We love a good debate! That’s why we run Round Table events with key commentators from the industry every six months. We explore different topics each time that sit within our four key sectors – Food & Drink, Home & Lifestyle, Travel & Leisure and Tech & Innovation.
Here’s a look at some of our past Round Table events.
This month we held our second Lucre Group Ideas & Insight session looking at the Food & Drink sector. The title was Provenance vs Price: The Future of British Food Post-Brexit. A very relevant topic in the current uncertainty of whether Brexit will be an opportunity or a challenge for food manufacturers, retailers and ultimately, […]Read more >
In April 2016, the Lucre Group hosted its first ever Rich Ideas and Insights (I&I) event, entitled The Impact of Rio, an examination of how the Rio Olympics will impact the Home & Lifestyle, Travel and Food & Drink sectors. As the latest addition to the Lucre family, I&I is about keeping our thinking fresh, […]Read more >
On this page we’ll share what we’ve been thinking, what we’ve seen, what we’re doing and the stuff we just really, really like.
We’ll also keep you updated on our I&I events, when we bring together the best people to talk about the topics you need to know more about.
Christmas, a time of goodwill and great advertising, is here again and for retailers across the UK it’s time to unleash the year’s biggest media spend.
Like the glow of twinkling lights and the first chill in the air, awaiting the launch of John Lewis’ campaign has become synonymous with the start of the festive season. But have this year’s biggest retailers left us feeling merry enough to march straight to the nearest till register?
The answer – most likely yes, but campaigns for Christmas 2017 have not been without controversy. From racist remarks in response to Tesco’s ad to Amazon’s attempt to steal Santa’s limelight, it’s been a bumpy ride for brands facing up to the often angry mob that resides on social media.
My personal favourite ad features the lovable Paddington Bear. Thank you, Marks and Spencer, for giving us bags of Christmas cheer. Move over Moz the Monster, for me Christmas this year is entwined with the marmalade-loving movie legend, as he helps to deliver a sack of stolen presents.
But far from the silver screen, or even TV sets, for brands and their borrowed film stars, scoring PR success comes from making an impact digitally and racking up views on mobile devices. PR Week reported the Marks and Spencer film had an impressive two million views in just four hours on the brand’s Facebook page. The campaign has been supported with a #LoveTheBear hashtag complete with a unique paw print emoji and social media monitoring tool Brandwatch reported 97 per cent of social media mentions were positive.
To date, one week after its first release, the ad has achieved more than 5.6 million views on its YouTube channel.
Treat yourself to a little seasonal magic, courtesy of Marks and Spencer:Read >
We’ve all heard the stats, online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.
But when we are told that videos on Facebook have to get to the point within 3 seconds in order to keep the viewer engaged, how do we compete with all the other moving traffic on our social feeds?
Here at Rich, we’ve come up with five simple tips to follow when creating content, in order to make your videos as Facebook friendly as possible;
Craft a descriptive title and post. In order to get the viewer to play and watch your video, you need to ensure that the post is to the point and summarises exactly what the content includes.
Make each second count. The first frame should hold inviting, captivating content to ensure your video grabs and holds the viewers’ attention.
Subtitles are a good thing. With most people now watching and consuming video via their mobile phones and 85% of videos being watched without sound, you can still get your key messages across via the power of subtitles.
Experiment with different types of video content. Facebook Live encompass a new way of sharing content and also ranks higher on Facebook algorithms.
Encourage clients to invest that little bit extra and it will go a long way. Boosting your video from as little as £200 can see vast differences in likes, shares and engagement.
We’ve heard it all before. First, the lecture came from our parents, then we had it from our teachers and now it appears that academics are getting in on the act, too. You know what they say, ‘mothers know best’ and as much as it pains me to say it, they might just be right.
It’s been a hotly debated topic in the world of food, but recent, research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found that skipping our morning meal may be linked to poorer cardiovascular health. Scientists are suggesting that breakfast is, in fact, the most important meal of the day – but just how true is it?
No doubt we’ve all been there (I know I certainly have) – we’d rather have that extra five minutes in bed or we’re so focused on finishing a piece of work then before we know it, the whole morning has passed by.
However, the study suggests that those who miss their morning meal compared to those who enjoy a hearty breakfast, are at a greater risk of developing stages of atherosclerosis earlier in life. In other words, suffer from a build-up of fat in their arteries.
