- In honour of Afternoon Tea Week 2016, it was all about tiny sandwiches and cakes, as we picked our favourites from some of the best. Afternoon tea was heralded as a great extra income stream for businesses, and a way of introducing new guests to your hotel. Whether playful, posh, creative, child-friendly or gin-fuelled, our gallery featured some beautiful photos from across the UK, including high-end London hotels and Liverpool-located homages to the Fab Four.
- And that's not to say it was all sweetness and light: Afternoon tea was revealed to be as competitive as ever, as London hotel chefs saw them as a chance to be ever more creative. Executive pastry chef at the Conrad London St James hotel explained that with standards continuing to rise, her team had worked hard to push the boundaries, with new styles, inspiration, and techniques.
- Brexit was never far away from business owners' minds, as the latest Visa UK Consumer Spending Index found that it had not affected spend in the hospitality sector. Year-on-year spend was found to have grown, up 1.6 per cent in July and 0.9 per cent in June, helped by warm weather in July and the Euro 2016 tournament.
- Talking of spend, Leon announced that it was heading towards yet more expansion as its secured a £19m funding package from bank OakNorth. BigHospitality's sister site MCA reported that the John Vincent-led group was planning to open further sites across the UK and elsewhere, looking to boost its estate from 37 UK sites and one in Amsterdam, to 500 locations across the UK, Holland, and the US by 2025.
- But not everything was rosy: Marriott International saw its $13.5bn (£10.4bn) takeover bid of Starwood Hotels & Resorts blocked by the Chinese authorities, it was reported on Tuesday. After being approved by more than 40 regulatory bodies worldwide, the deal required only China's Ministry of Commerce approval to go ahead. The takeover was expected to help create the world's largest hotel company with 1.1 million rooms and 5,500 sites.
See a full rundown of the week's news here.