Colors: Green Color
Colors: Green Color

Fish and chips go together like sun and sea but what do us Brits like to have with them? According to a survey of 2,000 UK adults carried out for National Fish & Chip Day by, the battle of the sauces has finally been answered with the most popular accompaniment being mushy peas (25.6%) followed by curry sauce (18.5%) and lastly, gravy (8.3%).


As a nation, the findings reveal the classic salt (44.7%) and vinegar (40.1%) are popular additions to the nations favourite; with a generous helping of bits/scraps (12.6%), a side of mushy peas (25.6%), a dollop of tomato ketchup (15.9%) and a teacake/bread roll (4.3%).


Although it's a clear favourite by all, the findings suggest Wales (26.4%) are bigger fans of fish and chips with curry sauce. 


There has been a significant North and Southern England rift in the world of fish and chips for years, believing Northerners can't sit down to eat chips without gravy. The survey suggests that it is, in fact, the South of England (35.1%) who is more likely to have gravy with their fish and chips than those up North (11.5%).


When choosing fish, Brits prefer cod (59%) over haddock (24%); however, battered haddock is more popular than cod in Scotland. For those who prefer something different, northerners (9.5%) and the Scots (12%) are more likely to order battered sausage, and those in the South East are partial to a good old pie (10.7%).


Gareth Irving, director of, commented: "Each part of the UK has their own way to enjoy our most treasured national dishes. It's interesting to see that the British approach to fish and chips is more united than we originally thought. However, there is still an apparent contrast between the North and South of England."


"Whether we're at home or away visiting one of the nation's charming seaside locations on a staycation, it is clear to see the British love of the simple pairing - no matter how you choose to enjoy it."



Birmingham's annual German Christmas market will not be held this year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


Organiser Frankfurt City Council said it had explored all possible options over the market, which opened initially as a one-off event in 1997.


Kurt Stroscher, its director of festivals and events, said: "Christmas markets like this are a place for socialising and 'cosy closeness'." He said he did not want the market to be a place that "promotes" a pandemic.


The market will not take place for the first time since 2001, but Frankfurt council said visitors' health and safety had to be its "top priority" and the decision had been made "with a very heavy


All possible options had been "carefully explored", Mr Stroscher stated before adding that Frankfurt council would now concentrate all its efforts on 2021 "in order to return with an impressive Christmas market in its recognisable form".


The market attracts about five million visitors a year and Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward said that he welcomed "the organiser's decision to put the public's health and safety first".


Birmingham has been on the government coronavirus watchlist recently and new rules about households mixing could be brought in.


There were 77.1 cases per 100,000 city residents in the week to September 6, compared with 31.2 the week before.




World food experts Tropical Sun Foods are partnering with their suppliers USA Rice, representing America’s rice growers, to present National Rice Week 2020, which runs from 14-20 September, highlighting rice’s vital place at the centre of many world cuisines. (see link:


Tropical Sun’s flagship product for National Rice Week 2020 is their bestselling Tropical Sun USA Easy cook Rice. This is a pre-fluffed Easy cook long grain rice, available in retail and bulk packs and used in dishes from South Asia, West Africa, the Caribbean, around the world, as well as European favourites and vegetarian and plant-based meals.


Tropical Sun National Rice Week


Tropical Sun is also teaming up with USA Rice to host a special event to celebrate National Rice Week 2020 at parent company world foods wholesaler Wanis International Foods in Golden Business Park, Orient Way, Leyton, East London on Thursday 17th September. The event will be attended by the Indian Minister of Trade and former mayors from Tropical Sun’s neighbouring local councils, Enfield, Barking and Dagenham.


The event will involve guests tasting dishes served with Tropical Sun USA Easy cook rice, cooked on the day by Tropical Sun’s expert chefs. All the government guidelines of social distancing is followed at Wanis, so guests will be in good hands.


Showing the diversity of cuisines that can be created with Tropical Sun USA Easy cook rice, the dishes will include Pilau Rice from South Asia, Jollof Rice from Nigeria and Rice & Peas from Jamaica.


Authenticity is key. Tropical Sun Foods’ bestselling lines consist of 440 products, of which 35 being made in Jamaica, including Ackee, Callaloo Jerk seasoning to name but just a few. Confirming the outstanding quality, the company has won 26 Great Taste Awards, 7 of those for products in the Jamaican range.


Tropical Sun Foods’ community brand ambassador Paul Harrison says: “Food plays a major role in our business and food plays a major role in bringing family and friends together, which we are all very thankful to be a part of.

