights firmly fixed on our weekly newsletter and twitter feed to find out more! 3
Issue 5 - March 2012
Nourishing Your Soul! - With its emphasis on wholesome handfuls of the most delicious ingredients, stewed! has become the last word in quick and healthy meals that taste as good as they sound. .....................................................................................................................................................8
Italian Soul - Located in central London, award-winning Italian restaurant L’Anima serves contemporary southern Italian cuisine in a stylish yet relaxed setting. ........................................................... 14 Nuts About Coconuts - As a lactose and sugar-free alternative to dairy-based yogurts, COYO Coconut Milk Yogurt has quickly established itself as one of the healthiest and tastiest products on the market .................................................................................................................................. 43
Unique & Exclusive - As a relatively new hotel group, Guoman Hotels operate an exclusive collection of five deluxe London hotels, namely Charing Cross, The Cumberland, The Royal Horseguards, The Tower and The Grosvenor. .................................................................................... 16
Perfecting the Art of Privacy - Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Barnsley House and Calcot Manor have become famous for their contemporary and stylish accommodation that seamlessly integrates character and intimate privacy. ........................................................................................... 35 A Room With a View - Conceived in 2009, The Harrington hotel in Brighton is a brand new concept – a one room hotel that provides the privacy of your own home with the grandeur and facilities of a luxury hotel. ..................................................................................................................................... 46
Passionate About Wine - Established in Cornwall in 2006, Ellis Wharton Wines has become a champion of independent growers that produce distinctive wines of quality and character. ............. 22 MADD About Mangoes - Founded in London’s fashionable Soho in February 2011, MADD was conceived as an exciting new dessert and coffee lounge concept where almost every dish is inspired by the power of mangoes. ....................................................................................................................... 28
Healthy Aspirations - With its impressive credentials as a great tasting, refreshing soft drink, Aspire is the first calorie-burning soft drink to be sold in the UK and is proven to burn an average of over 200 calories (Kcals) per can..................................................................................................... 48
Advertisers Index........................................................................................................................................................ 50 4
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Going Nuts for Coconut Milk Yogurt
stewed! to open first takeaway kiosk at Reading Train Station
CO YO Coconut Milk Yoghurt was only launched a few weeks ago but it’s already flying off the shelves, been short-listed for food awards and winning plaudits from celebrities and bloggers alike. In the last few days alone the “out of this world” dairyfree yoghurt has caught the attention of health and wellbeing consultant Carole Caplin and been short-listed for two top awards in the 2012 FreeFrom Food Awards. The winners of the prestigious FreeFrom Food Awards, which are judged by a panel of professional foodies chaired by Michelle BerridaleJohnson, editor of FoodsMatter.com, will be announced and presented with their certificates by Anthony Worrall Thompson at an invitation-only party in West India Dock London on April 17th. When www.freefromfoodsmatter.com did a taste testing earlier this year they declared that CO YO Coconut Milk Yoghurt “positively blew us away”. CO YO is currently on sale for £2.99 (125g), £4.99 (250g) and £6.49 (400g) at Planet Organic stores throughout London, Wholefoods Market, independent health stores and John Lewis Oxford Street from March. It is also available to buy online at www.goodnessdirect. co.uk and www.planetorganic.co.uk. Visit: www.coyo.co.uk for more information.
Putting the First and Great into First Great Western rail travel, the gorgeously designed, inaugural stewed! kiosk right will be offering a day long menu of one-pot meals, keeping you topped up with the same fresh, healthy, nutritious, and innovative meals that are the byline of the nationally available stewed! range. Our one-pots are still gluten, preservative and additive-free, still crazily low in calories, up to two of your 5-a-day, but now on tap, hot, catering for breakfast through-to-dinner and with an inspired mix-and-match menu of staples, specials, accompaniments and extra toppings to tax the most decisive diner. stewed! was founded by 35-year-old entrepreneur and Leiths trained passionate foodie, Alan Rosenthal. The company’s products are available in selected Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Whistlestop, Booths, Wholefoods, Superquinn stores and online at www.ocado.com. The stewed! family comprises Thai Chicken with noodles, Italian Chicken Napolitana, Mexican Three Bean Chilli, Veggie Boston Beans, Hungarian Goulash, British Beef in Ale, Chorizo, Chickpea and Pork, Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Feta, Boston Baked Beans and Veggie Baked Beans. Visit: www.steweduk.co.uk twitter: @stewed facebook: www.facebook.com/stewedpots Alan’s Blog: http://alanrosenthal.wordpress.com
Red Carnation Hotels Listed in the Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For London, UK The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is very proud to announce that it has been listed in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies 2012 for the first time in its history. The results of this prestigious and highly sought after accolade were announced at an award ceremony in Battersea, London and are officially released today. The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is delighted to have been named for the first time in the list, not only as it debuts
at number 71 but also because it is the only privatelyowned, family run hotel collection in the top 100 list. The prestigious list is compiled annually and thousands of companies apply from a huge cross section of industries in the UK. This year the final list was derived from a Sunday Times survey of over 246,000 employee opinion polls and an evaluation of each organisation’s key statistics, processes and policies.
Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of Red Carnation Hotel Collection says: “Being a family run hotel collection, our employees are at the heart of our whole operation. Every effort is made from our wonderful Human Resources team through to all our dedicated managers to ensure we have the best training and development available for the whole staff, which ensures their career progress and objectives are being met and most importantly that they are happy and feel fulfilled in their respective roles”. Visit: http://www.redcarnationhotels.com for more information.
World’s Most Glamorous Supercar Rally Launches at The May Fair Hotel London, UK No stranger to glamorous millionaire models, The May Fair Hotel hosted a stunning line up of beautiful bodies for the launch of the Dodgeball Winter Rally this morning. Over £5m worth of luxury automotives left the The May Fair Hotel under glorious blue skies, for exclusive Swiss ski resort, Verbier. The invitation-only fantasy car rally will take in some of Europe’s most impressive roads, luxury locations and elite experiences along the way including racing at Magny Cours Formula One circuit, test flying fighter jets at Pontoise private airport and taking time to stop by the world’s most exclusive watch factory in Loiseau. As one of the landmarks that has distinguished London for generations and a playground for the affluent and well-connected, The May Fair saw some of the world’s finest cars showcased, including the brand new McLaren MP4-12C (worth over £200k), Rolls Royce Phantom (worth over £350k) and the Ferrari 430 Spider. Jonny Dodge, Founder of Dodgeball Rally and CEO at GP
Management, said: “We aim to provide the most exceptional experience for our drivers and what better place to begin than at the playground to the stars: The May Fair. The sound of revving engines, beautiful blue skies and the thrill of the open road – what a day!” The Dodgeball Winter Rally ends 4pm, 3rd March. For further information on the Dodgeball Winter Rally 2012 please visit: www.dodgeballrally.com For more information on the May Fair Hotel visit: http://www. themayfairhotel.co.uk
Juiceology’s Artisanal Fruit Blends Fracino Doubles in Size Birmingham, UK Birmingham-based Fracino has expanded its manufacturing facility to a new purpose-built
headquarters close to its current site to meet increased demand for its espresso and cappuccino machines. The 24,000 sq ft workshop and offices at Birch East Road brings the size of Fracino’s premises to a total of 45,000 sq ft – enabling the business to grow its 60 plus product portfolio, hold more stock and provide customers with more flexibility. A £250k investment in cuttingedge machinery has enabled Fracino to bring more manufacturing components in-house to speed up production and continue to
innovate with cutting-edge machines. The existing premises have been converted into a new servicing department and showroom, and the site will also house a dedicated production line for its domestic machine, the Piccino. Fracino continues to buck the trend by consistently increasing its sales and has expanded its now 40-strong team by almost 50 per cent over the past three years. John Cook, sales and marketing executive at Fracino, said: “The move is a momentous milestone in our development and it is exciting and inspiring to be in our new home, with plenty of room for expansion. The extra space and improved facilities will enable us to increase production even further as we drive sales of Fracino machines to the next level”. Visit: http://www.fracino.com Twitter: @FracinoUK
Nationwide UK Juiceology is the first of its kind – a soft drink developed from expertise in gastronomic mixology, designed with unique tasting notes using the art of flavour matching. And it’s arrived just in time; here for the warmer months to provide the ultimate thirst quencher as well as a welcome spirit mixer to all those barbeques and park picnics you are planning. Forget the warm cider, a truly luxury tipple is here. Made with nothing but natural ingredients, all of the drinks are blended using fresh purees, juices, botanicals, herbs, spices and soft spring water. The drinks are naturally sweetened with fruit sugars and contain absolutely no artificial flavourings or preservatives. The Juiceology drinks can be enjoyed as a light soft drink and are also perfectly suited to being mixed, shaken and stirred with your favoured spirit for a sophisticated cocktail. Juiceology is available to buy at Fortnum and Mason, Whole Foods, Harvey Nichols and online at www.tastejuiceology.com and www. aquaamore.com. Each blend is available in glass 275ml screw cap bottles with an RRP of £1.69. Twitter: @tastejuiceology
Nourishing Your Soul! With its emphasis on wholesome handfuls of the most delicious ingredients, stewed! has become the last word in quick and healthy meals that taste as good as they sound. On the eve of opening their first stewed! kiosk at Reading train station, EatSleepDrink caught up with Owner, Alan Rosenthal, to find out more about his recipe for success. Conceived on the Circle Line in 2006, the first stewed! pot was sold on a snowy day in April 2008 at Alexandra Palace Farmers’ Market in north London. Before long, Alan and his friend Kathryn’s kitchens became mini factories and home to kilos of soaked chickpeas, mountains of chopped vegetables and cauldrons of British meat. From the beginning, Alan’s concept was to combine
delicious flavours and ingredients into one pot perfection, creating sumptuous and healthy meals – they’re gluten-free as well! – for young and old alike.
