News from The Castle at Taunton
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Castle Hotel News
ROD STEWART TO PLAY THE COUNTY GROUND ON JUNE 18TH!
Book your advance tickets at http://www.ticketline.co.uk/Rod2014/seats
KEVIN HORNER IS ‘DAY IN THE CASTLE KITCHEN’ PRIZE WINNER
Thursday, 6th June 2013
Mr Horner will enjoy a day of ‘hands on’ tutelage under the experienced guidance of Head Chef, Liam Finnegan preparing a menu of his choice. The fruits of his labours will be enjoyed by Mr Horner and his wife, Linda, in The Castle's stylish Art Deco Grill Room - Castle Bow Bar & Grill, followed by an overnight stay in one of The Castle’s Garden Rooms.
Kit Chapman, proprietor of The Castle, commented: “Congratulations to Mr Horner! You can look forward to a really interesting and exciting day with Liam.”
The Castle at Taunton One of the 50 Best British Hotels
FOODBANK TROLLEY PUSH AGAINST POVERTY
Tuesday, 9th April 2013 in front of HMV, Taunton
Fundraising for Taunton Foodbank to help feed local people in crisis
As the Welfare Reforms start to take effect, growing numbers of people are turning to Foodbanks for emergency food. Foodbanks across the UK are joining the Trussell Trust’s nationwide Trolley Push to help stop people going hungry.
The Foodbank trolley, like the Olympic torch, is making its way around the UK, starting in Salisbury on Monday 8th April and will arrive in Taunton at 10am on Tuesday 9th April, outside HMV in the town centre.
The Trolley nicknamed ‘Phil’ will be visiting 50 Foodbank locations and covering more than 2,300 miles as it tours the country over five weeks. Taunton Foodbank will be raising money and awareness for people in crisis needing emergency food parcels. The Foodbank has seen a significant increase in the need for emergency food parcels and anticipate a further increase as the Welfare Reforms take effect.
Taking part in a nationwide campaign of The Trussell Trust, Taunton Foodbank is calling for people to help fill ‘Phil’ the trolley by donating money, which will be used to support their work and benefit of local people who are unable to buy food.
Activities will include:
As well as making people aware of Taunton Foodbank, the goal of the event is to raise at least £500. Everyone is invited to join and donate money for the purchase of new boxes for Taunton Foodbank. These boxes are used for a safe and easy storage as well as transportation of food that has been donated. For £3 a box can be bought and the name of the sponsor will be attached to it.
All of the money paid will be collected in the trolley itself. Between 10am and 12 noon we aim to fill the trolley to the top. People are encouraged to pay a visit to the stand, to help fill the trolley with money and to sponsor storage boxes.
Keith Whittaker from Taunton Foodbank said: “We really need the help of people in Taunton as we are seeing a significant increase in people needing emergency food parcels. We anticipate a further increase as the welfare reforms take effect.”
Since the official start of Taunton Foodbank in July 2012, over 600 people have been fed, including more than 150 children.
THE CASTLE AT TAUNTON LAUNCHES EVENTS & CONTRACT CATERING DIVISION
Taunton’s family-owned Castle Hotel has won two early catering contracts which mark the successful launch of its new Castle Events & Contract Catering division. The two contracts, for the Museum of Somerset and the Somerset County Library, were awarded after a competitive tendering process in January.
In 2011, the Museum of Somerset reopened after a £7 million refit which harnessed world-class curating values to create a remarkable new visitor attraction. Its 90,000 visitors through 2012 have made the museum Taunton’s top tourist destination. The museum also includes a fabulous exhibition of artefacts in the 12th century Great Hall, a dramatic space which can accommodate up to 200 people for special events for which The Castle will now cater.
The bid for the contracts was led by Marc Mac Closkey, Director & General Manager of The Castle. He was supported by the hotel’s Director of Finance, Jon Peilow, and Head Chef, Liam Finnegan, who will direct the production kitchen.
The Board has appointed Hilde Stuiver, also a member of the bid team, as Head of the new division. Ms Stuiver, who is Dutch with a degree from Maastrict University’s School of Hospitality Management, has 20 years’ experience in the business. Her international career includes stints with Four Seasons hotels and Mandarin Oriental.
Kit Chapman, Proprietor of The Castle, commented: “ We are all thrilled by this early success. Hilde Stuiver is an outstanding professional who has the flair and ability to develop our new business. Indeed, we already have more contracts in our sights and we are in negotiation to cater for a major event in Taunton later this year.”
Carrie Blogg, Business Manager at the Museum of Somerset, said: “We are delighted to be working with The Castle Hotel on this exciting new venture. The museum has become well known for its high standards of customer service, and the hotel’s excellent reputation for great food and great service will enhance this even further.”
THE CASTLE’S GENERAL MANAGER WINS PROMOTION TO FAMILY BOARD
Taunton’s historic Castle Hotel has appointed General Manager Marc Mac Closkey a Director of the company after only twelve months in post.
Proprietor Kit Chapman commented: “My Family and fellow directors were unanimous in their decision”.
Louise Chapman went on: “Marc’s arrival last year was something of a baptism of fire with all the disruption of the development works on Castle Green.
“In spite of this challenge, he led the successful opening of our new restaurant - Castle Bow Bar & Grill – and recruited Liam Finnegan, a fellow Irishman, as its star Chef.”
The Castle’s new Grill restaurant is a £100,000 investment in an exciting Art Deco-inspired dining room designed by Mrs Chapman.
“Finally”, noted Kit Chapman, “in the face of this period of severe economic austerity, Marc ended 2012 by achieving the Hotel’s most successful Christmas and New Year Season ever! He has established The Castle, The Grill and BRAZZ as where you want to be for a great party!