“This year’s National Rice Week is especially important because of the need to preserve and pass on the legacy of rice dishes from different cultures around the world. These are currently enjoyed in the UK but could be lost within a generation as the British born second generation of young people from South Asian, West African and Caribbean backgrounds turn away from these traditional dishes in favour of fast food, takeaways and microwaveable snacks.


“The danger is that if today’s teenagers lose interest in these recipes, they will no longer be passed on to posterity and a vital part of these diaspora groups’ cultural heritage will be lost. Another important factor is that fast food is linked to obesity, while these dishes are healthy, as well as tasty.”


Paul Harrison says Tropical Sun doesn’t only want the National Rice Week message to reach the communities who brought these recipes here: “85% of the nation is Caucasian and we need to introduce them to these dishes as exciting and healthy additions to their repertoire. We have all the ingredients. “



As well as pursuing their passion for bringing the flavours of the world to the nation’s tables, Tropical Sun pride themselves on their work with local and international communities. Traditionally they have been inclined to keep their community and charity work fairly low-key, says community brand ambassador Paul Harrison, but in response to enquiries from customers, the company have decided to publish details of relevant activities on their website,


Last year Tropical Sun took part in the Home Office’s Black History Month event in October and supported other events around the country for this important part of the national calendar. This time round Tropical Sun are giving a hamper for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s virtual event for Black History Month.


For more information about Tropical Sun and how the company is helping the community, visit


Pictures attached:


- Debi Adebiyi (left) and Gouthami  Kunjumon (right) serving Jollof Rice - Ivonne Ajayi's Jollof Rice & Chicken Recipe


For press information call Paul Harrison at Tropical Sun Foods on 07988 528383


Issued on behalf of Tropical Sun Foods by Charles Smith, 07731 586170


A green-fingered mum determined to teach kids about the power of fruit and veg has penned a children’s book to educate them on the power of healthy eating.
Selina Brown, from Birmingham, wrote and self-published the illustrated children’s book, Nena: The Green Juice, while looking after her two-year-old daughter during lockdown.
The idea for the self-funded book came after noticing how claustrophobic her daughter, but also the young children in her family, were feeling and how unhealthily they started eating.
The NHS says that eating a healthy, balanced diet promotes good immune function and mood.
Wanting to share this message and create a solution, Selina wrote an entertaining children’s book that would uplift their physical and mental health, whilst educating them on the importance of fruits and vegetables and the positive effects on their bodies and immune system.
Nena: The Green Juice follows 5-year-old Nena, a young Black girl with a big afro, as she creates her first ever green juice using ingredients like kale and apples. Her journey ends with a big surprise. 
Selina said: “I was at home during lockdown seeing the children around me eating unhealthily. Given we were in the midst of a pandemic, it was extremely worrying as I knew how this could negatively affect their immune system. I wanted to create a change so I wrote a book that brings the fun into fruits and vegetables.
“I would love for this book to motivate young children to eat their veggies at dinnertime or inspire a family to make a green juice together. Green juice is a staple part of mine and my daughter’s lifestyle – we drink one at least three times a week which has such a powerful impact on our health from increased energy to better concentration and for me, clear skin.”
With Covid-19 and the onset of the winter flu season, parents like Selina are increasingly concerned about their family’s health and it’s so important to explain the importance of nutrition to young children. Merging the knowledge into a fictional story makes this information much easier for children understand, Selina explained.
She said: “My overall wish is that every child that reads Nena: The Green Juice will fall in love with eating healthily and taking care of their bodies. Or at the bare minimum, eat two pieces of veg off their plate!”
Character Nena resembles the children in Selina’s family, which was extremely important as just 1% of children’s books published in the UK in 2017 featured a Black or minority ethnic main character, according to the *Reflecting Realities study.
She added: “It was important to me that the main character was Black as you don’t see many books with a young Black female character with a fluffy afro on the cover. Representation and diversity in books really matter to me as young Black children need to see positive images of themselves. I have been getting so much positive feedback from my children that have read the book, they are finally happy to see someone who looks just like them”.
“As coronavirus has a higher rate of infection in the Black community, we need to be talking to children about health from as early as possible.”
Nena: The Green Juice is now available to purchase on Amazon at:

The price of flour and bread is set to rise after what could be the worst UK wheat harvest in 40 years, the industry is warning. And farmers say that the extreme weather over the last year is likely to mean wheat yields are down by up to 40%.

As a result, some millers have already increased the price of flour by 10% and they warn a no-deal Brexit could push up prices even further. And we're likely to see more of the same weather in future, experts say.

The UK Met Office said that the extremes of wet and hot conditions that have marked this year are likely to become more common as our climate continues to change. Wheat farmers have been hit with a triple-whammy of severe weather, according to the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

First off, unusually heavy rain in the autumn meant many farmers could not plant as much wheat as they usually would. What they did plant did not thrive in the waterlogged soil. That was followed by the wettest February on record.