Taking the leap Disgruntled with his job and career and fed up with the dreary 9-5, Alan decided to jump ship from his previous role as a
Product Manager for Woolworth’s and concentrate on his true passion for food, as he begins by explaining. “I decided to quit Woolworth’s in April 2007 and enrolled on a three month cooking course at Leiths Cookery School in London. I enrolled on the third term of their diploma, as I was quite a good cook already but wanted to learn the tricks of the trade. One year before, I’d conceived
of a product that no-one else was selling, which was a stew in one pot, using great ingredients and without additives. “However, when I finished the course I went off and worked as a private chef in Bordeaux, where I did all sorts of things like cooking tasting menus for 15 people – it was an amazing experience and really confirmed my love of food,” Alan affirms. “Indeed, I’d like to think that my passion for food is reflected throughout our product range. After I’d finished working as a chef I decided to really develop a brand – my business partner at the time, Kathryn, supported me financially through the development stages of the business when I started cooking various stews from my kitchen and devising the optimum recipes for the stewed! range.
“Our first products went on sale at Alexandra Farmers’ market in April 2008 and the reception was fantastic,” he notes. “I’d put the stall together with the bare essentials – a friend of mine did
supportive of local businesses. The local Budgens started stocking stewed! and it went really well. Before long we were in their Islington and Highbury stores as well as Harvey Nichols. This gave me the footing to look for more appropriate premises as our kitchen fridges could only hold 70 pots, so we rented a small kitchen unit in Park Royal that allowed us to grow with demand. “We took a lot of time optimising our production process,” Alan explains, “so instead of chopping onions ourselves we started to buy prechopped onions, simple things like that really made a massive difference to the whole process. Having spent a few months manufacturing 30-40 kilo batches, I realised that I wanted to oversee the brand, so I decided to outsource the
“The kiosk will hopefully look and feel like a kitchen, so consumers will be able to look at the menu and, if it’s breakfast time, you’ll be able to have a pot of beans, bacon and bangers or porridge pots and granola and yogurt pots, which we’ll make up for you then and there.”
the first branding and the business really went from there. Lots of my customers told me to go and speak to the local Budgens store at Crouch End where the Manager, Andrew Thornton, is very
manufacturing to a key supplier of Waitrose and Ocado. As a consequence of this, stewed! was soon available in Waitrose and Ocado in September 2009. In February of the following year, we made a deal with Sainsbury’s and our products were stocked in 150 stores nationwide, which was fantastic for us. Today, the stewed! range is available at Whistlestop, Booth’s, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Budgens, Ocado and Wholefoods – we also supply the Nosh chain of restaurants as well. Along the way, I spoke with Ebury Press who asked me to write the first stewed! cookbook, which was released in October 2010”.
Full steam ahead! Such has been the remarkable success of stewed!, the company is now about to become an operator for the first time with its kiosk on the platform of Reading train station – a move that Alan is eager to describe. “Because there were only two of us – myself and our Operations Director, Mark Seymour Mead – we have just employed a third full-time member of staff to head-up the kiosk operations. I like to think that it will be not so much a departure but an extension of the brand, as well as being an excellent advert for the company. Something like 18 million people pass through the station every year, so we’re really thrilled to be in such a highly-populated market. “Because the station is undergoing a refurbishment, we know that our kiosk will be in a prime location, so it’s pretty much the ideal situation for us,” he affirms. “In the coming months, we’re also going to be opening a second kiosk in south London, which will hopefully be another great advert for stewed! as well, particularly with the amount of people that will be flocking to London during the 2012 Olympics”. When asked about the defining qualities of the company, Alan was quick to turn our attention back to the foodie credentials of the business. “As I mentioned before, stewed! is all about using healthy, great-tasting ingredients and cooking them in one pot to give the consumer a delicious meal. There are no additives in our products and our vegetarian range has just been shortlisted for a ‘Free From Award’, which is obviously great news for us. We also support Trees for Cities, which is all
The stewed! range in all its glory.
about growing and replanting trees in urban environments and part of our support involves me going into schools in inner London and teaching the children how to cook things from allotments. Indeed, a lot of the kids are from immigrant families that don’t recognise the quality of British ingredients, so it’s a great charity for everyone involved”.
One pot perfection Having built the brand on the success of his two original recipes, Alan is proud to confirm that 99 per cent of the stewed! recipes remain the same as they were back in 2008. “Today, we have a core
range of five products – Thai green chicken and noodle; chorizo, chickpea and pork; chickpea, sweet potato and feta (which is our vegetarian option); Hungarian beef goulash; and British beef in ale. All of our chorizo is from Rioja in Spain – a lot of chorizo that you get in the UK has preservatives in but we have opted for the preservative-free variety. All of our meat is British and, wherever possible, we use higher welfare British pork. With regards to vegetables, our suppliers use British where possible, although certain items, such as red peppers, are sourced abroad simply because they’re not grown here. “All of our packaging is biodegradable except
“I would like to see us operating multiple kiosks up and down the country, to see more people eating our products – ultimately to see us become a household brand.” - stewed! owner Alan Rosenthal
stewed! owner Alan Rosenthal hard at work.
for the pot because it would dissolve in the microwave!” he attests. “The pot and the sleeve can be recycled – the kiosk will be using biodegradable forks
and knives as well. The main focus of the kiosk is selling our products hot. The kiosk will hopefully look and feel like a kitchen, so consumers will be able to look at the menu and, if it’s breakfast time, you’ll be able to have a pot of beans, bacon and bangers or porridge pots and granola and yogurt pots, which we’ll make up for you then and there. For lunch and dinner, we’ll have a variety of different dishes bubbling away on our hotplates, so consumers will be able to choose from a range of our one pot dishes. The entry level cost for breakfast will be £2, while entry prices for lunch and dinner will be £3.95. “Designed as food you can eat on-the-move, the fact that we’ll be serving it hot is a major selling point, particularly at a train station where people are always looking for a bite to eat when travelling,” Alan tells us. “As with all of our products, I’ve designed all of the recipes, so the whole concept is a compliment to our existing range on the
supermarket shelves”. Given the remarkable success of stewed!, it will come as no surprise to learn that Alan is keen to really push the exposure of the brand through social networking and dedicated PR campaigns, as he concludes by affirming. “I think much of our success is down to building relationships with people and customers. I’ve always listened to everyone’s feedback and tried to adapt stewed! in the best possible way, which I think has really engaged our audience. In a year’s time, I would like to see us operating multiple kiosks up and down the country, to see more people eating our products – ultimately to see us become a household brand”. Having firmly established itself in many of the UK’s supermarkets, Alan’s optimism and genuine passion for food and his products will surely make stewed! one to watch in 2012. We at EatSleepDrink can’t wait to see what the future holds for stewed! Visit: www.steweduk.co.uk for more one pot perfection Twitter: @stewed Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ pages/stewed/129748106711#/pages/ stewed/129748106711?ref=ts
completely compostable award-winning food packaging www.vegware.com @vegware 0845 643 0406 ask for free samples of our eco & economic catering disposables
Located in central London, award-winning Italian restaurant L’Anima serves contemporary southern Italian cuisine in a stylish yet relaxed setting. Head Chef, Francesco Mazzei, tells EatSleepDrink about his passion for sourcing top quality Italian ingredients as well as his optimism for the next 12 months. Literally meaning ‘the soul’ in Italian, L’Anima has become synonymous with dishes that transport diners to the vibrancy of Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia. Indeed, as the brainchild of Mr. Mazzei, L’Anima was founded with a simple aim – to create exceptionally tasty but simple food that would bring the authentic taste of Italy to the heart of London.
