Traditionally, we’re a meat loving nation. Famously known for our love of fish and chips, Sunday roasts and naming chicken tikka masala our national dish (yes, we really did that) it’s difficult to escape from meals that don’t include a slab of meat.
Yet with trends like ‘Veganuary’ and ‘meat-free Monday’ the amount of meat we’re eating is falling, which have helped a quarter of UK dinners to become free of meat or fish.
Studies have also shown that vegetarians have better overall health and are less prone to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and other health problems compared to meat-eaters. With the population becoming more aware about what they’re eating, meat-free days are now a natural occurrence for many.
Today, #WorldVegetarianDay is your chance to celebrate all things veggie.
Whether it’s to improve overall health or just trying to live more conscientiously, millions of people around the world will be giving this day a go, some with the intentions of carrying on.
But what are the main reasons people fail and fall back to eating meat?
A primary factor for people switching back to meat is its convenience. As so many of us have been brought up to view meat as the focus of a dish, we become a little lost when it’s taken out and struggle to replace it. But the most exciting part of becoming a vegetarian is exploring a whole new range of taste experiences. Instead of piling your plate with meat and potatoes, try adventuring into new territory by trying dishes from India, Israel or Taiwan: the countries with the highest rate of vegetarianism. These new flavors and textures will take your focus off what’s missing from your plate and shift to what’s new and interesting
With reports of a third of vegetarians admitting to eating meat every time they get drunk, nights out can quite often be the fall of your veggie streak. However, one of the easiest solutions to prevent this is stocking up on vegetarian alternatives, like Quorn chicken nuggets or opting for a veggie wrap.
“I needed the protein”
Despite so many people giving up meat in an attempt to improve their health, most will return to eating it with reports of “feeling too tired from too little iron” or just “needing the protein.” Typically, this is due to a few simple factors that can be easily solved, beginning with not just assuming something is healthy just because it’s vegetarian. A healthy vegetarian diet is a balanced one, meaning you should consider eating a range of colourful fruits and dark green, leafy vegetables alongside proteins like; tofu, eggs, beans and lentils. When you can, try to avoid processed meat substitutes which tend to be higher in calories, fat and sodium to make a quick meal instead of a nutritious one.
Going cold turkey
Transitioning smoothly from four legs, to two legs, to no legs is the most effective way to switch to a vegetarian diet. You don’t have to stop eating meat all at once, just begin to reduce your intake by slowly cutting out red meat, then white meat and once you’re ready, take fish out of your diet. You can ease the shock of transitioning by allowing yourself to eat pasta, meat substitutes and cheese to make it more pleasant and slowly reduce these as you explore a range of more exciting and healthier meals.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. A day set aside each year by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). I, like many people, have experienced the devastating effects that suicide has on both a family and an individual. My Dad (step-father) took his own life in 2016. My Mum and I deal with the consequences every day of this terrible loss. In many ways, it was even more crippling for my Mum who lost her own Dad in the same way. I never knew my Grandad because of suicide and it is upsetting to realise that any children I may have, will also never know their Grandad.
Suicide is a difficult subject for so many reasons and one that many people find hard to talk about, but as a society, it is one we need to address. According to WHO, nearly 3,000 people on average commit suicide daily. The causes of suicide are, of course, complicated, but many are influenced by psycho-social, cultural and environmental risk factors that can either be prevented or addressed. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention can reduce suicide rates.
As part of my job here at Lucre and within the RICH team, I have the privilege of creating and making films to tell stories every day. I know the power of film to tell a story, which is why I chose this World Suicide Prevention Day to make what you see now, to tell my story and convey some of my feeling and sentiment about the effects of my Dad’s suicide on me.
It wasn’t an easy film to make but it was one I felt needed to be done. The words of the script which I deliver on the film were ones that had churned in my head and heart for over two years. I’ve felt enough time has passed to finally write them down and share them with others. I shot the film last week, at home, in the room where my dad committed suicide, and it was a difficult experience. I don’t have the best voice in the world (who ever likes hearing their voice recorded?) but due to the nature of what I had written, no-one else could really narrate the film.
I would like the film to be seen by as many people as possible, to be shared far and wide, all in the hope that it will reach other people who may have been affected by a similar loss and provide some hope and inspiration in what we can achieve by addressing the subject. So, please share this film if it moves you to do so.
My Dad was my hero in every sense of the word. The sad physical and subsequent mental illness that led to his premature death was, without a doubt, the hardest episode of my life to watch and be involved in. The questions; “Could we have done more?” “What did we miss?” “Did he know how much we loved him?” remain unanswered. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of him and wish he was still here, so I could ask or tell him something, share a joke or just get one of his big bear hugs.
The aims of World Suicide Prevention Day, are:
Raise awareness that suicide is preventable
Improve education about suicide
Spread information about suicide awareness
Decrease stigmatisation regarding suicide
It is my hope that this film, ‘The Box’, can help to meet a few of those aims.
I would like to thank Steve Lord who shot this film so beautifully and my colleague, Rebecca Mann, who edited the film.
If you would like more information or support around suicide, then below are just a few links to some great organisations and charities who can help:
Planning a dream holiday can be a pleasure and a pain. With so much choice and limited time to play with, it’s natural that, as with so many things in life, we’re increasingly relying on technology to ensure we get straight to the good stuff during our getaways.
As a travel PR team, we’re an inspired and informed bunch when it comes to making the most of our annual leave allowance. The Lucre Leeds office shares their recommendations for the best, free travel apps to install now that will help you discover a new destination and get more out of your next holiday.
