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A day in the life of….

PR – if you work in the sector, you will be more than familiar with the blank face that greets you when you tell your family and friends what you do for work. “No Mum, I don’t wear roller skates and hand flyers out” must have crossed the lips of many a PR professional.

With this in mind, we’ve recruited the help of our team to shed some light on the age-old profession we call PR… so, if you’re a student wondering what your working day will be like, a professional trying to explain your role to your friends and family or if you’re just interested in having a nosey into what we get up to here at Prohibition – say hello to our day in the life! We hope you enjoy.  

This week we speak to Natalie – a seasoned PR Executive and fully-fledged member of the Prohibition PR team here in Leeds.

 

What is your official job title?

My official job title is Account Executive or a PR and Social Media expert – which sounds much fancier.

 

Do you have an unofficial job title?

Over the past couple of years I have earned the title of ‘Celebrity Knowledge Guru’ as I seem to know a weird amount of useless information about Z-list celebrities (I blame the Daily Mail’s ‘sidebar of shame’).  I’m also pretty nifty when it comes to quizzes – in fact, along with our Account Director Vicky, I’ve scooped the big bucks (usually a bottle of Processco) at our bi-annual staff quiz. Unsure if that is something to be proud of or not…?

 

Why did you choose to work in PR?

I managed restaurants on and off for ten years and desperately wanted a change. After becoming a mature student – studying Marketing and Advertising Management degree at Leeds Beckett University – I found that I really enjoyed the PR and communication side of things. I decided to look for work experience in this field and came to Prohibition PR after my first-year exams. I loved it, they loved me, and I have been here ever since!

 

What is a typical day at Prohibition like for you as an Account Executive?

The thing I love about this job is that every day is different. I could be selling in a story to a national newspaper one minute and helping to arrange an event the next. It would be impossible to say what a typical day is like here! But in a nutshell, fun, busy, varied and quiet often unexpected!

 

How do you consume news?

I watch Sky or BBC news a lot at home and follow what people’s thoughts are on various subjects using social channels such as Twitter and Reddit. I do admit I read the Daily Mail online a lot, but try to ensure a non-biased opinion by reading the BBC online too.

 

What is your favourite thing about PR and social media?

Most definitely the people. I think you need to be a certain type of person to work in this field and I couldn’t ask for better colleagues. I also love how the industry is constantly changing, which keeps our work interesting and fast paced. I enjoy consumer writing too, which is a huge bonus as you do a lot of that here at Prohibition!

 

Do you prefer PR or social media?

I enjoy both equally, but if I had to choose it would be social media as it’s a fascinating subject. It has literally transformed the world as we know it, from how we consume news, to how we interact with people. I am always excited to see what technology will be next to take the industry by storm.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to work in PR?

Be willing to work hard and ensure you love the work you do. The industry is so fast paced and ever-changing, so you need to stay on top of everything!

 

What is the best thing about working at Prohibition?

My colleagues who are also great friends. We support each other and have a laugh together. It makes the working day a breeze – no matter how much stress or pressure we are under.

 

What has been your favourite campaign to work on?

I really enjoyed working on some of the campaigns we rolled out for Leeds based retail and entertainment complex The Light. We’ve launched loads of innovative campaigns for them, such as Student Hub and The Light Lunch. It was great interacting with the people of Leeds and watching everything go live. We really felt like we had accomplished something once it was over.

 

How many coffees do you need to survive the day?

I am one of those weird people that doesn’t drink tea or coffee. However, I do have a diet coke once a day to see me through.

 

And finally, the most important question of them all…. Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Always. Although I prefer anchovies, which is even more antisocial of me.

A new social media timeline for 2017

As social media continues to grow and become increasingly critical to our day to day lives, the number of niche platforms available for us to express our likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams is at an all-time high. No matter what you need to talk about – be it a new TV programme or a new girlfriend/boyfriend – there is always an app to help you get chatting and connecting. From eBay to Tinder and Instagram to Snapchat, our social platforms continue to adapt and develop the PR and marketing landscape. We all seem addicted to checking for WiFi everywhere we stop, and that compulsive need to be connected to those around us is stronger than ever.