Though it appears that it’s not actually skipping breakfast that’s the problem but more what it causes us to eat after, it indicates more about our lifestyle than anything else. Skipping breakfast disrupts our internal body clock, causing us to eat more calories at unusual times of the day. We turn to things such as snacks or excessive eating around lunchtime to counter-act the meal missed earlier that day. But what if we were to indulge in a full English, seven days a week – would that really be better for us than having nothing at all? It’s safe to say I’m dubious, but, if in the interest of science it means I need to treat myself to some hearty breakfasts, I’m all for it.
So, next time you’re too tired to drag yourself out of bed that five minutes earlier in the morning, just stop and think, because it seems our parents might have been right all along – breakfast truly is the key meal of the day.Read >
Ever sat and typed a tweet, then realised you’re roughly three paragraphs over the 140-character limit, then spent 20 minutes performing mental gymnastics in order to share your opinion of the Great British Bake Off with the world. Well those days could soon be a distant memory, as Twitter have announced they’re trialling increasing the famous 140-character limit to 280. The internet as ever has reacted, so we thought we’d share some of our favourites…
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the move on Twitter…
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
Not long after, Twitter user @brianrbarone was on hand to cut his tweet down to size!
— Brian Barone (@brianrbarone) September 26, 2017
American chat show host Ellen DeGeneres got in on the fun with a tweet of her own.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 27, 2017
Not content with the reasoning Twitter gave for the trial, @Punchayati has his own theory.
— Aakash (@PUNchayati) September 27, 2017
@DontforgetJames tweeted what we’re all thinking!
Does twitter actually know it's users? You don't need #280characters to say 'look at this dog' or 'look at my butt'
— James W.B. (@dontforgetjames) September 27, 2017
What’s a Twitter storm without a good meme though?
Twitter: Users want to be able to edit tweets
— Dom Stirling (@domstirling12) September 26, 2017
Whatever the Twittersphere think of this move, we’re all waiting with bated breath to see how Twitter addict Donald Trump will utilise the extra 140 characters.Read >
Many of us will admit that even in life’s most precious moments, we just can’t put down our phones. This is probably most relevant when on holiday and we find that while we should be soaking up the culture and relaxing, we’re instead snapping away for Instagram content, checking emails and scrolling through our social feeds.
But contrary to popular belief, phones aren’t the enemy when it comes to travel. In fact, the travel-hungry among us are realising that apps can actually improve the experience and can be useful to ensure that you make the most of your trip. A recent study by Amadeus found that 45% of travellers have used an app to help them plan travel, 61% of business traveller’s check-in to their flight via a mobile app and 70% of travellers use a social app to share and relive their experiences.
There seems to be an app for every stage of travel, from choosing where to go to booking, right through to apps that are full of inspiration for while you are there. You can easily access unmissable sights, the best cafés and restaurants and exciting things to do in the place you are visiting, all with a swipe through your phone.
Apps such as SkyScanner, CityMaps2Go, Citymapper and PackPoint will help you to plan, pack and tour your way around the globe with ease. So, don’t put down your phone when it comes to travel; embrace the benefit of having the world at your fingertips and enrich your trip with some handy travel tech.Read >
With summer so nearly over, we find ourselves now looking to our next summer holiday (seems miles away, doesn’t it?). We almost always take a break to get that much deserved time out to relax and reset, but don’t let the chilly days and darker evenings be the reason to put you off your next travel adventure.
The travel industry has seen a huge rise in the great ‘staycation’. Isabel Choat of The Guardian puts it down to Brexit as Visit Britain reported that there was a 10% increase in bookings in the UK and there doesn’t seem to be any signs of it slowing down.
Holidays aren’t just for summer, so take a little inspiration from us when it comes to picking your next getaway this autumn.
The classic city break is a brilliant way to relax because, believe it or not, you’re still getting away from it all. A change of scenery from what might feel like the humdrum of your everyday will be welcomed as there’s no better feeling than being able to get lost in the streets of a brand new city. The idea of museums and sightseeing might seem boring to some but up close it’s brilliant to feel submerged in the beauty and history of a location. You don’t even have to travel abroad to cities such as Amsterdam, Paris or Berlin – go for something on your doorstep like our very own capital, London or historic cities such as York and Bath.