A taste of home As Francesco begins by telling us, many of the ingredients germane to the dishes at L’Anima were, until recently, largely unknown in the UK – a fact that didn’t stop the restaurant’s success. “We have been extremely fortunate that our style of cuisine and a lot of the ingredients we use, such as N’Duja and Bottarga, were fairly unknown but at the same time proved very popular with our customers. As a consequence, when we change the menu
seasonally, many of our regulars will come in and ask for their favourite dishes regardless of the season”. As well as his genuine passion for southern Italian cuisine, Francesco is also keen to share his love of cooking with members of the public – something that is emphasised by the cooking classes he offers at L’Anima. “It was important for us that the kitchen and chefs were visible from the main dining room through glass sections in the stone and bronze wall. From the beginning, we decided to run the cooking classes with a different theme every month. These have proved very popular as we keep the numbers low and ensure that the participants do not only come to learn some of our dishes but also get a feel for what L’Anima is all about. “The cooking classes start with a typical Italian breakfast at our bar, followed by cooking and a wine tasting with our sommelier. All of this is then
punctuated by a five course sit down lunch, enjoying the dishes that they just learned to cook,” he affirms. “Some guests enjoy the day so much that they also end up staying for dinner!”
Signature dishes As such a strong advocate of using the best-possible Italian ingredients, it should come as no surprise to learn that Francesco has perfected his own inimitable kind of signature dishes. “I developed my ‘Rabbit Siciliana’ The sleek, clean lines at L’Anima. during a trip to Sicily with my wife and parents-in-law,” he explains. “We This is a dish exploding with an emulsion visited my wife’s aunt who lives in Catania of delicate flavours and has the balance near Mount Etna and she made the of being both mild and rich,” Francesco most tender rabbit I have ever eaten and affirms. “Another recently introduced served it with sweet and sour sardines. I dish, the ‘Raw tuna and sustainable enjoyed the dish so much that I had the Mottra Sterlet caviar’ starter, has become inspiration of making the rabbit sweet a huge success, while the ‘Sardinian and sour and it took me some time to Fregola’ – which is a rustic, flavoursome get the balance just right. Indeed, it was fish stew – is another of my signature the first dish that went on the menu dishes and is now becoming more at L’Anima and the feedback has been and more prevalent in many London excellent ever since,” Francesco confirms. restaurants”. As well as signature dishes like Much like the main restaurant’s Rabbit Siciliana, L’Anima has recently exceptional gastronomy, guests can also introduced a tasting menu that offers expect fine food and drink in L’Anima’s diners a journey through southern Italian lounge area, as Francesco is eager to gastronomy, as Francesco continues by describe. “In our lounge area, customers telling us. “We haven’t had a tasting menu before but many regulars preferred me to just create their menu from scratch rather than ordering from the a la carte. Based on this, I thought it would be a good idea to finally have one and it can choose from our a la carte menu, is proving to be very popular with our while in the evening we mainly serve customers”. a selection of canapés and starters, such as ‘Hand-carved Norcia ham with homemade pickles’, ‘Deep fried calamari’ and my brother’s ‘Wood fired oven Much like the award-winning food pizzas’. On the other hand, diners wishing served at L’Anima, the restaurant also to just grab a quick bite can also enjoy a benefits from an excellent location steak or some pasta. in Snowden Street, central London – “With regards to our wine, the something that Francesco considers one sommeliers and I are continuously of his restaurant’s major strengths. “As striving for indigenous grape varieties well as the food and location, I would say from the lesser known regions of Italy, that our third selling point is the good since they are not only good value for service provided by our attentive team money but also offer fantastic quality,” he of waiters and sommeliers. notes. “Our diverse wine list has proven “At the moment, I am very excited very popular with our customers and we about introducing ‘Burrata tortelli with were very happy to win the ‘Italian Wine hazelnuts, brown butter and black truffle’. Restaurant of the Year’ at the Drinking
Out Excellence Awards 2011”.
A sustainable future As well his impressive gastronomic credentials, Francesco is also proud to promote the sustainable use of top quality produce at L’Anima. “I grew up making everything from scratch, whether it was olive oil, tomato sauce, salami or bread,” he explains. “The key to delivering great Italian food is to be conscious of the seasons and using the best ingredients around you. A simple dish like tomato bruschetta can taste so much better if you use beautiful sun-ripened tomatoes, wild oregano, excellent extra virgin olive oil and – not to forget- the homemade bread! “With regards to the future, I have always maintained that the key to success is ensuring you keep standards up and creating new and exciting dishes for our customers, so they keep coming back,” Francesco concludes. “We have recently started to offer our two- and three-course set lunch menus as all-day menus, which can be enjoyed by customers from 11:45am until 19:30, Monday to Friday. The two course menu is great value at £24.50 per person, while the three course menu is even better value at £28.50 per person. Ultimately, I’m confident that we will improve every year and remain consistent in both the delivery of food and service, so that L’Anima remains as busy and successful as it is now”. Visit: www.lanima.co.uk or call 020 7422 7000 for reservations.
“The key to delivering great Italian food is to be conscious of the seasons and using the best ingredients around you.”
Unique & Exclusive As a relatively new hotel group, Guoman Hotels operate an exclusive collection of five deluxe London hotels, namely Charing Cross, The Cumberland, The Royal Horseguards, The Tower and The Grosvenor. Having recently visited the newly refurbished grandeur of The Grosvenor, EatSleepDrink takes a closer look at Guomanâ€™s impressive credentials and ambitious plans for the future.
The Reunion Champagne and Cocktail Bar at The Grosvenor.
Although each of Guoman’s properties is different with their own unique identity and style, each property provides the same high level of comfort and service to its guests. Indeed, all of the Guoman properties offer a unique London experience in their own right. So whether it's by offering views directly over Tower Bridge at The Tower; a contemporary minimalist stay at The Cumberland; or tasting a piece of political history in Whitehall, with the five-star flagship hotel The Royal Horseguards, guests can be rest-assured that Guoman has a property to suit their needs.
Building on success Earmarked as the fifth member of the Guoman collection, The Grosvenor has recently undergone a major multi-million pound restoration programme, which saw the entire hotel refurbished – something that Michael Parker, General Manager at The Grosvenor, is eager to describe. “As The Grosvenor had such heritage and was a beautiful Victorian building, it was decided the group would work closely with English Heritage to restore the hotel exactly to its original Victorian splendour – creating an experience as grand as the hotel was in 1862, alongside all of the modern features of a hotel a guest would expect”. During the course of the 18-month restoration project, Guoman worked hand-in-hand with experts from English Heritage to lovingly preserve and revitalise the building’s original architectural
features. This included the reinstatement of the original gold leaf finish, hand painted onto all of the columns in the grand lobby, as well as the uncovering of original white marble on the iconic pillars, which were discovered as the works progressed. The recent completion of the project saw The Grosvenor officially become the fifth member of the Guoman Hotels portfolio. As a result of the extensive and painstaking restoration work, the property is now rightly presented in all its former glory as an impressive four-star deluxe hotel. Indeed, all of the hotel’s 346 bedrooms have been finished to an extremely high specification. There is also a brand new residents’ gym, offering
the latest fitness equipment, as well as a fully-enhanced meeting and conference space where all of the rooms have been named after iconic trains – an homage to The Grosvenor’s heritage as a central railway hotel.
The flagship property As the Group’s flagship London hotel, The Royal Horseguards offers a truly remarkable five-star experience. Situated in Whitehall Court, the hotel is in the perfect location for a London stay near Charing Cross, Trafalgar Square and The Strand. Built in 1884 in the style of a French chateau, it is now a Grade I-listed building of architectural interest, thanks to the tireless refurbishment of Guoman. Rhodes W1 Restaurant at The Cumberland.
As one would expect from such an iconic five-star property, guests receive the quintessentially British experience, delivered with a professional and comprehensive five-star service. The new-look Eleanor’s Bar at Charing Cross.
Today, The Royal Horseguards stands as a testament to Victorian splendour. With its original tiled floors, high ceilings and chandeliers, it combines an extraordinary heritage – it was the headquarters of the Secret Service during the First World War and the former home of the National Liberal Club which was often the drinking place of choice for Sir Winston Churchill – with all the five-star comforts of the 21st century. Offering a choice of bedrooms and suites, restaurants including One Twenty One Two (named after the famous telephone number of Scotland Yard), The Terrace Room, which overlooks the River Thames, and Equus Bar, The Royal Horseguards is the
destination of choice for business or leisure. Furthermore, the hotel’s decor reflects the political heritage of Whitehall, as well as its connection to British politics. As one would expect from such an iconic five-star property, guests receive the quintessentially British experience, delivered with a professional and comprehensive five-star service.