I lecture at universities and at various social media conferences and I was acutely aware that I was often talking off a poorly designed timeline and I felt I could do a better version which included the main channels. So I had one created back a couple of years ago and I called it the top 10 game changers in social media. However, that included a lot of sites such as Friends Reuntied – remember them? So now we are back with a new and improved timeline that includes a few more recent additions. We welcome the inclusion of Vine, YikYak, and Instagram – demonstrating how visual, and easy to use platforms, are the perfect channels for connecting not just friends but brands to almost all demographics.

But all is not well in social right now, many brands have tried to create social platforms have failed such as Apple’s Ping and Google’s many platforms and Twitter is struggling with an identity crisis right now as the millenuals and the next generation move to anonymous a more fun networks.

Here is my timeline for social media.

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Is live broadcasting taking over social media?

Live video has become an emerging market within social media, with a high percentage of influencers and brands joining the cause. With 52% of marketing professionals worldwide naming video as the type of content with the best ROI, it is vital that the industry knows not only what to include in videos but also where to host the videos.

We have looked at all the live video services and simplified each platform to help you decide which is best for your brand.

Meerkat

16571671357_f50c31aa76_bMeerkat was the first on the scene in the live video world, released in February 2015. Meerkat can connect to Twitter and allow you to Tweet a link to the live broadcast and when you begin a recording, your Twitter followers that also have the Meerkat app will be notified.

Meerkat also has a feature call Cameo that allows the broadcaster to select a viewer to take over the stream for up to 60 seconds. This makes streaming more interactive for both the broadcaster and the viewers. Although this sounds like a cool feature that fosters interaction between the streamer and viewer, the broadcaster host does not have any way of controlling what the viewer shows during the cameo which means they can easily spoil the stream with nonsense and obscenity, something a broadcast host may not fancy.

These new features may sound like the platform is being innovative and has a strong future ahead but Meerkat only has 2 million users compared to Periscope’s 10 million. The lowest of all the video streaming platforms.

Periscope

When Meerkat launched in February 2015, it blew up the social media industry, by March 2015 however, Twitter launched Periscope (which it had actually acquired in January that year).

provincia_2016329_862673192When the app was released, Twitter cut-off Meerkat’s access to Twitter graphs, as it allows users to directly stream to Twitter users. Twitter has used celebrities to entice Meerkat users to use Periscope. A source told TechCrunch “Twitter hounds every celebrity after they try Meerkat. Almost to the point of stalking.”

Periscope is all about live streaming, so a host couldn’t schedule live streams or record videos only to be streamed at a later time or date. However, it’s a great tool for sharing any events or stunts. Another plus for Periscope, is that one can use both rear and front cameras on their smartphone. The host just has to double tap on the screen while ‘Periscoping’ to change camera.

With the most recent update, viewers can now view old streams however, these are deleted after 24 hours.

YouTube Live Streaming

CaptureAs the current main video streaming website with over 4 billion video views a day, it seems like natural progression for YouTube to tap into the live streaming market.

YouTube has attracted a large audience for specialising in gaming, news and sports. BT Sports recently live streamed the Europa Cup Final and UEFA Champions League Final on YouTube, allowing everyone to watch it without paying the usual subscription fee.

Users have the option to start streaming immediately or schedule live streams,  they can also change privacy settings so you can decide if you want your live stream made public or keep it private (only subscribers can view it).

There is also a method to monetise the live stream by showing viewers ads or creating a ‘fan fund’ where fans can donate money.

YouTube Live Streaming doesn’t work on a smart phone so to start streaming you would need a laptop or desktop making it more difficult to stream live events. You will also need to download an encoder before you can start streaming, as this compresses the video so it will be available for viewing on more devices including mobile.

Facebook Live

maxresdefault (2)With more than one billion active users on Facebook, using the large audience already on the social media platform is an unmissable opportunity to advance live streaming even further.

It is the easiest to use out of all the platforms, when creating a status just press the live stream icon to start streaming. Also, unlike the other apps that delete the live stream after 24 hours after it is finished, Facebook saves the stream as a video on your timeline where you can delete it if you like or keep it for posterity.

