Reasons to Use Granite as Your Worktops in Your Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the important rooms in any home. Besides being used for cooking, modern kitchens are used for other purposes. You can dine or have a family meeting in the kitchen. You can also spend time with your visitors in the kitchen as you prepare food. These are some of the reasons why most homeowners consider kitchen remodelling services. One of the items to remodel is the kitchen worktop. Although there are different types of modern kitchen worktops, here are reasons to consider granite worktops.


Granite is strong. It does not break easily as other worktop materials might. You can do your all your cooking activities on it with no worries. These worktops also have a special anti-scratch seal. Granite worktops will stay looking good for ages without breaking or scratching.

No bacteria or dirt

Granite worktops are sleek and with no pores. This material does not absorb liquid spills such as water or sauces. This eliminates the existence of bacteria on your worktops. Their special seal also makes it easy to clean off dirt. This is a great advantage of granite worktops over traditional worktops that are porous and readily absorb juice, oil and other liquid spills.

Heat resistant

There is a lot of heat involved in the kitchen. Hot pots and pans are common in every kitchen. You therefore need to install worktops that are not affected by heat. Granite is not affected by heat. You can comfortably place your cold and hot utensils with no worries. However, make sure you get high-quality granite worktops London suppliers offer.

Natural look

Compared to marble and quartz, granite has a more natural look. While other worktops look fairly contemporary, granite is naturally beautiful and boosts your kitchen appearance.

Easy maintenance

Maintenance is another factor you need to consider when selecting the best kitchen worktops. Due to their natural strength and non-porous nature, granite worktops are easy to clean and maintain. The worktops look as good as new by wiping with a wet towel.

Wide variety of colours

Granite comes in over 20 different colours. You can find a perfect colour to complement your theme. Homeowners have a choice to find the right worktops to complement the wall or ceiling colour.

Home remodelling is a great way to upgrade your home value. Replacing your broken kitchen worktops with granite worktops is the best home remodelling idea. Granite worktops are very easy to install. There are lots of companies in London supplying these worktops. All you need to do is to choose your favourite colour and shade. The worktops also come in different sizes to meet your kitchen needs. Make sure your kitchen is more than simply a cooking place by installing the latest type of kitchen worktops. With these advantages, granite is no doubt the best choice for worktops.

What the Consumer Expects: 7 Recommendations for Food Labelling

Best-before consumption dates, ingredients and nutritional information, allergens, and origin of the product are some of the key elements of a good label according to the results of a study conducted by a well-known consumer research organisation.

Here are 7 recommendations for good food labelling.

The study, which involved more than 2,500 consumers draws conclusions from which very interesting information can be extracted for food manufacturers, who already spend an enormous amount on product labelling and labelling machines. It shows how the label of their product can be a great tool to build consumer confidence in their products.

1. The study notes that 90% of consumers read food labels at the time of purchase. 65% claim to read them always and another 25% depending on the product (first time purchase, novel product, according to type of food – dairy, infant, meat, prepared product, etc.). For consumers that indicated their diet is conditioned by some factor (illness, allergies, diet, etc.) the label is read in 100% of cases.

2. Consumption dates, ingredients and nutritional information, are key elements. The study indicates that the information on which consumers are most fixed is the expiration date or preferred consumption date, ingredients and nutritional information. The data least focused on is the country of origin, the manufacturer, or allergens.

However, this changes in the profile of consumers that indicate that their diet is conditioned by some factor. In this case, for 14% of respondents, allergens rank fourth in their reading and information priority. They also give more importance to the country of origin of the product and less importance to aspects such as the benefits or qualities identified on the label, how to use it, and the manufacturer, distributor or packer.

3. Simple, clear and clean labels: allergens, ingredients and origin of the product. Only 39% of respondents said they had noticed any changes in labelling in recent years, especially in the type of information and the clarity with which it is presented.

However, 34% of consumers who have noticed changes consider that the nutritional information is clearer, while 32% think they can read the information better, and 31% think that the information on allergenic ingredients is more prominent.

Notably, 60% say they can’t read the information easily. 59% consider that the wording is very small, 19% that the letters are very close, while 15% believe the colour of the letters should be better highlighted.

Likewise, 75% of consumers consider that the origin of the food products is not clearly indicated on labels. For 27% of consumers, for products such as meat and fresh fish, information on the country of origin should be more clearly identified.

Regarding ingredients, although this is the second most read element of labels, 38% of the consumers surveyed stated that they do not understand the list of ingredients. Information on labels that is not easily understood leads to rejection of the product by the consumer. In contrast, clear, simple and clean labels generate a purchase action for products.

