We'd love to hear from you

Please just provide your email address and let us know how we can be of service.

We'll be back in touch as soon as we can.

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

top.jpg

Press RELEASES

Here are some of the latest press releases from the people we work with. If you’re a journalist, blogger or writer and would like more information, images or samples, please get in touch.


 

Take a shepherd’s hut staycation and savour the summer at home

Amy Brice

staycation

Offering a tailor-made space to relax, rest, dine and unwind, a shepherd’s hut from Dorset-based master hutmaker, Plankbridge, can provide a truly unique staycation destination. Just a few short steps down the garden path, a holiday at home can avoid the tiring journeys, crowded flights and rising prices of travelling abroad during the summer holidays, so every spare minute can be spent embracing British summertime at its best.

Endlessly adaptable to the needs of its owners, the classic 12’ by 6’6” Victorian footprint of a shepherd’s hut can be transformed into everything from a spare bedroom or studio to a garden room or al fresco dining area. With the addition of fold out desks and beds, the holiday hideaway can even transition from dinner to bedtime with ease, so its owners are able to accommodate family and friends joining them for their back garden break.

As the popularity of staycations continues to rise, a shepherd’s hut can channel the cost of a holiday into an investment for the future, with the humble hut on wheels becoming an extension to the home all year round, even when the time comes to move onto a new property.

Having spent the autumn, winter and spring lovingly nurturing their gardens, owners can reap the fruits of the labour by taking a break in their own bespoke bolthole. Turning the outdoor space into a ‘live-in garden’, the timeless design of the shepherd’s hut blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings, offering a front row seat as the borders burst into life once more.

Plankbridge shepherd’s huts start from £16,500 plus VAT and measure 12' long. Longer, wider and bespoke designs can be quoted for.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers please visit www.plankbridge.com.

An open door for muddy paws at The Queens Arms

Amy Brice

Muddy paws

Somerset-based destination dining pub, The Queens Arms, has reported a steady rise in pups as punters during owners, Gordon and Jeanette Reid’s, seven years at the helm, as more and more dog owners discover their award-winning food, 5-star rooms and exceptional hospitality for man’s best friend. With a welcome drink at the door, labelled 0% ABV, and doggy treats flying off the bar, demand has risen sharply for its dog friendly accommodation, complete with a wooden floor, wet room, dog bed, bowl and towel to make sure everyone feels right at home.

Following a lunch menu built around produce from the pub’s own kitchen garden and smallholding, with gravy bones and doggy biscuits a popular side order, visitors to The Queens Arms can walk off their meals around the rolling country hills that surround the pub. Gordon and Jeanette have even mapped out four rural routes in a handy guide for their guests, ranging from 5.5 miles to 16 miles and offering a variety of terrains. Wellies are available to anyone wishing to go off the beaten track, sure of a warm welcome for muddy boots, and even muddier dogs, upon their return.

Jeanette explains;

“Dog owners are such a friendly crowd and fit perfectly with the atmosphere that we strive to create at The Queens Arms. Our AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence and Taste of the West awards are testament to the fact that it’s entirely possible to combine a high quality dining experience with a dog friendly culture and our front of house team are more than happy to keep the water bowls refilled around the pub as they serve. Like most people in the local area, we have dogs, and know the value of a bolthole that welcomes our four-legged friends, so we’re delighted that people are seeking us out as a pub for pups.”

For more information on The Queens Arms visit www.thequeensarms.com.

The Seed Fund opens for entry, reaching out to fledgling food and drink businesses across the UK

Amy Brice

The Seed Fund

Seeking food and drink’s entrepreneurial stars of tomorrow, The Seed Fund has announced that its annual competition will be open for entries from Wednesday 1 February. A philanthropic organisation, which nurtures small and start up food and drink businesses, The Seed Fund is in its fourth year of activity.

Extending its reach across the UK in 2017, The Seed Fund offers support and mentoring from over 30 industry professionals and business leaders. Twelve shortlisted companies will be offered places on The Seed Fund Academy – which runs over a number of days, during the summer months. The winning companies can attend seminars, workshops, one-on-one sessions with mentors, industry visits and meet the buyer events. One eventual winner will then be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner in September, receiving a further year of support worth over £100,000.

Founded in 2013 by Bristol-based design and marketing consultancy, The Collaborators, The Seed Fund has recently announced a new partnership with Great Taste, the world’s most coveted blind-tasted food awards. United by a shared commitment to supporting up-and-coming food businesses, the partnership will offer Great Taste award-winning small producers the opportunity to qualify for the Fund.

Open to anyone who has been trading for under four years, from small food businesses with an appetite for growth to inspired individuals with a big idea, The Seed Fund will name its class of 2017 at the end of March.

