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Newcastle restaurant wins 'England's Restaurant of the Year'

Kenny Atkinson’s The House of Tides has been named England’s Restaurant of the Year at an awards ceremony in London.

Fresh from winning a Michelin star, North East-born Atkinson was singled-out at the event, hosted by Fiona Bruce, where he received the food industry’s equivalent of an Oscar.

The annual AA Hospitality Awards are made following inspection of hundreds of eateries across Britain to identify those setting a “truly excellent” standard of cuisine. Each restaurant gains marks for innovation, ambience and hospitality.

The House of Tides, based on the Newcastle Quayside, was picked out as this year’s AA Restaurant of the Year for England, a title which recognises a restaurant said to be an outstanding example in its market.

Monday night’s awards took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel with the hospitality world represented by leading restaurateurs, hoteliers and publicans.

The restauranteur previously worked as a chef at venues such as The Chester Grosvenor, Mandarin Oriental London, The Greenway, St Martins on the Isle, Seaham Hall and Rockliffe Hall before returning to his home city, creating The House of Tides in a transformed 16th Century former merchant’s townhouse.

The restaurant will appear in the latest edition of the AA Hotel, Restaurant and Pub Guide.

The region's fussy eaters: Some food for thought

Almost three quarters of parents in the North East worry that their child is not getting the nutrition they need and 95% say they have had to prepare a different meal to the rest of the family to make sure their son or daughter eats something.

The fussiness can lead to problems in later life - although experts say it is often just a phase.

David Wood has been looking into the issue.


Full Report: Calls for hospital food standards to be regulated

Campaigners are calling for standards of hospital food to be regulated across England by introducing the same control that is in place in schools and prisons.

It follows news that hospital chiefs have been giving themselves the the highest possible rating for their food, despite figures being put forward by an independent Care Quality Commission survey which showed half of patients were dissatisfied with hospital food.

Rachel Bullock's full report is below.

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NHS food 'needs more money and investment'

NHS food "needs more money and investment" if it is going to adequately help a patient through recovery, said a health charity.

Michelle Mitchell from AGE UK was also keen to push for higher standards in nursing as the public "had heard story after story" about neglected patients who needed the support of a nurse or carer to eat.

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Govt: Patients are 'best placed' to rate NHS food

Patients were "best placed" to decide what hospital food was good and what left a bad taste in their mouths, a Department of Health spokesman said.

He was speaking amidst claims hospital chiefs were awarding their hospital's food five stars while patients were dissatisfied with food.

However, the Department of Health also defended decisions made on hospital food "taken locally" by kitchen staff and ruled out legislating mandatory standards.

There are many fantastic examples of really good food across the NHS thanks to forward-thinking and innovative staff.

But we recognise that there is too much variation across the country - that is why we have implemented a tough new inspection programme...

We support the principle of food standards but do not think that legislation is the right way to proceed.

We believe that the best decisions on hospital food are those taken locally by chefs and catering managers.

Patients are the ones who consume hospital food and they are best placed to decide what is good and what is not.

– Department of Health spokesman
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Health chiefs contradict patients and give food 5 stars

Hospital food is worth five stars, according to health chiefs Credit: PA

Hospital chiefs think their patients are fed incredibly well and gave themselves the highest possible rating for their food, figures show.

Out of 156 hospitals in England, three out of five gave themselves full marks for the food served to patients.

However, this deliberately contradicts figures put forward by an independent Care Quality Commission survey which showed half of patients were dissatisfied with hospital food, said the Campaign for Better Hospital Food.

Alex Jackson, co-ordinator of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, said: "It is time for the Government to come clean about the sorry state of hospital food in England and set mandatory standards for patient meals.

"This would only involve extending an existing policy which has seen it set mandatory standards for prison food and food served in Government departments, to go alongside those that already exist for school food."


Salmonella outbreak: update

The team investigating reports of illness following the Street Spice festival in Newcastle in February have confirmed the same strain of salmonella which caused illness in hundreds of people has also been identified in samples of food ingredients used at the festival.

Letters are being sent to everyone who reported sickness following the event on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Director of Public Services and Public Protection Stephen Savage said:

"We know the same organism found in one of the food ingredients is likely to be responsible for the illness reported by people who attended the event. The investigating team are now looking at ways in which the food could have become contaminated with salmonella and whether there were any breaches of food safety legislation at any stage in the food chain where further formal action may be necessary."

– Stephen Savage, Newcastle City Council

Online questionnaire for Street Spice festival visitors

People who visited the Street Spice food festival in Newcastle are being asked to fill out an online questionnaire after hundreds of people reported symptoms of food poisoning.

Environmental Health Officers are continuing to investigate and are talking to businesses and suppliers to try to identify the source of the outbreak, with results expected to be released this week.

12,000 people are thought to have visited the food festival while it was in the city.

Anyone who attended the event, whether they have been ill or not, are being advised to complete a confidential online questionnaire, available at

Nearly 400 cases of food poisoning confirmed after Newcastle food festival

Newcastle City Council says the number of people who contracted food poisoning from a spice festival in the city now stands at more than 380.

The number of those who have salmonella rose from 8 to 14, as more people called in to report experiencing the symptoms.

The council has stressed that these are not new cases, but rather that it is still collating the final figure of people affected by the incident.

Food poisoning: suspected cases reach 300

The number of people reporting symptoms of food poisoning following the Street Spice festival in Newcastle has reached 300.

Eight cases of salmonella have been confirmed and tests are still being carried out by environmental health officers. They're working with 13 businesses which ran stalls in Times Square to identify the source.

The outbreak began between February 28th and March 2nd.

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