Storms Ciara and Dennis battered much of the UK in the early and middle of the month, causing widespread flooding. They were followed by Storm Jorge at the end of February.

Then we had the very hot and dry spring which caused droughts in many areas of the UK, making it hard for the crop to take up nutrients from the soil. Finally, the heavy rain this August meant many farmers have had to delay harvesting their crops.

A spokesperson for the Met Office explained: "UK climate projections show a trend towards hotter and drier summers and warmer, wetter winters."

Since 85% of the wheat used for flour is grown here in the UK, flour millers will have to make up the shortages caused by this year's dire harvest with imports. And, because the price of wheat has been increasing steadily since the summer, the price of flour will rise, says Alex Waugh who runs the National Association of British and Irish Millers.

He says wheat prices are already up by £40 a tonne - an increase of more than 20%.
Because the margins millers operate on are very tight, they will have no choice but to pass some of this increase on to consumers by raising prices.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, wheat imports could be liable for a £79 per tonne tariff, said the National Association of British and Irish Millers. This figure is derived from the World Trade Organization (WTO) standard tariff for wheat.

Wheat prices are always volatile, but this would represent a further 40% hike in wheat prices which, once again, would be likely to drive up the price of flour. And when the price of flour rises, you can expect the price of bread to rise a little - as well as the price of biscuits, pastries and cakes.


By: Roland Joseph Tetteh

This is one of the oldest traditional fruit in the world and every part of it is is found in all tropical region of the world, wherever the soil is fertile is a member of the Caricaceae family. Pawpaw is also called papaw or papaya 
Pawpaw plants grow in three sexes and are relatives: The male produces only pollen and never bear fruit, the female produces small, inedible fruits unless pollinated, and the hermaphrodite can self-pollinate since its flowers contain both male stamens and female ovaries. Almost all commercial pawpaw orchards contain only hermaphrodites. 

Pawpaw may help protect against health conditions. 

In Africa, pawpaw leaves are used as a treatment for malaria, hepatitis, cough, bronchitis and gonorrhoea, infected wounds, fungal infections, Asthma attacks, indigestion cases, guinea worms, cancer. Pawpaw is a plant for every illness. The plant contains substances of medicinal value, such as antibiotics, vitamins, flavonoids and enzymes. Pawpaw contains an enzyme called papain that aids digestion. Pawpaw seeds also contain the cyanogenic substance called prunasin. 

Ripe and unripe fruits, seeds flowers, leaves and roots are all used for various treatment. In fact, the pawpaw tree is a pharmacy in itself. 
The fruits give sufficient supply of vitamins: vitamin A for good eyesight and also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair, vitamin B for good nerves impulses, assists in the absorption of fat, and reduces chronic inflammation. Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient found in papayas that aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, vitamin C to support the immune system against infections. 

The fiber, potassium, and vitamin content in papaya all help to ward off heart disease. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. 
Raw pawpaw pulp contains 88% water, 11% carbohydrates, and negligible fat and protein. In a 100-g amount, papaya fruit provides 43 kilocalories and is a significant source of vitamin C (75% of the Daily Value, DV) and a moderate source of folate (10% DV), but otherwise has a low content of nutrients. 

The possible health benefits of consuming pawpaw include a reduced risk of heart disease, improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, and lowering blood pressure and progression of age-related macular degeneration. 


By Roland Joseph Tetteh

Pineapple is one of the most important fruit crops in the world. It is widely cultivated for its edible fruit in the Tropics and parts of the subtropics. In the wild, pineapples are pollinated normally by hummingbirds. Certain wild pineapples are foraged and pollinated at night by bats. The pineapple carries out CAM photosynthesis, fixing carbon dioxide at night and storing it as the acid malate, then releasing it during the day aiding photosynthesis.

Pineapple is a shallow-rooted tropical plant with a fruit that is grown outdoors in frost-free areas where temperatures typically range from 65 to 95 degrees F.  The most economically significant plant in the family Bromeliaceae. The plant is normally propagated by crowns from the offset produced at the top of the fruit, or from a side shoot, and typically mature within a year.

In temperate regions, pineapples are grown indoors in warm greenhouses or in containers as houseplants.

The Tupinambá people from Indian describes pineapple fruit as a Nana made in the manner of a Pineapple. The Tupi word nanas, meaning "excellent fruit". This usage was adopted by many European languages and led to the plant's scientific binomial Ananas comosus, where comosus means "tufted", refers to the stem of the plant and the fruit as Ananas.

