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Sparkling Romance with Norway’s Historic Hotels & Restaurants

De Historiske is a unique membership organization consisting of several of Norway’s most delightful hotels and restaurants.

De Historiske’s new range of short breaks is a huge success and Norway is more popular as a holiday destination than ever before. Their member-hotels offer unique adventures in Norway. Patrons staying at a number of their hotels, dining in their fabulous restaurants and taking wonderful boat trips can all be part of an amazing package. They offer different packages—each with unique theme—but all have one thing in common—patrons will have an experience of a lifetime.

Destination Weddings in Norway

You and Your Loved One Can Really Spoil Yourselves

Two of the most romantic locations for memorable breaks. Enjoy delicious meals in idyllic, peaceful surroundings. This short break starts at Hotell Refsnes Gods, only a stone’s throw from the Oslofjord. The hotel has an excellent reputation for delicious dining and well-stocked wine cellars, in addition to the inspirational art adorning its walls. The good life continues in the magnificent natural surroundings of Engo Gard Hotel & Restaurant, with its English conservatory-style heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi for relaxation and pampering.

Take a break from the daily toil and feel the benefits!

Sparkling Romance with Norway's Historic Hotels & Restaurants

With Nature at the Doorstep, Work Becomes the Furthest Thing

Whether you want time to socialize with your friends or enjoy a romantic weekend, you’ll find the perfect escape at the hotels’ castles, manors, inns and guesthouses. Do you want to enjoy activities while relaxing, or just enjoy the peace? Regardless of the hotel, you can be sure to end up in scenic surroundings, with top restaurants where traditional food meets modern cuisine.

Weddings, Celebrations, Honeymoons, and Festive Occasions in Norway

Weddings, Celebrations & Festive Occasions That Deserve Special Surroundings

If you are looking to hold a birthday party in unique surroundings, spend a romantic honeymoon or celebrate an important occasion with a special culinary experience, De Historiske are your natural choice. The genuine atmosphere is the reason why many people choose to celebrate special occasions at De Historiske. De Historiske’s surroundings are perfect for creating the relaxed atmosphere that is worthy of an important day—whether a birthday or a wedding day. Celebrations can vary from evening parties to grand events lasting from morning to night. They can also recommend family get-togethers, where the generations meet, in many of Norway’s historic picturesque surroundings.

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Posted in Music, Arts, and Culture Travels and Journeys

The Rise of the Fast Casual Restaurants

Fast Casual Restaurants - Mexican concepts

Fast Casual is the fastest growing segment of the restaurant industry. They bridge a gap in the market between fast-food restaurants and casual dining restaurants. The National Restaurant Association recently endorsed a group of 15 fast casual restaurant brand executives to its newly formed Fast Casual Industry Council and recognizes it as one of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant industry today.

With a hybrid approach, fast casual restaurant chains such as Shake Shack, Nando’s chicken restaurants, Panera Bread, Noodles & Company, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Baja Fresh, and Chipotle Mexican Grill have been winning customers by offering the following enhancements.

  1. Food Quality: They promise “fresh” food, meaning at the very least not frozen or without as much processed ingredients. Chipotle also says it uses, where possible, meat from animals raised without hormones or antibiotics, and organic and locally grown vegetables. Chipotle is at the forefront of a consumer shift toward naturally-raised proteins and organic produce. Though more costly to source, these fresh ingredients are a key source of differentiation and pricing power.
  2. Service Type: They offer diners a high level of customization, such as choosing each ingredient in a sandwich, burrito or burger. This appeals to fussy eaters and those with allergies. The service is not always as quick as at a burger joint but, it seems, quick enough. Some fast-casual chains let diners order at their tables.
  3. The Rise of the Fast Casual Restaurants Menu Prices: They have clever pricing that lets can allow optimization of profits. They offer some dishes at around the same price as those at burger joints, but they seem to be better than McDonald’s at nudging diners towards pricier dishes and extras. Fast-casual chains typically manage to squeeze 40% more out of each diner’s wallet than fast-food joints do. For example, at Chipotle, the average customer spend per visit per restaurant in 2013 stood at $11.56, one of the highest in the fast casual segment, with a growth rate of 1% over the prior year.
  4. Atmosphere and Decor: They give each outlet or store a touch of distinctiveness. This distances them in the eyes of consumers from the “corporate” feel of burger chains. For instance, Nando’s is known to decorate its restaurants with South African art. Even if not technically in the fast casual category, a reinvigorated food and beverage menu and store redesigns have improved the Starbucks customer experience, penetrated new day parts, and improved unit-level productivity metrics.

Both fast casual and quick-service both provide food order and pick-up services from a counter, which vastly improves speed of service.

We forecast that the fast-casual restaurant category to outpace the broader restaurant industry over the next several years.

Fast-casual restaurant competition is intensifying, and switching costs are nonexistent. We estimate that Mexican concepts make up nearly one fourth of the $38 billion fast-casual industry in the U.S.

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Posted in Business and Strategy

Historic elegance and Fine English Hospitality of Bath’s Royal Crescent Hotel

Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa in Bath, England

Jane Austen fantasies come alive at this elegant hotel ideally situated in the middle of Bath’s architecturally celebrated Royal Crescent.

The Royal Crescent Hotel is situated in the middle of Bath’s beautiful eighteenth-century Royal Crescent. The Royal Crescent Hotel occupies two remarkable buildings virtually untouched since the eighteenth-century when the landed gentry of the day would visit Bath during the “season” for the water’s health-giving properties.

