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Bone Appetit! Hilton Hotels launch new doggy menu for staycation holidaymakers who can’t leave their pets at home

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British dog owners feel their dogs are the unsung heroes of the pandemic, boosting moods and even providing as much support as friends and family members during tough times.

During a year filled with uncertainty and change, nearly six in 10 British dog owners (57%) say that the one constant which has helped them through the tough times has been their furry friends. 

Research conducted by Hilton reveals that the vast majority of British pet owners feel the pandemic would have been much harder for them without their canine companions, who boosted moods (86%) and provided companionship during tough times (86%). Eight in 10 (80%) state the pandemic would have been a lot harder for them without their cuddly canine and 82% even claim their dog has been as valuable and supportive as family and close friends over the past 12 months.

Rupert the Bear samples Bone Appetit by Hilton (Photo: Nick Morrish / Hilton)

It’s no surprise that as restrictions ease, a quarter of dog owners are looking to prioritise their pet’s happiness more than before, with 60% looking to repay their pooches for their valiant lockdown efforts by showering them with treats and some much-deserved TLC. 

The bond between pet and owner has become so strong over lockdown that almost a fifth (17%) would prioritise their dog over their friends, while one in five would go as far as only seeing friends and family who are fond of their dog (22%). When it comes to holiday planning, a third (27%) claimed they would specifically look for dog-friendly hotels to ensure their dog could join them – in fact, a quarter (26%) claim they won’t travel without their pups at all.

In response, Hilton has unveiled Bone Appétit, a mouth-watering new dog menu to provide the nation with an easy way to show their canine pals they care. The bespoke menu will be available to guests and their beloved pets across 32 of Hilton’s pet-friendly hotels in the UK and Ireland from May 17.

Developed together with veterinary nutrition experts and approved by DogFriendly, which provides dog lovers with information on exploring dog-friendly hotels and restaurants throughout the UK, the canine-coveted menu consists of four ‘pup-tastic’ meal options: 

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  • Beef Doguignon: Slow-cooked beef brisket served with mashed potato, carrots, green beans, sweetcorn, broad beans and gluten-free gravy.
  • Mutt Roast: Gluten-free tomato pasta, topped with mature cheddar cheese and roasted in the oven.
  • Earl Greyhound: A calming blend of lavender, rose petals, lime flower and orange flowers. Perfect for anxious pooches recovering from long car journeys or staying away from home.
  • Tailwagger Creek: A non-alcoholic wine infused with elderflower, nettle, ginseng, lime flower and black carrot. 
Checking in. Hilton’s Bone Appetit menu is available across over 30 of their UK properties. (Photo: Nick Morrish / Hilton)

Julie Baker, UK&I vice president, Hilton, owner of a Border Terrier called Muttley, age 7, said: “We are thrilled to launch our bespoke dog menu, Bone Appétit, across over 30 properties as a way to help pet owners give their furry family members a special reward post-pandemic. I cannot wait to treat Muttley to a hard-earned Mutt Roast and a little weekend away at our local Hilton!” 

Hilton offers beds and water bowls across 74 of its dog-friendly hotels in the UK and Ireland, with brands including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & ResortsLXR Hotels & ResortsConrad Hotels & ResortsHilton Hotels & ResortsCurio Collection by Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton. The Bone Appétit room service menu will be available for your furry friends at 32 hotels. For more information on Hilton’s dog-friendly hotels and to see what other amenities are offered at participating hotels, visit Explore.Hilton.com

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Since the pandemic, Hilton has introduced CleanStay, an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection; extended its re-booking and cancellation policy, allowing guests greater travel flexibility; and introduced new discounted Dream Away rates. 

Through Hilton’s Dream Away offer, Hilton Honors members can enjoy savings up to 15 percent on hotel stays across the UK, as well as benefiting from early check-in and late check-out. Perfect for those who just don’t want their holiday to end! Join Hilton Honors for free to benefit. To give guests extra flexibility, most individual reservations can be changed or cancelled at no charge, up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival day.

(Lead image: Nick Morrish / Hilton)

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Ammanford

£500,000 for the love of Franks’ Gelateria

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It was in 1922 that Francesco Dallavalle first started selling his ice cream around the Amman Valley on a horse and cart.

The Italian art of making ice cream has since been passed through the generations with grandsons Renaldo and Giulio Dallavalle, Directors of award-winning Frank’s Ice Cream, having now opened a new gelateria and innovation centre alongside the company’s existing manufacturing site in Capel Hendre.

