The Dene View, Forest of Dean

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What can I say about my first experience visiting the Forest of Dean? Well, to start with, we have chosen the best accommodation that could find in the area via airbnb.

That was our first experience using the website and we just wanted something special. Something that we could remember not just the place visiting I couldn’t be more delighted by our choice.

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The Dene View cottage is a beautiful guest house in the middle of the tiny hamlet of The Pludds, in Forest of Dean.

Hosted by a lovely couple, Julie and Mike, it is also their home. That explains how comfortable we felt during the two days I have spent there.

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As soon as we walked through the entrance, we were welcomed by Olive, the sympatric dog from the family. Olive is very docile and she is definitely getting used with all attention gave to her from the guests who stayed in The Dene View before. It wasn`t different with us.

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There is a vast garden, chickens and even a private workshop, where Dr. Mike works during the day. But I am going to talk about it later here.

After showing outside of the property, Julie and Mike, took us to the room. It’s a spacious suite with some personal touches that really make the difference.

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Such as a nice selection of books and maps to explore the Forest of Dean, a huge bathroom and some fine selection of tea and coffee. That is all about comfortable in that room.

You can also use the fridge in the kitchen, just in case you are not in the mood of eating out. Julie and Mike also provides some takeaway numbers needed, anyway.

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There are actually two entrances in the house the front door key is available for the guest, to have your own privacy time. But they welcomed us to spend some time chatting on their comfy lounge.

Olive is a nice companion and she feels very comfortable with the presence of new people in the house. And after some wine, we felt more than welcomed.

We had plenty of time to explore the area around, walking through the forest and even paying a visit to the pub in a village next to The Pludds, The Malt Shovel Inn, for a nice meal.

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The Dene view is the certainly a guest house with a plus and a wonderful excuse to visit Forest of Dean itself.

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Published November 22nd 2015 here.

Meet the Business # 7 : Água na Boca London

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The street food is a business that matches perfectly with the mufti-cultural population in Britain. In nearly every part of country there is a food market with cuisine from all over the world. And Brazilian food is one of those international options you can find in the streets.

Água na Boca (mouthwatering  in English) has provided some of the most of popular Brazilian food to the streets of London since 2013.  It’s all about Brazilian delicacies such as salgadinhos (pastry savouries), gourmet brigadeiros (chocolate truffles) and churros ( delicious doughnuts filled with chocolate or salted caramel). Working in the hospitality industry for over 14 years had given Andre Coutinho the expertise to also offer his catering services for parties and other events.

Midlands Traveller: Firstly, I’d like to know a little bit more about your career background.

Andre Coutinho: I moved to London in 1999 to study English and later in year 2000 I decided to do a MA in Marketing Communication. I have worked before in different fields such as marketing manager, landscape assistant, TV producer assistant, cinema and etc. But since I arrived in London, I was always working in restaurants across London on the weekends doing different jobs such as barman, waiter, and chef and restaurant manager.

MT: How did you start with the idea of a business such as food stall?

AC: After few years managing restaurants, I decided to be my own boss and work for myself, but I didn’t have enough money to open a cafe or restaurant, so I decided to start small with a food stall.

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MT: Why did you choose this kind of Brazilian food?

 AC: I did a lot of research in London before I started my business because I wanted to see what I could bring to the street food environment, so I went to Brazil to get some ideas. When I was in Brazil I saw the growing of gourmet street food market. And salgadinhos and brigadeiros that you could buy everywhere became more sophisticated, so I thought it would be a good idea to sell Brazilian street food with a little bit of twist in its ingredients.

MT: What is unique about Agua na Boca’s food?

AC: I use different flavours and spices into my food. I tried to adapt it for the British audience, every weekend I bring different food to the market, it will be never the same, and I always try new recipes

MT: Where do you usually work?

AC: Everything is made at home and takes to the markets to be sold on the weekends. Mostly of the markets I do are based in South London, but if I am invited to go to an event or different town I will go.

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MT: What are the challenges of having a business like yours?

 AC: As a street food trader we are always relaying on the weather, bad weather means less people going out to shop, so you have ups and downs.

It’s difficult to keep your sales up to date and because of that I also provide cakes and savouries for local cafes and I take private orders.

 MT: Who is your clientele?

 AC: Everyone really. I have lots of Brazilian customers but the majority are British people.

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MT: What is the secret to keep the customers interested in your product?

 AC: Everything is made fresh and I always have novelties in my stall, I have regular customers who comes every week to my an specific food.

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MT: How is internet and social media important to the success of your business?

AC: Definitely it’s very important.  I have a Facebook page and twitter account, I keep everything updated on my website, places I’m going to be etc… Also help to attract new customers

MT: What is your advice for someone who is thinking about to start a business?

AC: Do a lot of research before you start your business, speak to the traders and learn about everything, all the aspects of the business and more important of course is to have passion for what you are going to do.

More information:

Facebook |  Água na Boca   Twitter | @AguanabocaUk

E-commerce: UK Online Shoppers are Boomeroomers

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Through the process of boomerooming products are researched online, seen in the flesh in-store and then bought online for the lowest price possible.

First came showrooming, which means examining items in-store and price shopping online, and then came webrooming (researching online and buying in-store).

UK-based e-commerce Agency, RedSnapper, has recently uncovered a new trend in online consumer behaviour – Boomerooming.

Boomerooming is the process of researching products online, visiting a physical store to see/feel/touch/try a product in the flesh and find the best deals online before making the final purchase.

Showrooming has been a cause for concern for bricks and mortar retailers for several years, until a study was released by Merchant Warehouse earlier this year, revealing that 69% of smartphone users had webroomed, compared to just 50% claiming they had showroomed – a much-welcomed sigh of relief for offline retailers.

RedSnapper took Merchant Warehouse’s research one step further to identify whether consumers were actually using a combination of webrooming and showrooming in a practice they aptly dubbed, ‘Boomerooming’.

The research found that 62% of UK consumers had in fact boomeroomed, which debunks the idea that the ‘physical store experience’ and convenience prevails over a bargain-priced product.

The research looked into what consumers’ main gripes with shopping online are, and the overwhelming majority stated that not being able to see/touch/try a product in the flesh was the main issue.

Photo: “Application for online shoppers” by Dressformer – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –