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Second Best Harvest for Chapel Down

Second Best Harvest for Chapel Down


English wine producer Chapel Down's 2017 harvest is its second highest by volume, despite a difficult start to the growing season, with a number of vineyard sites hit by a frost in late April 2017.

Chapel Down mitigates risks of frosts by sourcing from 23 vineyards across the south east from Dorset in the west through Hampshire and Sussex to Kent in the east and Essex in the north.

Frazer Thompson, chief executive of Chapel Down Group, said: “We enjoyed an excellent flowering season in June and a decent English summer in our vineyards. With an early harvest in good weather we were able to record our second highest ever harvest by volume – some 10% greater than last year.

This delivered, “Very good quality throughout the varieties, and some truly exceptional parcels of Chardonnay.”

Chapel Down Group has also completed the purchase of a site in Ashford town centre, which has full planning consent, for the development of its Curious Brewery.

The 1.6-acre site is adjacent to the international train station that connects to King’s Cross in 38 minutes and also to the centre of Paris in less than two hours


Asian Curry Awards Finalists

Asian Curry Awards Finalists


Over 100,000 of the nation’s curry lovers have voted for their favourite restaurants to determine the shortlist of this year’s Asian Curry Awards – the UK’s only pan-Asian culinary accolades.

A team of judges, led by Pat Chapman, editor of the Cobra Good Curry Guide, are now touring the country to determine this year’s winners. The top restaurants will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London’s Mayfair on Sunday 12th November 2017.

Over 900 guests including the county’s leading restaurateurs with their staff and customers, plus ambassadors and embassy officials, food writers, politicians, VIPs and celebrities, will attend. This year the awards were open to the country’s 20,000 Bangladeshi, Burmese, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean, Sri Lankan, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants and takeaways.

“Intense competition, chef shortages, rising costs make the restaurant business incredibly challenging – but the rewards for those who get the formula right are considerable,” said Yawar Khan, Chairman of the Asian Curry Awards.

The Asian Curry Awards are design to recognise the best in the industry, encouraging ever higher standards and to inspire the next generation of chefs and restaurateurs to join this dynamic sector.

Pat Chapman, chairman of the judges said; “The best restaurateurs have respond to customers’ changing customer tastes and encourage their chefs to innovate and produce the exciting, healthy and authentic dishes that today’s discerning diners demand.”



National Curry Week dinner with Mridula Baljekar

National Curry Week dinner with Mridula Baljekar


Goa Premium Beer, is to sponsor a charity supper club at Mango Lounge at The Chequers, in Cookham Dean in Berkshire, organised by renowned cookery writer, Mridula Baljekar, as part of National Curry Week.

Mridula has written 27 best-selling cookery books and presented numerous TV cookery programmes. She and executive chef Ashwani Kumar – winner of the International Indian Chef of the Year – have designed an exquisite dinner menu for Tuesday 10th October, starting at 7:30pm.

The fundraiser is part of the 20th National Curry Week (9th – 15th October 2017), founded by the late Peter Grove, to fight third world hunger. The week-long celebration of Indian cuisine is now organised by his widow, Colleen.

The £35 gourmet menu features a Crab and tiger prawn risotto with truffle oil; Tandoori guinea fowl, marinated in Persian spices. Herb crusted black cod with south Indian-style crushed potatoes and coconut sauce; a vegetarian version of a Persian-influenced Murtabak made with spiced grated paneer, mild cheddar cheese and beaten egg sandwiched between paper-thin flat bread and griddle-cooked, served with kokum sauce; and a Cinnamon spiced hot chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream.

The event is being held in aid of the Curry for Change campaign. with proceeds being matched by Natco Foods, to be utilised by UK charities Find Your Feet and Health Poverty Action, to tackle hunger and malnutrition in Asia and Africa.
Viiking Ventures’ MD, Ben Parmer, said, “Supporting restaurants’ charity events and encouraging authentic Indian gourmet dining, are central to our brand strategy – it’s an honour to have been invited to take part.”


Sloe Gin World Championships

Sloe Gin World Championships


This year's Sloe Gin World Championships will be held at The George Inn in Frant, near Tunbridge Wells.

This, the 9th Championship, will be tinged with a sadness following the death of founding Sloe Gin World Championship organising committee member, ‘Merlot’ Mike Matthews.

Mike’s body was at his home in Tunbridge Wells on 24th September. sitting in an arm chair “looking peaceful”, with – an empty glass and a partially drunk bottle of his favourite wine, from which his nickname ‘Merlot Mike, was derived, at his elbow. He had made his final batch of sloe gin just a few days before.

Friend and former Sloe Gin World Champion, Dave Bennet said in tribute: “Merlot Mike was a lovely man, whom I never once heard complain about the Multiple Sclerosis which disabled him.”

The proceeds of the Sloe Gin World Championships are donated to the MS Society which supports people with Multiple Sclerosis.

Postal entries have already arrived at the pub from as far afield as Vancouver in Canada.

Entry costs are £5 for personal and £45 for commercial entries. Remaining samples are sold for charity.

Further information at:


Raja Raid

Raja Raid


A raid at The Raja of Kent restaurant in High Halden, near Tenterden in Kent, has resulted in two workers being detained by immigration authorities.

Acting on intelligence, immigration enforcement officers visited the restaurant on Biddenden Road at about 8pm on Friday, 15th September.

Two Bangladeshi men aged 27 and 28, had overstayed their visas, while a 42-year-old Indian man was found to have entered the UK illegally.

Both Bangladeshi nationals were detained, while steps are taken to remove them from the country. The Indian man must report to immigration enforcement while his case is heard.

The restaurant was served a civil penalty referral notice in relation to illegal workers, which could result in a fine of £20,000 per illegal worker, a potential total of £60,000, if the employer fails to show that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out.

Richard Lederle, head of the South East Immigration Enforcement team, said: “Using illegal labour is not victimless crime; it cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and means legitimate job seekers are denied employment opportunities. It also exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.”

Whistleblowers with information on suspected immigration abuse can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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