As part of the Facebook algorithm, the live videos will be places higher on users’ newsfeed. This means that when your brand is broadcasting a live video, the content will be boosted to the top of your follower’s newsfeed meaning a wider reach for a brand without boosting a post.

However, it doesn’t come without faults. Earlier in the month, Buzzfeed was supposed to host the first interview with President Obama using Facebook Live.

Shortly before it was supposed to begin, Facebook Live failed and BuzzFeed turned to YouTube to stream the interview instead. BuzzFeed began streaming with some opening remarks, but the feed cut-out before President Obama arrived. As a result, BuzzFeed began directing Facebook watchers to YouTube and the interview went as planned.

Conclusion

We have tried and tested each of these platforms and we are leaning towards Facebook Live as the best live video service. The audience is already there, it places your brand high on a user’s Facebook and it means you don’t have to use a third party app which normally decreases engagement.

Periscope, just like Twitter is a lower quality version of Facebook. It doesn’t receive as much engagement or users as its competitors.

Meerkat is slowly dying and will soon be the Myspace of video streaming platforms.

The true battle is between YouTube Live Streaming and Facebook Live, both platforms have a strong user and engagement rate and both are tapping into celebrities, influencers and popular events.

We expect to see much more of the live platforms begin used over the summer with both brands using the Euros and Olympics as a method of growing its network.

Students and social media: how do millennials really use social?

According to new stats, Millennials actively use MORE than four social networks. As a soon-to-be graduate, I feel I can offer some first-hand perspective on this issue, and I’ve looked at a number of the key social media used by my peer group, including Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Yik Yak to provide you with the inside track on exactly how we use these tools. Well, for now at least, by next month I’m sure the trends will have changed again!

Snapchat

Hannah and Natalie using geo-targeted filters

From filters to face-swaps, stories and even texting, Snapchat is now one of the most popular ways we communicate with each other. It was recently reported that 77% of students use Snapchat every day and I can confirm that this is most certainly the case. However, it’s not only the ‘sending photos’ feature on Snapchat which is regularly used, with the instant messaging element of Snapchat also big news.

I’m not ashamed to admit that we also use Snapchat to follow celebrities, this includes: Kim Kardashian, Calvin Harris and even Justin Bieber. If you are interested to see what celebrities are on Snapchat, Capital FM has put together a great list, with Charlotte Crosby from Geordie Shore recently hitting an impressive one million followers on Snapchat.

And what about brands? Snapchat is the perfect way for “big bus

iness” to target the lucrative and elusive millennial market – from filters to live stories, these are all ways brands can interact with consumers. I’ll give you an example that grabbed my attention: in 2014,

Having a bit too much fun with the facial recognition

Hollyoaks was an early adopter to Snapchat and increased its following and awareness by revealing “Who Killed Fraser” before the TV programme was aired. Hollyoaks has continued using the app by giving away spoilers of the upcoming episode.

There’s one main reason I believe Snapchat is becoming more and more popular and this is due to the limited advertising on the platform. You can watch Justin Bieber’s Snapchat story four or five times, send numerous selfies and even catch up with the latest stories from The Daily Mail, under the discover function, and only see limited adverts. If users do see one they can easily skip past the ad or they tend to be included in a fun filter, which  makes the whole experience very un-obtrusive. Bonus!

 

Facebook

Facebook still wears the crown, even among us millennials. Although, Facebook is probably not used
in the same way as it was five years ago, it
Facebook 2was recently reported that 88% of millennials get their news from Facebook; whether that’s about brands, families or upcoming events, chances are it’s heard here first. More anecdotally, Facebook seems like it has turned into a cook book with millennials interacting with thousands of videos, which simply explain how make a meal/dessert. Useful given the BBC is said to be cutting its recipe section online.

I believe the reason why Facebook is still number one, with a massive 92% of millennials actively using it, is because it is still incredibly effective at connecting people. Given the majority of my peers are going through a transitional period; either moving to university or gaining their first job, Facebook still plays a role in helping people stay in touch. Adding new friends on Facebook seems less intrusive than asking for a phone number but with the use of Facebook Chat, writing on user’s walls and updating status’ everyday certainly seems to be a thing of the past – supported by stats that we’re collectively sharing less on this platform.

