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How to attract more people to your pubs and bars in July

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Summer is the perfect time for catch-ups and meals out, with the longer days making people more sociable and less likely to stay in and watch the television most evenings.

Many pubs take advantage of the extra sociability in their local areas and a great way to make your pub the place to be, is to welcome as many people as possible to themed events or large event screenings.

Below are some ideas to make the most of events at your pub, throughout July.

Wimbledon – 3rd to 16th July

What better excuse to tempt people to stay to watch the tennis than to align it with an offer on Pimms and strawberries?  Maybe mix it up a bit to include strawberry flavoured cider, or add strawberries to prosecco for the duration of Wimbledon.

British F1 Grand Prix – 7th to 9th July

Make the grand prix a big event in your local area, by putting on a range of different ‘fast food’ as a one-off menu over the weekend, or run a competition for a free bottle of something tasty, for the person who can down their pint in the quickest time.  Whatever best suits the tone of your pub, take advantage of an event which many people will sit and watch from start to finish.

British Open – 17th to 23rd July

What better excuse for pub golf?  Make your pub the end destination, or better still, run an offer for an entire pub golf event to be held at your pub.  Alternatively, mix up your menu to attract people in for a meal, whilst they watch the golf, with themed food such as ‘Toad- in-the-hole-in-one’ or a special offer on a ‘Night-handi-cap’.

National Daiquiri Day – 19th July

Hold a cocktail making course, or put on a ladies’ night where samples of different types of daiquiris are available to try as miniatures.  Whichever seems to be the favourite, add it as a special offer over the weekend!

Black Tot Day – 31st July 

This day celebrates when rum rations for sailors were abolished, after a 300-year-old Naval tradition came to an end.  Unlimited rum for a limited time, or a rum happy hour would work well as a fitting tribute.

Celebrating in comfort

All of these events will work even better for your pub, if when people arrive, they feel welcome and comfortable.  How often do you go into a pub or a bar, soon to leave after one drink or even before then, if there’s no-where to sit? 

Getting people to your pub to celebrate or enjoy the great array of events throughout July should be relatively easy, but especially in the case of sporting events, which last for several hours, it’s important to make sure that your pub comfortable enough for people to stay for the duration.  

For a range of indoor and outdoor pub furniture, from pub furniture specialists Trent Furniture, visit the website at www.trentfurniture.co.uk or request a furniture brochure.

Trent Furniture is exhibiting at the Restaurant Design Show 2017

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If you’re thinking about making some updates to your restaurant or bar, then the Restaurant Design Show is the perfect opportunity for you to get ideas and inspiration.

What is the Restaurant Design Show?

The Restaurant Design Show 2017 will be held at the ExCel London convention centre on 26th & 27th September. The exhibition focusses on helping restaurant and bar business owners to connect with professionals in the lighting, design and furniture industries, as well as with each other. There are over 100 exhibitors appearing at the furniture show who are all ready and waiting to offer advice and solutions.

Why you should go to the exhibit

The event is an excellent opportunity to network with other business owners and to meet suppliers of restaurant furniture, design experts and some of the industry’s leading names. There is even a dedicated networking area at the exhibition to help you do this.

There will be 50 expert speakers at the event, covering a wide range of topics, including creating a strong brand through storytelling, how to create the perfect lighting, how to go cashless and several design workshops.

There are several businesses available for sale, which could be your perfect opportunity to pick up a bargain or move into a new industry. Check out the list of businesses for sale.

Trent Furniture will be at stand 3170 and we can’t wait to talk to you about how we can help your business to flourish. We’ve been supplying contract furniture to bars and restaurants since 1960 so you can be sure we know what we’re talking about!

Restaurant and bar furniture

If you want to learn more about the furniture options we offer before the show, check out our bar furniture and restaurant tables and chairs through the website. We’ve got lots of different styles and colours available to suit your venue, whether it is traditional or contemporary, family focussed or more upmarket and elegant.

If you’re interested in attending the event, you can still get some free tickets. For more information about the Restaurant Design Show, please visit the event website - http://www.restaurantdesignshow.co.uk/ or contact us with your queries.

How Italians shaped British eating habits

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It’s hard to imagine what British food would be like without the influence of Italians. Pasta, pizza, ice cream, cappuccino: these have become staples of our national cuisine, part of our culture. Indeed, TV chef Jamie Oliver, though born in Essex, has a whole chain of restaurants themed around Italian food: Jamie’s Italian, which has 36 branches around the UK, while other Italian-themed chains such as Zizzi are thriving. 