Won by Adam’s Raw Chocolate in 2016, the final prize offers support and brand development, including access to branding and communications resources from The Collaborators and on-going advice from other industry experts and mentors.

The Seed Fund will be open for entry from Wednesday 1 February until Thursday 16 March. To apply, visit www.theseedfund.co.uk. For information about ways to support The Seed Fund, including sponsorship opportunities, email info@theseedfund.co.uk.

For more information about The Seed Fund, visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.

Flower Show Forum initiative scoops The Gardens Group a national marketing award

Amy Brice

(L to R) Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group, Louise Burks, director of The Gardens Group, Julian Winfield, GCA Chairman, and Fred MacAulay, comedian and awards dinner compere, at the GCA Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony at The Fairmont in St Andrews.

(L to R) Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group, Louise Burks, director of The Gardens Group, Julian Winfield, GCA Chairman, and Fred MacAulay, comedian and awards dinner compere, at the GCA Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony at The Fairmont in St Andrews.

The Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Worrall Cup trophy for Best Marketing Campaign or Initiative has been awarded to The Gardens Group, for its Flower Show Forum, an initiative launched in 2016 with the aim of helping the traditional flower show to survive and thrive.

This prestigious accolade, which rewards the flair and commercial success of a marketing campaign or initiative, was awarded to Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group and founder of the Flower Show Forum, and Louise Burks, director of The Gardens Group, at the GCA Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held at The Fairmont in St Andrews on Tuesday 24 January.

Mike explains;

“This is such a wonderful achievement, not only for our garden centres and the team involved in getting it off the ground, which included the Royal Horticultural Society’s Affiliated Societies and many gardening clubs, but for the Flower Show Forum as an initiative in its own right. Gardening clubs and horticultural societies all over the UK are facing very similar challenges and the Flower Show Forum has given them a platform to voice their concerns, receive advice from experts including professional organisations, garden centre staff, flower show judges and organisers from around the UK, and share ideas for innovation and ways to attract the next generation. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in bringing their knowledge, expertise and ideas to the floor. This is still only the beginning for the Flower Show Forum, so this award will help us to raise further awareness of the cause. We look forward to building upon this success, as we continue to identify ways to inspire more people to take an interest in gardening and keep the traditional flower show alive for generations to come.”

The next Flower Show Forum is due to take place at Castle Gardens in March 2017.

For more information about The Gardens Group visit www.thegardeneronline.co.uk.

As recognition for tradition grows, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company moves into new home

Amy Brice

Dan and Briony Wood outside The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s new home, The Egg Shed in North Cadbury.

Dan and Briony Wood outside The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s new home, The Egg Shed in North Cadbury.

On Thursday 19 January, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company officially moved into The Egg Shed in North Cadbury, Somerset, a purpose built headquarters which will enable the business to grow and reach out to even more independent family-run farms. Comprising 12,500 square feet of production and office space, The Egg Shed provides a new and improved hub for the grading, packing and distribution of free range eggs from The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s ever expanding network of farmers who also employ the traditional flat deck method.

The move comes following owners, Dan and Briony Wood, taking a leading role in campaigning for a sustainable future for traditional free range egg farmers, resulting in an increased demand for free range eggs produced using single tier sheds. Complete with a new egg grading machine, The Egg Shed will be equipped to process 50% more eggs than the company’s previous packing station, allowing the Woods to support a growing family of likeminded farmers across the UK and provide improved job opportunities in the local area.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains;

“We’re in! It’s been a mammoth task to relocate our business after so many years in North Cheriton, but it all feels so worthwhile now the team are settling in and the first eggs are heading out the door. We’ve done everything we can to support traditional free range egg producers over the past few years and raise consumer awareness of the difference between flat deck free range egg farming and other more modernised methods, but our new home will give us the space and facilities we need to take this to the next level. Now our move to The Egg Shed is complete, we’ll be looking to build upon our recent educational campaigns and unparalleled success in Great Taste, to reach out to more independent retailers, chefs and home cooks than ever before and shine a light on those farmers going the extra mile to produce truly outstanding eggs.”

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s free range eggs are available exclusively from independent retailers, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores across the UK.

For more information about The Traditional Free Range Egg Company visit www.TheTraditionalFreeRangeEggCompany.co.uk.

Thinking inside the box, to make a hut a home

Amy Brice

Plankbridge

Whether escaping the elements, watching the first buds of spring or retreating for some summer shade, the timeless 12’ by 6’6” footprint of a shepherd’s hut from Dorset-based master hutmaker, Plankbridge, is a remarkably versatile space to transform into a beloved bolthole. Ever faithful to the shepherd’s hut’s Victorian heritage, with its distinctive cast iron wheels and corrugated iron exterior, Plankbridge’s craftsmen continue to reimagine this humble hut on wheels for the modern world.