Whilst Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet have long been favourite tools for holiday planning, if you’re looking for off-beat ideas, Culture Trip is a great place to start. Its collection of round-up articles are perfect for living like a local or at least considering things to see, do and eat beyond the tourist traps. The coverage is extensive – most cities, regions and countries are covered by hundreds of articles that will whet the appetite. Check out your chosen location or use it for inspiration for where you might like to visit next. (Free, iOS and Android)
Once you’ve chosen your location, the planning really starts. Luckily our fantastic client, Holiday Extras, has developed a new app to help pull all your ideas and trip information together, making the process so much easier. HEHA! stores your booking confirmations, your itinerary and your wish list excursions in one, easy to see place and will send you a reminder if there are things left on your to-do list. Because we all need a little help staying on top of life admin! It even enables you to have group conversations with your travel pals within the same app, so you can share ideas, discuss the details and document your travels via photos and links uploaded to your space. (Free, iOS and Android)
Since data roaming charges were dropped in most of Europe, the issue of accessing maps has become less of a concern on the continent. But, that said, there are still pockets of the planet where data access is difficult on the move and this app is perfect for such moments. With 50 million downloads it’s become a life saver for travellers on the road, providing access to detailed offline maps for destinations worldwide. Explore points of interest or create your own pins to plan your personalised trip and navigate confidently whether you like to bike, hike or take to the open road. Give it a go when you fancy a change from Google Maps, or you forgot to download the map in advance. (Free, iOS and Android)
There’s nothing quite like that feeling of faint unease when you realise you have no idea how to get anywhere in a brand-new city, without racking up an impressive Uber bill. That’s where Citymapper comes in. This handy app will make you feel at home on public transport systems in city break destinations, giving clear instructions on how to get from A to B fuss-free and often how much it will cost you, too. If you’re more comfortable above ground than below, you can make the selection of bus only and cycle routes. (Free, iOS and Android)
Whether you’ve planned every minute of your holiday or opting for a more spontaneous experience, there’s every chance a little local lingo will help you get that bit more out of your break. From having a friendly chat with the neighbours to booking a recommended restaurant, you’ll likely have a better reception and outcome if you can speak the language. Speaking English in a generic accent is just not going to win you any favours. Get a better table, an insider tip and practice good traveller etiquette with Google Translate, which can help find the right phrase and top up your language skills on the move. (Free, iOS and Android)
From launching landmark London hotels to sending a plane full of drag queens to Lanzarote, at Lucre we’re delighted to work on exciting campaigns with a range of incredible travel brands. Through our work, we can escape the mundane and accumulate an abundance of inspiration that goes on to fuel our own holidays, both in the UK and abroad.
And if there’s anything we’ve learnt whilst creating bespoke communications strategies for our travel clients, it’s where to go for a well-earned break ourselves. But where will we swap London and Leeds for this summer? Look no further…
Where Lisbon has crowds, Porto has charm. Notably more laidback than its southern sister, people flock to Portugal’s second city for its medieval influences, famous facades and signature tipple (it’s in the name!). The saying goes that people make a place, so we couldn’t write about our love for this place without mentioning those that call it home, who happen to be some of the friendliest around. Walk the Luís Bridge, take in the view from Passeio das Virtudes and go tile-spotting at São Bento train station – you’ll never want to come back!
Forget Dubrovnik, Hvar and Zagreb and pitch up in Pomer instead. We’ve been lucky enough to work on the launch of Croatia’s very first glamping destination, Arena One 99 Glamping, for the past couple of months and joined Stylist, The Sun and Metro.co.uk there for a taste of the Istrian sun. Combine the glampsite’s picturesque pebble beach, delectable servings of seafood and revitalizing spa treatments and you’ll quickly understand the appeal of the Adriatic’s newest hot spot – and that’s not even mentioning its proximity to Pula and the region’s Brijuni National Park. Did we mention its wine culture?
Sun, sights and sand aren’t always the first combination of words that come to mind when you think of Venice. However, ever since I stepped foot on The Lido on a city break there in 2015, I’ve been counting down the moments until I can go back. There’s no need to deliberate between a beach break and city escape here. You can get the best of both worlds by cooling off on the sand after a day of exploring all that the city has to offer and tucking into as much gelato as possible along the way!
We’re always on the lookout for talented people to join our growing team.
Whether you’re looking to take your career to the next level or new to the industry and want to work with some well-known brands across the travel, food and drink, tech, home and lifestyle sectors, we want to hear from you.
If you think you’re just who we’re looking for and you want to get in touch, please contact:
There are currently only two topics of conversation being widely commented upon and discussed. The first one being the World Cup – even a few days after – and the other, a TV programme focusing on a group of singletons getting cosy in a Spanish villa. Yes, I’m talking about Love Island!
Like Marmite, you either love it or hate it but if ITV2’s ratings are anything to go by – averaging two million viewers per episode – it seems most of the nation fall into the former category. So, just what is the secret of Love Island’s success and how has it become such a massive hit?
We’re all old romantics at heart
There may be a lot of dating and relationship shows already on TV, but it would seem we can’t get enough of them. Dinner Date, Take Me Out and, more recently, the return of Blind Date, we all live in the hope that everyone has their very own Prince Charming out there somewhere. Nothing fills our hearts and makes everything seem a little brighter, than seeing two people fall in love and live happily ever after.
Love Island is a cross between a dating programme and Big Brother. We all know how popular Big Brother was back in the day, so it’s no surprise that the format for Love Island works and connects with a lot of people.
Who doesn’t love a bit of eye candy on an evening
Being conservative won’t get you far in reality TV, so Love Island has had to adapt a format that is different and draws in the viewers. A big part of its winning formula are the contestants. The more controversial and louder the characters the more drama will happen, which makes for great TV.
There’s no doubt that the contestants are chosen for a reason. They’re all young, attractive and confident enough to strut around in swimwear. This makes the show even more engaging to watch and is spot on when it comes to the programme’s target demographic – millennials.
Anything can happen as there are live elements
There are cameras everywhere to capture the Islander’s antics – 73 in total! While it is not live with each episode usually shot one to two days in advance, most of what is broadcast is true and has happened, making it even more appealing. Yes, even the Hayley, trees and Brexit comment was all down to her! We never quite know what is going to happen and all the ‘grafting’, ‘mugging off’ and ‘cracking on’ can be captured for our pleasure.