When did the Italian migration start?

Where did it all start? Well, it could be argued that the first Italian migrants to our shores were the Romans, who rocked up when Julius Caesar made an exploratory visit in 55BC. Over the centuries, Italians left their stamp on many parts of the UK: Lombard Street in the City of London, for instance, is named after notable Italian migrants from Lombardy who became well established in banking and finance in the Middle Ages. 

But it wasn’t until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that Italians began to arrive in substantial numbers. Prior to the First World War, Britain operated what was in effect an “open door” to immigrants, and Italians, escaping poverty in their home country, sought a better life elsewhere. Many ended up working as waiters and kitchen staff in hotels and restaurants in London.

Thousands also settled in Bedford, working in the local brickworks. But some also headed for Scotland and south Wales, where, as well as working in traditional industries such as coal mining and shipbuilding, they also brought with them their culinary skills and set up ice cream parlours, cafés, fish and chip shops and other eateries. 

Antoniazzi shop, Caerphilly, 1920s-30s

Italian cafes and ice cream parlours 

In the mining communities of South Wales, where the temperance movement was hugely influential, Italian-owned cafés and ice cream parlours became popular from around the turn of the 20th century. They became known locally as “Bracchis”, named after the founding family of one popular chain. These establishments offered proper coffee, home-made ice cream, cakes and other treats. (The founding brothers of the Berni Inn restaurant chain also set up their first business in south Wales.) These were a treat not just for the palate, but also offered refined surroundings: elegant, comfortable tables and chairs, smartly dressed staff, fancy decor – a retreat from the industrial grime of the outside world. 

Italians and the catering trade

Meanwhile in Scotland, thousands of Italians made their way to cities such as Glasgow, where, again, many of them set up business in the catering trade. Many of Scotland’s fish and chip shops are still owned by families of Italian descent; indeed, some historians argue that it was Italians who popularised the “fish supper” – fish and chips - in Scotland.

Scotland has also given rise to the deep-fried pizza, which is often seen in Scottish chippies. Many Italian food-lovers and pizza purists would see this as an abomination. But, until fairly recently, authentic Italian pizza was little known beyond Italy, although in 1861 the San Francisco Bulletin published a brief descriptive article about the pizzas of Naples, which the reporter described as a kind of “cake”, cooked for five minutes in a hot oven and served “between sunset and two or three in the morning”.

The ingredients for these pizzas were simple;  mozzarella, tomato and herbs – the addition of meats, olives and exotic toppings such as pineapple came much later, when the pizza spread across America as a fast food.

The first pizzas appearing in Britain

The pizza appeared in Britain when restaurateur Peter Boizot launched his first Pizza Express restaurant in London’s Soho in 1965 after an inspirational trip to Italy. To begin with, Boizot served the pizza in the authentic Italian style, cutting squares from a long strip of pizza – but he was soon persuaded that it would be better to serve individually cooked circular pizzas on round plates.

Peter Boizot Coptic Street

These were served by cheerful staff in relaxed, informal surroundings, with the cooks spinning the pizza dough in full sight of the customers; a bit of theatre for the diners. The Pizza Express chain spread across Soho and London (with jazz being added to the menu in the Dean Street branch), eventually becoming today’s nationwide high-street chain. Over the years, the chain has consistently argued that its pizzas have not got any smaller since the 1960s – claiming instead that its customers’ appetites have grown. (Pizza Express actually added an inch or so to the dimensions of its pizzas in 2002.)

Italian restaurants

Italian restaurants serving classic meat and pasta-based dishes and desserts such as tiramisu also became popular from the 1960s onwards, leading to the growth of pasta as a staple part of our diet. There was a time when virtually every meal served on a British table would have featured potatoes. Now, pasta is perhaps even more widely seen, while once-exotic sauces such as pesto – a speciality of the Liguria region in northern Italy – have become widespread.

Soho was a focal point for many Italian migrants to the UK. Italian refugees displaced by the Napoleonic Wars began to arrive in London in the 1800s, chiefly in Clerkenwell but also in nearby Soho. From the 1930s onwards, Italian migrants set up cafés, restaurants and delicatessens in the bohemian melting pot of Soho. 

