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Jamie Oliver blames press venom on his "goodie two-shoes" image

24 August 2009 by
Jamie Oliver blames press venom on his "goodie two-shoes" image

Jamie Oliver blames press venom on his "goodie two-shoes" imageRead the full article in the Sunday Times >>
Kinnaird hotel owner to retire as Skibo Castle slips into the red
Two of Scotland's top hotels for the rich and famous have been hit by unwelcome news. The future of the five-star Kinnaird hotel in Perthshire has been thrown into doubt after its owner, American heiress Constance Ward, announced plans to retire from the business. She opened the hotel, which lies in a 9,000-acre estate on the River Tay, after the death of her husband in 1990. The hotel is now in a consultation period and a source commented: "Everyone is in the dark. At the moment the hotel is open for business but we do not know what the future is. It could be sold, it could be returned to its former state as a private house or it could be relaunched as a weekend lodge." Meanwhile, Highland golf and leisure resort Skibo Castle has slipped into the red, reporting an operating loss of £13,000 for the year to 31 March, compared with an underlying profit of £169,000 the year before. - 23 August, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >> Adnams uses improved results to chastise rebel shareholder
Suffolk brewer Adnams used its return to profits in the first six months of the year to chastise rebel shareholder Guinness Peat Group (GPG), which has criticised its trading performance and investments and called for reform of the "anachronistic dual share structure" that gives the Adnams family effective control of the company. This week GPG (which has 6% of the equity but only 2.5%of the votes) circulated a letter claiming that 20% of ordinary shareholders supported its calls for change. But executive chairman Jonathan Adnams dismissed the claim as "rather opaque" and pointed out that financial reports "can sometimes receive more praise or criticism than they properly deserve. They are merely snapshots from what should be a long-term story". The group unveiled pre-tax profits of £882,000 compared with a 2008 interim loss £148,000, on turnover 6.8% ahead at £23.4m. Beer volumes grew by 2.4% against a general market decline of 2.8% and its nine Cellar&Kitchen shops selling kitchenware and wine (whose launch GPG had opposed) raised turnover by 27%. Adnams has 74 tenanted pubs and four directly-managed hotels and pubs. - 22 August, Read the full article in The Times >> 'Staycations' boost business in some sectors …
The recession-fuelled trend towards holidaying at home in the UK has brought a boom in business for seaside resorts, the countryside, theme parks and big leisure groups such as Center Parcs, Butlins and Haven Holidays, although city hotels have suffered. Visit England has noted a 13% rise in domestic holidays in England in the first four months of the year, equivalent to 1.2 million extra trips, while Visit Britain says trips abroad have dropped by 17% to 4.9 million in June, the lowest level for seven years. Some tourism bosses are hoping for a long-term renaissance in domestic holidays, which the Tourism Alliance believes could add an extra £2.4b to the British economy this year. But others see the trend as a false dawn, with bad weather already prompting a flood of late bookings abroad. "When the economy recovers, the traditional two-week package holiday to the Mediterranean will dominate again," said Marvin Rust, hospitality managing partner at Deloitte. "The challenge for UK tourism is whether people can be attracted from elsewhere to make up for the exodus." - 23 August, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >> … but bad weather sparks surge in last-minute bookings abroad
The non-appearance of the promised barbecue summer has seen a huge surge in last-minute holiday bookings abroad, especially to Europe, suggesting that the trend towards 'staycations' is over. "All of our members have reported a rise in last-minute bookings, with some people seeing a 30 to 40% increase," Sean Tipton of the Association of British Travel Agents said. "This surge has been fed by the bad weather throughout July. And, with a recession in place, we expected a late-breaking market." "People are booking and then flying out the next day, which never used to happen," said Barbara Kurau, of tour operator Cosmos. "Bookings have been 50% higher in the past three to four weeks when compared to this time last year." The surge in last-minute bookings comes as a relief to travel agents, who have seen business fall by 10% for the year as a whole. - 23 August, Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday >>

By Angela Frewin

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