Everyone wants a bit of the action…
And we don’t mean immediate sign-ups for the next series. From a dedicated app where you can couple up with a washboard-ab beauty in virtual reality to an online shop – personalised water bottle or phone case anyone? – collaborations with stores like Superdrug which has boosted their profits and the inevitable post-show charcoal toothpaste, NutriBuddy, InTheStyle, Boohoo and PrettyLittleThing #ad(s), they’re all making money, too.
You’ve got to hand it to it Love Island; it’s topping the charts when it comes to reality TV. It’s been rumoured, due to the success of the programme, it will continue to run for another five years, so we can look forward to more singletons finding ‘the one’ until 2024. Now there’s a scary thought for you!
July is the season where you start day dreaming at your desk about the Italian landscapes of Tuscany, the fan in the corner is barely taking your mind off the sweltering heat…wine, cobalt streets and rose bushes are your next haven but until then, I have sourced some of the most glimmering London rooftop bars to enjoy in this oh-so-beautiful weather.
Acclaimed for its high heights and cocktails, nothing is done on a small scale here. Sipping your Negroni at golden hour will make you believe you are gazing into a Renaissance painting of the twenty-first century: ethereal mixed with industrial architecture.
Everything is in the name. If you ever wondered what a trip through luscious lands of greenery can look like on the 35th floor, high up between the clouds as pink hues course over the River Thames, then this is your place. Book in advance, buy a bottle with your date and enjoy the serenity that these vibrant gardens and chilled music can give you in an al fresco-like scenario.
French for a beautiful avifauna cage where exotic birds parade around, you can understand this bar’s namesake. A little bit of luxury with added altitude amidst the city’s hustle and bustle, it should be your go-to when needing a little break from it all. Sip on an Old Fashioned whilst taking in the views and a cosy under a blanket when the sun sets over the cityscape.
Walking into the 1970’s Palm Springs era, you’ll be greeted by St Paul’s Cathedral across the bridge. Following their desert vibes, the cocktail list offers an extensive range of both American and British twists on our favourite classics. A great option after an afternoon gazing at your favourite artists in the Tate nearby.
Trafalgar St James boasts a vibrant energy and youthful aura, most likely from the bustling streets of the infamous Trafalgar Square just below. With panoramic views of London, you can wind down whilst sipping on sangria after a walk through St James’ park or a trip to the National Gallery.
In case you haven’t heard, it’s coming home. World Cup fever has swept the nation, with retro England shirts aplenty, New Order blasting from back gardens and Liam Gallagher appearing on every festival bill in the country making it feel all very circa 1990s.
Just like a scorned lover, I’m trying to forget about the past, think positive thoughts and head down the pub at any given opportunity. But I’m not getting carried away (much), so here’s an alternative list of those who have already won the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting the first performance by an Englishman at the World Cup to be in the shape of a forty-year-old ex-boyband member from Stoke, but I can dare to dream. Eyebrows were raised and heads scratched when the Russians chose Robbie to open their ceremony, with the whole world watching. Turns out, Robbie is massive over there, adored by many Russian powerhouses and has performed at private events and weddings for years. He’s even acquainted with Chelsea’s billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich (let the thought of that conversation sink in). In fairness to Robbie, he pulled his finger out (literally) and put on a pretty good show, odd as it was.
‘World Cup’ brands
Advertising and sponsorship is one of the key financial benefits from the World Cup. With a thirty second Superbowl ad costing upwards of $5 million, viewing figures for the tournament are expected to be around thirty times that. So, expect the big bucks to be pouring in from the likes of Coke, Adidas and McDonalds. For weeks we’ve been bombarded with Lidl adverts featuring the England team and Lionel Messi drinking a Pepsi Max in a packed square, all whilst ignoring the irony of ‘McDelivery’ promos on the pitch side advertising boards. As a result, FIFA have imposed a ban on marketing with things such as “World Cup”, “FIFA World Cup” and “Russia 2018” without official licensing. Ah well, it won’t deter me from ordering in a Quarter Pounder once the semis of the 2018 Global Chalice come around.
The biggest concern leading up to the tournament was Russia itself. After being banned from the Winter Olympics for doping allegations and hooliganism during Euro 2016, the country was in need of some good PR. So far though, it’s been a success. No reports of violence, the cities and stadiums all look great and people have even been taught in local colleges how to interact with tourists. What better way to forget about the recent political hostilities than a thirty-yard half volley? At least that’s the end of it for potentially corrupt World Cup bidding, roll on Qatar 2022…
The drinks trade will be thriving even more this summer, with pubs and bars pulling out all the stops to attract the punters. From the Norfolk landlord who erected a £5,000 stand in his pub garden to the multitude of trendy ticketed pop ups across London, venues can all expect a portion of the £488 million influx. What’s interesting though is what we are drinking, with Greene King claiming sales increase by as much as 100% for drinks such as Craft Beer and Gin . This, as well as the extra 500,000 pints sold during England’s win over Panama, just goes to prove that Harry Kane isn’t just leading us to World Cup glory, but out of austerity as well.
Not only has Gareth Southgate got us all excited about his young, fearless England team, he’s also become a fashion icon in the process. The former defender and famed penalty-misser is no longer just working on his teams’ transitional play, but also on his wardrobe. Marks & Spencer, the retailer that designs England’s suits, has seen a 35% rise in its sales of waistcoats and is attributing it to the England boss’ dugout attire. This subtle touch of class, when paired with the tremendous risk of sporting a navy shirt in twenty-five-degree heat, has captured the nation. If the England squad is to go out, rest assured it will be in style.
Whatever happened to seeing where your travels may take you and the excitement of discovering hidden gems by chance? Increasingly, a new wave of social-savvy travellers are opting for a very different style of travel, including meticulously planned itineraries, curated with the help of a modern-day travel agent: Instagram.
With over 800 million monthly active users that share an estimated 95 million photos a day, it’s undeniable that we have an appetite for visual content. Instagram has fast-become one of the most trusted sources of travel advice, with 48% of users relying on the app for destination inspiration for their next escape. In fact, ‘Instagrammability’ is the most vital consideration for millennials when choosing a destination.