In India naming the pineapple has Nana is not strange to know that it is masculine in Ethiopia and India
Nana is a given name to pineapple by Tupi word.

In Ghana, among the Akan people, particularly the Akyem, Ashanti and Akuapim peoples, Nana is used as the title of a monarch to signify their status. Furthermore, the stool name of kings and queens is always preceded by Nana. Non-royal Ghanaian people also use Nana as a given name.
Ghana pineapples contain a higher amount of reducing sugar levels. The whole plant is used to treat typhoid fever in Ghana.
Pineapple is also recommended as a medical diet for a certain diseased person. The ripe fruit contains a lot of vitamin C. The taste and flavour alone, it contains an excellent fruit enzyme called “bromeline”, which reduces inflammations and also aid in the healing of wounds and burns.
Ananas comosus leaves have antihyperglycemic and analgesic properties. That can be used as a cheaper and alternative source of medicine for reducing high blood sugar level of diabetic patients.

The root and fruit are either eaten or applied topically as an anti-inflammatory and as a proteolytic agent.
Green pineapple is also used for making pickles. After extraction of its juice, the leftover is used as livestock feed and also the tender leaves are used for the same purpose. Various food items like squash, syrup, and jelly are produced from pineapple. Vinegar, alcohol, citric acid, calcium citrate etc.

Nutritional Value

Pineapple is more than just a delicious tropical fruit and has immense health benefits. In fact, it’s been used in folk medicine since ancient times.
Pineapple contains a considerable amount of calcium, potassium, vitamin C, carbohydrates, crude fibre, water and different minerals that are good for the digestive system and helps in maintaining ideal weight and balanced nutrition.

Pineapple is also a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, copper and dietary fibre.

Pineapple may Ease Symptoms of Arthritis and also Speed Recovery after Surgery or Strenuous Exercise.

Pineapple juice contains ascorbic acid and is a good source of Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid or vitamin C fights bacterial and viral infections which is an effective antioxidant and helps the body absorb iron.

Medicinal Value

Pineapple can be used as supplementary nutritional fruit for good personal health. Pineapple fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

Eating pineapple may boost the immune system and provides antioxidant benefits.

Eating Pineapple May Enhance Your Weight Loss

Along with calcium, the trace mineral manganese in pineapple is essential for maintaining strong bones pineapple is a great source of antioxidants, specifically phenolics, flavonoids, and vitamin C.

“Antioxidants are compounds in food that may help fight inflammation and free radicals in the body, Pineapple Is Packed with Disease-Fighting Antioxidants

When abnormal cells in the body multiply and take over the healthy tissue it causes cancer, pineapple has antioxidants to fight cancer.
Too much inflammation can lead to many diseases, including coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's therefore Pineapple Fits in an Anti-Inflammatory Diet.

Pineapple Fruit Can Help Boost Immunity!

This month, the Italian region of Emilia Romagna is celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Pellegrino Artusi, author of the world’s first recipe book. For this reason, Casa Artusi Cookery School is carrying out a series of online cooking classes for everyone to learn and enjoy the dishes of the acknowledged father of Italian domestic cuisine on the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Pellegrino Artusi was born on 4 August 1820 in the town of Forlimpopoli, at the foot of the last hills of the Apennines. As well as being the father of Italian domestic cuisine, he is also the author of the internationally renowned book, “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well,” considered worldwide as the Bible of Italian cuisine. Artusi rose to prominence after collecting over 700 Italian home recipes and their stories to create, what is often referred to, as the world’s first recipe book.
The book, published in 1891, was not only a showcase of gastronomic traditions from both northern and southern Italy, but also contributed to the cultural formation of the newly-born Italian nation. Italy, in its long history, had never been a whole single state until 1861. Over the decades the book was, and still is now, a hugely popular work that has been translated and sold throughout the world. Since it was first published to today, it continues to be considered by many as a cornerstone of Italian culture, language and traditions, holding it in similar estimate as Dante’s Divine Comedy.
The Casa Artusi Cookery School is a complex devoted to Pellegrino Artusi, featuring a cooking laboratory and restaurant where people take a wide variety of cookery lessons. To celebrate the bicentenary, Casa Artusi has taken its in-person cookery classes online. Brits and people from all over the world can now learn how to prepare some of Artusi’s most popular and tasty recipes from the comfort of their own homes. These include the renowned Tagliatelle all'uso di Romagna (Tagliatelle Romagna style), a simple but tasty pasta recipe topped with one of Emilia Romagna’s most desired products: Parmigiano Reggiano PDO – recipe at the end of this press release.


All virtual classes are tailored according to the level of participants, as all abilities are welcome. Online cooking classes start from €80 (approximately £70) per person.