“As for 2013, we are delighted to report an upsurge in wedding bookings. And we are expecting to announce an exciting new business venture very shortly.”
For further information, please contact either Sarah Berry on 01823 328304 or Lorrie Kelly on 01823 328324.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... to watch the preparations, click here!
WAR MEMORIALS: a talk by Sue Tall
Friends of Somerset Archives will be holding a talk on Saturday, 10th November in the Somerset Heritage Centre "War Memorials" with Sue Tall.
Admission is free for members and under 16s. £3 donation is suggested for non-members that would like to attend.
CASTLE GREEN EVENTS
If you haven't seen the newly rejeuvenated Castle Green public space, November and December will offer some wonderful opportunities to 'Come and join the fun'!
Here's the line-up of upcoming events:
Saturday, 17 & Sunday, 18 November from 9.30am until 8.00pm you can enjoy the Castle Green Fun Fair in support of Taunton Christmas Street Fair and the 'Make Taunton Sparkle' campaign. Free family crafts and Santa's grotto are sure to delight the children (Museum of Somerset - £3 per child).
On Thursday, 22nd November between 6.00 - 9.00pm Queens College will showcase their musical production of 'Our House', a celebration of 35 years of London band, Madness. It is also the first official night of late Christmas shopping!
Saturday, 1st December you can enjoy the Community Christmas Carol Event & Brass Band on the green & make a free paper lantern at The Museum of Somerset between 2 - 4.30pm.
Friday, 7th December, Castle Green will be filled with festive cheer as The Castle Hotel will host the Exeter Cathedral Choir Evening. Carols, entertainment and a 3-course dinner with the choristers costs £69 (to include wine).
And in BRAZZ there will be a Christmas Party Night complete with 3-course dinner, a strolling magician and disco til 1am! Price: £37.50, but if you buy 9 you get the 10th free!
Also on Friday, 7th December there will be a Lady's Night Fashion Show and other events in aid of Breast Cancer.
On Saturday, 8th December Taunton's Beer Festival with live music will be held on Castle Green. And the day after, Sunday, 9th December, there will be BreakFest on the green.
Whatever you do, you simply shouldn't miss the Traditional Christmas Street Fair being held on Saturday, 15th December between 10.30am and 5.00pm. Market stalls, festive music, traditional Christmas rides, crafts and the Great Taunton Turkey Derby will be followed by Somerset folk carols at 7.30pm in the Museum of Somerset. All in aid of CLIC sergeant. Advance tickets can be purchased for £8pp.
Currently under the aegis of the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, Mr Chapman wants Hospitality & Tourism moved to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills as part of the portfolio of the Trade Minister.
"We are not some kind of Tom & Jerry show!" he says. "We generate £90 billion of direct business annually for the UK, support over 2.5 million jobs and rank among the top six biggest sectors in our economy."
On VAT he says: "We are competing with our European neighbours with one arm tied behind our back. In France VAT on hotels has been reduced to 5.5%. In Italy it is 10% and Spain 8%. Indeed, our industry is now ranked 135th out of 139 countries on price competitiveness". He wants to see VAT on hotels and restaurants slashed to 5% to boost jobs, investment and growth in the sector.
Mr Chapman has been invited to speak at the University of Surrey's Guildford Campus for its inaugural International Alumni Day on Saturday, 14th July.
His speech, aimed at a general audience of over 400 delegates and covering a range of issues including the UK's failing educational system and benefit culture, will be screened live as a webcast at 11.00am on Saturday morning. Go to http://www.surrey.ac.uk/foreversurreylivealumniday2012.
For more information:
OPENING 26 JULY 2012 - CASTLE BOW BAR & GRILL
Marc Mac Closkey New General Manager of The Castle and BRAZZ
Battersea 120 event
The Castle at Taunton launches its own "Great British Bake Off"!
The MUSEUM of SOMERSET Opening
Taunton Literary Festival Programme of Events
Letter from the Archipelago: Politics, ouzo and a souvlaki with horta!
Letter from the Archipelago: A wedding on Lake Como
Our Garden Party on July 3rd will feature BBQ Cider-Can Chicken!
The Tesla Electric car battles with Ferrari for a carbon-free world at Taunton's Castle Hotel
An open message to George Goring, OBE and The Goring Hotel by Kit Chapman
The Royal Wedding: The greatest marketing show on Earth
Von Essen Hotels – A case of one man's hubris
Valerie Harper & Gill Whatmore
BRAZZ@The Castle will offer Jamie Raftery's perfect Chicken Liver Parfait
A tale of snails, sea urchins, frogs' legs and calves' heads
The Castle Restaurant will be transformed into a private events space on 4th April
60 Years at the Castle, HT interview with Kit Chapman
Somerset Food and Drink "An interview with Jamie Raftery"
Wassailing The Castle's Apple Orchard in glorious mud!
The Castle at Taunton supports Fish Fight!
Michel Roux's Service on BBC 2: A coup for the restaurant industry
An embarrassment of apples. "Drink up and we'll wassail thee"!
The Castle at Taunton Unveils its 60th Anniversary Apple Orchard
Why no matter how hot it's got in the kitchen, Kit has always kept it in the family
ROYAL HONEYMOON PACKAGE LAUNCHED BY THE CASTLE AT TAUNTON
Congratulations to William and Kate!
News from Kit Chapman…June 2010
Keep It In The Family, BBC 2 – The Castle at Taunton
Unique Easter Festival Celebrates Haydn Bicentenary
t: 01823 272671
Castle Green, Taunton, TA1 1NF