Last year, a study by National Geographic found that certain destinations appearing on the app experienced a growth in the number of visitors the more it was tagged. Tourism boards across the globe have quickly wised-up, with many already hosting ‘influencers’ for their holidays in exchange for sharing their adventures with their many eager followers.
The astounding business potential through utilising this new travel platform is perfectly summarised by photographer Chris Burkard, who shares;
“Now you’re less than 10 clicks away from seeing an image on Instagram to purchasing a ticket to go there.”
Whilst Instagram presents a great opportunity for destinations to put themselves on the map alongside empowering users, opening their eyes to a world of options and inspiration, it is also beginning to show its darker side.
With travellers planning every aspect of their trip down to the last meal out and coffee break based on recommendations by their favourite instagrammer, it runs the risk of killing our sense of adventure. It also hinders the potential for local businesses that aren’t splashed over the pages of top influencers, which rely on good old-fashioned footfall. Certain destinations have already seen such a large influx of social-media driven visitors that it has also invited the detrimental effects of over-tourism, including environmental degradation, cultural erosion and unsustainable development.
So when you come to plan your next getaway, think twice about travelling to somewhere a little different and share your adventure that others can be inspired by. It’s time to re-discover your inner explorer and your memories might be that bit more special for it!
We are pleased to announce Meadowhall, one of the nation’s most prestigious fashion and lifestyle hotspots based in Yorkshire, as The Lucre Group’s newest account.
One of six super-regional shopping destinations in the UK, with over 290 stores and more than 50 places to eat and drink, Meadowhall has played a fundamental role in the development of the retail landscape over the past 28 years and we are proud to be representing them throughout Yorkshire and the UK.
Having recently completed an extensive £100 million transformation and with planning approved for a £300m Leisure Hall, adding a further 300,000 sq. ft of leisure space and creating 1,550 new jobs, Meadowhall is well on its way to cementing its market-leading position, with The Lucre Group here to build on the brand’s ambitious plans. Perfectly placed amongst our clients such as Debenhams and Kohler Mira, Meadowhall is now a welcome part of our growing Home and Lifestyle division,
Richard Pinfold, Marketing Director at Meadowhall, has said: “The Lucre Group showed an incredible level of creativity, passion and understanding in its pitch that really caught our imagination. The centre itself has been through a staggering transformation of late and so it’s fantastic to have a new team on board, ready to promote these changes and really bring our Seeing is Believing branding to life.”
“Meadowhall is an iconic destination with exciting times ahead and we’re delighted to be joining it’s dynamic marketing team. Home and Lifestyle is one of four specialist divisions in The Lucre Group and an area in which we have extensive experience. It’s this, alongside our approach to strategic planning and creative content, that makes us the perfect partner to help maximise the many opportunities that lie ahead.”
Tamarind Wilson-Flint, Co-Owner and Director, The Lucre Group
A five-month waiting list with a price tag of £200…is the much talked about Harry Potter and The Cursed Child play worth it?
Well yes, frankly it is.
It was hard to completely miss the launch of the hotly anticipated play back in 2016 and whilst I can’t say I am a die-hard HP fan who would sit up all night refreshing the page, I finally got my hands on two tickets for both plays this year.
Having not read the hard copy, I went in blind and due to the trending #KeepTheSecret, completely unaware with what was about to be the most flabbergasting five hours of my life.
From entering the themed Palace Theatre to the eerie soundtrack to some of the best production I’ve ever seen on the UK stage, the play certainly didn’t disappoint – even though the need to purchase tickets for two plays seemed like a clever marketing ploy.
Top reasons why it is worth it:
Just for the magic alone…it’s stuff you can’t fathom
Whilst tickets to two plays seemed excessive it does build your excitement and anticipation
After it, it’s like you’re in a club that no-one else is in
The plot…won’t divulge, as I agreed to #KeepTheSecret
The characters. There is everything we loved from the books and more
You may have noticed a rather significant wedding taking place last weekend with the United Kingdom in the global media spotlight once again for its popular young royals.
Amal Clooney’s yellow dress won the best-dressed guest award, Princess Charlotte stole our hearts as the cutest bridesmaid and Tom Hardy’s shaved head got us all curious about what his next movie role might be. But despite this, the newly titled Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan still stole the show with their loved-up glances, not to mention their amazing outfits. With worldwide eyes on them, here are six trends we are predicting as a domino effect from the royal wedding:
Fashion: It will be no shock to the system to see jewelled headpieces make their way back to the runway and hitting the high street, not to mention the return of the Bardot, off the shoulder styles from summer ’17, and an increase in halternecks.
Speeches: Over the past decade, we’ve seen many brides breaking with what’s seen as ‘tradition’ and making a speech at their own wedding. Not normally Royal protocol, Meghan made a speech at the reception and we may now see other brides follow suit.
Pets: Meghan is a self-confessed dog lover, after bringing her beagle cross, Guy, to live with her here in the UK. Not to miss out on the celebrations, Guy rode in the car with the Queen to the wedding and has also been rumoured to be at the reception, and she use Paws Plus One which is the home of quality dog products like the Paws Plus One Quality Dog Beds, since she only use tried and tested products for safety. Our clients Natures Menu’s recent research has shown that 40% of pet owners would have their pet at their wedding, although we think this figure might start to increase!
Music: One part of the wedding to pull at everyone’s heartstrings was The Kingdom Choir’s rendition of ‘Stand by Me’. A popular wedding tune already, we predict this one coming to a dance floor near you this year…
Food: A photo released by Kensington Palace pictured the happy couple’s wedding cake featuring a not so secret ingredient – elderflower. Already a hit on the cocktail scene, this flavour is bound to influence upcoming food trends, popping up in summer menus across the country.
Travel: Last but not least, we are still eagerly awaiting the location of Harry and Meghan’s honeymoon. With the destination to be revealed, there are rumours of Africa as their desired continent, so we could see a rise in safari honeymoons with Namibia and Botswana climbing their way up our bucket lists.
