Newport bakery closes with 161 job losses

A bakery in Newport is to close with the loss 161 of jobs after its owner said market conditions had meant the business was no longer viable.


Runway Report: Giambattista Valli SS17 Couture

If we could discern what princess dreams are made of, we’d have to assume it would involve the Giambattista Valli Haute Couture dresses that were serenely paraded through the grand suite of gilded rooms at the French National Archives yesterday. In a goosebump-inducing showing of what can only be described as true confections of eveningwear, Valli made a strong case for pastels, tulle and crystals, returning to timeless silhouettes but with reworked proportions, assuring the modernity of his collection while highlighting the ageless elegance of classic femininity.

The presentation began with a series of tailored looks executed in silvery cream duchesse satin decorated with contemporary folds and evocative crystal embellishments reminiscent of period court jewelry. Botanical prints and floral embroidery added color to the series, making way for the summery hues that would enliven forthcoming exits.  Among those would be modern-medieval mousseline dresses and sexier strapless minis with ruffled trains of an epic length. Ball gowns were the real statement-makers here, and there were plenty of beauties to admire:  prim, long-sleeved versions that just grazed the floor – either embroidered with evenly dispersed blossoms or dusted with shimmering crystals – as well as Valli’s signature glamour bomb gowns with their skirts of massive proportions. These showstoppers, comprised of countless layers of organza or tulle, were the crowning jewels atop a breathtaking spring collection.

Kenya Moore Claims Shereé Whitfield Has Been in an Abusive Relationship

Kenya Moore and Shereé Whitfield have always been at odds with one another on The Real Housewives of Atlanta – playfully bantering throughout the past two seasons about the status of their respective homes, Moore Manor and Chateau Shereé. But on Sunday’s all-new episode, things between the two got way more personal when Moore claimed Whitfield had some personal experience with domestic violence.

The shocking revelation came after Moore explained that she didn’t feel comfortable going on a girl’s trip with Porsha Williams due to the Dish Nation host’s hot tempter and history of violent behavior.

“Sometimes on trips things happen,” Moore said. “I don’t feel comfortable going on a trip with somebody who does not have those issues resolved.”

Williams has, after all, been involved in three physical altercations on the show – including one at the season 6 reunion in which she grabbed Moore by the hair and threw her to the ground. There was also a battle with Cynthia Bailey during a season 8 trip to Lake Lanier, and an off-camera fight last season involving her and her “Go Naked” marketing manager Jami Ziegler.

But the 35-year-old reality star says she’s been to anger management and is in a peaceful place now.

“Anger management is something that I’ve been taking a part of,” she reluctantly told Moore, Whitfield, Kandi Burruss, Cynthia Bailey and Phaedra Parks during a dinner at the episode’s conclusion. “But me going to any anger management is not about me changing myself for you.”

Burruss wasn’t necessarily buying it. “I personally feel like she really ain’t going to any damn gone anger management,” she said. “That’s why she don’t want to talk about it. For real for realz, she don’t think anything is wrong with her.”

It wasn’t that Williams didn’t want to talk about it. It’s that she didn’t like the tone in which she was being asked about it.

REAL HOUSEWIVES REWIND: Kenya Moore’s a Size Queen

“I am feeling completely ambushed right now,” she told Moore when the topic was first brought up. “The feeling I’m getting from you is just very negative. You’re the only one on this side of the table who has asked me the question and I feel a certain way about how you are asking it. I don’t have anything against you and I don’t really appreciate the tone of this conversation.”

Moore told Williams she didn’t hold anything against her anymore, and was simply trying to find out what her triggers were. “I’m not trying to be shady asking Porsha about her anger management,” she explained. “I’ve been around  who flies off the handle. But the difference is he has never physically harmed me. Which is more than I can say about Porsha Ali.”

It was hard to see Moore’s sincerity, though, when she asked Williams questions like, “Are you on medication?” or “Did you get a certificate?” And when Williams responded, she made it clear that she didn’t think Moore or Burruss really cared.

“My triggers are the same with you as they were,” she shot back. “I’m not on no damn meditation  -don’t you dare come at me like that, sweetie. I’m booking me a trip to go by myself where I’m going. Because I ain’t got to be in the woods with you. Because let me tell you something, if this conversation was anything that meant anything for any of you all, it would have been a phone call. It might of been, ‘Hey, I’ve been thinking about you how are things going for you?’ But in the way Kenya brought it up, and you all piggy-backed-”

That’s when Burruss got involved. “It’s no piggy-backing,” the Grammy winner said. “If we talking about the topic, I’m going to ask you a question. Don’t hit me with the mother-f— piggy back. Piggy back your a– up. I’m not even going there with you now. Take that a– somewhere else with that bulls-.”

Eventually, Williams left the dinner – though Moore followed her on the way out, suggesting that her anger management wasn’t working. It was clear to Williams that the 45-year-old former Miss USA was looking for a fight. But she didn’t give in, and drove off from the event without getting physical.

Whitfield, who stayed silent for most of the argument, didn’t buy the “concerned” act that Moore was playing. “I honestly don’t think that Porsha’s anger management has anything to do with us taking a trip,” she said. “I mean, if the bitch want to f- you up, she’s going to do it in Atlanta.”

That’s when Whitfield pointed out that Moore might have antagonized the violent behavior from Williams. “You provoke people,” she said. “Just look at you and Matt – he’s breaking windows. Obviously you provoke a lot of people.”

RELATED VIDEO: What Did RHOA’s Kenya Moore Think About Porsha Crashing Her Housewarming Party? 

Frustrated by the implication that she caused her ex-boyfriends violent behavior, Moore turned the lens back on Whitfield. “Now don’t do that -you provoke people too,” she said. “You have former boyfriends who have jumped on you, too. I haven’t been jumped on since I was 16 years old.”