4. The nutritional information is the third element most consulted on labels. In relation to nutritional information, calories (13%), sugars (12%), saturated fats (12%) and carbohydrates (11%) are the elements that consumers identify the most. Salt is relegated to 8%.

5. With regard to sensory aspects and benefits of the product, there are two challenges: 62% of consumers consider that the product meets the information indicated on its label and their expectations are met. Meanwhile, 38% state they are not satisfied. The qualities / benefits of the product such as claims regarding “rich in…”, “low in…”, etc. and sensory aspects are the main areas which apparently need improvement.

The consumer demands transparency and honesty in the information provided in the labelling of products.

7. The conclusions of this study confirm that the label is a critical element of the product. The consumer reads it in 90% of cases and gives high value to the information it contains. This information conditions the purchase of the product and the expectations that the consumer has.

Is Luxury Apartment Rental Worth the Cost?

If given the chance to rent a place when going on a vacation and a luxury apartment is presented in front of you, it is a no-brainer. You would definitely choose it. The only downside is that renting it might cost a lot of money.

Going on a vacation is pricey and you might rather opt for a cheaper hotel than pay for a luxury apartment. Before discarding the idea of renting a luxury apartment, here are some reasons why they are worth the price.

Better location

A luxury apartment is usually located in a better place where public transportation is available. It is also near key areas. Moving around won’t be a problem for you. If you are trying to save money and you wish to use trains and taxis, the location of these apartments will make things easier for you.


Luxury apartments, like hotels have pools and fitness centres. You can use these facilities any time without extra fees. You can also use the gaming rooms, biking trails and other facilities available.


This is perhaps the best reason for renting a luxury apartment. You might have spent a lot of money for the rental, but you can save money on food. You need not eat out all the time. You can just buy the ingredients from a local market and cook them in the apartment. If you have a special diet, this makes things easier for you. Hotels usually don’t allow you to cook although they offer microwave ovens.


When you rent a luxury apartment, you are guaranteed safety. Only those who are residing in the building can have access to the area. This starts from the lobby up to the specific floor on which the apartment is located. There are also a lot of entry points. You don’t have to pass by the lobby all the time like in hotels. Even if there are several entry points, all of them are guarded. Security cameras are also all over the place.

Given these benefits, you should consider renting a luxury apartment on your next trip. Yes, you might have to spend more for the rental, but you can cut down on the expenses elsewhere. Besides, you are on a vacation because you want to relax and rejuvenate. If you are spending money anyway, why don’t you just go ahead and rent a luxury apartment? You might also be surprised to see options like apartments Edinburgh offers that are reasonably priced.

This is a perfect choice if you are travelling as a family or in large groups. You will enjoy the experience.

The Importance of the Correct Packaging for Your Products

Packaging has come a long way since parcels wrapped in simple brown paper were the norm. The packaging or customized boxes used by your company is critical for various reasons, not only to serve as protection but also as a key touch point with your customers.

So, it’s vital to take into account the requirements of your product as well as the derivatives of its distribution cycle. You should also focus on the continual improvement and optimisation of containers and packaging, as well as its management and adaptation to the requirements of your products and their distribution environment.

Experts in packaging such as recommend considering the following aspects and variables when trying to create the perfect packaging for your products:


· Physical characteristics. The nature of the product to be packed and how it is presented

· State of the product (liquid-solid-gas) and nature

· Weight / volume (light, heavy, very bulky, etc.)

· Form (regular or non-regular)

· Dimensions (provided)

· Fragility or conservation

· Verticality

· Product useful life

· Danger

· Support capacity: bearing, semi-bearing or non-bearing

· Placement of the product in the container and / or packaging by separators

· Value of the product

Packaging line

· Characteristics of the packaging process

· Manual, semi-automatic or fully automated packaging system


· Use of packaging materials and / or packaging with possibilities for recycling or recovery

· Use packaging and / or packaging consisting of one or two easily recyclable materials

· Reduce the amount of packaging material and / or packaging per product

Legislation and regulations

· Labour risks legislation

· Dangerous goods

· Suitability for contact with food

· Environmental legislation

· Legislation for international transport

· Technical standards

Logistics and transportation

· Type of manipulation

· Type of storage

· Storage time

· Mode of transport: vibrations can occur that fatigue certain elements critically, etc.

· Stacking height

· Palletization type

· Cargo in containers

· Ambient temperature / humidity


· Storage duration

· Storage conditions

· Use of shelves

· Stacking height

Point of sale

Depending on the characteristics of the point of sale (large area, industrial, etc.), there will be a series of requirements that the packaging and packaging system must meet.

