Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

The hit dinner party series, Come Dine With Me is back with a new series and are on the hunt for contestants from the Hastings and Bexhill area.

If you’ve never seen the show before it goes like this: Over five days, five strangers take turns to cook for each other get voted on by their peers to win a £1000 cash prize at the end of the week.

If you or anyone else are from Hastings, Bexhill, Rye & surrounding areas thinks they’ve got what it takes to win to the prize money then all you need to do is get in touch with the shows organisers either by email (Free) cdwm@itv.com or you can call 0871 244 4142 (Callers from a BT landline will be charged a set up fee of 14p per call plus 10p per minute. Calls from other networks may be higher
and from mobiles will cost considerably more.)

Either way you need to be quick as shooting is scheduled from Feb 7th to Feb 12th 2016.

Oh and one more thing, to be on Come Dine Witb Me contestants have to over 18 years of age.

Morrisons is at risk of falling out of the FTSE 100 due to a severe drop in its share price and concerning recovery plans.

The supermarket chain has been in the list for more than 14 years but as sales have fallen its share price has reduced by 17% this year.

In the last quarterly reshuffles in June and September, Morrisons missed demotion and the final decision will be made by the London Stock Exchange. This will be decided on Wednesday based upon the closing price of the day before.

The new chief executive David Potts has been attempting to make sure the company’s fortune is not all lost but the supermarket has been under pressure through a tough trading period.

Morrisons announced a 2.6% drop in sales last month for the three months to November, which meant that there was a further fall in share price.

The supermarket also faced its worst result in eight years back in March when there was a 52% drop in annual profits to £345 million.

It is no surprise that Morrisons is struggling considering the current state of the sector due to price wars with the big four supermarkets because of the rise of the discounters.

Morrisons has had to make several losses and this included selling 140 “M” local convenience stores that did not make any profit as a result of needing to focus on the larger stores.



The discounter supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have taken another step towards victory as their joint grocery market share now stands at 10%.

Analysts Kantar Worldpanel said that Aldi’s market share was 5.6% in the 12 weeks to 8 November and Lidl’s 4.4%, showing that their joint market share has doubled in the last three years.

The discounters are on the rise but Sainsbury’s has now taken the second spot below Tesco, meaning it has had an increase in sales and is now ahead of Asda.

Sainsbury’s owns 16.6% of the UK grocery markets but Tesco still remains the UK’s largest supermarket with 27.9%.

Asda has taken a tumble as sales fell 3.5% in the latest quarter from the year before, which is more than any of its main competition. The supermarket has 16.4% of the market share.

Due to the continuous growth from the discount chains, the big four supermarkets have resulted in a price war against each other.

It could be difficult for supermarkets to compete with Aldi, whose sales rose 16.5% in the latest quarter compared to the year before, and Lidl whose sales increased 19%.

Tesco’s sales declined 2.5% from the year before while sales at Morrisons fell by 1.7% but sales at Waitrose and the Co-operative have increased.

Sainsbury’s has reported a fall in half-year profits due to price wars and the challenges from discounted supermarkets.

For the 28 weeks to 26 September, underlying pre-tax profits fell by 17.9% to £308 million and the company also reported it seventh consecutive quarter of falling underlying sales at the end of September.

This result is lower than last year as the figure then was £375 million but the result is also its lowest first-half profit since 2010 however, the good news is that it was still a better result than analysts expected.

Sainsbury’s is doing well on the clothes front, showing a sales increase of almost 10%, while food sales declined by nearly 1%. The business said that retail sales, which does not include fuel, were down 0.1% and like-for-like sales fell by 1.6%.

Although the supermarkets have declines slightly, convenience stores have had sales growth of nearly 11% and online grocery orders showed sales growth of 7%.

The constant battle between both the big four supermarkets and the discounters means that the competition is heating up even more, especially with Christmas drawing in.


Negative inflation has turned positive this month because transport costs have helped the UK inflation rate to increase. Inflation stood at -0.1% in April but recently rose to 0.1% in May, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that transport, in particular air fares, are the biggest contribution to the rise. However, although this was the main factor, other reasons are taken into account such as the rise in food and petrol prices during May. Despite these rises, the prices were still lower than a year ago.

When CPI turned negative in April, this was the first time it had done so since 1960. The food and fuel prices have had an effect on the rise in inflation and pulled down the rate by about 0.5 percentage, however this was less pronounced than the month before because the prices then had a negative effect of 0.7 percentage points.

Mark Carney, who is the Bank of England governor, said that he expects UK inflation to continue to be low in the short term. The Bank also expects near-zero inflation, which will help the UK economy by improving the spending power of households.