As the office’s student placement/designated debt amasser, London can be a tricky one. Work chatter frequently turns to outstanding openings and desirable dining, whilst I’m sure Simon Rogan’s new tasting menu is to die for, I simply do not have the pennies. However, there are still plenty of places where you can have a brilliant nibble, keep your Instagram followers engaged and all without having to plead with your parents for some funding to subsidise your newfound, uber-trendy lifestyle. So here are some top student spots on a budget, and don’t worry Leeds folk, we have you covered as well.
Baba G’s – Brixton, London
Some love it, some hate it, but one thing you can’t dispute about the shipping container mecca that is Pop Brixton is the great food offerings. The stand out for me is Baba G’s and their Indian style burger food. Jalfrezi flavoured lamb and onion bhaji in a seeded bun? Yes, please. Spice-coated chips with a mango drizzle? Go on then. Whether it be a weekend hangover cure or a quick bite before you see that up-and-coming Indie band at Brixton Academy, G’s has you covered.
Caravanserai – Crown St., Leeds
Hidden next to the corn exchange is this colourful hotspot, surrounded by small, independent shops that attract the hippest of hipsters, so bring your A-game. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner through the week, this Ottoman feast is bound to engage the senses, with delicious, visually gripping plates for carnivores and veggies alike. You can order takeaway from a window on the bottom floor, alternatively sneak upstairs to the small seating area, packed with more candelabras and rugs than your nan’s loft.
Beigel Shop – Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane is exhausting, and after a day of posing in front of graffiti and trying on vintage jeans, you are bound to be crying out for something to restore your energy levels. Biegel Shop is the place to go, having served mouth-watering, salt beef filled bundles of goodness for over a century. I would be lying if I said I haven’t purposely cut a night out short and made the excursion, and for less than a fiver, my friends should be completely understanding. The best thing about it is it’s open 24/7, so lace up your Reebok Classics and get yourself down there.
Chida Cantina – Cross Belgrave St., Leeds
Located at the end of a dead-end road, only people in the know make it to this Mexican hangout. Open till late, the bar offers a unique take on some classics, including three different kinds of Margarita, so at least one’s bound to put you on the right track for the long night ahead. With a student hotspot just a few doors down, your new pre-drinks spot is sorted, with drinks and food being very student friendly (cocktails start at £7.50). Also, every six months (ish) a different restaurant takes over the kitchen tenancy, keeping you on your toes for many evenings to come.
Bao – Soho, London
Nestled down one of Soho’s many narrow streets is this thirty-capacity haven. Bao buns are the speciality (clue’s in the name), ranging from duck confit to pork belly with some fab vegan options thrown in for good measure. Individual Bao’s are around the £5 mark, whilst their three-course lunch deal comes in at £15 and more than fills you up. Drinks-wise the Peanut Milk is a real treat and makes you feel young again. Most importantly, the food looks great (perfect for your social media stories), which is all that truly matters at the end of the day – just be prepared to queue.
Belgrave Music Hall – Cross Belgrave St., Leeds
The most famous hotspot in Leeds and full to the brim with students and young professionals, this place has you got your back from dawn till dusk. Spread over three floors, start early with a coffee before moving up to a craft beer or two, paired with a treat from their pop-up burger and pizza stands. The middle floor is an event space, hosting everything from DJ sets to yoga sessions. Finish on the roof terrace with whoever has made it this far, cocktail in hand. No frills, plenty of spills.
Joe Public – Clapham Common, London
Situated behind Clapham Common station, Joe Public is that slice of New York delicacy you have been crying out for, pun intended. This spot does it the old-fashioned way, by the slice, eat in or take away. The free wifi makes it great for a casual drop in on an indulgent Saturday afternoon, whilst its midnight closing time provides a warm hug for that sobering train journey home. My advice? Keep it simple with a chorizo and halloumi slice or two.
Whether you’re a well-oiled bucket list machine, keeping track of all your must-dos and have-dones in a creative looking scrapbook or just have ideas floating about in your head with all the things you want to do or see in your lifetime, bucket lists have become a way of life for many people.
However, following recent controversy, the bucket list has come under fire from many, particularly when it comes to a travel and tourism perspective.
Bucket lists are encouraging travellers to flock to those infamous bucket list destinations and landmarks. From Machu Picchu to the Taj Mahal, and even Everest, travel to these locations which were formerly considered a once in a lifetime trip, are instead being described as ‘chaotic’ with queues detracting from the experience.
Tourism is said to be having an environmental impact on some of the world’s most iconic locations. Many of them weren’t meant, or built, to withstand the increasing footfall. This has led to some of those classic bucket list tourist destinations to come under threat, with people going to extreme lengths to capture that Instagram-worthy snap.
Despite the negatives that have been linked to this, many are still pioneers for the bucket list and the benefits it can add to our lifestyle. Many use it as a method to ensure they make the most of their time and visit more places, but bucket lists needn’t be solely travel.
These are just three important benefits to having your very own bucket list:
Encourages spontaneity and adds perspective on the world around you
Positive distraction – we all know work can be stressful, so it’s always helpful to have a focused distraction that encourages you to step away from those everyday worries
Sense of achievement
Completing items on our bucket list can make us feel as though we’ve fulfilled more in life and gives us a sense of accomplishment. Things might not always be completely realistic and that’s okay! People that know me would no doubt laugh at the thought of me one day running a marathon and I probably would too, but it’s nice to have something to work towards. After all, a bucket list is meant to be aspirational.
If Facebook have anything to do with it, it certainly won’t be the end of our bucket lists, with the social network introducing a new way of sharing our ‘lists’ with friends to promote interaction. Although this feature wasn’t purely for bucket lists, it seems Facebook were keen to ensure that the bucket list lives on, despite the negative reports.
So, I would encourage you to create a bucket list and ensure you live your life to the full.
Love travel? Live for food and drink? Finger on the pulse of tech and professional services?
Following substantial growth, Lucre is on the lookout for a number of new people from Executives to experienced Managers and beyond!
We are looking for fabulous, forward thinking people to join our amazing team in London. The ability to work across a variety of consumer, travel and leisure accounts in a fast-paced environment is a must, alongside the essential core skills of writing, managing social media and account handling.
