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Ashford Bierfest

Ashford Bierfest


An open air German Bierfest Ashford will be setting up in Ashford with a 1,200 seat capacity beer garden. North Park in Tannery Lane will be transformed into an open air German village

The family-friendly festival, known as a sommerfest, will feature a selection of souvenir huts selling gifts, exotic drinks like sekt, and food such as bratwurst from Thursay 10th, to Saturday, 12th August.

Staff will be dressed in traditionalal Bavarian costume - Lederhosen for gentleman and Dirndl for ladies.

Beers will be served in giant two-pint steins in 300 capacity beer tent with guests sitting on long benches.

There will be a children’s area where they can enjoy activities such as Hau den Lukas and other German games, while souvenirs will include Tyrolean hats, sweet gingerbread and other gifts.

Entrance to the open air areas is free but table booking is needed to enter the Bier Tent.





Staff Kai’s Kitchen Thai in Tunbridge Wells are "absolutely devastated" after flooding has caused destruction at the property for the second time in two years.

The Thai Restaurant on Mount Pleasant Road, closed for refurbishment for 6 months after damage from flooding in August 2015.

John King, who co owns the popular eatery with his wife Varanya 'Kai' King said the damage from the storm was considerably worse than last time.

"Last time we were able to bail out lots of the water as we were still open but this time it was at 3am and we were not able to do this. We had five foot of water in the cellar"

Mr King blamed council for failing to ensure that the drains are properly de-silted on a more regular basis.


Record Fine for Royal Wells Hotel

Record Fine for Royal Wells Hotel


Shepherd Neame has ben hit with a record fine after failing to deal a rat infestation at a Roayl Wells hotel in Tunbridge Wells. The company
pleaded guilty to four charges of food hygiene offences after action was taken by the borough council.

In June 2016 a member of the council’s Environmental Health Food Team visited the hotel to follow up on a complaint received about rodents in the kitchen.
Offers repeatedly witnessed a widespread rat infestation and other failings that posed a risk to the safety of the food being served. The council deemed there was an imminent risk to health Shepherd Neame voluntarily closed the premises.

they were fined £160,000 and had costs of £9,988 awarded against them.
A spokesperson for Shepherd Neame said: “We wholly accept today’s ruling. This incident should not have happened and we have done everything within our power to ensure it will not happen again. We voluntarily and immediately closed the kitchen and since the incident in June 2016 have carried out all necessary remedial work to the site.

The hotel now has a new management team.


Viiking Ventures shortlisted for English Asian Business Award

Viiking Ventures shortlisted for English Asian Business Award


Vikking Ventures, the distributor for Goa Premium Beer, has been named as a leading contender for The English Asian Business Awards 2017.

Unlike other ‘Indian’ lagers sold in Britain, the gluten-free craft pilsner, is a genuine import – not brewed in the UK under licence by a multi national conglomerate.

Thousands of nominations were cast for the sixth annual English Asian Business Awards. Based on a public vote, the awards highlight the value of English Asian businesses. The awards seek to reward the entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen embodied by the English Asian community in the country. The black tie event will be held at the Mercure Hotel in Manchester on Monday 31st July.

Vikking Ventures will compete in the Marketed Business of the Year with Kahn Design (automotive fashion design); Nudge Factory (PR); Awakening Worldwide (music publishing); Groundshaker (discotheques); Pepe's Piri Piri (restaurant franchise); Creams Café (gelato); dsgnuk (web design); and Honeymoon Dreams (travel agent).

“This accolade vindicates our decision to focus our marketing activities in supporting our resellers, typically independent restaurants, bars and local retailers,” said Viiking Ventures’ MD Ben Parmar, adding “Typically, these businesses often have limited market budgets or know-how and tend to be slow to adopt social media initiatives.

“We support restaurants’ special events, charity fund raisers, gourmet dinners and the introduction of gluten free menus, with PR, social media support, point of sale materials, merchandising, competitions, waiter incentives and a unique Brand Ambassador scheme.

“Helping restaurateurs to increase an achievable 15 percent rise in sales, doubles their net profit as so many costs are fixed,” said Parmar.


Pizza to Go

Pizza to Go


The pizza sector could be under threat, post-Brexit, according to the Pizza Pasta & Italian Food Association, which suggests that more than half the workforce currently working in restaurants and pizza delivery businesses in the UK, would have to leave if there is no agreement with Europe. It says most of these could not be replaced by British nationals.

The Association says there is already a shortage of skilled pizza chefs in the UK with the uncertainties of Brexit causing some Italian pizzaiolos to return to Italy or take up jobs in mainland Europe. It maintains that in some London restaurants, the issue is more critical with some 70% of employees coming from mainland Europe and beyond.

“The uncertainty over Brexit is already being felt,” says Jim Winship, Director of the Association. “Some workers from overseas have already started leaving because they feel insecure and this is not helped by the weak pound.

“Although Theresa May has made a statement that those EU nationals resident in the UK for more than 5 years would be offered residency if the EU reciprocates with UK nationals, this does not entirely give confidence and does not deal with the on-going needs of the hospitality industry.

“Our research says that around 40-50% of the industry’s workforce nationally comes from outside the UK and in some areas, such as London, it is as high as 70%! Many of these are relatively short-term and transient ‘immigrants’ who will stay for a year or two, get experience and then go home.”

The Association is calling for the Government to introduce a visa system that would allow unskilled or semi-skilled workers into the country for a limited period to take up vacancies that cannot otherwise be filled. It also wants specialists, such as pizza chefs, to be included on any acceptable skills lists.

“The vast majority of these workers do not stay in the UK long term,” adds Jim Winship. “However, without them our industry will struggle as there simply aren’t the people here to fill the vacancies.”

The Pizza Pasta & Italian Food Association was founded in 1977 and the only trade association dedicated to representing the interests of manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and foodservice outlets operating in the UK pizza, pasta and Italian food markets.


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