A HOTEL in York has begun offering a traditional Chinese breakfast to help see in the year of the pig.

The DoubleTree hotel by the company, Hilton Hotel, have teamed up with Will Zhuang – who looks after Chinese VIP tour groups and provides local business free consultation about UK-China trade - to host a dual national breakfast tasting session.

The idea is for individuals from Britain and China to swap their breakfasts and indulge in a different culinary experience.

Yesterday, whilst staff from the hotel tucked into a menu of congee (rice porridge), steam buns, Chinese pickles, hand-pulled noodles and green tea, the Chinese guests had their first taste of black pudding, smoked haddock, bacon, fried bread and Yorkshire Tea.

This New Year cultural breakfast exchange is one of a series being staged by the hotel as it aims to attract a bigger slice of the growing Chinese tourist market.

Staff are being coached in how to welcome guests and also learning key words and phrases to make the stay of their overseas customers’ more memorable.

Nikki Brannan, DoubleTree by Hilton York’s Sales and Marketing Manager, said: “We are very proud to have hosted this Chinese New Year cultural breakfast exchange.

“Will’s knowledge and expertise is proving invaluable in helping us tap into the Chinese tourist market and it’s a pleasure to work with him.

“Whilst most people will have had Chinese food at either lunchtime or for dinner, I doubt very much they will have had it for breakfast. It was a great experience for the staff and for our Chinese guests too.

“And, more importantly, it will help us tailor our food and beverage offering to cater for the tastes of Chinese guests when staying with us.”

Will Zhuang, City of York Ambassador, executive head teacher of the York Chinese School and President of York Chinese Association - said: “Chinese tourists love York and North Yorkshire.

“We are seeing more and more coming to the region, which is fantastic for the local economy and York’s standing on the international tourism stage.

“For the guests that I brought to the DoubleTree by Hilton York, this was the first time they’ve had a traditional English breakfast.

“It was a shared learning experience for all concerned, and, for the Chinese visitors, it’s a great way to start their Chinese New Year celebrations a day early.”