The George Hotel welcomes new Head Chef, Greg Collins

The George Hotel in Bird Street, Lichfield has appointed local lad Greg Collins as its new Head Chef.
With over 10 years experience in the industry, the 29 year old was born in Lichfield and has worked at some of the region’s most popular restaurants, including the Meynell Ingram Arms and the Birmingham Hippodrome where he was part of the team responsible for gaining a coveted AA Rosette for the restaurant.
Greg is passionate about using local produce to create stand out food for all areas of the hotel which include the lunchtime carvery, the lounge bar, the banqueting food for weddings, meetings and functions and also for the hotel’s popular evening restaurant, Darwin’s.
Greg has already designed a new menu for Darwin’s from Thursday 3rd September which will include finely flavoured and delicious starters such as ham hock and local sausage terrine with celeriac remoulade and main courses such as roast pork belly with pineapple salsa, bok choy and red wine sauce and confit duck leg with chorizo and chick pea cassoulet. The tempting dessert selection includes white chocolate cheesecake with ginger brittle, blood orange sorbet and pistachio nuts.
Greg said: “It’s great to be back in my home town and I am looking forward to building on The George’s fine reputation.  Hotel guests and locals can be sure that they will enjoy the best local seasonal ingredients prepared in a creative way when they dine with us.”
Mark Santy, General Manager said: “We are delighted to welcome Greg to The George. He is extremely talented and we know he will help us achieve our plans for The George and Darwin’s restaurant. We are really excited about the brand new menu for Darwin’s which Greg has designed to look as good as it tastes, there is definitely something there to please everyone”.
The George offers a lunchtime carvery and the bar is open all day for morning coffee, bar snacks and afternoon teas. Darwin’s at The George is open each evening from 6pm and the hotel is also a popular venue for weddings, celebrations and private dinners which are held in the magnificent Regency Garrick Suite.
For more information about The George visit:  
For more information about Darwin’s visit: 

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Drayton Manor celebrates 5 star catering rating for third year running

Burger_enjoyment - 3Drayton Manor Theme Park, near Tamworth, Staffordshire, has received a 5 star rating in the most recent inspection of its eateries by Lichfield District Council’s health department.

The park is inspected every 18 months and is measured against the ‘Rate My Place’ Scheme – a partnership between the majority of Staffordshire local authorities to publish details of food safety inspection reports and hygiene rating scores across the county.

The catering team is very much at the heart of the family-run attraction, which is passionate not only about adhering to the strictest health and safety guidance, but also about offering quality and value for money through locally and ethically sourced produce.

Visitors from all over Europe and further afield descend on the Staffordshire-based attraction to enjoy the park and zoo. Thankfully its pies, meats and burgers don’t have quite as far to travel, being delivered straight to the door from 19Gales Farmhouse Foods – a small family-run farm – in nearby Atherstone.

Marc Tierney, Parks General Manager for Catering, said: “We are extremely honoured to have won this fantastic accolade for the third year running. We work very closely with the farm to ensure that all of the products we purchase are of the highest quality and we work in partnership to develop new products and improve existing ones. One of our biggest achievements was moving away from frozen burgers and buns in the burger kitchen, which are now all ordered in fresh daily. We keep the farm on its toes, ordering nearly 750,000 burgers every year!

“It’s part of our ethos as a family-run business to support local trade, our milk is Red Tractor Approved and all of our breads and buns are lovingly crafted by award-winning British bakery Greenhalgh’s.”

William Bryan, Managing Director of Drayton Manor Theme Park, added: “Our latest 5 star rating is testament to our commitment to going above and beyond to ensure that standards for hygiene are the best they can be. That, combined with only using the very best products throughout the park’s food outlets is what I believe has gained us this recognition. We believe in serving quality food and beverages because good food contributes to the overall family experience here at Drayton Manor, in addition to the amazing rides and attractions.

“Whichever of Drayton Manor Theme Park’s many outlets you choose, you can guarantee to be served up a tasty, ethically sourced meal.”

There are plenty of options to choose from within the park, including handmade pizza, American-style diner and coffee shop, the CN Café, Humble Pies, ice cream outlets, burger and hotdog stalls, fish and chips, a chicken diner, coffee shops, tea shops and cafes, kiosks and snack shops, as well as the park’s very own on-site Grill Inn restaurant and the Parklands restaurant, located in the four star Drayton Manor Hotel. Or maybe you’ll be grabbing a coffee and cake in Knapford Station as you wait for the train on the island of Sodor.

Whatever you fancy, Drayton Manor has it all, serving up meals in bespoke, innovative ways that are sure to tantalise your taste buds.

For further information about Drayton Manor Theme Park or to pre-book discounted entry tickets visit  or call 0844 472 1960. For regular updates and news about Drayton Manor Theme Park join them on Twitter and Facebook

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Autumn and winter What’s On launches

CachedImage‘The best guide’ to events across Lichfield District and surrounding areas has been launched.