Ticking every box As well as The Royal Horseguards and The Grosvenor, Guoman is also the proud operator of three additional deluxe hotels in central London. Inspired by cutting-edge design, The Cumberland captures the imagination with its vibrant
The spacious Executive Double Room at The Grosvenor.
and creative environment. The 1,019 bedroom hotel at the top of Park Lane is the perfect base to explore the capital from. The hotel offers quality restaurants and bars, including Gary Rhodes’ Rhodes W1 Restaurant, Brasserie and Rhodes Patron Bar. If this wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, The Cumberland is also home to Carbon, a late-night bar venue. As one of London’s premier venues for business meetings and other events, The Cumberland also has its own private entrance and lift access. The meetings and events facilities are situated on the lower ground floor of the hotel, but share its striking design and impeccable service standards. Indeed, the largest space, the dramatic Ocean Room, can accommodate as many as 350 guests, while the additional 25 meeting and event rooms offer a comprehensive selection of layouts and options for team meetings, training sessions and interviews. Elegant and cosmopolitan, Charing Cross is ideally positioned for guests looking to be in the heart of the action. The Grade II-listed building has been lovingly restored to truly reflect its Victorian splendour and offers 239 luxury bedrooms and suites to meet even the most exacting standards. Also well-suited for meetings and events, Charing Cross offers nine meeting rooms, including the spectacular Betjeman suite with its ornate domed ceilings and marble dance floor. The
Given the splendour and location of Guoman’s five properties in central London, one could easily be excused for overlooking the painstaking work and individuality that Guoman has applied to each of its hotels. The impressive facade of The Royal Horseguards.
hotel also has a lounge, restaurant and bar with stunning views available from the floor-ceiling windows in the Terrace on The Strand restaurant. Located by the side of the iconic Tower Bridge, The Tower enjoys stunning views across the Thames. Indeed, surrounded by water on three sides, the hotel is perfectly situated for the City, Canary Wharf and More London, being one of the few hotels near London Bridge that offers excellent commuter
links. As one would expect from a Guoman property, all of The Tower’s rooms and suites enjoy breathtaking views over the Thames, Tower Bridge or St. Katharine’s Dock.
Playing to its strengths Given the splendour and location of Guoman’s five properties in central London, one could easily be excused for overlooking the painstaking work and individuality that Guoman has applied to
each of its hotels. Indeed, all five stand as landmark hotels, all interwoven with the history of London and each with its own story in the heart of the capital. Gastronomy and the emergence of London’s cocktail scene is also a prominent fixture in the Guoman stable, notably at The Grosvenor where guests have an extensive choice of global cuisine and fine beverages. From the opulent Grand Imperial restaurant – where EatSleepDrink had the pleasure of dining
The Executive Lounge is part of Guoman’s strategy to keep its business guests connected in luxurious surroundings.
with GM, Michael Parker – that serves an authentic and delicious range of Hong-Kong Cantonese fine dining, to the contemporary Champagne & Cocktail Bar, Reunion. The beautifully restored Reunion Bar overlooks the interior of London’s Victoria train station and serves a vast selection of contemporary drinks fusions and impressive cocktails, with limited-edition cocktails that further excite the taste buds.
A remarkable opportunity Ultimately, Guoman has made a remarkable impression on the London hotel scene, particularly when one considers the fact that it is a relative newcomer to the market. As a hotel group, Guoman is extremely excited about the rest of 2012 as it presents a genuinely unique opportunity for the company to showcase its hotels to the world. So whether guests are looking
The Rovos Meeting Suite at The Grosvenor.
for their own slice of British political history at The Royal Horseguards, their own piece of railway heritage at The Grosvenor, sleek accommodation at The Cumberland, the city experience at Charing Cross or riverside views at The Tower, visitors to all of Guoman’s properties can rest-assured that their
experience will be uniquely memorable. Visit: http://www.guoman.com/ for more information and reservations. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ guomanhotels Twitter: http://twitter.com/guomanhotels
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Passionate About Wine Established in Cornwall in 2006, Ellis Wharton Wines has become a champion of independent growers that produce distinctive wines of quality and character. EatSleepDrink caught up with Owners, David Ellis and Charles Wharton, to find out more about this distinctive wine supplier. The result of a partnership between former restaurateur David Ellis and Charles Wharton, former wine buyer at a major brewery, Ellis Wharton Wines is the product of nearly fifty years of experience from both sides of the wine trade. Indeed, wine buyer Charles was keen to make the most of his new niche position by championing smaller growers, making wines full of character and with a sense of place – all of this whilst placing a strong emphasis on sustainability. Given his experience as a restaurateur, David was able to anticipate the needs of the trade customer for reliable, flexible service and extensive support through
training, events and joint marketing activities.
Substance over style Despite the challenges posed by the current economic climate, Ellis Wharton Wines has grown steadily over the past six years – a fact the Owners believe is down to the company’s customer focus. “The strength of the business is in our attitude to the customer – doing everything we can to meet their needs; offering them a product that they can be proud of; and giving them the knowledge to enthuse their customers along the way”.
This practical and passionate attitude to business is similarly reflected in the company’s branding, which promotes substance over style, as David continues by telling us. “We keep our branding and website (www.ewwines.co.uk) fairly simple in style – I guess it’s a bit like wine – it’s what is in the bottle that counts, not what the label looks like. Having said that, we took an awful lot of time to ensure that the website was easy to navigate, informative and reflected a bit of our personalities. In short, the kind of site that we would enjoy using ourselves. “A lot of work went into the content, so as well as an initial tasting
“Because we search for wines which truly reflect the place they were made and the people who made them, we are drawn towards indigenous grape varieties, family-owned vineyards and sustainable practices.” note or an insight into why we like an individual wine, you can click on a wine’s grape variety or region to find out more information,” they confirm. “That way the information is there, but you don’t have to wade through it to get to where you want. Our wines are also linked to relevant blog posts and social media platforms. We also try to provide ideas on realistic wine and food matching rather than repeating formulaic tasting notes that mean little to the consumers. Our blog (www.ewwines. co.uk/wordpress) is another way of getting information out there, which is of genuine interest to our customers and One of Ellis Wharton’s most popular wines, by Bodega Cecchin (Mendoza).
followers without bombarding them with sales pitches”.
The bespoke service
When the business was first established, the local Cornish hotels and restaurants were thrilled that Ellis Wharton were able to offer them a bespoke service and wines that would have otherwise been difficult to source outside of London, as Charles affirms. “As a niche wine supplier, we have always geared our business towards those that are looking for this level of personal service and a product that sets them apart from their competitors. We have built on this kind of customer base a 2008 Malbec produced by offering extensive training to hotel and restaurant teams, helping them to engage with their customers and increase sales. “As most of our wholesale customers are in Cornwall, we focus our training on matching wine and food, with local and seasonal produce obviously featuring strongly as well,” David attests. “We are always excited to be asked to come up with wine matches for the fantastically fresh and delicious food sourced in Cornwall – whether it’s oyster, mussels and mackerel, or Cornish duck, asparagus or strawberries. We regularly host wine dinners in collaboration with customers and work with some of the most talented chefs in Cornwall to come up with wine-matched
menus that really work and offer a great experience for the customer. “Because we search for wines which truly reflect the place they were made and the people who made them, we are drawn towards indigenous grape varieties, family-owned vineyards and sustainable practices,” Charles notes. “Over the last few years particularly, we have seen a growing interest in these sustainable approaches to winemaking. As well as the organic and biodynamic wines – a major focus since the beginning – our catalogue now hosts a growing selection of natural wines (www. ewwines.co.uk/sustainable-wines). We tend to keep away from the seriously whacky examples, but there are some very well-made low sulphur wines out there which have so much appeal and unique character, which our customers appreciate for its immediacy and honesty”.
Building the buzz Given the overwhelming growth of the off-trade wine industry over the last decade, Ellis Wharton’s practical and passionate attitude to its customers has been a major factor behind the company’s growth, as David affirms. “People are paying more attention to what they are drinking in the same way as we now pay a lot more attention to what we are eating. People want to know where a wine has come from and how it has been made. This might manifest itself in environmental questions such as sustainable land management and the use of pesticides, or in the human questions of fair trade. “In England, we also seem to more interested in discovering a wider variety of wines (Godello from Valdeorras perhaps, or Dry Furmint from Hungary?!) and exploring their food-matching potential,” he continues. “Furthermore, there seems to be a braver attitude to choosing wines and this goes hand-inhand with the kind of knowledge that we and other specialist merchants can offer, delivered without pretension but with a simple passion for the subject”. Indeed, personal service is one of the company’s major strengths. Ellis Wharton’s trade customers can expect regular visits from Directors, David and Charles, to discuss their needs and receive a speedy response to orders
and supply queries, as they testify. “Retail customers ordering online are able to track their orders and often receive their wine the next working day. We are happy to try to source wines we don’t have in stock and can provide tasting notes with deliveries. We are also always more than happy to leave our computer screens and actually talk to our customers, in our retail shop or over the phone, about their wine choices. “Careful sourcing of products and communication are also integral to our strategy,” they explain. “By attending countless tastings every year, we source wines of personality and interest, which we are proud to list. We also stock local wines from Camel Valley – just up the road from our warehouse – and ciders and ales, as well as quirky spirits from around the world. Our customer database is similarly growing and our newsletters keep both retail and trade
oak means that the characteristics of the grape are present in all their potency – savoury red fruits and some liquorice make for a surprising minerality,” he notes. “Finally, the Louis Roederer Brut Premier, NV is a fantastic house champagne. Blended from at least four vintages in a cuvee composed of twothirds Pinot and onethird Chardonnay, it is aged for 36 months prior to disgorgement and released only after a further six months in the cellars in Reims. “We are very
Ellis Wharton’s practical and passionate attitude to its customers has been a major factor behind the company’s growth. customers informed of new products, special offers and events. By utilising social media, we can keep our followers informed of new products, offers and events in a way which fits in with their busy lives”.