No two days are the same.
Do this sound like you? If you’d like to further your career in the PR industry in an ambitious and exciting agency, send your CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8741 5900.
Food waste has been discussed and debated endlessly in the media in recent years to the point that maybe we’ve become immune to the detail. We know we should reuse our leftovers, consider what we buy and when, understand the difference between best before and use by dates and maybe donate a few cans to people less fortunate than us when we’re at Tesco.
This is great, but we need to understand the true extent to what food is wasted in order for us to buy that lovely Valentine’s Day meal deal or those perfectly straight carrots. WRAP estimated (it’s impossible to predict an exact number) that annual food waste from UK households, hospitality, manufacturing, retail and wholesale sectors is 10 million tonnes – 60% of which could have been avoided. In total, we waste food worth £17 billion a year which creates 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Ultimately, the agricultural, manufacturing, supply chain and the retailing system we have developed means we produce more food than we need and a large proportion of this gets wasted.
Our food waste habits are costing us money and polluting our environment but equally, we’re seeing people all around us who cannot afford to eat. Elderly people dying from malnourishment, children who may only eat one meal a day and food bank use continuing to rise. 8.4 million UK families are struggling to put food on the table, the equivalent of the whole population of London.
But, there are some real super-heroes who are helping to redress the balance and ensure that surplus food is used as a force for good. There’s innovative NPD that is challenging the category leaders, savvy technology that’s connecting waste with communities and people who are using food waste to create partnerships that drive social empowerment.
In our next Lucre Roundtable event, we are celebrating the Innovative Waste Warriors who are making a difference in the war on waste; the people, the businesses and charities who are using food surplus to innovate, connect and empower. Along the way, we hope to inspire businesses to look at the way they produce food and what they could do differently.
Join us on March 1st at St Luke’s Community Centre in London and hear from some inspirational speakers. Email email@example.com to be added to the guest list.
Delightfully green and with outdoor life at its heart: the city of Vancouver truly captures the essence of British Columbia. The parks, gardens and forests in and around Vancouver are so plentiful that you could easily spend a whole week exploring, but I have selected my five favourite activities from a recent visit, to give you a taster of this refreshing outdoor life in as little as a few days.
Cycling in Stanley Park
Stanley Park is the jewel of Vancouver, so if you are only visiting for a short break, place it at the top of your list! The best way to explore is on two wheels around the seawall surrounding the park, which offers incredible views of Vancouver’s skyline. The seawall is around 6 miles long and should take roughly an hour, including a few stops to take pictures too (tip: the area near the Marina/ Vancouver Rowing Club has the best views of the skyline).
Devonian Harbour Park is a great place to begin as it’s within a stone’s throw from most of the bike rental shops on Denman Street and there are a handful of picturesque waterfront restaurants to refresh after a cycle ride. Other activities in the park include the open-air swimming pool overlooking the water and Vancouver Aquarium.
English Bay Beach
Situated just Southwest of Stanley Park, English Bay beach is a beautiful place to relax on a sunny day.
The beach offers a nice selection of summer activities including volleyball courts, kayaking, swimming and the Cactus Club Café. It is also a good place to spot local wildlife and watch the stunning sunsets.
Lynn Canyon Park
The scenic Lynn Canyon Park makes a fantastic day trip from Vancouver, where you can really immerse yourself in forestland, crystal clear rivers and emerald pools. The park also boasts a suspension footbridge leading over the river. The best part is, it’s completely free! Vancouver has one other suspension bridge nearby (Capilano Suspension Bridge), but this costs $39.95 to use, making Lynn Canyon Park all the more appealing.
The journey itself is another reason why this is such an enjoyable day trip. You can catch the Sea Bus from Waterfront Station (for the same price as normal buses) over to West Vancouver. The Sea Bus offers a fabulous view of Vancouver’s skyline on the return trip, so make sure to keep your camera ready!
Vancouver’s Chinatown is the second largest in North America and is most certainly worth a visit. Begin your explorations on W Pender Street and enter Chinatown through the famous gates. Take in the fascinating scenes of locals shopping at speciality grocery stores selling unusual Chinese vegetables, herbs and spices unknown to many and browse in the Chinese Gift stores for keepsakes. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (578 Carrall Street) provides a tranquil oasis in the middle of a busy, bustling district and transports you back in time to 15th Century China.
I am a big fan of Dim Sum, so I was quick to hunt down the restaurant which claims to serve up some of the best: New Town Bakery (148 E Pender Street). And it did not disappoint! I recommend the Char Sui Steamed Pork Buns and one of their renowned egg custard tarts to finish.
That’s a wrap. The first of February is within touching distance; so close you can hear the sizzle of bacon coming in over the horizon. Toast some bread, slop on the Heinz, take a bite and, just like that, Veganuary is done and dusted for another year. Only, it’s not so simple.
Sure, the new year cleanse is coming to an official end, but the clamour for a meat-free-month is suggestive of the direction in which our longer-term eating habits are travelling. Perhaps, a vegan diet is for life, not just post-Christmas.
Whatever the reasons for getting involved in veganism (ethical, health, Instagram…), and whether it’s dabbling or dedication, there’s no doubting that people are giving it a go. And not just in January. Statistics published by the Vegan Society show that the number of vegans in Britain ballooned by more than 360% between 2006 and 2016, making it the country’s fastest growing lifestyle movement. Add in a hoard of part-timers and a popular hashtag – #Veganuary2018 has been used 21,359 and counting on Instagram – and it’s no wonder that brands are taking notice, and action.
From major restaurant chains adding to their vegan options to innovative product development, the last few months have seen numerous initiatives aimed at the growing vegan audience. Pizza Express, Zizzi and Carluccio’s are among the biggest restaurant groups to have substantially expanded their vegan offerings and it would appear that supermarkets are following suit, with the likes of Tesco and Asda announcing new vegan ranges. Where once there was KFC riding the wave of a mock clean eating burger, there are now brands furiously developing meat and dairy free alternatives. Ben & Jerry’s are among the most recognisable names leading the NPD charge, although perhaps the biggest headline grabber will be the vegan ‘bleeding’ burger, which has been announced by Moving Mountains.