Lichfield District Council’s Tourism Team, Visit Lichfield, has put the finishing touches to its What’s On brochures, which are being sent out to local homes this summer, ready for the autumn and winter seasons.

What’s On lists all the big autumn events, such as Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park on 5 September, and Lichfield Heritage Weekend on 19 and 20 September.

It also has plenty of events to keep the whole family happy on Halloween and fireworks night, such as Erasmus Darwin House’s Hair-Raising Halloween Party for Kids and Drayton Manor’s War of the Worlds Fireworks Spectacular, not to mention Visit Lichfield’s Gruesome and Ghostly guided tours that take place throughout the season.

What’s On is also a fantastic resource to plan the festive season, with Lichfield Christmas Festival on the first two weekends in December and Lichfield’s Christmas Lights Switch On, which is on 29 November. There are also many opportunities to visit Santa’s grotto and go to carol concerts.

Councillor Helen Fisher, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism & Communications, said:

I am really pleased to launch our new What’s On guide. It’s such a handy way to plan your upcoming diary. When you flick through the brochure it’s obvious that there is so much going on across the district this autumn and Christmas and, thanks to What’s On, you need never miss out on any of the fun!

The What’s On brochures are being sent to local homes and are also available at Tourist Information in St Mary’s in the Market Square and other visitor attractions.

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Lichfield Cathedral to lend Celtic treasure to British Museum Exhibition

Lichfield Cathedral is set to lend the ‘St Chad Gospels’ to the British Museum, to form part of a major exhibition, ‘Celts: art and identity’.

The ‘St Chad Gospels’ book, is believed to be older than the better known Book of Kells. It was probably created in the 8th century to adorn the shrine of St Chad, who died in Lichfield in 672.

The British Museums’ exhibition, which will explore the term ‘Celts’ and challenge perceptions about them, will run from 24th September 2015 to 31st January 2016.

Other items that will form part of the exhibition include a circular bronze shield boss which was dredged from the River Thames near Wandsworth, 300-200 BC; a Romano-British bronze and enamel pan with the names of forts along Hadrian’s Wall, c. AD 150; and a pewter tea set designed by Manx jeweller Archibald Knox for Liberty, London 1903.

Jason Dyer, Development and Commercial Director, says: “To have the St Chad Gospels on display in the British Museum is testament to how important this historical document is.  The Gospels are one of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures, and along with the Lichfield Angel, is a reason why many of the 200,000 people who come to the Cathedral every year choose to visit us.  This exhibition will help highlight the importance of Lichfield and Lichfield Cathedral in the cultural and spiritual evolution of the British Isles”

For more information about the exhibition please visit

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Visit Lichfield Special Offer – City Tours

Secret Gardens TourJoin a fully trained Green Badge Guide on a tour of Lichfield to discover the fascinating history of the city.

Civil War Tour

Wednesday 15 July, 2pm

Hear about the battle between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers for control over the city, the canon bombardment of Lichfield Cathedral, the impact of miners from Cannock Chase and learn about the awful fate of Lord Brooke.

Pubs, Priests and Prostitutes
Wednesday 22 July, 2pm

Find out about some of Lichfield’s interesting people, buildings and much more

The tours last 1.5 hours and the cost is usually £3 per person but Visit Lichfield are offering LDTA members tickets for £2 – booking in advance is essential.

Call 01543 256611 or call into St Mary’s In the Market Square, Lichfield.

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Exciting new plans for Friarsgate to be unveiled

New plans for the major city centre redevelopment, Friarsgate, are going on display to the public this month.

The plans have been redesigned following changes in the economy since the leisure, retail and housing development was first proposed.

The designs include shops, cafés, bars and restaurants, a cinema, houses and apartments, as well as a new bus station and car park.

Lichfield District Council is working closely with its development partner, Development Securities PLC, to hold two open exhibitions to showcase the new designs. This will take place in a vacant unit (opposite Greggs) in Lichfield’s Three Spires Shopping Centre on:

• Saturday 18 July, from 11am to 4pm
• Saturday 25 July, from 11am to 4pm

The open exhibitions will offer everyone the chance to see the proposals, discuss them with members of the project team, including representatives from Lichfield District Council, and provide their written feedback as part of the development process.

The detailed information boards will also be on display in the window of the same shop from Wednesday 15 to Thursday 30 July.

The plans will also be available to view online and to comment on at

Scott Davidson, from Development Securities PLC, said: “We are looking forward to sharing our revised proposals for Friarsgate and consulting with local people to gain valuable feedback. Our ambition is to create an exciting new mixed-use destination in the centre of Lichfield that complements the existing retail offer and further establishes the city centre as a thriving place to shop, eat and live.”

Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, added: “Lichfield’s Birmingham Road area needs to be revitalised in a way that will link up to and complement the rest of the city centre.

“If approved by our Planning Committee, Friarsgate will have a huge impact on our local economy. Projections are that it will create up to 630 jobs and help to boost sales and footfall to the whole city.”

