Sunday, 27 December 2009

Thursday, 24 December 2009

October Offers Sanibel Travelers Best of Festivals and Feasts

Topping off a very long list of activities on Sanibel Island, Florida in October are the incredibly interesting Ding Darling Days, which offer something for everyone. The event runs from October 18 to October 24, in the National Wildlife Refuge, of course. And the menu is most tantalizing. The 6 day spectacular, morning til night, concentrates on wildlife in many ways: talks, tours, workshops and exhibits to name just a few. Among the free events, there will be talks about wildlife, a reptile show, naturalist narrated tram tours, face painting....even free hot dogs and drinks. And for a nominal fee nature cruises, kayaking and bird watching caravans will be offered.

The following offer several other compelling reasons to visit the Island in October:

Stone Crab Season

On October 15, Stone Crab season begins.

Select restaurants celebrate the opening of stone crab season with specials throughout Lee County. Succulent native stone crab claws, one of Southwest Florida's tastiest delicacies, are that much more precious because they're available only seven months out of the year. They are usually served chilled with tangy mustard sauce, or sometimes warm with drawn butter.

The 24th Annual Oktoberfest takes place on the week-ends of October 16-18 and October 23-25. Celebrate German food, music, dancing and culture at Lee County's largest annual Oktoberfest. Highlights include authentic live entertainment from local music groups plus one direct from Germany, along with plenty of German food and beer.

4th Annual Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival

Oct. 23 - Nov. 1

Paddlers, competitors, families and outdoor enthusiasts from around the country are expected to attend the one-of-a-kind eco-event. Ten days of festivities will include canoe/kayak races, a kayak fishing tournament, paddling clinics and demonstrations, seminars, family activities, archaeological and environmental events, guided tours, speakers and more celebrations along the Calusa Blueway paddling trail.

If you have not as yet planned your trip to Sanibel for October, air fares are down and there are some great vacation rental condos and homes available and often discounted. Where do you think you can have a better time than Sanibel Island?

Looking for a place to stay on Sanibel while you enjoy the festivities? Please visit my website:

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Saturday, 19 December 2009

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Visiting Craft Festivals

Types of Craft Festivals

Craft festivals may be specialized, or offer a range of products. Most craft festivals also offer a variety of foods, drinks, artwork, gifts, collectibles and sometimes even entertainment. Specialized festivals cover subjects such as regions, history, holidays and other categories.

What to Bring

When planning for an outdoor craft festival it is a good idea to pack a few items even if you don't plan on needing them. Items to bring include lightweight collapsible chairs, layered clothes, sunglasses, sun block, sunglasses, hats, water, ice, snacks and a camera. Weather can change suddenly, so having a variety of clothing can save the day if unexpected weather affects an outdoor event.

What to Expect

When attending a craft festival for the first time, it is advisable to read about past events, check reviews of festivals or locate first hand accounts of other people's experiences. Some festival enthusiasts will have a network of friends that can share information.

How to Choose the Best Festivals

Craft enthusiasts can find out about the top festivals in their area by visiting hobby websites, news portals, regional blogs or niche websites. Other sources of festival information include newspapers, specialty shops, clubs, newsletters, online searches and word of mouth recommendations. Social media can be an excellent source of information. In addition to a website, most mid-sized to large festivals now have a presence on one or several social media sites. These can include Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites.

Festival Shopping

Craft festivals offer plenty of some shopping opportunities. Most events will have a large selection of crafters and other vendors. Some festivals will have items that are appropriate for any time of year while others may focus on seasonal crafts. Holiday-related crafts are extremely popular at shows. These specialty crafts include items for Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Kwanza, Christmas and other celebrations.

For nautical crafts, art, news, blogs, events, festival information and more, visit Nautical Art.

For Virginia festival information visit Virginia Festivals.

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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Big City Sounds With A Caribbean Twist At The Aruba Music Festival

Big City Sounds With A Caribbean Twist At The Aruba Music Festival

Author: Justin Burch

As an island known for its vibrant tropical energy and diverse entertainment options, Aruba is one of the best destinations in the Caribbean to experience live music. The capital city of Oranjestad is known as a hotbed of Caribbean jazz and latin music, as numerous clubs and concert halls host live bands throughout the year. Even outside the main tourist areas of Oranjestad, live music can be heard in restaurants and on the beaches. The island is also home to major music festivals, the Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival - an annual event held each May that showcases internationally-renowned soul and R&B artists - and the Aruba Music Festival - a two-day festival that welcomes top-selling classic rock groups, up-and-coming superstars and lesser-known regional artists. While events like the Aruba Music Festival are staged throughout the world, few festivals can boast the event's unique combination of big-city entertainment and inviting Caribbean atmosphere.

Though only in its 8th official season, the Aruba Music Festival has already lured an incredible array of top-selling performers. Prior to becoming the Aruba Music Festival, the event was known as the Aruba Jazz and Latin Festival. Developed in the 1980s to showcase the Caribbean region's rich musical tradition, the Aruba Jazz and Latin Festival was expanded and renamed in 2002. Though the Aruba Music Festival was created as a way to present top international touring acts, the festival has remained true to its roots and continues to offer performances by jazz and latin artists from throughout the Caribbean region.

While the lineup for this year's festival has not yet been announced, the event is sure to feature famous classic rock acts, as well as many local, regional and up-and-coming international performers. In recent years, headlining acts at the Aruba Music Festival have included well-known classic rock bands such as Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Queen and Crosby Stills and Nash. The festival has also lured several internationally-recognized singer-songwriters such as Lionel Richie, Jackson Browne and contemporary favorite, John Mayer. Before the headliners take the stage each day at the Aruba Music Festival, the side stage heats up with a diverse array of musical styles, most provided by groups specialized in dance-friendly Caribbean genres.

The Aruba Music Festival takes place each year at the state-of-the-art Aruba Entertainment Center. The spacious outdoor venue allows concert-goers to enjoy the cool evening weather in a scenic setting located only five minutes drive from downtown Oranjestad and fifteen minutes drive from the island's Hotel Zone. The Aruba Entertainment Center offers superior acoustics and the open, but intimate design ensures that all concert-goers have excellent views of the main stage. The venue features large general admission and open grass areas that allow concert-goers to stretch out on blankets and enjoy a relaxing, picnic-like experience, while those that prefer reserved seats will find excellent views near the stage. Behind the seating areas, a number of concession stands serve up food and drinks, including local brews and snacks.

As the Aruba Music Festival is staged just before the beginning of the peak tourism season, budget-conscious travelers visiting the island prior to the winter holidays are granted an excellent opportunity to experience the island's vibrant music scene. Tourists visiting Aruba during the fall season will also be assured of excellent weather, as the island falls outside the storm belt that affects many Caribbean islands.

The Aruba Music Festival will take place this year on the weekend of October 9-10. After this year's schedule of headlining acts is developed, updates about the festival can be found on Aruba's official tourism website ( As the schedule will appear prominently in local travel publications, travelers can also contact their resort for more details about the festival.

About the Author:
Justin Burch writes articles about travel in Aruba for the Marriott Resorts.

Article Source: - Big City Sounds With A Caribbean Twist At The Aruba Music Festival

Monday, 7 December 2009

Stock up on Festive food

Stock up on Festive food

Author: Phil Adams-Wright

Christmas is a time for spending some quality time with our families and when you have a large family gathering then you can guarantee that a lot of food will be eaten. Even if you don’t have a large family group around for Christmas dinner itself there’s a good chance that you’ll be having family gatherings and parties all through the festive period and need some festive food to eat at some point.

The obvious food items we have at the dinner table over Christmas are the roast turkey, depending on the size of your family will determine how big your turkey needs to be. Turkeys are measured in kilograms usually and can be bought as whole or just turkey breast. It is probably better to get a bigger turkey than needed rather than a smaller one as you can always have turkey sandwiches the day after and there’s always one person who wants seconds.

Some households choose to make more than just turkey and have a second or even a third meat at the dinner table. A joint of ham or beef can be cooked alongside the turkey for those who maybe aren’t too keen on the dry turkey meat.

Another food item that gets associated with Christmas is what goes with the turkey, roast potatoes. The perfect roast potato can be tough to achieve but many people have followed the trend set by numerous celebrity chefs of cooking them in goose fat. Goose fat is a scarce commodity around this time of year so it’s a good idea to stock up now if you want to get the ultimate roast potatoes.

Christmas is also associated with Christmas pudding for obvious reasons, many people choose to buy premade puddings from a supermarket but some families may opt for a homemade Christmas pudding complete with brandy cream or choosing to indulge in the tradition of pouring brandy on and lighting it for a fun centrepiece to the table, just be careful to not spill the burning brandy!