The well established Forte’s Pizzeria business celebrates its 50th year in St Leonards on Sea and many of their customers over the last five decades still keep in touch with their adopted Italian family.

fortes_1966_mario_tony_lucia_and_david (2)

Mario, Tony, Lucia and David outside Fortes in 1966

Lucia, David, Mario and Tony all celebrated their success in business and their children and grandchildren were able to entice them away from their customers long enough to recreate a photo of them from 1966. They also held a surprise gathering for them at the Pizzeria to share their achievements.

The brother and sister quartet’s Italian parents, Augusto and Minchetta, started their life in England once they had emigrated from their family village, Monforte. They took over Forte’s Ice Cream Parlour on May 24th 1965, which was originally owned by a close family friend named Tony Minchella. During the 60’s and 70’s, ice cream parlours along the seaside were a popular attraction, none being busier than Forte’s along the South East.

During 2005, the brother and sister team changed their focus and decided to reopen the business as Forte’s Pizzeria with Pizziola’s (pizza chefs) from the home of Pizza, Naples. From here, the company blossomed.

The Pizzeria features large photos of Monforte on the wall and both Pasta and Pizza Monforte on the menus as a tribute to the family’s origins.

Forte’s Pizzeria has always brought a touch of Italian authenticity to the Sussex seafront and is widely acclaimed as a true Italian jewel and if you’re a pizza lover then Forte’s Pizzeria is situated at 2 Eversfield Place, St Leonards-on-Sea.

Marks and Spencer has reported its first rise in yearly profits for four years.

Underlying profit before tax rose by 6.1% to £661.2 million for the year to 28th March, which is a better result than analysts’ forecast. Its food business had a good year, but sales of general merchandise, which includes marks and spencerclothing, were below expectations, the retail giant said.

Despite this, sales of women’s wear rose in the final quarter. Like-for-like sales of general merchandise fell 3.1% over the year and Marks and Spencer said that it had suffered from the mild weather last autumn, which had hit sales of knitwear and coats. Last autumn was the third warmest on record and that combined with online problems over Christmas has weighed heavily on sales over the year.

In the January to March period, sales had returned to growth and food sales rose 0.6% over the year on a like-for-like basis. Despite intense competition, the retailer said it had outperformed the market.

Marks and Spencer also said that it was raising its dividend by 5.9% and announced a £150 million share buyback programme. Analysts welcomed the news.

The chief executive Marc Bolland said that the improved results came despite the most difficult retail market in 15 years and also stated that the company was confident in the strength of its clothing range.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA),  has been called on by the consumer body Which? to deal with the situations over confusing and misleading supermarket prices.

Despite Which? exposing the tactics several times, the offers still remain on supermarket shelves. The legal move, which is called a super-complaint, has now been launched meaning that the regualtor has to respond within 90 days.

The complaints main gripes are about the special offers, difficulty in comparing prices and the packet sizes of products that seem to never stop shrinking yet have no price reduction. supermarket wars

Consumers could be buying products that they would not otherwise have bought if they were not on offer. According to the retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel, around 40% of food in Great Britain is currently sold on promotion.

Which? is one of five consumer bodies that has control over making a super-complaint and did so previously in 2011 and asked the regulator then, the Office of Fair Trading, to look into the excessive credit and debit card surcharges. They also made super-complaints on care homes, Northern Ireland Banking, private dentistry and the Scottish legal profession.

The first steps of the CMA could be that they request a market study and demand further information from the supermarkets before pushing into a full-blown investigation.

Also See: Supermarket Sweep: The rise of the discounters

The 2013 Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival is back on the 14th & 15th September 2013 and will be held at the Stade open space on  Hastings seafront.


The Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival is a great weekend for food and wine fans and attracts up to 40,000 visitors.

The festival, now in its eighth year showcases the very best food and wine from the region and is a fantastic day (or weekend) out for food and wine aficionados and those who are looking to try different foods, flavours and wines that cater for every palate.

The Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival is a major cultural event and attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the UK and also has a large local turnout too so if you love food and wine then this is definitely a festival for you as there will be over 30 stalls selling a varied selection of food and drink.

There is also an eclectic mix of live music and street entertainment that complements the festival atmosphere. Although the Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival is based around The Stade and Rock-a-Nore Road in Hastings Old Town, restaurants and businesses across the town join in with special menus and entertainment. Entry to the event is only £2 per day.

Check out the video of the previous Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival that gives you a feel for the atmosphere and tastes on offer that this years event will bring.