From offices to bedrooms and studios to playrooms, each shepherd’s hut interior is designed around its owner’s needs, with windows and doors positioned to ensure that the natural landscape can be savoured while huddled up in the hideaway. Inventive storage solutions and carefully selected fixtures and fittings, such as undersized Belfast sinks and wood burning stoves, mean every inch is utilised, while the huts can even be transformed from work spaces to spare bedrooms, with the installation of fold out beds and desks.

While the shepherd’s hut’s classic exterior blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings, the interior is brought to life with individually sourced soft furnishings and colour schemes using Farrow & Ball paint. Each hut becomes a personalised place to retreat, unwind or get creative, whatever the season, bringing its owners that little bit closer to the great outdoors. 

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers visit www.plankbridge.com.

Castle Gardens is the shining star in national Christmas competition

Amy Brice

Castle Gardens Christmas

Dorset-based Castle Gardens has scooped the top national award at the Garden Centre Association’s annual Christmas Competition, in the Garden Centre category. Up against garden centres across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, this is the seventh time that the garden centre, which is part of The Gardens Group, has received the national accolade.

Judges heaped praise upon Castle Gardens’ magical Christmas displays, which allow visitors to meander through room after room of lovingly themed twinkly lights, baubles and ornaments, as well as step aboard the Orient Express, escape to a timber clad winter lodge and be serenaded by a reindeer. Garden Centre Association judge, Andy Campbell, explained; 

“The approach to Christmas retailing that the team at Castle Gardens takes is to make it a magical and sensory experience. The offer and the way it is presented appeals to a wide audience, from young to old, and this is very special and truly memorable. Well done indeed.”

Louise Burks, director of The Gardens Group, explains; 

“To win this national award for a seventh time is a real achievement, and one we are extremely proud of. Our Christmas displays demonstrate a real team effort across The Gardens Group, which begins in January as soon as the previous year’s displays come down. Everyone works hard to make sure they look their absolute best, from the opening in October, right up until Christmas, so it means a lot to take this coveted title once again.”

Castle Gardens was also crowned regional winner for the South Thames area in the Garden Centre Association’s annual Christmas Competition, in the Garden Centre category.

For more information about The Gardens Group visit www.thegardeneronline.co.uk.


Plankbridge shepherd’s huts set sail for the US

Amy Brice

Plankbridge in the US

Dorset-based master hutmaker, Plankbridge, has announced that its shepherd’s huts will now be made available to customers in the US, following the first two huts successfully landing stateside earlier this year. Responding to a growing demand for this quintessentially British symbol of rural heritage on the other side of the Atlantic, Plankbridge continues to breathe new life into the humble hut on wheels that was once a commonplace feature of the English countryside, using the timeless 12’ by 6’6” Victorian footprint as its guide to create everything from offices and playrooms to studios and spare bedrooms.

The first pioneering pair of shepherd’s huts to travel from Piddlehinton to the US made their way to Wisconsin via a shipping container and have since been lovingly dubbed ‘the twins’ by their new owner. Combining a traditional dark green corrugated iron exterior and English oak windows with a distinctively American interior, including a raised double-bed, pull out table, cupboard under the bed and wood burning stove, the huts are a meeting of worlds and have blended seamlessly into their natural surroundings.

‘The twins’ are the latest example of Plankbridge reinventing the shepherd’s hut for modern purposes, while remaining faithful to the heritage of these iconic structures and the spirit of the craftsmen who designed them. A bolthole to escape the pressures of daily life, customers in the US can now use a shepherd’s hut to extend the use of their gardens throughout the year and get just that little bit closer to the great outdoors.

Richard Lee, co-founder of Plankbridge, explains;

“We are thrilled to have successfully shipped two of our huts to the United States. In some ways it feels like being a Victorian pioneer landing on US shores for the first time. It's very exciting, and we now have our huts in many fantastic places, such as the French Alps, Ireland, Portugal and now the US.”  

Plankbridge shepherd’s huts start from £16,500 and measure 12' long. Longer and bespoke designs can be quoted for. Delivery to the US and Canada takes around five weeks following construction.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers visit www.plankbridge.com.

Champion of Champions trophy goes to Kraftkar from Norway at World Cheese Awards 2016

Amy Brice

(L to R) Markel Olano Arrese, general deputy of Gipuzkoa, presenting the World Cheese Awards Champion of Champions trophy to Ingulf Galaaen, Norwegian cheesemaker from Røros, who accepted the award on Tingvollost’s behalf.

(L to R) Markel Olano Arrese, general deputy of Gipuzkoa, presenting the World Cheese Awards Champion of Champions trophy to Ingulf Galaaen, Norwegian cheesemaker from Røros, who accepted the award on Tingvollost’s behalf.

Now in its 29th year, the World Cheese Awards held its first ever Champion of Champions event at the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián on Thursday 17 November, with this unprecedented honour going to Kraftkar, made by Norwegian producer Tingvollost. Featuring a tantalising line up of all previous winners, this unique spectacle was a celebration of the heritage and diversity of the largest cheese-only awards scheme on the planet, with the spoils going to Kraftkar, which was crowned World Champion Cheese 2016 the previous day.

Taking place on day two of the International Cheese Festival, which had already witnessed a record number of over 3,000 cheeses being judged at the World Cheese Awards less than 24 hours earlier, curd nerds from every corner of the globe gathered to watch a panel of renowned cheese experts, representing Australia, the Basque Country, France, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, the USA and the UK, taste, nose and assess this unparalleled field of world champions.

Ingulf Galaaen, fellow Norwegian cheesemaker from Røros, who accepted the Champion of Champions award on Tingvollost’s behalf, explained;

“It was a very special day yesterday and Gunnar has already returned to Norway to make more cheese! This is another wonderful moment and a fantastic achievement for cheesemakers in Norway.”

Heralded as “the best cheese ever made”, Kraftkar blew the international panel of judges away once more, with Ossau Iraty from Fromagerie Agour in France coming second and Le Gruyère AOP Premier Cru from Cremo SA von Mühlenen in Switzerland placed third.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, commented;

“What an incredible way to cap off another record-breaking year for the World Cheese Awards. We were certainly in the presence of greatness this morning, as nearly three decades’ worth of World Champion Cheeses took the stage in front of our audience of food professionals, cheese-makers, journalists, buyers and retailers. This was definitely a moment to remember. It has been an honour to share this occasion with the global cheese community that has once again assembled for the World Cheese Awards, in what has been an unforgettable year, as the competition formed part of the inaugural International Cheese Festival during San Sebastián’s tenure as European Capital of Culture.”

The World Cheese Awards drew entries from 31 different countries this year, from Australia to Italy and Mexico to Mozambique. Cheese of all shapes and sizes made their way by bicycle, boat, plane, train, truck and car to the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián, via 12 consolidation points in all corners of the globe. 266 cheese experts from 26 different nations followed them to the Basque Country to taste, nose and grade over 3,000 cheeses in a single day, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to worthy entries.

The final judging panel, made up of top names from the world of cheese, featuring cheese makers, buyers, retailers and writers, including Suzy O'Regan from Woolworths Foods in South Africa, Cathy Strange from Whole Foods in the USA, Roland Barthélemy, President of Guilde des Fromagers in France, and Mary Quicke from Quicke's in the UK, then debated the top 16 cheeses in front of a trade and consumer audience, broadcast live on World Cheese TV, before crowning this year’s World Champion Cheese.

More information on the World Cheese Awards and the Guild of Fine Food can be found at www.gff.co.uk/awards/world-cheese-awards.

Kraftkar from Norway crowned World Champion Cheese 2016

Amy Brice

World Cheese Awards

Kraftkar, made by Norwegian producer Tingvollost, has scooped the coveted title of World Champion Cheese at the 29th annual World Cheese Awards, coming top among a record number of entries that were judged at the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián, during the first day of the International Cheese Festival.

The winning Kraftkar beat off competition from over 3,000 entries into the world’s largest cheese-only awards scheme this year, with judge Nick Tsioros, owner of Olympic Cheese in Toronto, who championed this cheese, saying, “This 12-month aged blue cheese is wonderfully balanced, it has a great crumbly texture, but is soft and smooth on the tongue. The mould has developed nicely and comes across really well in the overall flavour of the cheese.” The final International Super Jury, representing nations including Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA, concurred, awarding Kraftkar the highest score of the final judging stage.

Gunnar Waagen from Tingvollost explained,

“I have no words, this is marvellous news! We are a family-run farm and work long days to make our cheese. We get up early every day and go to bed very late to make the best cheese we can, and so to win this award, I am very proud.”

Kraftkar was awarded 71 points out of a possible 80 by the Super Jury of 16 judges, just ahead of a Spanish duo in joint second place with 67 points; Cala Blanc from Lacto Industrial Menorquina and Cremositos Del Zujar from Arteserena.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, commented;

“Hats off to Tingvollost for landing the top prize this year, when once again we’ve had a record number of entries. This cheese really is world class, having faced stiff competition from over 30 different countries. The World Cheese Awards has provided a wonderful spectacle, as our judges made their way through over 3,000 cheeses in a single day, bringing together the global cheese community to celebrate a timeless tradition that really does transcend borders. We would like to thank our hosts, Artzai Gazta and the Basque Country Government, for inviting us to San Sebastián this year, making cheese the biggest gastronomic spectacle during the city’s tenure as European Capital of Culture.”