Parents will rejoice as Springboard’s FutureChef inspires young people on their Summer Holiday to venture into the kitchen and learn the invaluable life skill of cooking with the Summer Kitchen Glow Up.

An impressive line-up of top chefs are creating video cookery demos every Friday, to show young people how to prepare one of their favourite recipes, including expert hints and tips.

Each new video gives newbies the chance to ‘glow up’ in the kitchen, with celebrity chefs Richard Corrigan, Ruth Hansom and Gary Maclean providing the first three videos. They’re also calling on chefs across the UK to support the campaign by posting their own short cooking demos to their social channels, with the #fcsummerkitchen hashtag. The idea is to get as many young people as possible cooking over the summer in a fun and easy access way.

Corrigan, who runs Corrigan’s Mayfair, Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill and Daffodil Mulligan in London, said he’s backing the campaign because it’s never been more important to showcase the chef craft to young people.

Hansom, meanwhile was a former FutureChef participant and featured on BBC Two's Million Pound Menu, before recently joining the Princess in Shoreditch, London.

MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 champion Gary Maclean said: "I have been involved with Future chef for over 15 years as a mentor and a judge. I have seen first-hand how this competition not only builds confidence in young people, but also teaches essential life skills and opens up the amazing world of the hospitality industry."  

Springboard are encouraging young people to proudly share their Summer Kitchen creations on social media using #FCSummerKitchen. The best photos will feature on the FutureChef website.

FutureChef’s Summer Kitchen is designed to ignite a passion for food and present younger generations with further career opportunities. Those who enjoy picking up new skills and knowledge will be inspired to take the next step and participate in Springboard’s FutureChef Programme for 2020.

The campaign is backed by the hospitality industry job board, and Head of Marketing Kathy Dyball said: “We want as many young people and parents to have access to free, useful and fun online resources throughout the summer holidays – to enjoy and get comfortable with cooking, inspiring the next wave of FutureChef students.”

Springboard’s FutureChef engages and inspires thousands of UK students each year to learn valuable skills, advance their knowledge and experience with food, from nutrition and safety, through to knife skills and cooking techniques. Older students are introduced to chefs and offered experience in a kitchen, revealing exciting career options and unleashing potential.

With the country in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, it is great to see that a new, family owned and run business is opening despite the turbulent climate we find ourselves in.

Mrs Annadene Vanhorne, along with her partner and sons will be officially opening their new shop, M & M Afro Caribbean Supermarket in Thornton Heath CR7 7JA (What an appropriate postcode for this new venture!) on Saturday 18th July at 10am.

As you can see, they’ve been working hard these last few weeks to ensure that all of their stock is prepared and in place with the help of Wanis' Commercial Director George Phillips and Community Brand Ambassador, Paul Harrison, who will also be there with the family to welcome the former Mayor of Croydon, Cllr Kabir, to officially cut the ribbon and open the supermarket for business.


Everyone is welcome at the launch of this new local business, which is located at 72 Brigstock Road Thornton Heath CR7 7JA, where there will be light refreshments available after the opening.

The Phoenix Newspaper is always at the heart of the community, promoting positivity and good news wherever it goes. If you have a story, or wish to advertise your business or services, get in touch with the team on 0121 339 5885 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


As lockdown measures lift, images across the country have shown a sharp increase in the prevalence of litter. After a significant rise in sightings of McDonald’s packaging irresponsibly discarded in parks and towns across the UK and Ireland, the company has joined councils, litter groups and other businesses in urging people to take responsibility for their own rubbish in a new campaign. Alarming new research showed as many as one in five Brits (21%) have littered in lockdown, and over the last three months, with almost half (47%) of 18-25 year old’s admitting to dumping rubbish in streets, in parks and rural areas at some point.

Young adults (18-34 yr olds) were some of the worst offenders having confessed to throwing waste out of car windows (9%), leaving packaging after a BBQ or picnic (10%), and finding excuses such as not being able to time to find a bin (12%). In fact, one-in-five (19%) litterers refuse to carry their rubbish around with them. Almost all over 55’s (99%) say they dislike those who litter, even though some 17% admit to doing so.

Aimed at confronting personal responsibility, the campaign features the slogan ‘Get in the Bin’ usually used for someone who is talking rubbish. But with over-a-third of Brits (34%) calling out a stranger for littering, McDonald’s UK is asking everyone to make a stand and Get in the Bin. 

Beth Hart, Vice President Supply Chain and Brant Trust, McDonald’s UK and Ireland said: “For over 35 years our restaurant teams have patrolled the towns and cities in which we operate collecting left behind litter. Our employees walk over 5,000 miles every week picking up all waste – our packaging and that of other retailers – by the sides of roads, in parks and on paths. It is deeply disappointing that so many people act so irresponsibly.

