CTH Connections Newsletter – March 2016

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Welcome to the CTH March Newsletter

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We are already three months into 2016 and an exciting year is unfolding worldwide with lots of new tastes and innovations emerging. Just take a look at our article on future food trends! Here at CTH we have had the pleasure of having an intern from Germany working with us for the last three months. Gresa has been a star team member and has even penned an article for the newsletter telling us about great things to do if visiting her home country this year. Look out for it below.

And for those of you studying for a hospitality qualification do make a point of reading the fascinating article about hotel security. It is fast becoming a big issue in these days of global unrest and is a key strategic consideration in modern hotel management. Lastly, we are always interested in your feedback so do feel free to place any comments about the Newsletter on the chat section of CTH Members. Happy reading!

Food for the Future: Trends of 2016

Move over coconut oil, because Pinterest has released a list of the food and drink trends they predict will be big news for 2016 – and avocado oil has taken the top spot.

The site has forecast ten trends we’re all supposedly going to be “inspired by, crushing over and adding to our ‘life goals’ next year”.

The list has been compiled based on the pinning habits of 100 million people worldwide and includes pour-over coffee, beer cocktails and more.

1. Avocado Oil

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Avocado oil has been touted as the new coconut oil for 2016. The oil comes from the green fleshy part of an avocado after it has been pressed.

“Avocado oil, like avocado, is high in ‘heart healthy’ fats such as monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to maintain healthy blood cholesterol,” said Charlotte Sterling-Reed from SR Nutrition.

“The oil also contains polyunsaturated fats too, which have numerous health benefits.

“On top of all this, avocados and avocado oil contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E, and also are packed with minerals.”

The oil is versatile and can be used in many ways, for example: to cook food in; to spread on bagels or toast; to season and marinate food; to add to shampoo to boost hair health and to apply to skin as an alternative face mask.

2. Distilling Your Own Alcohol

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Forget BYOB (bring your own booze) it’s all about DYOB according to Pinterest.

The social bookmarking site has noticed a spike in the trend for distilling booze at home – whether that’s homemade sloe gin (the perfect gift idea) or infused vodka.

3. Homemade Oils And Salad Dressings

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Following in the footsteps of DIY booze are DIY oils (and salad dressings). Again, these homemade specialities make great gifts. They’re also super tasty and you know exactly what ingredients have gone into them.

4. Traditionally Sweet Foods With A Savoury Twist

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Sweet favourites such as pancakes and french toast have been given a savoury twist by many amateur chefs and people absolutely love it.

Try this savoury parmesan french toast with hollandaise sauce recipe if you’re not convinced.

5. Pour-Over Coffee

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A lot of coffee snobs will already know about the wonders of pour-over coffee. But for those who don’t, listen up.

Pour-over coffee involves putting (freshly) ground coffee in a filter and then pouring water over and through the grounds of coffee into a cup. Apparently it results in a far better quality cup of coffee.

Find out more about it here.

6. Snack And Bento Boxes

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The Bento box craze, which began in Japan, is making its way across the globe as more and more people are opting for small snack-like meals throughout the day rather than one big lunch.

Some parents have taken the trend one step further and started making lunches into fun cartoon shapes to encourage their children to eat healthy.

Not sure how to go about it? Take inspiration from this.

7. A Gourmet Take On Traditional Cultural Cuisine

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Spaghetti bolognese, curry, shepherd’s pie – it all tastes great, but it also gets a bit boring after the gazillionth time of eating it.

That is why there’s now a global passion for cooking traditional cultural cuisine, but with a gourmet twist.

Try this gourmet kosher recipe, if you don’t believe how great it is.

8. Homebrew Beer

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Love beer? Well you can make it at home and it’s a hobby that’s becoming increasingly popular.

Try this tutorial if you’re intrigued (and thirsty).

9. Beer Cocktails

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Forget having a pint at the pub, traditional cocktails have been given a beery twist.

To make a Beermosa (that’s like a mimosa, but with beer) at home, mix 8oz of beer in a glass with 4oz of orange juice. Garnish with a snazzy orange wedge and you’re good to go.

10. Swapping Carbs For Veggies

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From courgette spaghetti to cauliflower rice, swapping traditional carbs such as pasta and rice with vegetables makes for a healthier dinner – and more and more people are jumping on board with the idea.

Published on huffingtonpost.co.uk/

Work and Learn

By Ulpa Chauhan

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As most of you wonderful readers know, I do go on a bit about travelling and learning. But as I always also say, it doesn’t just happen in the classroom.

