Starting in Japan (where else would a totally quirky theme start), the concept of a ‘blind restaurant’ saw a non profit organisation called SIEN, and Higan-ji, a virtual Buddhist temple created by Japanese monks join forces at Ryokusen-ji, a temple in Asakusa to introduce a blind or ‘black’ restaurant.
The concept is, that dining is carried out in complete darkness. The theory being that with the lack of sight, your other senses are heightened, and becomes more of a sensual experience.
Dans Le Noir
Translating as In The Dark. This is a chain of restaurants spread through Europe and also with some locations in Africa and New Zealand. They offer the experience of dining in the dark, with your serving staff being blind or partially sighted.
The food is typically higher end fare, think 5 star rather than local café. Another benefit is the relationships with your dining companions. You have no idea who you are talking to, so the conversation tends to be without preconceived notions.
This is definitely on our bucket list to try.
In the meantime if you need food you can actually see, then check out our gourmet burgers.
We are continually tinkering with services and ingredients. That’s the reason that where we once offered doughnuts in sugar, we now do a full range of toppings such as Biscoff, Orea, melted chocolate etc.
Since lockdown, burgers have become a big part of our workload. We tried a number of different options before settling on a range of pre made patties. These have had great reviews everywhere we have been, and for some of the larger jobs where we have served upto 4000 guests they have been the only option realistically.
Enter The Smash
We have however always hankered at adding smash burgers to our lineup. For smaller events such as weddings or private parties these would be fine. Instead of pre formed patties we would be using loosely packed minced beef. To take it to the ultimate we could use a mincing machine and use joints of beef, can’t get much fresher than that.
But what, I hear you ask is a smash burger. Well, it is quite simple to make. You take a loose ball of minced beef. Not packed too tight or it doesn’t work the same. You plop it down on a super hot heating surface. Then smash it flat with a weighted iron. Oh, and you need beef with a pretty high fat content, around 20%.
What happens is that the heat and the pressure combine causing the amino acids and sugars in proteins to react. This forms a deep, caramelised, rich crust, which takes the taste to new heights. The higher fat content melts in the burger stopping in from drying out and adding to the taste.
The Holy Grail, Deep, Caramalised, And Tasty
you can generally tell a smash burger from the uneven shape and height of the burger. Pre processed patties tend to be a uniform size and shape.
Any England fan (football) will tell you of the years of hurt, failed dreams and fantasies of world cups that have come to naught. We seem to get so close, then lose on penalties. To be honest if I was the England manager, I would have my team training consisting of nothing but taking penalties for eight hours a day.
We had one, brief, beautiful bright spot in 1966. Hosting the tournament at home, we started a bit slow, but then hit our stride and as any fan will tell you, beat Germany in the final, which made it all the more satisfying.
What many fans won’t know is the part the fairground played in our victory.
The Charlton Boys
The linchpins of the England team were a couple of Northern lads called Charlton. Bobby and Jackie to be precise. Hailing from the mining town of Ashington, they hailed from a family with deep connection to footballing fame. Their mother Cissie, was from the Milburn family. A number of her cousins played professionally, including the legendary wor Jackie. Jackie Milburn a legend of Newcastle United and England fame.
Well, in 1934 a certain young man named Bob Charlton wanted to marry his sweetheart. Unfortunately with times being hard in the North East he didn’t have the money for a ring. Fortunately for him he wasn’t much of a footballer, but he was a handy boxer. At that time the travelling funfairs had boxing booths, where members of the public could enter, and if they lasted three rounds would win a cash prize.
Bob managed the three rounds, won the money to buy a wedding ring, and proposed to Cissie Milburn. Bob and Cissie went on to have four boys, including Jack and Bobby, who ended up in the England team in 66, and, well the rest is world cup history.
Most of our equipment is powered by electricity. Many items such as the funfair rides can’t connect to a standard household supply, and require generators to run them.
Generators tend to run from diesel fuel. There are a handful of smaller ones that run from LPG tanks, and occasionally a petrol powered example. But by and large diesel is the fuel of choice.
Unfortunately when you have generators containing diesel, and quite possibly additional diesel in storage drums, there is the potential for spillage. When diesel spills it spreads, a lot. A couple of litres can cover a wide area depending on the surface type.
To insure against the risks of spillages, we have just added spill clean up kits to all of our generators, and a couple of portable units for use with contracted in suppliers.
Fuel Spill Clean Up Kit
A selection of products are contained, starting with plug and dike putty which is designed to harden on contact with fuel to plug the leaks. A selection of absorbent socks to dam fuel from flowing into drains or watercourses. Absorbent granules and pads to soak up the spill. and a spray containing bacteria that converts oil or fuel into CO2 and sugar to clean the traces of the spill up.
Oh and handy plastic gloves and refuse sacks to keep you clean whilst you dispose of everything. And a handy instruction sheet to allow anyone to use the kit.