It might not feel like bikini weather when it hits September in the UK, but that still doesn’t rule out a beach break. You might have to add some layers but a nostalgic trip to the seaside with a long walk on the beach is the perfect way to spend some ‘you’ time – you’d be surprised by some of the sands and seas we’ve got on our coastline. What’s more, with many beaches allowing dogs during these seasons, you can take your furry friends with you too (and save some money!)
Need we say more? A day trip or a full blow-out, spa breaks are a must. Throwing on a fluffy gown and slippers puts you straight into relaxation mode – just ignore the Wi-Fi and switch your phone off for a purely blissful experience. With so many last-minute offers around, it’s easy to book and takes minimal planning, making it a no-brainer option. Taking advantage of the spa facilities and treating yourself to a massage or treatment, you can’t get more ‘zen’ than this.
It’s September. Let that sink in. Schools are back, bars across the country are now advertising their Christmas party offerings and knowing the UK, the weather will get inexplicably better for a week, then nose dive into autumnal rain and wind. So with this in mind, let’s take a look back at August and pretend that we’re not nearly three quarters of the way through the year.
Why August I hear you say? Well, back in August Facebook announced exciting new changes to its newsfeed algorithm that could have a huge impact on the online activity of businesses and the media. Alongside Facebook’s regular promise to eliminate ‘fake news’, they have also committed to favour stories and links that lead to mobile optimised sites with a quick loading time.
In a post to Facebook’s Newsroom, engineers Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo highlighted that “as many as 40 percent of website visitors abandon a site after three seconds of delay.” So wave goodbye to those fake news click bait articles leading you to a website seemingly created by Tim Berners-Lee at the birth of the internet, back when Mark Zuckerburg was just a twinkle in his father’s eye.
But how does this change effect business and media? Most businesses will have a mobile optimised website, but for those that don’t, it’s time to play catch up. Social media plays a key role in the reputation of a brand or business, and having your content pushed further down the newsfeed or simply not being served to users because of a poor website won’t help build that reputation any time soon.
Media may also need to re-evaluate their social strategy. Enter Facebook’s Instant Articles. The cynic in me might think that Facebook’s change in algorithm based on the speed a website and the push on their own platform that hosts articles may have been carefully planned, but I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.
One of the major benefits of hosting content on Instant Articles is a faster load time, which should garner higher organic reach with the new algorithm. If load time impacts the reach of a post, it makes sense that publishers host their content on Facebook. The platform, which has been around for about two years, hasn’t attracted many publishers due to the fact they don’t make the same money they would by simply driving people to their website. So are we about to see more Daily Mail articles hosted directly on Facebook?
What all of this shows it the power of Facebook. One simple change to their algorithm means that business and media need to amend their digital approach, whether that be a simple tweak to optimise their site or rethink their strategy for online revenue. The new algorithm will begin to kick in this month, so watch this space. And by space, I mean Instant Articles. You could be getting a lot of your news from there in the coming months.Read >
Are you one to pull your phone out to pay contactless or flick your wrist at every opportunity to make a payment that little bit faster (and cooler)?
Mashable’s latest report might not be a surprise to you if so – a KFC in Hangzhou, China is testing a new facial recognition payment system. So if you needed an excuse to get your post-Saturday night chicken fix without having to scramble around for your card, you could be in luck.
‘Smile to Pay’ is the brainchild of Alipay (by Alibaba Group), a popular online and mobile payment platform which scans the payees face once they’re ready to complete their order. The security conscious among you (that’s also me) can rest easy with this technology though – a “live-ness detection algorithm” is inbuilt to combat fraud and the 3D camera seems pretty darn accurate with recognition, too. It couldn’t even be fooled by heavy makeup and pink hair and could still pick the correct face out of a crowd.
