Whitbread's budget hotel chain Premier Inn is to install bird boxes at its hotels as part of its efforts to run a more sustainable business. The company has bought 600 of the boxes from the RSPB and has begun to install them across the estate, starting at its new property in Stratford. It is hoped the boxes will provide a safe haven and nesting opportunities for birds and bring more local species to the area. Chris George, head of energy and environment at Whitbread, said: “We’re really excited about our latest green initiative. We recognise that we have a duty to conserve and sustain local eco-systems and habitats, and we look forward to welcoming the local bird life for a good nights sleep.”
The new supper club
Restaurant operator and event caterer Rhubarb has launched a new style supper club at its Gallery Mess restaurant at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea following a successful trial of the concept. Customers can use the restaurant's facilities while enlisting the help of its head chef to prepare and cook dinner themselves for guests of their choice. The host prepares the menu with the head chef in advance and then serves the meal to guests and dines with them. The idea is being seen as a more fun and realistic alternative to cooking school while also being a social event.
Park Plaza County Hall will be introducing 'traditional teatime Thursdays' from January next year after a 14 day trial of eight traditional dishes in its restaurant Spectrum found that guests were more likely to crave home-cooked meals on a Thursday. Nearly 33 per cent of all orders over the two-week period were taken on the two Thursdays, with beef stew and dumplings and lamb shanks being the most popular dishes. The hotel will serve the eight dishes, such as sausage & mash and shepherd's pie for £8.95 from January. “We were surprised to see such a jump in orders on a Thursday, but we are delighted to be able to offer something different to guests and have decided to introduce the menu as a permanent Thursday feature,” said the hotel's general manager Simon Mahon.
Kids e-books at bedtime
Following the launch of its free e-reader loan service for adults in September, hotel group Jurys Inn has teamed up with Egmont Press to give young guests some bedtime reading over Christmas. E-readers will be pre-loaded with a number of books for the festive season, including Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, Andy Stanton's You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum and The House at Pooh Corner. Jurys Inn marketing manager Suzanne Cannon said: "We thought it would be a great idea to roll out our Kids e-Books at Bedtime in time for the festive period. We all have guests staying with us over Christmas who, as much as they love their nearest and dearest, like to come back to a quiet haven away from their relatives’ sometimes noisy and overcrowded houses."