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The Caterer

News in brief

19 May 2006
News in brief

QHotels in bid for Ashford International
Four-star hotel operator QHotels, has bid a rumoured £13m for the Ashford International hotel in Kent. The deal, believed to be in due diligence, is expected to complete next month. It would be QHotels' third acquisition this year and take its portfolio to nine.

A spokesman for the group declined to comment on the Ashford deal but admitted the company was looking for acquisitions. He said: "We are aiming to have around 14-16 hotels in the group by mid-2007."

QHotels was founded in 1994 as Quintessential Hotels by the management team behind the Paramount Group and is backed by venture capitalists Alchemy Partners.

Clarke's offers choice
Renowned neighbourhood restaurant Clarke's, in Kensington, London, has decided to offer its diners choice for the first time in 21 years. Chef-proprietor Sally Clarke traditionally offered guests a set menu depending on the ingredients available that day.

Guests will now be able to pick from a choice of three starters, three mains and three desserts. Clarke said she had "proved her point" and that the restaurant had to evolve with changing tastes.

Young's to end brewing in London? One of the country's oldest brewers, Young & Co, is in talks to end beer production at its historic Ram Brewery in London's Wandsworth, Caterer has learnt. Young's directors visited Charles Wells's Eagle Brewery in Havelock, Bedfordshire, at the start of this month to discuss an outsourcing deal. If agreed, it would see Young's Special ale produced alongside Charles Wells's own Bombardier.

Such a move would also open the way for the sale of Young's brewery site for an estimated £100m. Wembley Stadium developer Multiplex has previously been linked to the deal. A spokesman for Young's admitted it had been in talks with various people as it decided the future of its current home. Charles Wells declined to comment.

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