Feedback on the proposals can be submitted online at, at the open exhibition events, or by post using the form which will be available at the public consultation event. All comments should be received by 5pm on Monday 10 August 2015.

All the feedback received will be considered and the designs will be updated as appropriate. The planning application will then be submitted to Lichfield District Council later this year.

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LDTA Elephant raises £360 for charity at Festival Auction

Brian etcWe were so proud to hear LiDiTiA raised £360 at the elephant auction last week.
Our chairman chose for the money raised to go to the charity Friends2Friends.

The parade went well, apart from a slight wheel issue on route! Special thanks to the team at FM & J Waits for carrying her through the market.

Hen House Children’s Art School student, Isla Brennan was also there to escort the baby elephant to the cathedral.


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Lichfield Cathedral doubles its support for the Lichfield Business Improvement District

Adrian Dorber - Bid Doc  (00000003)Lichfield Cathedral has signalled its support for the proposed Lichfield Business Improvement District by committing to doubling its support for the BID with an additional 50% annual voluntary contribution.

This month, businesses across Lichfield are being asked to vote in favour of establishing a Business Improvement District (BID) in the city. If successful it will deliver more than £1 million of investment into the city centre over the next five years. In the run up to the ballot, Lichfield Cathedral has signalled its enthusiastic support for the Lichfield BID by committing to doubling its contribution into the BID pot with an additional 50% voluntary contribution every year.

The Very Rev’d Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, commented: “The BID is a fantastic initiative. It’s all about businesses seizing control of their trading environment and working together to bring even more footfall into our city. As one of the biggest attractions in Lichfield, I know how important it is that we work closely with local shops and restaurants, so we can offer a compelling day-long experience for our visitors, and how important it is we work with local authorities, so we can improve the facilities on offer – from toilets, through to parking. The BID will give businesses a truly powerful voice that I believe will be able to deliver the changes we so desperately need to put Lichfield firmly on the map as a premier visitor destination. I urge all businesses to think big and support a joined up and supportive city by voting yes for the BID.”

Paul Maddox, Chairman of the Lichfield BID Steering Group, and owner of The Scales and Three Spires Coffee Shop, explained: “A BID will create a strong voice for businesses in Lichfield. Representing 500 local businesses the BID will have enormous influence and lobbying powers. We’re hugely grateful for the Cathedral’s support and we believe it is vital that attractions like the Cathedral, our hotels, shops and cafes work together in the future to deliver positive and lasting change to our city. And I believe the BID is the only way we can truly achieve this.”

The Lichfield BID proposals have been created by a group of passionate city traders and businesses known as Lichfield BID Steering Group, with the input of hundreds of city businesses. The group was formed in early July 2014, following a successful BID feasibility study that showed over 55% of businesses supported the idea of a BID. The Lichfield BID Steering Group includes representatives from Tempest Ford, The George Hotel, Lichfield Cathedral, HCB Solicitors, Cure, Reve Shoes, Rooms to Inspire, Obsession Salon & Spa, Michael’s Menswear, La Reve and many more. To see the full membership visit

Paul Maddox, continued: “In order to get a BID off the ground there is an official BID Ballot which is taking place this July. We need as many businesses as possible to vote and return their slips straightaway. Don’t think your vote isn’t needed – it is! So, please return your paper as soon as you get it. I urge every business in the city centre to vote yes for a BID to deliver not just additional investment, but also the control and power businesses so desperately want to deliver a difference to our city. And, if you are unsure, just contact Michelle on 07527 016 338 or email and we will both come and talk to you about the difference I believe a BID will deliver to you.”

To find out more about the BID, including downloading a copy of the five year Lichfield BID business plan, visit


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LiDiTia Update

elephant.jpegThese are the final images of our LDTA Elephant, LiDiTiA.

We are very grateful to the children from Hen House Children’s Art School, Lichfield, for their hard work over the past few months.

Our elephant will be joining the others on the parade today starting at 3.15pm from Bore Street and will be on display at Erasmus Darwin House for the trail.

The trail is available to download from the Lichfield Festival website

LiDiTiA will be auctioned off at the end of the Festival and our Chairman will be selecting a charity for the proceeds to go to.

elephant2.jpegSpecial thanks to LDTA members FM & J Waits for escorting LiDiTiA on the parade.

Hope you all have a great weekend, it’s going to be a lively one in Lichfield. Visit Lichfield will be at the Festival Market tomorrow too so come and find us!


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Minute’s silence for Tunisia Attack at Lichfield Cathedral

A national minute’s silence will be held at 12pm on Friday 3rd July to remember the victims of the Tunisian beach attack, which took the lives of 38 people including 30 Britons.

Lichfield Cathedral will mark the minute’s silence with a special ceremony. People are invited to attend the silence at the Cathedral, which will end with a prayer by the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, the Dean of Lichfield. The prayer will then be followed by a bell tolling from the Cathedral Tower, one toll for each life lost during the attack.

All are welcome to stay for the 12.30pm Eucharist, which will include special prayers for remembrance and hope.

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