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Travelodge acquires six Menzies hotels – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

21 April 2008 by

Travelodge acquires six Menzies hotels
Travelodgeread the full article in the Sunday Times here >>

Oliver outlines new openings after falling out with investors
The first branch of Jamie's Italian - the celebrity chefs planned "collection of neighbourhood restaurants" will open in Oxford in June, followed by a second in Bath in August and a third in Kingston by the end of the year. Oliver, who plans to bring affordable, all-day dining to university cities, says more sites will follow in Brighton and Cambridge in 2009. He has ditched his original investors - who were going to raise £7m for the first five restaurants but then started shifting the goalposts - and says the project will be funded by his own money, with his house as collateral, with just one small shareholder-cum-business partner. - 20 April, read the full article in the Independent on Sunday here >>

Newquay hotel evacuated after suspected carbon monoxide death Police are investigating whether carbon monoxide poisoning lay behind the death of a man in a Newquay hotel, which was evacuated after high levels of the gas were discovered and five people were taken to hospital. An ambulance was called to the hotel on Saturday after the body of a man in his fifties was found in his room. Two paramedics later felt unwell and carbon monoxide checks were carried out by the Cornwall Fire Brigade.
- 20 April, BBCi

Scottish restaurant in name dispute with Wedgwood china Restaurateur Paul Wedgwood, who opened his Wedgwood restaurant on Edinburgh's Royal Mile last year, has been accused of copyright infringement by the ceramics firm of the same name. He has been ordered by Wedgwood Ltd to change the type font on his sign, remove photographs of ceramics from his menus, stop using its trademark pale blue colour on his website, and change the restaurant name to Paul Wedgwood. The restaurant owner has refused to comply and said his website used a volcanic red colour while the ceramics he uses are by Steelite. Wedgwood, which runs tearooms in the UK and restaurants in Japan, said tourists had gone to the Scottish restaurant under the misapprehension that it was a Wedgwood store. A restaurant review in a national paper last August mistakenly associated it with the china company.- 19 April, read the full article in The Scotsman >>

Two men arrested over fireball 'prank' in Derbyshire pub
Three men were arrested over a minor explosion at a Derbyshire pub that could have been a prank that went wrong. Firefighters were called to the White Hart hotel in Ashbourne on Saturday evening. An aerosol container was thought to have been thrown into an open fire, creating a fireball 2m (6ft5) high. Eight people suffered burns to their backs and limbs and three of the injured were taken to the high dependency unit at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham. The first two men arrested were released without charge, while the third was released on bail. - 20 April, BBCi

Ethnic restaurants demonstrate over immigration curbs
Thousands of restaurant workers gathered in London's Trafalgar Square on Sunday to protest about recent restrictions on immigration. The groups voicing their concerns represented 40,000 Chinese, Turkish and South-east Asian firms. The Ethnic Catering Alliance estimates that up to 30% of its restaurants are under threat because of new rules requiring non-EU staff to meet strict criteria. Ministers insisted that the new rules balanced the interests of UK and foreign workers. - 20 April, BBCi

Four pubs shutting down each day, says BBPA
Four pubs are shutting down each day, according to estimates from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), as they lose the battle against cheap supermarket beer and falling trade. The BBPA says the rate of closure is 14 times faster than in 2005 and that the number of pubs has dropped to 57,000 from 69,000 in 1980. It adds that rising costs, higher alcohol duty and the smoking ban have helped drag beer sales to their lowest level since the depression of the 1930s. Village pubs have also been hit by tougher drink-driving laws. Ian Payne, chairman of the Laurel pub group, believes pub-goers have halved their visits to just one night a week. Tenants also blame pubcos such as Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns for tying them into beer-supply contracts so they cannot switch to cheaper beers like their rivals, and say the companies do not pass on discounts to their tenants. 20 April, read the full article in the Sunday Times here >>

By Angela Frewin

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