The winner of our VIP trip to Rome
The winner of our VIP trip to Rome


Not many people get to board their own private jet, but for John Bagshaw, winner of our fantastic competition prize – a VIP Weekend in Rome, that will be just the start of the kind of luxury trip usually only enjoyed by celebrities.

John, 56, who whose son, David, 26, will go with him as his traveling companion, will be chauffeur driven by Bentley to Manchester Airport, where they will skip the usual check-in queues to board their plane ahead of their  two night stay at the city’s five star Hotel de Russie, where they will enjoy a delicious three course dinner.

It is a trip the company boss literally could not believe he had won at first, after completely forgetting he had entered the competition.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it, I never win anything, and a private jet, wow!”

vip_banner3 John Bagshaw, the lucky winner of our Rome VIP trip competition, had a chance to prepare for the sun in Italy on our terrace at Restaurant Bar and Grill in Manchester, where he received the exclusive prize

“When my personal assistant took a call from the restaurant asking me to contact them urgently I worried I’d forgotten to pay my bill or something, then when they told me I thought it was a scam!”

The Managing Director of International Decorative Surfaces, the UK’s largest distributor of building materials, who is a regular diner at Restaurant Bar & Grill, on John Dalton Street in Manchester, and Alderley Bar & Grill, in Alderley Edge, added: “I’ve never been to Rome before but my son and I often travel together and Rome and Florence were on our hitlist so this is great.

“What is really exciting though is the private jet!”

The well-travelled businessman’s favourite holiday spot is Dubai, where he enjoys playing golf, soaking up the sun on the beaches and relaxing in the emirate’s high class hotels.

But for revisiting the past, he says Italy is unbeatable. He said: “Italy has such unique places and is seeped in history.

“We love Venice and sitting in St Mark’s Square there with a bottle of good wine.

“One time, we asked for a bottle of Amarone , which started at about 100 Euros a bottle, and the waiter immediately moved us to the best table in the house – it was amazing.”

John also travels a lot with work and says the trip to Rome will be a great way to celebrate 40 years at his company.

He said; “I have been working for IDS since I left school at 16. I work hard so it will be lovely to just have three days to enjoy ourselves and be tourists, to visit the Vatican and a great pizzeria.”


John and his son, David, toast their win

Great pizza is certainly a good reason for anyone to visit Italy but it is Restaurant Bar & Grill in Manchester that is John’s ‘go-to’ eating place.

He said: “I started coming here right when it first opened in the 1980s, I may even have been their first customer!

“For me it was the first of all the restaurants and bars in the northwest that captured what was going on in London.

“This is the only restaurant or bar I have been loyal to.

“All the staff know me and greet me by name, they know all the dishes and wines that I like and really look after me.”

The prize for the competition, open to all members of Individual Restaurants’ diners’ loyalty club, Club Individual, also included a dinner with champagne at Restaurant Bar & Grill in Manchester ahead of the trip, which will take place on the weekend of Manchester’s Italian food festival from June 23 to 25.

You can learn more about the benefits of being a Club Individual member  and join by visiting