Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera…

Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera…

Yesterday I arrived back from a last-minute trip to the Philippines, so here’s the photo evidence.
I’ll say right now that I had a very nice time, and would look forward to visiting the Philippines again; the people were great, the sites were beautiful, it was easy and interesting to get around.
Instead of saving the best til last, let’s have the best photo first:
So, I set off early afternoon to the KTX station for my early evening flight (it takes me 2 hours to get to Incheon)…
Had 30 minutes or so before the train, so looked for something to eat.
Perhaps some nice local food:
Instead, I decided upon:
Also took some zanax to help me along with the trip (I hate flying because the plane will be taken over by a terrorist pilot and flown into an American Embassy).
Here comes the KTX, fast and convenient – takes an hour to Seoul then you need to change to an airport train which takes about 45 minutes once you’ve gone from upper level 2 to lover level 976, 348 where the airport shuttle resides…
Journey to the centre of the Earth begins (alas, I forgot to take photos of the never-ending escalator system down):
The wife sent me a picture; did she think I was gonna miss her and Chokdee??? Why did she think I was going on this holiday…
&… we arrive at Incheon (that’s the Royal ‘we’) with plenty of time to get a couple of beers before my Jeju Air flight which takes 4 1/2 hours.
Attached Images 1.jpg (160.3 KB, 58 views) 2.jpg (98.6 KB, 53 views) 3.jpg (119.9 KB, 57 views) 4.jpg (107.9 KB, 53 views) 5.jpg (102.6 KB, 53 views) 6.jpg (110.7 KB, 53 views) 7.jpg (107.1 KB, 52 views) 8.jpg (97.8 KB, 52 views) 9.jpg (66.1 KB, 52 views) 10.jpg (97.4 KB, 52 views) 11.jpg (103.0 KB, 54 views) 12.jpg (133.9 KB, 53 views) How do I post these pictures??? Reply With Quote: Today, 10:13 AM #2 happynz Nov 2005 Last Online Today @ 03:58 PM Location on the corner of dusty and dustier Posts 7,763 …and? Carry on. Good stuff so far. Reply With Quote: Today, 10:36 AM #3 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 Last time I flew Jeju Air (to Danang) it was horrendous in every way, so I was extra zanaxed-up in preparation because I intended to stay mellow at all costs…
The Q was fine, getting through immigration was quick, so it was onto the beers section of flying. I had decided not to mix too much beer and zanax because I was arriving in manila after 10pm then staying a night before getting up at 6am for an early bus, so I didn’t wanna go crazy…
Now, look at that price above, 30 bloody dollars for 2 beers and a salad… For reference, on the way back I paid $15 (or so) at Manila airport, in departures, for a lounge that offered so much more for so much less (don’t worry, there’s pictures – including one that Dilly won’t even need to photoshop…). I took another couple of zanax with the beers and was starting to feel nearly there for take-off.
A last couple of sneaky wines before take-off should do the trick (and I put a couple in my bag in case JejuAir run out of alcohol; best to be prepared…).
&, for those of you who have never seen a plane before, this is what one looks like – a nice 737-800:
&, because this airline offer awful legroom, I paid the extra $30 each way for emergency exit seats – well worth it. & look, I have all the space to myself; probably lucky for other passengers as the alcohol and prescription drugs has me in quite a state by this stage – Mr Slaps would be proud of me…
A couple more before take-off, for good luck, won’t hurt, especially as there’s nobody around for me to inanely bother…
Looking good. So, let’s get those wines out:
Oh, look what happened here…
Lucky, lucky ladies…
What a fun time we all had; who would’ve thought the three of us would have so snuggly fit into that toilet cubicle… Attached Images 15.jpg (61.8 KB, 46 views) 14.jpg (104.8 KB, 46 views) 13.jpg (95.9 KB, 46 views) 16.jpg (53.3 KB, 45 views) 17.jpg (74.0 KB, 46 views) 18.jpg (99.0 KB, 46 views) 19.jpg (73.0 KB, 47 views) 20.jpg (87.0 KB, 46 views) 22.jpg (131.7 KB, 46 views) 23.jpg (148.6 KB, 46 views) 21.jpg (64.7 KB, 46 views) Last edited by Bettyboo; Today at 10:43 AM . Reply With Quote: Today, 11:11 AM #4 Looper Totemic Lust User
Join Date Jun 2007 Last Online Today @ 01:33 PM Posts 11,531
Hardcore Betty. Lovin it!
This is exactly what never happens to me on any flight ever. Reply With Quote: Today, 11:18 AM #5 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 &, we arrive in Manila…
The airport is fine, it was just after 10pm and the immigration wasn’t crowded, took 10 minutes at most, and the immigration officer lady was very pleasant (although some Chinese tourists were being sternly told off for not staying behind the yellow line…). First impressions were good.
I only carried one small onboard piece of luggage for my 6-day stay, so I was out the airport in a flash. Nobody gave me hassle, everyone was pleasant, I walked out of arrivals, turned left and a row of yellow metered airport-taxis awaited me. The driver was great, chatted nicely and we headed into Makati to my hotel (cost about $40 for the night, was 24 minutes from the airport and central to a nice nightlife area). BTW, taxis prices and traffic were similar to Bangkok. https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/hotel-du….html?cid=-218
You can see the airport at the bottom; the star where I stayed the first night; the smaller polygon for the Mall of Asia where I was fortunate enough to meet Katie23 on the last day of the trip; top left you can see the walled-city where I visited with Katie23 and have many photos later.
Here’s the hotel (the staff were very friendly and efficient – I don’t think I met a single Philippine who wasn’t friendly and polite during my entire stay):
I had a bite to eat then had a look around and a couple of beers…
There were nice restaurants which were akin to Thonglor, there were bars and restaurants which were akin to upper-Suk, and there was a street that had a dozen or so interspersed bars with ladies (and katoeys for Papillion) that was similar in some ways to Soi Cowboy, but less tacky, felt less outright dirty, and the people around were much friendlier and less ‘aggressive’. I had a good look around, the area seemed safe, people were friendly including the touts and doormen. I had a decent drink and made it back to the hotel just after 4am… I planned to get up at 6am for the bus.
In case one is wondering, I found the Philippine ladies of the night to be very friendly and easy to talk to (I didn’t wanna shag anybody, but I did want to get a ‘feel’ for the area) although personally Thai ladies are generally speaking more attractive to my mind. Having said that, attraction is not only at the surface level, and maybe it was the lack of language barrier, maybe the genuine friendliness, I cannot say for sure, but the Philippine people generally were very nice and easy to be around. Attached Images Screenshot 2019-02-16 at 12.58.01.png (716.7 KB, 43 views) 25.jpg (105.8 KB, 42 views) 24.jpg (82.1 KB, 41 views) 26.jpg (50.7 KB, 42 views) 27.jpg (60.6 KB, 42 views) 28.jpg (47.6 KB, 41 views) 29.jpg (98.3 KB, 41 views) Last edited by Bettyboo; Today at 11:23 AM . Reply With Quote: Today, 11:34 AM #6 kmart Dec 2008 Last Online Today @ 03:39 PM Location Rayong. Posts 10,202 Travel, good looking girls (and boys), and prescription drugs.. This thread has it all.
Nice one, Betty. Green owed. Reply With Quote: Today, 11:52 AM #7 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 Thanks to all who advised on where to go on this trip and why, especially Katie23’s great photo threads. There are so many islands and lovely places to visit, but I decided upon, a bit of a look around Manila, using many different local forms of transportation and most days relaxing on an island doing some work, eating some food, drinking a few beers…
This entire section will look remarkably similar to katie23’s thread on PG (I stole most of her ideas, took TD screenshots on my phone, and the actual doing of it was a breeze).
Yes, I got up at 6am, didn’t feel great at all, but got up, jumped into a cab to the JAL bus terminal which took about 20 minutes because there was already plenty of traffic on the roads (the terminal is only about 2kms from the hotel – one of the main reasons I booked that hotel…). Got on a bus to Batangas, paid about 200 pesos and fell asleep for 2 hours (I found the seats a strange size/angle, so got a bit of neck ache).
The bus stops at the pier, head left to T3, well signposted, a 2 minute walk mostly under cover, bought ticket for the next boat (12:30, so waited around for nearly 4 hours…). Cost about 300 pesos – not a lot…
This ticket H (as A) was a window seat on this boat.
Paid about 25 pesos as a pier fee (this kinda fee was at all piers I went to, in and out of the island, but it’s a small price to pay for the upkeep of the piers, and these were generally good, so…). Had a couple of slices of pizza and a water or 3, cost not very much…, got on the boat which was comfortable enough, full – full-sized folk would have struggled with the seat sizes.
The trip took 90 minutes, and the view was nice (although the window wasn’t offering the best view).
& the hair is looking g d. I don’t care what the wife says, or the management at work, or random looks from folks in the street, I’m leaving it to do its own thing…
Next up, the island itself… Attached Images 30.jpg (134.2 KB, 38 views) 31.jpg (105.7 KB, 38 views) 33.jpg (110.4 KB, 38 views) 32.jpg (106.2 KB, 38 views) 34.jpg (113.2 KB, 38 views) 35.jpg (112.8 KB, 38 views) 36.jpg (100.1 KB, 38 views) 37.jpg (119.3 KB, 38 views) 38.jpg (193.9 KB, 38 views) 39.jpg (74.8 KB, 37 views) 40.jpg (83.9 KB, 38 views) a.jpg (115.0 KB, 34 views) Last edited by Bettyboo; Today at 12:05 PM . Reply With Quote: Today, 12:04 PM #8 Cujo En route
Join Date Jan 2006 Last Online Today @ 03:50 PM Location Reality. Posts 27,321 Good stuff. I do like a travel pics thread. Too few these days. Reply With Quote: Today, 12:05 PM #9 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 &, we arrive…
Getting off the boat, first impressions at Muelle Pier are good – it’s beautiful, more pictures of this area later; only one for now:
I was staying for the first 3 days at Sabang Beach, so jumped off the pier, paid 20 pesos rr so, jumped into a tricycle and headed to Sabang Beach for about 200 pesos. The journey takes about 30 minutes, the road is being re-laid so is often 1 lane only, and goes up a hill before heading back down to Sabang, at the top you have beautiful views of the sea on both sides because it’s a small peninsular between Muelle Pier and Sabang Beach.
Here’s coming into Sabang:
By the way, there’s a visa ATM in a bank here that was the only one I could find that actually worked – telephone line problems very often for connection, and this one only worked in the afternoons. And what’s this bloody Korean restaurant??? There were lots of Koreans and Chinese tourists.
The next few pictures are walking along Sabang Beach to my guesthouse which is at the very end and up a hill. It’s a small beach, so we’re talking 10 minute walk here (until the last bit with steps…).
Attached Images 42.jpg (139.9 KB, 33 views) 41.jpg (84.7 KB, 33 views) 43.jpg (199.6 KB, 33 views) 44.jpg (113.7 KB, 33 views) 45.jpg (128.1 KB, 33 views) 46.jpg (155.0 KB, 33 views) 47.jpg (145.1 KB, 33 views) Last edited by Bettyboo; Today at 12:15 PM . Reply With Quote: Today, 12:21 PM #10 reinvented Nov 2005 Last Online Today @ 03:36 PM Location top of soi 2 Posts 1,755 great stuff. and good work on swerving both local cuisines. flipper beer is good though Reply With Quote: Today, 12:51 PM #11 NamPikToot Jan 2010 Last Online @ Location in wessex Posts 3,051 Bettyboo
Here’s the hotel (the staff were very friendly and efficient –
. Well, great thread so far Bets, I have to say that receiving a packet of Scampi Fries instead of the usual chocolate or towel made into a swan gets my vote anyday…
I am a bit disappointed with no Mac Mini porn… Attached Images snack.jpg (18.7 KB, 31 views) Bsnub: I am so much smarter than you. :} I have a work laptop and also use other cloud tools to do my job. I was physically in the office on 01/04/19. Reply With Quote: Today, 01:35 PM #12 fishlocker @ Location Bungling in the jungle Posts 7,573 Nice documentary on your trip thus far boo. Keep ’em comming.
