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Michelin pub of the year announced

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Michelin’s annual Pub of the Year for 2018 has been announced and it has been awarded to The Pointer, an 18th century pub in Brill, a village in Buckinghamshire. 

The charming pub beat of competition from 469 other venues across the UK to be bestowed with the accolade of Pub of the Year by Michelin's new Eating Out in Pubs guide 2018. 

The traditional red-brick inn sits in a picturesque English village. There is plenty of history behind the pub’s walls and legend has it that the Great Train Robbery was planned there. It was also where the stolen money was divided up, too.

Why did The Pointer win?

So, what was it that differentiated The Pointer from all of the other potential victors? The editor of the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs guide, Rebecca Burr, said: “Not only is it a delightful place, but it is exceedingly well run by a young, personable team. They really pay attention to detail and nothing is ever too much trouble for them.

“The frequently changing à la carte menu offers a good range of modern dishes. Presentation is first rate, refinement and precision are there in equal measure, and much use is made of organic ingredients from their farm.”

Food is very important in winning the Michelin award. Although paramount, the assessors look at much more than just the food. The award incorporates everything including food quality, atmosphere, drink offerings, service and interior décor. 

We can’t help you with all of these areas, but we can certainly help to improve your pub’s interior décor with our range of furniture. 

The Pointer’s interior

You can get a taste of The Pointer’s interior by looking at their Instagram page. In a nutshell, the interior décor is modern and unfussy. Although erring on the side of minimal, the pub has plenty of character, with several lounge areas warmed by open fires and an outside terrace and garden for sunnier days.

Buying pub furniture

At Trent Furniture, we have been working with pubs for many years. We know what lasts well and in what circumstances, as well as what fits best with a pub’s interior and existing atmosphere. 

For advice about which pub furniture would work best for your pub, give us a call on 0116 2986 866 or email us at sales@pubfurnitureuk.co.uk.

Christmas Opening Times at Trent Furniture

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Christmas Opening Times at Trent Furniture

Well it has reached that festive time of year again and all of us at Trent Furniture will soon be taking a Christmas break. We will be closed from 5.00pm on Wednesday 20th December 2017 until 9.00am Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

You will still be able to place orders via the website and deliveries will be scheduled for week commencing 8th January. When we return on the 2nd we will be contacting all customers who have placed an order online to advise of a delivery date. If you have any questions or queries please e-mail us at sales@pubfurnitureuk.co.uk or use the contact form in the ‘Contact Us’ section of the website. All e-mail and enquires will be responded to when we re-open on the 2nd January.

Thank you to all of our customers for your custom this year, we hope to work with you again in the future and would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2018!

The 12 ways of furnishing and decorating a pub, café or restaurant at Christmas – and beyond

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We all know that Christmas has 12 days, but no one is sure exactly why; the reason is lost in the mists of history. For most western Christians, Christmas is the biggest celebration in the religious calendar, and the number 12 has special importance, appearing many times in the Bible: the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 disciples, and so on. So it seems likely that Christmas’s 12 days are simply an expression of its importance as a festival.

In most Christian calendars, the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day, December 25, and end on January 5, the Feast of the Epiphany (when the divine nature of Jesus was revealed to the Three Wise Men).

In some traditions, a gift is given on each day of the 12 days of Christmas (hence the popular carol). So, in the spirit of this tradition, here are 12 furniture and interiors ideas for owners of restaurants, bars, pubs and cafés, for Christmas – and beyond.

1: Be generous

Over the Christmas period, small inexpensive gestures can go a long way, creating goodwill among your customers. So: if you run a café or restaurant, have a row of candy canes hanging somewhere on your counter and offer them free to children on their way out (but check with the parents first: some might not appreciate giving their children a sugary treat). Have a big basket of Christmas crackers on your counter and offer to pull one with selected customers. Perhaps, too, you could team up with the charity of your choice and donate a percentage of all sales of, say, a particular type of coffee – and afterwards, let your customers know how much you have raised.

2: Rein it in

Let’s face it: Christmas can be overdone. Too many decorations, too much tinsel and suchlike – it can all become overwhelming, cluttered and naff. So don’t go overboard. Tinsel is tacky. Concentrate on the colours of Christmas – red and green – and introduce these through table linen, napkins, plants and flowers, candles. Glass containers filled with coloured baubles and pine cones are attractive and tasteful. Christmas lights, if they are done well, can look properly Christmassy.