There are many other foods for after dinner or even just as snacks when friends and families come round such as cakes and savoury snack and dips. One popular finale to family meals is a cheese board with a range of different cheeses, giving your guests a chance to have some of their favourites but also try out new varieties. Coffee is a regular drink families have around the dinner table, perfect for a relaxing drink after the dinner has been eaten and the children have gone back to playing with their toys.

Make sure you have a great Christmas period with your family and consider the fair trade foods you could buy as a part of your celebrations such as fair trade chocolate and fair trade coffee and tea.

About the Author:

Article Source: - Stock up on Festive food

The Octagon Blog: Bolton Food and Drink Festival

The Octagon Blog: Bolton Food and Drink Festival

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Festivals Of Barcelona Another Amazing Thing From This City

Festivals Of Barcelona Another Amazing Thing From This City

Author: Gaizka Pujana

Barcelona is a city that seems to have everything a tourist could want. Great weather, a compact city that is easy to get around, full of art, culture and entertainment venues, great food and friendly locals. Of course, the proximity of Barceloneta beach to the city centre means that tourists can enjoy a day in the city sightseeing and finish up the day on the soft sand with an icy glass of Sangria. What more could you want for a great fun filled holiday?

If you've been to Barcelona before and want to see another side of the local culture, or if you are looking for a party or event to spice up your holiday, you may want to look at the possibility of visiting Barcelona when the city is celebrating one of its famous festivals.

There are many festivals during the year in Barcelona because not only do Barcelonians get to celebrate the national holidays that the rest of Spain celebrates, there are also many festivals that Catalans celebrate as well. Add to that local neighbourhood festivities and what you've got is a city that never seems to stop partying! This means that tourists can rest assured, that nearly any time of year, something or someone will be being celebrated while they are there!

Sant Juan is a popular fun- filled festival dedicated to Saint John. The origins of this celebration date back to Pagan times where people celebrated the summer solstice by feasting and drinking and dancing around huge bonfires, said to ward off evil spirits.

The theme of fire has carried through to the modern version of this festival, in the form of fuegos artificiales, better know as fireworks! As well as council sponsored fireworks shows, the local kids get to enjoy setting off loud cracking fireworks in local squares and plazas in the weeks leading up to the festival.

On the day itself (usually the 23rd June), people gather in the streets to dance and celebrate. You wont have to go far to join in the fun as many communities sponsor a free live music concert in their neighbourhood, but if you want to head to the real action of the festival, head to the beach where you can join in on one of the all night dance parties, complete with dancing and music until dawn, and lots of fireworks!

The Gracia street festival, held in mid August is another exciting celebration you can enjoy in Barcelona. The festival is a community event where the residents of the streets get together to decorate their street in a theme of their choice. A committee is formed to ensure the project is designed and completed in time for the grand opening. This is serious business! Each street is competing for the title of the Best Street of the festival, and planning for the next festival often begins the very week after the festival ends!

Thousands of brightly coloured plastic bottles and other found objects are used to splash the streets with colour. Giant paper mache figures guard the entry and exit to the streets and coloured lights are everywhere. The festival runs for a week where a panel of judges decide which street is the best.

Of course, like all street festivals in Catalonia, beer on tap will be available on just about every street corner, to get the party going. Bands will be set up in each decorated street to encourage passers by to come inside, admire the hard work and creativity of the residents and have some fun at the same time.

The Festival La Merce is another exciting event that brings celebration to the streets of Barcelona in late September for five days between the 19th and 24th. Celebrating the patron saint of the city, street parades, fire parades and giant paper mache figures will take to the city streets. Free concerts will be on every street corner to entertain the crowd.

These are just some of the many exciting events that give Barcelona the well-earned reputation of being one of the party capitals in Europe. So what are you waiting for? Just make sure your book your accommodation in Barcelona on time, to avoid disappointment!

About the Author:

Get Ready Rentals.
Barcelona apartment rental
Barcelona vakantie
Barcelona rentals

Article Source: - Festivals Of Barcelona Another Amazing Thing From This City

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Litang August 1st International Horse Race Festival in Sichuan

Litang August 1st International Horse Race Festival in Sichuan

Author: Easy Tour China

Time: August 1 every year

Venue: Litang County of the Garze Tibetan Automomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province

Origin: In the areas where the Tibetan people live in a compact community, the local people used to pay homage to the mountain god on the third day of the sixth month by the Tibetan calendar. During the festival, the Chamqiangchun Kor Monastery holds various activities according to the time-honored customs. Sometimes the festival lasted 10 days when horse races were held, and the local Tibetan people worshipped the mountain god and celebrated the bumper harvest. In 1964, the Litang County People's Government made a decision that the traditional festival hundred years be celebrated on August 1 to reflect the close relations between the army and the people, hence the name the August 1st International Horse Race Festival. Now this festival includes a wide variety of large-scale celebrations.

What's On: During the festival, various activities are held, such as the horsemanship competition, moving round the sacred mountain, the Litang fashion show, performances of songs and dances, etc. Tourists can also appreciate Tibet Opera, gzhas dance, sgor-bro dance, folk songs, and various activities peculiar to the Tibetan people, such as carrying water, and preparing glutinous rice cakes and buttered tsichuan events and festivals, Chengdu sichuan toursea. It is the best time to see the unique tibentan cultures in Sichuan and best time to taste more things unique like their speical food and drink, their features... Alll are showing on the horse racing festival, the most important and popular events on the grass land in Sichuan.

Main Tourist Attractions: Garkung Mountain Scenic Area, Conch Ravine Scenic Area, Mogai Co Scenic Area, Tarkung Monastery, Litang Monastery and Tarkung Grassland.

Transport: Tourist may fly to Chengdu first, and then go to the destination by train.

About the Author:

More facts and tours about Sichuan China,

Article Source: - Litang August 1st International Horse Race Festival in Sichuan

Friday, 4 December 2009

Festival Survival Guide

It's summertime and out comes the normal round of big open air concerts in Europe and these concerts we hope we have no rain and plenty of sunshine and instead sometimes we get complete downpour and its not very good at all.

So if you are planning to spend time at a festival this year spend time to think of the few essentials for surviving at an open air concert. There is a product available that you can get called a festival survival kit and I can recommend one as well as thinking about having these as well. The first thing you must realize is you are going to be in the hands of the promoters and they will want you to spend money on everything from water to toilet roll.

Try to find out what is going to allowed on the site to start with many festivals have camp sites organized so make sure that you get your festival kit together. A tent for two people are both light weight and easy available try to find one that is easy to put up as you may arrive at the site in a typical British summer day to have torrential rain.

Bring water, bring toilet rolls bring black plastic bags as these can not only be used for the mess that will be made from drinking etc but can be worn in a rain storm to keep you relatively dry even though you may feel silly but it's better to be silly than wet. If you are taking transport i.e. cars then make sure you keep all your valuables within the car and out of site while you're off watching the concert.

Consider carefully where to put your tent as you should want it on an incline but not at the bottom as this will help if there is surface water. You also need to consider your escape plan at the end of a festival there is a massive queue to get out try to be where you can get out easily even if this means driving round for a bit to find a good location.

Make sure you pack suitable clothes as often once you are in the arena area access in and out can be restricted. Be careful what you eat as the best whole food is more likely to stay stable in your system some burger stalls are not exactly the healthiest choice and you don't want your festival experience to be ruined by a dose of food poisoning.

Bringing as much water as you can as this is always something that you will run out of during the day remember on a sunny day you may need a lot more than the six recommended glasses a day to keep yourself hydrated. Check on your hydration level by examining your pee as the lighter the color the more hydrated you are.

Keep your skin protected bring a good sunscreen and use it regularly during the day as you can get quite badly burned if you fall asleep in the sunshine. Try also to remember to bring something comfortable to sit on as the grass if dried out can be hard and uncomfortable.

Try not to drink too much alcohol as this cannot just spoil your day but everyone else's be sensible with your rubbish and think of other people while you're at the festival . Always think ahead and remember that if you are single and get lucky at a festival bring the correct hygiene and contraceptive devices to let you have and enjoyable festival experience.

© 2008 Andy Bolton 40 Liverpool,
hot Air Balloons

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Thursday, 3 December 2009

Kumbh Mela Hindu Festivals

India is a country of fairs and festivals and people have firm faith in Gods, Goddesses and other local deities. One of such famous holy festivals is Kumbh Mela, which is a mass festival of Hindus and attract a large number of devotees from all over the places to the holy site of this holy festival.

Celebration of Kumbh Mela

This festival is celebrated every after four years period on rotation basis at four places. The famous four places of Kumb Mela in India are Allahabad (Prayag), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. Hence, a particular place gets a chance of celebrating the Kumb Mela after a period of 12 years. Ardh Kumbh Mela is celebrated every after six years in Allahabad and Haridwar. Around 4 million devotees take part in the celebrations of Kumb Mela every time.