I did a trip a bit ago as well. I’m still going through things like pics, videos and detox. It never helps when every where you go folks are handing you drinks.
fish. Reply With Quote: Today, 01:38 PM #13 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 Nearly at the end of the beach…
& now the steps, there are 70, pretty steep:
Nearly at the top, a stop to look down at the view:
&, this is the view from the veranda of Grace Hotel (about $25 per night): https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/grace-gu…k=636859185743
The room has a balcony, a big bed, a fridge, a kitchen area and an Asian style bathroom:
Sabang is pretty noisy at times, it’s a bit of a party beach with lots of diving going on too, so this guest house was perfect for my needs – quiet, but 5 minutes walk from the closest beer on the beachfront, and 10 minutes walk from the centre of the nightlife. Attached Images 48.jpg (138.7 KB, 25 views) 49.jpg (198.7 KB, 25 views) 50.jpg (121.2 KB, 25 views) 51.jpg (197.4 KB, 25 views) 52.jpg (166.3 KB, 25 views) 53.jpg (155.5 KB, 25 views) 54.jpg (82.2 KB, 25 views) 55.jpg (62.4 KB, 25 views) 56.jpg (121.1 KB, 25 views) 57.jpg (96.3 KB, 25 views) 58.jpg (52.2 KB, 25 views) 59.jpg (72.2 KB, 25 views) Reply With Quote: Today, 02:02 PM #14 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 I was still quite tired from the travel, it was about 2:30pm, but I had a lie down for maybe 3 hours then got up and went for a walk around, tried some food…
This dim sum was from a corner kiosk, local style, cheap – the taste was awful, so I bought something else from the same kiosk, as you do:
At the time, I wasn’t impressed, but as things turned out this was one of the best tasting (I use the term loosely) foods I ate from the 10+ different places I tried over the next few days.
OK, I’m gonna say it now, it’s not a complaint, but I was surprised when compared to places such as Vietnam and Thailand that both the street food and many of the restaurants that I tried had significantly poorer food. I did find some nice food, and I’ll highlight these, but 80% of the time the food I was served up would have been returned if I was given that in England, Thailand or Korea. It wasn’t just the Philippine owned places because places like the Aussie bar where you’d expect a nice pie and breakfast also (despite having good ingredients) just over-cooked the food and/or didn’t flavour it – strange…
I await folks who live in the Philippines telling me I’m wrong, and maybe I was just unlucky or chose my food stops badly – it didn’t put a downer on my holiday or anything like that, but was noticeable.
Right, back to pictures… Attached Images 63.jpg (85.4 KB, 23 views) 62.jpg (78.5 KB, 23 views) 60.jpg (46.8 KB, 23 views) 61.jpg (96.0 KB, 23 views) Reply With Quote: Today, 02:22 PM #15 Davis Knowlton Philippine Expat Join Date Sep 2009 Last Online @ Location Philippines Posts 17,675 ^You’re not wrong re food, in my opinion. I’ve lived here 24 years, and have never had a really good Filipino meal. My wife is a chef, and cooks excellent other-than-Filipino food, but even her Filipino dishes suck. I also have never really understood it – great fresh seafood, great pork and chicken, same vegetables as neighboring countries, yet they can render even in most basic Filipino dishes barely edible. The country has many things to like, but food isn’t one of them. Reply With Quote: Today, 02:26 PM #16 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 The next day, I got up, sat on the balcony and did a couple of hours of work.
The weather/air quality was great, and everything in the world was g d…
^ the air quality in Korea is terrible, some of the worst fine dust air quality in the world, so having such clean air felt great.
I put the work away went for a 120 pesos breakfast, including drink (nothing wrong with it, per se, but not very tasty to my mind – I did want to try out the different foods and had heard about the garlic rice and corned beef breakfast; not for me…).
The weather was perfect and really nice views – all felt a bit similar to Thailand 20 years ago (I say that in a positive way).
The Bikini Bar below had a boat which would take you out for a beer on the sea – I thought about going, folks said it was pretty nice, but didn’t make it out there; probably should have, but saw a fair few Chinese/Koreans heading out there, so decided not to.
I tried this local dish, it was pork and chicken mixed and tasted ok; again, not my thing.
Had a drink or two here and there, the occasional chat, some beers, and the night arrived…
A very pleasant day, just what the doctor ordered – very relaxed, did plenty of work too… Reply With Quote: Today, 02:41 PM #17 NamPikToot Jan 2010 Last Online @ Location in wessex Posts 3,051 Bets, I was going to ask about the food, its does not have a good reputation (DK confirms – love the Quote: re his wife’s flippa food ) but would have thought being by the sea you’d secure some decent fish and seafood at least.
Great that you managed to catch up with Katie, and well done her, she really goes out of her way to give info and meet posters.
{Quote: =Davis Knowlton;3900838] My wife is a chef, and cooks excellent other-than-Filipino food, but even her Filipino dishes suck. I also have never really understood it – great fresh seafood, great pork and chicken, same vegetables as neighboring countries, yet they can render even in most basic Filipino dishes barely edible. The country has many things to like, but food isn’t one of them.[/Quote: ] Reply With Quote: Today, 02:42 PM #18 Headworx Sep 2007 Last Online @ Location Jomtien Posts 3,169 Davis Knowlton ^You’re not wrong re food, in my opinion. I’ve lived here 24 years, and have never had a really good Filipino meal. My wife is a chef, and cooks excellent other-than-Filipino food, but even her Filipino dishes suck. I also have never really understood it – great fresh seafood, great pork and chicken, same vegetables as neighboring countries, yet they can render even in most basic Filipino dishes barely edible. The country has many things to like, but food isn’t one of them. Concur. There’s a very good reason Filipino food has never taken off around the world like pretty much every other country in the region (Indo, Malay, Viet, Chinese, Thai, Indian, etc). But even with good ingredients doing Western food they still fuck it up, exceptions being many of the $$$ high end restos in Manila. It is what it is. Reply With Quote: Today, 02:48 PM #19 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 The next day was more of the same. I tried to get at least 6 hours of work done a day, here and there, ate and drank – drank and chatted quite a lot on one day…
A few more pics here, some of food and one to end of the lovely place:
Breakfast came included at my place, couldn’t eat it…
But, I really fancied a big fry up, so walked to the other end of the beach to the Australian bar which had a full English breakfast. It was terrible… Just looked like they’d thrown decent ingredients all together into a deep-fat fryer.
But, there was a nice little bakery that made up rolls, had some nice cheeses and salamis, so I grabbed a couple of those and headed back to my balcony to do a bit more work.
the weather and air quality were still great and the view was still pretty nice. I enjoyed my time on this beach a lot, but 3 days was enough for what I wanted to do. If you wanted to dive or to go to the numerous bars full of women then you could spend longer. The Korean/Chinese guys seemed to go out about 7pm, pick up a ‘gf’ from the club/bar, take her to dinner, tour the beach, have a few drinks, fuk the night away and pay up the 4,000 pesos. I did pop into these bars and the ladies were nice, friendly; told me the details that I just told you. There were even a few ladyboys for Paps. &, a few spas which looked nice. There were lots of hawkers, but I smiled, said no thank you, sometimes had a little chat, and everyone was very nice.
Attached Images 82.jpg (118.4 KB, 7 views) Reply With Quote: Today, 02:52 PM #20 Davis Knowlton Philippine Expat Join Date Sep 2009 Last Online @ Location Philippines Posts 17,675 Photos from most recent posts aren’t coming through Posts 16 & 19. Last edited by Davis Knowlton; Today at 03:06 PM . Reply With Quote: Today, 03:05 PM #21 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 ^ ok, thanks, I’ll check.
The next day, I got a tricycle over to Muelle Pier to stay at Badboyz which was about $40 per night – it’s a diving place. I thought about doing some diving, but got into my work, so didn’t… https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/badladz-…avellerType=-1
Located right at the pier and next to the coast guard.
It is a beautiful bay, and this place is right on the front, so you get lovely views from the balcony and the restaurant – the food here is decent (breakfast had a Mexican option that I took which tasted good), and the beer was a lot cheaper; here it was 60 pesos while in Sabang it was between 100-350 pesos depending where you were.
The room was quite big, clean, well appointed and the staff were very pleasant and professional.
The little town around the pier is fairly basic with simple shops, a couple of schools, etc, just a normal little community – not particularly well-off, perhaps even the kinda place where Mr Sausage would feel comfortable berating the locals.
I stopped at a few shops buying stuff like toothpaste, water, headache tablets, etc, and the people were very friendly; pace of life was slow.
There was a busy little hole-in-the-wall selling dim sum, so after my previous experience I thought I’d give it a try.
It was terrible.
Back at the dive resort, I sat down thinking how beautiful the bay was and how good life was when my senses were assaulted in a most unpleasant way – it was so noticeably unpleasant that I took a screenshot of the exact time to remind myself:
Firstly, while sitting at the front, doing a bit of work, enjoying the view, a group of three Chinese ladies, divers, sat down, and they were very loud. One clearly had a cold and was snorting up flem non-stop. Horrible.
Then, next door, the building site started to ramp up noise something awful – I noticed that earlier hence why I went for a walk around town, but they got the big drills out…
The burning of plastic or diesel fumes or something, only lasted about an hour, but I was close to checking out there and then – it made me feel sick, literally.
It turns out that one of the guys from the coast guard was on his birthday, so they rolled the karaoke machine out and started the drinking and ‘singing’ – to be fair to them they stopped just after 10pm.
That was a shit few hours… But, to be fair to the hotel, none of these things were within their control – it was just one of those days.
Chokdee would not have been impressed at all. Attached Images 85.jpg (47.9 KB, 0 views) 82.jpg (217.2 KB, 1 views) 78.jpg (164.7 KB, 1 views) 79.jpg (106.0 KB, 1 views) 80.jpg (73.5 KB, 1 views) 81.jpg (50.8 KB, 1 views) 83.jpg (78.3 KB, 0 views) 84.jpg (100.8 KB, 0 views) Screenshot_20190212-164432_Samsung Experience Home.jpg (72.9 KB, 0 views) Last edited by Bettyboo; Today at 03:50 PM . Reply With Quote: Today, 03:47 PM #22 Bettyboo Member
Join Date Nov 2009 Bangkok Posts 28,502 The next day, my last day on the island, I decided that the pier wasn’t the place for me thus I headed to the sister resort which was 5 minutes tricycle up the road – had it’s own little beach, very quiet and just a lovely place to relax.
https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/badladz-…=-1&tspTypes=4
I stayed there all day, eating, drinking, doing work and relaxing. The food was better than most places although a few minutes less cooking of the Spanish mackerel would have made for a great simple meal; oh well, nearly…
Did lots of work, relaxed, went inside and out, ate, drank and the entire day cost me 1,000 pesos or so.
Chokdee would have been impressed, and so was I.
I then walked back to town, slept soundly. Last edited by Bettyboo; Today at 03:54 PM . Reply With Quote: Today, 03:54 PM #23 Davis Knowlton Philippine Expat

