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Mobile food and drink services you didn’t know existed

We love finding new and exciting services that are still emerging in the UK. As much as we love the traditional approach when it comes to cafes and restaurants, it’s important to embrace new trends too. With modern lifestyles getting faster every day, everything needs to be on the move and that’s why we’ve seen an increase in mobile businesses that are able to move to where the action is.

Lots of companies have cropped up offering mobile food and drink services for events and functions, which is a great idea for the businesses hiring them who want to create a unique experience for their visitors. Big brands sometimes use pop-up stands and trailers for promotional purposes in city centres and so on, but at smaller conventions and outdoor events it might be a great idea to hire something similar from a specialist.

For example, did you know you can hire your own concession stands to handle the catering at your event?

cafe santiago mobile coffee vanA great option for public and private events might be mobile coffee van hire for which our favourite choice would be Cafe Santiago. Operating across the UK from London, they offer an amazing service with everything you could need from a cafe, all supplied directly at your event. Whether you need to make use of their awesome mobile vans or need a bigger stand set up, the options on offer here are great for a range of requirements. (more…)

More Of The World’s Weirdest Cafes

In the news this week, an infamous Nazi-themed cafe in Indonesia has shut down after gaining a reputation for its bizarre subject matter. The SolatenKaffee was first closed in 2013 after a backlash, before later being reopened, but now it has closed due to a lack of customer interest. Undeterred, the owner plans to open a larger premises in a more popular location. He hasn’t confirmed when or where, but we can expect this cafe to be filled with more World War II memorabilia and plenty of references to Hitler, as it has been until now.

This got us thinking about some of the other strange and sometimes sinister cafes we have seen and heard about over the years. Here is a quick run-down of some of the weirdest examples from the past and present.

Cafe de L’Enfer – This uniquely creepy cafe/nightclub has been closed since the 1950s, but it lasted much longer than many of its contemporaries (including a prison-themed venue) which peaked in popularity in late 19th century Paris. The Cafe de L’Enfer was entirely hell-themed, with a huge demonic face framing the entrance and disturbing decorations throughout.

Vampire Cafe – Experience Transylvania in the centre of Tokyo at the truly creepy Vampire Cafe, where the food and drinks are pricey but uniquely Dracula-themed. Everything from the menu to the décor is impressively spooky, making it well worth a visit.

Grand View Cafe – This cafe in Maine, USA, was shut down several years ago. People expected this to happen given that all its staff has to work topless. Unsurprisingly, many considered this inappropriate. However, the alleged reason for the 2011 closure was a simple dispute over local zoning regulations.

Molecule Water Cafe – Most people tend to enjoy hot drinks at cafes, whether that’s a standard tea, coffee or one of the countless variations on offer. Even milkshakes are common choices, but who goes to a cafe and just drinks… water? Apparently, the customers at the Molecule Cafe in New York City, which is renowned for its scientifically superior H2O.

Cat Cafes – So maybe these aren’t sinister at all, but a few years ago the concept would certainly have sounded insane. The trend seems to have originated in Japan, where people in the busiest cities rarely have space for pets in their compact homes. After letting cats roam free in cafes proved hugely popular in places like Tokyo, the concept has gradually spread around the world and there are new cat cafes popping up across the UK regularly.

Best Street Food In London

If you find yourself in the capital and you want to try some of the world-famous food on offer, you might realise that the very best restaurants are way out of your price range. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the same old fast food options, though. London is the ideal place to find unique and quirky cafes, hidden gem restaurants and, of course, street food!

If you’re not sure where to start given the massive range of options that are always available, take a look at some of our favourite suggestions…

Bao – Netil Market

This Taiwanese outlet is run by a small family who have gone on to open an extremely popular restaurant following the success of their market stall. It’s a short menu, but there’s simply not much you could do to pack these these steamed buns with more fresh and flavourful ingredients. Don’t forget to try the most upmarket soya-milk chicken nuggets you’ll find in the city.

Bleecker St – Old Spitalfield Market

This fantastic burger joint was set up by a former lawyer who was inspired by the street food of New York City, and now sells her own version of those messy-but-delicious burgers from her truck in central London. You’ll spend less than you would in a fashionable restaurant, and probably enjoy the food a lot more.