Tasting notes When asked about the company’s most popular wines, Charles was quick to draw our attention to four of Ellis Wharton’s best-sellers. “Our Sauvignon de Touraine ‘Le Haut Perron Thesee’, Domaine Guy Allion 2010 is a fantastic and great value Sauvignon from the Loire, made using organic methods and with classic flavours of elderflower, grass and gooseberry. In terms of red, our Marlborough Pinot Noir, Framingham 2009 is an award-winning wine packed with Burgundian characteristics and the ideal match with venison. “Our Malbec ‘sin sulfiti’, Bodega Cecchin (Mendoza) 2008 is an organic Malbec with a difference. Made using natural methods, the absence of heavy
‘Le Haut Perron Thesee’ Sauvignon de Touraine 2010 is another of Ellis Wharton’s most popular wines.
methodical with tasting everything that we put onto our list,” Charles explains. “There is no point listing a wine for the sake of filling a gap if you can’t be proud of it. There are so many brilliant producers out there – the biggest difficulty for them is getting a platform for their wines. That’s where we come in. Once we have the wines we then need to get out and talk to our customers – in-house staff training is crucial in ensuring that the end consumer will really enjoy a particular wine, so tasting is vital”.
Looking ahead Having built its business on the back of forming strong relationships with all of its customers, Ellis Wharton Wines is ideally positioned moving forwards, as David and Charles conclude by affirming. “We all have a strong ‘can-do’ attitude and I think people respond to that. It’s great when customers ask for something different, something that is going to make them sit up and really appreciate a
glass of wine. Ultimately, something they would never normally buy and then they come back in and say ‘Wow, that wine was fantastic! What else have you got?!’ It makes everything worthwhile. “In the next 12 months we would like to move to bigger premises so that we can import more lines direct. We hope to continue to work with the best restaurants and hotels in Cornwall, offering them products of the highest quality that they can be proud to serve and improving the standards of training and knowledge to support them. Lastly, we are going to be working to make the best of digital marketing techniques to keep in touch with our customers in a way which works in their busy lives”. Visit: www.ewwines.co.uk for more information Facebook: http://en-gb.facebook.com/ pages/Ellis-Wharton-Wines-Ltd/2190065 64784067?sk=wall&filter=12 Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/EWWines
MADD for Mangoes Founded in Londonâ€™s fashionable Soho in February 2011, MADD was conceived as an exciting new dessert and coffee lounge concept where almost every dish is inspired by the power of mangoes. EatSleepDrink caught up with Owner, Ralph Monthienvichienchai, to learn more about the magnificence of mangoes. 28
branding, as Owner, Ralph, begins by affirming. “MADD dedicates itself to a relaxed-yet-superior quality in both desserts and service, and we hope this is reflected in our branding. Our aesthetic is consistent in three key qualities: youthful, fun and bold. Indeed, our love of design, great food and nurturing young talent makes for an explosive combo, so we really wanted to communicate this through our branding”. Although the concept of ‘anytime desserts’ is a predominantly Eastern custom, the initial reception of consumers to MADD exceeded all expectations, as Ralph is keen to describe. “The different reactions can really be grouped into two categories: those who absolutely love mango and are ecstatic to have finally found a haven dedicated to the king of fruits; and those who have come to MADD and are utterly astounded that we have completely committed the entire brand to one fruit, but leave as complete converts thanks to the quality of our products and the fun, innovative atmosphere that we have created. “The pull of the shop is most evident when we get tourists on holiday in London that return again and again to get their daily fix of mango,” he explains. “This confirms our concept – that mango is truly the unifying factor of MADD – as almost everyone across the world has come into contact with this little fruit!”
sweet experience unrivalled in London, alongside the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the chaotic West End”. Indeed, when asked about the company’s major strengths, Ralph was unsurprisingly eager to proclaim the mighty mango as one of the driving factors behind MADD’s success. “Thanks to the strong relationship that we have established with mango suppliers and distributors around the world, MADD is the one place where you are guaranteed to find great tasting and truly ripe mangoes. It is also a place where you can come and learn more about this diverse fruit. Our staff are trained to inform customers of the different types of mangoes and they will encourage everyone to taste them as well. Over the past six months, we have had mangoes from all over the world, including Brazil, Pakistan, Israel, Mexico, Thailand, Peru and Australia, to name just a few. “Secondly, I would say that the opportunity we present allows our customers to truly take control over their dessert experience, which has proved to be a real selling point of MADD,” he notes. “With our unique ‘build-your-own dessert’ concept, customers are encouraged to follow a two-step journey to the perfect bespoke dessert. Not only do we have a large selection of delicious mango-infused classics, we also have an indulgent selection of chocolate-based desserts to choose from. Not to mention our extensive toppings, including ice-creams, fresh fruits and nuts! “Our third major strength would have to be the creative and fun environment that we have created,” Ralph highlights. “During the day, MADD is a vibrant space for young professionals, freelancers and students. In the evening, it is transformed into a buzzing hangout,
“Thanks to the strong relationship that we have established with mango suppliers and distributors around the world, MADD is the one place where you are guaranteed to find great tasting and truly ripe mangoes.”
Depending on one’s geography, mangoes can be antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-septic, anti-asthmatic, cardiotonic or even a contraceptive or aphrodisiac. Indeed, as the first UK lounge dedicated to the pleasures of desserts and drinks – and a niche one at that – MADD is almost entirely dedicated to the not-sohumble mango. Owing its roots to the Asian culture that celebrates desserts throughout the day, MADD has proudly introduced this fresh and exciting concept to London with great success over the past year.
Fresh and explosive One of the first things to strike customers at MADD’s Rupert Street outpost is the vibrancy of the store’s
The brightest light Often noted for its great location in the heart of Soho, customer satisfaction has also been integral to the success of MADD, as Ralph continues by telling us. “One of our customers put it best: ‘MADD is like the bright light in the darkest hole of Soho’. The colourful nature of Rupert Street really accentuates the vibrant and creative ambience that we aim to provide to our customers. One can expect to have a
"Our wide selections of desserts are always changing as we look for new and exciting ways of ensuring that our MADDams and MADDmen’s taste buds are always satisfied, " says MADD owner Ralph Monthienvichienchai.
which attracts an incredibly diverse group of people united by a love of mango and Jenga – one of the many retro games we have for customers to play”.
Keeping everyone happy Given the obvious demand for MADD’s products, it should come as no surprise to learn that the company is constantly improving its menu, as A taste of the vibrant interiors inside MADD.
Ralph is keen to explain. “Our wide selections of desserts are always changing as we look for new and exciting ways of ensuring that our MADDams and MADDmen’s taste buds are always satisfied. However, our core desserts are undoubtedly what we’re known for and a major reason why people return to us. The most popular desserts are our Siam – Thai sticky coconut rice with mango slices
– our refreshing sago bowls – coconut and mango – and our double chocolate brownies. “In December 2011, we decided to act on our customers’ requests and introduce drinks and cocktails,” he notes. “There was a strong demand for some alcoholic drinks to enjoy alongside our desserts, so we quickly realised that cocktails would be the best accompaniment. Consequently, we devised our own twist on traditional favourites, such as mojitos and daiquiris, for customers to enjoy with their desserts. With the exception of our mangoes, which we search the world for to ensure the best quality, all of our ingredients are locally sourced. Our desserts are produced on a daily basis and once they are gone for the day we do not restock them. In this way, our customers can be assured that all of our desserts are fresh, while any waste on the day is given to the homeless community”.
MADD Games As the excitement for the 2012 London Olympic Games continues to reach fever pitch, customers new and old will be intrigued to hear about the company’s ‘MADD Games’ campaign, as Ralph affirms. “This will build on our current
With the exception of our mangoes, which we search the world for to ensure the best quality, all of our ingredients are locally sourced. Our desserts are produced on a daily basis and once they are gone for the day we do not restock them. selection of games and expand it into an extensive selection of retro games from around the world. In the same way that we embrace the international heritage of mangoes, we would like to celebrate the diversity of the Olympics through our interaction with the customers”. Indeed, when asked why he thought people keep coming back to MADD, Ralph was quick to underline the importance of the company’s unique concept and the user-experience this creates. “Our one-of-a-kind menu ensures that people love the desserts and keep on coming back to try the various ways the humble mango can be transformed. The MADD experience is the ultimate 360 degree experience, with a vibrant environment, finger-clicking tracks and old-school games that celebrate the good ol’ days!”