Kumbh Mela is celebrated Jupiter Planet (Brihaspati) moves into Aquarius or Kumbh (zodiac sign). Celebration dated of Kumbh Festival are pre-decided according to the position of planets and zodiac signs. Purna Kumbh Mela is celebrated in a period of 12 years when Jupiter and Sun enters into Leo and Aries.

Rituals of Kumbh Mela

One of the main rituals of this festival is the holy bath on the banks of rivers, Ganga and Yamuna in Allahabad, Kshipra in Ujjain and Godavari in Nashik. Apart from taking holy bath various other activities are conducted like singing of devotional songs, bhajans, mass feeding of devotees, religious assemblies and discussions and offering prayers in various temples.

A large number of Sadhus and saints from various parts of India visit these holy sites during this holy festival. One can see these Sadhus dabbed with ash and Chandan (sandalwood powder) on their bodies. There are some Sadhus, who are known as 'Naga Sadhus' of ' Digambars' , who roam naked without wearing clothes.

History of Kumbh Mela

According to a famous legend, in the Vedic period thousands and years ago, an agreement was made between Gods and demons for working together to obtain immortal nectar (amrit) from milky ocean and to share it in equal proportion. But as soon as the 'Kumbha' pot filled with nectar or immortality appeared, demons ran away carrying the pot. There was big battle between Gods and demons for the possession of the pot for a period of 12 days and nights (considered equivalent to 12 human years). It is believed that in the process of their battle, drops of nectar fell at these four places, Prayag, haridwar, Nashik and Ujjain. These places later became holy and the venue of organising this Mela.

There is also a famous belief among Hindus that the festival sites at Allahabad, Ujjain, Haridwar and Nashik are holy places for spending the last moments of their life. It is believed that taking bath at these holy sites of Kumbh Mela washes away sins of lifetime and it opens the doors for their journey to heaven.

For more information about various pilgrimage and holy places and festivals of India, visit : and

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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Field Marketing Within the Food and Drink Industry

Are you a supplier within the food and drink sector? You should realize that your success could depend on how you market the products you sell to prospective or potential customers or consumers. You do not need to be a full-time and seasoned expert in marketing. Your core skills in product development and manufacturing would be particularly important and useful. You could begin looking outside or beyond your very own business or company to be able to effectively field market within the industry.

If you are not that confident about your own level of field marketing capability within the food and drink industry, you should not worry in any way. There are currently several field marketing agencies that are operating to offer and provide the specific type of service that you and your business requires. You could use such to optimize your own opportunity for success. Do you plan to take such a service? Here are the most important factors that you truly should take a closer look at especially when selecting a company that would deliver your success. Take note of each of the following.

Capability and experience in multiples, wholesale, impulse, and cash/carry sectors. This feature would surely enable you to take the opportunity to broaden the range of your own products' influence to the widest possible extent.

Track record in putting up or setting standards through becoming a results-driven group or organization. This could be in terms of sales turnover and market share growth. When doing so, do not miss to look very carefully at your business' current clients as well as their success stories.

Extent on how to utilize full-time sales specialists. Most agencies are using their part-time personnel for this purpose. In general, the service providers should intend to manage your company's brands to comply with agreed upon development strategies so that maximum exposure could be ensured. Thus, sales potentials of your food and drink products would be possibly achieved. This could require full-time attention and focus on the side of the service provider or agency.

The agency should use effective information systems, offline or online. This could ensure that your food and drink business would be kept up to accelerate on rate of sales, effectiveness of marketing/promotional tasks, stock controls, and latest market trends. Thus, this could be a core differentiation factor, especially with the rising availability of Internet systems and the emerging mobile technologies.

Typical services that you should expect from the field marketing service provider for your food and drink business are as follows: assurance that your food and drink goods are consistently stocked across all key stores; monitoring of sales rates, capacity, and shelf space for optimum stock levels; conversion of available warehouse inventories into shelf stocks; monitoring of stores that could carry out agreed upon or target sales promotional programs; presentation of new products and marketing initiatives throughout important regional decision makers; provision of target support for brand activities; and creation and implementation of sales tactics and opportunities for your food and drink brands.

Beverly Manago is a freelance writer focused on the real estate industry. She is also a consultant for My Real Estate Virtual Tour, a web 2.0 marketing tool that lets real estate agents create stunning virtual tours and single property sites easily, with a free version available for listing presentations. She also contributes to the VirtualTour there.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Barcelona Festivals

Choosing when to visit Barcelona can be a difficult choice to make if you have an open diary. So why not consider combining a visit to the Catalan Capital with a festival - new or traditional, it's always a great way to spruce up a short break. Here are a few of the best to look out for through the year.

Despite being a Catholic country by large, Barcelona doesn't really celebrate Easter week as you might expect. Sure, it's a public holiday and all, but nothing compared to the celebrations in the South of Spain with the Virgin processions in Andalusia and around. In fact, the only real procession worth visiting to watch in Barcelona is the Corpus Christi parade, which involves some of the ceremonial giants the city has become famous for.

It's worth bearing in mind that there are some great local festivals within the city in it's diverse and varied neighbourhoods. July and August see the Raval and Gothic Quarter celebrate their local festivals with human castles, open air concerts and parades through the streets with firecrackers and other fun activities. Perhaps the best "local" festival in that of the Gracia neighbourhood - the small town feel and narrow streets of this Barcelona "barrio" lends a unique feel and the streets are dressed and decorated to the maximum and the plaças fill with groups drinking and enjoying the week-long festival till dawn.

Perhaps the first major festival is the Midsummer madness associated with "Sant Joan" or Saint John on the 23rd June. Officially the start of the summer, this is also the shortest night of the year. The 24th June is a public holiday as the locals and tourists enjoy "la berbena" or all-night party on the streets, in the bars and clubs and typically on the beaches of Barceloneta and the Olympic Villages beaches as the revellers watch the sunrise. Also in June is the fantastic Alternative electronic Music festival called Sonar.

In it's 16th year, the International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art fills the city in the second/third week of June, as university students worldwide, flock for an end-of-exam-beginning-of-the-summer escape and are never disappointed by both the Day and night events. A number of other summer music festivals are a great reason to visit Barcelona, including the recent Primavera Sound and Summercase alternative music festivals as well as Barcelona Summer Week (new to 2009) and the Circuit Gay and Lesbian dance festival in early August, too.

Steering away from music, in July and August, the "Grec" festival delights audiences in the replica Greek amphitheatre up on Montjüic Mountain. Dance, Circus, Mime, real theatre and plays are the order of the day here, with each year having a particular theme at its core - diverse themes such as women, countries such as Italy, etc. This is a great night out if you love open air theatre.

September sees the end of the summer, and the week long festival of "La Merce" - one of Barcelona's patron saint's, Our Lady of Mercy, celebrates her feast day on the 24th September. The whole city unites in a celebration of the city and it's culture and history - similar to that shown on Saint Georges' day (Sant Jordi) in April - Catalonia's patron saint. La Merce has a carnival-type feel to it, with open air concerts, street theatre and dancing, and traditional processions, such as the famed "correfoc" or fire run, where runners plow through the streets of the Gothic quarter with pyrotechnics, fire-breathing dragons and sparklers galore. This is certainly not for the faint hearted, and new UE regulations on the handling of fireworks may have the correfoc's days numbered - so get to Barcelona for La Merce week while you can!

Finally, and simply in chronological order, is the enchantment of the "Reis" - the days surrounding the Epiphany after Christmas. Unlike other countries and cities, whilst still a public holiday, Christmas day is no big deal in Barcelona. The giving of gifts is saved for the arrival of the 3 Kings (true to tradition in the Biblical story). The 3 "reis magos" arrive on a boat to the Barcelona docks and are paraded around the city streets until late evening, throwing out thousands of sweets to the crowded streets of children and their parents. Paper Kings hats, flags and the anticipation of opening presents and gifts fills the January air with a magical and family feel that won't disappoint.

David Brydon has been living in Barcelona for 9 years and writes about Apartments for rent in Barcelona and regularly contributes to this great Barcelona Guide.

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Monday, 30 November 2009

Improve Restaurant Sales and Brand Recognition at Food Festivals

Summer food festivals have been a fixture in American culture for years. From the Taste of Chicago to the Alabama Crawfish Festival in Faundale, AL, food festivals large and small have kept growing and expanding, even through recent economic turbulence.

Tens of thousands of restaurants participate in these festivals across the country. Participation often means closing down their establishment and spending a significant amount of money setting up and serving food at the festival. But the general attitude is that the cost and loss of revenue is definitely worth it.