Mother Clucker – Ely’s Yard

If you’re a fan of fried chicken but the taste of the same old KFC recipe has lost its appeal, you’ll find a significant upgrade on the streets of London if you visit Mother Clucker. The inventive vegetable sides they serve are impressive enough, but the chicken simply can’t be beaten.

Victoria Good Food Market

Everything available at this unique street food hub will most likely have you coming back for more. Some of the best fish and chips in the city is available here on a regular basis, as well as incredible offerings from around the world including Chinese, Indian, Italian, Brazilian specialists.

Global Kitchen – Camden

Looking for the best Camden has to offer? Perhaps the most famous area of London for street food also has a few disappointing offerings thrown into the mix, but if you head for the Global Kitchen you’ll be guaranteed an extremely high standard of street cooking across a range of exotic options.

Viennese Café Culture

Viennese Café Culture

In the Austrian capital of Vienna, café culture is at its peak. The selection of coffee shops on offer is wonderful, and you won’t find anywhere in the world more relaxed and charming to stop for a drink, or an entire afternoon. It’s one of the best places we have found for café enthusiasts to visit and we highly recommend you try it!

There is a saying in Vienna that while visiting a café there, you consume time and space, but all that’s listed on the bill at the end is your drink. The idea is that cafés are places to spend time thinking and talking, not just getting refreshments. Following a long day, you’re made to feel welcome and relaxed, in a calm place where you can read quietly, contemplate the big questions and discuss it all with like-minded patrons.

In fact, while doing all this to your heart’s content, you really get a sense that some of the world’s biggest historical stories may have intertwined with the rich culture around Vienna and its cafés. It’s not hard to picture some of the great thinkers of Europe finding solace in the quaint streets and coffee shops here, inspiring them to create new ideas and make big changes in the world. (more…)

The World’s Most Expensive Drinks

Dalmore 62

It’s not unusual for most of us (especially in the UK, where we love to find a reason to moan) to grumble about having to pay over the odds for a drink every now and then, whether it’s a heavily branded coffee, a drink in a fancy bar or even just a bottle of water. But in this list, we’re not talking about a £2 bottle of Volvic in a train station. Try £2 million for a bottle of champagne! Here are the most expensive drinks you’re likely to find anywhere in the world.

Vieille Bon Secours Ale

If you expect beer to be among the cheapest alcoholic beverages wherever you go, think again. Belgian speciality Vieille Bon Secours Ale comes in at about £33 per pint, if you buy it from the brewery directly as a 12 litre bottle, which makes it the world’s most pricey. Its toffee-tinged taste, resulting from a decade of maturing, is said to be worth it!

Winston Cocktail

Now we get into the real big ticket drinks. The Winston is a high class cocktail that would probably make your average Cosmopolitan feel like a glass of dishwater. It’s a blend of several of the most expensive (and mostly French) drinks money can buy, resulting in a single serving that could set you back about £10,000. (more…)

Starting Your Own Cafe Business

Starting Your Own Cafe Business

Are you considering starting your own business and launching a successful cafe? It’s a thought that’s crossed many of our minds at some point, especially after a visit to a particularly awesome coffee shop (or maybe even a disappointing one that makes you think you could do better)! There’s no doubt that it’s a lucrative market that’s not going to disappear any time soon, but how can you hope to succeed with so many players already in the game? Here are the crucial steps you need to follow.

1) Plan your business

Early on you will need a comprehensive business plan, starting with market research to justify your endeavour and finishing with a detailed analysis of how you’re going to make a profit and why you’re confident. This will be essential to secure bank loans and other investments; however, it isn’t the first step. Even before all that, you need a basic pitch that fits onto one page and explains why your plan is unique.

2) Plan your location

Assuming your business plan is watertight, the next essential element is location, location, location. Not only does the physical building need to be suitable and affordable, but your cafe needs to be somewhere where you can easily attract passing trade, and ideally even become a local landmark. Do your research and be creative, because this is going to be vitally important to your success. (more…)

The World’s Most Unique Coffee Shops

Coffee shops can be found on nearly every street corner, not just in the UK but all over the world. We just can’t get enough! But do you prefer the big brands like Starbucks and Caffe Nero, or perhaps you’re more interested in the smaller, quirky places that are a little less known? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most fabulous independent coffee shops in the world, and after looking at some of these you might be a lot keener to try something different next time.