Given the overwhelming enthusiasm and passion of its Owner, it is no surprise that MADD has been such a success. When asked what would be his ideal MADD experience, Ralph concluded by highlighting the versatility of his brand. “MADD was created to allow customers to customise their own experience, making each visit unique and special. From the ‘build-yourown desserts’ to the space where you choose to sit, MADD is the ideal spot for a boost after a long afternoon of shopping, a romantic finish to that special date or even as a workplace!”. Visit: http://www.wearemadd.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ wearemadd Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ wearemadd
Many of MADD’s customers return again and again for their “daily fix of mango.”
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Perfecting the Art of Privacy Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Barnsley House and Calcot Manor have become famous for their contemporary and stylish accommodation that seamlessly integrates character and intimate privacy. Richard Ball, Managing Director, lets EatSleepDrink in on the secrets of these most charming luxury hotels. Dating back to 1697 when the village squire of Barnsley built the original property, Barnsley House today enjoys international acclaim for the majestic gardens that past owners, David and Rosemary Verey, created. In 2009, Calcot Health and Leisure Limited acquired Barnsley House to be a sister hotel to Calcot Manor in Tetbury. Both hotels have now been painstakingly restored – efforts that are clearly appreciated by the legions of loyal guests who return time-after-time.
Tracing a luxurious history As Richard begins by telling us, one of the major selling points that led to the acquisition of Barnsley House was the delightful gardens that former owner, Rosemary Verey had created. “As a world famous gardener, Rosemary had an international following, which still accounts for a fair amount of our overseas business today. When
Rosemary sadly passed away in 2001, the property was acquired by the owners of The Village Pub who had an exceptional vision for Barnsley House. “Indeed, they were responsible for constructing the spa and cinema and the original conversion of the main house,” he continues. “Their vision for the hotel was realised and it quite rightly gained an excellent reputation for many years. In the summer of 2009, we bought it as a sister hotel to Calcot Manor. We
The Summer house at Barnsley House
consequently spent the rest of 2009 completely renovating the hotel – work which continued for a good deal of 2010 as well. Much of the work involved softening the existing decorations and transforming it into a luxurious and intimate escape”. Having acquired Barnsley House, the Calcot team wanted to capitalise on the property’s magnificent gardens. Indeed, such is the hotel’s attention to detail, there is always work to be done. This fastidious approach to hotelkeeping is evident in each of the hotel’s exceptionally well-appointed bedrooms, as Richard confirms. “You’ll find no two rooms the same – each room has its own personality and character. Traditional stone fireplaces, wooden floors and beams blend with contemporary furnishings from top London interior designers, Fox Linton. Guests can sprawl out on a private terrace, sitting room or garden, or soak in the tub and wallow in a Jacuzzi”. With plasma screens in all of the bathrooms, guests can even watch their favourite programmes from the comfort of the bath. As the second property in the company’s hotel portfolio, Barnsley House quickly became a welcome addition to the more family-oriented luxury offered at Calcot Manor, as Richard explains. “Calcot opened in 1984 when we bought what was then a redundant farm on 15 acres. We set about converting the main house into
a small seven bedroom hotel, which we soon doubled to offer 14 luxury bedrooms. Owing to its success, the property quickly established itself as an eminent country house hotel. Over the last 22 years, with the help of our new owners, we have developed Calcot into a 35-room luxury retreat for families. Like Barnsley House, the 35 rooms at Calcot are individually designed and cater to every taste and budget, including suites for couples and larger accommodation for families. “Today, we have a substantial spa and spacious conference and banqueting facilities – facilities that are perfect for business events, weddings and entertaining alike. Barnsley House was really the logical expansion of our success at Calcot – we were looking
“You’ll find no two rooms the same – each room has its own personality and character.Traditional stone fireplaces, wooden floors and beams blend with contemporary furnishings from top London interior designers, Fox Linton.”
for a property that we could improve on but equally somewhere that was inkeeping with our vision of luxury and privacy.
Great assets With such an abundance of facilities, both hotels cater to guests in search of pure relaxation or, contrarily, those looking to keep busy – there really is something for everyone and refreshingly for properties of this calibre, families are also made to feel welcome. Indeed, Barnsley House today uses its cinema for many purposes, as Richard is keen to explain. “We are keenly aware of the importance of our local business and we feel it has been vital in our success over the years. We run a monthly film night on Sunday evenings, which has proved a real hit with locals – it connects our property with their lives and ultimately integrates Barnsley House with the community, which is something we’re very keen to promote. “From experience, we have found that many country hotels are rather removed from their local communities,” he testifies. “For us, the property is part
The luxurious Room 1 at Barnsley House.
of the community and should be open for the local residents to enjoy as well as our residential guests. On the other hand, the cinema also provides that little bit of extra indulgence for our guests. One of my favourite things to do is enjoy a Sunday lunch at The Potager Restaurant followed by a private screening of a
classic film”. Furthermore, to celebrate the 2012 Oscars, Barnsley House ran its own ‘Oscars Night’ on 26th February, which included a pampering in The Garden Spa, two Oscar-winning film presentations in the private 30-seater cinema as well as midnight champagne and canapés,
alongside dinner, bed and breakfast. “We have just refurbished the restaurant at Barnsley House,” Richard affirms. “Named after Rosemary Verey’s famous ornamental and vegetable garden, The Potager Restaurant serves stunning food complete with stunning views of the hotel’s garden. When designing it, we aimed for a contemporary and spacious feel, while keeping the Cotswold stone features that give the hotel its traditional character. For a truly unique alfresco experience, we can also arrange private dinner parties for up to 10 people in The Temple, which gives guests the chance to see the garden close-hand”.
Getting the word out Maintaining an active marketing campaign has become an increasingly vital part of both hotels’ strategy with independent corroboration being vital. “We have been fortunate enough to receive many awards over the years, which are obviously a great boost for business. Awards are a particularly positive form of marketing because they tend
Pictured left, the recently redesigned Potager Restaurant at Barnsley House. Opposite, the Conservatory Restaurant at Calcot Manor.
The Woodchester Bedroom offers two-floors of bliss at Calcot Manor.
to be voted for by our guests and/or publications. Furthermore, they are great for the morale of the team” Reinforcing this point, Richard was keen to draw attention to the company’s major strengths. “I think it’s fair to say that we run two beautiful properties – however, there are many equally beautiful properties out there and it is no longer sufficient simply to have a wonderful hotel to secure success. Therefore, I would have to say that our biggest strength is our people and the commitment all of our loyal staff display each and every day. “Additionally, in today’s highly competitive market, the secret to success is setting yourself apart from the competition. At Calcot, we have achieved this by creating a setting that welcomes families as well as offering guests the last word in luxury leisure facilities,” he expresses. “While their children are being looked after in the crèche, parents can relax in the spa or simply unwind in their luxury accommodation. This mix is something that we’re extremely proud of and it will continue to inform our future vision for the hotel. “We have a much different strategy at
Barnsley House – families are not the focus as it is really a hotel for couples and people looking for privacy and luxurious seclusion,” Richard affirms. “We have tried to integrate the garden into
able to execute our vision of creating a private country house hotel that is genuinely intimate in terms of service, accommodation and setting. Indeed, in today’s market it is very unusual to find an 18-bedroom country house hotel – the size allows us to bespoke everything as well as setting us apart from the competition. “Weekends at Barnsley House are extremely popular, but we also have a robust following during the week, as well as a strong overseas interest,” he tells us. “At Calcot, occupancy rates are similarly strong at the weekends, particularly with families who want luxury without compromising on childcare”.
Looking towards the future As the competition for guests continues to intensify in the build-up to the 2012
“In today’s highly competitive market, the secret to success is setting yourself apart from the competition. At Calcot, we have achieved this by creating a setting that welcomes families as well as offering guests the last word in luxury leisure facilities.” all of our operations at Barnsley House – it is a small, boutiquey kind of hotel and because of its size, we have been
Olympic Games, hotels up and down the UK are working tirelessly to ensure that their food and drink menus are up
“At Barnsley House, for instance, we grow around 80 per cent of our own vegetables, while at Calcot Manor we buy the majority of our fruit and vegetables from Highgrove Farm, just up the road.” Guests flock to the sumptuous pool and spa at Calcot Manor.
to scratch – something that Richard is expertly positioned to explain. “We had a Michelin Star at Calcot Manor in the 1980s, which we were all very proud of. However, it did absolutely nothing for us and actually ended up driving our customers away. Consequently, we made the decision to move away from this approach and decided to offer menus that we knew our customers wanted. “As a result of this, we tasked our chefs on sourcing the best-possible ingredients from the best-possible The Ozleworth Suite at Calcot Manor.