Environmental conditions and conditioning

· Changes in humidity (e.g. cardboard absorbs moisture and loses rigidity)

· Temperature changes

· Direct exposure to sunlight

· Wind, dust, etc.

· Salty fog (in the case of maritime transport)


· Manual manipulation: risk of falls from low height

· Automatic handling: trolleys, conveyor belts, drilling risks, impact and tilt, risk of falling from higher heights

Designing the perfect packaging for your products requires a great deal of consideration, experimentation, and investment in terms of time and capital. In order to avoid costly mistakes, it is sometimes better to enlist the help of experts in the packaging field who handle a wide variety of different packaging requirements and can advise you regarding the best, and most cost-effective solution for your product packaging needs.

4 Important Next Steps for College Grads

You’ve survived exam weeks, all nighters, last-minute assignments, and the mania of graduation, but now its time to enter the real world. There are several really important first steps you have to take once you’ve graduated to make sure you’re on the right track towards getting your dream job and being a successful adult.

Assess Your Finances

After your degree, the most important step is getting in control of your finances and knowing where you stand. If you took out student loans, make sure you know how much you owe and how much is due per month. If you graduated college with a huge stack of extra textbooks like many grads, you can trade these in for money at places like Campus Books to give you a quick financial boost. You’ll also need to establish a budget. Check out how much the median rent and utility amounts are in your dream city, plus how much you usually spend on transportation and food, and how many months you’ll be able to afford while searching for a job.

Update Your Wardrobe

The days of comfy t-shirts and jeans are behind you. You’ll need to get an updated wardrobe for interviews and your job if you want to stay competitive. You don’t have to blow tons of money at an upscale store, though. Scour local resale shops; they oftentimes have trendy and gently used professional wear that will help you make an excellent first impression during your interview and beyond. Consider purchasing versatile pieces that you can mix and match so you can create new looks without having to blow your budget. A simple blazer, khaki pants, and a few ties or pieces of jewelry can go a long way to class up your current wardrobe.

Find A Job

Image via Flickr by Nottingham Trent University

Not quite as simple as it sounds, finding a job after college is one of the biggest challenges recent graduates face. An excellent place to start is your school’s career center. Most career centers don’t require current enrollment to work with you, which makes it an invaluable tool for both recent graduates and current students. Career centers can help you update and refresh your résumé or curriculum vitae, practice interviewing, and discover new resources for expanding your job search.

If you have an ideal location for relocating to, browse local jobs before you take your search nationwide. Make sure you résumé is updated before you begin your job search, and keeping a running list of places you’ve applied can help you keep organized.

Write A Killer Cover Letter

Cover letters can make or break a job application, especially in today’s job market. Keep it to a page, and keep it personal; really let your voice shine through! Discuss exactly what makes you qualified for the job without relying on common words like ‘organized’ or ‘team player’ — give examples over bland adjectives. The cover letter is often what makes a first impression, so it’s important that it’s a strong example of what you can bring to the table.

Navigating the post-graduation world can be scary, but so long as you stay organized and motivated, you’ll be able to get on your feet in no time!

How to Keep the Catering for Your Event Cost-Effective

You want the event that you are planning to be a success but did you know that there are some secret, cost-effective tips that can save you a great deal of money on your next celebration? Your friends and colleagues in Birmingham love a good party and you enjoy hosting them so in order to be able to have more parties you should use the money that you spend wisely so that it will go further and pay for more celebrations. Take a look at some of the best tips for saving money at your next event.

  1. You can control the length of your party and by keeping it short you can reduce the overall cost of your event significantly. Catering in Birmingham professionals can help you to plan a reception with cocktails and a formal dinner that will last about five hours; this can be the ideal power party that you need to host. Your guests will arrive, enjoy social hours, and then dine on a delicious dinner and have an excellent time all within about five hours. Consider making your party short yet meaningful.

  2. Do some research of the caterers in Birmingham so that you can review their menus and the drinks selections that they offer at events. Visiting a website such as can give you a good idea of the availability of food and drinks in Birmingham. You may decide to cut costs by limiting the bar offerings so that they are more appealing to your guests. Choose local beers, sparkling wine drinks, and small plates of bar snacks for each guest. Your guests can still enjoy the social hour without your having to pay for top-shelf brands that drive up the cost of your party.

  3. Limit your glassware selection; instead pick a glass that is all-purpose and can accommodate a variety of beverages. This will give the bar set-up a contemporary look for an elegant ambiance in your venue. Using one type of glass allows you to spend your money in other ways or save it for the next celebration.