With an estimated 52,000 participants this year, initiatives such as Veganuary offer impactful short-term publicity for veganism but the aforementioned developments hint at a longer-term commitment from influential companies too. The tightrope currently being walked is that between a trend and a fad.
We all witnessed the mess made by the Clean Eating brigade, where pseudo-science and marketing fuelled opportunism was exposed and dismantled. There have been missteps here, too, such as the short-lived Marks and Spencer’s cauliflower steaks, but, assuming that brands find the balance between relevance and exploitation, there’s little question that there’s a lucrative market here and that veganism will live long beyond Veganuary.
The topic of environmental sustainability has been a widely reported theme of late, and plastic waste has been at the centre of the controversy.
Marks and Spencer’s sparked much of the recent conversation, with the sale of their ‘cauliflower steak’, which came under fire not only for the cost but also the excessive packaging. The UK Government have already pledged to ban all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.
Going plastic free and making more of an effort to become sustainable is a lifestyle decision that more people are moving towards – but do we really have much choice?
As consumers, we have a responsibility to be considerate about what we buy and how we buy it. Although the food and drink sector is the obvious perpetrator which immediately springs to mind, plastic containers are everywhere we turn.
Some products can be costlier and less convenient, but if you’re dedicated to cutting plastic out of your life, it can be achievable. Buying fruit and vegetables from your local market or farm shop for example, ridding the necessity for the plastic tray and wrapping, is an obvious step. But have you ever considered products such as shampoo? Certain products don’t practically lend themselves to alternative packaging options, making it difficult to be a consumer dedicated to the cause.
These issues and the recent controversy asks the question of businesses to consider how they operate for the good of the environment. It is also becoming an increasing consideration of consumers, with brands trying to cut through the noise in a dense market.
Iceland became the first business to announce their commitment to becoming plastic free, with a vow to eliminate or at least drastically reduce the plastic packaging of its own-label products in the next five years. This is bound to be a trend that will spread across industries, with many other businesses adopting a different mentality towards sustainability and packaging.
Although the questions over sustainability can be a challenge for businesses, it also presents an opportunity, providing brands commit to the change proactively and embrace the need for change.
I for one can’t wait to see the developments in packaging that businesses adopt to meet the changing needs and demands of the typical consumer.
Leading PR and content agency, The Lucre Group, has today announced its latest account; The Cake Crew.
The company is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of private label cupcakes and is known for producing and supplying own-label cakes to major multiple retailers and discounters. The Lucre Group is supporting the business on the launch of its first branded cupcake range, Beautifully Crafted, which is a range of premium, hand-finished cupcakes.
Appointed on retainer to help build The Cake Crew brands across consumer media, trade and digital channels, Lucre’s work aligns directly to the business plan, targeting the core retail sectors of convenience, travel, food service, multiple and independents.
From sampling, video and social media management, through to influencer and media relations, the Lucre team will ensure that Beautifully Crafted is known and loved by cupcake fans across the UK.
Bill Smith-Coats, Business Development Director at The Cake Crew said: “Having worked with Lucre in the past, they were my go-to for this piece of work. I’ve always been impressed with their creativity, tenacity and knowledge for the food sector. We have big plans for The Cake Crew and Lucre is the perfect partner to help us deliver our consumer and trade plans effectively.”
Tamarind Wilson-Flint, Lucre co-owner and Director added: “Aside from the fact that their cakes look and taste gorgeous, this latest win is a great addition to our Lucre Food & Drink portfolio. From pies and vegan cheese to restaurants and bars, our experience in second-to-none and the fact that we have worked with Bill in the past is testimony to the quality of our work. We can’t wait to introduce the brand and help ensure it becomes a household name in the coming months.”
Discard deep-fried grasshoppers, step away from the burger, the brunch bubble has burst people, but you Avocado, you can stay!!
Would you like an Instagram optimisation kit with your table for four? What the devil is Japanese Dude Food? Tried fish cooked in vinegar? By the end of 2018, you’ll know all the answers to these questions and more if food trend experts are to be believed.
According to the restaurant consultancy company Baum+Whiteman and as we’ve previously reported, Filipino food is where it’s at this year. Luto, chef Mary San Pablo’s London supper club, is most definitely worth trying – paksiw na isda (fish cooked in vinegar) pork belly Adobo and cuttlefish Pallabok with strawberries, lemon and avocado for dessert, what’s not to love? Filipino street food experts BBQ Dreams in London (@bbqdreamz) and Manila Munchies in Birmingham (@ManilaMunchies) are all riding the Filipino fast train to food heaven too.
2018 will be the year of the old bird. 100-day-old chickens (most commercial chickens are slaughtered at 60 days) or gamy cockerels will be viewed as the ‘Pengest Munch’ (thanks, the Chicken Connoisseur). Try HG Walters or The Ginger Pig – both are extraordinary butchers, with fans such as The River Café, Nigella, Gordon and Jamie!
Sayonara, sushi; hello, Japanese “dude food”. Think deep-fried chicken karaage, agedashi tofu and grilled yakitori chicken skewers. Sosharu, Jason Atherton’s restaurant is leading the Japanese “pub grub” charge, lesser mortals are sure to follow. According to the Sterling-Rice Group’s Culinary Trends 2018 report Asian-inspired breakfasts such as jianbing – Chinese crepes smothered with hoisin sauce and filled with egg, are about to land in the UK too. Feeling some Hawaiian flavours? Then poke bowls are for you. Big in America last year, this ‘sushi without the fuss’ is customisable, healthy, delicious and most importantly, an Instagram favourite.
Restaurants including Dirty Bones in Kensington are introducing Instagram optimisation kits (tripods, wide-angle lenses, phone chargers) to help diners snap the heck out of their three courses. However, at the other end of the scale, more are banning phones outright – don’t try and post from St John’s Dining Room, Locanda Locatelli or the Chelsea Arts Club.