Twitter

ITwitters Twitter dying for millennials?  Personally, I would say yes in terms of us actually sending tweets and interacting. Twitter’s shares dropped by 13.6% recently as the company did not exceed the forecasted revenue while its user base is plateauing across the globe. According to Contently, 19% of millennials rarely or never use their Twitter accounts. However, it would be interesting to see how this has changed over time. From my own experience I believe it could be since the algorithm was put in place, which doesn’t allow you to see all Tweets in chronological order. Twitter states that the algorithm ensures that you see the most important tweets from your favourite people, but if we all see it this way is certainly questionable.

 

Instagram

INSTA2

Instagram and millennials work together like selfies and millennials – the older generation don’t seem to really understand it. This is reflected in the stats; 53% of users are 18, and it is estimated a further 11 million users are under 17.

So how and when do we use Instagram? According to Iconsquare, we use Instagram all day, every day: 69% look at Instagram when we’re at home, 39% while going to sleep and 33% of when we wake up, which could be mid-afternoon for many students.

From sharing our own pictures, to browsing for fitness inspiration and funny memes, Instagram provides endless hours of fun. It’s also a great chance for brands to show their personality and interact with younger demographics.

For now, at least, Instagram really is a win-win app, for users and brands. Let’s just hope the new, algorithm and increasingly aggressive advertising model doesn’t have a negative effect on us.

Yik Yak

Yak2Yik Yak is an app which was designed to help people discover their local community. It was created by two students on a university campus and targets students specifically. It is very similar to Twitter, however, you have the choice to be anonymous and the majority of users take up this offering.

So what do we Yak about? Well, everything and anything. From funny comments heard in the library, to moaning about family members or simply updating users on their day. The idea is that you write an original, humorous Yak, and other users can “up or down” vote it. If your Yak gets five down votes then it gets removed, and if gets a certain amount of up votes it goes on to the ‘hot’ tab. Strangely enough, the University of York was the first university in the UK  (and the only I believe) to appear on the “Peek near” list. This basically meant that every single Yik Yak user was able to see the Yaks which were sent on the University of York campus.

Yik Yak has recently pushed out a chat function which allows anonymous 1:1 chat. Although I’m a Yik Yak fan, I am a little skeptical of this as it feels a bit like a dating site but am interested in seeing how successful this element is going to be.

So, there we have it, that’s how us millennials are currently using social media – from my experiences at least. What do you think will be the next big millennial app? Will Facebook be number one in five years’ time or will it get overtaken? We’d love to know what you think!

Top interview tips for bagging that PR job you’ve always dreamed of!

The team here at Prohibition HQ has grown quite significantly over the past 12 months – and that has meant holding lots of interviews with some fab PR candidates looking to secure a PR executive role. We also work closely with the PR degree at Leeds Beckett University – our MD, Chris, regularly lectures on the course and we have lots of students joining us in the office for short term work experience placements – so with this in mind, we thought it might be worth offering some tips and advice for those of you looking for a job after graduation.

When it comes to interview prep, those old-school interview favourites such as identifying your ‘biggest strengths and weakness’ are still 99% likely to make an appearance. Love them or hate them – they do offer your interviewer a real insight into how you perceive yourself. When it comes to identifying your strengths, it’s often best to pick three attributes and, where possible, give strong examples of how you have used these in ‘real life’ work situations. The weaknesses are harder! Avoid the typical ‘I’m a perfectionist’ or I ‘tend to work too hard’ and instead, try and highlight specific areas that you have already worked hard to try and rectify – whether it’s a gap in knowledge or practical experience of skills such as pitching or networking.

The general consensus at Prohibition is for candidates to remember to cover off the three Ps – ‘Punctuality’, ‘Preparation’ and ‘Politeness.’ Manners really are so important and being on time, being well presented and well prepared, as well as not talking over people and maintaining strong eye contact, are all really important when it comes to make a good first impression. It’s also worth thinking through your day before planning pre-interview activities – it’s never good to turn up to an interview dripping with sweat after an hour-long gym sesh!

