The Bermondsey Square Hotel in London, which last week announced it would stop selling alcohol, has reportedly "introduced Sharia Law" — but it will continue cater to same-sex couples.
Dubbed "Hotel Sharia" by the Daily Mail following its takeover by a multimillionaire Muslim businessman and the introduction of its new alcohol policy, the Bermondsey Square Hotel insists it will continue to take gay and lesbian guests.
"We always have, and continue to, welcome guests of all shapes, sizes and denomination. All guests are welcome," Robert Holland, the hotel’s general manager, told Huffington Post UK.
Following the new alcohol policy, and rumours that the hotel plans to also take pork off the menu, questions emerged over whether they would follow Sharia’s anti-gay strictures.
Comparisons were made between this and the case of the B&B in Cornwall, which was successfully sued for turning away a gay couple due to its owners' Christian values.
10 best non-alcoholic drinks
10 best non-alcoholic drinks
1/10 Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower and Rose Pressé
For English summertime in a bottle, try this fresh flavour. Perfumed but not overwhelming, subtle notes of elderflower blend with a hint of rose petal to make a glass of guilt-free pink fizz. £2.29 for 75cl, waitrose.com
2/10 Little Miracles Orange & Lemongrass
Lemongrass tea is mixed with orange, ginger, ginseng and agave in this energising fusion of flavours. Non-sparkling, it is also available in green tea and pomegranate, white tea and cherry and black tea and peach versions. £1.59 for 330ml, hollandandbarrett.com
3/10 Shaken Udder Vanillalicious
Made with fresh British milk and real vanilla beans, this milkshake is smooth, creamy and delicious. Free from artificial colours and flavours, there is no fake sugary taste. £1.29 for 330ml, tesco.com
4/10 Unoco Raw Coconut Water
One sip of this raw coconut water will transport you to an exotic beach. It’s like sticking your straw straight into a coconut; the pure, natural flavour is worth the higher price tag, we reckon. £2.00 for 250ml, ocado.com
5/10 V8 V-Fusion Passion Fruit, Mango & Carrot
One glass of this vitamin-packed juice made with 50/50 fruit and vegetables serves as two of your ‘five a day’. The unusual addition of carrot and sweet potato adds depth to the flavour while allowing the sweet mango to dominate. £1.89 for 750ml, waitrose.com
6/10 BerryWhite Peach & Goji Berry
This still, organic fruit juice with white tea and echinacea extracts is tastier than most ‘healthy’ drinks. Sweet peach puree means that no added sugar is needed, so you can drink this one feeling virtuous. £1.69 for 330ml, ocado.com
7/10 Heartsease Farm, Raspberry Lemonade
Made on William Watkins’ family farm using British raspberry juice and their own spring water, this fizzy drink is perfect for alcohol-free parties. Serve in cocktail glasses for an elegant virgin drink. £2.29 for 750ml, ocado.com
8/10 Terrafertil Goldenberry
Many people will never have tried goldenberries, also known as physalis fruit, from the Andean foothills. High in vitamin A and mouth-wateringly refreshing, it helps keep skin supple during the summer and is great as an orange juice alternative at breakfast. £3.99 for 1l, hollandandbarrett.com
Great as a mixer with gin or vodka, or as a booze substitute on its own, this cucumber-flavoured sparkling beverage is light and thirst-quenching, with a sleek bottle classy enough to impress guests. £1.89 for 750ml, tesco.com
10/10 The Berry Company Green Tea with Aronia & Blueberry
Green tea has been celebrated as a tonic for over 4,000 years and, when you try this, you’ll understand why. Packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, it’s a 100 per cent natural, well-being boost in a carton. £1.30 for 330ml or £2.14 for 1l, goodnessdirect.co.uk
The hotel has yet to confirm or deny claims that it will be otherwise run in accordance with Sharia law, with one staff member telling The Independent the new owner doesn't want to "make a profit from alcohol".
Bespoke management, which runs the hotel, has hit out at the Daily Mail’s characterisation, calling it "misinformed".
There are also unconfirmed reports that the hotel will soon phase out pork, with one employee telling The Independent they "aren't sure" how long they’ll keep selling it.
Local website SE1 has claimed that, after Christmas, the hotel bar, which used to be run by Masterchef star Gregg Wallace, will stop serving pork.Reuse content