“I know for a fact Shereé has been in an abusive relationship before,” she confessed to viewers. “Someone that has had a man putting their hands on them should not be saying to another woman that she is the cause of a man being violent to them.”

Whitfield denied it, later telling Williams and Parks, “I’m thrown off on the ex that used to beat me.”

“Now whether it’s true or not, you’re trying to make light of domestic violence,” Whitfield said. “And I didn’t appreciate her bringing me into this…. Something’s wrong with that bitch. Something’s wrong with her.”

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

6 Steps to Create Google and User-Friendly Website Content

There’s a fine balance you’ll have to find, when you’re trying to create content that readers will love, and that will appease the search engines. While it may be tempting to stuff as many keywords as possible into your content to up your rankings in search engine results, if your content isn’t of any value to the reader, you’ll find that whatever clicks you receive won’t be worth much. Here are six vital steps to take when creating well-balanced online content.

Not knowing your hotel’s name can get you cheaper rates

It takes guts to travel to unknown places, more so when you don’t even know the identity of the hotel you’re booking. But that’s the premise behind a new online hotel booking platform.

Staydilly helps travellers find discounted rates for idle rooms at three- to five-star hotels. The catch? You only know the actual name of the property once the booking is confirmed.

The mystery concept, according to Staydilly chief executive officer Song Eu Jin during the company’s recent launch party in Kuala Lumpur, stems from what’s termed as an “opaque booking model”.

“This enables savvy travellers who are looking for extremely good value for premium hotels to book their rooms with Staydilly, while those who are brand-loyal and looking to only stay at a particular hotel will book directly with the hotel,” he says.

In other words, partner hotels are able to continue selling rooms at their usual prices to brand-loyal customers.

What the homegrown company essentially addresses is the issue of idle rooms that would otherwise be left vacant.

Hotels counter this problem by offering tremendous discounts on unsold rooms just prior to the stay date, in an effort to fill these idle rooms. However, Song warns that the practice is detrimental to the property’s branding efforts.

“If a hotel brands itself as a luxury hotel and usually sells a room for RM800 per night, discounting the room to RM300 will dilute its premium branding,” he says.

Stay in premium hotels at a fraction of the rates when you travel to the selected cities featured on Staydilly.

Properties are categorised on the platform to enable easier browsing.

Here is where Staydilly comes into the equation.

“As the hoteliers are experienced and can usually estimate the occupancy for the hotel at a future date, and knowing they can expect to have some rooms idle, these hotels work with Staydilly to sell these idle rooms for the hotels much earlier,” he explains.

Staydilly CEO Song Eu Jin says its platform will be beneficial to both hotels and travellers.

Of course, this partnership also spells good news for travellers.

“The traveller no longer needs to gamble and wait in the hope that the hotel will be empty so that they can obtain discounted prices,” Song offers. “Gamble because if the hotels are experiencing high occupancy, the prices may actually increase or even become unavailable because they are sold out.”

He adds that travellers can expect to snap up a bargain with up to 50% less compared to the already discounted rates offered by competitor sites.

“As almost every other site indicates that they offer the lowest prices, there is some fatigue amongst travellers in believing that we offer even cheaper rates for the same rooms, but because our business model differs from these online hotel-booking sites, the prices on are really the lowest,” he explains, adding that the platform can offer rooms from one year in advance and up to two days prior to intended stay.

Since the company only partners with premium hotels, he enthuses that the savings value can be quite significant. The trade-off, Song says, is that the name of the partner hotel won’t be disclosed prior to booking confirmation.

Launched in October last year, Staydilly has partnered with over 150 properties which includes well-known regional brands. The hotels are listed in popular tourist locations and key cities in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

The company is looking at expanding hotel options to include the rest of South-East Asia and Australia by the first half of next year.

“Travellers can rest assured that we only work exclusively with authentic hotels in the premium segment, and curate our partners based on positive hotel reviews of past guests,” says Song, adding that he has a dedicated team that constantly monitors online reviews and ratings.

Fancy staying at an idyllic property where nature beckons? The hotels listed in Staydilly have been vetted through ratings and reviews by hotel guests.

Fancy staying at an idyllic property where nature beckons? The hotels listed in Staydilly have been vetted through ratings and reviews by hotel guests.

Although the hotels name isnt disclosed prior to confirmation of booking, travellers can browse through actual photos of the property such as this interior shot of a hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Although the hotels name isn’t disclosed prior to confirmation of booking, travellers can browse through actual photos of the property such as this interior shot of a hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Staydilly’s mystery hotel concept doesn’t mean that guests will be completely oblivious to some basic background about the properties. The selection of the desired hotel can be made based on actual hotel photos, general description and location of the accommodation.

“Due to the wonders of Photoshop, budget hotels today can be made to appear like luxury hotels. However, we appreciate the importance of providing the travellers with a quality product, hence we only select premium hotels in the three- to five-star range with a review rating in the top 25%,” Song offers.

Looking at the bigger picture though, he says, Staydilly’s concept will help the future of the hospitality industry.

“The last minute discounting of prices is unhealthy for the hospitality industry as it causes compression in hotel rates. By helping premium hotels fill their otherwise idle rooms earlier, they are able to better manage their revenues and increase profitability,” he explains.

Higher occupancy, according to Song, means that premium hotels will no longer need to discount their prices at the last minute.

“This not only helps hotels preserve their brand positioning, but also removes pricing pressure for budget hotels further down the value chain,” he says, adding that this will encourage a healthier and more conducive hospitality industry.

At the end of the day, the new booking platform is meant to add to one’s travel experience.

“For travellers, they really want a good, memorable experience. Given the choice, they would want to stay at the best hotels their budgets can afford,” he concludes.