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Wine Wednesday - corkage free

Wine Wednesday - corkage free


Saltwood on the Green restaurant, just a few miles from the EuroTunnel terminal and Kent ferry ports, has introduced ‘No Corkage Wednesday’ to entice “booze cruisers” to taking advantage of the current strength of sterling against the euro.

The restaurant known for its exquisite use of local, seasonal produce and led by renowned owner chef Jeff Kipp, is waiving the normal £12 corkage charge for customers bringing their own wine, until September.

“There are some great wine bargains to be had just across the Channel. It’s not just the duty that is much lower in France - the tax on wine is an eye watering eight times that of our continental neighbours – transport and warehousing costs are significantly cheaper in northern France than the south of England,” said restaurant Kipp, adding, “And right now the ferry companies and Euro Tunnel are offering great deals on mid week crossings.”

The new tourism minister Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford in Kent , backs a cut in VAT to the hospitality sectory to 5 percent, although it has yet to become official Government policy.


Curry for Change

Curry for Change


With one in eight people around the world going to bed hungry every night, Find Your Feet – a charity that enables vulnerable rural families in Asia and Africa to grow food, speak out against injustice and earn money to support their families – has announced its Curry for Change campaign.

Supported by campaign ambassadors such as Atul Kochhar, Vivek Singh, Cyrus Todiwala, top Indian restaurants in London will be creating special dishes and offering their guests the chance to donate with their bill. By visiting any of the partner restaurants curry lovers can help ensure that those less fortunate.

Curry for Change is also urging home cooks to hold special fund rasing evenings and is providing kits to enable hosts to have a spicy night in. The kit includes exclusive recipes from the campaign ambassadors, top cooking tips and a free packet of Natco spices.

Those taking part will also have the chance to win lots of foodie prizes and every penny raised will be matched by Natco foods, doubling the proceeds.


Squid rings

Squid rings


The fast growing Giggling Squid family of Thai restaurants has announced new openings in Guildford, Bury St Edmunds, Billericay and Bath.

The group currently 12 operates venues in Brighton, Hove, Crawley, Tunbridge Wells, Henley-on-Thames, Reigate, Stratford-upon-Avon, Marlow, Horsham, Sevenoaks, Salisbury and Bristol.

Seven other sites are in the pipeline.

Giggling Squid has hired Peter Morrison as its Operations Director, as it continues on its journey to establish the country’s first national Thai group. He previously held a similar role at the Chimichanga Tex-Mex chain, where he was responsible for taking them from 17 to 38 sites in two years. Prior to that he held operations positions working within the game group for Prezzo.

Offering an explanation as to why Giggling Squid has been able to establish extremely successful businesses on sites vacated by other restaurant groups, Morrison said, “The food – authentic Thai dishes prepared from fresh, on site, by master Thai chefs.”

“Most customers are under the impression that they’re eating in a one off independent. They’re genuinely surprised when they discover there’s more than one Giggling Squid. I want keep hold of that same feel, whilst building a national brand.”


Lal Bagh ceases trading

Lal Bagh ceases trading


Lal Bagh Tandoori in Bushey near Watford has ceased trading after becoming insolvent after losing a court case for unpaid debts. Awarding the case with costs against the restaurant, the judge at Tunbridge Wells County Court, described restaurant owner Abdul Kalam, as “wholly unbelievable” and that he didn’t believe a single word of his testimony. Failed restaurteur Kallam, who repeatedly contradicted himself in giving evidence, had used the alias “Martin Miah” in an attempt to fraudulently obtain marketing services. Under questioning Kalam could only answer “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember”.



On yer bike

On yer bike


Adrian Oliver is claiming to have opened the UK’s first cycling pub, near Faversham in Kent. Formerly the Four Horseshoes in Graveney, now renamed The Freewheel, doubles as a bicycle workshop. The pub, which had been closed for a year, has been reopened by Oliver, who is the co-founder of the cycle training company CycleAge. When he viewed the property, he noticed the number of cyclists riding past and saw the potential. The pub is located two minutes from the national cycle route, which runs through Kent.

The pub serves “the poshest sausages … and lots of local beer."


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