That's because you simply cannot beat the exposure and customer engagement any restaurant gets at a food festival. Potential customers are much more likely to experiment with new types of cuisine and new restaurant brand names in the festive atmosphere, making a local food festival an important avenue to gaining new customers for young establishments. For the more experienced restaurants at a festival, reinforcing your brand in the community is a priceless commodity, and nothing communicates stability than customers seeing you year after year at the local food festival.

Restaurants in large metropolitan areas should choose the food festivals they attend more carefully than those in smaller communities. Obviously, they'll have more choices, and a big city restaurant should look for the festival that is most likely to cater to the type of person you want in your restaurant. In small cities and rural areas, it's much less about market segmentation and a lot more about making an appearance. Just showing up at the local food festival communicates your involvement in the community.

In an age when it seems like all marketing gurus talk about is engaging customers through social media on the internet, food festivals provide a unique opportunity to engage customers face-to-face in a positive and friendly atmosphere. Don't expect to make any money at your local food festival. But do expect to recognize the same smiling faces you see there in your restaurant in the months afterwards.

Gregory Scott McGuire is a regular contributor to The Back Burner Blog, a resource of restaurant news and trends written by the employees of Tundra Specialties, a company specializing in restaurant equipment, supplies, and equipment parts.

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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Biketoberfest Biker Festival in Daytona Beach Attracts Harley Fans Worldwide

I love it when the fall comes to Florida and things start to cool down. Everyone is ready to get outdoors and enjoy all the fairs and festivals that occur this time of year. One of my favorite such events is Biketoberfest. Every year in October Daytona Beach becomes, once again, a Mecca for motorcycle enthusiast. Biketoberfest is shorter than Bike week, it's held over a long weekend, and it's just as fun and interesting. I've lived in Florida for over 20 years now and have been to Biketoberfest several times; last year was the first time however that we stay over. We booked our room early so it was very reasonably priced I think that's key; get room early number one so there are rooms available but two so you can get a deal before the rates go up.

There are a lot of rooms up and down the famous Daytona Strip but remember there are going to be over an estimated 150,000 bike and bikers there so the sooner you can book the better. So once you get there you have to head to Main Street there are a few other places to have fun but party central is definitely Main Street, it's the main drag and still the best place to watch all the bikes and people going by. The first night of Biketoberfest there are several places to go called welcome centers where you can pick up a complete schedule of all events, activities and a lot of other information. One of the first places we went when we got there was to the world famous Daytona Speedway. The Speedway hosts several events including several bike races and swap meets; there is always something going on in the vast parking area there people buy and selling all sorts of things from t-shirt to tires. Some 2500 vendors or so are there any given year with loads of things to give away.

Last year when we were there they had these scantly clad 'Wild Turkey Girls' walking around Dirty Harry's with trays of either Turkey shots or turkey and coke, handing them out. Every where you look there are girls in booths calling to you to came buy a drink or shot and let's just say it's a goo thing it's been fairly warm these last couple of Octobers or they would have been very cold. Dirty Harry's is a pretty popular place they have a lot of bikini contests there two or three a day and then at night it's the main event contests and lets just say that after a day in the sun of drinking and partying most of the girls are in a pretty uninhibited place and open to the Emcee's suggestions which as you can imagine get wilder as the night goes on.

Some other places to stop by on Main Street are Froggy's Saloon, Cruisin Café which is on the corner of A1A and Main Street an ideal spot to watch the happenings. The Hogs Breath Saloon is a local favorite all year round and the Bank & Blues Club has two stories so you can people watch from upstairs and enjoy the rock and roll downstairs. The building is actually an old bank that's been 'reformed'. Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona in nearby Ormond Beach is fast becoming a big part of Biketoberfest too. The have a huge showroom of bikes and during the fest that place transform into a virtual bikers village. They too have contests, food, live music day and night, girls in booths offering beer and booze, people and bikes everywhere. Another place that's becoming very popular is the Cabbage Patch Bar in nearby Samsula. They have all the usual t-shirt and hot buns contest but their becoming kind of famous for something a little different - coleslaw wrestling. This place gets wild and it's a lot of fun.

Mark mid October on your calendar to save the date and make plans to head down to Daytona Biketoberfest. You'll find all kinds of vendors, live entertainment day and night, food, many free give-a ways and more in Daytona Beach. You can watch people and see bikes from all over the world, it's definitely something to take in and experience for yourself.

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Monday, 23 November 2009

Experience the Many Festivals and Events in Malaysia

Experience the Many Festivals and Events in Malaysia

Author: Pinky Mcbanon

Malaysia is a colorful country not only for its exotic beauty and amazing culture, but also of the many festivals that is celebrated by Malaysians. Every Malaysian celebration is very vibrant and lively. One will definitely enjoy being a part of these amazing events.

Here are some of the well known festivals and celebrations in Malaysia:

• Chinese New Year - like any other New Year celebration, the Malaysians celebrate theirs with such vigor. Fireworks and lots of colorful craze are seen. The whole country is really multicolored and vibrant during this occasion.

• Gadai Dayak - the Malaysian's celebration for the harvest seasons. This is to give appreciation to their gods who blessed the Malaysians with good harvest. During this occasion, locals eat and drink together. There are also dance performances by the members of the community. The Gadai Dayak is celebrated during the end of May until mid July. Malaysians are always in their traditional clothing and the elders perform rituals and services.

• Malaysia Water Festival - held from the second week of April until the month of May. This occasion is managed and organized by the Malaysia's Ministry of Tourism. The celebration is all about water sports activities. There are competitions and games that involve water tricks and races. The celebration is then completed with singing and dancing of the locals with their traditional dances.

• Merdeka day - the Malaysians' own celebration of Independence Day. It is celebrated in August 31st, and is their National Day. During this day, all the streets of Malaysia are packed with music, parades, and people dancing around. People are out blowing horns and trumpets making loud noises around their community.

• Tadau Kaamatan - held during the month of May and lasts for two days. The whole celebration is to commemorate the culture of Sabah's largest ethnic group. The tribes conduct rituals and give honor to their gods. There are also a large variety of foods that are served during the Tadau Kaamatan. Residents enjoy indulging with these tasty and delicious foods for the entire celebration.

• Malaysia Mega sale Festival - probably the most favorite event of all shopaholics. This is to celebrate Malaysia's big gross from its shopping industry and to commemorate this; the Malaysia's tourism department conducted a Mega sale festival. Almost everything that is sold in all shopping stores in the country is on sale during this event. One can enjoy shopping with the lowest prices shops has to offer. The country's shopping department stores are always swarmed with thousands of people buying and treating themselves with bargains and discount prices.

These are just some of the many well known events in Malaysia. Whatever the country celebrates, definitely is a must see for all.

About the Author:

Her blogs and websites focuses on stay-at-home moms, dads and students who wants to work at home, build homebased business

Visit her Interesting Site on Asian Travels and Destinations. Discover Asia's Culture and Great Food! at

Article Source: - Experience the Many Festivals and Events in Malaysia

5 Best Festivals in Spain

5 Best Festivals in Spain

Author: PaulSymonds

Spain’s festivals are well known for colourful displays, exciting parades, music and dance. Here are five of the best festivals that Spain has to offer during the spring and summer season.

1. Semana Santa - Semana Santa is a week long festival that takes place before Easter Sunday. Although the festival is celebrated throughout the country, the Spanish cities famous for celebrating Semana Santa include Leon, Valladolid, Malaga and Seville. Local parishioners participate in a parade where flamboyant and ornate floats inspired by the Passion of Christ are carried around the city streets. This festival is popular with children in particular and excellent for families.

2. San Fermin Festival -The San Fermin Festival, otherwise known as the Pamplona Bull Run, takes place in July. The festival lasts for 7 days in Pamplona, Spain. The festival’s highlights include bullfights and bull running. Activities usually begin at 8 am in the morning and last until the evenings.

3. La Tomatina - La Tomatina takes place in a small Spanish town called Buñol in Valencia. The festival is held on the fourth Wednesday of the month of August. The main highlight of La Tomatina is a daylong food fight, where participants fling tomatoes at each other. This event is one you have probably already seen in previous years, on TV or highlighted in newspapers. Even though the actual tomato throwing only lasts roughly one hours this is still an excellent festival and worth attending if you can.

4. Las Fallas – The Las Fallas celebrations start on the 14th of March and last until the 19th of March on Saint Joseph’s Day. The five day festival occurs in Valencia and the festival highlights include giant puppets that are later set on fire. There is a lot of excellent live entertainment and a number of performers and vendors.

5. Feria de Sevilla - The Feria de Sevilla is a weeklong festival that occurs two weeks after Easter Sunday in Sevilla, Spain. The festival is a celebration of life in Andalusia and activities include sherry drinking, horse races, flamenco and bull fighting. There are also carnival rides for children, horse parades and 24 hour celebrations. This is one of my favourite festivals of the year in Spain and is highly recommended.