Drawing entries from 31 different countries, from Australia to Italy and Mexico to Mozambique, cheese of all shapes and sizes made their way by bicycle, boat, plane, train, truck and car to the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián, via 12 consolidation points in all corners of the globe. 266 cheese experts from 26 different nations followed them to the Basque Country to taste, nose and grade over 3,000 cheeses in a single day, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to worthy entries.

The final judging panel, made up of top names from the world of cheese, featuring cheese makers, buyers, retailers and writers, including Suzy O'Regan from Woolworths Foods in South Africa, Cathy Strange from Whole Foods in the USA, Roland Barthélemy, President of Guilde des Fromagers in France, and Mary Quicke from Quicke's in the UK, then debated the top 16 cheeses in front of a trade and consumer audience, broadcast live on World Cheese TV, before crowning this year’s World Champion Cheese.

More information on the World Cheese Awards and the Guild of Fine Food can be found at www.gff.co.uk/awards/world-cheese-awards.

Another step along the road to creating a sustainable future for traditional free range egg farmers

Amy Brice

Dan and Briony Wood

As part of its continuing commitment to supporting independent family-run farms, using the traditional flat deck production method, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company has announced that it will be moving from its current location in North Cheriton, Somerset, to a new home in North Cadbury from January 2017.

Determined to ensure that traditional free range egg producers can enjoy a sustainable future for generations to come, owners Dan and Briony Wood believe that their new premises will better equip the company to play a central role in helping smaller farms to thrive in a rapidly changing marketplace. Aptly named, The Egg Shed, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s new headquarters in Somerset will provide a modern, purpose-built hub for the grading, packing and distribution of its free range eggs, coming from the Wood’s own birds, as well as their network of family-run farmers who also employ the traditional flat deck method.

With an impressive haul of awards this year, including its Waddling Free duck eggs being named in the Great Taste Top 50 Foods and a Good Egg Award from Compassion in World Farming, the free range egg producer and supplier remains dedicated to shining a light on those farmers going above and beyond to produce exceptional quality eggs.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains;

“We’ve gained some fantastic momentum this year in our efforts to support likeminded farmers using traditional methods, so as consumer awareness grows this move is a logical next step for us. We’re as focused as ever on our mission to enable people to make an informed decision when buying their free range eggs, but educating them on the difference between traditional flat deck free range egg farming and other more modernised methods is just one part of this. Another crucial aspect is behind the scenes, ensuring that we have the facilities and environment required to develop the business and expand our work with independent family-run farms. Our new home in North Cadbury will allow us to grow and reach out to more farmers who are still employing methods that can be traced back to the roots of free range egg production, as we believe that their knowledge and experience is too special to lose.”

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s free range eggs are available exclusively from independent retailers, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores across the UK.

For more information about The Traditional Free Range Egg Company visit www.TheTraditionalFreeRangeEggCompany.co.uk.

Dinner, bed and breakfast, the awards keep coming for The Queens Arms

Amy Brice

Breakfast award The Queens Arms

The Queens Arms in Corton Denham has continued to impress the industry experts this month, earning high praise from both the Michelin and AA inspectors, building upon its strong reputation as a destination dining pub with rooms on Somerset’s border with Dorset. As a result, 2017 will be the seventh year in a row that the pub will appear in the Michelin Guide, while owners, Gordon and Jeanette Reid, have also retained their AA 5 Silver Star Award for accommodation, along with a coveted AA Breakfast Award.

These latest accolades come hot on the heels of The Queens Arms retaining its two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence last month, as the quintessentially English Georgian Inn continues to win plaudits for its commitment to exceptional quality across the board. Achieving high standards in all 46 aspects judged by the AA inspectors, including the critical assessment areas of Hospitality, Bedrooms, Cleanliness, Bathrooms and Food, guests at The Queens Arms can be sure of a relaxing stay befitting of the character and charm of the pub, which also drew praise from the judges.

Jeanette explains;

“Receiving these coveted awards once again is a fantastic boost for the whole team, who all go the extra mile each and every day to ensure that all those little details are taken care of that make for a truly memorable stay. The awards are testament to their hard work and consistency, as you never know when the Michelin inspectors will be in to judge everything from culinary expertise and flavour to value for money and consistency. Our AA Breakfast Award means a lot to us too, as we pride ourselves on giving our guests a great start to their day, using a wide range of locally sourced produce and homemade options, including our own granola recipe, which is always a big hit at the breakfast table.” 