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Leeds Red Hot world buffet and bar is hot ticket with clean bill of health

Leeds Red Hot world buffet and bar is hot ticket with clean bill of health ‘Feast Like A King’ at Leeds Red Hot world buffet and bar Graham Walker Published: 06:30 Promoted by Leeds Red Hot
Leeds Red Hot world buffet and bar is a hot ticket with foodie fans – serving up a mouth-watering 170,000 meals in the past 12 months.
And bosses are celebrating with a clean bill of health after a visit by hygiene inspectors.
Now the popular eatery – at 44-48 The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 8TL – is fired up to crown another record year with its slogan of “Feast Like A King”.
It’s extensive world buffet menu includes Italian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Mexican and European – for full details and to contact the restaurant visit leedsredhot.co.uk .
Leeds Red Hot, proud to be part of Red Hot World Buffet, a former chain of UK restaurants, also offers an A La Carte service where quality food is brought the table by its friendly staff.
It has a capacity of more than 300 covers and often welcomes 1,000 guests on Saturdays.
The restaurant can cater for corporate or wedding parties.
Amit Singh, General Manager, said: “In 2018 we served over 170,000 covers.
“We are carrying the legacy forward by delivering quality global cuisine to our guests. We also have delicious desserts at our buffet ranging from cakes, to ice cream and a chocolate fountain
“Our restaurant is based on the love of food and cooking, merged with an affinity for style to become a place where exciting food, design-led interiors and a warm atmosphere are intertwined. Leeds Red Hot extensive world buffet menu includes Italian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Mexican and European
“Modern in nature, our food draws on global inspirations and seasonal ingredients to create trendy artisan dishes, coupling contemporary style with old school hospitality.
“Our bar also has some of the finest alcohol from around the globe. We not only serve refreshing home-made cocktails, but also some of the most superior French wines in the UK, imported straight from French vineyards. Our drinks menu is extended to a variety of beers, as well as gin, vodka, whisky and rum.
“Here we focus is to give our guests the finest experience and that is what we stand for. Leeds Red Hot is one of the best multi-cuisine buffets in Leeds, holding seats for over 300 at one time.
“Due to this, we are the perfect venue for accommodating large parties for our guests; from birthday parties, to work do’s or anniversary meals. Our service is of the upmost importance and we feel fortunate that we are able to satisfy our guests, with our customer’s feedback always boosting us to consistently provide top service. Leeds Red Hot world buffet and bar celebrating a clean bill of health
“Inspectors were recently here for a thorough look around and were satisfied with our food and hygiene practices.”
* Opening times vary but last entry for lunch, Monday to Friday, is 3.45pm; Saturday and Sunday, 4.30pm. Last entry for dinner, Sunday to Thursday, is 9.15pm; Friday and Sunday, 10.15pm.
For more information, or to book, call 0113 2440400 and also visit leedsredhot.co.uk .
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Food for thought: Erickson describes origin of Americans’ food supply

Food for thought: Erickson describes origin of Americans’ food supply By Paul Bryant editor@athensreview.com
You may think you know everything about the food you eat in America.
Think again.
“A lot of these cuisines started in locations where foods were locally available,” Henderson County Master Gardener Robert Erickson said. “Basically, they were easy to put together. Only two or three ingredients were in these recipes. These were not prepared in restaurants or major kitchens. Some may have been prepared for royalty, but most cuisines came from people who could fix simple things.”
In fact, Erickson said, Americans’ food supply originated from outside the United States and included the Samaritans, Babylonians, Egyptians and Romans.
“From about 8,000 BC to the time of Christ, the whole issue of farming evolved,” Erickson said. “Civilizations grew. Among things that developed during that time are critical. Trade evolved fairly naturally, but it became necessary to have an easier way to deal with trade. So they invented money.”
Erickson said he began studying the issue about 25 years ago.
“I’ve always been interested in history and archaeology. In high school, I took Latin for four years. We were reading about Caesar and Roman writers. I became interested in food about 25 years ago at the start of all of the organic and non-organic stuff and started reading about the differences.”
To make his point, Erickson showed a presentation of a meal considered an all-American menu that included fried chicken and potatoes. Those items, and others, did not originate in the U.S., he said. Research shows that chicken came from Asia and that potatoes were introduced to North America from Peru from the Inca Indians.
“What do we eat today that might be close as possible to what the Romans ate or at the time of Christ?” Erickson said. “Could we be eating something essentially the same thing they were eating? That’s when I started looking. The more I read, the more I got into stuff like that.”
A National Public Radio report in 2016 shows that our food supply came from the Samaritans, Babylonians, Egyptians and Romans.
“Only did that because they built their food supply. From about 8,000 BC to the time of Christ, the whole issue of farming evolved. Civilizations grew. Among things that developed in there are critical. Trade evolved fairly naturally but it became necessary to have an easier way to deal with trade, so they invented money. That’s how farming developed. The act of farming at that time was more like gardening today. Ten-thousand years ago, the estimated population of the world was 3 million people. That is the population of Dallas and Fort Worth today.”
But tracking what people ate in ancient days would not be possible without the recorded word.
“What we know up until about 3,500 BC that it was basically all archaeological evidence,” Erickson said. “We know ranges and areas. We know what happened within a 1,000-year period. Surprisingly, one of the things they wrote down was the most basic transactions. We have a recipe for making bread, probably from Samaritans 5,000 years ago. You only need salt, water and flour to make bread. But still, you begin to see how history has progressed. We have expanded and shared and grown our resources and what is available.”
And, indeed, much of the food Americans eat originates from the time of Christ, Erickson said.
“Most of the food we are most commonly aware of evolved before the time of Christ. It was grown and raised in whatever early form.”
That includes pasta.
“Italian food as we know it is basically all imported,” Erickson said. “Apparently, the Romans had something like pasta but it was a flat bread. The pasta we think of as pasta is basically noodles, and they got that from the Chinese. And then we think about tomato baste.
Tomatoes originated in Central America. It was the size of your fingernail.”
The Italians, Erickson said, imported the tomato.
“They started making sauces and spread it around Europe. Some didn’t trust the tomato. They thought it was an aphrodisiac. Some referred to it as the food of the devil. Really, it was in the 19th century before tomatoes became popular in Europe, even though they had been there for a couple of hundred years. Europeans who immigrated to the United States brought the tomato plants with them. But they were really inconsistent. Farmers didn’t grow them because they couldn’t make a good crop or living with them.”
But then, railroads changed the food industry.
“The biggie, invented in Europe, was chemical fertilizers,” Erickson said. “Before that, people tried additives and nitrogen. It doesn’t exist in solid state that you can use easily. We could not feed so many people without chemical fertilizers. The next thing was basically post-World War I equipment. It was converted to ag use to make tractors and other mechanized farming equipment.”
That brings us to the harvesting of vegetables.
“When Romans mentioned them, when plants were introduced in Europe, most of these are relatively recent because we kept better records, Erickson said. “For example, why do we have an orange carrot? In their native state, they were white, yellow and, in some cases, purple. It wasn’t until carrots got to Holland that they became orange. And that’s what we eat today — maybe from the 17th century. What we eat has changed and it will continue to change.”
As far as eating bread is concerned, the earliest forms of wheat died out long ago, he said.
“Around 2,000 BC, they came out with what we refer to as bread wheat, which is virtually now all the bread we eat. It is made of bread wheat. It was easier to harvest. With some of the older wheat, it was much harder to get to the wheat kernel. We started regrowing these ancient grains. Some of those are coming back to life.”
And whatever comes of the future of food, Erickson said that “we’ve got to keep our eye on that.”
“We can’t get lazy on it. We are more dependent on corporate farms, and that may not be the way to do it. The more population we have, the more food we have to make. We will have changes. People need to be aware of it. You aren’t necessarily going to eat your grandma’s apple pie anymore, because that pie will be different.” Tags

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Restaurant Sales Executive Job In Nairobi (20K)