Having some pre-planned answers for those common interview questions is always a good idea. Here’s a list of 10 questions that often crop up and that you should consider before arriving at an interview:

  • Tell us about yourself and your PR experience.
  • What experience do you have in securing media coverage?
  • What would you see as the biggest challenge in a PR executive role?
  • What PR campaign have you admired recently and why?
  • What would you do in ‘X’ scenario
  • Why do you want to work with us?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What recent social media trend has caught your attention and why?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
  • Do you have any questions for us?

It’s also worth being prepared for those tricky curve ball questions such as:

  • Tell me about the worst boss you’ve had?
  • What’s the most embarrassing situation you have found yourself in and how did you get out of it?
  • If you were a kitchen utensil – what would you be?

Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience in terms of journo contacts and PR campaign execution – an enthusiastic, willing to learn attitude goes a long way when starting out in PR.

In order to give you the best possible advice, we thought we would asked our friend Helen Salt, Founding Director at leading PR & Public Affairs recruitment firm, Black Cherry Recruitment Ltd, for her top tips to interview success.

Helen comments: “Preparation is always key! We always tell our candidates that their interview prep should include researching the company – have an opinion on their recent campaigns and why you would make a good addition to their company. Name dropping journos you have a good relationship with and having a list of media that you enjoy reading/listing to, is also a good bet. We also always recommend taking a portfolio with you – being able to showcase your experience and offer examples of your work is invaluable. Try and include a variety of work including examples of your writing and coverage you’ve achieved where possible.”

So there’s a few of our top tips for those of you heading out into the world of employment this summer… you’ll probably also really thank us for these last few ‘nuggets’ of wisdom:

  1. Whatever you do, don’t go in for the double cheek ‘PR Kiss’ at interview stage
  2. One of the biggest bug bears from an interviewer’s perspective is bad grammar in your CV – triple check it before you send it to any perspective employer!
  3. If you’re going to ‘inflate’ your experience, make sure it’s believable…
  4. Good hygiene is vital, but don’t overdo the aftershave… you want to leave a lasting impression, not a lasting smell.
  5. Finally, practice really does make perfect… rope in a friend to talk through some of your answers and ask them to throw in some curve balls to keep you on your toes.

 

Top 10 UK Beer Blogs

Here at Prohibition we love our beer and often end the week with a pint down one of our local pubs.
Britain’s always had a strong beer drinking tradition, but there’s never been a better time for quality ale.

The UK’s more than 600 independent/craft brewers are tempting palates and whetting whistles with ales in a wide range of styles to suit every taste.
Do you want to get on the craft beer bandwagon, but don’t know where to start? Here’s our top 10 list of beer blogs to help you mix up your Friday pint.
1. Chris Hall Beer

beer1

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Hall Beer is a great mix of reviews, recipes and general beer news written by Chris Hall, a passionate beer lover who juggles a day job as Sales and Event Coordinator for popular London Craft Brewery, Brew By Numbers, while moonlighting as a freelance beer writer and international beer judge. We don’t know how he has the time to keep a blog, but we’re glad he does! We especially love his insights into the world of professional beer tasting.

2. A Female View

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Sophie Atherton, the first woman in the UK to be accredited as a beer sommelier, challenges the popular misconception that women don’t like beer. Exploring a multitude of styles, this blog is a great resource for those who want a change from their usual pint of lager, but aren’t sure where to start.

3.Cooking Lager

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Speaking of lager…bucking the trend for featuring and reviewing expensive beer, Cooking Lager is a celebration of ales both cheap and tasty! Follow the author’s supermarket adventures to learn where to pick up the best deals on booze.

4. Will Hawkes

beer4

 

 

 

 

 

Will Hawkes is kind of a big deal. He’s a journalist, travel writer and British beer writer of the year for 2013. Read his blog to take a boozy, food-filled trip around the world.

5. Are You Tasting the Pith

beer5

 

 

 

 

 

The online home of Zak Avery, British Guild of Beer Writers’ Writer of the Year 2008, author of 500 Beers and co-owner of one of our favourite bottle shops Beer-Ritz in Headingly. Are you tasting the pith is a great mix of beer reviews and social commentary.