About the Author:

Paul writes about Barcelona Golf and Barcelona Boat Charter.

Article Source: - 5 Best Festivals in Spain

Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Author: bruce nichols

Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

A career in hospitality and marketing has taught me, if nothing else, the importance of value and listening to your customer. In my semi-retired role, I write about wine with a decided focus on value even though I constantly struggle with the term.

For the most part, that means I do my best to introduce my readers to wines of exceptional value for the money. Finding great bottles of wine under $20, my benchmark, is doable, but increasingly difficult, thanks in great part to an unfavorable exchange rate that has skyrocketed imported wine prices, escalating costs to American producers, and sadly, the pervasiveness of mediocre wine in this price category. One has to search deep and hard to find “exceptional” value wines. But what about wines in the premium to super-premium range, the $50 to $100 price and beyond? Can value be found there? A growing number of readers have inquired asking whether certain higher priced wines represent good value?

Of course, they can. That’s not to say that I’ve never been disappointed drinking a bottle of wine that cost $100 or more. I have. (Fortunately, it was more often than not that someone else paid for it!) But the fact is that, for the most part, the higher the price, the more enjoyable the wine. Notice I have yet to use the word “better”. That’s a term that over the years has cost me more than my share of embarrassment in blind tastings, as the better wine was often not the most expensive wine. Is a drive to the wine store in a Jaguar better than in a Ford? Not necessarily, they’ll both get you there; but it certainly is infinitely more enjoyable in the Jag!

This leads me to share with you what guests, sommeliers, and the trade were saying about three of the hundreds of different wines that were being poured at this year’s Naples Winter Wine Festival. Vintners and collectors the world over showcase their flagship wines at this event. There were reds, whites, rose´s, bubbly’s, ports, grappa, high-alcohol wines, low-alcohol wines, big bottles, little bottles, bigger bottles, enormous bottles (12 liters!), wines from most of the continents, wines from nearly every wine producing country in the world, wines from numerous states, and wines from almost as many appellations as there were attendees - over 600! But it was three of these wineries that generated the most excitement.

Overseeing the wine service for this year’s festival events gave me a unique opportunity to hear what the customer said about this pageant of wines. Somewhat surprising was that none of the three that captured the attention and sophisticated palates of the crowd were the cult wines, or the super- super premium wines, costing hundreds of dollars. Although given the attention the favored wineries garnered, that could change very soon.

All of the wines from this trio were reds, except for a single vineyard chardonnay, and all were from California. Revana Family Vineyards cabernet, the Mondavi’s newest venture, Continuum, and Figge Cellars three wines, a pinot noir, a syrah, and a chardonnay, were all in such demand that by the final event on Sunday, there was little of their wines left to pour. The one thing in common they all offered though, was tremendous quality - and value - for the price!

Revana, now in just their fourth vintage, makes only cabernet, but what a cabernet! And no wonder. When you start with a remarkable plot of land, employ Jim Barbour, one of Napa’s most respected vineyard managers, and then hire world renowned winemaker, Heidi Peterson-Barrett, to make your wines, good things are bound to happen.

Dallas-based cardiologist, Dr. Madaiah Revana fulfilled a life-long dream when he purchased the land for his eponymous winery in 1997 and set out to craft world class cabernet from nine acres of vineyard. The wine is definitely enjoying increasing star status, but Dr. Revana has kept the price of his wine at a reasonable $100 a bottle. An absolute “value” when you consider the quality of the wine, the success it is enjoying, and the pedigree.

There are only about 1800 cases of Revana being produced. Given the response at the festival and the mid to high 90’s scores by the critics for each of the first four vintages, one can only hope production increases.

A little further south in Napa, in Oakville, another cabernet is being produced that has California, and now Naples, all abuzz. No newcomer to winemaking or to producing world-class wines, the Mondavi family, now in it’s fifth generation, is according to Tim Mondavi, “starting over” with the family’s new venture, Continuum.

A corporate power struggle a few years back unfortunately led to the Mondavi’s losing control over their own winery in what amounted to a battle of quality over bottom-line focused Wall Street. Thankfully, Tim and the family remained true to their roots and are again producing the kind of quality wine that first put them, and Napa, on the world wine map decades ago.

The inaugural vintage (2005) of Continuum, is from hand-picked grapes from the Marjorie’s Vineyard (named after Tim’s mother) and the famed To-Kalon site, which for decades, produced the Reserve cabs the Mondavi’s have been revered for.

Tim, daughter Carissa, and Robert’s wife, Margit, came to the festival to preview this cabernet sauvignon-based wine (60%) and equal parts petite verdot and cabernet franc. Considering the reaction of the audience, the 1300 cases of Continuum, due to be released next month, will sell out immediately.

Thankfully, Tim says plans are to grow the brand to 8000 cases. \

Peter Figge, introduced festival goers last year to his first wines, a pinot noir, a syrah, and a chardonnay, which at the time had just been bottled. He returned this year with those same fabulous wines, along with his 2006 vintage of the same varietals. People jockeyed for position to get to his table where he dispensed his wines and his passion for producing those wines that, as Peter insists, “make themselves”.

That’s Peter being modest. Yes, Peter has a hands-off winemaking style, and although fairly young, the years he spent working as a vineyard manager, first at Girgich and Beringer in Napa, then at Estancia, is where he learned to “read the land”. He not only identifies what plot of the vineyard might produce fruit to meet his uncompromising standards, but has developed a keen sense as to which of the row of vines will ultimately provide the absolute perfect grapes for his hand-crafted wines. This feel for the land has put Peter in high demand with the area’s premier vineyard owners, and as a result he has gained access to the best grapes in Monterey County.

Peter defines himself as a “minimalist, not a chemist”, and he says he makes his wines without consideration for aging, making wines in a style he enjoys, with great balance and acidity. Which means wines that go with food. Judging by the demand at this year’s festival for Figge wines, this is good news for wine enthusiasts in Florida, since Peter has just allocated a third of his wines to our state.

Value has been defined as “the market or estimated worth” of something. The huge popularity and demand for the wines of these three vintners at the Naples Winter Wine Festival this year would indicate that yes, while value is indeed a relative term, customers do, and always will, seek out quality. These wines clearly demonstrate that they are all well worth their price!

Eat, drink and be merry!


About the Author:

Naples Wine News is another step in a three decade long journey in the world of wine for its founder, Bruce Nichols. First introduced to the hospitality industry as a teenager in a summer job, Bruce worked in restaurants and hotels through high school and college. In the 1980’s, in his position as Director of Restaurants for Sheraton Hotels, based in San Francisco, Bruce served as wine buyer, conducted wine education programs and hosted California winery owners and winemakers, and worked with syndicated wine writers, Leon Adams and Jerry Mead.

Over the next two decades, Bruce managed the corporate food service program for a global financial company while consulting on wine programs for independent restaurants and developing and conducting wine education classes.

Fast forward to late 2004, Bruce retired to beautiful Naples, Florida. In 2006, Naples Wine News was born and "A Nichols Worth of Wine", was introduced to Naples and surrounding community wine enthusiasts through his internet-based, on-line publication

Article Source: - Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Witness the True Colours of London - City of London Festival

Culturally diverse and known as a traveler friendly city world over, London is fast earning a reputation of being a city of all races. While the classical architecture gives it a personality of its own, London has a certain elegance and class that most of us have known to expect from a city rich in culture and history.

Ranging from classical dances to grand scale orchestra performances, the City of London Festival stands out as one of the most prestigious and glamorous cultural festivals in the world. Unlike other cultural shows the City of London Festival does not confine itself to any sort of limitations. Founded in 1962 as a means of revitalizing the cultural vibrancy of London, this festival has many facets to it. Depending on the scale and the genre of the performance the venues too float to various parts of the city accordingly.

Although it is known for its indigenously English cultural value, this festival does not forget the large immigrant population that adds colour to its city and has a special place for them at this mega cultural event. The 'trading place' theme as its known gives the festival an international touch and certainly adds to its vibrancy. This festive season also involves a series of arts projects dispersed along the schools and community groups in the city. These events too have a special place in the City of London Festival as they are born from the local creativity and imagination of the people.

Lovers of the arts, of any energy level are sure to find this event an experience of a lifetime. During the three weeks of festivities audiences will be treated to seeing over a hundred and fifty performances in total of which most are free. Performances may vary from experienced soloists singing timeless classics to young, upcoming artists dancing with nothing but raw talent and the exuberance of youth.

While the essential purpose of this festival is to entertain travelers and the residents of this wonderful city, it does not fail to the capture the hearts and minds of fans around the world. To feel the true spirit of London be sure to catch at least a performance or two at the City of London Festival next time you are enjoying an English summer at a London hotel.