Our client is an established Restaurant based in Two Rivers Mall, with a specialty in Swahili and Indian cuisine. They seek to hire an aggressive Restaurant Sales Executive who will be tasked to generate revenue by seeking opportunities for sales through digital channels, corporates and business collaborations, pursuing all leads, conversions and ensure their retention.
Responsibilities
Source new business to increase restaurant sales Seek and arrange banquet events Seek corporate clients that require restaurant food delivery services Administer marketing activities for the restaurant Make daily reports on sales activities, to include leads and client meetings Develop a sales plan to attract patrons and grow food and beverage sales Seek, organize and coordinate public/private events at the restaurants Grow the client portfolio to increase business Design and propose packages to meet corporate clients’ needs Negotiate with clients to achieve maximum profit while satisfying client needs Qualifications
Diploma in Sales and Marketing At least 2 years’ experience in lead generation and sales Restaurant sales experience a great advantage Possess planning and organizing skills Sharp computer skills – Ms. Office etc. Can work independently with minimal supervision Well-groomed and Presentable Ladies are encouraged to apply for the position. How To Apply
Please only send your CV quoting the job title in the email subject ( Restaurant Sales Executive ) to jobs@corporatestaffing.co.ke before 22nd February 2019
Kindly indicate current/last salary on your CV.
N.B: We do not charge any fee for receiving your CV or for interviewing. Only applicants meeting the strict criteria outlined above will be contacted.
Not Getting Job Interviews? Get A Professional CV Now. Click Here For Details VALID THROUGH: 02/22/2019
LOCATION: Nairobi, Kenya
Employment Type: FULL_TIME Job Category: Sales & Marketing Jobs In Kenya Employer(s): Corporate Staffing Jobs , Sales Executive Jobs In Kenya Corporate Staffing Services
Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning (for Families)

You are here: Home » Blog » Organization » The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning (for Families) The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning (for Families) Updated: February 15, 2019 This post contains affiliate links
Meal planning makes a big difference when it comes to sticking to a dietary change. It’s easy to cook a quick convenience food or head to a restaurant when everyone is hungry and nothing is defrosted, but a little planning can prevent this!
If you have kids, you can let them be involved in the planning as well, which will help them get excited about the healthy foods you are cooking and be more willing to try them. Our family uses this program for easy meal planning but you can easily create your own system using my method below. The Benefits of Meal Planning
Meal planning is a vital part of eating a healthy diet and there are many benefits of meal planning. Even if you’re a healthy eating veteran, I’d highly encourage you to take half an hour a week to meal plan healthy meals for your family that week.
There are many benefits of meal planning, including: 1. Save Money
There are many times that money has been tight for us and I’ve had to stretch our food budget . One year, my husband lost/had to quit his job a month before the birth of our third child. That birth ended up being an (expensive) emergency c-section to save my life and my son’s life. Our son also had a stay in the NICU, which we found out costs more per day that we’d ever paid for a vacation. Needless to say, money was tight for a while as we worked to find a job and pay off bills. At the same time, I was recovering from surgery and blood loss and eventually, he was eating solid foods but we both needed to focus on really nourishing foods. Even during this time, our family ate a real food diet that we managed to afford by very careful budgeting and meal planning. 2. Eat Real Food
Consuming a nutrient-dense real food diet is vital for so many aspects of health, but it also takes some advance planning. Meal planning lets you decide before you ever go to the grocery store what healthy meals your family is going to eat during a given week so that you can only purchase healthy foods and know that you will use them. If you’re switching to a healthier diet , meal planning is especially important to help you stick to it while you learn the ropes. 3. Don’t Waste Food
One of my biggest pet peeves is finding a container of food in the back of the fridge and realizing that the contents resemble a science experiment more than they do food. We focus on a healthy real-food lifestyle and part of that is being a good steward of the resources we have. With meal planning, I know how we are going to use all of the food for that week before I even go to the store to buy it. I have a weekly game plan that even takes leftovers in to account so that food is rarely wasted. 4. Less Stress
Stress is bad . I realized that a major source of stress for me was realizing at 4 p.m. that the kids would be hungry soon and that nothing was planned or defrosted for dinner. Just the general “what am I going to cook tonight” that was always in the back of my mind was taking up mental energy that I needed to use in better ways (like parenting five children). Just as with anything, having a written plan takes the uncertainty and stress out of the situation and I was surprised how much it reduced my stress just to have a plan and know what and when I would be cooking.
See my weekly template below that I use for stress-free meal planning. 5. Save Time
Another great benefit of meal planning is the time it saves. Planning ahead allows me to cook things in bulk and freeze for a future meal or make extra of a protein to use in a quick meal later in the week. In the winter, I cook a lot of slow cooker meals or Instant Pot meals and pre-make many of these to keep in the freezer so that I can just stick one in the crockpot and go in the morning on busy days. 6. Add Variety
It may seem that meal planning is rigid and boring, but statistically, families are more likely to eat the same meals over and over if they don’t meal plan. Meal planning allows you to ensure variety and avoid falling in to the trap of eating the same five meals over and over. A varied diet is good for our digestive health and exposes us to a wider range of nutrients. How to Meal Plan: 7 Tips for Foolproof Meal Planning
Meal planning isn’t hard once you have a system in place, but there are a few things to keep in mind when starting out that will make the make the process easier for you and your family: 1. Have a Daily Template
Rather than starting from scratch each week, I have a template of the general types of foods I cook each day of the week and the number of times I use each main food. In other words each week I cook: 1-2 stir frys 1 slow cooker/Instant Pot or soup meal 1 fish/seafood meal 1-2 meals from a different cuisine from around the world 1-2 prepare-ahead oven meals
I try to use no meat more than twice so in a given week I might have 2 beef meals, 2 chicken meals, 1 fish meal and 2 pork or egg meals. 2. Focus on Core Recipes
As you find recipes your family enjoys , make them core recipes that get re-used every few weeks. Try to build up about 20 of these and you won’t ever be bored with your meals. Each week, use these core meals for 5 of your dinners and try something new for 2 dinners. If you get really motivated, build these 20 core meals for each season using seasonal produce and rotate with the seasons. This will also save money on produce. 3. Stretch Your Protein
Protein is typically the most expensive part of the meal so if you can use less expensive cuts of meat and stretch them, it might allow you to buy organic and grass-fed rather than conventional meats. If you can’t find these from a local farm, there are now ways to get quality meat shipped to your door .
Another reason I love stir frys and casseroles — you can add more veggies and stretch the meat more than if you were just serving baked chicken. The slow cooker and Instant Pot are also great ways to make tougher, cheaper cuts of meat more tender. 4. Mix It Up With Spices
A basic easy recipe (like Chicken Squash Stir Fry or Pakistani Kima ) can taste completely different just by changing the spices. Add some cumin and chili powder and you have a Mexican flavor, or some curry for an Indian flavor. Basil, thyme, oregano, and garlic give an Italian flavor while, Chinese Five Spice gives an Asian flair. I try to buy all my herbs in bulk since it saves money and gives me a stash for making DIY herbal remedies. 5. Travel the World In Your Kitchen
One of my dreams is to travel the world and try the different cuisines in each country. Even if traveling isn’t on your to-do list right now, it’s fun to create a little piece of the experience in your kitchen. With a little research and some healthy adjustments, you can create recipes from around the world. You might be surprised to find that your kids enjoy the flavors of Indian or Thai food or that you have a passion for French flavors. 6. Don’t Be a Short Order Cook
Want to raise a picky eater? Let your child eat whatever he/she wants and cater to his or her food preferences.
Want to not raise a picky eater? Expose your children to healthy and diverse foods from a young age and don’t make any specific foods for them. My toddler gladly ate curries, cooked vegetables, liver, and avocado because she’d never had crackers, toast, chicken nuggets, or juice. This post has all of my best tips for winning over a picky eater (while staying sane).
We have two rules in our house: Kids are required to try one bite of everything cooked before they can have more of any one food (I only put one bite on their plate at first) If they are truly not hungry they are not required to eat BUT then can NOT complain about the food or interrupt the meal with a bad attitude.
Certainly, there are times when my kids are not happy with these rules or the foods they are served, but as with other areas of parenting, sometimes the best option for children is not always the one they enjoy most!
This may sound like tough love, but it will really be a benefit to them in the long run. Don’t believe me? Check out the book Deep Nutrition . 7. Eat Leftovers for Breakfast and Lunch
It can be tough to break the cereal and sandwich mindset but an easy, time-saving way to eat healthy is to make extra of foods and serve them again for breakfast and lunch. Most foods (except soups) can also be added to an omelet for breakfast or put with a salad for lunch. Cold meatza or leftover barbecue actually makes a delicious breakfast or lunch (together with a large pile of veggies, of course).
Another easy trick is to make salads or store leftovers in mason jars (liquid ingredients at the bottom for salads, then meat/toppings, then lettuce) and store in the fridge. Then, the meal can be re-heated easily or dumped onto a plate to serve. How to Organize Your Shopping List for Efficiency
I now use an online service and app to meal plan and generate my shopping lists. This lets me grocery shop in much less time and simplifies my week. If you aren’t using a meal planning service (though I’d highly recommend it), you can accomplish the same thing by organizing your shopping list before you get to the store.
I started by creating a rotating list of meal plans that use seasonal produce and corresponding shopping lists that are organized by the part of the store the food is in.
To simplify the process, I write my recipes on 3×5 index cards with the ingredients on the back. For each ingredient, I write the amount needed per person for that single recipe (not total!)
This allows me to easy adjust the recipe up or down if we are having company or if some of the kids won’t be home for a certain meal. In other words, the back of one of my recipe cards might have: 1 chicken breast

