The owners of one of our favourite Milton Keynes venues has been recognised as a world-class employer in this year’s Best Companies awards.
Milton Keynes pub company Peach has officially been named one of best companies to work for in the country and been singled out as a top employer in its industry in this year’s Best Companies to Work for awards, announced on Friday 21st May 2021. Peach raced up to number 24 in the league of the nation’s best companies, and received a Three Star Accreditation, highlighting it as world-class.
The independent business, which runs The Black Horse in Woburn and The Swan at Salford came away from Friday’s virtual awards ceremony with four fantastic wins under its belt.
As well as officially being one of the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work For, Peach came sixth in the UK’s Top 20 Leisure & Hospitality Companies to Work For and was named the 9th best employer in the East of England, the 13th in the Midlands and the 20th in the South East where it was also the best in hospitality.
Earning a place on a list as one of the UK’s Best Companies to Work For is an accolade like no other. It recognises a business’ commitment to its employees and shows that it sees workplace engagement as a vital part of its success. Participation is partly by a team-wide survey that asks for honest feedback on areas an employer is strong in and those it needs to improve on, such as leadership, commitment to personal growth through training and development, well-being and giving something back.
Peach scored at the top of its class by proving its commitment to its people and how it supported its teams particularly during the pandemic and focussed on the mental wellbeing of its chefs, front of house and support teams who were furloughed. Peach launched Yourhub.pub1, a social enterprise that enabled its furloughed teams to keep busy cooking and delivering food to the NHS and a total of 50 charities and keep connected to their pubs’ communities.
At the same time, it looked after the team, creating new personal development plans for individual and personal development for every team member. It also launched a Peach Hardship Support Fund for those facing financial difficulty and worked with industry charity Hospitality Action to ensure no-one in the team was left behind.
It’s the fifth year running that Peach has won a Best Company to Work For award, and a record year for the company, whose aim is to be the best gastropub company on the planet, as Peach Managing Director Hamish Stoddart explains.
“It’s our vision, we Make Life Peachy. Ever since we started Peach twenty years ago, we’ve genuinely put our people first. We’ve always believed they are the heart of a pub and utterly central to our success. Shared ownership and the longevity of our team prove this. This last year, during the pandemic, we knew it was more important than ever to take good care of the team especially when the pubs were closed and the team furloughed. It was the perfect opportunity to prove it, and we did.
“We worked incredibly hard to look after the physical and mental well-being of our people especially during lockdown. We took the opportunity to reaffirm our support to our team, both financially and through keeping in close contact and volunteering together to support the towns we’re proud to be at the heart of. We have come through together, staying true to our vision of being a great place to work, learn and grow. We are delighted to be recognised as a Three Star, world-class employer,” he said.
Peach took the opportunity to toast this year’s Best Companies success with its teams and guests in the pubs, which are now open for eating and drinking again inside, by raising a glass in celebration after the results were revealed on Friday.
Peach is aiming to grow by three or four pubs in the next year and is hiring right now. Please go to https://careers.makinglifepeachy.com/ to find out more.
The Swan and The Black Horse both receive award for sustainability
Two local pubs, The Swan in Salford and The Black Horse in Woburn have been officially recognised for their actions to reduce their impact on climate change and help people to make more sustainable choices when eating out by being awarded a Three Star Food Made Good rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The pubs and their owners Peach Pubs were given the accolade for the steps they have taken to be better businesses and make a difference to people and the planet. To achieve it, they worked with the Sustainable Restaurant Association to complete a detailed assessment of the sustainability of the businesses looking at 10 key areas. These ranged from celebrating local and seasonal and sourcing fish responsibly to treating its people fairly and eliminating food waste.
When combined to provide an overall performance across three key pillars – Sourcing, Society and Environment – Peach and the pubs were given a total Food Made Good Rating of 73%, earning them a Three Star status.
This means that the pubs have been able to show that they are good restaurants with a score of 72% on Sourcing, 74% on Society and 72% on Environment, adding up to a consistently good performance on all three key pillars.
The pubs’ focus on putting local and seasonal produce on their menus was highlighted by a score of 80%, while the way they look after the people who cook in their kitchens and run their bars and restaurant achieved 76%. Their efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle were recognised with a 76% score and the chefs’ hard work in eliminating food waste was rewarded with 72%.
Finally, everything the pubs do to support the community, especially during lockdown when they kept their teams busy doing voluntary work, cooking takeaways for local residents as well as preparing and delivering free meals to frontline NHS workers, was singled out with an impressive 84%.
“It’s fantastic news to be given a Three Star Food Made Good rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and doubly significant after what has been a year like no other for the hospitality industry,” says Frazer Sutherland, Peach Partner who looks after the pubs.
“We are hugely proud that what we have been doing to be better businesses and put the planet first have been recognised in this way. It is tremendous encouragement from the Sustainable Restaurant Association and we shall be working with them over the year ahead to be even better and improve our scores in areas we need to. In the meantime, we shall be celebrating this excellent news with our team and with our guests” he says.
Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Managing Director of the SRA, said, “By being the first pub business to complete the Food Made Good sustainability rating after the pandemic and additionally achieving Three Stars, Peach truly is demonstrating to its customers, staff and industry colleagues that it is 100% committed to serving up a better food future.”
The Swan Salford Address
2 Wavendon Road
Tel: 01908 281008.
The Black Horse Address
The Black Horse,
1 Bedford Street
Tel: 01525 290210
A definitive guide to what’s on in St Albans this Christmas
Enjoy a magical day out in St Albans this Christmas where you’ll find lots of fun festive events for all ages to cherish. Why not ‘crack two nuts with one nutcracker’ and pick up some wonderful Christmas gifts from an array of eclectic independent shops and top high-street retailers – and take a well-earned rest in one of the many outstanding eateries offering superb festive fare. So, wrap up warm and enjoy the buzz of St Albans this festive season…
Here’s what’s on in St Albans this Christmas:
The Nutcracker Christmas Trail
The whole family will love getting involved in this trail and will discover some interesting facts about St Albans along the way, whilst enjoying the beautiful sights of the city.