6. Beer Birra Bier 

beer6

 

 

 

 

 

This blog is a great resource for those wanting to expand their beer knowledge. Featuring reviews of brews and breweries as well as regular beer and food pairings. The author posts infrequently, but when he does it’s definitely worth waiting for.

7. A Swift One

swift

 

 

 

 

 

Musings of a lover of local ale coming to you from Huddersfield, ‘the UK’s premiere real ale town’. Who knew?

8. Craft Beer London

beer8

 

 

 

 

 

Exactly what it says on the tin. Craft Beer London brings you the best of the London craft beer scene. A guide to the best pubs, breweries, shops and events this blog is your one stop shop for all things beery in London.

9. Beer Battered

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This Manchester-based blog is a guide to the best beer, breweries, pubs and bars that the UK has to offer. Whether you’re curious about American Pale Ales or mad about Belgians, Beer Battered’s handy Beer tab divides reviews by country to make browsing a breeze.

10. Pete Brown Beer

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An authority in the industry, Pete Brown Beer has won numerous awards for beer writing including most recently the Online Drinks Writer of the year 2015. His often humorous take on the beer industry is well worth a read.

Prohibition reviews Fire Lake Grill House and Cocktail Bar at Radisson Blu

To celebrate the launch of Radisson Blu’s brand new, standalone Cocktail Bar and Grill House – named Fire Lake with reference to its Minnesotan roots (for those of you who aren’t aware, Minnesota is known as ‘the land of 10,000 lakes’ and actually has 11,842) – The Light’s social media team was invited for lunch to experience first-hand what the new venue has to offer.

Although Fire Lake has only just officially opened (back on June 1st), we’ve already heard a lot of great things about it. We were especially excited to visit Fire Lake after reading the official restaurant review in the Yorkshire Post last week, in which the food and service was given a massive five out of five stars. Surely it must be good?

The word ‘good’ doesn’t cut it.

Words that do spring to mind following our lunch experience are ‘amazing’, ‘sophisticated’, ‘delicious’, ‘ ‘TO DIE FOR’, ‘presentation’, ‘FUSION’, ‘refined yet down to earth’ and  ‘Yorkshire’ (of course)!

There really is no other venue in Leeds quite like it, and here’s why…

On arriving we were led to one of the chef’s tables – a long-high bench – positioned with a front seat view of the kitchen. It’s easy to get distracted, as you take your seat, by the colourful delights adorning the chef’s pass, including mini chilli plants and jars of pickles.  You’re surrounded by details and Fire Lake has got service ‘off to a tee’, from the tiny pegs designed to attach your napkin to your clothes and the ice cold water containing summer berries.

Once seated, the attentive staff talked us through the menu; a treat in itself. The waitress points out the subtle nods to Yorkshire scattered through the menus, such as the starter ‘Buckets O’Mussels’ and the main course of ‘Line Hooked Seabass’ accompanied by ‘Bradford Onion Bhajis’, which she tells us are proving to be a fast favourite. The specials boards include speciality meals created by each of the chefs – as if the menu wasn’t overwhelming enough.

What’s unique about Fire Lake is that all of its meats are cooked in a josper, a special charcoal oven which helps to bring a smoky flavour to all grilled meats. This form of cooking gives the meats a taste that’s like no other and the staff, who clearly know their stuff, urge steak lovers to sample the delights from the grill.

Following a lot of big decision making, we finally made our choices and ordered. One of the team is a vegetarian, and as any veggie knows, a grill house can be a bit tricky. You often get stuck with one option (normally a salad) as you watch the rest of your party get excited about the vast array of choices before them. Not at Fire Lake!! Many of the dishes are veggie-friendly, or adaptable (all detailed in the menu) and the staff are eager to offer assistance to make your meal as special as the meat eaters’ in your party. Our resident veggie opted for pea soup to start (without the Yorkshire ham which normally comes on the side), followed by the falafel-in-mushroom burger for main. And for the meat lover in the team, a starter of fried melting crab croquettes and with ‘The One and Onglet’ butcher’s steak for main.