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Funded by a £500,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales, the new purpose-built facility houses the latest in ice cream making machinery and technology. Built by lead contractors Malpross Services of Cross Hands, the 4,300 square foot building features a product development centre and an ice cream parlour specialising in artisan gelato and semifreddo deserts that will be open to the public along with an open viewing and tasting area. Interactive classes will be available in a bespoke visitor room that will also host school visits.

Up to 12 new jobs are expected to be created in the new facility, which includes a short-run manufacturing unit that will improve efficiency by enabling the creation of specific one-off flavours and occasion ice creams.

Having been awarded their first major supermarket contract in 1990, Franks Ice Cream opened their first manufacturing site in Capel Hendre in 1993. The company went on to launch a diabetic range of ice cream with Morrisons before investing £1.5 million to increase production capacity and then beginning to export to the Middle East in 2019. They now supply dairy ice cream, vegan ice cream and ice cream for diabetics to a range of UK supermarkets and global brands.

Director Giulio Dallavalle said: “Our story is almost 100 years old. Since the early 20th century, my family has worked hard to grow our business with the same passion and integrity we use to create our award-winning ice cream.

“Our love of great-tasting, high quality, ice cream desserts is now shared by customers throughout the world. Our new innovation centre will allow us to stay ahead of the competition with rapid product developments as well as giving our loyal customers a place to enjoy our ice cream here in the community.

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“The funding from the Development Bank has helped us to begin the next chapter of our story; creating jobs and further enhancing our offering in this highly competitive market. We couldn’t have asked for better support which is why we now very much consider them as part of our Frank’s family.”

Giulio Sallavelle, Director Frank’s Ice Cream, Alun Thomas, Development Bank of Wales

Alun Thomas of the Development Bank of Wales said: “Franks’ is a long-established manufacturing business. This latest development enables the family to go back to their roots and sell ice cream direct to the public while also showcasing the very best innovation in the Welsh food sector. They’re a lovely family with a great business making the very best Italian ice cream. We wish them every success with their latest venture.”

Funding for Frank’s Ice Cream came from the £204 million Wales Business Fund. Financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the Welsh Government and the Development Bank of Wales, the fund offers loans, mezzanine finance and equity investments from £50,000 to £2 million for small and medium-sized businesses (those with fewer than 250 employees) based in Wales, or willing to relocate to Wales. Terms range from one to seven years with finance prioritised for businesses in economically deprived areas of Wales.

Lead image: Giulio Sallavelle, Director Frank’s Ice Cream, Alun Thomas, Development Bank of Wales 

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Farming

Welsh farming union slams ASDA for withdrawing 100% support for British Beef

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The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has written to ASDA regarding the supermarket’s decision to step away from its pledge to source 100% fresh British beef just weeks after implementing the pledge.

The letter comes after farmers from across Wales contacted the union to express their anger and disappointment.

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The FUW has met with representatives from ASDA on a number of occasions throughout the pandemic to discuss the importance of supporting Welsh and UK producers at a time when global food supply chains were most volatile. 

Therefore, the commitment to source 100% British dairy, potatoes and fresh beef following the sale of a majority stake of the retailer had been welcomed.

In a letter to ASDA, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Nevertheless, the recent decision to withdraw the pledge to source 100% fresh British beef after only two months of doing so has come as a shock for FUW members, particularly given the fact that other major retailers have committed to maintain such promises despite current market conditions.”

While the UK red meat sector has experienced buoyant prices over the past twelve months, Mr Roberts wrote, this must be considered in the context of cuts having already been made to farm support payments in England, increased input costs, supply chain issues which ASDA will also have experienced and uncertainties surrounding further red tape, future agricultural support and the impact of trade deals.

“For example, during the week ending 1st January 2022 the GB deadweight price for all cattle was on average 10% higher year on year whilst GB fertiliser prices in November 2021 were on average 153% higher than 2020 levels.

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“In light of the great deal of uncertainty and volatility facing the UK agricultural industry, the FUW would urge ASDA to reconsider its commitment to sourcing 100% fresh British beef in order to provide certainty to UK producers that they won’t simply be replaced in future,” wrote the Union President.

ASDA meanwhile blamed an increase in prices for its move away from British Beef.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “We know that it is important to our customers that the beef on our shelves has been produced to high welfare standards and is affordable,” ASDA said.