Opportunities to learn come in many different forms and don’t just stop when you leave College or University. So yes, I do talk about travelling and experiencing other cultures and traditions to widen our view of the world, but I also want to emphasise how much we learn when we go into employment. Yes, we learn a new job and the ins and outs of it, but there are many employers out there willing to invest in their people to help them grow as individuals too.

Employers also look for applicant’s experiences and a recent TED talk by Regina Hartley called ‘Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume’ highlights that there is no right or wrong way to get into employment. Two people could have very different resumes but both be capable of doing the job.

Many employers are very good at investing the time and effort into encouraging their staff’s personal development. I recently had the opportunity to meet with the great team at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) who have created a bespoke programme for all their first time leaders who manage a team. The programme, which works alongside the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH), gives the qualification merit and a five-star level of excellence. Rolled out globally the programme proves that different traditions and cultures enhance the learning and IHG embraces this within the programme and throughout.

Another company, Roundtable Global, not only invest in their staff but work with companies around the globe to invest in their people and future proof their world. Their expertise lies in empowering and unlocking potential, inspiring innovation to future proof and creating sustainable culture change and transformation. They are taking the corporate world by storm as they innovate and energise towards authentic leadership. Tiffany Kelly one of the co-founders says ‘The most innovative and creative cultures I have worked with during my time as a global consultant have been those that encourage their staff to continuously learn and develop. These are cultures where mentors and managers are delighted when their team have aspirations to someday succeed and progress beyond them. More importantly, these are cultures that seek to discover and unlock passion and talent in their people over and above job descriptions.’

So does this mean that we shouldn’t go down the education route? Of course not. What it does highlight is that we keep learning, at all opportunities and at all moments in our lives.

Hoteliers must be subtle in marketing security

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Experts share ways hoteliers can market the security of their hotels to guests.

By Bryan Wroten

Travel always carries some degree of security risk, so when guests look to book a hotel where there have been terrorist attacks or some other acts of violence, they need to know they’ll feel safe during their stay. Hoteliers can convey this feeling of safety without highlighting the issues that cause travelers to seek additional security.

Security is something that always comes up as a top reason for choosing a hotel, according to Steve Cohen, VP of research and insights for marketing firm MMGY Global. Guests want that sense of safety when they’re there, he said, down to the deadbolt lock on their door. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best to draw too much attention to a hotel’s security efforts.

“You want to have it, but you don’t want to make it so prevalent,” he said.

Security is something that never drives guest satisfaction—until there isn’t any, he said. Then it becomes the No. 1 driver of dissatisfaction.

Taking a subtle approach

The most important thing not to do is send out news releases talking about a hotel’s safety and security measures, said Karen Weiner Escalera, president and chief strategist for KWE Partners. All that serves to do is remind people or alert them to the fact there are issues, she said.

“For people who might otherwise not have known, it could serve to alarm them, which is the opposite of what a hotel would want to achieve,” she said.

Instead of creating a news release or email blast, hoteliers should prepare a statement to use if guests or potential guests contact the hotel with questions, she said.

“The goal is not to broadcast but be ready with a statement if and when there are inquiries,” she said.

In a recent project for a resort group in Mexico, Escalera said her team prepared a letter to send to tour operators and agents to inform people asking about what the property was doing to eradicate mosquitos on the grounds to prevent spread of the Zika virus. There was also a version of the letter for the sales center and contact centers, she said.

Along with explaining the resort’s efforts, Escalera said, it also explained specifically there were no reported problems at the destination.

“It’s also extremely important to advise everyone in the sales and marketing team to advise people internally of what the statement is,” she said. “Internal communication is critical. That’s where you’re proactive: internally.”

A more visible presence

If there has been some act of violence in the past, Cohen said, it’s good to have a visible show of security. Guests want to know there are people there taking care of them, and they want a uniform presence of staff they know is properly trained. If something happened in the area but not necessarily at the hotel, he said, the uniform presence is still nice to have but not necessarily a must have.

Similarly, the hotel’s website could show images of a security presence, Cohen said. It wouldn’t have to be someone standing on guard with a rifle, he said, just something to give a sense that there’s someone at the front door of the hotel.

Having guests leave comments on the hotel website about the security and how they felt safe would be helpful as well, he said.

“People will trust other people who have been there over hotel management,” Cohen said.

Showing some strength

There are higher risk areas of the world that face different kinds of threats, according to Anthony Roman, president of Roman & Associates, a global investigation and risk management firm.

“The risks you face can vary from extreme crime to narcoterrorism to extremist ideological terror,” he said. “Each risk has its own unique fingerprint, its own unique method of operation. This requires that hotels respond accordingly.”