Over the last few months we have seen how important collective responsibility is and we want the Great British public to help us tackle this dreadful and growing problem. Most of our packaging is recyclable, and whilst our dining areas remain closed, we want to see all customers taking their litter home and recycling or disposing of it responsibly.”

Across the UK and Ireland, McDonald’s staff collect 27 tonnes of litter every year, on litter patrols that take place around every restaurant three times a day, covering a total of 5,000 miles each week (where they collect litter from any origin, not just their own).  McDonald’s volunteers also take part in larger-scale litter events including over 240 in 2019 for the Great British Spring Clean.

The campaign will use social media, media partnerships and support from Governing bodies and litter groups to call out irresponsible litterers. A series of social adverts showcasing what life would be like if litter took over the world of the young adult featuring ‘perfect’ social media scenarios, computer games, football pitches and dating apps strewn with litter to highlight the refusal to deal with refuse. 

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “Littering spoils our towns and countryside, harms wildlife and is a real risk to human health. I am firmly committed to clamping down on littering and we’re already taking bold action to do so.

“It is great to see companies like McDonald’s stepping up to play their part in what needs to be a nationwide effort to keep our country clean.”



Things may look a little different this weekend, if you're venturing out beyond the living room after months of lockdown.

An easing of coronavirus restrictions means cinemas, bars and restaurants can reopen on Saturday, 4 July.

But it won't be all futuristic plastic pods, bubble booths or robot waiters, as your social-media feed might suggest.

New government guidelines say people from different households or "support bubbles" should stay 2m (6ft) apart indoors, where possible, but can come to within 1m of each other if they follow certain measures to reduce the spread of the virus - what the government calls "1m plus".

And that, of course, poses significant challenges to those catering for people wanting to spend a night out together.

From 4 July in England, multi-screen cinemas will stagger film start and end times, to avoid congestion in foyers.

There will be hand-sanitising stations and - don't tell the kids - pick 'n' mix stands will be removed.

Film-lovers will also find a number of empty seats or rows between themselves and other groups, depending on the size of the cinema.

Admit One, which provides ticketing services for cinemas and multiplexes, says it can automatically enable socially distanced seating, creating "bubbles" of empty seats around groups when they book.

And some cinemas may not let customers choose where they sit, as this could affect their ability to reach maximum capacity.

The average seat in cinemas is about 60cm (2ft) wide and 97cm deep, Admit One says.

So to meet 2m distancing rules, cinemas would have had to block out 12 seats around a single cinemagoer, or 16 around a couple.

Allowing "1m plus" gives the option of other configurations.

But many cinemas may still be able to accommodate only about half the normal number of customers.

Carol Rennie, owner and operator of Keswick Alhambra Cinema, in Cumbria, says she'll be able to fill 25% of the seats, at best.

The 107-year-old cinema, which can hold up to 248 in the stalls and balcony, will be open to a maximum of 60 cinemagoers, including 35 in the 150 seats in the stalls.


"We will get more people in if they come in groups but most will be in couples," Ms Rennie says.

"Most of the year, we operate at about 20-25% capacity and a lot of the time it is quiet.

"But when we get to the school holidays, we expect at least 50%.

"So now, our maximum capacity will be our usual average-to-low.

"So there will be a big economic hit."

Customers will queue outside.

And there will be a one-way system through the foyer into the auditorium, with people leaving through the fire exits.

That said, the Alhambra is taking a cautious approach to reopening and has decided to wait until 24 July to welcome back customers, as many of its regulars are in the older, more vulnerable age range.

British Film Industry chief executive Ben Roberts says many cinemas will need support to reopen after months of closure and the additional costs of implementing social-distancing measures.

Restaurants, pubs and bars will also have to meet the new guidelines.

Many in the hospitality industry thought it would not have been viable to open under the 2m distancing rules.

But, Jonathan Neame, of the Shepherd Neame group, says, the change to 1m plus, in England, will make it "more operationally and financially viable" to begin reopening some of its pubs from 4 July.

Some temporary changes will include:


  • seated, table service only
  • screens between seating or tables
  • no standing at the bar
  • one-in-one-out system for toilets

Customers are also being asked to book in advance and order food and drink direct to their tables through smartphone apps.

Inside, people from only two households or "support bubbles" can sit together.

Outside, up to six people from a greater number of households or "support bubbles" can meet but must remain 2m apart, where they can. If not, they must keep at least 1m apart, while taking steps to reduce the risk of transmission such as wearing face coverings or not sitting face-to-face.

Some chains are limiting bookings to groups of six or eight, even if the household or social bubble group is larger.