Nutcracker’s may actually look a little scary but according to German folklore, they represent power and strength, bare their teeth to evil spirits and serve as the traditional messenger of good luck and goodwill.
Find your free Nutcracker Trail map in town or view it online and then wander around the city and district to find 15 Nutcracker Soldiers. The map tells you the location of the soldiers and as you find each one, write his name down on the Trail Sheet. Once you’ve found all of the names, fill in your details and post it into Santa’s postbox, which is also marked on the map. First prize is a £250 St Albans Gift Card, plus two runners-up will each receive a £50 St Albans Gift Card.
Go nuts for this fun family Christmas trail from 21st November 2021 until 4th January 2022.
Wonder at the vibrant and beautiful artworks created by local St Albans artists at this outside pop-up public art exhibition. The community arts initiative with Collective Gallery aims to enhance the city centre and make art inclusive for all, giving people joy in the most unexpected of places.
Throughout December, City Centre, Parklets, Museum Railings
Covent Garden Street Performers
Bringing the magic and theatre of Covent Garden to St Albans. You might just bump into these outrageously funny and brilliant street acts as you wander around town, who knows where they’ll pop up- watch out for the toy soldiers and trees on stilts.
Incredible Christmas lights and animation installations dotted across St Albans town centre will bring fun and joy to all folk across the festive period- and provide the perfect opportunity for a fabulous Instagram picture too.
Christmas Carol Concerts
A number of special festive events will be taking place at St Albans Cathedral this winter. Including The Hospice of St Francis concert, a magical afternoon of popular carols, guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. With special performances from talented local choirs, the hour and 15-minute concert will feature a mix of solo recitals, thoughtful festive readings and plenty of opportunity for merry audience participation. Standard tickets cost £12.
Live Street Entertainment
Wrap up warm and enjoy festive family fun when a variety of fantastic theatre productions come to town. Innovative and interactive live theatre performances from Trestle Theatre and Booster Cushion Street Theatre. 7th, 10th, 12 December (Trestle) & 23rd December (Booster Cushion), Outside The Museum + Gallery.
Santa’s Post Office
Make memories when Santa’s ‘official’ and busy Post Office comes to town. The space is beautifully decorated to get everyone in the Christmas spirit, children can write a letter to Santa, enjoy Christmassy arts and crafts and interactive family games and fun. Every day from 21st November to 24th December 11am-4pm, old Cath Kidson shop, Christopher Place.
Santa’s Post Boxes – Fun and wonder for little ones when they write a letter to Santa and post it in one of the special post boxes located around town – watch the delight on their faces when they receive a reply from the Big Man himself. There’s also the chance to win a £100 St Albans Gift Card. 21st November – 4th January, Fleetville Larder, Cositas, Eyes on St Albans, Alban Arena
St Albans Postbox Toppers Charity Trail – Discover 82 postbox toppers that have been handcrafted by a team of dedicated volunteer yarn-bombers with designs including everything from Nativity scenes to Snowmen wearing colour-blind glasses. The trail is one of the biggest fundraising initiatives in St Albans that has raised over £64,000 for local charities. Search for ‘EYES on St Albans’ in your App store to download the App, enjoy the trail, donate and scan to win prizes and follow the page for more.
Manager of St Albans BID, Denise Parsons says:
“St Albans is the perfect winter destination for family fun, entertainment and Christmas shopping. We have an eclectic mix of independent shops, big-name retail outlets and of course, our famous Charter and Pop-Up Markets all alongside our fantastic pubs and eateries.
“It’s incredibly important for people to shop local this festive season and our TV ad and detailed Christmas Gift Guide will help locals and visitors to the make the most of their time shopping in our wonderful city. Our St Albans Gift Card also helps to support local businesses and is perfect for Christmas- as a stocking filler, a handy last-minute gift and it’s perfect for the person who is hard to buy for… and we all know one or two of those!”
Milton Keynes welcomes the award-winning nail salon Townhouse MK
From Fitzrovia via Knightsbridge and the M1, London’s award-winning cult nail salon Townhouse is opening Townhouse MK this November. Billed to be the trendiest destinations for nails in Milton Keynes, Townhouse MK is being described as the perfect buzzy space for a catch up with your friends over a manicure.
Townhouse MK will be located in the new H Beauty by Harrods department store at Centre:MK. Featuring semi-private pedicure stations – including fun peep hatches inspired by business class flight seat dividers, marble manicure bars and chic fabrics with accents of gold.
In salon, guests will have access to Townhouse’s multi-award winning treatment menu and seasonal nail art collections, as well as Harrods exclusive designs. Treatments on offer will range from quick Express treatments for customers on the go to indulgent Luxury treats.
About Townhouse MK
Founded in 2018 by Juanita Huber-Millet, Townhouse is revolutionising nail care – not only elevating the way nails are done but reimagining the process from start to finish for the modern age – incorporating easy online bookings, impeccable hygiene standards, beautifully designed spaces and stable, rewarding careers for its employees.
This has brought acclaim far and wide – described by Marie Claire as “Hands down the best nail salon” – and multiple award wins, including being named “Best Nail Salon” at the prestigious Scratch Awards in July 2021 and the Professional Beauty & World Spa Awards in October 2021. With a cult Celeb / VIP following including biggest selling artist in history Drake, big screen actresses, Love Island stars and of course the loyal Londoner crowd – it’s no question Townhouse are the best at what they do.
Townhouse MK Address
28 Acorn Walk