If you’ve ever watched Black Mirror, it’s seeming that all this kind of technological genius is coming true – your looks really do pay.Read >
Although having missed the boat to being ‘beach body ready’ with a flight to Greece looming and still the not-so-proud owner of a little excess baggage around the middle, there is no better time than now to start making small steps to a slightly more active lifestyle (or so I’ve heard). One of the issues with this, other than creating elaborate excuses to avoid the gym, is that for many people a desk job limits the ability to keep active throughout the day, with the exception of running to the shop at lunch or chasing down the ice cream van. However there is hope by the way of an article on Greatist, posted back in 2014 but recently brought to my attention thanks to Twitter – Deskercise! 33 Smart Ways to Exercise at Work
Although I didn’t manage to get through all 33, here are a few that have already started paying dividends, whether it’s for overall health improvement or just for office hilarity:
The celebratory split squat jumps
The idea behind this is that every time there is a celebration, you do a split squat jump. For those new to the move, it’s basically steading your feet and getting into a split-leg position, lowering into a lunge and then jumping up with celebratory force. Finding an excuse to do it was tricky at first but I quickly came to realise that even the offer of a Jaffa cake was enough, which hopefully balances out the calorie intake to some degree.
The Mover and Shaker
Although my days of dancing the night away are for the most part behind me, the odd jig can often still manifest with the right song, so the idea of a quick bout of desk dancing was entirely possible. Yes, my colleagues did begin by looking on with concern at the impromptu moves, however, it is quickly contagious. 80s Movie Hits playlist on Spotify was a great source of desk dance inspiration, FYI.
The Shoulder Shrug
This is as simple as it sounds – raise your shoulders up to your ears in a shrug motion, with a five-second hold. It says not to do this in a board meeting but I would also suggest a warning to your colleagues if you plan to shrug and perhaps don’t do it in front of your boss. In the midst of asking you an important question, a shrug probably isn’t the best response.
For more deskercise inspiration go to https://greatist.com/fitness/deskercise-33-ways-exercise-work and big thanks to the writer, Emily Milam for the inspiration.
The way in which we choose to travel has changed significantly over the past few years. Millennials are living in the moment and want it all. The majority can’t afford a mortgage so their money goes on travel and living life to the full. If it doesn’t look good on Instagram, it’s a no-go, and if you don’t Snapchat it, you basically weren’t there. However, we need to travel mindfully and respect the locals to be able to sustain this ‘go anywhere, anytime’ lifestyle. Here are three travel trends we can get on board with.
Little and often
Gone are the days of the two-week exodus to the Costa Del Sol. Who wants to spend their annual leave in one go and endure months tied to their desk until next year’s holiday comes around? Recent research revealed that ‘little and often’ is how millennials take their holidays. Budget flights and accommodation around the world have opened up a multitude of options for ticking off bucket lists quickly and efficiently. This, in theory, should ease the crowding in the traditional Brits abroad hotspots as we look to new and less crowded destinations. Why ever not opt for a weekend in Iceland in April, a hop over to France in June, a staycation in August (because who wants to share air space with packs of screaming kids?) followed by a ‘big’ five day holiday with pals in September (the best month of the year to go on holiday)? Oh, and don’t forget a cheeky Christmas market break in December. We want a bit of everything. Sue Us!
If it’s not ‘grammable’, it’s not worth the schlep. Recent research by our client Superbreak recently found that one in three of us have booked to visit a destination after seeing it on Instagram. And it’s not just millennials who are led by their smart phones to destinations new – 16% of people aged 65 plus have also booked at least one holiday after seeing photos on the social media platform. Capturing an array of perfect pictures whilst away has become the ultimate must-do. Taking, editing and sharing of snaps on Instagram takes up an equivalent of two days 19 hours and 12 minutes of our annual leave allowance each year!
Perhaps a by-product of travel habits no. 1 and 2 (we blame the weather), tourist boards around Europe are dealing with a huge backlash from locals complaining that tourism is ruining their cities. Hotspots like Barcelona, Rome and Dubrovnik have seen anti-tourism marches taking place this week to protest against overcrowding, inflation and unruly visitors getting drunk and peeing in the street. Locals are (understandably) very angry; they can’t sleep for the Airbnb parties going on around them, they can’t afford their local café anymore and in the worst-case scenarios, some are being displaced as their apartments are sold off to build luxury tourist apartments. While speaking at the World Tourism Forum in Lucerne, Amsterdam’s head of marketing revealed that the city does not want more people to visit but they want to increase the quality of visitors – “we want people who are interested in the city, not who want it as a backdrop for a party”. Cue the need to channel a new wave of discreet, mindful tourism, whereby we still have fun, enjoy ourselves, but we respect the locals and their way of life and don’t act like total douche bags!Read >
If you have ever noticed an influx of direct traffic to your website but can’t identify the link or search terms that encouraged it, then you have probably fallen victim to the sorcery of ‘dark social’.
