Hospitality industry innovates as second lockdown begins

Clinton Cawood

Clinton Cawood

05 November 2020

With the last lockdown proving the industry's ability to turn on a dime, this time around proves no different

Innovation is a hallmark of the hospitality industry, but this year has really put that to the test. As England enters its second lockdown, businesses are once again finding new and interesting ways to keep afloat.

The Top Cuvée team continue to lead the charge when it comes to lockdown innovation with their latest, Take Cuvée. The new service sees the team’s Brodie Meah and Max Venning join with head chef Will Blank, formerly of Lyle’s, to offer a daily changing menu for same-day delivery. For £35, the team are offering a full three-course meal for two, complete with heating instructions and a Spotify playlist. Expect dishes such as celeriac and Bramley apple soup and roast chicken and tarragon pot pie, finished with a sticky toffee pudding. Meah will be selecting natural wines to complement each meal. Take Cuvée joins Top Cuvée’s previous lockdown-inspired offering, Shop Cuvée, featuring cupboard essentials, bottled cocktails and natural wines.

Top Cuvee owners (L-R): Max Venning, Brodie Meah and Noel Venning
Top Cuvee owners (L-R): Max Venning, Brodie Meah and Noel Venning

Meanwhile in London’s Elephant & Castle, neighbourhood wine bar Diogenes The Dog has created a new gift box containing a selection of unusual wines, a bottle of olive oil and a Diogenes The Dog tote bag, with the wine selection changing every two weeks. The initial box includes a white field blend from Puglia, a red Pet Nat from Wales, an orange Moscato from southern Italy and a red wine from Setubal in Portugal. Diogenes has also set up an online shop with a selection of wines available for delivery throughout the UK.

Hawksmoor has taken the opportunity to expand its Hawksmoor at Home range with its new Cocktails at Home collection of drinks (main picture). This consists of four bottled cocktails, each serving two people, and four single-serve canned drinks. The bottled cocktails include the Ultimate Dry Martini, with lemon oil from fruit grown on Filicudi near Sicily, and the group’s iconic Fuller-fat Old Fashioned. Cans include a 20/20 Cosmo, which upgrades the 80s classic with some orange wine, and a Ginza Highball, with Johnnie Walker Black Label, distilled quince, apple and lemon verbena soda.

Disco Cocktails Cherry Sour
Disco Cocktails Cherry Sour

Subterranean London bar Ladies & Gents has teamed up with Coca-Cola to create a range of disco cocktails in pouches. The 70s-styled range of mail-order cocktails includes drinks such as a Disco Cherry Sour, combining Vestal Vodka with Doctor Pepper, a Disco Pina Colada, with Dead Man’s Fingers rum and Sprite, and a Disco Pornstar Martini, simply combining Vestal with Fanta. These are available in both 100ml and 500ml pouches, with minimal packaging so that they fit through letterboxes. The drinks just need to be poured over ice and stirred. ‘Like many bars these days, we’re constantly pivoting and adapting to survive. With these, we’ve added some sweet moves to our alcohol armoury - they’re perfect for Lockdown, Christmas and beyond, whatever the future throws at us,’ said William Borrell, Ladies & Gents owner.

Tayer + Elementary has also launched the Tayer Off Liceence, an online platform for all of the award-winning bar's RTD cocktails and bar snacks, while we also hear that Adam Handling's Eve Bar is in the process of getting some bottled cocktails off the ground.

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