We were served works of art, presented to the highest standard with extreme attention to detail. Just take a look at the pictures which speak for themselves…

Pea soup

pea soup

The pea soup came highly recommended by two members of staff and it did not disappoint. Extremely tasty, the dish was simple yet moreish and each spoonful went down a treat. The accompanying bread melted in the mouth – it took a lot of restraint not to lick the bowl!

Falafel-in-mushroom burger

falafel burger

The bun-less burger came wrapped in protective paper with hummus and seasonal veg on the side. It was simply delicious and was finished far too quickly. A hearty option for the vegetarians out there.

Melting crab croquettes

crab croquettes

The crab croquettes were an absolute ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ delight. Containing no potato, the little balls were bursting with crab meat and were seasoned to perfection. The accompaniment of the red onion relish was a fantastic pairing for the dish and added just the right amount of bite! Crispy, tasty and an all-round winner.

‘The One and Onglet’

steak

This was the real shining star of the meal. They say the josper brings a whole new taste to the steak and boy does it do just that. Ordered medium rare, the steak was supremely succulent and had been marinated in a special marrowbone gravy –  the only way to describe the taste is heaven! Although the steak came with a sauce of your choice, béarnaise in our case, it was unnecessary as the juices of the steak were too good to mix. This was nothing like any steak we’ve tasted before and even though it was only lunch time, the whole plate was cleared!

For drinks (it was lunch time after all) we stuck to a small glass of white wine each. The menu does boast an extensive list of cocktails and on returning, we would most definitely opt for one of the barman’s fruity masterpieces – the one’s we peered at from across the bar looked amazing!

A meat lovers last thoughts:

A beautiful restaurant that caters for all occasions. Be it lunch, a romantic dinner or a special celebration, there’s a part of the restaurant for everyone. The food is first class and the steaks are to die for! My recommendation for steak lovers would be to look no further than the butcher’s block (aka the steak section) when ordering.

A veggie’s verdict:

Not what you’d expect from a grill house, where salad is often one of the only suitable choices on offer. You can relax in the sophisticated and stylish surrounding, while you pick out the minor details scattered around this utterly transformed venue. If you visited before the renovations, you’re in for a lovely surprise. I plan to visit again and again.

Launching the world’s first ‘fake flower’ vending machine for Country Baskets

For years, flowers were a bedside mainstay for patients being treated in hospitals. With holistic benefits and the ability to brighten up a dingy hospital room, families and friends alike turned to bunches of lilies and tulips to raise the morale of loved ones undergoing medical attention. That’s no longer the case, with 92% of the UK’s NHS hospitals now officially banning fresh flowers. We wanted to set this right, and on behalf of our client Country Baskets, we’ve launched the awesome ‘Power of the Flower’ campaign.

Country Basket's 'Power of the Flower' Campaign at St. James' hospitalToday at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, we’ve introduced the UK’s first artificial flower vending machine. The flowers are made entirely using craft products available at Country Baskets stores, and the posies will be dispensed for free all weekend to bring a splash of colour and cheer to patients. Carefully positioned to fit alongside Mothers Day, the ‘Power of the Flower’ will undoubtedly bring a smile to the face of many mothers having to spend their weekend receiving treatment at the hospital.

Prior to kicking off the campaign, we carried out copious amounts research into consumer opinion regarding the NHS flower ban, and received resounding results in favour of flowers igniting feelings of happiness, a loving feeling and mood improvement. With over three quarters of our respondents disagreeing with the flower ban, we made it our mission to bring a smile back to the face of patients at St James’s, in the form of this great feel good campaign for Country Baskets.

As part of the campaign, we’re today working with television personality and leading psychologist Emma Kenny, who has voiced her support of the campaign to bring flowers back to hospital wards, stating her beliefs that, from a psychological standpoint, flowers can have a huge impact on a person’s recovery or general well-being.

The event launched this morning on the hospital’s elderly ward, in the Gledhow Wing of Leeds’ St James’s Hospital, and the vending machine will be present dispensing free artificial posies all weekend. We’ve already got some great coverage of the event on the Daily Mail, but keep your eyes peeled for all the latest on this great campaign.