Over the coming weeks many of us will be tucking into turkey, goose, pigs and blankets, roast potatoes and a select few of us may try a sprout, but why is it that we traditionally indulge in these foods over the festive period?
Leading up to Christmas, we at The Lindley Group will be exploring the origin of our favourite festive foods, starting with the star of the dinner for many of us; the turkey!
Prior to the Victorian era, roasted meats such as beef, goose, boar, rabbit and pigeon commonly formed the centrepiece of a Christmas dinner. Henry VIII is commonly named as the first monarch to eat turkey for Christmas dinner, but it was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who are responsible for bringing turkey for Christmas to the masses.
After turkey got the royal seal of approval during Queen Victoria’s reign, England’s wealthy followed suit and began eating this ‘exotic’ bird. Due to a turkey’s size making it ideal for large family gatherings, the trend soon spread throughout the middle classes and to the Victorian working class population, who would spread the expense of a turkey across the extended family or pay in installments over a year to get a turkey on their plate come December 25th.
Nowadays nearly 90% of British households tuck into turkey on Christmas day, but it is also enjoyed in countries such as Iceland, India, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil and Peru to name a few.
Posted by lindleygroup on 04/12/2013
On Wednesday evening we had the official launch of the refurbished Sir Michael Straker Café and launch of the new food offer at Sage Gateshead.
The new food range contains dishes created by Head Chef, Stuart Bowman and Terry Laybourne MBE; the North East’s most
decorated chef! The new menu have a strong focus on fresh seasonal dishes, championing local produce and using Terry’s outstanding knowledge of local suppliers and growers to deliver the very best of the North East on to plates in the Sage.
Among the local suppliers showcased at the launch event was Wylam Brewery. The range of ales now served at the bars in Sage Gateshead now includes Wylam’s Gold Tankard and Angel Amber ale; an ale commissioned by Gateshead Council to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Angel of the North Sculpture.
We have launched a Friday Night Drinks offer at the Sage, where between 5.30 and 6.30, in addition to 2 for 1 cocktails and half price prosecco, you can try 4 pints of Wylam Ale for only £10!
Another offer we have introduced in the Sir Michael Straker Café is our Cake of the Week; which really showcases the excellent skills of Pastry Chef Anthony Wright. Anthony and his team are responsible for baking stunning and delicious cakes every day in the Sage’s in house bakery.
Anthony’s recipes, including his expert tips and ideas to add twists to classic cakes will be available to take home from the café for visitors to try for themselves. See below for a few examples of the cakes which were wowing the guests at yesterday’s launch.
Posted by lindleygroup on 28/11/2013
Over the past 10 days, many of our sites have been baking, decorating and selling Pudsey shaped cookies to raise money for Children in Need. While we collect the sales info from all the sites, here are a few of the most skillfully and imaginatively decorated cookies from around our sites last week.
These ’Summer themed’ Pudseys were baked by Kellie Noel, Head Chef at Ashton Gate Stadium.
These black and white cookies were on sale at Meadow Lane for Notts County vs Wolves on Saturday!
The team at Sage Gateshead sent in these, you can tell their chefs bake everyday!
These blue and yellow ‘Warrington Wolves’ Pudsey’s were available in hospitality areas for the Fiji Vs Samoa Rugby League World Cup quarter final at The Halliwell Jones Stadium!
Posted by lindleygroup on 18/11/2013
We are currently halfway through British Sausage Week. To celebrate the Great British banger here are some sausage facts from around the world.
- 87% of British households regularly buy sausages, spending an average of £32.25 per year.
- In the past year, we have consumed 188,270 tonnes of sausages at home; spending £737.3million in the process.
- The volume of sausages sold in this country is more than double the volume of burgers.
- There are around 470 basic sausage recipes and flavours in Britain, compared to Germany’s 1700! But if you included each individual butcher’s variation you could eat a different British sausage a day for the next ten years.
- Each day, 3.7million meals containing sausages are eaten around the world!
- The term ‘banger’ is believed to have originated in World War 1. Food shortages led to a dramatic decrease in meat content and the increased levels of water and other scraps caused the sausages to bang and hiss when cooked over an open flame in the trenches.
- Gary McClure, of Broughton-in-Furness holds the world record for the largest Cumberland sausage ring. Cooked in the town square to commemorate the town’s anniversary, the sausage ring had a diameter of 3.3 meters, weighed 135 kilograms and took 90 minutes to cook!
Posted by lindleygroup on 06/11/2013
To celebrate the 23rd annual National Apple Day, we have compiled our favourite apple facts from around the world!
- The first apple tree in the USA was planted by pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay, but the apple tree originated thousands of years ago in Central Asia.
- The oldest known apple tree in American history had been growing in a Manhattan orchid for 219 years old before a train hit it in 1866.
- Two thirds of the fibre and the majority of ant-oxidants found in apples are in the peel, so leave it on!
- Red Delicious is the most widely grown variety in the west, with 62 million bushells grown annually in America alone.
- 45% of apples grown in the UK are made into cider.
- Britain once produced the most apple varieties in the world, but this figure is now around 2,300.
- China’s commercial apple crop weighs in at 25,000,000 tonnes each year, accounting for over half of the world’s total.
- “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” comes from the old English proverb “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.”
Posted by lindleygroup on 21/10/2013
Grove Smith Turkeys, the family-run turkey supplier for The Lindley Group, recently scooped two prizes at the British Turkey Awards!
