Brown holds crisis talks on binge drinking For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

10 December 2007 by
Brown holds crisis talks on binge drinking For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Brown holds crisis talks on binge drinking
Independent on Sunday](, 9 December

Stelios signs £50m deal for 10 more British EasyHotels EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has signed a £50m deal with the Splendid Hotel Group to develop 10 more budget EasyHotels across Britain over the next three years. Splendid is an existing franchisee, with one EasyHotel currently up and running in the UK. In the three years since it was founded, EasyHotel has built up six hotels in the UK, Hungary and Switzerland and plans to expand to 60 across Europe and the Middle East by 2010. Over the past few months, it has signed franchise deals to open seven properties in Austria and Portugal and one at Heathrow and will announce more over the coming three to six months. Construction work on hotels in Luton, Reading and Heathrow is due for completion in the first half of next year, with another venue in Berlin also set to be opened. - [Sunday Telegraph](, 9 December

Nando's owner Capricorn to bid for Clapham House? Speculation is mounting that Nando's owner Capricorn Ventures is poised to launch a takeover bid for the Clapham House restaurant business after it amassed an 11.25% stake in the group on Tuesday. Its spending sprees came just a day after Clapham House - which operates Tootsies, Bombay Bicycle Club, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and The Real Greek restaurant chains - issued a surprise profit warning which sent its share value plunging by 40%. The shares closed ½p higher at 189½p, valuing Clapham House at just £69m. Capricorn's former restaurant interests have included PizzaExpress, where Clapham House chairman helped build the chain as chief executive and chairman, along with the Ask and Zizzi pizza and pasta chains. Capricorn could not be reached for comment, while Clapham House would only confirm that Capricorn had direct interests in 4,198,916 shares. - [The Times](, 8 December

Chinese restaurant wins court battle for £10m inheritance Kim Sing Man and his wife Bee Lian Man, - the owners of the Lian Chinese restaurant in Witham, Essex - will be allowed to inherit £10m from an "an upper class posh lady" who befriended them over several decades. A High Court rejected a challenge brought by five nephews and nieces who claimed she was mentally incapable when she made her will in 1994. The Mans rented their restaurant from millionaire property magnate Golda Bechal, who died in 2004 aged 88, and developed a strong friendship with her. The court was told her surviving family members were only after her money and that she viewed them as "a bunch of hooligans". - [The Independent](, 8 December

London nightclub launches £35,000 cocktail A London nightclub patronised by celebrities, footballers and the super-rich yesterday launched one of the world's most expensive Christmas cocktails. The new Flawless cocktail at Movida will set customers back an eye-watering £35,000 a glass - more than three-quarters of what the workers earn in a year. It contains Louis XII cognac, half a bottle of Cristal Rose champagne, brown sugar, angostura bitters, a few flakes of 24-carat edible gold leaf - and an 11-carat white diamond ring, which will require two guards to watch over the table while the cocktail is mixed. While many commentators criticised such conspicuous consumption as crass, others found it simply unappealing. "It sounds pretty revolting and most people I know wouldn't spend as much as £2.50 on it," said Tim Martin, chairman of the JD Wetherspoon pub chain. "They'd be better off with a pint of Abbot Ale." - [The Guardian](, 8 December

Europe will be the new battleground for coffee chains
Big coffee brands such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Caffé Nero, Caffè Ritazza and the new McDonald's McCafé are poised to take over a European market currently dominated by small, independent operators, according to market research group Allegra Strategies. It forecasts that the European branded coffee market will grow by nearly 9% a year from 7,000 outlets to more than 11,000 by 2012. The UK market is the most developed with some 3,000 coffee bars and annual growth of 8% but Allegra believes Europe (where more than 190 billion cups of coffee are consumed out of the home each year) will prove a massive market for international operators. Trends seen in the UK are now being observed in Europe, with Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Spain and Poland leading the way and France, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Greece following closely behind. Starbucks. - [Scotland on Sunday](, 9 December

By Angela Frewin

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