3: Set out your stall

If you have space outside the front of your café, you could set up a stall selling Christmas treats – cups of hot mulled wine, mince pies and coffee. All that’s needed is a trestle table or two and some festive-coloured paper tablecloths, perhaps with fairy lights draped around it (see below). You could also offer free samples of items such as your brownies or cakes. It’s a good way of attracting passing shoppers and getting them to linger and take note of your establishment.

4: Sofa, so good

Beyond Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead and how you can improve your interior. Do you have a large wall that seems somewhat empty or a space that’s not properly used? A sofa could be the answer. Increasingly, pubs, bars and cafés are using sofas – and armchairs – to create a homely, comfortable environment. Placing one against a wall, along with a low table, is a good use of space and will encourage customers to linger for longer. Leather and faux-leather are good materials as they are easier to clean when the inevitable spillages occur.

5: Case studies

Another way to encourage customers to stay longer is to install a bookcase and fill it with books for them to browse. Secondhand books are not expensive. You could even turn a bookshelf into a mini-libary. Cuts in public spending over the past few years have led to the closure of many public libraries. In reponse, micro-libraries have been springing up across the country, many of them located in small spaces such as old telephone boxes. They operate purely on trust: anyone is free to take a book away, as long as they return it, or replace it with another. So by encouraging your customers to borrow books, you are also encouraging them to come back to your pub or café.

6: High concept

The space alongside a window can sometimes be wasted in bars and cafés. A high shelf with a line of stools could help to fill it. The shelf of course needs to be stable and well secured so that customers feel that they can lean on it with confidence. High “poseur” stools give customers somewhere to perch. It doesn’t have to be super-comfortable; spaces such as these are best for people who are popping in for a quick drink or snack.

7: Space: the final frontier

New Year is a good time to take stock of your establishment and perhaps make some changes. Take a critical look at the way your furniture is arranged. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and walk around. Do you find that you have to swerve to avoid bumping into tables and chairs? Is there a clear route to the toilets? Would you be better off with round tables rather than square ones? Would new pub or café furniture brighten the place up? Can you remember what it’s like to come home from holiday and suddenly you see your house with all its faults, almost as if for the first time? Try to repeat this with your pub/café/restaurant interior. It’s easy, for instance, to overlook scuffed and tatty walls. A lick of paint and some fresh new furniture will make a world of difference.

8: Great outdoors

At this time of year it may be hard to imagine those balmy days of spring and summer, but perhaps now is a good time to start thinking about your outside area (if you have one). Today’s outdoor furniture is durable, weatherproof and often stackable. And with many of Trent Furniture’s outdoor furniture currently being offered at a reduced price (such as the Monaco natural wicker stacking chair), now is a good time to invest so that you will be ready for the warmer months.

9: Take the lead

If you run a pub, is it dog-friendly? If not, have you thought about making it one? Britain has around 8.5 million dog owners. By making it known that you welcome dogs – through signage, advertising and social media – you could tap into this market. It doesn’t take much to keep dogs – and their owners – happy: place bowls of water around the place and make the dog owners (and their dogs) feel welcome – say hello to the dogs, pat them, offer them dog treats. Pub companies such as London’s Three Cheers make a point of publicising their dog-friendly pubs. You might need to think about your furniture: dogs will scratch and bite table and chair legs, so perhaps you’d be best with cast iron furniture – Trent Furniture has a wide range.

10:Sign up for a chalkboard

Chalkboards are a fun way of attracting the attention of passers-by to your pub or café. An amusing slogan, a joke or a clever phrase, changed frequently, will get people to stop, and perhaps take pictures. For inspiration and ideas, check online or scroll through these examples from The Poke.

11: Home comforts

There was a time when most pubs were austere places. The choice of drinks was limited to beer and spirits. The furniture was usually hard and unforgiving. The customers were mostly men. These days pubs are warmer, softer places; women and even children are welcome, wine, soft drinks and coffee are served. Customers are more demanding: they want their home comforts, softer furniture, cushions, perhaps even rugs. So when you’re having a New Year rethink of your interior, consider buying a batch of cushions – they add colour as well as comfort. A throw or rug will go well with a sofa (see above) or an armchair. Your customers will thank you for it.

12: Keeping the spirit of Christmas alive

Once Christmas is over, the world can seem bleak and cheerless. But while the decorations and lights may have to come down (should it happen on the 5th or 6th of January? Opinions differ), these days it’s common to have fairy lights twinkling all year round in pubs, cafés and restaurants. Today’s LED lights are reliable and the light from them is crisp and bright. Trail them around your counter area, along shelves or across walls to add year-round sparkle and brightness. And when the weather warms up, they can add a magical sparkle to an outside area, a garden or a terrace.