The exterior of the hotel looks much as it did 250 years ago, whereas inside, huge vases of fragrant lilies perfume the air, a fire crackles in the drawing room, and inconspicuous staff appears as if from nowhere precisely when you need them. The bedrooms have been lovingly restored to make certain they are just as they were in the eighteenth century. Carpets, color schemes, and furniture have all been meticulously chosen to ensure genuineness, but not at the expense or comfort.

Dower House, Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath The ideal magnitude of the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath’s architecture, the cobblestones underfoot and the views of the hills around Bath and honey-colored municipality characterize English sophistication. The hotel, bang in the middle of this iconic-terraced Royal Crescent, is a neoclassical enchantment inside and out, as comfortable as can be, with fine dining, an even finer spa and unswervingly old-fashioned, first-class service.

For a spa, head to the Bath House, which offers a variety of treatments including a warm relaxation pool where gothic windows let natural light to flood in. After a few unhurried lengths, soak in one of the toasty hot tubs prior to steeling yourself for an stimulating plunge in one of the icy tubs of cold water, a practice said to do wonders for the blood circulation.

Of course, you do not need to stay for long to enjoy the best of the hotel: Do not give up eating at the Royal Crescent’s restaurant, the Dower House, which overlooks the garden. Alternatively, on a sunny day, find yourself a seat under a flower-adorned magnolia tree in the peaceful and secluded garden, listen to the birdsong, and enjoy an self-indulgent afternoon tea just like those elite Georgians did back in Bath’s heyday.

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Posted in Music, Arts, and Culture Travels and Journeys

Harland Sanders’ Cafe and Museum Celebrates the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Col. Sanders, founder of KFC—Amazing Unknown Destinations

Birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken - Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum

Logo of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) with Col. Harland Sanders Col. Harland Sanders was a late bloomer. At age 40, he put his savings into a small gas station in Corbin, Kentucky. By age 65, Sanders’ fried chicken had developed a cult following. Then, a new highway came along and diverted most of the customers away. A few of them hung around, mostly to eat Sanders’ fried chicken. It was at this point that Sanders turned his cult into a franchise that eventually became the international fast food giant, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC.)

Harland Sanders liked to pressure-cook his chicken. He offered franchisees a handshake deal: he’d ship them his secret seasonings for fried chicken by train in return for a nickel for every bird cooked.

Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum Celebrates the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Col. Sanders, founder of KFC

Entrepreneurial Spirit of Col. Sanders, founder of KFC

Sentimentalists now flock to Col. Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin, Kentucky, where Sanders’ original cafe has been restored, down to its battleship-gray floors. The museum features antique pieces furnishings from the home of Col. Sanders, glassware, old KFC boxes and bags, an old Cash Register, a unique Cigarette Machine—so many memories packed into one small museum!

Restoration of Col. Sanders' Original Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Cafe

Getting to the Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum

Sight: Col. Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum
Location: Junction of US 25E and 25W
City: Corbin, KY [ map]
Phone: (606) 528-2163
Hours: Open Daily 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

'Col. Harland Sanders: The Autobiography of the Original Celebrity Chef' by Colonel Harland Sanders (ISBN 0985543906)

Recommended Books about Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Col. Sanders

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Posted in Leaders and Innovators Travels and Journeys

New York Landmark Katz’s Delicatessen turns 125

Katz's Delicatessen, Kosher-style Delicatessen

A short time ago, we visited New York City landmark Jewish deli Katz’s Delicatessen and devoured its signature dish, the pastrami sandwich on rye with mustard, along with hot dogs, sauerkraut, dark green barrel pickles, and Dr. Brown Cherry sodas.

Pastrami Sandwich on Rye with Mustard at Katz's Delicatessen

Katz’s Delicatessen Turns 125

This kosher-style delicatessen recently turned 125! Katz’s Delicatessen has been serving from its location on the southwest corner of Houston and Ludlow streets in the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1888. Katz’s address is 205 E. Houston St. (Ludlow St.) Manhattan, NY 10002. Locals and tourists often regard Katz’s Delicatessen’s corned beef, pastrami sandwiches, and hot dogs among New York’s best.

History of Katz's Delicatessen, New York City landmark Jewish deli

Katz’s Delicatessen commenced serving customers in 1888 originally as “Iceland Brothers.” In 1903, the Katz family joined partnered with the founders and changed the name to “Iceland & Katz.” By 1910, the Katz family fully owned delicatessen and changed its name to “Katz’s.”

Jake Dell of the Dell family that purchased this Lower East Side landmark in 1998 recently claimed, “Over the course of the week, we can go through about 8,000 pounds of corned beef, maybe 15,000 pounds of pastrami, and 4,000 hot dogs.”

“When Harry Met Sally” at Katz’s Delicatessen

Scene from When Harry Met Sally was made in Katz's Delicatessen

One of the most memorable scenes of the 1989 romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally” was made in Katz’s Delicatessen. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal filmed their fake orgasm scene on a table marked with a sign that is now labeled, “Where Harry met Sally… hope you have what she had!” This phrase refers to a famous line rendered in the movie by a woman on an adjacent table who observes the character played by Meg Ryan and comments, “I’ll have what she’s having!” Often, patrons of Katz’s re-enact the scene at the table to the amusement of patrons and attendants alike.

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Posted in Travels and Journeys