Pembroke: Take a burger to bed

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The Independent Online
IT'S NEW. It's over here. We probably wish it wasn't. Forte's announcement that it is to introduce fast-food room service and 'intelligent television' to its Posthouse hotels heralds a new dawn in the couch potato lifestyle.

The launch of Traders Express - 'Britain's first branded fast-food service,' according to Forte - will enable energetic guests to stink their rooms out with burgers while watching Sky movies in bed. The televisions have other handy functions. They can be set for wake- up calls and greet guests by name as they enter the room. Guests who don't want all this will pay for it anyway. The room rate is going up by a fiver.

RICHARD ROYDS, the talkative managing director of Mercury Fund Managers, faces a steep learning curve after signing a sponsorship deal with Brian Lara, the West Indian batting phenomenon. 'I'm not much of a cricket fan,' he admits. 'But I will soon be able to talk very knowledgeably about Warwickshire, the West Indies and all cricketing matters.' Back copies of Wisden's are thought to be on order.

CITY FORECASTERS may be able to second-guess the stock market, but their football insight is obviously a bit ropey. The Athenaeum Hotel in London has been forced to give its World Cup prize to someone who forecasted the wrong answer because no one got it right.

The competition invited entrants to name the tournament's winners, runners-up and semi- finalists, a feat that proved too much. In the end the Athenaeum nominated Jonathan Williams of SG Warburg, who named Brazil and Italy followed by Germany and Spain, both of which were knocked out in the quarter-finals. 'Everyone else went for Argentina and Colombia,' the hotel says.

COMPANY chairmen always face a few knotty shareholder questions at their annual meetings. Last week Marks and Spencer's Sir Rick Greenbury was congratulated on his canapes by one well heeled woman who asked why stores did not stock cocktail sticks. Yesterday it was Sir Michael Angus's turn at Whitbread.

'It's a bit dark in here. Could you turn the lights up?' asked one. But as the gloom lifted another voice chimed in. 'It's all very well you turning the lights up but it is playing havoc with my contact lenses.' Sir Michael could only look on in bewilderment.

GENDER is clearly no barrier to promotion at Levi Strauss, the rejuvenated American jeans company. Janie Ligon has been appointed general manager at the UK subsidiary in Northampton, the second woman in succession to take the group's top British job.

Ms Ligon, who favours a denim shirt in the office as well as the regulation Levi's jeans, is flying in from the group's San Francisco headquarters, where she was national sales manager.

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