For more information on The Queens Arms visit www.thequeensarms.com.

Champion of Champions to provide grand finale at World Cheese Awards 2016

Amy Brice

Champion of Champions

At 9.30am on Thursday 17 November, this year’s World Champion Cheese will line up alongside the 28 previous winners of the World Cheese Awards in the competition’s first ever Champion of Champions event. Held at the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián, as part of the inaugural International Cheese Festival, the crowning of the Champion of Champions will offer a unique spectacle to bring this year’s World Cheese Awards to a close, following a record-breaking 3,000 cheeses being judged the previous day.

The World Cheese Awards’ Super Jury of internationally recognised cheese experts will be invited back to judge this unparalleled field of world champions, as food professionals, cheese-makers, buyers, retailers and curd nerds gather to take in this landmark event.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, explains;

“With such a huge global gathering of cheese experts and aficionados heading to the Basque Country this year, we thought it would be the perfect time to stage a Champion of Champions event, pitching this year’s World Champion Cheese against the 28 other winners that have been crowned since it all began in 1988. This will be a special moment in the history of the World Cheese Awards and we’re looking forward to celebrating the heritage and diversity of the competition, as recent winners, such as Le Gruyère AOP Premier Cru from Switzerland and Bath Blue from the UK, line up against champions of old, ranging from Spanish Manchego and French Fourme d’Ambert, to the Canadian Le Cendrillon and Queso Arico Curado Pimentón from the Canary Islands.”

The World Cheese Awards will take place on Wednesday 16 November, during day one of the International Cheese Festival, which will be held at the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián from 16-18 November 2016. For more information, visit www.internationalcheesefestival.eus.

To request a press pass for the International Cheese Festival, please visit www.internationalcheesefestival.eus/en/prensa

More information on the World Cheese Awards and the Guild of Fine Food can be found at www.gff.co.uk/awards/world-cheese-awards.

 

A student’s hideaway, home for the holidays

Amy Brice

Plankbridge Hut

Providing a space to sleep, study, relax and reflect, a shepherd’s hut made by master hutmaker, Plankbridge, can give students the independence they need when they return home from university for the holidays. Ideal as a guest room for the rest of the year, during academic breaks a shepherd’s hut can be transformed into a blissful bolthole, allowing students to enjoy all the comforts of the family home while maintaining their sense of newfound freedom.

A hut for all seasons, complete with a wood burning stove and 240v electrics, the timeless 12’ by 6’6” Victorian footprint with its corrugated iron exterior continues to be reimagined for the modern world. The new outdoor retreat can even offer parents the freedom to make more of their own homes, now able to convert the old bedroom into an office, gym or en suite bathroom.

Following graduation, the options are endless with these uniquely versatile and mobile shelters, enabling parents to provide children with a living space while their first homes are found or allow them to take the huts with them as they fly the nest. The shepherd’s hut can even be converted for the next generation, as a playroom for grandchildren, all the while bringing the family one step closer to the great outdoors.

Plankbridge shepherd’s huts start from £16,500 plus VAT and measure 12' long. Longer and bespoke designs can be quoted for.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers visit www.plankbridge.com.

For the fourth year running, The Queens Arms retains two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence

Amy Brice

Two AA Rosettes

For the 2016-2017 year, The Queens Arms in Corton Denham, Somerset, has retained its two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence. Renowned for measuring its food in metres, not miles, with much of the restaurant’s produce coming from its own kitchen garden and smallholding, The Queens Arms has been recognised as achieving excellent standards across the board, from consistency and precision in cooking, to the careful selection of high quality ingredients.

Among all of the restaurants throughout the UK, approximately 10% are of a standard deemed worthy of one Rosette or above, with around 40% within the AA Restaurant Guide awarded two Rosettes. This coveted accolade comes just months after The Queens Arms was awarded Gold in the Dining Pub category at the Taste of the West Hospitality & Retail Awards 2016, adding to owners, Gordon and Jeanette Reid’s, growing trophy cabinet.

Jeanette explains;

“Retaining our two AA Rosettes for a fourth year means a great deal to us, as we continue to combine refined cookery with the country charms of a quintessentially English Georgian Inn, which welcomes sticky fingers and muddy paws through its doors every day. This seal of approval is a real credit to our talented team, from the kitchen and front-of-house to those tending our home-grown produce, so we’re delighted that our nose-to-tail ethos and innovative menu has impressed the AA inspectors once again.”

For more information about The Queens Arms visit www.thequeensarms.com.