And from the 1950s Soho’s Italian cafés launched the coffee bar scene – youngsters would congregate in these cafés, with their gleaming, steaming Gaggia coffee machines, listening to rock and roll and skiffle. Among the first of these was the Moka Bar on Frith Street, which served espresso and “frothy coffee” in cool, stylish surroundings: a Formica-covered bar, metal stools, bright lights. Many of these coffee bars hosted live music, launching the careers of singers such as Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard.

Moka Bar in Frith Street, Soho

The Italian contribution to British cuisine 

Italians, then, have contributed much to the British way of eating and drinking. And, as well as the actual foods they have introduced, Italians have helped to democratise eating out in the UK. Italian restaurants have long been associated with informality, offering an alternative to the starchy, snobby, buttoned-up atmosphere that once prevailed in many British restaurants. In the early days of Italian restaurants, romantic music, candles set in straw Chianti bottles and friendly waiters created a relaxed, intimate ambience, helping to pave the way for the restaurant revolution that’s taken place in the UK in recent decades. 

Italian themed restaurants 

And these days, the UK’s Italian-themed restaurants such as Prezzo, Zizzi and Jamie’s Italian, and even the more upmarket Carluccio’s, have cast off the fussy interiors of their forebears in favour of a more informal, “natural” look: no tablecloths, simple, elegant restaurant furniture (in the case of Carluccio’s, solid wood tabletops are widely used), bare floors, sometimes open kitchens (though this trend began with Pizza Express back in the 1960s).

Jamie's Italian in St Martin's Courtyard, Covent Garden, London

Purists might complain that the food in some of these restaurants in not properly “authentic” Italian, but anyone with memories of British food in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s (spaghetti from a tin, anyone?) will simply be grateful for the Italian influence on our national cuisine. Buon appetito!

Renewing Wedding Vows on a Budget

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It may have been one year, five years or even 50 years since your special day. Flashbacks of the white dress, emotional speeches and dancing guests flood your memories. You would give anything to be back in that moment and renewing your wedding vows seems like the perfect idea. Building upon old promises or establishing new ones is the epitome of romance. And then it hits you. How on earth could you ever afford to replicate your wedding?

Celebrity Wedding Vow Renewals

Celebrities seem to be leading the latest trend in vow renewal with many holding lavish gatherings in grand locations such as Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon’s ceremony in Disneyland, California. Others have followed suit, splashing out thousands to reaffirm their marriage vows. However, not all celebrity couples want to show-off their million-pound fortunes. 

Choosing the Perfect Venue

As recently as January 2017, David and Victoria Beckham have secretly had a vow renewal ceremony of their own with just six guests present at their private home. If you want the renewal of your marriage vows to be a small and humble event then there is absolutely no reason you can’t hold a private gathering in your back garden or the local park. Decorate your venue with outdoor furniture for that summer garden party feel. Make sure you choose chairs and tables that designed for the British weather by checking out our durable collection of outdoor stacking chairs.

Wedding vow renewal ceremonies are not legally binding and therefore they can be conducted just about anywhere. Choosing somewhere with sentimental value can really make this special day just about the two of you, your love and your memories. Limiting guest numbers to those who mean the most to you such as parents, children and long-standing friends will ensure your ceremony celebrates your relationship together as a family. Acquaintances are not going to be offended if they are not invited so don’t panic about trying to include everyone.

Dressing for a Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony

Choosing the dress code for a budget vow renewal ceremony can be very simple. Some may choose to go big like their celebrity idols and wear their original wedding attire or something similar; others might prefer a smart/casual approach. Whatever your decision it is important to explain this to your guests so they don’t arrive feeling under or over-dressed.

Budget ceremonies don’t have to look cheap. You can find a wealth of fabulous clothes on the high street, and as you are not organising an actual wedding there are no traditional conventions to follow. Pick a cocktail dress, a casual shirt and trousers or if you’re on the beach, dig out those Bermuda shorts. Whatever your decision, ensure you are comfortable as you’re not there to please anyone but yourselves.

Entertainment Options for a Small Budget

Planning to entertain guests on a reasonable budget can be difficult. Once you start adding up DJ costs, lights, food and a venue it can get out of hand. As we have mentioned before, wedding vow renewal ceremonies are not there to out-do the big day itself. Step back and plan ways to enjoy a relaxed evening with those closest to you.