  4. If you’re hosting a formal dinner, ask the caterers to limit the size of the portions that they are serving. Always opt to have servers attend to your guests if you’re having a buffet line; guests tend to take more than they can eat and you lose control of the amount of the food that’s being consumed. You may want to opt for appetizers that accompany your social hour to limit the amount of food that you’ll need for your party.

  5. Do your guests drink coffee? If not you can eliminate this part of the evening. You may want to only offer it with your bar service so that only those who enjoy coffee can get what they want. You’ll also save on the cream, milk and sugar or sweeteners that are used by many to complement their coffees.

Using some of these tips can help you to save money and still host an elegant and memorable event for the guests you invite.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

Bet You Didn’t Know This About Cooking Oils

A few years ago, nutritionists touted the benefits of very low- or no-fat diets. Nearly every type of cooking oil was caught up in the “bad-for-you” mantra. Research turned the no-fat idea on its head, however, when researchers discovered that healthy bodies require certain types of fat to stay healthy. In fact, the use of cooking oil in moderation is, according to the American Heart Association, part of a heart healthy diet.

To be fair, agricultural crops of the past were laden with pesticides. In recent years, new technologies emerged that greatly reduced the need for pesticides. Many of today’s farmers are further reducing pesticide use with natural forms of pest control. You can purchase cooking oils like olive and cottonseed oil that are certified pesticide-free, kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan. If you haven’t heard how different today’s cooking oils are, it’s time to learn the truth.

The Organic Revolution

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees certified organic operations. Organic agriculture is a growing method that produces products in ways that preserve the environment, most notably by avoiding pesticides and antibiotics. Organic farmers, food processors and ranchers follow the USDA’s organic standards that outline how crops are grown, livestock raised and materials used. To be certified organic, farms must agree to the following requirements:

  • Preserve biodiversity and natural resources.
  • Promote animal health and welfare.
  • Provide outdoor access for animals to encourage natural behavior.
  • No genetically modified ingredients are allowed.
  • Organic and nonorganic food is stored and grown separately.
  • Undergo yearly on-site inspections.

Organic and certified pesticide-free farmers use a variety of methods to control crop-damaging pests, including insect traps, predator insects, healthy microorganisms and disease-resistant crop selection to provide organic crops free from pesticide residue.

Growing More with Less

Sustainable farming is method of farming that protects the public health, environment and animal welfare. Sustainable farms utilize crop rotation, pasture-based animal husbandry and conservation tillage to develop and support healthy ecosystems. Like certified organic farms, sustainable farms, including those growing cotton, avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides.

Sustainable farming methods promote a wise use of resources. For example, the sustainable farming strategy in drought stricken areas is to grow crops that don’t require irrigation and water crops at the root, thereby reducing evaporation. The prolonged drought in California and the Southwestern United States is a prime example of why the use of water conservation methods is so important.

The difference between certified organic and sustainable farming is that organic farms are USDA inspected and must meet specific requirements to claim certified status. The farming philosophies are similar, however and that is to produce food without negatively affecting the environment.

The trend toward pesticide-free, sustainable farming is good news for cooking oil manufacturers and consumers. Canola, olive and cottonseed oils have a wide range of health benefits when used in as part of a healthy diet.


7 Tips for Holding Your Wedding Ceremony Outside

If you have always dreamed of getting married in a beautiful garden surrounded by flowers and trees, or you love the idea of nature and want a naturally-inspired wedding day, then holding your wedding ceremony or reception outdoors is a good choice. If you have set a summer wedding date then there is no reason why you can’t plan a stunning outdoor event – just follow these hints and tips to plan a day to remember in the open air.

1. Design an Outdoor Wedding Dress

Pay attention to the type of dress you can effectively wear outside. If you are getting married on a lawn or in a garden then prepare for the bottom of the dress to get a little dirty. Or you could choose a short dress. Beware of floaty styles as it’s never good to be holding onto the dress as the wind picks up.

2. Have a Back Up Plan

You will want to have some kind of backup plan in the event that the weather is rainy or windy on the day of the event. Many venues will offer a dual indoor/outdoor space so you have options whatever the weather. This is particularly useful as the weather may change throughout the day and it is best if there is an indoor part you can retreat to in the event of rain.

3. Speak to the Venue

If you want to get married outside then make sure the location for the ceremony has some outdoor space – check before you confirm that they can cater for an outdoor wedding. If you don’t want to do the ceremony outside but you still want to host a reception that makes the most of balmy summer evenings, pick a reception venue with gardens, lawns and outdoor features, like

4. Consider the Sound

Make sure that everyone can hear the vows or the speeches outdoors. You may need to speak into microphones if the outdoor space is particularly large.