suppliers,” he notes. “We have also made a concerted effort to source as much local produce as we can. At Barnsley House, for instance, we grow around 80 per cent of our own vegetables, while at Calcot Manor we buy the majority of our fruit and vegetables from Highgrove Farm, just up the road. Having acquired the best ingredients, our vision is to create honest food that does the produce proud. At Calcot, we have two restaurants, The Gumstool Inn and The Conservatory. The Gumstool Inn is our
own pub and suitable for relaxed meals and for children, while The Conservatory is a more formal space. Because we also own The Village Pub opposite Barnsley House, we can also offer the same kind of atmosphere there as well”. With regards to the future, occupancy rates continue to remain robust – a fact not lost on Richard. “As I mentioned earlier, we’re constantly looking at ways in which to improve our hotels. We are currently working on the restoration of the main garden at Barnsley House
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A weekened break in the Cotswolds doesn’t get any better than this. Relax and unwind with a glass of bubbly in the deep baths in the Woodchester.
and later in the year we will be working on the garden around the pond. We inherited a very important piece of gardening history, so we intend to maintain and improve it at all costs. In terms of the accommodation, we have no plans to expand upon the 18 rooms – Barnsley’s intimate size is what makes it the hotel it is, so our efforts will be directed at making whatever improvements we can. “At Calcot Manor, we do have room to grow – we have planning permission to expand and this is something we will
be looking at in the next few years,” he concludes. “In the short-term, we would like to build a separate children’s pool. At the moment, children are restricted to use the pool for two hours per day and for four hours at the weekend. Although our guests like the current system, we have a rather exciting scheme to convert one of our barns into a dedicated children’s area, including pool, restaurant and supervised play area. Moreover, we also have plans to expand the spa, so when we undertake this expansion, we will also add a few more rooms”.
Having graciously accommodated EatSleepDrink for two nights, we can confirm that Barnsley House and Calcot Manor more than justify their widespread acclaim. With their rich mixture of contemporary style and luxurious character, a weekend break in the Cotswolds doesn’t get any better than this. www.barnsleyhouse.com - or call 01285 740 000 for reservations. www.calcotmanor.co.uk – or call 01666 890 391 for reservations.
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Nuts about Coconuts! As a lactose and sugar-free alternative to dairy-based yogurts, COYO Coconut Milk Yogurt has quickly established itself as one of the healthiest and tastiest products on the market. Bethany Eaton, Director and Nutritionist at COYO, tells EatSleepDrink more about the inspiring story behind the company. Having spent countless hours experimenting with coconut milk yogurt recipes in her kitchen, Bethany Eaton was desperate to produce a yogurt that offered a choice to those for whom dairy wasn’t an option. Having stumbled across an identical business in Australia, Bethany was able to make her dream a reality and, today, COYO is available in mixed berry, passion fruit or natural flavour. Owing to the growing demand
for lactose-free products, the company will shortly be bringing out an ice cream too, which can be enjoyed in acai berry, chocolate or natural flavours.
Eureka! As Bethany begins by explaining, the road to her coconut milk yogurt recipe was a painful but, ultimately, rewarding one. “The only dairy-free option at the time was a soya and pea protein yogurt,
which, let’s face it, didn’t taste great. I was nearly at my wits end when I trawled the internet and found Henry and Sandra Gosling, who had the same idea as me and had set up their own business in Australia. “Henry had been through the same trials and tribulations as I had but he was one step ahead and had just released COYO into the Australian market,” she recalls. “It was at that moment that I
knew we had to work together and bring COYO to the UK. After many conversations, we finally decided to produce COYO over here in East Sussex and let the public in the UK finally have the choice of a dairy-free yogurt”. Given the unique status of their product, it was imperative that COYO’s branding reflected the concept and image of the company in the most authentic way possible, as Bethany confirms. “Branding is everything to us. Our company image is portrayed through the ruffled edges and parchment paper of our packaging, which represents a classic, confident and boutique look. Because I am a trained nutritionist, when a coconut milk yogurt never arrived, I decided to do it myself. From experience, I knew that people felt as I did and that those in the nutritional world would be excited about the launch of COYO”.
Creating a storm “When we first told the UK press about the launch of COYO it was immediately picked up and published and we started getting calls and emails about our product straight away,” she affirms. “This is because COYO is unique – there is nothing else like it anywhere in the world, except for Australia, of course! Our customers recognise that we are supplying them with a high quality product – one that is made with affection and passion, and one that contains nothing artificial. Indeed, all of our ingredients are ethically sourced and
our standards are extremely high”. Owing to the increasing number of people who are lactose intolerant, COYO offers the perfect solution to customers who want to continue to enjoy great-tasting yogurt and ice cream. Available in convenient 125 gm, 250gm and 400gm containers, COYO is also delicious on fruit; a wonderful addition to curries and fish dishes; as well as a great base for mayonnaise, coleslaw and potato salad. “I would attribute a lot of the buzz about our products to their genuine uniqueness in the market,” Bethany tells us. “People are excited to have a choice and coconut is obviously a big draw at the moment with its fantastic health benefits and great taste”.
Building on success Having capitalised on the demand for COYO in the UK, Bethany is unsurprisingly determined to grow the company by increasing its product range and ensuring that quality remains unbeatable. “We are passionate about the product that we produce and because Henry, Sandra and I are all vegan, we have a genuine philosophy that informs all of our products. Indeed, COYO products have the benefit of being made from coconut as well as the added health benefits of probiotic cultures. “In terms of our most popular products, our natural coconut milk yogurt is the real standout,” she affirms. “Because it can be simply eaten as a yogurt, used in cooking or for dressings it is an extremely versatile product, which obviously helps its popularity. All of our ingredients are sourced from reliable suppliers and they are all traceable too. Indeed, as our volumes increase we have already set up production plans to ensure that this quality process will continue. At COYO, bringing the customer a high quality product is paramount and always will be”.
“People are excited to have a choice and coconut is obviously a big draw at the moment with its fantastic health benefits and great taste”. Planet coconut Under the company that Bethany owns – Planet Coconut – COYO looks to be going from strength-to-strength and with the London 2012 Olympics on the horizon, there couldn’t be a better time for her to showcase these dairy-free products to the rest of the world, although she remains coy about just what we can expect in the coming months. “We have some exciting products and new flavours in the pipeline for COYO, so watch this space!” When asked about the driving factors behind the company’s success, Bethany again draws our attention to the passion behind the product, as she concludes by affirming. “I know I keep saying it but passion and belief in our products are the two attributes that really stand out for me. COYO has the added bonus of also tasting great and we have already been shortlisted for two Free From Awards. As a testament to this, my favourite product at the moment is our natural yogurt, which I have in my smoothies every day for breakfast”. Having already taken the UK and Australia by storm, it is surely only a matter of time before the rest of the world is hooked on the delicious, dairy-free products of COYO. Indeed, with the London 2012 Olympics providing a unique marketing opportunity, EatSleepDrink is tipping COYO for another bumper year. Visit: www.coyo.co.uk for all things coconut! Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ CoYo.UK
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Conceived in 2009, The Harrington in Brighton is a brand new concept – a one room hotel that provides the privacy of your own home with the grandeur and facilities of a luxury hotel. Owner and Founder, John Harrington, tells EatSleepDrink about the meticulous attention to detail that has gone into this unique hotel. Located in hip and trendy central Brighton, The Harrington is a ‘no-tell hotel’ – a hotel that is private and whose only guests are you. With no staff on site all bookings are confidential. Guests can be met at a pre-arranged point and from there on the space is yours to come and go as you please. Room service does not exist in the traditional sense but service most definitely does. Indeed, The Harrington can cater to almost any desire – as long as guests specify their needs ahead of time, their wishes can be catered for. Bespoke packages can be created exclusively for any occasion, so whether its tickets to a show, a table at the best restaurant in town or a relaxing
massage, anything is possible. In fact, The Harrington can create a completely customised itinerary for its guests and prides itself on the ability to indulge every whim of its residents.
A private history With his background in contemporary jewellery design, John begins by telling us about the concept behind The Harrington and how his design experience influenced the hotel’s striking interior. “I actually bought the property about six years ago to be a shop for my jewellery designs, with the basement being my workshop. Originally, the upstairs space was used for
View a high-end showroom for some of my jewellery designs. In truth, we didn’t really use this space because it was a private showroom. I was happier talking to the customers in the space downstairs, so the room upstairs was not being utilised at all. “The room was so beautiful that I ended up staying the night and was struck by the incredible wake-up call of the sun streaming through the stain glass windows,” he affirms. “Being located in the centre of town, it also has a great location going for it as well. When I was very young, I started my career as an antique furniture restorer, so I have lots of experience working with wood and metals. The property was a complete wreck when I bought it, so I ended up doing all of the restoration work, which reignited my passion for design”. This, in combination with the location and unique upstairs space was the impetus behind John’s decision to create a one bedroom hotel geared towards private breaks, as he continues. “The actual vision for The Harrington came around two and a half years ago, which coincided with a busy period in my jewellery and design business. Because of this, I could only do sporadic work on the space – in fact, it wasn’t until a year ago that I decided to really decided to devote my attention to what would become The Harrington. “Having spent 12 years in the jewellery business, I was particularly keen to focus on interior design,” he notes. “The building itself is wonderfully unique, so it offered the perfect canvas for me to indulge my love of Victoriana in a contemporary style and setting”.
