In Brief

07 December 2004
In Brief

Equality organisations may have to merge The Queen's Speech last week trailed the Equality Bill, which will aim to merge the Disability Rights Commission with other equality organisations, including those responsible for race, religious belief, age and sexual orientation.

The British Hospitality Association has warned that combining all these interests in a single body could create problems, however. According to deputy chief executive Martin Couchman, this could mean smaller budgets for advisory services where businesses need help to ensure disabled access. Since the final stage of the Disability Act was implemented in October, businesses have had to comply with requirements for equal access and treatment.

Tchenguiz wins battle for Laurel Pub Company Property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz has won the battle to become preferred bidder for the Laurel Pub Company.

He beat off competition from Yates Group owner GI Partners and a consortium led by St James's Place Capital to gain control of the 177-strong high-street estate, valued at £150m.

A report in the Times said Ian Payne would now step down as chief executive of Laurel to be replaced by Chris Hutt, previously managing director of Wizard Inns. It is thought the majority of Laurel's management team will be kept on.

Tchenguiz has also been linked with a deal for struggling Regent Inns, owner of the Walkabout bar chain.

Laurel Pub Company sold its 432-strong neighbourhood estate to Greene King in July for £654m. This latest deal marks the end for the Laurel business, which was created from Whitbread's managed pub interests in 2001.

Felin Fach Griffin triumph The Felin Fach Griffin restaurant in Felinfach, near Brecon, Powys, has been voted Restaurant of the Year in the True Taste Hospitality Awards, run jointly by the Welsh Development Agency and the Wales Tourist Board.

The restaurant was recognised as having made an outstanding contribution to dining out in Wales and, in the judging panel's opinion, set an example for other restaurants to follow.

Restaurant 698 in Mumbles, Glamorgan, won the Best Newcomer award, while Carlton House restaurant in Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, owned by Alan and Mary Gilchrist, secured the Best Use of Local Produce accolade.

Morel In our 30 September issue we wrote about the forthcoming opening of a new French restaurant called "Morrell" on the site of the former Thyme restaurant in Clapham, south-west London. The correct name of the new restaurant is Morel. We are happy to make this clear.

Katy Cale We would like to clarify that Katy Cale, who will assume the position of restaurant manager at the Elephant restaurant in Torquay, Devon, later this month (Caterer, 25 November, page 10) moves from Cavendish House in Cheltenham, where she works for Massarella Catering, and not Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham, as stated.

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