Spill Kit Instructions
Oh and just in case you are wondering, about step one referring to Fred Miller. Well, he is one of the team who is possessed by the spirit of Frank Spencer of Some Mothers Do Have Em fame. If we ever have a major diesel spill, Fred will be involved somehow. He will have tripped and pulled a pipe off, or pressed the wrong button or something.
One of the worlds oldest amusement parks. Tivoli dates from 15 August 1843, when Georg Carstensen first opened the park after being granted permission by the King.
Originally it consisted of exotic and enchanting gardens that amongst other visitors so impressed one Hans Christian Anderson that he was inspired to write the fairytale, the Nightingale.
1844 The Tivoli Boys Guard
Constantly on the lookout for new ideas, Carstensen introduced the Honorary guard. From small beginnings this grew to not only become a cultural icon, but also evolved into a musical education centre for children.
Tivoli Youth Guard
Carstensen sadly only ran the park for five years. Leaving in 1848 when he enlisted to fight in the war against Prussia. This led to him being fired by the Tivoli board citing breach of contract. On his return to Denmark in 1857 he founded a rival park at Alhambra in Frederiksberg in competition with Tivoli. He didn’t actually get to see this one in operation, dying from pneumonia at the age of 44.
1874 The Peacock Theatre
Erected in 1874 the current theatre is the oldest building in the park, and protected by law. A bit like our listed buildings. The theatre has the motto “Shared joy with the people”, engraved above the stage in Chinese letters.
Hans Lumbye, the composer was in charge of the music from the start of the park. A violinist and prolific composer, he put together some 800 pieces of music. Known in some places as the ‘Strauss of the North’, he composed the world famous Champagne Galop. Touring with his orchestra during the Winter months, he sadly died the same year the theatre opened.
Tivoli Peacock Theatre
The Restaurant WIVEL, later called Wivex became a notorious water hole for a group of infamous First World War profiteers. Later the national broadcaster used it to broadcast dinner concerts. Eventually it closed in the 1960’s.
Tivoli had a roller coaster in 1842, a seven second thrill ride.
Tivoli First Roller Coaster
In 1914, the new coaster was opened. Called Rutschebanen (or roller coaster in English), this is still operating today, making it one of the oldest wooden coasters in existence. Up until the installation of moderner cars, it actually had brakemen riding in each car to slow it on turns and downhill.
Tivoli 1914 Coaster
During World War Two, the park suffered two unfortunate instances of sabotage, when pro Nazi Danes snuck into the park after it closed and planted a number of fire bombs. Extensive damage was caused and the park was closed for two weeks whilst the damage was rectified.
1951 Walt Disney Visits
The first Disneyland was opened in California in 1955. Walt Disney, its founder paid a number of visits to the Tivoli park in 1951. He enjoyed the ambience of the park and was hoping to impart something similar to his own park.
Today the park has in excess of four million visitors per year. Making it the second most visited seasonal amusement park in the world, and the biggest in Scandinavia.
Born from an egg on a mountain top, monkiest, mon…… erm no wait, thats the wrong legendary hero.
Monkey was a popular 1980’s Japanese TV show based on a 16th century Chinese novel. Noted for its dubbing, bad acting and crap prosthetic effects, it was so bad it was a cult hit.
Our here though, Ziggy, had a different birth. We liken it to the super soldier serum used on Steve Rogers to create Captain America. We took the best in anthropomorphic beings and supercharged him to create the Boda Zapha, the new look to our long standing catering company, the leader as we venture into our new incarnation of CRAZY & Co.
Ziggy, a fusion of quirk, crazy and sub zero coolness
Ziggy Is Our Leader
As we move into a post pandemic phase, which has seen a massive increase in the work we are winning, Ziggy will be our main branding on our catering units, photo booths etc. With staff uniforms, vehicle branding, even a bi weekly comic strip starring our hero to spice up our social media.
Do you know what the most used drug is? No not marijuana, not cocaine or pills surprisingly but caffeine. It seems that everyone both young and old crave that Caffeine Buzz
I’m sure you’re not unfamiliar with that caffeine buzz, the restlessness, the increased heartbeat, the nausea the sweaty palms and the inability to fall asleep all from one cup of coffee. And if you want a quicker buzz then you go for the espresso option the short black coffee option. But the more you drink the more you build up a tolerance.
Coffee lovers might remember when they first started drinking
coffee and the kick they got from it but now they have to scour the shops to
find a blend of coffee that still offers a kick in one cup. The sweet coffee smell
the strong bitter taste well the search is finally over. A company called Sons
Of Amazon claim to be the owners of the strongest coffee in the UK.
A standard 8oz cup of coffee is said to have around 110mg of caffeine but Sons of Amazon’s coffee blend has four times that amount with their motto reading ‘Strong enough to wake the dead’ you know that this coffee is going to be strong enough to blow your socks off.
The Brains Behind The Coffee
Eric Witham is the brains behind the coffee stating that not
only well known for the strength his coffee is also ethically sourced with no
chemicals being used to increase the substances in the roasting process. Witham
is said to have tested many different coffee beans from different farms before deciding
on the best.
