Archive for April, 2013

Food Festival Funtastic

Friday, April 26th, 2013

 

 

Christchurch Food Festival is less than a week away! Anyone that has been before will know what a massive event this is for the local community, and on the wider UK food calendar. It is well known for bringing all types of people together in a wonderful atmosphere of education and celebration of food culture and talent. We are lucky to be able to bring Urban Beach’s unique brand of relaxed, accessible cuisine with touches of passion and innovation to the event. We plan to fill tums, put grins on faces and hopefully spark up conversation over a tasty beverage or two.

 

[Have you heard about our recent Award of ‘3* Sustainability from Raymond Blanc’s Sustainable Restaurant Association’?]

 

We will be attending the festival on the 11th and 12th of May with our very own stall, designed and built by manager Chris and Barman Rich. We’ll be bringing with us an array of savory pasties, sweet treats, specially selected cocktails, local ales (from The Dorset Brewing Company and Sunny Republic), non-alcoholic beverages and vegetarian and gluten free food options. There is also going to be an appearance of our award winning Bloody Mary for the Sunday morning, coupled with breakfast and veggie breakfast puff pastries. Mmm. What was I talking about?

Yes, breakfast. No. More on that later – see What We’re Bringing (below). Christchurch Food and Wine Festival, to give it its proper title, is now in its 13th year, having originally begun as a celebration of the new Millennium. It secured its place on the calendar by continually being so well received by the community. Patron Chef Lesley Waters, as seen on Ready Steady Cook and currently featured on This Morning, is one of many celebrity faces the event has attracted over its history. Others include Anton Edelman, James Martin, Gary Rhodes and Brian Turner. There is also an international food market, free entertainment and even a ‘Kids Kitchen’ to help get the little ones interested in what they eat and where it comes from. You can see why we’re a little bit excited – for more information on the history of the festival and what to expect please visit here.

 

This year the festival will run from the 10th – 19th May, with more than one hundred stalls taking up the pedestrianised high street and a majority of Christchurch town centre, including the lovely Saxon Square.

 

What We’re Bringing

As well as our sweet selves we will also be bringing the following:

Savories -  Lamb/Beef/Feta and Walnut Pasties, Lamb/Pork Sausage Rolls, and an extra secret veggie option.

Sweets – Wait for it… Almond croissants, brownies, blondies, millionaire’s shortbread, muffins, carrot cake, chocolate fudge cake, ‘Origin’ coffee cake, gingerbread men, cookies And cupcakes to match the cocktails.

Cocktails – Peach Julep, Sweet Tea Bourbon (includes blueberries) and Kwai Pepper Daiquiri (includes muddled bell pepper… intriguing).

Also in attendance will be our world famous ‘Old Jon’s Spiced Rum’, made in house with a carefully selected balance of ingredients. It’s said to produce magical powers in the drinker, but we’ve mostly found that people just prefer it to other rums.

Non-alcoholic beverages will include delicious ginger beer and a range of refreshing homemade lemonades including rhubarb (from the farm), ginger (made from homemade syrup) and mint.

We are so looking forward to this! With our stall, we are also aiming to give people a place to relax and enjoy these goodies in a warm, welcoming environment. Manager Chris has been keeping his plans top secret, but we are trusting him not to pull a Mr. Burns on us – ‘The Spruce Moose’

 

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Not only do we love a good festival here at ‘Urban’ but we are also passionate about food and drink. The fact that one of the UK’s premier events on the food calendar is only a stone’s throw away is a wonderful opportunity. Remember we will be popping along with our own stall on the 11th and 12th of May. The precise location is as yet undisclosed, but we promise to make it something special. All are welcome, so please come and pay us a visit!

 

Love From,

Urban Beach xx

Sustainability Champions!

Monday, April 8th, 2013

We’ve just won a rather prestigious award! Check out this lovely blurb:

“A sustainable restaurant demonstrates responsible sourcing and best kitchen practice delivered by well trained staff using high-performing resource-efficient equipment and following good waste management policies. It is only with this holistic approach to the environmental, economic and social impacts of their business that the restaurant can be considered truly sustainable.”

 

Pretty swish. These words come from the most recent edition of the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Guide to Sustainable Kitchens. Just under two weeks ago they gave us their highest possible rating of 3 Stars, and we are elated!  This makes us one of only two restaurants in Bournemouth to be presented with the award, which is of growing importance nationwide. Allow us to elaborate:

 

The SRA, headed by president Raymond Blanc, is a non-profit organization driven by a passion to see the restaurant industry look after the environment, its staff, customers and the local community. They asses and advise restaurants and hotels like ourselves on fourteen key focus areas, illustrated beautifully below:

You can check out the SRA’s home page here – http://www.thesra.org/

 

As you can see they weren’t joking when they used the word ‘holistic’. There’s a lot to take into consideration! That is why we put so much effort into not just into sourcing and preparing our food, but also how we run things and treat the world around us as we do it. It is why we use biodegradable bin bags for our food waste (it can be used as compost and contribute to renewable energy resources). It’s also why Head Barman Adam won’t make a strawberry daiquiri most of the year round (see ‘Did you know’), and why manager Helen threatens to take us running with her if we use too much water in the kitchen!

 

**Did you know…
- A third of the European Union’s greenhouse gasses emissions are food related.

- This is largely because of import/export carbon emissions.

- BUT some local food can actually be worse for the environment. If it’s grown out of season in greenhouses, or kept for too long in fridges which drain oodles of energy.**

 

Those of you familiar with our bistro will likely already know that we ensure that as much as food as possible is sourced locally and in season, or where possible from our very own farm! We are hoping very soon to take some customers along with us for a visit to the farm to sample some of the produce, and enjoy an old fashioned barbeque as soon as the weather capitulates to our needs. Of course, our fish is always responsibly sourced as well; in season and from sustainable sources. We do not buy fish from the fish to avoid list www.fishonline.org and we only use Marine Stewardship Council fish in our fish and chips and fish cakes recipes.

 

Whilst we are incredibly excited to have received this award (we could even shout it from the *ahem* NEW ROOFTOP), the best part is that it is an amazing incentive to keep pushing on and tackling new challenges. Sustainability is an ongoing battle and an area of fundamental importance. We are in fact taking it so seriously that we have taken on our very own ‘personal sustainability expert account manager’. That’s right, they are so important they got a title with more syllables than you can count on your eco friendly fingers,

Here’s to the very lovely Mother Nature,

Love,
Urban Beach xx

 

 

P.S. If you would like some more information about our sustainability endeavours please visit our relevant webpage Here.

Alternatively,  feel free to ‘Get in Touch’ or pop by anytime.