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Bentley hotel in London to become UK's first Waldorf-Astoria – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

27 October 2008 by
Bentley hotel in London to become UK's first Waldorf-Astoria – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Bentley hotel in London to become UK's first Waldorf-Astoria
Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Supermarket promotions are pushing pubs out of business, says Treasury
New Treasury figures show that alcohol is a third cheaper in supermarkets than a decade ago, underlining claims that supermarket discounts are pushing pubs out of business. The average pint in a pub is now two-and-a-half times more expensive than buying beer to drink at home. "People are staying at home. Nipping out to the supermarket to buy a few cans is infinitely cheaper," said Mark Hastings, of the British Beer and Pub Association. "Pubs are now closing at the rate of five a day nationwide." The figures will put pressure on the Government to tackle irresponsible supermarket promotions as part of a planned review of alcohol prices to be published next month. - 26 October, Read the full article in the Observer >>

Beer breaks the culture barrier in top restaurants Leading restaurants such as Anthony's in Leeds, Michel Roux's Le Gavroche and Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons are now featuring beer lists in a move that experts say signals the end of decades of snobbery in which wine was seen as the only acceptable accompaniment to haute cuisine. "We took a French concept and implemented it to the extreme," said Rob Hayward, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. "It has been hard to overcome the barrier that has kept wine as the automatic drink for restaurants, despite Britain's brewing heritage." The change in attitude is also renewing interest in small breweries, and Hayward believes that beer lists will boost support for the new "two-thirds pint" proposed to encourage European-style drinking of beer in smaller quantities. Rupert Ponsonby, director of the Beer Academy told the latest issue of Country Life magazine that different varieties of hops had the same distinctive taste as those of grapes. - 26 October, Read the full article in the Sunday Telegraph >>

Tourism is "national prostitution", says Prince Philip "Tourism is just national prostitution," Prince Philip told a professor on a state visit to Slovenia, adding, "We don't need any more tourists. They ruin cities." The 87-year-old Duke made his comments to Dr Maja Uran, associate professor of tourism at the University of Primorska, last week despite aides regularly stressing the importance of tourists to the British economy. Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle attract one million tourists each year. 'I couldn't quite believe he used that word and we all collapsed in embarrassment,' commented Dr Uran. - 26 October, Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>

Punch secures £50m credit facility Punch Taverns has bucked the banking crisis to secure the renewal of a £50m credit facility with Royal Bank of Scotland. The pub group, which unveils its annual results next month, has renewed the borrowing facility for two years on terms "consistent" with the previous arrangement. - 26 October, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Barracuda angles for new funding Managed pub group Barracuda has appointed Deloitte to review its funding structure. "The company and its backers are keen to examine ways to support continued successful development of new openings in 2009, 2010 and beyond," said the fast-growing company, which is backed by private equity investor Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP and has debt support from a banking syndicate that includes the Royal Bank of Scotland. Deloitte will present a range of options to fund the business and its growth and to reorganise its ageing debt structure over the next two to five years. Barracuda, which focuses on pubs with food, has grown to more than 220 venues across five brands since its formation in 2000. - 26 October, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >>

By Angela Frewin

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