Visitors that have a London luxury hotel in mind for their next vacation would find The Langham Hotel London as one of the better options to choose from.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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Festival Season in Chiang Mai Thailand

Chiang Mai is famous for big, colorful, extravagant festivals. They can last several days and attract huge crowds from abroad and from all over Thailand. Hotels fill to capacity, traffic slows to a crawl, train tickets to and from Chiang Mai sell out weeks in advance. Thousands of people get involved in decorating the city, putting up stages, setting up competitions, float parades and lots of entertainment.

The season kicks off in November with the Loi Krathong festival, a three day event, which has its origins in making offerings to the water spirits by placing little floats in the river. Leaves are sewn together to form little floats, filled with flowers, incense and candles. Before they are placed in the water, people pray and make wishes which are supposed to be granted by the spirits of the water.

Another part of the festival is the releasing of fire balloons. Again people make wishes before they send up the balloons into the night sky which fills up with hundreds and thousands of soaring lights. The wind sometimes plays havoc with the burning lanterns and every year some buildings burn down when the fire balloons fail to rise.

Big fireworks paint the sky at night with colorful illuminations. On top of that tens of thousands of people shoot off fireworks in all directions, meaning that little rockets and firecrackers are constantly whizzing by your face. Especially the kids are happily involved, and accidents are bound to happen.

During the day there are balloon competitions. The teams sew together giant balloons and send them up into the sky. Many of them release fireworks while they are rising. During all this exciting activity there is the deafening sound of announcers who never stop talking for a second and broadcast their comments through huge speakers at top volume. If they ever run out of things to say, they blast music out of the speaker towers again at top volume just to make sure that there is never a quiet moment.

The Ping river of Chiang Mai has its share of fun activities during the festival. There are inner tube races, stages with artistic performances, and dinner boats gliding by. After sunset the river is lit up by thousands of little floats with burning candles and wafting incense. Vendors and spectators line the river banks by the thousands to watch, profit from and participate in all the events.

There is also an unusual diving competition. Once there was a war between Thailand and Burma. It was decided that the outcome would be determined by divers who would stay under water as long as possible. If the Thais would win, the Burmese army had to leave. One Thai diver tied himself to a rock at the bottom of the river and sacrificed his life for his country. He was the winner since he stayed under water permanently and the Burmese left. This event is commemorated during the Loi Krathong festival by divers who compete how long they can stay under water. This year the winner managed to hold his breath for over three minutes.

Dancing and singing competitions take place with beautifully dressed women performing on a huge stage. Thais love to sing and many of them are quite talented and have beautiful voices. Many Thai women are naturally very graceful which they express in their traditional dances which are beautiful, gentle, and flowing.

The biggest event at night is a parade of beautifully crafted and decorated floats, all with different themes. Along with the truly spectacular floats are processions of traditionally dressed dancers, drummers, martial artists, fire dancers, and groups representing various aspects of life in Thailand. The procession lasts for several hours and winds its way through the heart of Chiang Mai while burning balloons light up the sky, fireworks crackle, and countless loudspeakers blast messages and music, all in a symphony of noise, color, excitement, extravaganza, and amazement.

Loi Krathong is one of the most colorful and spectacular events in Thailand. It is celebrated in other areas, but nothing comes close to Chiang Mai's event. This festival alone is worth a visit to Thailand.

Shama Kern practices and teaches Thai massage and other Asian therapies. He lives in Thailand and shares his knowledge of the culture, natural beauty and healing arts of his adopted home country through writing, photography, and video. He also conducts specialty tours of Thailand.


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Enjoy Lunch Parties With the Help of Lunch Catering Services

As everybody today leads a very hectic life and is stuck with odd working hours, occasions and festivals turn out to be a great relief. During festival time, you meet your friends and relatives and get - together to celebrate and enjoy the occasion. A party that appears to be the most essential gathering helps you to disassociate from the hectic and busy corporate lifestyle. Now we would all admit that be it any celebration, any occasion, any business party or any festival, its success completely depends on good food. Here the catering services play a key role. The dinner and lunch catering are two important aspect of any party. While planning your wedding parties it is not enough to just take care of the attire, the wedding hall, or the jewelers, there is something very important that needs your attention and planning. That is the catering services of your party and you have to be very particular about it. Healthy and delicious food can win many hearts but at the same time, it can disappoint the same crowd of guests. Therefore, in wedding functions and other ceremonies, lunch catering is an important aspect. In your life, there are many occasions, which call for a celebration, and food is something you cannot skip at any cost.

Corporate Functions / Lunch

The hectic and busy corporate life drains you of your productivity and energy. One has to incessantly work to make both ends meet these days. Owing to this, a large no. of lunch caterers offer nutritional value package for various corporate lunches. These lunch catering services include a balanced range of nutritious, mouth watering and sumptuous dishes. These lunch providers use fresh ingredients to ensure good taste and to avoid any complaints.

Brunch party

These days' people are involved in organizing brunch or lunch parties. This is one of the most preferable options because most of the people do not have spare time after working hours. Besides this, we also like to spend some light moments with our colleagues and friends with a light & healthy food and this is where the lunch catering industry is gradually flourishing. With their delicious lunch package and cuisine, they are all ready to serve you at your brunch parties or business lunches. They offer you the best lunch buffet and fresh lunches.

Menu range
Savory platter
Snacks & wraps
Boxed salad
Breakfast buffet
Sandwich platter
Corporate menus
Soups & drinks

Many lunch catering services offer pre - made lunch packets and lunch box. There is no need to sleep late at night or wake up early to prepare lunch for the occasion. These days, when all of us are in dearth of time, these lunch catering services are one of the best options for all the working people.

These lunch caterers have coordinators who help you in deciding the menu. They arrange your parties with perfection.

For any help on lunch catering, check out the info available online; these will help you learn to find the lunch catering!

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Friday, 20 November 2009

Wedding Food and Drink

With so many things to organise in the lead up to your wedding, it might just be a good idea to keep wedding food and drink uncomplicated. But to ensure your and your guests taste buds are satisfied, choosing seasonal and high quality food are the best things you could do. Not hard to do - and still affordable.

The hardest part of choosing what food and drink to have for your wedding is trying to suit everyone's tastes. You should choose a menu that suits a range of tastes so that the majority of your guests will really enjoy their food, looking back on your wedding day as quite memorable.

There are many options for food at your reception but we have narrowed it down to three, to help you make a decision more easily. You can have canapés - snack food -, a buffet or a sit down lunch or dinner, depending on when your reception is.

Financial crisis and food

During tougher economical times, a buffet could be a good option as it's most cost effective. There's a great range of foods you can choose if you opt for the buffet, so that it doesn't matter if your guests are vegetarians, vegans or meat lovers, they can select whatever they like.


Canapes are usually the more expensive option so if you choose canapés you may like to look around before you decide on a menu. Remember that some guests may not have had breakfast, so it would probably not be a good idea for them to drink on an empty or near-empty stomach.

As a general rule, allow about six canapés per person (before lunch) and 14 or more per person (for a rinks and canapés reception only). A good combination of canapés to choose for your guests would consist of half hot and half cold canapés, with at least 30 per cent vegetarian and 10 vegan. Make sure that you have capable staff who can tell your guests what the canapés are. Make sure they are well briefed before they perform their role. Try not to select canapés that are hard to eat, as you and your guests could end up with quite a mess.


Make your life easier by choosing simple entrees that are easy to eat and use seasonal produce. If you want to suit everyone, a cold, vegetarian dish is the best you could choose here. It's also easy to eat and can be served as soon as everyone is seated.

Main course

If you choose to have a buffet for your wedding it's a good idea to tell your staff when each table can go and collect their food to prevent overcrowding and consequential chaos. If you have selected to have a sit down lunch or dinner, a dish that is easily prepared and can be served on a single plate will make the job a lot easier for both chefs and staff.

Like the entree, consider the time of year your reception will be held to determine the best tasting produce. Your guests will definitely be satisfied with their meals if they are made from seasonal produce. Consider basic notions such as the fact most people probably won't want to eat a cold meal if it's the middle of an icy winter. Alternatively, a big pork roast might make your guests sweat glands overproduce if you choose this meal in the middle of a sweltering summer.

Be aware of any of your guests' food allergies to make sure you have alternatives for them. Chefs will usually cater to such requests. Also be aware of age. Elderly people and small children probably won't eat as much.


While your choice of dessert will be appreciated if it is massively indulgent, try not to go overboard with your puddings and don't make them too rich. Generally individual plates served at the tables are the and easiest way to serve dessert.

Again be careful of seasons. If you're having your wedding during summer it's probably a good idea not to have puddings that may melt or collapse, or are incredibly rich and heavy. Sometimes couples choose to have their wedding cake as the pudding. This is both an economical and practical option, but there are many different pudding ideas you can have.