The definitive design honed over time, Plankbridge launches Simply Classic shepherd’s hut

Amy Brice

Plankbridge Simply Classic

Having lovingly crafted hundreds of bespoke shepherd’s huts at its workshop in Piddlehinton, Dorset, Plankbridge Master Hutmakers has now unveiled its first ‘ready to go’ model, a distillation of 16 years’ experience and knowledge of what people need and want from their outdoor hideaways. Often dubbed the Rolls-Royce of hut makers, Plankbridge has poured its unrivalled expertise, time-honoured craftsmanship and dedication to Victorian rural heritage into its new Simply Classic shepherd’s hut, which offers a more affordable option for those wishing to extend the use of their garden throughout the year.

Elegant in its simplicity, well-appointed within and built to Plankbridge’s master craftsmen’s exacting standards, the Simply Classic remains true to the humble hut on wheels that was commonplace in the English countryside during Thomas Hardy’s time. With black corrugated iron cladding, Restoration Green windows, oak flooring and Plankbridge’s signature cast iron wheels, the Simply Classic is built to stand the test of time and blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings.

Hut owners to-be need only select their preferred window position and can then enjoy a hut design that has been honed over time, with a neutral interior palate, wood burning stove and 4’6” bed, true to the layout of the Victorian originals, along with 240v electrics. This classic option makes for an understated and cosy space, perfect for a spare bedroom, home office or studio, while bespoke designs catering for more specific requirements can also be quoted for.

The Simply Classic shepherd’s hut costs £16,500 plus VAT and measures 12' long.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers visit www.plankbridge.com.

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company cracks Middle Eastern market

Amy Brice

Picture courtesy of Richard Austin

Picture courtesy of Richard Austin

Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, is now exporting up to 100 cases of its free range hens eggs per week to the Middle East. Following a huge haul of recent awards, from the likes of Great Taste, Compassion in World Farming and Taste of the West, owners, Dan and Briony Wood, are shipping their free range eggs to Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman, as well as Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

In a year that has seen the producer play a leading role in helping to ensure a sustainable future for likeminded family-run farms across the UK, this export deal is providing a real boost for those farmers still using the time-honoured flat deck system. Clearly illustrating the global appeal of British free range eggs produced by traditional methods, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s expansion into the Middle East gives further backing for its calls to support small independent farmers, before their skills and expertise are lost forever.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains;

“It always gives us great pleasure to have the exceptional quality of our free range eggs recognised, especially when it’s from such a discerning overseas market, which is renowned for its impeccable standards when importing food and drink. Exporting our hens eggs to the Middle East is an incredibly exciting development for everyone at The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, not least for our family of free range egg producers, who are all committed to using traditional farming methods to produce their free range eggs. Our new relationships in the Middle East gives us yet another opportunity to educate consumers on the difference between traditional flat deck free range egg farming and other more modernised methods, this time on an international stage!”

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s free range eggs are available from selected stores in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, as well as from independent retailers across the UK, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores.

For more information about The Traditional Free Range Egg Company visit www.TheTraditionalFreeRangeEggCompany.co.uk.

 

With a humble hut at its heart, rediscovered garden design wins BALI National Landscape Award

Amy Brice

The Plankbridge shepherd’s hut within Anne Jennings’ garden design at a private residence in Chelsea, winner of a Design Excellence Award at the BALI National Landscape Awards.

The Plankbridge shepherd’s hut within Anne Jennings’ garden design at a private residence in Chelsea, winner of a Design Excellence Award at the BALI National Landscape Awards.

Draped in ivy, wildflowers and even a healthy covering of moss on the roof of a Plankbridge shepherd’s hut, a rediscovered garden design by Anne Jennings of Viridian Landscape Studio has won a Design Excellence Award in the BALI National Landscape Awards, for her work on a private residence in Chelsea. Created in the style of a once-forgotten family haven, the garden design includes a child’s playhouse from Dorset-based master hutmaker, Plankbridge, which has been lovingly entwined into the fabric of this magical space.

One of the landscape industry’s highest accolades, this award recognises the challenges that were faced in creating an outdoor scene that looks as though it has evolved over many years, coupled with the access limitations that are synonymous with city projects. Careful planning and close working relationships with suppliers, such as Plankbridge were essential and in order to overcome a 600mm side alley access issue, Plankbridge’s master craftsmen delivered the shepherd’s hut in panels, so that the playroom could be constructed on-site.