The business won the ‘Blue Ribbon’ Best Premium Christmas category for their English Rose Free Range Bronze Hen and the top commercial section for their Hen Crown. The judges cooked over 30 birds from companies based all over the UK before rewarding Grove Smith Turkeys for their ‘superior eating qualities and taste’.
The Lindley Group are serving Grove Smith Turkeys on all of our sites’ festive menus; the secret to their superior taste is the English Rose turkey, which is a slower growing bird fed on a farm based ration.
Come and taste the differencefor yourself!
Posted by lindleygroup on 14/10/2013
This Friday is the inaugural Foodservice Catey Awards and we have reached the final shortlist in three categories! The Lindley Group are nominated for the Retail and Leisure Caterer of the Year; our Sales and Marketing Director, Jon Davies is in the running for Salesperson of the Year and Helen Baker; General Manager at Warner Bros. Studio Tour has made the final three for Catering Manager of the Year!
Jon’s nomination follows a record number of contract wins in 2013, including the Sage Gateshead, Twycross Zoo and the RAF Museum Hendon, as well as increasing the emphasis on hospitality and conference and events at our venues; with the number of venues for which we control the sales and marketing of their events facilities going from 0 to 16 in the past two years.
Helen has received her nomination for her excellent work at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, where our remit has expanded to include production catering for the majority of on-set film crews and turnover was more than double the originally forecasted figure!
Our nomination for the Sports and leisure Award follows a great year for the stadia side to our business, including new long term extensions with Tottenham Hotspur and Gloucestershire Cricket, as well as £51 million in new sports venue contracts in the past year. We have also introduced our new food concept brands to retail concourses with great success and installed Dominos PIzza kiosks at Leicester Tigers and at concerts at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, where we broke the Worldwide record for Dominos pizzas sold at an event.
The Foodservice Cateys are a new extension to the prestigious Catey Awards; which are currently in their 30th year and commonly referred to as the ‘Oscars of the catering industry’.
In addition to this, yesterday the nominations for the FSM magazine awards were announced and our CEO and President, Adam Elliott has made the final shortlist for the Sports and Leisure Award!
Good luck to our nominees this Friday at the Foodservice Cateys and to Adam at the FSM Awards on November 25th!
Posted by lindleygroup on 09/10/2013
Last week we announced that the hospitality menus at Bristol City had become the first football stadium in England to be awarded the Food For Life Silver Catering Mark. This follows on from our previous success at Malvern Theatres, which earlier this year became the first theatre in the UK to achieve the award!
Amongst other requirements, such as using locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, and creating healthy, seasonal menus; in order to be award the Silver Catering Mark, at least 5% of the venue’s ingredients must be organic.
On that note, the Soil Association’s Organic September has just begun. The scheme is encouraging everyone to make small, achievable changes to their everyday life in September and beyond, in order to make a collective difference to food and farming.
Changes could include switching to organic milk, cheese or vegetables, or even using an organic shampoo. More information and suggestions can be found here!
You could also try our latest recipe of the week, a delicious, organic blue cheese tart!
Following on from our firsts in Stadia and Theatre venues, work is well underway at our other sites to achieve the Catering Mark, and to continue to raise the bar and lead the way in terms of food quality and sustainability!
Posted by lindleygroup on 03/09/2013
For the 2013/14 season we have been introduced a new charity kiosk scheme at stadia across the country.
Each of the venues involved has selected a charity or cause and individually branded kiosks have been introduced on concourses. Volunteers from the charities work on matchdays and other events and The Lindley Group donates the equivalent wages for the volunteers to the chosen charity after every match. We also provide all volunteers with professional food safety and hygiene training before they begin working on the kiosks.
For the 2013/14 season, kiosks will be present at the following venues:
- Hillsborough Stadium – supporting Bluebell Woods Children Hospice
- Millwall FC – supporting Prostate Cancer UK
- Keepmoat Stadium – supporting Bessacarr Junior FC
- New York Stadium – supporting Rotherham Community Sports Trust and Dr Ted’s Children’s Appeal (opening in September)
These are all fantastic causes to be associated with; the kiosks really stand out on the concourses and we’re sure the fans will make them a big success this season!
Posted by lindleygroup on 19/08/2013
July is National Ice-Cream Month! As it’s coming to an end, we will look into some ice cream facts and explore some strange flavours from around the world.
- July was designated Ice Cream Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1984
- Vanilla makes up 29% of ice cream sales , with cookies and cream and mint choc chip increasing their market share in recent years
- The first Mr Whippy style ice cream was sold in 1959
- Ice cream sales are worth £1.1billion in the UK each year
- To relieve brain freeze, doctors recommend pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth to warm the area
- A company specialising in ice cream for dogs went on Dragon’s Den in 2012, receiving a £60,000 investment for a 40% share
- Some strange flavours found around the world include Spaghetti Bolognese (Venezuela), Pineapple-Shrimp (Taiwan), jalapeno (Mexico), Cheese (Philippines), Mushroom-Pecan (USA) and Stilton (England)
- But it is the Japanese who are the kings of bizarre flavours; a game of Ice Cream Roulette involves a mixture of unappetising and more conventional flavours, with players taking turns to take a spoonful from the unlabelled tubs.
- Ice cream flavours found in Japanese convenience stores include octopus, salad, charcoal, squid ink, curry, raw horse, tulip, chicken wings and stout!
Posted by lindleygroup on 30/07/2013