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HOTELS Center Parcs unveils hotel at Woburn Forest

Center Parcs has announced work on the 75-bedroom ‘Hotel’ at Woburn Forest is now complete as the Blackstone Group-owned resort operator targets a late spring opening for what will be its fiſth UK location. The overall project is expected

to cost £250m and will become the nearest Center Parcs to the capital, sitting just a 50-minute train ride from central London by train. Te company is eager to attract

city-dwellers seeking a weekend or midweek break and the rare con- struction of a hotel – Elveden Forest is the only other site to feature one – was carried out with couples in mind, a Center Parcs spokesperson told Leisure Opportunities. Te Hotel boasts 75 Austrian-inspired dou-

New food information regulations. Are you ready?

PETER DUCKER is chief executive officer of the Institute of Hospitaity

Most food service businesses are aware Te hotel interior was designed by Sparc Studio

ble or twin rooms nestled within the woodland landscape, close to the resort’s Aqua Sana spa, gym, watersports lake, restaurants and shops. Featuring exterior design by Holder Mathias

Architects and interior from Sparc Studio, the hotel will supplement the 625 lodges at Woburn Forest, serving as a lodging alterna- tive for couples and smaller parties. “I first saw this room design in the Tyrol Valley while on holiday and it was perfect for

the new Center Parcs Village,” said Woburn construction director, Don Camilleri. “Like Center Parcs, it’s the connection with

the outside that guests want and every aspect of the room design embodies that. Tey are simple, stylish and comfortable, offering lux- ury accommodation for pairs, close to nature.” Woburn Forest is on track to open this

spring, according to Center Parcs, with guests currently able to book short breaks for between 20 June 2014 and 27 April 2015. Details:

Fairytale-themed lodges at Alton Towers

Te UK’s Alton Towers Resort has been given planning approval to build new themed accommodation on site. Based around fairytales, development of The Enchanted Village will start later this year, with opening scheduled for spring 2015. Located in woodland next to the

Alton Towers Hotel, the “fairytale hideaway” will include 120 lodges and five luxury treehouses, as well as several children’s play areas and an exclusive themed restaurant. Nichols Brown Webber will pro-

vide its design expertise as the lead architect for the project. Approval was granted by

Te Enchanted Village project has been several years in the making

Staf fordshire Moorlands Planning Committee, with some provisional condi- tions placed such as the need to preserve various historical features of the nearby Deer Park, which sits alongside the site. Mark Kerrigan, development director at

Alton Towers Resort, said the new accom- modation was aimed at further enhancing the Merlin Entertainments-operated park’s


position as a short break destination. Te cost of the project has not been dis-

closed so far, but Kerrigan confirmed that the expansive development represented a “significant capital investment”. Plans for the lodge development were orig-

inally submitted in March 2014 – although a previous application was withdrawn in 2013. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps

of the new food information regulations that come into effect on 13 December 2014 across Europe. For the first time, allergen information must now be available for ‘loose foods’. Previously, although good practice, this was not a legal requirement Te planned changes will have a signif-

icant impact on all businesses that serve food and the front-line staff who will be responsible for dealing with any informa- tion requests from customers. Information can be supplied on the

menu, chalk boards or tickets. It will not be enough for your staff to say they do not know whether a particular food or dish contains any of the relevant 14 aller- gens. It will be possible to provide allergen information verbally upon request but the written information must be available too. If you choose to provide the information verbally, you must display notices promi- nently informing customers of this. Melissa Tompson, managing director of

Safer Food Scores, has the following advice: -Ensure recipes or product specifications

are available for all the food you sell -Examine the ingredient packaging care-

fully, especially composite ingredients -Consider whether any processing aids

may contain allergens e.g. cooking oils -Prepare a chart detailing the allergens

in each product -Collate this information into a Food

Allergen Handbook -Have the Food Allergen Handbook

approved by a suitably trained person -Direct customers to the location of the

Handbook using clear notices and menus It’s estimated there are two million peo-

ple in the UK whose food choices are dictated by allergies or food intolerances. Tis new regulation is good news for them as they will be able to make informed choices about where they eat. Tere is a hidden market worth an estimated £100m a year catering for customers with special dietary needs. Tis new legislation is great news for responsible caterers who con- sider the welfare of their customers just as important as compliance with legislation.

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