Anne Jennings, joint-director of Viridian Landscape Studio, explains;

“It was a challenging brief to create a romantic, magical space with the character of an old, rediscovered garden, so harmonious collaboration with suppliers such as Richard at Plankbridge was very important. I must say that out of all the manufacturers we approached, Richard had the most positive ‘can do’ attitude, from our need for a reduced size hut to the necessity for on-site construction. He was also very effective in working to our schedule and timescales, interpreting our requirements perfectly, right down to the distressed paintwork and helping in the selection of the right colour tones to achieve the desired effect.”

Richard Lee, founder and co-owner of Plankbridge, adds;

“It’s such a rewarding experience working closely with creative garden designers like Anne and we would like to congratulate her on this richly deserved award. Plankbridge was born when my partner, Jane Dennison, and I first discovered and restored a Victorian shepherd’s hut, so it is always interesting to come at a project from the reverse angle and create something that looks weathered by many years from entirely new materials. The hut in Chelsea is so at home within the beautiful outdoor escape designed by Anne and, for us, the playroom it is a perfect visual representation of the once forgotten shepherd’s hut now coming alive in the modern world, in so many different ways.”

A standard Plankbridge Classic Shepherd’s Hut, complete with painted windows and door (optional upgrade to English oak), a solid French oak floor and a Farrow & Ball painted interior, starts at £22,225.20 including VAT and measures 12' long. Longer and bespoke designs can be quoted for.

The rediscovered garden design has also been shortlisted in the Society of Garden Designers Awards, in both the Small Residential Garden and People’s Choice categories. The overall winner will be announced in January.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers visit www.plankbridge.com.

More information about Viridian Landscape Studio can be found at www.viridian.uk.com

 

Compassion in World Farming presents Good Egg Award to The Traditional Free Range Egg Company

Amy Brice

Richard Austin (5).png

Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, has received a Good Egg Award from Compassion in World Farming at the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards 2016. Commended for their dedication to ensuring exceptional welfare standards for all of their birds, including their Rambling Free hens, Waddling Free ducks, Foraging Free quails, Dabbling Free geese and Naturally Free organic hens, owners Dan and Briony Wood remain committed to going above and beyond industry standards of free range and free to fly, guided by an ethos of love, care, freedom and fresh air.

Recognising food businesses that make it their policy to produce and source higher welfare eggs, meat and dairy produce, the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards presented the Good Egg Award to The Traditional Free Range Egg Company in a year that has seen the producer play a leading role in ensuring a sustainable future for likeminded family-run farms across the UK. Undertaking both a rebrand and a high profile campaign to educate consumers on the difference between traditional flat deck free range egg farming and more industrialised methods of producing free range eggs, the company is determined to support smaller independent farms and help them thrive in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains;

“Having our commitment to welfare recognised by Compassion in World Farming means a lot to us, as the health and happiness of our birds is second to none. We believe that the traditional flat deck system provides the perfect environment for our girls, helping us produce exceptional quality eggs, and our haul of awards in 2016 is testament to this. Our latest Good Egg Award will provide a real boost for us and we hope that it will help us shine a light on what we’re about, as we continue on our mission to save tradition.”

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s free range eggs are available exclusively from independent retailers, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores across the UK.

For more information about The Traditional Free Range Egg Company visit www.TheTraditionalFreeRangeEggCompany.co.uk.

Wintry walks and a warm welcome at The Queens Arms this Christmas

Amy Brice

The Queens Arms

From the crisp country air and the crunch of frost underfoot, to the irresistible warmth of the roaring log fire, The Queens Arms in Corton Denham is the perfect destination for those wishing to embrace the tranquil allure of the Somerset countryside this Christmas. Rosy cheeks and winter woollies can while away the day traversing some of the finest countryside that the south west has to offer, returning to the cosy charms of this award-winning pub, including chestnuts around the fire, mulled wine and a truckle of Montgomery cheddar on the bar.

Hand-picked by The Queens Arms’ owners, Gordon and Jeanette Reid, the four rural routes range from 5.5 miles to 16 miles and offer a variety of terrains. These are all mapped out in a handy walking guide lanyard, left on the back of the door in guests’ individually designed rooms, and wellies are also made available for anyone wishing to go off the beaten track. Diners can therefore savour the indulgent Christmas day menu of produce from the pub’s own kitchen garden and smallholding, including duck three ways, turkey with all the trimmings and homemade Christmas pudding, assured of a rejuvenating ramble to work it off later in the afternoon.

With sticky fingers, muddy boots and paws encouraged at this pub, which is tucked neatly away on Somerset’s border with Dorset, this is a festive getaway for the whole family. For those wanting to relax with all the relatives over Christmas, The Queens Arms even has two brand new holiday hideaways in lovingly converted Piggery Barns, each sleeping up to eight and offering unspoilt views of the winter countryside.

For more information on The Queens Arms visit www.thequeensarms.com.