Archives Month: October 2013

With a 40 year history of giving asset funding support to new start businesses, Armada are well aware of the requirements needed to get the assistance necessary to help kick-start a new venture.

It took James Dyson years to find the banking support to enable him to develop and promote his original cyclone vacuum cleaner.

Fortunately, now entrepreneurs don’t have to waste all the time and energy trying to convince banks to back them. Most budding Dysons and Bransons are savvy enough to go straight to asset lenders and to bypass bankers and all the frustration and stress of dealing with them.

When planning a new venture use asset finance to pay for all the equipment you need, leaving YOUR capital to fund building work and marketing and retain sufficient to give you the working capital you will need.

It is vital for business people to protect their credit rating. A clean record can make the difference between obtaining support or being out in the cold.

Frequently Armada has assisted young couples starting out in commercial life, who haven’t much of a credit history but where property-owning family are happy to be supportive and prepared to guarantee.

Most important of all, when you are looking for funding but not sure of what is involved, pick up the phone. We are friendly, knowledgeable people who don’t charge for advice!

How pleasing it is to see the continued success of the Ashburton Cookery School in Devon. Once again the school has been awarded Cookery School of the Year 2014 by the Food & Travel magazine.

Originally sited in Ashburton town, tucked under the protective folds of Dartmoor National Park, The school occupied two beautiful Georgian buildings.

Due to the growing success of the business Stella West-Harling and her family took the giant step of faith by designing and building a new, purpose-built school, on the edge of town.

Immense thought and planning was put into developing the environment for creativity and success. The stone and wood clad building would be as in keeping with a Swiss or Finnish hillside as in a Devon Stannery town.

Very high levels of equipment and finishes encourage students to enjoy the experience of learning new culinary skills. The number of accolades that Darren Hosegrove, head tutor and director, are collecting is testament to the quality of the whole operation.

Our congratulations go to our friends at Ashburton Cookery School – a real asset to the South West.

Yet another stunning, warm, sunny autumn day today. Maybe you are wanting to hang on to this beautiful Indian Summer. Here is a suggestion.

Book yourself and partner a 2/3 night stay at Russell’s in Broadway in the North Cotswolds and let Andrew and his helpful, friendly staff pamper you. After you have booked in and taken tea, stroll up the main street, looking at some of the galleries and antique shops. You must look in Oka – the furnishings, lighting and gifts are amazing!

Dinner at Russell’s is a must. The menu and their wines are superb. No pretentions here, just friendly service and faultless gastro food. Relax, enjoy and think of that wonderful bed that awaits you, large enough for any demanding American guest.

After breakfast you could motor the short journey to Cheltenham for some pre-Christmas shopping or pop down to Tetbury and visit the National Arboretum at Westonbirt to see all the acers and maples in all their autumn finery. You could also take in the world famous gardens of Hidcote, Kiftsgate or Batsford. So many to choose from and so many beautiful Cotswold villages to see.

One of your days MUST be made perfect by visiting Daylesford Farm Shop at Kingham near Stow on the Wold. Offer to purchase a shawl or jumper from the designer shop there for your loved one. Then take a light lunch in the restaurant while you celebrity watch. But if you prefer a cosy, quiet pub lunch, just down the road is the Wild Rabbit, also owned by the Bamfords, stunning!

When you leave Russell’s take a few moments to sit on one of the many benches outside, relax, allow your eyes to go heavy and you may, just may be surprised to see Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, arm in arm, strolling up the street.

If you can’t get away at this time, then spoil yourself by checking out these web sites. This is the very best of England, today and yesteryear.


Are you an Hispanophile, a lover of all things Spanish? Do you hanker after glasses of Tempranillo and long for Jamon Serrano & Chorizo Iberico? Does the very thought of beautiful, raven haired ladies or slim-hipped matadors make you long for hot days and balmy nights on the Costas?

Don’t despair, hitch up your donkey and head for Bar 44 in Cowbridge or in Penarth. In brothers, Tom and Owen, you will find kindred spirits. At Bar 44 they have transplanted the very best of Spanish tapas bars and deli’s to South Wales.

Start with fresh, crispy squid with saffron alioli, linger over the menu del dia and finish with Catalan almond & lemon cake. A glass of Manzanilla followed by a pichet of Calizo de Adaras will send you into trances of reminiscence.

Before you leave be sure to pick up some Gordal olives and some Marcona almonds from the deli.

“Buen Provecho”

Following the success of Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food programme on BBC Two and the supporting recipe book of the same name, Tom is heaping even more accolades upon his illustrious career.

This genial giant first received public recognition in 2010 when he was chosen winner of the main course in the Great British Menu. He repeated the achievement in the following year and to top that his Hand & Flowers restaurant in Marlow received 2 Michelin stars, the only pub in the UK to gain 2 stars.

After appearing regularly on numerous food programmes, Tom’s pub has now been voted “Gourmet Bolthole” by the Food & Travel magazine.

Tom’s “Slow cooked Duck with Peas, Duck Fat Chips & Gravy” brought him rave reviews when he won GBM. Having experienced this duck course first hand at The Hand & Flowers you know you have tasted the work of a genius – food eaten but never forgotten.

If you get the chance, go to Marlow and indulge yourself before television and fame swallow him up!