This isn’t witchcraft though, it’s quite simple – it’s content shared privately either via a messaging app, text message, email, or direct message. Every time someone copies and pastes a URL from your website and shares it away from the prying eyes of their news feeds, it generates dark traffic and will show on your analytics reports as an ‘unknown’ link source.
Spooky news for monitoring your website visitors and some of you may even believe that it’s not worth tracking these hidden shares, but it could be extremely beneficial to your content marketing strategies. It has been reported that dark traffic is accountable for 84% of outbound sharing; that’s a huge chunk of your social reach and even though you can’t see how your content is being shared or in what context, you can see what is being shared.
If you have good content people will engage with it, which includes sharing with someone else – great news for you, your reach just grew! Dark social can also be particularly good for reaching audiences outside of social media. When a social user sends a link to your content via email or text message to a person who doesn’t have a social profile, they’re driving untargeted traffic to your site – result!
The easiest way to start tracking your dark traffic is to shorten URL’s in your social posts using sites such as Bitly (this will also make your posts look neater), which allows you to see which links are being shared, providing a fuller picture of what content is popular with your audience. Due to privacy restrictions we can’t – and probably never will – see exactly how dark social is shared or for what purpose, but being able to see what is being shared still provides a valuable tool for businesses to utilise. Shared content is creating a response (as is the ability to like, love, wow, be sad or angry) so monitor what works for you and use this information to plan your content successfully.Read >
Is beauty skin deep? And what does food have to do with it all? Once upon a time, food and drink served the sole purpose of filling your stomach and quenching your thirst, but new research indicates that the food and drink industry may be merging with that of the beauty world as the next big thing in functional food*.
The notion of functional foods was born in Japan in the early 1980s when health officials discovered the link between foods that were developed specifically to promote health or reduce the risk of disease. Strictly speaking, all food is functional, in the sense that it provides the nutrients necessary for survival. But the term “functional food” in use today, conveys health benefits that extend far beyond mere survival. Food and nutrition science has moved from identifying and correcting nutritional deficiencies to designing foods that promote optimal health. Generally, these include foods that contain certain minerals, vitamins, fatty acids or dietary fibre – think probiotic yoghurt, avocado, salmon, brazil nuts, quinoa and the rest of the ‘en vogue’ health tribe.
As interest in this category has grown, new products have appeared and attention has turned to the development of standards and guidelines for the development and promotion of such foods. Whether you’re looking to build muscle, increase alertness or simply support your immune system, functional food has a solution, and while beauty/appearance may not be on the same playing field, it certainly is making waves. The past year has seen a barrage of collagen-based food and drink products hit the market, with hipsters buying collagen infused coffee, ice cream, water and smoothies. There’s even a collagen-added gin aptly named ‘Colagin’, that boasts an ‘elixir of youth’ claim.
It’s not all about collagen though. Local supermarkets are now stocking a whole host of functional food that offer general beauty benefits. Everything from skin-glowing tea, to youth inducing milk and diet bread are easily accessible to the everyday consumer. Tetley’s Super Green Beauty Tea, which touts healthy hair and skin benefits, is one that springs to mind when thinking about recent on-tend product launches, as are the Niche Co hydrating and illuminating tea range.
If nutrient-enhanced foods aren’t your thing, why not include all-natural beauty boosters instead? Vogue magazine has jumped on the bandwagon with articles dedicated to just the subject. Topping the list are lemons for detoxification, sweet potatoes to fight off the free radicals, beets to halt the signs of ageing, and finally pineapple to soothe inflammation and redness!
As a category, functional food is booming thanks to a growing awareness of the additional benefits that can be found in various food and drink products. The health benefits from eating well are undeniable, but will you be jumping on the beauty-eating trend? They do say you are what you eat…
This month our drinks team headed down to Borough Market for the fourth instalment in the Borough Talks series.
Borough Talks are a series of public debates presented by Borough Market, exploring some of the most interesting and important issues relevant to today’s food and drink world.