Hotel Furniture Buying – All the Things You Need to Know Before you Buy

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Hotel furniture is a broad area to cover. There is plenty to think about and so many rooms that need different types of furniture to fill. To help, we’ve put together a guide of everything you need to know when buying furniture for a hotel.

Hotel furniture - buying basics:

What types of hotel furniture do you need?

Buying hotel furniture for the rooms, reception, restaurant and additional areas can be a daunting task. It’s important to plan the process in advance so that you know what’s needed and how much furniture will fit into each space. Find out how to get it right with hotel furniture. 

hotle lobby furniture

Hotel furniture options

Hotel furniture is broad and can range from the bedroom to the bar, therefore there is a breadth of colour options available. Learn how your furniture choices affect the colours.

Chairs and sofas

Any hospitality business needs to have a suitable amount of seating to provide comfort, but hotel seating perhaps comes with the highest level of expectation. Here are seating options for all around your hotel. 

Catering for all generations

When buying hotel furniture, it’s worth having something for guests of all ages. Here’s why you should use versatile furniture in your hotel that caters to all generations.

exotic hotel restaurant table

Customer bases:

Appealing to upmarket customers

Buying hotel furniture for upmarket rooms doesn't have to be difficult (or costly). This article provides advice on the furniture to use if you’re looking to add a sense of luxury.

Appealing to customers on a budget

Appealing to budget customers doesn’t mean sacrificing a welcoming environment. The right hotel furniture at the right price can be appealing without having to pass the high costs on to your customers. 

Making your hotel dog-friendly

Letting pets into your hotel can be daunting, but is it worth missing out on a large market that wants to bring their dog on holiday with them? If you’re considering making the change, here are some furniture tips for dog-friendly hotels.

outdoors hotel pool and furniture

Hotel design:

Channelling your hotel’s British heritage

While trends come and go, hotel furniture that conveys Britain's heritage is consistently the way to make tourists happy. Here are some design tips for creating a hotel filled with British heritage.

What is the future of hotel furniture?

We’ve spoken about the developing trends shaping the hotel furniture market but what does the future hold? 

Buying hotel furniture for small rooms

Small rooms shouldn’t compensate comfort. There is a range of layouts and furniture options that can add to a compact room.

wodden traditional hotel furniture

No boundaries – the modern hotel layout

Hotel furniture has to serve several purposes and new research indicates that the boundaries are more blurred than ever before. The millennial generation, in particular, look for less clearly defined spaces in the hotel environment. Discover what customer’s look for in hotel furniture.  

Using sofas throughout hotel

Hotel owners want to accommodate as many paying customers as possible, and one of the single best items you can invest in is a sofa because of its versatility. Here are sofas best uses in a hotel.  

Putting furniture near plug sockets

Historically, hotels have tended to hide plug sockets behind desks and panelling but it’s becoming more important for hotels to position their seating near electrical outlets.

Getting customers to enjoy the view

You don’t need to be surrounded by breath-taking views for this one – you’ll be surprised what visitors from further afield consider to be an interesting view. Having comfortable furniture positioned by a window will give visitors a chance to stop, take a break and watch the world pass by. Here are recommendations for furniture fit for the job.

Seasonal hotel tips:

Getting ready for Christmas

There is a sense of festivities and celebration when travelers getaway around the Christmas period. Learn how hotel furniture can get your hotel in the Christmas spirit.

Hotel furniture for Valentine’s Day

Being whisked away for a weekend break is a great romantic gesture. Here are tips for lush and luxurious hotel furniture that add a stylish sparkle to romantic getaways for Valentine's Day.

The birth of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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The birth of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

It all started in America, where Thanksgiving Day is a huge national holiday. Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday – the fourth Thursday in November - and over the years, the next day, Friday, became the day when millions of Americans go shopping. It became so busy, in fact, that in the 1960s the traffic congestion and sheer numbers of shoppers led to the day after Thanksgiving being described, pejoratively, as “Black Friday”.

The name stuck, though these days Black Friday is seen as a good thing, and it has since become America’s busiest shopping day of the year, the day when stores open all night and shoppers go mad – and sometimes fight and brawl - for bargains.

Then, just over a decade ago, when online commerce was becoming the enormous business that it is today, a group of online retailers in the US decided to extend the Thanksgiving/shopping weekend and introduced Cyber Monday. As well as being a big day for discounts at online stores such as Amazon, this is a day that offers smaller retailers with an online presence the chance to compete with the big stores.

