Scotch Eggs - Scrumpy, Ploughman's, Chilli, Classic, Smokey Joe and best seller Black Watch (sold out but contains black pudding) at the deli at edgbaston in Birmingham. Bravo to owner Simon who also operates the grocer at edgbaston http://www.thegroceratedgbaston.co.uk/
Speakeasy Espresso & Brew Bar is off Carnaby Street and the second unit of the Dept of Coffee & Social Affairs folk in Leather Lane. They reckon they are the only UK cafe to sell Bellocq tea from the USA.
The savoury sandwich is getting more adventurous - this is Carluccios Pane Casareccio - a stuffed (cheese meat and egg) savoury bread ring.
Apparently eaten by Italians on Easter Monday to celebrate the unofficial start of Spring. Bit like our year round hot cross buns.
Quite difficult to actually find a chilled sandwich in the trendier cafes - hallelujah. Another example of better product for the customer, savings in kit/running costs for the operator and a better carbon footprint.
Three special ladies in my life - wife and twin teenage daughters - will get Carluccios chocolate roses and a short break to Barcelona - anyone know some great cafes there?
"Marry Me?" cakes and cupcakes at Dobbies garden centre cafe at Ashford - this is one very switched-on cafe operation and a treasure trove of future blog posts. Tesco, who owns Dobbies, is on to a winner. Will Dobbies will sort out Tesco cafes one day?
You just cannot get enough heart shapes - Krispy Kreme's doughnuts and Millies cookies. I prefer the chocolate roses.
A. Gold - traditional foods of Britain - in Spitalfields has proudly not joined the espresso revolution. Great place for new ideas of well packaged British food and drink. Check out http://www.agoldshop.com/
Bicester Village - the chic outlet shopping venue for hordes of overseas visitors - has an interesting mix of catering. The largest Pret I have ever seen plus Carluccios, Villandry Grand Cafe, Busaba Eathai and this shed by Jamie Oliver's outside catering company Fabulous Feasts. Quite what the visitors think of chelsea buns and eccles cakes, goodness knows but they were of good quality.
The Box Park, alongside the railway line in Shoreditch, is the "world's first pop-up mall" http://www.boxpark.co.uk/
Two of the boxes/containers are taken by Foxcroft & Ginger with their latest cafe. Wonderfully innovative.
Chris Brown, Charles Manners, Ian Doughty and Tracey Fairclough are Directors of catering consultants Turpin Smale.
Clients include clubs, theatres, visitor attractions, stately homes, garden centres, conference centres and just a few cafes.
To get your catering operation from good to great, do get in touch.