This session explored the drinks revolution and included a panel of acclaimed industry professionals:
With fantastic food on offer from market traders and a delectable cocktail created by Tony Conigliaro’s team, the talk provided us with all there is to know about drinks. We’ve put together the key take-outs from the session so you’re in the know, too:
As most of us are fully aware, minimalism is a thriving trend in both fashion and the home and lifestyle sectors. I mean, who can honestly say they haven’t seen around 500 Instagram posts of white walls with one perfectly positioned cactus and everything looking immaculately pristine?
Marie Kondo’s book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing’, is thought to have brought minimalism to the mainstream, and Forbes notes that although it is not a new concept, the minimalist lifestyle is growing amongst millennials in particular.
Bradford Shellhammer, however, is bucking the trend, claiming “I’m uneasy if I’m somewhere pristine or too minimalist. I need textures, layers and lots of colour”. His home showcases bold clashing colours, with vintage and shabby chic influences also emerging – all of which simply can’t be summed up in one word. Perhaps the word maximalism may come to mind.
Nate Berkus, interior designer notes: “Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love brought together under one roof”. Amina Mucciolo seems to epitomise this idea to the maximum within her own rainbow-themed flat which has become an Instagram sensation thanks to the bold colour schemes and rainbow coloured walls. “It’s really important to me that where I live is a reflection of me and my personality, and also of my husband,” she told the Mail Online.
As someone who was once described as ‘a walking rainbow’, I for one am a strong advocate of expressing yourself in every way possible. With this in mind, when looking at one of the areas in which we spend most of our lives (aside from work of course), it could be argued that perhaps we should be reassessing how space in the home works best to highlight our own personalities.Read >
Updating your mates on your stories, adding that all-too-familiar dog filter with the floppy tongue and or beautifying yourself with big eyes and a flower crown, sound familiar? It’s what Snapchat’s about right? And it’s all fun and games until, that is, Snapchat makes updates, unbeknownst to you and its other X million users.
The controversial new Snap Map allows you to see exactly where mutual friends are and what they’re doing; whether that’s the location of where they’re driving or sleeping, it’s an undoubtedly ‘stalky’ way to keep tabs on people in already ‘stalky’ social media culture. The new map was met with major scepticism especially from parental groups and advocates of child safety which led the US based company to issue the following statement addressing such concerns: “With Snap Map, location-sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time.
“It’s also not possible to share your location with someone who isn’t already your friend on Snapchat, and the majority of interactions on Snapchat take place between close friends.”
It has certainly caught the attention of the UK media even Nadia Sawalha of Loose Women stressed her worries of the safety of children on the show, after posting a video on her personal channels warning parents about the new update.
It’s possible to argue that these kinds of updates can heighten the paranoia that social media is adding to younger generations and allowing unknown users (people who might not be true friends) on the channel to follow you around if Location Services or ‘Ghost Mode’ aren’t switched on, and then there is a potential threat. However, some people have welcomed the update, coining it as ‘cool’ due to the use of heat maps and the ability to publicise your story wherever you are, as well as being able to avoid people you might not want to see and we all know that feeling!
Scouting the floor of Lucre HQ, it seems we rarely leave our location services on but if you do – who’s watching?Read >
Pop-up restaurants, endless street food choices and food crazes, there’s always something on the horizon for foodies to look out for. But the next big flavours on our lips should be Filipino and here are several reasons why western palates are apparently ready for the cuisine…
It’s been a long time coming. Award-winning food writer Andrew Zimmern predicted Filipino food would be the next big thing five years ago. Now, even the likes of Vogue magazine agree.
Despite common misconceptions of Pinoy dining, opinions on the food of the Philippines are undeniably beginning to change. In a recent article by Bloomberg, it was reported that searches for ‘Filipino food’ via Google have doubled since 2012, while queries for ‘lumpia near me’ have sharply increased by 3,350 per cent.
Filipino food culture has expanded to include tastes from around the world that Westerners are already familiar with. Elements of Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and Pacific Islander dishes are amongst the most notable flavours.
Since Filipino cuisine is notoriously free from dairy and gluten, this makes it suitable for a variety of dietary needs and health regimes. Meals will fit in especially with the up and coming trend of communal dining and sharing platters considering meals are traditionally enjoyed family style in the Philippines.