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Our week in Pune and Mumbai

Our week in Pune and Mumbai 7:30pm Thursday 14 February ((Valentine’s Day) – Mumbai Airport I’m writing this post from the bar at Mumbai Airport as we wait for our delayed flight to Delhi. Cathy and I are enjoying a Heineken and Brel Puri and Marsala Peanuts. I bring her to the best places on Valentine’s Day. I’m feeling a little tired after a huge day at the end of a good week which peaked with a keynote on sales to an audience of sales managers and HR leaders from Mumbai. It’s the first time I have delivered this one and gauging from the reactions of people it seemed to go across pretty well. As I reflect on our week in Pune and Mumbai I smile. Our team here is a really good group of young, fun, passionate and professional human beings. Cathy and I always feel inspired after hanging out with them. It is a long way from home and we always leave with a discussion between us to come back more regularly. As we went about our business through the course of the week, I tried to capture some experiences on video and also put a human element of our business into view. People have often asked me about our India business, so I though you may be interested in getting a glimpse of the people that make up our Indian company. It has been 10 years since we set foot in this country and made many sacrifices to establish the company. This is what we made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPVzrtW5JBk Pune – Sunday to Wednesday It was also good to spend a bit of alone time with Cathy and indulge a little bit from our otherwise pretty frugal lifestyle back home. We stay at a guesthouse next door to our office which means it is dead easy to go and come from work. We have stayed there so often I think we have used every one of their 20 or so rooms and the staff all know us. On evenings we went out to our favourite Pune restaurant – Gong. We were really surprised when the maître de (Rohan) and the chef (Chef Binod) recognised us from our last visit 6 months ago. Moreover they were aware that we had special dietary requirements. The Asian Fusion cuisine was bloody delicious. Mumbai – Wednesday and Thursday We take an Uber from Pune to Mumbai. It is somewhere between a 3 and a 5 hour trip by car depending on the Mumbai traffic. It is about 150kms and the fist 120 of them is on a pretty good freeway. The last 30 is coming into Mumbai and it is bumper to bumper. However its is the last 30 kms that is the most interesting. This time our Uber driver takes us through the back streets of Mumbai and through villages as we get to observe elements of the culture up close. The biggest thing we notice with the thousands of people we see in the 30 minutes we spend winding through these villages in stop start traffic is this. Rarely do we see anyone not actually speaking to others and many are in small groups as they go about their business. The streets are book-ended by small ‘hole in the wall’ shops. Most of the people we see are men – about 95% – all seem quite happy and content. A few are drinking chai in earthenware cups. No one is alone. Cathy and I contrast this back to life in Australia where people rarely speak to others in suburban neighbourhoods and other public places. We eventually arrive at our hotel. This is probably the biggest indulgence as we usually stay in the five star LaLiT hotel. It’s also very convenient as we hold our client event (my keynote) at the same place. This morning when I put on my suit for the first time since leaving Sydney I was in dismay as I know that I have put on some weight which I had tried to take off after Christmas. The food is so bloody good here that I can’t help from over indulging. Fighting a losing battle and no bloody willpower. Also, not much walking either. Oh well- back on the strict and narrow next week when we get home. Only five more sleeps.

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Add 3D Effect to Food With This Simple Tip

5 min read
You’re reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Chef Gautam Chaudhry owns a catering company Gourmet Aura and a chain of restaurants under the Demiurgic Hospitality. He is the operating partner at GC Food World Pvt. Ltd. The company provides complete food solutions for Food and Beverages business. Chef Gautam also represents the exclusive group of creative chefs who pioneered the trend of Progressive Indian Cuisine. He had also conceptualized Tanzore Restaurant & Lounge, Beverly Hills, USA, which was recommended by the Michelin Guide .
He has also conceptualized the award-winning restaurant The Pink Poppadom in Bengaluru. He is also the operating partner in 38 Barracks, an army-themed restaurant in Connaught Place, Delhi.
In a candid conversation with Restaurant India, Chef Gautam Chaudhry talks about the concept of plating and the basic elements that restaurants should focus. One moment that brought You into Food
I was very young and I used to eat these white or Pindi Chanas . My mother would cook it for everyone in the house. The fragrance of which used to travel in the neighbourhood and people would flog up to eat. It was a culture of Sanjha Chulha. It was those things that got into my head then. I had always wanted to cook those pindi chanas . While I was pursuing my Maths (Hons), I got an opportunity to do the hotel management and, here I am.
“When I was 29-year-old, I conceptualized and started a restaurant at Beverly Hills. The Michelin Guide recommended my restaurant and the concept. That’s one of the great food memories I have.” Key To Menu Designing
It is nothing which is perfect. In ideal circumstances, we keep certain parameters in mind. So to start with –
(1) There should be a texture . If there is something soft in the direction of the preparation then you need to have a food accompaniment which has a crisp element.
(2) If you have something which is dull in colour, you need to have a food accompaniment which is bright in colour; the contrast should be there in the food served.
(3) While plating, take care of the negative spaces .
These factors need to be kept on mind while plating and designing the food menu . A Tip to Convert a Simple Food Look Like a Luxury
Before answering that question I would say all the chefs need to understand the concept of plating.
It is very easy to make any food look good. As a chef, you should use those elements which go along with that particular preparation. Do not add anything just for colour.
While plating, there are certain factors you should keep in mind – negative spaces, colour contrast, texture and height .
If you want anything look beautiful, give it a height. For example, if you’re having something as basic as a biryani, I advise to take the rice in a mould, put it on the plate and place the lamb shank above, add a few salads over it. This will add height and visually give a 3D effect to the food.
“A 3D image certainly looks beautiful rather than a flat surface.” Pro-Dynamic Approach With Food
There is something which is called pro-dynamic approach. Nowadays, we have been picking up things just to beautify the plate, and to make them Instagram-friendly. We use certain products which travel a very long distance increasing carbon footprints and then we utilize it. We do not think about sustainability. Not even about the local farmers’ produce; we outsource it. We fancy about asparagus and olives.
Also Read: Why Local Produce Is Becoming Game Changer In Supply Chain Biz
There are so many Indian local ingredients which we do not use. I think, in India or probably across the globe rather the pro-dynamic approach is going to settle now.
The pro-dynamic approach is – there is seasonal and local produce. There are certain areas which produce mangoes in January because the temperature in those areas is warm, and the mangoes only ripe and sweeten in summers. So, you should have mangoes from those areas.
I think winter is a wonderful season for certain vegetables like squash, water chestnuts and cauliflower which you do not see around the year. Over a period of time cauliflower has become neutral; if eaten raw and fresh, right at the farm itself, you will forget the taste of chicken and mutton.
You should have them only in winters because it is only during that time you get it fresh. You should not have cold storage or certain additives which are being used to preserve the vegetables. It is not good.
If you talk about the food trend that will take shape in 2019, I would say that people are getting health-conscious. New Ingredient/s You Have Recently Added to Your Cuisines
Onions and fried onions, they are not new though. Another is Sorrel, also known as khatti patti in Hyderabad. Then there is Gongura flower; its flavour is outstanding. While travelling abroad, a person served me a tea saying “it’s an ancient herb and you must try”. And as I tasted it, I certainly reconnected with the flavour. I knew it was sorrel and I was right.
I, recently, introduced a cold beverage at our catering company Gourmet Aura. The beverage is naturally sour, you just need to add a bit of flavour.
This article was originally published by Sara Khan. More from Entrepreneur Learn to be a better leader and develop successful marketing and branding strategies with Dr. Patti Fletcher’s help.

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Your Restaurant Could Collapse If…

8 min read
You’re reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
“Being a chef is all about creating moments of joy for someone else. You get joy out of others savouring of your creations.”~Chef Nilesh Limaye.
Chef Nilesh Arun Limaye is on culinary voyage since 1995. His career has spanned senior positions at leading hotels across India that includes The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai . He was also a part of MasterChef India Season 5 creatives team.
Popular as Sindbad the Chef, Nilesh Limaye has travelled across the globe working for the best in the industry. It was in 1992 that he realized he wanted to be a professional chef. “The kitchen is the heart of the hotel, I realized this quite early, during my training period i.e. 1992, at the Taj President. The scenario was very different then. Taj and Oberoi were some of the hotels that were popular then. You get to see the best at these hotels,” says Chef Limaye.
It was at a Hyderabadi Food Festival, organized at the Taj, Chef Nilesh Limaye realized that he will take the career forward. “It was the moment where you understand this is what you want to go forward with,” he adds. Chef Nilesh Limaye was one of the guys who donned chef’s hat pretty early, six months before completing his graduation.
“I cultured like music – classical and remix. I loved the classical side of cooking food – no jhatka, no cowboy method. I learnt the correct methods, how to measure the ingredients; I learnt the real way of cooking food.”
After working with Taj for five years, Chef Nilesh, in order to get more experience in the food and beverage industry, joined Chef Sanjay Malkani. With Chef Malkani, he learnt the planning of a restaurant setup, kitchen and menu designing. “That’s where my actual experience started building up,” recalls Chef Limaye. It was a small stint on a ship that gave him exposure to the food culture of various regions of the European continent. “Till the time you don’t go out and visit the places, you don’t understand the importance of the local tastes and flavours.”
In 2009, Chef Limaye came up with his own venture All Bout Cooking. Though there were many restaurants opening up in India, people lacked knowledge in the kitchen and planning. “I understood the need. And, therefore, I decided to go with All Bout Cooking to give restaurants an understanding on the Indian requirements, how they should plan and design the concepts, menu and the food service etiquettes,” says Chef Limaye.
In an exclusive talk with Restaurant India, Chef Nilesh Limaye speaks about the importance of regional cuisines at restaurants in India and his ideas behind menu planning and kitchen designing. The Real Treasure Lies in Regional Cuisines
You always get the real taste at a smaller local restaurant, the places which are not much into advertising. When I went to Kolhapur, I tried mutton lonche, I was astonished. In Kolhapur they have done PhD in mutton dishes, I must say. But such regional cuisines don’t get much recognition. I am inclined towards spreading awareness of the variety and the usage of regional food.
I was, recently, the host at Cordon Noir 30th anniversary celebrations. Cordon Noir is the Gourmet club founded by Jochen Kern. The idea was to bring together the people who love food; the standard is maintained through caviar, which is considered as the topmost delicacy. We explore the culture and cuisines of new places every year. This time it was done in Mumbai as I wanted to show the chefs and food lovers the local Maharashtrian cultures and food. Farm to Food Concept
The farm to food has always been our concept. People would use sun-drying or pickling methods to store food. Our culture was always seasonal food where people would grow rice, make curries with fresh fishes. There is a group of nature lovers who would grow food on their terraces like spinach, pumpkin, chillies, lemons. I personally feel the local markets should be there; that cycle should not be spoilt with the bigger grocery brands. Learn the Classical Way of Cooking
Regional cuisines are the basis of Indian food. If you visit Kolkata house or Andhra house, they do not add the ‘cashew nut paste’ in the curries. The strength of India lies in the classical way of cooking and serving local cuisines. We need to build our food on that basis.
Today, if the chefs actually learn their own traditional food, they will be able to create more ideas. The real recipes lie in, say, Goan fish curry or the Saraswat fish curry; we don’t know the food of our origin or region. The information is available, not on search engines, but in the regions themselves. One needs to go and find them out. Advice to Chefs
“When it comes to fusion food, most of the people, right now, are doing the stupid things.”
My suggestion to the chefs will be to just learn ten authentic dishes. Once you learn the classical side of it, I think, creating derivatives is not a problem. Adding oregano in a modak, someone would call it creative but I would call it a stupid idea. Fusion and modernity have to happen but till the time you don’t learn to make a fundamental modak from the recipe, you cannot make a variable.
Even you can create dal vada into pop-corn style!
At Bindas Begum, we had a Bhavnagri Mirchi recipe which was served with feta cheese. I thought it was our dish, but on my visit to Bhutan, I found the same chilli is served with a cheese sauce; this was a 100-year-old recipe. I was zapped how this amalgamation occurred! Feta cheese, 100 years back! So, people knew about it.
Also Read: Four Essential Design Elements For Casual Dining Restaurants A Restaurant will Collapse if…
The restaurant people see food, but to create dishes, one has to have a proper structure and a well-planned design. If a restaurateur fails to understand the menu planning, kitchen designing and meals preparation, their restaurant business will straightaway collapse. All these things are interconnected.
We design the kitchen depending on the menu. The kitchen is decided depending on the concept of the restaurant. According to the concept we make the menu. Once the menu is made we do the kitchen design. If the work is evenly distributed for a proper area of storage and working, then everything becomes smooth. Cooking food is not a big part but having a right balance of organizing everything is very important.
In our kitchen pre-preparation is always important.
Must Read: People Choose Home Over Restaurants To Drink Scotch. Know Why? Back-to-Basic Technique Will Help Restaurants Grow
I had seen the restaurants serving the classical dishes in my early career as a chef, and then fusion and modern foods were introduced following which came the molecular concept. Now, people are back to the basic cuisines. If you see people from across the globe are cooking good and right jus, gravy with brown sauce. After the jus is created rightly, the people give it some kind of formation. Maybe, they will try it in a dehydrated form or put it into a liquid nitrogen giving a different texture. The technique more or less has been the basic of cooking which is baking, broiling, roasting, grilling and steaming.
Dehydrating is a part of roasting. Earlier we were dehydrating at a very high temperature but now we are doing it at a very low temperature for a longer period.
While speaking about India, I feel that people are working on a few main parts like tandoor and barbeque. Nowadays people are also trying to source the ingredients which are exotic. They are trying to source out a specific ingredient say Himalayan rock salt or a particular chilli.
While making desserts like macarons, the basic technique is also important. We create different kinds of macarons by adding cream or by whipping the cream or by using the aquafaba for vegans.Getting the right temperature and knowing how many seconds will it take to get the right texture is important. The detailing has increased in getting the right flavour.
At the crux of it, basic technique matters. This article was originally written by Sara Khan. More from Entrepreneur Terry’s digital marketing expertise can help you with campaign planning, execution and optimization and best practices for content marketing.