Desserts are also the perfect meal to be more decorative with. Add coulis, berries, or sauces to the desserts to make them just that little bit extra enticing.

Coffee and tea

Because not everyone will have coffee or tea it might save from making the tables less cluttered by not laying down cups and saucers. Having a separate table for coffee and tea is the best thing to do here. It will also encourage your guests to move off their table and circulate and socialise. You may like to add a plate of petit four or slices of wedding cake on this table.

G. Brown is a writer for, a Australian wedding directory. To read other articles on wedding catering and services or to find wedding-related Australian businesses please visit today.

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Thursday, 19 November 2009

Jazz Fest 2009 - The Top Jazz Festivals Throughout the US

Jacksonville Jazz Festival

What started out as a one-day, free event in Florida in 1980 has turned into an impressive festival, one of the country's largest, almost 30 years later.

More than just strictly a jazz festival, this event also boasts the Great American Jazz Piano competition, which takes place at the start of the fest. The winner of that gets to play a featured set at the festival, held yearly in Jacksonville's Metropolitan Park.

Wine lovers also have the rare opportunity to not only sample some of the more than 50 featured wines at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, but also speak with representatives from the highlighted wineries. That makes it a double-bonus weekend for devotees of jazz and wine - always a winning combination, anyway. In addition to good drink and good music, good food is served as well at the festival's traditional Sunday morning brunch.

The Jacksonville Jazz Festivals has spotlighted a variety of categories from straight-up jazz - the Ramsey Lewis Trio and Chick Corea - to the smoother side of things with David Sanborn and Chris Botti.

Mt. Hood Jazz Festival

Now in its 28th year, the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival offers jazz lovers a premier reason to travel to the beautiful state of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Not too far out of Portland, the base of majestic Mt. Hood serves as setting for the festival, located in Gresham, Oregon, on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College.

Held in mid-August, the Mt. Hood Jazz festival has certainly seen its share of jazz legends take the stage. Those that have performed at the event that first started back in 1982 include: Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, The Crusaders and Buddy Rich, among others.

The Mt. Hood Adventures in Jazz series also brings in musicians from outside the region to play at various venues in Portland throughout the year.

Telluride Jazz Celebration

Talk about your scenic backdrops.

Located in the middle of the breath-taking San Juan Mountains, the Telluride Jazz Celebration cannot be matched in the landscaping department.

Mountain range above, gorgeous Beer Creek and San Miguel River below - that makes for an amazing setting to listen to jazz.

As such, this festival is definitely for the nature lover. Camping spots are available for those who really want to take advantage of all Telluride, now in its 33rd year of hosting a jazz fest, has to offer. Early June is usually when the Telluride Jazz Celebration is held. A jam-friendly jazz festival, Telluride welcomes an eclectic roster, featuring bands like Licorice, Ozomalti, Benvento-Russo Duo, Rebirth Brass Band and the Jimmy Herring Band.

The festival's Jazz after Dark series takes over the nearby Sheridan Opera House and Nugget Theater.

If the above captioned articles were found to be some interesting you can more such as Kansas City Jazz Fest by clicking here the link.

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A First Music Festival Visit

Are you planning your first ever visit to a music festival? This article offers an insight into what you might expect to find, as well as some hints and tips on how to make the most of your day.

Having experienced a large number of festivals, I feel that I'm in a good position to be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such occasions. So let's begin by discussing the advantages. Why is it that so many people decide to attend festivals each year.

One obvious reason is that the largest festivals attract a wide range of bands and acts. That means that you can often see many bands in a single weekend. As well as being great fun, this can also save you a lot of money when compared to see each of the acts individually.

Some would say that this cost saving is harder to find, especially with prices rising. Though this is true to some extent, you can still find some bargains if you choose carefully. There's no doubt that the thrill of seeing a band and hearing their music live is something special.

You'll also find yourself mixing with a lot of people who are assured to be interested in the same types of music as you. After all, that's the primary reason for people being here - to listen to the music.

So are there negatives too? There are some, but many of them probably won't come as a surprise. Organisers know that they have a captive audience and hence tend to charge higher prices for food and drink at the festival site. You might want to limit how much you consume, or find cheaper alternatives.

Festival toilets are often really poor. You can avoid them by taking along your own portable loo. Otherwise, I'm afraid that you'll have to put up with the facilities.

Getting a view of your favourite band is not always easy, depending upon the location of the festival. If you particularly want to see a particular act then try and get to the area where they are playing nice and early.

Do remember that it can be extremely hectic to be right at the front when a band are on stage.

All in all, there are far more advantages than disadvantages. Enjoy your first ever visit to a music festival!

More on camping accessories and buying festival toilets is available, as discussed by Keith Barrett. This article may be used by any website publisher, though this resource box must always be included in full.

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Monday, 16 November 2009

Corporate Team Building With Food And Drink Events

There are a number of events which one can organise for corporate team building events and incorporating food and drink can be a lot of fun. Below we look at corporate team building using food and drink.

The team food challenge. This team building activity varies sometimes in that you can set the cooking task to the specific country you are in. The idea is that you split the group into a few groups and they have to create food from the very beginning from planning, buying produce (on a budget) and making the food. This is on organised as a one day task and the participants will not know what the task is until at the start. You do NOT necessarily need cookers etc as part of the task is that it needs to be created using a small camp stove cooker for example. At the end you can organise a food tasting with one or two judges from the teams and yourself as the organiser and then give a fun price, or even a fun forfeit to the losers. The food challenge can be a real fun way for team building and it can include many areas of team building you ant to include such as organisational skills, implementation, practical skills, budgetary skills etc.

If you want a team building event which does not involve the team having to cook you can organise a wine tasting trip for the team and put them into teams to find out specific answers to wine questions and have them grade different wines from the tasting. Wine tasting can be a more light-hearted event than the cooking events, but it still gives the team members a memorable time whilst also giving members a chance to let their barriers down in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. This in turn can help to give the members a very good environment for building an understanding.

Some vineyards at the right time of year will give you the chance to get team members to work in the field picking grapes. You can add a little competition into things before the wine tasting but seeing for example who can pick the most grapes.

The food and wine cruise is a similar event. This is perhaps as much a social and corporate event as a team building event but it is still worth considering if food and drink is something you would like to include in the team building. Whatever event you choose, there are some some fun ways you can include food and drink into the corporate team building events.

Paul writes about Barcelona corporate team building and Corporate Events Spain.

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Personal E-Chef Cooking Secrets - Gadgets You Do Not Need For Cooking Great Food and Drink

Your personal e chef for cooking great food and drink, has
the top five kitchen gadgets that you should not buy.
There are many kitchen gadgets that are extremely
useful. Can openers, spatulas, tongs and graters make
cooking and baking easier. However, there are many items.
several with only one use, that are not worth the money.
Here are five items that you should not buy.

1. Avocado peelers are a complete waste of money. These
objects are supposed to slice an avocado evenly as well
as remove the fruit from the peel. Although, in theory,
this seems like a useful tool, specially in California
where avocados are as popular as apples, but it failed
to do what it says it does. The biggest design flaw
of this gadget is that avocados come in limitless sizes
and this gadget does not work with avocados that are
smaller than the gadget. I say use a knife to cut
slices and a spoon to scrape out the fruit.

2. The mango splitter slicer is another single use
product that does not work. This gadget is suppose
to split the mango in half and separate the fruit
from the pit. Again, because of the varying size of the
fruit, this tool does not consistently work. Also, if
you happen to remove the peel before you use the slicer,
the mango is so slippery that you can cut your hand trying
to steady the fruit.

3. Adjustable measuring spoons are ridiculous. The plastic
piece that makes the spoon adjustable often adjusts itself
to a different measurement mid-measure. Also, they can not
be cleaned easy and the plastic adjustable piece is so small
that it can get caught in the garbage disposal. The worst
part of the design is that the slide gets in the way of taking
the back edge of a knife across the top of the spoon to
ensure accurate measurement. Long live the graduated
measuring spoons!

4. The adjustable measuring cup or Wonder Cup is really
only useful for four things: shortening, peanut butter,
syrup and honey. The manufacturer advises use of this product
for liquids or dry measure which is completely crazy.
The plunger gets caught and the plastic cracks if it is
put in the dishwasher. And after measuring sticky and fat
type products, you would want to wash it in the dishwasher
to get it clean. Do not waste your money. If you spray
your measuring cup with a non-stick spray, the contents
will pour easily and completely.

5. The egg cooker is another ridiculous kitchen machine.
This thing is supposed to cook eggs either whole or on a
small tray. I am not sure why you have to spend money
on a machine that only does one thing. If you have either
a fry pan and/or small pot for water to boil eggs, you are
good to go.