However, although top chef Anthony Bourdain agrees that Filipino food is ‘underrated’, certain dishes are expected to be much more popular than others. In fact, Bourdain recommends one of his favourite dishes ‘sisig’, which includes various parts of a pig, as a readily-available, casual dish to enjoy. But will the western world be open to eating pig snout, ear and tongue? We aren’t sure if we’re convinced just yet.
When it comes to PR, global perceptions of Filipino food are very important, especially in terms of tourism which directly affects the nation’s economic success. If countries like Cambodia and Thailand can make munching on insects seem tempting, perhaps we can do the same for the Philippines and its famous ‘balut’ (developing bird embryo) street-food!Read >
It seems like only yesterday we were ushering in the beginning of 2017, yet somehow we’re already halfway through our calendars. The interior trend forecast said soft pastels and a ‘less is more’ attitude would flourish this year, but like many a weather forecast, it appears the opposite is true.
2017 is all about exaggerated glamour; jungle prints, copper accents and sleek yet striking kitchens. Let’s be honest, you have probably found yourself purchasing a copper embossed pineapple, scented candles decorated with palm fronds or even a fuchsia flamingo. It’s clear then that bold is in and frugality is out, which apparently is down to the bright spring/summer collections popping up on runways and high street stores.
Marianne Shillingford, design extraordinaire, said during one of her talks at Clerkenwell Design Week: “When looking at what colours a person should choose to decorate their home, they should take a hint from their wardrobe”.
As corporate wear is no longer blacks, greys, knee length skirts or perfectly pressed white shirts, but now all about strong statements of colour and splatters of metallic, it seems our homes are reflecting this daring design style. The once white marble kitchen top now sees chic matte black, cupboards with no handles, and butler’s pantries that house all appliances so to maintain a clutter-free kitchen. Coupled with timeless copper or gold accented fixtures, the kitchen is now more a statement piece with appearance taking priority over functionality.
Moving into the living room, ombre-hued wood gives a warm and inviting appeal to the revitalisation of Gatsby inspired luxe, and gold gilded mirrors and reflective surfaces hang as focal points in a room. Where a Bromley piece once inspired coffee table conversation, now Eichholtz’s modern metallic mirrors take centre stage.
Whether you wish to escape the political landscape in which we find ourselves through jungle inspired Amazonian prints, or bathe yourself in the decadence of velvet and distressed leather, this year is all about being creative and enjoying bursts of colour. Set your inner designer free and tell the somewhat reserved corporate worker to take a seat on the settee and let your imagination run metallically wild. Be bold.Read >
Working in travel PR, we are constantly writing and talking about experiencing new, far-flung and stunning UK destinations. From ski resorts and new beach destinations to lakeside hotels and (relatively) ‘back to nature’ glamping locations, there is so much on offer! However, on walking past a group of office workers playing boule in Leeds city centre this lunchtime, it beckons the question; how well have we explored our own city and what cultural and interesting experiences can we fit into our everyday lives?
So, using an average one-hour lunch break as the perfect opportunity to fit in a shot of exploration, what experiences can we embrace on our lunch hour to help us become more locally well-travelled.
Some suggestions for 60 minutes (or less) things to do and see within your lunch hour:
Taste your way – Find the best coffee, cake, cheeses etc. by dedicating your lunch hour to sampling a selection of local food or drink to find the ultimate top 10 (you might want to hold off the top 10 gins!).
City-watch – With Spring Watch gracing our screens, this is the opportunity to channel your inner Michaela Strachan to do some wildlife watching. Get seated with an identification book and see what birds, mammals, insects or even reptiles you can spot. Keep your phone handy for the red squirrel or wild deer spot…you could get a film of your very own Spring Watch Live!
Mini concerts – Tune your ear with a free lunchtime concert held by universities or colleges such as the Northern College of Music, town halls and galleries or simply listen to a busker (it’s how Ed Sheeran started out!)
Workout! – Use your hour to see the city and give yourself an energy boost! Forget the gym and take a whistle-stop city tour at pace. Plan your route using apps such as MapMyRun and take in the architecture on the way.
Park life – At this time of year, many city centre squares and grassed areas have complimentary deck chairs, just like Park Square outside our offices. Take advantage of this, sit back, smell the roses and take in views…no one said exploration needed to be strenuous!Read >
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