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Money & Me: ‘For me, you are rich when you’re generous’

Money & Me: ‘For me, you are rich when you’re generous’ Entrepreneur Nadira Benaissa says you are wealthy if you have food, a roof over your head and you are happy
Nadira Benaissa set up Top Chef, a Dubai cooking studio in Jumeirah, Dubai, in 2012. Pawan Singh / The National David Dunn Feb 14, 2019
February 14, Nadira Benaissa worked as a French language teacher and real estate agent before launching a business in 2012. Fired by her passion for cuisine and entertaining guests, the Algerian-born entrepreneur founded Top Chef, a cooking studio in Jumeirah, Dubai, to teach adults and children how to cook and present food. Mother to two daughters aged 25 and 22, Ms Benaissa, 48, lives with husband Nasr, world sales director for Breitling, in Umm Suqeim. Here she shares her money story.
How did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?
I was raised in Algeria until 17 and then went to France to study. Mum became a midwife and my father is a gynaecologist and surgeon, still working as a professor in medicine. They used to do a lot of work for the Red Cross in Nigeria, ex-Yugoslavia, Brazil. Every time there was a conflict, they used to go. I saw hard work, dedication. That’s what I got from my parents. I admired what they’d do for people without expecting anything in return. They always chose to work in the public sector. We had a nice house in a high-end area of Algiers. I have three sisters, I’m the eldest. We weren’t spoiled, but had everything we needed. In Algeria you don’t live the life you can have in other countries. It’s not a capitalist country so you have what you have, but it was a very happy childhood. We didn’t get pocket money because there was nothing really to do in Algeria, no cinema.
How much were you paid in your first job?
The first time I had to earn money was when I went to France as a law student in 1988, working as a sales person in the department store Galleries Lafayette. I was paid 20 Francs (Dh12) per hour. My parents sent me a certain amount, if I needed more I had to earn it. It taught me life, you need to pay your rent, electricity, for food.
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What brought you to the UAE?
My husband used to work for TAG Heuer watches, which opened its office here in 1995. At the time we lived in Geneva. We moved the family in 1997. I was 26, never had a maid, so I took care of the kids. In 1999, Berlitz language centre opened and I was the first French teacher hired and I worked there for five years. I had a group of girls for six months who decided to open a real estate company, so I started with them in 2003, until 2012.
Why start a cooking studio?
I used to entertain a lot at home and people always asked me for the recipe of something that I’d cooked. I said ‘one day I’m going to open a cooking school’ and then it happened in 2012 (using) all my money. There was a big gap in the market and I wanted to do something myself, something I’m passionate about. At that time I was in real estate for 10 years, I specialised in Jumeirah and Umm Sequim villa rental. I got this villa in my hands and thought ‘why not take it for myself (for Top Chef)’. I was 40 at that time. I said ‘I don’t want to work for someone else’.
Are you a saver or spender?
I’m in between, I’m quite reasonable with money. I like to spend on nice things when it is really worth it. I’m quite a generous person. You give, not expecting something in return, but it comes back.
Where do you save?
We save together. My husband invested some, he was previously a consultant at McKinsey. We bought some products, but it is mainly our real estate. We have a beautiful property in France. My daughter studies in Paris and uses it. I have a couple of investments in Algeria, a house and land. We also invest in limited edition watches, Patek Philippe, IWC, Rolex.
I met people in real estate who disgusted me – greedy landlords.
Nadira Benaissa, Top Chef
What is your best investment?
The property in Paris, from the time we bought it to now it has really increased in value. We don’t rent it out because I spent a lot refurbishing. I don’t care about the money it would bring me. I don’t want the trouble of a tenant.
What is your philosophy towards money?
Money comes and goes. If it’s here, it’s here; if it’s not, it’s not. I’m very relaxed about it. I have lost a lot of money, but I’m still here enjoying life. I met people in real estate who disgusted me – greedy landlords. For me, you are rich when you’re generous. You’re rich when you have food, a roof, you’re happy. I don’t need a lot of money to live my life.
Is there anything you regret spending on?
I lost a lot of money on an apartment in 2008 with a friend. My big mistake. My husband was completely against it and it was the first time I didn’t listen to him. The developers called us to say they were cancelling the building and would not give back the money. Three years later they said finally ‘we decided it will happen, now you need to pay the second instalment’, but I was not friends with my friend any more and I was putting my money into Top Chef. I lost almost Dh700,000 (deposit).
Ms Benaissa says she is “crazy” about art but it it not always about finding a good investment. Pawan Singh / The National What are your luxuries?
I’m crazy about art, paintings. I have some good artists from the region, maybe an investment, maybe not. I buy because I love art. What I’ve got has value, but I didn’t buy to make money.
Every year we have a very nice trip – with my husband and daughters. We started when they were seven and still do it. We travel a lot in Africa, camping, wildlife photography. We also did Alaska for photography. Travel is our biggest pleasure.
What has been your key financial milestone?
The business – I put in a lot of money. The fact that I created a venue and gave a job to people makes me happy. And I’ve taken control of my destiny.
Do you prefer paying in cash or by credit card?
A debit card, but when I have big expenses I prefer to pay with credit card for convenience and I get points towards air miles. I pay it off, I will never spend money that I don’t have.
Are you wise with money?
Very. I don’t spend my time in shopping malls, it is very rarely. I’m not attracted by brands, bags and jewellery. I have priorities. We own our house. We’ve been here 22 years and paying rent doesn’t make sense.
Do you plan for the future?
Yes, for my personal life and business. I wish I could expand (the existing branch) of Top Chef and I have a couple of ideas I hope to realise. Ideally (in the future) we would live six months here, six months in Europe.
What would you raid your savings for?
Maybe an emergency to help family – my girls. Maybe to buy another property. If I buy now, it will be in Africa. I’m in love with Africa.
Updated: February 14, 2019 11:37 AM
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Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:58 pm Post subject: Cornwall is celebrating after being granted minority status – but what of other English counties’ claims to independence? From Berkshire to Yorkshire, our writers go back to their roots… Thursday 24 April 2014 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cornwall-is-celebrating -after-being-granted-minority-status–but-what-of-other-english-counti es-claims-to-independence-9284240.html By Gillian Orr Berkshire, or the Royal County of Berkshire as we all go around calling it, is one of the oldest in the country. Not only was it the scene of many historic battles in the Civil War but, due to Eton College being located here, it means just about every Prime Minister and royal of note has stolen their first kisses and taken their earliest sips of cider in our distinguished county. But if people think Berkshire is just a place for snobs and toffs, don’t forget we are also responsible for glorious Slough, the setting for The Office. And therein lies Berkshire’s beauty. What other county can boast having such varying landmarks as Wernham Hogg Paper Company and Windsor Castle nestled within its quarters? BUCKINGHAMSHIRE By Lisa Markwell Bucks should not be seen as the decorative buckle on the commuter belt, oh no. It may be home to the picturesque Chiltern Hills and have the odd bend of the Thames within its boundaries, but within it is a threatened species. It deserves minority status to protect the very important and at-risk residents of a proper home county: the gin’n’Jag set. The numbers of these creatures, who rise before dawn and hit the M40 in their company cars, to toil at management consulting all day before coming home for a stiff drink and a glance at the Telegraph crossword, are dwindling. But it is they who keep Buckinghamshire’s wine bars in business, the golf clubs ticking over, and the personal trainers (who Mrs G’n’J utilises between school drop off and teeth-whitening sessions) busy. We want them to keep going for ever, like Bucks’ other attractions – Bekonscot, the model village that has barely changed since it opened in 1929 – and the grammar schools that still proliferate. We can’t expect Pinewood Studios to be our only calling card (although, in fairness, it is more glamorous than the other residents the county accommodates – Noel Gallagher and Jamiroquai among others). And apologies if we are now sounding needy, but our minority status is only cemented by being the county that nearly, but not quite, includes such luminary addresses as Silverstone, Bletchley, Windsor I could go on. Even Slough (of “Come Friendly Bombs” fame) is just over the border. CAMBRIDGESHIRE By Chloe Hamilton When you think about it, Cambridgeshire already has minority status. We have our own sport (apparently they punt in Oxford, too, but at the wrong end of the boat), our own language (A keeping room? Anyone? Yep, that’s right, it’s a fancy word for living room) and even our very own, very glamorous Duke and Duchess. To hell with leeks, soda bread, haggis and pasties, our national food is the delectable Fitzbillies Chelsea bun or, for the very brave, boiled sausages in milk. We also make most of our money selling cheap tat to tourists, like any good principality should. If minority status was granted, our head of state, some library eccentric, would ride around town on his bike admonishing students for not wearing their gowns, and enforce incongruous laws such as holding May Balls in June rather than May. In fact, I think the government should go right ahead and make Cambridgeshire the country it quite clearly is. Anything to get one up on The Other Place. CHESHIRE By Alistair Dawber There isn’t much support in Chester, Warrington, Knutsford and Crewe for the Peoples’ Popular Front for the Liberation of Cheshire (PPFLC), but perhaps there should be. Much like Scotland argues in the context of its oil, there’s so much money swimming around (footballers in the north of the county, farmers in the south) that Cheshire must surely be better off keeping its cash rather than transferring it elsewhere. It has its own mining industry (salt – or at least it used to), and huge revenues could be generated by taxing all the trains that come up the West Coast Mainline and to on to various places from Crewe station. Don’t be surprised if support for the PPFLC soars in the years to come. CUMBRIA By Chris Blackhurst If any county is deserving of separate status it is Cumbria. Britain’s loveliest and prettiest, home of Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin and William Wordsworth, Cumbria is closer to heaven than it is to London. With the fells, lakes, and tarns of the Lake District at its core, Cumbria has no issue with