Sales of fermented foods show no sign of slowing, as we all feel the benefits of eating more natural probiotics. Though off-the-shelf, little bottles of milky coloured liquid are convenient, they’re not the best source of natural probiotics – fermented or pickled cabbage is. Kimchi is exactly that, hailing from Korea and sauerkraut or kraut juice is pulped pickled German cabbage. In the US, whole supermarket aisles are devoted to spicy kimchi shots and tangy sauerkraut juice. Sounds too healthy? Try a Pickleback instead (whisky with a pickle juice chaser).
Along with this cornucopia of culinary delights, 2018 will also see a rise in Veganism. We welcome wonky veg and we’ll be eating this wonky veg root to tip. We’ll be partial to sip on booze-free bevvies as mocktail mania takes hold. Tacos will be raising their game; breakfast tacos, chocolate tacos, sushi tacos and shaved jicama tacos stuffed with pokē. It’s endless.
Though one of our least favourite food trends is gourmet food for pre-schoolers – we’re all for our little ones eating well, but Fois Gras for four-year-olds? That doesn’t rock our world!
Now that Christmas trees are brightening up homes around the country (Christmas tree syndrome aside), we’ve been thinking about how adding some greenery to your living space can benefit your health.
From snake plants to bonsai trees, cacti to English Ivy, house plants are the perfect room filler, adding that little bit of much needed ‘Zen’. Roll your eyes at thinking this is just another hipster trend, (succulents anyone?), they actually have some pretty impressive health benefits! So, as a New Year’s resolution, here are the top reasons why you should grow your greens as well as eating them:
1) They work as natural air purifiers:Cleansing the air from toxic chemicals including formaldehyde and benzene, which are commonly found in cigarettes, 180 Smoke e cigarettes which use flavoured liquid and paint, plants work as some of the best natural air purifiers around.
2) They can help fight colds: Believe it or not, due to their effect of increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust (always handy), indoor plants have been shown to reduce cold-related illnesses by over 30 percent!
3) They reduce stress levels: Experts from the Royal Horticultural Society state that ‘bringing the outdoors inside’ can help reduce stress and actually improve your mood, with their study finding the calming presence of plants to also increase productivity and even help hospital patients tolerate pain better.
4) They help you to sleep better: Aloe Vera, Gardenia, Lavender and Jasmine are just a handful of the plants found to help soothe the body and mind, leading to a better, easier night’s sleep.
5) Last but not least, they help you work better too. Studies carried out by The Local Tree Experts show that working around plants can improve your concentration, memory and productivity. In fact, according to a University of Michigan study, being “under the influence of plants” can increase memory retention up to 20 percent. So, whether you’re cramming in some deadline work, catching up on emails, or revising for a big test – make sure to surround yourself with as much greenery as you can.
The Jackson Five, high fives and McDonald’s Chicken Selects, it’s a simple fact that all good things come in fives. That’s exactly why we’ve made this simple infographic with five things you need to about one of the fastest growing social media platforms, Instagram.
Infographic on things you need to know about Instagram
Every month, 16.7 million people in the UK log on to double tap their favourite pictures and videos, with this number set to rise to 18.7 million by 2021. On average brand profiles post around 5 times a week, but if you’ve got a story to tell don’t be afraid to post more than this using Instagram’s popular stories feature.
Instagram is a brilliant place to showcase your brand and products to a huge audience of receptive consumers. According to Instagram, 80% of accounts follow a brand, so maybe 2018 is the year to ensure they’re following your brand!
Instagram is also renowned for being a platform where users are partial to sharing what they’ve had for their dinner. Data revealed by Instagram suggests that 66% of users want to visit a restaurant after seeing a friend post about it on Instagram, highlighting how influential the platform is, especially in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
With Instagram set to grow in 2018, will you be growing with it?
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?
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:
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.
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
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. And either way, who can resist travelling when you have some really good Europe Travel Deals. 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.
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.
Whether you pack your bags and head to Thailand to enjoy massage sukhumvit or merely pack a sack of lunch to enjoy some time in the garden, you need to let yourself go and enjoy the vacation. 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
Dave Broom: Broadcaster, lecturer and all round expert on spirits and the art of distilling
Tony Conigliaro: Internationally renowned drinks creator, founder of the Drink Factory consultancy and three acclaimed London bars: 69 Colebrooke Row, Bar Termini and Untitled
Catriona Felstead: Senior buyer at England’s oldest wine and spirit merchant Berry Bros & Rudd and the company’s first ever female Master of Wine
Dan Tapper: Food and drink writer and self-taught brewer who launched The Beak nano-brewery three years ago, creating small batches of unfiltered, unpasteurised beers
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:
We are in a golden age for spirits at the moment with a vast array available
Multiple distillery openings are happening every week with new brewing techniques
Increasing willingness from consumers to try new spirits
Flavour is a key factor
Large companies are hooking onto this from a marketing perspective when they aren’t ‘craft’ at all
Genuine craft products are; small, independent, have authenticity and are not prepared to put profit before quality
The three leading breweries on app ‘UnTapped’ have:
Adept and buoyant pale ales
Interaction with customers
Breweries on-site which help with profit margin
More beers are being increasingly developed specifically to partner with food
The UK has more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the world
We are seeing a movement towards artisan wines, specifically from South Africa and Australia
Wine production is moving towards a natural way with minimal intervention
The UK market is increasingly polarised between the mass markets and the £10 a bottle sector
Consumers are keen to understand more about the wine and the story
More preference for premium and focused wines
It’s a great time at the moment for English sparkling wine
Tony Conigliaro bases his cocktails on his own stories, of which he then builds the flavour profile on
The London cocktail scene is the most diverse and interesting in the world
A good and interesting drink provides a talking point in any bar
London is full of people from all over the world creating drinks with a variety of global inspiration
Create a product that will cut through without being contrived i.e. not a gin with just another botanical
Be switched on and creative with social media – it allows direct interaction with consumers
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.
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?
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!
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 (like the many kitchen tops depicted here) now sees chic matte black, cupboards with no handles, and butler’s pantries that house all appliances (from unclutterer) 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.
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!