Unique fittings In keeping with the unique setting of The Harrington, many of the room’s features have been created from a unique mix of antique furniture executed in a contemporary style, as John continues
In keeping with the unique setting of The Harrington, many of the room’s features have been created from a unique mix of antique furniture executed in a contemporary style. by explaining. “I had a beautiful Victorian piano that I didn’t really have room for but which was too good to waste. My design instinct is all about reimagining antiques to utilise them in a thoroughly modern and contemporary style. I love antiques and I love modern settings, so the chance to integrate both of these passions into a hotel was really the perfect scenario for me”. Given the exclusivity of the privacy offered at The Harrington, it should come as little surprise that the market for the hotel is primarily couples looking for seclusion, as John explains. “All of the little touches in the room – such as a silver Victorian tea service made into coat hangers – are designed with couples in mind. Indeed, the crystal chandelier in the staircase has 300 separate glasses, all from different periods, so the design concept is very much about reimagining the traditional into something much more exceptional. “In the main room, I constructed a black Lego chandelier, which was based
on a traditional Victorian ‘bird cage’ chandelier,” he confirms. “All of the handles for the doors were acquired from a French chateau and are extremely ornate. Similarly, all of the lock and cover plates for the doors were made from bespoke hallmarked silver. The speakers for the room are hidden in Victorian picture frames in the wall, so almost everywhere you look there is something contemporary and unique that I have designed from antique objects”.
Positive outlook With regards to his hopes for the next 12 months of business, John is quietly confident about The Harrington’s prospects. “For the next year, the main objective is to make the hotel a viable project. I went into the whole thing pretty blind – my main hope was that if I liked it then other people would as well. Everyone who has seen the hotel loves it, so I am now starting a PR campaign to spread the word about The Harrington.
We have a potential tie-up with a local hotel, which would be great for business, so we’ll see how that works out over the coming months. “For me, if I could look at this project in a year’s time and see that it was profitable then my love of design would compel me to take on another similar project,” he concludes. “Whether this would be on my own or with a partner is something that only time will tell. A big part of my work is the effort to get the design to the best standard possible – the actual upkeep of the hotel is not really my domain, which is the way I like to operate. As a designer, The Harrington has been a dream come true, so if it proves to be a success then I would definitely love to do more. Because I didn’t go into this project with a budget in mind, I’ve been able to iron out future budgets, which would make working on additional hotels far more manageable”. Having graciously accommodated EatSleepDrink Magazine for an overnight stay, we can confirm first-hand the meticulous attention to detail and luxury of this unique property. For those looking to experience a genuinely private and indulgent retreat, one needs look no further than The Harrington. Visit: www.theharrington.co.uk or call 01273 604010 for reservations.
Healthy spirations With its impressive credentials as a great tasting, refreshing soft drink, Aspire is the first calorie-burning soft drink to be sold in the UK and is proven to burn an average of over 200 calories (Kcals) per can. EatSleepDrink spoke to Marketing Executive, Laura Wilkes, to learn more about the Aspire revolution. Using a recipe of carefully selected natural ingredients, Aspire is an enticing cranberry-flavoured soft drink designed to complement the busiest and most active of lifestyles. Best served chilled as a refreshing drink, Aspire is lightly carbonated and helps to burn calories at any time of the day. Started by two friends, Darren Linnell and Neil Blewitt, Aspire is owned by Fahrenheit 60 – the company which Darren and Neil founded to make their dreams of a calorie-burning soft drink a reality.
Following the dream “Darren had been working as an accomplished Quantity Surveyor and Project Co-Ordinator for over nine years where he acquired management and business skills that have been crucial to the development of Aspire,” Laura begins by telling us. “Neil had an impressive seven years of retail experience, working as a buyer for both Selfridges and Thackeray’s, where he developed
invaluable sales and brand development skills. Using their shared knowledge of the health industry and their passion for fitness and well-being, Darren and Neil both left their jobs and travelled to Austria – a well-established leader in the functional drinks market – to begin the Aspire journey”. Indeed, it was in Austria that the concept for Aspire really began to take shape, as Laura continues by explaining. “The owners formulated their recipe in Austria before bringing the drink back to the UK for testing. Working closely with Dr. John O’Hara of Leeds Metropolitan University to perfect and test the calorieburning formula, trials showed that people who drank one can burnt an average of 209 calories. Indeed, Aspire contains a combination of specially selected natural ingredients, including ginger, guarana and L-carnitine, which fuels a thermogenic effect, stimulating the body’s metabolism and boosting calorie burn.
“Every 250ml can of Aspire is packed full of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C, B6, B12 and niacin – all of this alongside a delicious cranberry flavour,” she affirms. “Thermogenic products have been used by athletes for many years, but Aspire is a UK first in that it brings proven calorie-burning properties to the mass market in an innovative drink with researched functional benefits”.
Classic and elegant Positioned as a premium product, primarily targeted towards women, Aspire’s branding is a lesson in the power of marketing, as Laura is expertly placed to explain. “The predominant use of white was chosen to give a classic and elegant appearance, reminiscent of upscale brands outside of the soft drinks sector. Our desire to create an aesthetically accepted premium brand is reflected in the logo design. We created a visual identity inspired by decorative, ornamental crests and our intention was to suggest authenticity and a provenance that would help to establish the brand. “The floral pattern used around the edge of the slim-line can represents the ingredients in Aspire and the overall colour scheme was chosen to display the cranberry flavour of the product,” she notes. “Fahrenheit 60 decided to launch Aspire in March 2010 at The Food & Drink Expo at Birmingham’s NEC. The drink was met with excitement and intrigue by the press, trade and consumers alike. Following this, we secured a retailer in Holland & Barrett, which gave us the nationwide launch pad we were looking for. Helped by sampling activities all over the UK, the buzz for Aspire soon spread and the ‘Aspire Education’ began”. Indeed, since its launch in 2010, Aspire has secured headlines in various national newspapers, magazines and on television, as Laura attests. “We have also gained a large fan base of dedicated drinkers on our ever-growing facebook page (http:// www.facebook.com/aspiredrink) and through twitter: @AspireDrinks. As well as Holland & Barrett, we are now stocked in Waitrose, Selfridges, GNC and various local health stores in the UK and Ireland. Customers can also order Aspire directly from our website: http://www. aspiredrinks.com.
Building on success Asked about the increasing exposure of Aspire, Laura was quick to highlight the passion of the company’s team and their dedication to drive the brand forward. “We have a remarkable USP of being the first proven calorieburning soft drink to be sold in the UK. Our customer-focused marketing has set out to educate the consumer to the functional and health benefits of our product and this has really paid off. Indeed, I would say that our major strengths as a brand would be the unique and innovative concept behind Aspire, as well as our eye-catching design which manifests a ‘goodfor-you’ healthy image. “At present, we only have one product on the market – the Aspire Cranberry,” she testifies. “However, owing to the success of the cranberry flavour and the demand from consumers, we have developed an apple-flavoured Aspire that is due to be launched in the near future, so watch this space! In the early stages of development, Darren and Neil worked closely with various laboratories and manufacturers and this experience provided them with a great insight into the way things were processed and how materials were sourced. Their experience in Austria, which has a great pedigree for producing functional drinks, provided Fahrenheit 60 with all of the practical experience it needed to build a successful drinks brand”.
Laura continues by telling us. “By the time the Olympics arrive, Aspire will be available in apple and cranberry. We will be exposing Aspire to the Olympic Games through sampling campaigns to really drive the brand forward as a healthy, functional drink. The fact that Aspire is already sold in three of the most respected and premium stores in the UK – Holland & Barrett, Selfridges and Waitrose – is a testament to the strength of the brand and the quality of Aspire. “In terms of the next 12 months, I’m expecting the brand to continue taking the market by storm,” she concludes. “Having started as a simple idea, Darren and Neil have already secured three major retailers in the UK and Aspire is now becoming a worldwide phenomenon. This has given us a fantastic start to 2012 and by 2013 we’re envisioning Aspire as a global brand. The Aspire brand now not only represents a calorie-burning soft drink but a lifestyle choice for the modern women who is constantly ‘on-the-go’ and we hope that this brand image continues to grow and strengthen over the next year”. Having already established itself as one of the most prominent functional health drinks on market, Aspire is strongly positioned to build on its remarkable success over the last two years. Given its imminent distribution deals around the world, it will be surely be only a matter of time before the rest of the world can Aspire too!
“The Aspire brand now not only represents a calorie-burning soft drink but a lifestyle choice for the modern women who is constantly ‘on-the-go’ and we hope this brand image continues to grow and strenghten over the next year.”
Future Aspirations Given the impending arrival of the 2012 London Olympic Games, it is little surprise that Aspire is expecting its most successful year to date, as
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