At Toby Carvery, for example, there will be a maximum of six to a table and buffets will no longer be self-service but served by a chef to diners in a socially distanced queue.

Lockdown has taken its toll on major names in the food industry, pushing some well known companies into administration, while others have been able to survive serving takeaways.

Jack Applebee says his Applebee's Fish restaurant, in London's Borough Market, will reopen, as the market itself is transforming into a Mediterranean-style plaza in the evenings, once the market traders have finished.

Tables in the covered market will be set at least 1m apart, floor markers will tell customers where to stand and staff will be wearing masks, even though face coverings are still compulsory on public transport only.

Mr Applebee says the market has allowed the restaurant to extend its outside space.

And even though he won't have as many tables, it will be more manageable than reopening indoors.

"I personally think outside is a lot safer," he says.

"I wouldn't want to ask staff to work inside if I don't feel comfortable inside.

"And it's the summer - everyone wants to be outside."

Other restaurants have been installing Perspex screens between dining tables to create a physical barrier between patrons.

The lengths people go to to reopen will of course depend on location, budget, and staffing, among other factors.

Indeed, some restaurants have decided not to reopen until much later in the year.

And for fine diners, Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton has suggested there may be changes needed to the way table service works.

He told the Evening Standard's The Leader podcast there may be no more wine lectures at the table from sommeliers, until we have a coronavirus vaccine, and diners may even have to - brace yourselves - pour their own wine and water.

In Northern Ireland, holiday accommodation reopened for business from 26 June, and pubs and restaurants can open on 3 July.

Decisions on hospitality and holidays in Wales are expected in early July.

In Scotland, it is hoped all holiday accommodation can open up from 15 July, along with indoor areas of pubs and restaurants and hairdressers and barbers. Beer gardens should be able to reopen from 6 July. But if you're longing for music gigs, comedy nights or live performances at the theatre, you're going to have to wait a little longer, as these are still banned under the lockdown restrictions.

There's always bingo.

Lidl GB has confirmed that its new supermarket on Warstock Road in Highters Heath, has opened its doors for the first time.

In response to the need to provide access to food supplies and essentials at this time, Lidl is delivering on its commitment to serve local communities, despite unprecedented circumstances.

The store, which has created approximately 40 new jobs, is open between 8am - 10pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am – 4pm on Sunday, providing customers with Lidl’s offering of fresh, quality and great value produce.

The new store also provides surplus food to local charities Betel Birminham who support those affected by affected by drug and alcohol addiction, and Zaika WN:WN which provide hot meals to the homeless and vulnerable locally. This is delivered through Lidl’s Feed it Back scheme in partnership with Neighbourly, working to help some of the vulnerable in society access high quality food.

Lidl GB’s Regional Head of Property, Jeremy Lee, commented: “We remain committed to feeding the nation at this time, and continue to see incredible demand for Lidl stores across the country to provide essentials. We look forward to offering our quality products and incredible value to shoppers in and around the local area.  

“We would like to thank all those who have played a part in bringing this new Lidl store to fruition. It is great for us to be able to create more jobs and investment opportunities in the area, and we are proud to be able to serve the local community at this time”.

Lidl has introduced a range of social distancing measures to help maintain a safe store environment for both colleagues and customers. These include positioning designated team members at store entrances to manage the volume of people entering at one time, and clear communication, including floor markings, reminding customers of the importance of maintaining a two-metre distance from each other when shopping. We have been rolling out dedicated cleaning stations at store entrances for customers, including hand sanitiser, disinfectant and wipes, for them to use on their trolleys and baskets.

Additionally, the supermarket has installed protective screens at checkouts along with the introduction of protective visors and masks for colleagues to wear if they wish, and is continuing to encourage customers to pay by contactless payment methods where possible.

The new supermarket forms part of the company’s £1.45bn investment in its expansion across Great Britain in 2019 and 2020. With a total sales area of 1325m², the new store also includes 120 parking spaces, and features facilities such as an in-store bakery and longer-style tills with dual packing.

As Covid-19 shows no sign of ending anytime soon, and restaurants are among the hordes of businesses that were forced to close their doors since lockdown began, one particular food outlet have decided to remain providing food – but not for their regular adoring customers.

Based on Broad Street, in Birmingham, Dilbar Restaurant, which provides the best of quality Indian cuisine, is providing its freshly made food and donating it to hospitals and other medical-related centres in the city and the wider West Midlands.


Co-owner and Managing Director, Vijay Bulsara, along with fellow co-owner Pam Bassi, for the past few weeks have been donating some of Dilbar’s favourite foods to NHS staff and key workers as a way of saying ‘Thank You’ for their heroic and on-going work in the face of the relentless pandemic that is coronavirus.