Despite being over 100% stronger than the standard cup of
coffee it is advertised on the website as being anything but horrifically
bitter. After looking at some of the reviews online I am now off to order
myself a bag for the long days and nights you face in the event industry I now
feel like my body has become too immune to caffeine and I have to have a few
cups throughout the day to get the old affect so hopefully this can restore my
faith and bring back a caffeine kick experience.
Some customer reviews read;
know what to expect from a coffee claiming to be so strong but I was very
pleasantly surprised by what I found. Great tasting coffee with a caffeine kick
that will keep you going throughout the day. Will 100% buy again and recommend
to friends. “
another review stated ;
smooth for something so strong. (There’s definitely a joke in there
somewhere…. about liking my men the way I like this coffee) Will definitely buy again.”
You can purchase a packet of these coffee beans on Amazon.
Pakistan is home to a Crazy Popcorn Pilot who has recently been arrested for testing a homemade ‘flying machine’.
Muhammad Fayaz is a popcorn
seller and part time security man. After watching the National Geographic Air
Crash Investigation he said to be inspired to make his own aeroplane. Fayaz
used all his savings, sold some of his land and took out a bank loan in order
to pay for the build. Once the aircraft had been built he then proceeded to
test the machine out in front of a crowd of around 500 people without the
approval of the proper aviation authorities which then led to his arrest and
the confiscation of the aircraft. The aircraft weighed around 95kg and cost an
equivalent of £270 to build it was also stated that the plane would fly around
1,000 feet high.
Statement From The Crazy Popcorn Pilot
The Crazy Popcorn Pilot issued a statement that said he had been told to contact the CAA (Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority) in order to be granted permission to test flight his aircraft however he did not do this he also said that he is a patriotic Pakistani who has worked hard to make the aircraft and informed all the correct departments however never heard back from them.
Having attracting large crowds to
watch he reportedly used a length of road that was clear and free of any obstacle’s
or debris as a runway to test his plane. It was at this event that he was later
arrested for building the aircraft without permission, testing it without the
proper safety precautions. Fayaz was only taken into protective custody and the
aircraft detained in order to protect everyone.
After The Release
After his release Fayaz told
the papers that had decided to make the pane around 4 years ago and spent three
years planning the build before taking a year and half to start and finish building
it. He also put many months of research into this having visiting local
airports multiple times in order to look at their planes, the design they
followed and the material that had been used on them. He also researched the
function of different parts and how the mechanics work. Fayaz carried out many
experiments with materials and engines until he found light sufficient
equipment that would be strong enough and powerful enough to use for the plane.
His family were said to have made fun of this ‘crazy popcorn pilot’ idea however did not deter him and supported him. Since his release he has contacted the army and the prime minister to tell them of how he can produce cheap and sufficient planes for them and to the government to help him get his detained plane back.
The longstanding and traditional carousel has been given many different face lifts since the first one was built by the Danish carver, Charles I.D Looff in 1876, but all follow a typical form of a revolving platform and wooden seats often carved in the shape of decorated carved horses. This is a standard American and Europe design however this is not the case in China. There has been news reports of how a shopping center has created a Carousel with a twist.
A carousel in China has been filmed, going round with real horses rather than the standard wooden ones and has come under fire by many organisation who have viewed this. The bizarre twist of the traditional fairground ride was found in the Shunagliu Wanda Plaza shopping center in the city of Chengdu and features four live horses harnessed to metal frames around the center pole of the carousel and made to walk around on the motor driven platform. Consumers are charged £5.60 for a four-minute ride.
The ride is advertised as “Different from traditional wooden horses, you can really experience the fun on horseback and let your child indulge. Let you and your child be brave.”
ride has reportedly received criticism from a number of animal cruelty
organisations who have said that it is unethical to use the horses for this.
However according to the Equestrian Club who owns and operates the ride they
have trainers onsite at all time and the horses only ride for four hours which
gives them plenty of exercise. The horses are harnessed correctly to ensure
peoples safety and ensure the horses don’t run wild.
carousel has received mixed reviews with some shoppers saying that its worth
its money and the experience of riding actual horses makes the fairground ride
come alive. Some however have reacted in horror stating that you shouldn’t
normalise animal abuse and justify it to make money out of mistreating animals
and that if you want to experience riding a horse then you can go to a
professional riding stable where the animals are treated freely.
This is similar to the uses of horses back in the day when they were used to pull horses and carts and in the agricultural field. Horses are a lot stronger than we imagine and can be trained to carry out a heavy workload, so maybe allowing them to be rode for four hours a day isn’t too strenuous on the horse, as long as they are being cared for properly and given the opportunity to be free and have space to run around outside of their carousel duties. Alternatively the traditional carousel with wooden horses has always been more than popular and maybe this real makeover is not needed and due to the backlash this has received I feel that other carousel owners will not be adapting their ride to using real horses.