In recent years, hotels have started to address security more openly in terms of a secondary form of advertising to their client base, Roman said. Safety and security can be good for the brand and for marketing, he said.

“There used to be a philosophy in hotels (that) blending security in so it’s not visible was the best course,” he said. “I do see that changing as well. Security is becoming more visible, somewhat more robust.”

A good marketing department and advertising agency can find the balance by talking about corporate security plans for their site in broad spectrum terms while conveying the message that security is integrated with risk management, with the hotel staff in ongoing training, partnerships with local police and law enforcement agencies and the latest technology, Roman said. It shows the hotel is doing all it can to make the property as safe and comfortable as possible for families and business travelers.

“I don’t think what has happened in the world, with the increasing evolution of third-party crime and terror, can be ignored anymore for the customer base,” he said.

Published on hotelnewsnow.com

Eight Adventurous Spots around the World

One of the many reasons why people travel is the challenge it poses. Diving into shark-infested waters, climbing the towering peaks or trekking through dense jungles – they all jolt adventure travelers to life. As my blood rushes with every adventure, I am reminded of the meaning of travel. Once again, based on my own experience and observations, here’s my round-up of 8 adventures and where best to do them.

1. Mountain Trekking – Nepal

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Home to the highest peak in the world, Nepal is the playground for climbers and trekkers interested in pushing themselves to the limit. There are numerous trekking routes to explore the Himalayas – the most popular being the Annapurna Base Camp Trail. Many find themselves tested both physically and mentally, returning home with a fulfilled sense of accomplishment.

2. Hiking through the Amazon Jungle – Ecuador

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Few places in the world offer such raw adventure: trudging through the thick foliage of the Amazon in the sultry heat and stumbling upon wildlife and primitive tribes give modern-day travelers a taste of jungle life. Definitely the highlight of our trip through South America, a multi-day jungle trek brings you close to nature and back to basics.

3. White-water Rafting – New Zealand

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New Zealand has always been known as adventure travelers’ stomping ground. Queenstown, famed for the variety of heart-pumping activities, promises some of the best white-water rafting opportunities in the world. From Kawarau River for the beginners, to Shotover River suitable for the experts, there is something for every rafting enthusiast. Rapids range from Class II to V.

4. Skydiving – Florida, USA

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There is no other extreme sport that is more jaw-dropping or adrenaline-pumping than jumping off a plane, at an elevation of 1500 feet. There are over thousands of skydiving spots around the world, but many claim skydiving in Sebastian, Florida as one of the most scenic. The dropzone is situated directly on the east coast of Florida, offering a freefall over the beautiful Sebastian Inlet and Atlantic Ocean. Anyone can do it – no physical fitness required!

5. Scuba Diving – Australia

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The world’s biggest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, has an amazing diversity of marine life never seen anywhere else– from huge barracudas, to schools of reef sharks and the famous green turtles. This dive mecca has always been on the top of many scuba enthusiasts’ bucket list.

5. Sand boarding – South Africa

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Just 40 minutes away from Cape Town stands the majestic Atlantis Dunes, attracting professionals and amateurs around the world. Its pure white dunes are extremely popular thanks to the perfect sand boarding conditions and the magnificent view of the city and its surroundings. Its gentle slopes make it an excellent spot for beginners.

6. Caving and jungle adventures – Borneo

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Borneo is the Asian epicenter of adventure travel, drawing in travelers with the opportunities to do caving, wildlife watching and many other activities. The deep cave systems of Gunung Mulu National Park are some of the best systems to do caving: remember to explore the enticing Lang Cave and Clearwater cave. Outdoor enthusiasts will love to explore the surrounding jungle or climb the Mount Kinabalu peak.

7. Sea Kayaking – Thailand

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Southern Thailand, specifically around Koh Phangan, offers out-of-this-world kayaking experiences, suitable for both first-time paddlers and the serious marine explorer. Unique and remote limestone islands sprout from the sea, making kayaking through the inlets an exploration on its own. Many of these isolated islands feature dramatic sea caves and sheltered, pristine beaches that can only be reached by kayaks.

8. Rock Climbing – Jordan

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The eerie desert of Wadi Rum – with its psychedelic rock formations and vast wilderness – provides some of the best terrains for rock-climbing.

There are several routes, with the longest and toughest being the Towering Inferno. Combine a climbing trip in Jordan with a camping trip with the Bedouins – guarantee to lure you deep into the desert’s soul.