5. Adjust for the Comfort of Your Guests

If the weather is hot then you may need to provide parasols and bottled water. Handheld fans are a sweet addition. If it is cooler, then you may need to consider blankets to keep people cosy! Make sure that you let your guests know ahead of time that the ceremony will be outside so they can dress accordingly and perhaps wear shoes that do not have high heels to avoid sinking into the grass.

6. Go Minimal with Decorations

Gardens are naturally beautiful and you won’t need to overdo it on the decoration outdoors. Some simple flower arrangements, ribbons on the chairs, and some candles for an evening ceremony will set a stylish, rustic tone.

7. Think About Your Food and Drink

Think about fresh, outdoor food to serve after the ceremony or for the wedding breakfast. Canapés are ideal, plus champagne and maybe even ice cream in the summer.

Image courtesy of jannoon028/

How to Cater to the Corporate Customer

Any caterer with a degree of experience in the competitive catering market will be aware of the need to maintain a steady stream of work. This regular work, whilst not creating huge profits for the business, does bring in the bread and butter income that keeps the business ticking over, pays the staff’s wages and many of the business’s running costs. It can also lead to more profitable work from the same source. The type of contract that best fits this bill is the contract to provide catering services for corporate clients. The phrase “corporate catering” implies that it is one entire genre. In fact, there are various types of corporate catering service, all of which the successful caterer needs to be able to fulfil if valuable ongoing contracts are to be won and retained. In this article we will look at some of these different corporate catering disciplines.

Breakfast Buffets

It seems appropriate that the first topic that we should cover is the first meal of the day. Time is so scarce, especially in the business world, that working breakfasts, which used to be a rarity, are now a frequent component in the corporate day. It is essential that breakfast buffets for business clients are prompt. In fact, the need for timely delivery to the corporate trade is of the essence generally. A smaller breakfast buffet can include Danish Pastries & Croissants, muffins with butter and preserves, fruit juices and tea and coffee. If something more substantial is required, the menu can be augmented with eggs and toast, whilst, if a substantial breakfast is required, a complete selection of grilled food can be provided.

Business Lunches

Once again, there is a wide variety of catering services for the business lunch. For many corporate clients, a selection of sandwiches is sufficient for an internal luncheon meeting. However if the lunch is intended to entertain their business contacts (or potential contacts) it is probable that a much fuller menu will be required. This may even involve more than one course and the provision of beverages in addition to the food.

Corporate Catering is an essential part of a catering business

Corporate Catering is an essential part of a catering business

Business Dinners

Because the business dinner does not happen during the course of the working day it is likely to involve some special occasion or celebration, such as a retirement or to mark an important event for the business. The caterer is likely to need to provide the full range of dinner services for such an occasion, including the provision of beverages.

AGMs and Board Meetings

Once again, the caterer is likely to be required to produce his entire repertoire of services and menus for annual meetings, extraordinary general meetings and meetings of the board of directors.

Great Corporate Catering for an important business meeting can help clinch the deal!

Great Corporate Catering for an important business meeting can help clinch the deal!

Christmas Parties

The annual company Christmas party is an event which, although happening only once a year, is an extremely valuable contract to have, whatever the size of the business. Along with wedding celebrations it really can represent the “cream” for a catering business. Because the work is repeat work, unless the firm decides against future Christmas parties, it is essential, once a contract has been won, to deliver everything to the satisfaction of the customer. One of the realities of “special occasion” catering is that customer expectation is higher and the disappointment with poor catering is felt all the more keenly. A poorly fulfilled Christmas party contract for a corporate client is almost certain to lose not only the following year’s party but also any other periodic work throughout the course of the year. Conversely, a corporate client who is happy with the catering provided for a Christmas party is likely to use the caterer again.

Impromptu Requests

If a caterer has an ongoing relationship with a corporate client it can often entail having to provide catering services on a single isolated occasion, sometimes with little warning. If a meeting becomes more difficult than envisaged, the client may well make an urgent call for provisions to be delivered. Although it may not always be feasible to meet such a request the more prepared the caterer is to at least try to do so, the more he will be held in esteem by the client.


Corporate catering does, indeed, cover a wide range of services. The successful catering company will need to be able to satisfy all of the needs of the corporate client. That way, not only will the regular “bread and butter” contracts come in, the occasional helping of “cream” may also be served!


Image Credits:  Wikipedia 1 and 2