Making a playlist of your favourite songs from across the decades, and have this playing while everyone picks their way through a buffet will make for a relaxed atmosphere. Alternatively, ask a local musician or band if they would be interested in playing and that way you will be helping out the local community too. BBQ’s are also a great way to fill everyone’s appetites, and you could even suggest that those attending bring a small contribution such as potato salad or dessert. You shouldn’t be expecting any wedding renewal gifts so this would be a nice way for your family and friends to play a part in this special day.

If you are holding your vow renewal ceremony indoors, stacking chairs would be ideal for saving space. They could be set out for the ceremony itself, and then stacked away to provide extra space for those who want to dance the night away. Why not consider hosting a dance competition to get your guests moving on the dance floor. Our recent post on the approaching wedding season takes you through different seating ideas which could be useful for your renewal ceremony.

Remember, It’s Not the Real Thing

When planning your vow renewal ceremony it’s important to remember that your guests won’t be expecting a full-scale wedding style celebration and you definitely do not have to spend the rest of your life savings on the event. Planning a wedding vow renewal ceremony should be a fun and pleasurable experience for everyone involved, especially you. Our guide to renewing wedding vows on a budget will be sure to help you make your day memorable without the costs.

Trent Furniture offers a range of products suitable for both budget and premium occasions. We have a wide range of seating available and will be more than happy to talk you through your ideas. Get in touch with a member of the team today and start planning the renewal of your marriage vows.

Celebrity References

Mariah Carey Vow Renewal
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2317528/Mariah-Carey-Nick-Cannon-SHUT-DOWN-Disneyland-renew-wedding-vows.html

David Beckham Vow Renewal
http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/david-beckham-shocks-fans-marriage-9716109

Pub Outdoor Furniture: Your Complete Buying Guide

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As the weather warms up and long summer days with warmer evenings approach, it is likely that you are looking to spruce up your outdoor area as a well-planned outdoor space can significantly increase your business capacity and customer numbers. Innkeepers can increase average spend per head, entice new customers in and keep customers returning simply by creating an inviting and well maintained outdoor space. To many, the exterior of a pub reflects what they might find inside and also what kind of service they can expect so it’s an excellent an opportunity to promote your pub and the kind of business you run to passing trade and regular customers alike!

outdoor seating at a restaurant

A key consideration in designing an outdoor area is what type of furniture you will fill the space with. It needs to be visually appealing as well as functional and durable. Choosing furniture purely on price isn’t always a good move and there are other factors to take account of if you want a purchase of furniture to be an investment rather than an expense season after season, year upon year!

If you are considering how you can maximise the potential of our outdoor area then the handy Outdoor Furniture Buying Guide will help you to avoid making expensive and time consuming mistakes in the transformation of your pub garden!

Material

Choose wisely when it comes to what your furniture is made of. There are a number of options when it comes to outdoor tables and chairs but which is right for you?

Wood

Who doesn’t love the look of wood with its unique grains and markings but it often isn’t practical due to requiring lots of maintenance to keep it looking beautiful. There’s nothing worse than having to treat and oil wood or year after year, sand and re-stain or even worse, purchase expensive furniture covers that take valuable time and energy to fit and remove between uses. If you like the look of wood but want furniture that won’t weather, rot and crack like real hardwood furniture will over time then choose synthetic timber furniture that offer the look of wood but require little to no maintenance. Trent Furniture offer a wood effect outdoor chair that features synthetic timber slats and is weather and water resistant for maximum longevity as well as been stackable for convenient storage during the harsher winter months.

monaco wood effect stacking chair and outdoor capra table

[Wood Effect Monaco Range]

Metal

If you want to create a modern look then metal is a good choice and being available in such a wide choice of shapes, sizes and finishes makes it all the more popular with owners, landlords and customers throughout the industry-Just make sure any metal furniture you purchase is weather resistant and treated to resist rust and weathering. Bright silver such as aluminium can be combined with bold colours or natural textures such as wood, slate or brick so it’s a very versatile material for outdoor furniture and can be used in any setting from grassed areas to patios, terraces and decking. Not to mention that as well as strong and sturdy, aluminium is still one of the most light-weight materials for outdoor furniture making it easy to move around and store.