The Vintage Emporium, LondonThe Vintage Emporium, London

This cafe in the heart of London is a truly unique experience. Not only do they serve up great coffee, the Emporium doubles as an antique shop. You can take a seat and relax surrounded by old curiosities, with many items from the Victorian era on display and almost all of the pieces available to buy. This bizarre boutique is well worth a visit.

The Grounds, Alexandria, AustraliaThe Grounds, Alexandria, Australia

Built inside the shell of a historic warehouse, The Grounds is perhaps the ultimate hipster coffee shop, featuring some incredible industrial yet cosy décor. Its lush surroundings are enhanced by a beautiful herb garden, and the coffee itself is produced with beans from all over the world in a high-tech facility right next door – you can see all the action as it happens through a glass wall from the cafe. (more…)

Top Café, Bar & Restaurant Furniture Designs

One of the best surprises when you visit a new café or restaurant is often the furniture you get to relax on while you’re there. Sometimes a place will catch you by surprise if you were expecting one thing and end up getting a completely different style, or perhaps a mash-up of several looks, as is quite popular.

The chairs and tables you choose can really make a difference to the overall look and feel of a place, so we tend to notice when some thought has gone into this. Here are some of our favourite pieces we’ve found for cafés, bars and restaurants.

1) Patchwork Daw Arm Chairs

Patchwork Daw Arm Chair

These are one of our absolute favourite modern designs if you’re looking for more relaxed and quirky bar and restaurant chairs. The fun colour combination can lend itself to various different overall design schemes, and the combination of materials used including steel and beech make this an attractive and practical choice. (more…)

Luxury Gourmet Food Experiences

luxury dining

Food is something many of us take for granted, even if we do enjoy it. We like to discover more unusual and exciting ideas, exploring the different ways people have found to enjoy food as well as cafe and restaurant culture. We also think that great eating experiences don’t have to cost a huge amount of money most of the time! However, that’s not to say that we don’t recommend indulging in some truly luxurious treats from time to time. Here are some of our favourite brands, products and places if you’re looking for a unique gourmet experience.

Siberian & Russian Caviar

You may know that caviar is becoming more of an everyday food in a sense, despite its traditional opulent connotations. Even supermarkets offer basic iterations of the famous delicacy, but the true luxury brands are still well worth the investment. For example, the Royal Siberian caviar and the Russian sturgeon caviar called Royal Oscietra Caviar are among the best we have found in the UK. (more…)

Fun food delivery services

tea deliveryThe food and drink industry is still firmly based around physical locations that people can visit and enjoy, including cafes and restaurants. However, food is set to become the latest industry to see “on demand” services becoming the norm, as soon as our infrastructures can support the model. At the moment most of the services already available are focused on the higher end of the market, which makes sense due to the high costs involved while this remains on a relatively small scale. Not all of these are available in the UK at the moment, but they have seen some success around the world and might be the next trend here!

Muesli

This is a simple but clever one, as so many people don’t have time to get a proper breakfast in the morning. Cereal and muesli delivery services like Yousli in Australia allow you to be very specific about what you want to start your day with, including gluten-free and high-fibre options.

Bacon

Another less healthy breakfast option is having bacon delivered to your door, offered in the UK by Cure and Simple. They vacuum pack their pork for posting and even spray it with dog repellent to ensure it doesn’t get eaten by your pet on arrival. They offer different subscription packages depending on how often you need bacon to appear on your doorstep. (more…)

Online alcohol delivery services

order alcohol onlineAlthough we think it’s important to support local bars and cafes, online businesses offering delivery in their local area also deserve a lot of praise for bringing original ideas to the market in a new way that’s simply aimed at giving people a great experience. Online food and drink delivery is growing, and one of the areas we’ve noticed rising fast is alcohol delivery. It’s convenient and quick, so it’s no surprise plenty of people are catching on. These are some of the top services available in the UK right now.

1) Amazon

If you don’t need your alcohol delivered on the same day, Amazon probably has the widest selection. As we all know, they have a massive infrastructure in the UK that allows Amazon Prime customers to get delivery within 24 hours on a huge range of products including drinks, plus they have been testing Prime Now which allows for delivery in only a few hours. It’s probably the best choice if you’re good value on a wide range of drinks and you’re happy to wait a little while for your delivery.

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