Massive bomb attack on Islamabad Marriott- For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

22 September 2008 by
Massive bomb attack on Islamabad Marriott- For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Massive bomb attack on Islamabad Marriott
Suicide bombers have killed more than 53 people (including the Czech ambassador) and injured in excess of 260 in an attack on the 290-bedroom Marriott Independent on Sunday, the Observer and the Sunday Times >>

Reuben brothers join shareholder revolt at Orient Express Property tycoons David and Simon Reuben have joined a shareholder revolt at luxury travel group and hotel operator Orient Express. The brothers, who are believed to own a 5% stake in the group, are backing demands from two hedge funds to scrap Orient Express' two-class share system. This could leave the company open to takeover bids from rival groups, including existing large shareholders such as the Tata Group of India and Duabai's Jumeirah Assets. Orient Express's A shares, which are held by ordinary investors, have minimal voting rights while B shares - controlled by board members - have super voting rights that allow them to block changes. The rebels' demands will be discussed at a special shareholders' meeting on 10 October but a company statement said that the holders of "B" shares would be able to block the proposed change to the capital structure. It is understood that the rebels could resort to legal action if their demands are blocked. - 21 September, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Workhouse diet makes a comeback in the credit crunch As food inflation adds an extra £750 to the average family's annual shopping bill, Britons are being urged to tackle the credit crunch by eating as frugally as the inhabitants of the Victorian workhouse. This is the message of a reprinted edition of the Manual of Workhouse Cookery, written by the National Training School of Cookery and published in 1901. It forms part of The Workhouse Cookbook by Peter Higginbotham, published next week, which looks at the diet of the poorest Victorians. Readers are urged to boil rather than roast meats and are presented with 50 cost-shaving recipes - including gruel - that are light on fruit, vegetables and any form of flavouring beyond salt and pepper. The trend to cut back on food bills has already been anticipated by Delia Smith, who last week reissued her 1970s bestseller Frugal Food, which includes a "pauper's pudding" section and money-saving tips. - 21 September, Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday >>

Conservationists plea to save the painted pub sign
Conservationists are urging pub chains and breweries to tackle the ‘catastrophic' loss of the traditional skills involved in painted pub signs, a heritage that dates back to Roman times. The Royal Institute of British Architects and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) say the loss has deepened in the past five years. The decline is blamed on increasing pub closures and the growing corporate ownership of pubs that replaces inn names that often hold historic and local significance with standardised brands. The Inn Signs Society, which has fewer than 400 members, hopes to win a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to build on online archive before the tradition disappears. Only Britain's 30 remaining independent pub chains and breweries are still ordering individually-painted signs, including the St Austell Brewery in Cornwall and the Donnington Brewery at Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire. The first signs appeared outside inns after the Roman invasion in the form of a wreath of vine leaves, and signs were made compulsory in 1393 under Richard II. ‘Like the pub, the inn sign is classless and central to British culture,' said Tim Minogue in the latest SPAB magazine. "These corporate identities obliterate the historical significance of pubs and detach people from their roots." - 21 September, Read the full article in the Observer >>

Credit crunch brings bumper sales to Butlins owner Bourne Leisure, owner of Butlins and Warner Holidays, has achieved bumper sales of £745m as cash-strapped Britons have electedto take cheaper breaks at home. Group profits grew by 6.7% to £103m, with a 20% boost to the contribution from its caravan parks division. Visitor numbers grew by 15% at Butlins over the summer, which achieved occupancy as high as 90% and auctioned some holidays on line. - 21 September, Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>

By Angela Frewin

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