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Gordon Ramsay puts second pub on the market – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

31 August 2010
Gordon Ramsay puts second pub on the market – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Gordon Ramsay puts second pub on the market

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is believed to have put his Warrington pub in north-west London on the market just weeks after selling his Chiswick pub, the Devonshire. Ramsay has run the Warrington since 2006, when he paid £5.2m for the pub which was intended to spearhead the development of a gastropub chain. Its sale would leave Ramsay's restaurant empire with just one pub, the Narrow in east London. The news comes just a month after Ramsay closed his South African restaurant, Maze, which was believed to be losing £10,000 a week. Ramsay's international restaurants have made a loss of more than £8m in the 12 months to August 2009 and incurred costs of £5.8m from the write-off of investments in New York, California and Florida. Ramsay's remaining UK restaurants contributed £515,373 to the group. It was suggested that one of Ramsay's remaining protégés, Angela Hartnett, was keen to strike out alone like former Ramsay stars Marcus Wareing and Jason Atherton. - 29 August.
Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday >>

Blumenthal pub buy sparks local complaints about ‘Hestonworld'

Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal has been accused of "culinary colonialisation" following his acquisition of the third and final pub in Bray, Hertfordshire, that he did not already own. Following his purchase of the Crown, locals have complained that Blumenthal is trying to turn Bray into "Hestonworld", much as Rick Stein has been accused of transforming Padstow into Padstein through his growing local empire. Blumenthal had already bought the Ringers pub (now the Fat Duck restaurant) and the Golden Hind and, according to locals and management at the Crown, made his latest purchase at the expense of his old master, Marco Pierre White, who had expressed an interest in the pub. A spokeswoman for Blumenthal denied he bought the Crown to keep his rival at bay. Many locals, complaining about price rises and a "soulless" ambience, have decamped to the George a mile away, where they drink the local bitter, Rebellion. - 28 August.
Read the full article in the Independent >>

Papa John's to challenge Domino's with 500 UK stores

Papa John's has announced plans to challenge Domino Pizza's predominance in the takeaway pizza sector by expanding its UK stores to between 400 and 500 over the next five years. The US-based group, which has some 3,000 stores around the world, has just 120 in the UK at present, with around 60 in London, compared with Domino's 627 venues. Papa John's last week opened a new dough factory in Milton Keynes, which also serves as Domino's headquarters. Rising demand for takeaway pizzas in the UK, where more than £20m-worth are sold each year, has boosted Papa John's second-quarter UK sales by 9.7%, compared with flat like-for-like sales in its home market in the USA. - 30 August.
Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph >>

Age UK finds malnutrition still rife on NHS wards

Age UK is to demand a comprehensive review of hospital mealtimes after its new report, Still Hungry To Be Heard, found that elderly patients were still being underfed in NHS wards. The charity said many hospitals were ignoring guidelines to screen patients for malnutrition, with fewer than half screening older patients on admission, just one-third screening them during their stay, and fewer than 5% screening on discharge. Fewer than half of nurses surveyed believed their hospitals screened patients enough, and one in three feared their own relatives could enter hospital without anyone realizing they were malnourished. Problems included: ignoring mealtimes; failure to feed elderly patients the right food, such as pureed meals for those with difficulty swallowing; little assistance for patients with problems cutting food or opening containers; leaving trays out of reach; and removing untouched trays without question. Figures for 2008/09 showed that 185,446 patients left hospital malnourished, up from 157,175 in the previous year. Malnutrition costs the NHS £7.3b a year and affects 23% of patients under 65 and 32% of over-65s. - 30 August.
Read the full articles inthe Independentandthe Daily Express >>

UCL Ross Sanders recruits head chef for his first boutique hotel Urban & Country Leisure (UCL) boss Ross Sanders has named the new head chef for his first boutique hotel, the 16-bedroom Lazy Cow, which opens in Warwick in October on the site of the former Globe hotel. It is to be David Philpot, who was formerly senior chef at leading London restaurants Le Caprice and the Ivy and at New York's Soho House. Sanders intends to open up to 10 boutique hotels over the next two years, and to expand UCL's stable of 14 pub-restaurants by another 12 venues, at a total cost of £15m. - 27 August.
Read the full article in the Birmingham Post >>

By Angela Frewin

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