And stock up your kitchen with useful items that will help make
cooking easier.

And I would like to offer you a free 11-page list of the gadgets and machines I use in my kitchen. This comprehensive list not only has 53 items I use almost daily, but tells you where to get them and even offers discounts on many of the products. Simply go to my website and sign up for my cooking newsletter and I will email you this incredible list.

Dawn Walker
Your Personal E-Chef Live: Everything about Cooking, Food, and Family. Bring back dinner parties!

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19th Century Food And Drink

Eat, drink and be merry! That was the cry of the Victorian era and the people of that period attacked their meals with great gusto! A revolution in stoves, cookware and kitchen gadgets, combined with the discovery of canning and food sterilization techniques, open up endless possibilities for the motivated domestic servant who held the position of cook.

Eating was an event in the Victorian home. Even the breakfast meal featured a variety of fruits, scones, omelettes, bacon and more. From the ritual pouring of afternoon tea, complete with its own elaborate rituals and opportunities to show off the lady's finest silver, china and linen, to elaborate banquets attended my noblemen and their guests there was always something on the stove in a Victorian kitchen.

In reality, the Victorian menu wasn't terribly different from what is served in homes today or at least in the homes where someone still cooks. Meat, fish and poultry were common and fresh or canned vegetables were served with most meals. Winter and autumn meals usually included hearty soups and stews while chicken and lighter dishes prevailed in the summertime.

Holidays meals were special celebrations and called for the finest dishes including Roast Mutton, Pork or Turkey, Boiled Beef, Stewed Rabbits, Plum Pudding and Mince Pies. Baked good were plentiful and cooks were especially prized for their dessert-making skills.

Most evening meals were served in courses with raw or baked Oysters a popular appetizer. The second course featured cream soups or plain bouillon along with a serving of baked or broiled fish. The main course, usually roasted poultry, pork or beef, accompanied by a variety of savoury vegetables, fresh baked bread, and frequently some pasta, was presented by the serving maid in grand fashion and to the great delight of those seated around the table.

The dessert course featured several puddings, cakes and highly prized specialities such as Nesselrode and Plum Pudding. Of course a variety of cheeses and fresh fruit were often served when available.

Wine was not particularly popular, but beer was and continues to be a favourite beverage in England. But it wasn't all alcohol in the Victorian home. Lemonade, root beer, hot tea and, yes, Perrier were also popular beverages.

Yes, the Victorians loved to eat and drink. We have them to thank for a long running tradition of good food served with gusto and a pint of beer!

You can learn more about Victorian Food and Drink by visiting a site brimming with historical recipes and household management wisdom imparted by the celebrity chef of his time Charles Elme Francatelli

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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Food and Drink

Food and drink have become a major part of most people’s lives, in particular their social lives. In fact the phrase ‘food and drink’ produces over 89 million hits on the Google website. Excessiveness in either is of course unhealthy, but perhaps this is one of the reasons why people see good food or good wine as something special, something to treat themselves with.

Guides to good food, wine and restaurants have become big business. Egon Ronay's ‘Guide to the Best Restaurants and Gastropubs in the UK’ which provides detailed reviews of over 500 restaurants and gastropubs has sold over 2 million copies. Its simple to compare style of awarding up to three stars to each restaurant is clearly a hit with readers.

‘The Good Food Guide’ edited by Elizabeth Carter sells itself as Britain’s leading restaurant guide and is currently in it 56th edition, detailing over 1,500 eateries from gastropubs to high end dining.

Fine wine guides are also a big seller, with books such as Clarke’s 'Fine Wine Guide: A Connoisseur's Bible' and Johnson-Bell's 'Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match' both readily available on the internet it is clear that there is a high demand for such guides.

This is not surprising as the United Kingdom is the second largest importer of wine in the world. Wine sales in the UK increased 25% between 2001 and 2005. In 2004 the estimated wine consumption was 1.2 billion litres. In particular there has been an increase in the consumption of so-called New World wines, for example those from Australia or the USA instead of traditional producers such as France. California now produces 2 billion litres of wine every year, making it the fourth biggest producer behind Italy, France and Spain. In 2004, New World wines accounted for over 55% of total consumption in the UK.

Exports of Australian wines have more than quadrupled in the last decade to reach nearly 800 million litres in 2006, 22% of which went onto the UK market, approximately 176 million litres.

Exports of New Zealand wines to the UK alone have increased from 8.1 million litres in 1997 to 21.9 million litres in 2006.

One factor in the explanation of this is an increase in the availability of fine wine in many supermarkets. Some figures place two-thirds of UK wines sales in supermarkets. Increased demand and competition between large chain supermarkets have increased the variety of wines and producers and made them more accessible to the general public.

A recent report by Vinexpo has predicted that the UK will become Europe's biggest market for wine by 2010. The report which examined the worlds wine producers and consumers also predicted that by 2010 the UK wine sales would be worth £5.5 billion, despite the fact that the UK paid the highest average price per bottle (£3.11), which is equivalent to 28.5 litres per capita compared to an average of 27 litres between 2001 and 2005.

The report also showed that between 2001 and 2005 Australia had overtaken France as the UK's biggest supplier with imports rising 51%. Imports from countries such as the USA and South Africa have also risen during this period which highlights the trend toward New World wines.

A1Articles is a popular article site, best for Food and Drink. Please feel free to republish this article providing this resource box remains intact with a working hyperlink to our site.

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Serving Caviar With Food And Drink

Caviar, marketed all over the globe as a delicacy, is chiefly consumed as a garnish or as a spread. Since historical times, caviar has been playing the role of a premier delicacy of kings, emperors and such other heads of state. This is not easily obtainable and comes for a high price. It is also not very easy to ready it for serving as a treat.

Usage of fresh caviar

There is a limited time within which the caviar obtained is to be made use of (till its freshness is retained). Fresh caviar obtained remains fit for usage/consumption for up to four weeks. There are also pasteurized varieties of the product available that can stay suitable enough for longer time. Upon opening up of the caviar container the product is to be used up soon (in a few days’ time).

Proceeding with serving of caviar

Caviar is indeed a very special food as far as its taste is concerned. It tickles the taste buds of all the various areas of the tongue that are sensitive to different kinds of taste. Thus, it promises a unique and exceptional experience in taste.

It is best to serve caviar by leaving it in the tin (container) in which it comes and surround it with ice. In an effort to take it out of the container and serve it in a more decorative manner there stands the risk of breaking the grain and losing the special flavors prior to consumption. Besides, caviar is a tricky item that can combine with a variety of food items to produce either a delectable or a disapproving taste. So, it is better to serve it separately so as to obviate the risk of the flavors getting offset.

Serving caviar with food items and drinks

A best way of serving caviar is to serve it on lightly toasted bread or crackers together with butter as a hors d’oeuvre. This can be quite a treat provided the bread or cracker has not been made too hard by toasting.

Contrary to the prevalent misconception it is certainly not suitable to serve caviar with eggs and other items having a strong taste like sour cream or yogurt. The special taste of caviar gets downed as a result.

Caviar can be served alongside beverages in a suitable manner. Champagne with caviar is a classical combination though some may find this to be tilted towards excess of sweetness. Caviar served with vodka is also a traditionally acclaimed treat combination.

***You may use this article on your website as long as the two URLs are hyperlinked.

Tania Penwell provides information on caviar and other gourmet food and drinks for A1 Gourmet - your guide to the best gourmet food around the world.

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Low Calorie Food and Drink Dishes You Can Make at Home

Is it time that you set yourself on a diet? Not just any diet but a whole new lifestyle change? If so, then perhaps you want to forget the Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers type pre-packaged foods and set yourself on a course for perpetual low calorie living? Is that what you want to do now?

One thing that you need to know is that if you are worried about calories you need to switch to eating whole wheat breads, low fat milks and power down the fruits and vegetables. In fact you can eat unlimited vegetables and not get fat. May I suggest that you have for a snack a vegetable dip plate with perhaps;

Cherry Tomatoes
And for the dip do not use salad dressing, but rather use Virgin Olive Oil, a couple of tablespoons and sprinkle on top some spices like basil and garlic and Italian Seasoning instead. It is quite tasty and actually better than a Thousand Islands or Blue Cheese dressing. It is better for you and tastes better too.

When considering a snack, blend up a fruit drink smoothie at home. Blenders are really inexpensive and you can get a killer blender for under $20.00 at Wal-Mart. There really is no excuse for you not to try these simple techniques and recipes to stay healthy, thin, happy and fit eating the low-calorie way.

I certainly hope this article is of interest and that is has propelled thought. The goal is simple; to help you in your quest to be the best in 2007. I thank you for reading my many articles on diverse subjects, which interest you.

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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