identity. Bounded by the sea on one side and the majestic Eden Valley on the other it has its own dialect, cuisine, ales, customs, sports and wildlife. All it is lacking is independent governance. Where would you rather be, in the smog shuffling along in the crowds at Chelsea Flower show, or breathing in the clean, pure air at the Grasmere Sports, watching the fell running, Cumberland Wrestling and hound-trailing? Likewise, would you prefer the view from Westminster Bridge or Tarn Hows? The latter, every time. DERBYSHIRE By Will Gore Picture this Gaining independence will be only the first battle for Derbyshire; then will come the internal debate about the future of Derby itself. City-dwellers there may resent the county’s name change to Peakland and the retention of government in tourist-friendly Matlock. But when civil order reasserts itself, Peakland will become a powerhouse – its industrial heartland in the south; glorious hills and productive pasture to the north. Oatcakes and Bakewell tart will feed hungry mouths at the end of hard-working days; wells will be dressed in thanks for the county’s liberation. And should governments of little Lancashire or yapping Yorkshire, jealous of Peakland’s wonders, send their armies they will be met by sturdy uplanders atop the Dark Peak, their guns loaded with local lead. This is our dream: get out of the trough; climb the peak. DEVON By Sophie Robehmed Ah, Devon, you beautiful beast. Your rolling green hills, magnificent moors and stunning, jagged coastline attracts countless visitors, migrating families and retirees, far and wide. You gave birth to literary greats, such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Ottery St. Mary), a leader of the British Romantic movement whose most famous poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, is studied, again and again, by literature students worldwide, Charles Kingsley (Exeter), whose novel, Westward Ho!, led to the north Devon town with the same name – the only place name in the British Isles that contains an exclamation mark! – and Agatha Christie (Torquay), the bestselling author of all time. Your luscious landscape also inspired the likes of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Ted Hughes, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Arthur Conan Doyle (that’s right, you could forget The Hound of the Baskervilles and Sherlock-cum-Benedict Cumberbatch mania without Dartmoor). You even determined a globally recognised geological era – the Devonian period. Oh, and by the way, you (probably) also introduced the world to a cream tea and the hallowed pasty (according to discovered historic documents), maybe even clotted cream and saffron cake. So stick that in your Saint Piran’s special edition pipe and smoke it, Cornwall. DORSET By Mark Leftly Finally, we Bournemouthians would have our revenge. Bournemouth was the public’s choice to be awarded city status in a 2012 competition to mark the Queen’s Diamond jubilee. Instead, the trio promoted to the top rank of urban settlements were Chelmsford (really?), Perth (Australia?) and St Asaph (not even a real place). That’s quite an insult for a town that sells 2,000 ice creams a day and discovers about as many Page 3 girls (including, I should remind Archie Bland, Hampshire’s Ms Pinder) on seven miles of golden beaches. As economically dominant of Dorset as London is of the UK, secession would see Bournemouth rightfully take its place as the world’s most chain-bar strewn capital city. COUNTY DURHAM By Stephen Brenkley Land of the prince bishops, it was doing home rule long before the others thought of it. The only county of England to proclaim itself as such in its name, its coalfields fuelled the industrial revolution. It has one of the world’s great universities in the county town, one of its great museums in the singular Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle, one of the forgotten treasures of the British countryside in Teesdale, a unitary authority which tries still to believe in supplying public services, and it also provided last summer’s cricket county champions, the true yardstick of any place worthy of the name county. ESSEX By Simon Read Essex is not just another county in England. It’s the oldest county still in existence, dating its roots back to at least the 6th century, and it contains Britain’s oldest recorded town in Colchester, which pre-dated the Roman invasion. Yet it’s also thoroughly modern, being at the heart of the entertainment revolution that still shapes our age today. It boasts the world’s longest pleasure pier at Southend – it’s further than a mile! It was also the birthplace of pirate radio – Caroline’s earliest broadcasts in 1964 came from a boat moored off the Essex coast. Minority status? The rest of the country is in a minority compared to Essex’s historical and contemporary pre-eminence. HAMPSHIRE By Archie Bland Fine, other counties have given the world cultural figures that mean more than Lucy Pinder or Craig David or Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. (Even our greatest modern icon, Matthew Le Tissier, actually comes from the Channel Islands.) Fine, we haven’t got much in the way of local cuisine. But you can keep yer Beatles and yer pasties: Hampshire has kings. When Wessex was a nation, and the Danes were knocking on the door, all of south-west England looked to Winchester for protection. You might not know much about King Alfred beyond his cake-burning, but trust me, he knocks the Windsors into a cocked hat. Royal heritage, a top-class football team, and it’s usually quite sunny: I’m suddenly wondering why we didn’t put up border controls decades ago. HERTFORDSHIRE By David Connett England at its quietest was how novelist E M Forster described Hertfordshire. The unassuming characteristics of a county experienced by most of us only through the windows of the car or train passing swiftly through on their way to London or elsewhere should not be overlooked when the question of independence is raised. More fantastical schemes have been dreamed up at Leavesden’s World of Harry Potter. Herts resident Rupert Grint as head of state, anyone? We could even change the currency to Galleons. Who would argue with fellow resident Vinnie Jones in charge of security? Others may bridle at old boy George Michael as Culture minister but a toll on every car and train passing through would soon see us in clover. KENT By Simon O’Hagan I always thought my home county WAS a nation. Back in the 11th century its good citizens saw off William the Conqueror as he made his way north from Hastings, earning Kent its motto of “Invicta” (unconquered). So we’ve been separate from the rest of England for nearly 1,000 years, which is about how long it feels like Gillingham Football Club have been trying to get into the Premier League. No matter. We punch above our weight in other ways: apples, hops, oil refineries, white cliffs, high-speed rail links, and archbishops of Canterbury. And we’d have Mick Jagger’s head on our stamps. LANCASHIRE By Chris Maume The seat of the Industrial Revolution, the county that made Britain great. And we still have plenty of industry to keep us going today, plus great football teams and great music – and to those who protest that Liverpool and Manchester don’t count, I contend that Lancashire’s boundaries used to encompass both those cities, and as a new nation we would seek to correct the “historical mistake”, as Mr Putin would say, of allowing them to be stolen from us in the Metropolitan Reshuffle Scandal of 1971. LEICESTERSHIRE By Sean O’Grady Can we conceive of a territory with the emblem of a pork pie rampant as its symbol of nationhood? Yes, indeed, the home of the Melton Mowbray delicacy (already a protected brand under European law) has much to commend itself. The county, and the great enterprising multicultural melting pot that is Leicester at its warm heart, leads the nation in so many ways. Top sports teams in every field: rugger, cricket and now a return to premiership football; fox hunting, (nowadays mercifully without the accompanying torture of an innocent wild animal); Britain’s favourite potato crisp (Walkers); and the finest Indian restaurants and chippies you could wish for. Two fine universities, picturesque ancient villages in gently undulating countryside with wonderful names (Great Dalby, Little Dalby, Frisby-on-the-Wreake, Tur Langton, Barton in the Beans), a history of settlement back to pre-Roman times, the National Space Centre, Everards ales, Pukka Pies, the biggest John Lewis in the world, Richard III, magnificent architectural heritage and our very own miniature statue of liberty completes the compelling national case. Prime Minister Gary Lineker awaits the call. LINCOLNSHIRE By Dan Gledhill When asked, “where do you come from?”, there are few better conversation killers than “Lincolnshire”. Well, if that’s your attitude Combining a rugged north and a flat-as-a-pancake south, the land of the “Yeller Belly” boasts some of the finest beaches in Britain. It is the fair county that spawned Isaac Newton, Margaret Thatcher and Abi Titmuss. Lincoln Minster was once the tallest man-made structure in the world. There’s a straight road that goes on for seven miles. How different do we have to be before our minority status is recognised? NORFOLK By John Clarke Those lucky enough to come from Norfolk always had one golden rule. “We do different.” Perhaps it’s the fact that the county’s stuck out in the North Sea, battered by winds straight from Siberia in winter but blessed by miles of golden beaches that make this county not only different but seemingly isolated from the rest of the UK. Going to Norfolk is a conscious decision. It’s not on the way to anywhere else and isn’t somewhere you can just pass through. Driving up the notoriously over-used but under-developed A11 brings you to proud city of Norwich, which boasts a Norman Cathedral, a Norman Castle and premier league football team (although that status is currently under threat). Detractors may point to Alan Partridge, but he has little to do with the true Norfolk, as Dick Van Dyke does with Cockneys. Instead, think of Nelson, a Norfolk-bred national hero, or Thomas Paine, the revolutionary who helped America towards independence – and can inspire Norfolk’s own. NORTHUMBERLAND By Joseph Charlton Northumberland has always been an exceptional county. We boasted a Kingdom from 654 to 954AD, our forebears include Sting, Bryan Ferry and the Venerable Bede, and we’re no stranger to “status” awards here, either – having last year been granted “dark sky status” for the county’s exceptionally dark nights and starry skies. That bright firmament illuminates a world of wonder and spectacle underneath: rolling, heather-clad hills, two football clubs both alike in hatred for one another, and a set of the fairer sex given to a perfunctory dress-code at best, whatever the season. Minority status is clearly the next logical step for a county of such singular disposition. Besides, if Parliament doesn’t recognise our rights soon, they’ll have to compete with an independent Scotland for our affections, and who says Alex Salmond couldn’t turn out to be the annexing type? Joseph Charlton NORTHAMPTONSHIRE By Richard Askwith Northamptonshire has no need of independence. Splayed across the centre of both England and (pretty much) the UK, we’re used to rubbing along happily with people from all parts. Then again, if you all want to secede from us, we’ll manage fine on our own. We’re relatively prosperous, uncrowded, rural but not chocolate-boxy, unpretentious, well-connected (by road, rail and canal), proficient in several sports, with small, slightly sleepy towns and a cultural heritage that