Synthetic Rattan

Synthetic rattan, wicker or resin weave have the unique selling point of being virtually maintenance free and had truly revolutionised the outdoor furniture market. It may be the newest material to make an appearance but it’s hugely popular partly down to the contemporary designs, vast choice of colours and resilience to weather which means they can be used all year round. Use synthetic rattan or wicker furniture to introduce colour to an area or opt for dark greys and blacks for a contemporary twist that looks stylish and sophisticated in any outdoor setting.

red monaco chair

Maintenance and Storage

Another key consideration when purchasing outdoor furniture that is linked closely to the material you choose, is maintenance. Minimal maintenance is key, look for simple shapes that are easy to clean and allow excess water to drain off easily in the wetter weather to maximise longevity of your outdoor furniture. Although all materials will be weather resistant, furniture will stay looking its best if it can be stored away during particularly cold and wet months when it would otherwise be exposed to long periods of harsh weather.

Smaller pieces and individual chairs are much easier to move and store than larger bulkier items such as benches and multiple seat suites. Choosing stacking furniture means storage requires less room and is much more convenient when it comes to finding space to stash your outdoor tables and chairs. Placing in a shed or garage is a great way of prolonging furniture life expectancy-just be sure to fully dry down and clean your furniture pre-storage to avoid mould forming, decay of metal and rotten wood.

The Monaco range of chairs from Trent Furniture are all stackable, lightweight and available in wood effect, aluminium or wicker with prices starting from just £22.90! The Monaco Outdoor Chairs are specifically designed for contract use and have a construction superior to those you might find for domestic use so will remain sturdy and stylish for years to come.

outside restaurant furniture

[Plaza Stacking Furniture Range]

Colours

Colour is important when it comes to outdoor furniture. Brightly coloured furniture adds interest to an area whilst bright silvers such as stainless steel and aluminium are really on trend right now, adding a contemporary style to pub gardens and patios of all shapes and sizes.

monaco stacking chairs

Dark colours including grey and black are a classic choice and an investment that won’t date so consider this option when investing in new outdoor furniture-just make sure that it is UV resistant to ensure they don’t become faded in sunlight.

Be warned when it comes to white outdoor furniture, especially tops which can create glare in direct sunlight and make for an uncomfortable experience for your customers. White furniture can be troublesome and high maintenance attracting dust, dirt and grime from the natural environment such as weather, the sea or traffic. The last thing you need is to be constantly cleaning down your outdoor furniture to keep it looking presentable when your time and effort could be focussed elsewhere on making sure business is thriving!

Design

There are a few vital things to look for in the design of your outdoor furniture to ensure not only will it look great but that it will perform well. Trent Furniture advise to look for items following design features;

Adjustable feet- Let’s face it, you find plenty of uneven floor surfaces inside never mind outside! This is especially true of older buildings and renovations that feature beautiful stone floors or traditional tiling so it’s no surprise that adjustable feet on outdoor furniture are high on a list of priorities. Adjustable feet on tables can provide the perfect solution to floors that are not level, put an end to those irritating wobbly legs and avoid those pesky folded beer mats under legs!  

Drainage Holes- As your furniture will spend a lot of time being subjected to the unpredictable Great British weather, it is important that it is deigned to let excess water drain to allow them to dry off quickly and keep them looking fresh and new. After all no one wants to sit on a mouldy chair that’s seen better days, nor are they inclined to step any further to see what you have on offer inside! As plastic is non-porous, if you are opting for a solid seat as opposed to wicker, rattan or slated design then make sure it has adequate drainage holes; without these, water can sit on the surface and leave unattractive watermarks from the muddy puddles of water that linger.

Rust Resistant-Even if you pack up your beer garden furniture and store your outdoor furniture indoors during the harshest winter months, it is inevitable that eventually your  furniture will get wet and weathered over time no matter what you do- particularly if you opt for aluminium, stainless steel or other metal finishes, choose a high grade to help resist corrosion and keep it looking it’s best. Look for stainless steel tops that have ‘post-forming’ where the metal continues over the edges of the tops to prevent water reaching the core as these will last much longer and prevent warping and inner rust developing.

arley outdoor furniture

                                                                                                                                                                        So there you have it a comprehensive guide to buying outdoor furniture. Shop online at Trent Furniture for a huge range of outdoor furniture designed for contract use and specifically created for pubs, inns and bars in mind. Don’t wait any longer to maximise the potential of your outdoor space and the warmer summer months!

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