Each year since 2005 has seen a substantial rise in US online retail receipts on Cyber Monday. And both Black Friday and Cyber Monday have spread across the world, with retailers in the UK now offering substantial discounts. (Unfortunately some of the more unpleasant side-effects, such as fighting on Black Friday, have come to the UK too.)

A Brief History of Online Shopping 

But let’s rewind for a moment and look at the history of online shopping. These days, online shopping is part of everyday life; all kinds of goods and services, from Hula Hoops to holidays, are just a few clicks away. Although shoppers had been ordering items online for several decades from the 1970s onwards, the first real e-commerce transaction – ordered and paid for online, with full encryption – took place in 1994. Dan Cohn, then a 21-year-old entrepreneur in New Hampshire, sold a copy of Sting’s album Ten Summoner’s Tales for $12.48, plus shipping costs, which was bought and paid for with a credit card by a friend.

What followed was an explosion of online transactions, with internet giants such as Amazon growing fat on the boom, and with customers secure in the knowledge that with digital encryption their transactions are secure.

And where America leads, others follow. In the past 20 years the UK has become the third largest e-commerce market in the world.

More than 92 per cent of the UK’s population is connected to the internet, and in 2015, 77 per cent of them made an online purchase – the highest proportion of online shoppers in Europe. Selling online gives even the smallest online retailer access to this vast market. Twenty years ago, someone who makes, for instance, handmade jewellery, would have had to set up a stall or a shop, or persuade stores to stock their products. Now, geography is no impediment; anyone can sell almost anything from almost anywhere. Alongside the growth in e-commerce there has been a boom in logistics companies fulfilling orders speedily and efficiently. 

What Do We Buy Online?

So, what kind of things do we now buy on the internet? The most popular items are electronics, video games, computers and phones. Fashion and clothing are also popular. The furniture business was initially slow to adopt e-commerce but it is now catching up. 
What drives consumers online?

Chiefly, of course, it’s the convenience of being able to buy from a computer. Consumers are attracted by sites that offer plenty of information and a comprehensive visual display of the products – in other words, good images. Online reviews are also an important factor – a survey a couple of years ago found that 77 per cent of British consumers consult online reviews before purchasing. Additionally, many customers will research products online before visiting a showroom, and these so-called “bricks-and-clicks” operators have become an important part of the furniture industry. 

The Price Must Be Right

The main driver of online shopping is price. Online shoppers have become canny. They are able to compare prices very quickly and will often wait for prices to go down. Which brings us to Cyber Monday, the day of discounting which this year falls on November 27. More than a quarter of UK consumers will buy something on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday offers a chance for consumers – whether individuals or businesses – to grab the bargains that they might have missed on Black Friday, and also to avoid the crowds of jostling Black Friday shoppers.

Cyber Furniture

A growing proportion of items bought on Cyber Monday are furniture purchases, the majority of which will be domestic. But contract furniture suppliers are also capitalising on the growth in sales over the discounting period and offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday reductions.

Among them is Trent Furniture. This long-established firm, based in the East Midlands, sells attractive, hard-wearing furniture for pubs, cafés, restaurants, banqueting, and so on. Although Trent Furniture has a warehouse and showroom near Leicester, it is a “bricks-and-clicks” retailer with a substantial online presence. Potential online buyers can browse in an attractive, easy-to-navigate environment. Strong and clear images with informative text on the website ensure that buyers know exactly what they are getting. 

For this year’s Cyber Monday, for one day only, Trent Furniture is offering 5 per cent off all purchases – a substantial saving in these days of tight margins and squeezed revenues. This 5 per cent discount also applies to Trent Furniture’s packages, which offer a co-ordinated collection of matching furniture. Trent Furniture has control over all aspects of the furniture manufacturing process, which means that it can ensure that its packages of matching furniture really do co-ordinate. Delivery is normally within 10-14 days on stocked items.
As mentioned earlier, a powerful driver for online purchases is customer reviews. 

Trent Furniture’s Google reviews make very good reading – out of 188 Google reviews, the average rating for Trent Furniture is 4.9 out of 5 stars. Whatever the purchase - from conference chairs to sofas for a church’s lounge area - the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. 

These reductions apply only during Cyber Monday, November 27 2017. But of course it’s worth remembering that throughout the rest of the year, Trent Furniture continues to offer high-quality furniture at very competitive prices.

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