Published on wildjunket.com

What you cannot miss in Germany during 2016

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If you are thinking about how best to spend time in Germany in 2016 these are the top spots and events you simply cannot miss:

This year is a very special year for Germany. It is celebrating a half-millennium of producing the purest beer caused (or rather imposed!) by the beer purity law set over 500 years ago (whereby only hops, malt, water and yeast were permitted to be added in the brewing process). In the heart of Munich, Germany celebrates with the huge Beer Festival (22nd -24th July) that features 100 Bavarian breweries and receives over 100,000 visitors from all over the world. Everyone who holds good beer in high esteem should make a point of visiting this amazing festival.

If you prefer something more leisurely do not miss the World International Movie Festival in Berlin (20th – 26th May) with great movie premieres and elegant ambience with celebrities guaranteed!

For all of you guys who are interested in German history make sure you’re on the Brewers Berlin Tour. It’s a fabulous tour that encompasses everything you need to know about the city (World War 2 / Imperial Berlin / Cold War / Modern Berlin / Jewish Berlin). Pioneered by our founding father, Terry Brewer, this full-day circuit is the city’s most comprehensive walking tour.

And do try to be around when its Karneval time! The Carnival (Karneval) is one the most celebrated events in Germany. It is a time of wild celebrations especially in the western part of Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate where there are parades and costume balls with hand-made costumes and pranks of all sorts! The carnival starts officially before Christmas on the 11th of the 11th month at 11:11am with the official meeting of the “Council of Eleven” (Elferrat), a German tradition dating from 1823.The members of this council wear fool’s caps as their official headgear. The council also organizes shows called Prunksitzung with club members and invited guests performing dance, comedy and songs, all dressed in costumes of course!

Article by Gresa Rugova, CTH Intern – February 2016.

The Best Travel Must-Haves GET-GETS for 2016

Each year, we see an array of weird and wonderful travel accessories making their way onto the market, as well as a few gems. Anything that makes travel that little bit easier is fine by me – here are our top picks for the travel must-haves of 2016.

Polaroid digital camera

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Forget Instagram – there’s nothing like the old-school charm of printing off hard copies of your selfies (and then Instagramming them). Polaroid’s latest camera does just that, saving your snaps both in a digital format as well as letting you print them off straight away (and of course, shaking it like a Polaroid picture).

Prices start at £159.99 on Amazon.

UV Sun Sense wristband

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Frolicking in the sun is a dangerous game – you never know when you’re burning until it’s too late. You start by applying sunscreen to the band (as well as yourself) and the UV wristband will change colour and detect when you need to apply more sunscreen. It also changes colour when you’ve had enough sun for the day, which is ideal for preventing sun stroke.

UV Sun Sense wristbands are available from Amazon from £20.66 for 7 wristbands (one-time use only).

Monster Mobile Powercard

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This beautifully-slim external battery was made for travel – it’s only a little thicker than a credit card and slots easily into your wallet. It connects to and charges any USB device and has over 5 hours of power – perfect for the smartphone addicts amongst us.

The Monster Mobile Powercard is available on Amazon, retailing at £31.51.

Zoom Wireless Travel Router

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If you’re prone to panicking when you can’t find a wifi network, a travel router might be just the thing you need. It allows you to create your own wifi hotspot for other devices by connecting to your 3G USB modem so that you and your family can stay connected.

The Zoom Wireless Travel Router is currently £29.99 on Amazon

BlueSmart Suitcase

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Everything seems to be ‘smart’ these days, so why not your luggage? The new BlueSmart carry on case has a wealth of awesome features, including a digital lock, in-built phone charger, location tracking, corresponding app and more. Now that’s what we call smart. At 319 Euros, it doesn’t come cheap, but it is certainly one of the most innovative products in the luggage market.

The Bluesmart suitcase is currently available for preorder at 319 Euros, and should be available from December 2016.

LugLoc

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If you don’t fancy splashing out on a whole new case but still want to keep your luggage as safe as possible, the LugLoc might be the next best option. It’s a tracker (and app) that keeps a track of where your luggage is, making the process much easier if you’re unlucky enough to lose it.

The LugLoc device is currently available in the US, priced at $69.99.

Travel journal

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We love this leather journal by PAPER HIGH.

Travel is all about making memories that you won’t forget, and keeping a travel journal means that you won’t forget a moment. There are some great journals on Not On The High Street, but if you’re feeling frugal, a plain old notebook or diary will do the trick.

iPhone lenses

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Budding photographers needn’t shell out for fancy camera equipment to take world-class travel photos. Sure, a great camera helps, but if you’re just starting out, Olloclip offer a number of mini iPhone camera lenses to give your photos some extra oomph.