spans the social strata, from the super-posh Spencers to John Clare, poet of the peasantry. I suppose it might be tempting, in an every-county-for-itself free-for-all, to invade Lincolnshire; but I suspect we’d think better of it. Access to the sea isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in an age of rising sea-levels. And, with everything we need in our own county, why go looking for trouble? By Alex Lawson Nottinghamshire is the county upon which Britain’s cultural pillars have been built – pubs and football. Nottingham’s natural parliament is Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, a public house dating back to 1189and widely recognised as Britain’s oldest watering hole. On the pitch, Notts County, formed in 1862, proudly boast their status as the world’s oldest professional league club while neighbours across the river Nottingham Forest have two European Cups to their name. Nottinghamshire also has a natural leader to adorn its fledgling flag. Robin Hood, the philanthropic founder of a conscientious economy, is a global hero inspiring men to wear green tights, tourists to brave Sherwood Forest and Bryan Adams to dominate the charts. By Sean O’Grady Small can be beautiful and here we have a miniature nation state that can trace an almost continuous heritage of administrative independence since 1159, (barring a Crimea-style annexation by Leicestershire between 1974 and 1994), making it far older than many upstarts such as San Marino or Monaco – these latter demonstrating how things could work out for our own Lilliput. Oakham and Uppingham pass for metropolises, both charming market towns. Economic viability derives from its fine farmland, nice pubs and of course Rutland Water, an extremely valuable man-made resource. Eric Idle would be the patron saint of the new state, having pioneered the idea of nationhood through the invention of Rutland Weekend Television in the 1970s, compete with the pop group the Ruttles, who stand easy comparison with their more successful Liverpudlian rivals. First prime minister could easily be diminutive government minister and local MP, Alan Duncan, truly a small fish in a small pond. As the county motto says, “much in little”. By Alex Johnson Bigger, better, older, cleverer, Shropshire is the county that doesn’t shout loudest but quietly paves the way for the rest to follow. World’s first skyscraper? That’ll be Ditherington flax mill near Shrewsbury. Birthplace of the modern Olympics? Welcome to Much Wenlock. Home to the first British parliament? Not London, but Acton Burnell. Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution? Lovely Ironbridge. Looking for proper nobility? The real King Arthur didn’t come from down south, but ruled a huge kingdom from his base in Wroxeter. Not only that, but the people are nice too. By Chris Hewett The Somerset Separationists hold regular meetings beneath a soggy hayrick on the outskirts of Nempnett Thrubwell, fortified by hunks of finest mature Cheddar, washed down by pints of foaming Butcombe. Here, we recite from the gospel of Fawlty Towers (John Cleese was born in Weston-super-Mare) while re-enacting the glorious battles of the English Civil War, during which the county distinguished itself with a right-thinking commitment to the Roundhead cause (unlike the forelock-tugging Cornish, it is only fair and reasonable to point out). John Pym, defender of parliament, co-author of the Grand Remonstrance, moving spirit behind the Solemn League and Covenant and leader of the early attacks on Charles I, was a local man. Our claim to nationhood rests on the following indisputable facts: we brew better than London, we party better than London, especially in Glastonbury; we play proper football – that is to say, rugby union – and we build grander dwellings, particularly in Bath. Oh yes, one other thing: the first king of all England was crowned on the site of Bath Abbey. Not that we like kings very much. By Matthew Champion The county that gave the world cricket and provided the backdrop for Kazakhstan’s greatest cycling triumph is no longer the rustic backwater our London cousins may like to think. So our council seat may not even be in Surrey, and sites of historical interest such as Hampton Court and the Coronation Stone might technically be in London. Granted, our literary history is chequered; Ford Prefect actually turned out to be a Betelgeusian and not from Guildford – our largest and in fact only town – and H G Wells was so inspired by the north Surrey countryside he dedicated an entire book in the shape of The War Of The Worlds to its obliteration. Guildford itself is in jeopardy of being subsumed into the menacing-sounding Greater London Built-Up Area, with the expansion of the boroughs-upon-Thames of Richmond and Kingston an ever-present threat. This is what the Saxon-stronghold of Surrey represents, nothing less than the UK’s bulwark against the London behemoth. The only way to correct the north-south divide is to prevent the capital’s southward creep. Make Surrey the figurehead of the Home Counties Splinter Republic and watch the country’s London-centric economy rebalance. By John Lichfield Staffordshire has more claims to minority, separate status than almost any county. Are we the Midlands or the North? Neither, we are Staffordshire, the cultural watershed of England. We have not just one incomprehensible form of speech but two, mutually incomprehensible lingoes : North Staffs and Black Country. We produced the finest ever English footballer: Stanley Matthews. We are linked to Cornwall through china. That is, of course, pottery china, not the People’s Republic. Where would all that Cornish clay go if it didn’t go to the Potteries to be made into dinner plates and toilets? By Rachael Allum The great nation of Suffolk? Certainly has a ring to it, but given the lack of motorways in the county, our complete disregard of the English language and the population’s general penchant for inbreeding, it would seem we’re already functioning as an independent state. With illustrious national foodstuffs such as Branston Pickle, Bird’s custard and the fine ales produced by Greene King in such high demand globally, our economy is booming. And who needs footballing success when you have a town full of diddy people on horseback achieving sporting brilliance? Yes the houses are painted pink and there’s a general odour of sugar beet that hangs in the air, but unless you own a tractor you can’t leave anyway. By Simon Calder When the “Europe of 100 flags” finally arrives, dissolving national frontiers in favour of natural partitions, the six martlets of Sussex will flutter proudly on the county standard. Sussex has always been a land apart. It is segregated from London’s suburban sprawl by the North Downs, yet – thanks to 75 miles of splendid shoreline – open to foreign cultures (as William the Conqueror found to his advantage). To the east, the boundary with Kent is blurred by the mysterious wilderness of Romney Marsh, while the western edge is punctuated by the city of Chichester and the glories of Goodwood. Global connectivity is ensured by the world’s busiest single-runway airport, at Gatwick. However, since the Sussex resorts of Eastbourne and Bognor are habitually the sunniest places in Britain, and exotic Brighton (pictured above) is the most Continental city in the UK, there seems little reason to stray beyond the ancient kingdom of the South Saxons. By Felicity Morse Warwickshire gave birth to the nation’s Greatest Briton: Shakespeare. Perhaps if we’d had our own independence we wouldn’t have had our brilliant bard poached by the smoky stages of the capital and could have kept our shire’s bucolic identity. It’s not just Stratford that makes Warwickshire wonderful though. Coventry weathered the great war with the type of morale exclusive to Midlander. And then there’s Lady Godiva, the city noblewoman who rode through the streets naked to stop the oppressive taxation of the people. Would Boris do the same today? By Richard Hall As far as its people are concerned, Wiltshire is already a country. We have a healthy distrust of outsiders, our own flag (a bustard against a green and white striped background) and a dialect that is incomprehensible to anyone outside of our borders. We have a national monument in Stonehenge (pictured above), a national religion in cider and a national football team in Swindon Town. Ah, come to think of it, perhaps we are better together. Richard Hall By Paul Bignell Where to begin with Yorkshire’s claim to nationhood? Us Yorkshire folk have known it’s the best county for years, but had it confirmed to us only last October when Lonely Planet declared it as the Best Place in Europe and the Third Best Region in the world. Yes, I accept all the clichés – the great fish and chips in Whitby; the rugged beauty of the north York moors; the gravy sandwiches no one ever eats; the desolate Wolds of Hockney’s paintings. But let’s look to the future: cities such as Leeds and Sheffield which have been reinventing themselves quietly over the past decade. Bradford has become the world’s first Unesco City of Film and there’s a new state-of-the-art gallery in Wakefield. Add the cosy, plentiful pubs in York, the tea rooms of Harrogate the quirkiness of Hebden Bridge. Oh and there’s something about a cycling event this year. By Katy Guest With the best city (Liverpool), the most glamorous beach (Formby), the finest views of Wales, the two most mighty cathedrals and possibly, just possibly the greatest football team in England once again, Merseyside already has everything it needs to stand alone as a nation – even though apparently it’s not even a county. It even has the best jokes. “Why did the Scouse chicken cross the road softly? Because he couldn’t walk hardly.” Should it need to, Merseyside could revive the Albert Dock for imports and exports, and bring in tourists straight off the boat from New York to marvel at Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and Bidston Hill. (Lancashire can keep the 4,000 holes.) Merseyside even has its own national anthem, inspired by the stalls of ye olde Birkenhead market: “We three kings of Hamilton Square/ Selling knickers 2p a pair/ They’re fantastic, no elastic/ That’s why our bums are bare.” By Rob Hastings We’ve heard plenty of reasons for London declaring self-rule: its huge population, its self-supporting economy, and its strong cultural identity. But for us Londoners living north of the Thames, making the capital independent just isn’t good enough. Travel south of the river, and we might as well be in a different land – where you have to walk miles for the Tube, and life seems strangely cut off from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. So let’s wave goodbye to south London and draw a national boundary along the River Thames instead – reinstating the ancient county of Middlesex and making it an independent country. These days, Middlesex exists purely as a cricket team and a postal district for the likes of my family living out in Enfield. But historically, its borders included the seat of government in Westminster, the economic powerhouse of the City, and almost all the most famous sights of the capital. The old Middlesex Guildhall is now home to the Supreme Court – the highest judicial body in the land. So while some people might dismiss Middlesex as the county that doesn’t really exist, I’d argue that it has a better chance of surviving as an independent nation than any other shire in Britain. And if you won’t accept it as a county, that would effectively leave me stateless. Please don’t force me to take it to the European Court of Human Rights.

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