British dishes face ‘extinction'
Daily Express, 8 March
100 hotel guests evacuated by fire
Guests at the Custom House hotel in Canning Town, East London were forced to spend the night in a school after a fire broke out on the roof and the sixth floor of the hotel in Victoria Dock Road. Nobody was injured in the blaze on Friday night, which was reported at 20.39. - BBCi, 8 March
Minnesota bars become theatres to get around smoking ban
Some Minnesota bars have become 'theatres' to get around the smoking ban in public places that took effect six months ago - but exempts actors in theatrical productions. Some taverns - such as the Barnacle Resort at Mille Lacs and the Cover Inn near Vadnais Heights - have given names to their sham productions, printed play bills listing the 'cast' of bar tenders and ashtrays among the 'props', and had staff and customers dress up in costumes. The Minnesota Health Department issued a warning to bar owners this week to stop the phoney dramatics. - The Independent, 8 March
Wetherspoon blames celebrities for making binge-drinking acceptable
Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has blamed celebrities for helping to spread anti-social binge-drinking in the same week that the United Nations accused the celebrity cocaine culture of popularising the drug. Martin said that massive media coverage of "the poor behaviour by a number of celebrities" has made such behaviour acceptable. "Although it is often perceived that pubs benefit from these sorts of occasions, it is our experience that they are often bad for the pub trade, since they are difficult for pub staff to deal with and can be intimidating for the majority of customers," he said. "This sort of behaviour is not a new phenomenon, and is frequently replicated by the general public during birthday parties, stag and hen parties and so on." Martin called on the Government to impose harsher rules for bad behaviour. Â¬ The Independent, 8 March
Above-inflation rises on beer, wine and spirit taxes expected
Chancellor Alistair Darling is preparing above-inflation price-rises for beer, wine and spirits in his first budget this Wednesday, with more inflation-busting hikes to come in future. However, he is not expected to follow Tory proposals for targeted tax rises on problem drinks such as alcopops and super-strength ciders. Although tax on beer has risen in line with inflation, duty on wine and spirits has not been significantly increased. The duty paid on a bottle of whisky or gin has not changed since Tony Blair took office in 1997. An increase in line with the Consumer Price Indices' annual inflation rate, which was 2.2% in January, would add 8.5p to the average retail price of a bottle of wine and almost 30p on a litre of whisky. - The Independent on Sunday, 9 March
By Angela Frewin
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