“Unfortunately, the price of British beef has risen and whilst we continue to work hard to keep prices as low as possible for our customers, these increases are significant.

“All fresh beef in our premium Extra Special tier is and will remain 100% British and all of our fresh beef will be sourced from farms in the UK and Republic of Ireland. This allows us to provide quality products which caters to all customer budgets.’’

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(Lead image: FUW)

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Food & Drink

Morrisons scrapping ‘use by’ dates from milk to help customers reduce waste

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From 31 January Morrisons will scrap ‘Use By’ dates on 90 per cent of its own brand milk – and encourage its customers to use a sniff test – to help to reduce food waste in the home. 

Morrisons anticipates the move will stop millions of pints of its own brand milk from being thrown away every year. 

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‘Use By’ dates will be scrapped from Morrisons own brand British and Scottish milks, Morrisons For Farmers milks and Morrisons organic milks in store – supplied into Morrisons by Arla farmers. Morrisons South West milk and The Best Jersey milk are yet to be converted. 

Morrisons will instead encourage its customers to use a simple sniff test to check if their milk is still good to consume. The milk packaging will show ‘Best Before’ dates to indicate to customers when they should drink it by – to get the best taste. Unlike some other fresh products, drinking milk after a ‘Best Before’ date is not a food safety issue. 

Milk is the third most wasted food and drink product in the UK, after potatoes and bread, with around 490 million pints wasted every year. And milk has the largest carbon footprint of these food and drink products because its production is so resource-intensive. One litre of milk can account for up to 4.5kg of  CO2. 

Research shows fresh milk can often last a number of days past the ‘Use By’ date shown on the bottle. However UK customers are routinely throwing away milk – as they incorrectly believe the milk is unsafe to drink. WRAP estimates that 85 million pints of milk waste may be a result of customers sticking to ’Use By’ labels or ‘once opened use within’ guidance – when products may still be good to consume. 

Ian Goode, Senior Milk Buyer at Morrisons, said: “Wasted milk means wasted effort by our farmers and unnecessary carbon being released into the atmosphere. Good quality well-kept milk has a good few days life after normal ‘Use By’ dates – and we think it should be consumed not tipped down the sink. So we’re taking a bold step today and asking customers to decide whether their milk is still good to drink. Generations before us have always used the sniff test – and I believe we can too.” 

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Marcus Gover, CEO at WRAP, said: “I am delighted that Morrisons is the first UK supermarket to take this important step to help reduce household food waste – it shows real leadership and we look forward to more retailers reviewing date labels on their products and taking action. WRAP’s joint Best Practice with FSA and Defra is to only apply a ‘Use By’ date when required for food safety reasons. Applying a Best Before date to indicate quality on all other products means people have longer to use their food. Almost 300,000 tonnes of milk is wasted from UK homes each year, worth £270million, with the main reason being that it isn’t used in time. Making improvements to labelling forms an important part of WRAP’s efforts under the Courtauld Commitment 2030 to reduce household food waste. It is fantastic to see Morrisons, as a Courtauld signatory, making this change – giving people the confidence to use their judgment and consume more of the milk they buy.”

Morrisons has already scrapped ‘Use By’ dates across some of its own-brand yogurt and hard cheese ranges in 2020. 

Morrisons say they have committed to reducing food waste in stores by 50% by 2030, and say they take great care to order what it thinks it can sell and where products are close to their ‘Use By’ or ‘Best Before’ date, they are offered to customers at reduced prices.

When waste does occur, Morrisons ‘Unsold Food’ programme works with a range of partners including Too Good to Go, The Bread and Butter Thing and local food banks, charities and community groups, to ensure food can be redistributed. Where food cannot be redistributed, Morrisons use anaerobic digestion to generate electricity, which in turn contributes to renewable energy generation across the UK.

The milk sniff test: 

  • Hold the milk bottle to your nose – if it smells sour then it may have spoiled
  • Look at your milk – if you can see that it has curdled then it is not right. 

How to make your milk last longer:

  • Put your milk in a cool bag when bringing it back from the supermarket
  • Refrigerate your milk as soon as you get your shopping home
  • Maintain your fridge at between 1- 4 degree Celsius
  • Never drink from your milk bottle
  • Close your milk bottle immediately after use
  • Do not leave your milk out of the fridge.
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