“With Coventry being my home city”, Pam says: “I felt it my duty to make enquiries about the possibility, and then began delivering food to Coventry University Hospital Dialysis Centre.

“All of the staff there was hugely overwhelmed by the gesture and incredibly grateful for what Dilbar (Restaurant) did for them.

Not content with that, both Vijay and Pam hit upon the idea of providing their sumptuous food to other hospitals and medical centres local to their restaurant.


“It was something that both Vijay and I felt was the least that we could do”, Pam says, “by way of showing our appreciation and gratitude to the work carried out, day-in, day-out, by our National Health Service and other essential services”.

She goes on: “We then decided to offer food to staff at Dudley Hospital Dialysis Centre before then the Sandwell Doctor’s Surgery centre.


“The NHS has always done fantastic work under whatever circumstance. But, under the present pandemic Vijay and I felt that we really had to give something back.

“We take our freshly-made food to wherever ourselves – fully p.p,e.’d – and the feed-back has been nothing but ‘outstanding’.”

And that is nothing more than you would expect from one of Birmingham’s leading restaurants – OUTSTANDING!

When the chips are down, it appears Brits turn to good old-fashioned grub as fish ‘n’ chips is revealed as the most popular takeaway food during lockdown.
The sales data from online takeaway delivery platform, Foodhub, reveals the traditional dish has doubled in popularity with a massive 208% uplift in fish n chips orders since lockdown as uncertainty calls for familiar comfort food.
This is followed by Quarter Pounder Burgers (158%) and Donner Kebabs (156%) as Brits look for ways to satisfy their taste for fast food.
Other foods on the up since lockdown include Chicken Nuggets (146%), Sausage and Chips (152%), Chicken Burgers (147%) and Garlic Bread (148%).
Pizzas are also included in the top 10 most ordered foods with Hawaiian proving the most popular, followed by Pepperoni.
Desserts have also increased in popularity since lockdown proving our love for sweet treats when things turn sour, with Cheesecake the favourite up 129%, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream up 113% and Chocolate Cake also up 113%.
Philip Mostyn, Foodhub spokesperson, said: “For many of us, takeaways have provided us small moments of joy and a break from the monotony we’re all experiencing in lockdown. It’s interesting to see how, as a nation, we’re turning to the old favourites and seeking comfort in familiar nostalgic foods, such as Fish ‘n’ Chips.”
Overall, orders through Foodhub have increased over 50% since lockdown.
Foodhub is an online food website and app launched in 2017. There are more than 12,000 takeaways currently featured online at and through the apps available for iOS and Android.
Foodhub is unique in that it does not take a commission from the food establishments for each order placed. This enables them to offer better prices and deals to customers than other online food platforms.
 Top 10
1. Fish n Chips (up 208%)
2. Quarter Pounder Burgers (up 158%)
3. Donner Kebabs (up 156%)
4. Sausage and Chips (up 152%)
5. Garlic Bread (up 148%)
6. Chicken Burgers (up 147%)
7. Chicken Nuggets (up 146%)
8. Cheesecake (up 129%)
9. Pizza (up 115%)
10. Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream (up 113%)

A staggering 91% of Brits now claim that mealtimes have become an essential family occasion during lockdown, and they’re loving it!

Half of British households (49.2%) confess that family mealtimes were either rare (39%) or never happened (10%) before lockdown according to new research.

The research, conducted by pizza brand Chicago Town, polled 4,227 households across the UK in May 2020 and shows how families have been brought together by the global pandemic; some positive news against the backdrop of worrying times.

As well as eating together at mealtimes, households are playing together too – with family and friends games’ nights, using popular video chat platforms, now high on the agenda.

Over three-quarters (77%) of UK families are now playing games regularly together since lockdown began with 41% dialing-in players to get around social distancing.

Almost a quarter (23%) of families claim gameplay is a totally new pastime for them, admitting to never having played as family previously. And they’re taking part in regular scheduled games’ nights (25%) playing board games, video games or games.

The research also revealed the top 5 most popular lockdown meal choices for a family games night or an evening in front of the TV:

1. Pizza (45%)
2. Chinese (21%)
3. Curry (15%)
4. Pasta (10%)
5. Fish & Chips (9%)

Rachel Bradshaw at Chicago Town said: “It is great to hear that so many families are making the most of mealtimes together since the start of lockdown – a positive takeaway from the restrictions. And what better way to bond than over a gooey, messy pizza and games night!

“We’re delighted, of course, that pizza is at the centre of many of these family occasions and we’re looking forward to seeing this trend of virtual extended family get-togethers continue way beyond lockdown.”