Olloclip sell a range of lenses for iPhones, including wide angle and macro lenses. Take a look at the range here.

Published on holidayextras.co.uk

Fun places to eat in London

Fancy a nice quiet meal out? Pah! It’s no longer enough just to go out for dinner and a movie. Now Londoners need constant stimulation, preferably of all the senses, all sat once.

“We always have to eat somewhere and whatever environment we’re in, that environment has an effect,” says Charles Spence, Professor of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University. He knows all about good and bad sensory combinations. For example, the sound of flutes goes with white wines and classical music will make you order more expensive dishes.

1. Gingerline

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Billed as ‘a clandestine dining experience for London’s food adventurers; part hideout, part parallel reality, all secret’. The menu, the concept and above all, the location, remain classified until the very last minute, and all guests are sworn to secrecy. The mantra of this kooky set-up is, ‘Loose lips sink ships’. All the events occur at east London locations served by the London Overground, hence ‘Gingerline’.

gingerline.co.uk

2. Inamo

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134-136 Wardour St, W1F 8ZP

Not particularly traditional, but very Japanese, this fun Soho restaurant is all jazzy coloured angles and fancy digital wizardry. At Inamo, meals are ordered using a laptop-like mouse pad and projector screen; all very Tokyo tech. You can also play various computer games against your dining partners (a round of pre-entrée Battleships, anyone?) and spy on the chefs in the kitchen preparing your sashimi.

inamo-restaurant.com

Dans le Noir

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300-31 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU

For a different (if a little gimmicky) dining experience, try Dans le Noir, where you’ll dine in complete darkness and be guided to your table and served by blind waiters. The restaurant food is not wonderful but the frisson of dining without any light should make for a fun evening.

london.danslenoir.com

Sarastro

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126 Drury Lane, WC2B 5SU

This theatre-themed restaurant that’s decked out with strangely styled opera boxes, velvet drapes and props is well-suited to its location in the heart of London’s Theatreland. Sarastro hosts opera and string quartet performances on Sunday and Monday nights, featuring players from the English National Opera, as well as rising stars and students. The food is slightly less flamboyant, the kitchen serving up Mediterranean-Turkish fare.

sarastro-restaurant.com

Circus

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27-29 Endell Street, WC2H 9BA

Part restaurant, part cabaret show, part cocktail bar, Circus is a truly bizarre dining destination. Its pan-Asian menu has received less than favourable reviews from the critics, so it’s Circus’s entertainment offerings that are the real reason to visit. With burlesque and circus acts performing right there on the table in front of you, it’s hard not to get into the cabaret party mood, especially after a few sugary cocktails.

circus-london.co.uk

Dinner in the Sky

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For something special, this bespoke events company will create a central London dining experience with a difference. A meal with Dinner in the Sky isn’t for the fainthearted: dinner is served on a mobile platform suspended above the city on a 120 tonne crane. Enjoy views across the city while chefs prepare your food in the centre of the platform.

dinnerinthesky.co.uk


For pure novelty value, and a complete stimulation vacuum, try restaurant Dans le Noir, which is totally pitch black and diners are led to their tables by blind waiters. Spence is dubious about the theory that depriving all other senses will heighten your sense of taste. “You can go really minimalist and turn the lights off or have a blank canvas, but many of those restaurants tend to close down,” says Spence. “Darkness will make the food taste bad. It’s an experience and you’re glad you did it once but you wouldn’t go back.”

For a really fun and quirky dining experience, it’s all about adding sensory layers to the basic dinner format: the more music, dancing, plate-spinning and vertigo-inducing gimmicks the better. For thrill-seeking gastronomes, aerial company Dinner in the Sky will rig up a dinner table that floats above the city. “Dining at great height will get you aroused,” says Spence. In other words, your senses will be heightened and you’re likely to have a jolly good time.

Restaurants are also using the environment to enhance the authenticity of food, explains Spence, so Italian food will taste better if Pavarotti is playing in the background. Many pop-ups now take this idea and run with it, with actors and scenery and a whole story woven around the nationality of the food.

Travelling pop-up Gingerline plays on this idea. Its current event, called The Hideout, is secret, but previous events have married food to a theme, including HMS Gingerline, where seafood platters were served in an aquatic setting with sea-shanty sounds, porthole film installations and fake sailor-style tattoos.

So, bring on the cabaret/circus/brass band/dining extravaganza, my friends, as long as you don’t forget about making good food too.

Published on standard.co.uk