Enjoy a pub quiz, transform hospitality lives

We’re edging closer to the night of Hospitality Action’s annual pub quiz fundraiser, the Big Fat Quiz.

If you haven’t been to the event before, imagine the biggest pub quiz ever, but with a delicious three-course dinner and wines in place of warm beer and a limp burger, and you won’t be far wrong.

We’ve got DJ legend Pat Sharp playing the part of quizmaster for a second year. And the inimitable Brian Turner will again be running the auction, armed only with his usual bundle of passion and energy, and a large ladle pinched from the Hilton kitchens.

Is it cheesy? Yes. Fun? Hell, yes.

Our quiz is a perfect opportunity to get in some team-building and some fun with your colleagues. Who knows, you might even be crowned the brainiest hospitality business in the land. Imagine the bragging rights over your competitors …

So: pub quiz, fun with your mates, great food, oodles of wine, some wonderful raffle and auction prizes – reasons enough to come along, right?

Here’s another reason.

By attending our quiz next month, you’ll be directly supporting our work to help people who work or have worked in hospitality and find themselves in difficulty or crisis.

If that doesn’t inspire you to commit to memory the last ten Presidents of the United States, the world’s longest river and the order of Henry VIII’s wives, and make a beeline for the Hilton Park Lane, nothing will.

Could 2019 be the year you host an event to support your fellow hospitality people?

An amazing thing happened last Tuesday. Jose Pizarro joined forces with Chris and Jeff Galvin to cook up a storm at a gala fundraising dinner in aid of Hospitality Action at Jose’s eponymous restaurant at the top of Bermonsdey Street.

The result? A wonderfully enjoyable gourmet evening – and £17,000 in the HA kitty to spend on helping hospitality people in difficulty.

A full house of Galvin and Pizarro fans gathered to enjoy a spectacular feast, celebrating the very best of Spanish/French cuisine:

  • Croquettas squid ink with Alioli Jamón Ibérico 100%, 5J, Acorn fed Brochette of Autumn Vegetables
  • Escabeche of Yellow fin Tuna, smoked Aubergine caviar
  • Presa Ibérica 5J , Mushroom and Romesco sauce
  • Saint-Marcellin, Torta del casar
  • Apple tarte Tatin & Normandy crème fraîche.

As well as benefiting from ticket sales, we profited from a live auction, silent auction and £20 prize draw.

At HA, we run a full schedule of fundraising events aimed at generating revenues that we can then disburse as grants. And we’re immensely grateful to everyone who supports these events, which range from cycle challenges to pub quizzes, and from polo days to blue riband chefs’ dinners (check out our Raymond Blanc Dinner in London, next month).

However, we’re never happier than when kind people like Jose, Chris and Jeff reach out and tell us they’re freestyling an event themselves, on our behalf.

Could you have an HA event in you? Would you like to engage with your client base and show them you’re proud to support your own industry charity?

We’d love to hear from you.

Wanted: volunteers to spread the HA word nationwide – and help hospitality people

Hospitality Action helps people who work or have worked in hospitality and find themselves in difficulty or crisis. We’re only able to do this because of the generosity of our supporters.

Support comes in many forms: people donate, cycle, bake, run, cook and host events for us. Whatever our supporters choose to do, we’re always grateful.

We’re lucky to have three regional committees, whose members give up precious time for free to help put on fundraising events in their region.

In the southwest, Calcot’s Richard Ball heads up a merry band of hoteliers, consultants and suppliers who pull together to deliver events such as the Rugby Legends Dinner, the Southwest Polo Day and the Cotswolds Cycle Challenge.

In the northwest, our fundraising committee led by Kevin Haygarth and Dawn Holding works tirelessly to pull off events like the Northern Lights Dinner, Northern Golf Day and this weekend’s Northwest Polo Day.

And in London, Daniel Pedreschi of Park Plaza Hotels chairs a committee that’s responsible for our annual Big Fat Quiz night and our ever-popular Christmas Dinner.

The hard work of these three boards not only raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for us every year, it also helps promote the work Hospitality Action does, regionally.

In the coming year, I want to extend our network of regional committees to encompass East Anglia, the Heart of England, Wales and Scotland. To do this, I need volunteers to put their hand up and say “I’d like to help Hospitality Action in my region”.

Committee members need to be dedicated, philanthropic, resourceful and persuasive. Do you fit that bill? If so, please contact me at mlewis@hospitalityaction.org.uk or call me on 07919 3234978.



Think you’re the brainiest hospitality business in the country? Prove it for HA!

HA’s hard-working fundraising team prides itself on its eclectic mix of events.

Through the course of 2018, Astrid, Giuliana and Maria will be laying on jogging, cycling and golfing opportunities galore for our sportier supporters. If you prefer to watch sport rather than participate, they’ve got you covered too, with polo days in the southwest and northwest. They’ve even got a Rugby Legends dinner in Devon, offering guests a chance to rub shoulders with such union giants as Jeremy Guscott and former England captain Phil Vickery.

Fan of costume drama will want to beat a path to our tour of Highclere Castle, preceded by a three-course lunch at the Vineyard Hotel, in April.

And then there’s our Big Fat Pub Quiz, which takes place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on 9 May.

You know the form: you pull together a crack team of super-brains, swots and Tefal heads; get them to learn as much of the Encyclopaedia Britannica off by heart as they can in the coming weeks; come up with a name – Trivia Newton John, Quizzy McQuizface, Les Quizerables, that sort of thing – and prepare for battle.

It’s a bit like University Challenge, only with more booze and fewer college scarves and teddy mascots …

As well as the simple pleasure of showing off your general knowledge prowess to colleagues, there’s also the small matter of bragging rights, if you triumph as the highest-placed hotel or foodservice business or supplier.

Here are a few questions from last year’s quiz. If you can answer all three, your intellect is somewhere north of Yoda’s and you’re likely to do well – so what are you waiting for?

Curacao liqueur is made from laraha, a Caribbean variety of which fruit: blueberry, banana or orange?

Which of these is not a form of dried red meat: jerky, biltong or bacalhau?

When and where would you eat hoppers: on your birthday on Belize, for breakfast in Sri Lanka or on Shrove Tuesday on Scotland?

(answers: orange, bacalhau, breakfast – but you already knew that, didn’t you?)