With February coming to an end we prepared our selection of the top hospitality news from the past month.
A 228-room Hampton by Hilton hotel is to open in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge area in summer 2017. Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has sold the hotel development site in a former industrial area of central Edinburgh to Queensgate Hotels. The site forms part of Grosvenor’s Springside mixed-use development located close to the central business district and Edinburgh International Conference Centre
Rollout Restaurants, the Soho House joint venture, is developing a roadside restaurant and hotel concept. The group is working on the launch of a ‘˜motel diner’ format and hopes to have the first site under the new as-yet-unnamed concept in development before the end of the year. The 180-cover restaurant will feature a menu that takes inspiration from the Mediterranean Sea and serves rustic Italian and French favourites.
The Central Perk franchise, based on the coffee shop featured on popular US sitcom Friends has closed its three sites. The cafes in Chester and Liverpool’s Bold Street and Hatton Gardens permanently closed in January and have sold off the Friends-themed fixtures in a silent auction. The two Liverpool stores have been taken over by independent owners who are converting the sites into American TV & Music themed CafÃ© Bar Ameriesko. The decision marks a stark turnaround from the group’s fortunes in 2014, when Central Perk’s group director said he was aiming to open 300 sites across the UK by 2024.
Bukowski Grill will open a flagship 70-cover all day restaurant and bar in Soho marking a third site for the chain – and the biggest one – following Boxpark in Shoreditch and a second one in Brixton Market. Inspired by American Diners, the restaurant’s charcoal grill will be cooking up a larger menu than its sister sites as well as its range of signature hamburgers. The drinks on offer have been expanded on and will include world wines, a list of beer from local breweries and bottled and aged cocktails.
London’s Hotel CafÃ© Royal is to launch an evening dessert restaurant on 3rd March, with a menu created by executive pastry chef, Sarah Barber. The restaurant will feature a selection of tasting menus all served with optional wine pairing from 6pn to 10:30pm daily. The opening of the evening dessert restaurant will run alongside the launch of a new day food and drink menus in The CafÃ©. The ‘˜Sarah in Wonderland’ menu will feature five courses including preliminary savoury dishes to prepare the palate for pudding. To follow are ‘˜Alice in Wonderland’-inspired desserts, like the ‘˜Queen of Hearts’, comprising raspberries, champagne and roses. A three-course ‘˜Childhood Memories’ menu will also be available, made up of Barber’s take on nostalgic favourites. The ‘˜Pick-n-Mix’ menu will allow guests to create a selection of four dishes, with both savoury and sweet options.
The hotel which inspired Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Were None has unveiled plans for a precarious cliffside suite. The development will form part of the Grade II listed Burgh Island Hotel, which sits in a 26-acre tidal island off the coast of Bigbury-on-Sea. The new design will bridge two separate cliff faces and is inspired by the land formation of the island’s mud-stone cliffs. It will feature a series of interconnected rooms and include dramatic views of the island and sea. At Burgh Islands the tide meets and parts approximately every six hours and the hotel can only be accessed by water tractor at high tide.
Liverpool is to get its first five-star luxury hotel at the Martins Bank building with a £50m investment from hotel and conference centre operator Principal Hayley. Work will start on the project this year, which will see the building transformed into a luxury hotel with a spa, bar and fine dining restaurant. The site has a potential opening in late 2017 or early 2018. The building, which is considered one of the finest classical buildings built in the interwar period, was designed by noted architect Herbert James Rowse and completed in 1932. Much of the country’s gold reserve was secretly transferred to the building at the start of the Second World War in order to hide it from any Nazi invasion. The site had already obtained full planning and Listed Building consent for the proposed development.
Michelin-starred Soho restaurant Arbutus is moving the site at the end of 2016 and relaunching with a new refreshed offer. The restaurant from Anthony Demetre and Will Smith has been on Frith Street for 10 years and has held a Michelin star since 2007. The new site will retain the essence of the original Arbutus but will be in a new incarnation with new menus and fresh approach. Further details on Arbutus’ closing date and future location are yet to be confirmed.
In just one month, restaurant groups, gastropubs and fine dining restaurants are being urged to join millions around the world to switch off their lights and serve candlelit dinners to mark Earth Hour. The Sustainable Restaurant Association has teamed up with WWF to put the candlelit dinners on the menu from 8:30pm on 19th March and is calling on restaurants to join the global event. Brasserie Blanc, The Savoy, Red Carnation Hotels and OXO Tower Restaurant are amongst the groups and restaurants already signed up. Participation restaurants will receive a full pack to help them promote their event to diners and both SRA and WWF will be promoting all of the participation restaurants on their websites and on social media.
Zayane, a modern Moroccan restaurant, has launched this month on Golborne Road, London. The 68-cover restaurant has a sophisticated menu that combines the vibrant flavours and spices of authentic Moroccan cuisine, with modern culinary techniques and European influences. The team use a mixture of British seasonal ingredients, and spices imported from Morocco, to create contemporary Moroccan cuisine. Akin to authentic Moroccan cafes and souks, Zayane’‹ ‘‹also’‹ ‘‹serves a selection of Moroccan teas, fresh juices and smoothies.