So much hot goss across Berkshire, you'll need a lashing of SPF.
RAISING THE BAR
Bars are like buses, nothing new and then two new ones comes along at the same time. Clearly we’re a thirsty lot, particularly in Wokingham. The town’s newly completed regeneration project has seen The Leafy Elephant (with its library of gins to get stuck into) and Sip & Sit pop up in Peach Place. Don’t be fooled by the lack of personality on the outside, inside both have been flexing their creative muscles and offer something different. A good job, given that they are within staggering distance of each other.
The Leafy Elephant, is a gin bar with a library of 200 bottles from around the world and a passion for mixology. If cocktails are your thang, you’ll find plenty of Insta fun to be had here – one’s even served in a mini bathtub. Sit & Sip, on the other hand, is a celebration of small producers. It’s a tasting house, so if you love discovering a micro brewery or limited edition craft lager, you’re more than likely find it here.
PUBS & GRUB
It’s foodie news in abundance across Berkshire with makeovers, new openings, and, erm, cake. I’ll get my coat. After four long years and an eye-watering £12million refurbishment the Swan At Streatley hotel will fully reopen in July, with the latest Coppa Club to the Berkshire ‘hood (yes, we will have three Streatley, Sonning and Maidenhead. Shh, more than London). Coppa will be open all day, everyday as a local hangout and community space to meet friends, relax, work from home (but not AT home) and more. We’re gagging to see it (and gasping for a drink, quite frankly), so we’ll report back in next month.
Elsewhere, a new pub has just opened in Newbury. Another one? Yup, The Globe (previously known as The Snooty Fox, but reclaiming its original name) has new owners, Colin and Katie Martin, who have moved from London with their gorgeous dog Dave and given this tired old boozer the mother of all makeovers. The building has been stripped back to expose many of the pubs original features, including the exterior sign. Inside you’ll find banquettes, cosy leather sofas and wall art created by the incredibly talented Cornish street artist Sketch86 – immortalising Dave and the Snooty Fox in spray paint. Dogs are more than welcome. Watch this space for a Yappy Hour and Yappy Meals so your fur bestie can hang with you for beers in the evening or hair of the dog (sorry not sorry). Humans will be fed too, with a menu of charcuterie and cheese boards coming soon.
Love coffee, cake and yoga? (It’s all about balance.) the you’ll probably be familiar with Newbury’s newest café and Best Newcomer in this year’s Muddy Awards – Colline’s Kitchen. It has been just four month since Colline Rue Watts opened her pitstop within Living Saucha Yoga Studio in Newbury Town Hall and she’s already expanded to a second site. Colline’s Kitchen will now be popping up at The Real Macaron Company on Newtown Road Wed-Sun. The Living Saucha cafe will continue to open Fri-Sun. Permission to eat baked goods in both, on the same day. Pop in and say hi, Colline’s a wonderful woman, a talented cook with a smile that lights up a room. She also made the most amazing cake for our Muddy Awards Winners’ Drinkies.
If you have kids (or borrowed someone else’s) the chances are you’ve been to Bucklebury Farm Park. Lots of cute animals, hoards of excited kids, roaming deer and the occasional little royal visitors, but word on the street is that this summer you’ll be able to glamp on site. An opportunity to go back to basics, enjoy the outdoors, sleep under canvas, and even collect your own eggs for brekkie. An overnighter with my very own filthy animals (just my kids?), sounds like heaven. Just hope I don’t bump into this big boy if I need a wee in the night.
HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA’S EXTENDING
Good news for Henley Royal Regatta fans – word on the street is that the five day rowing fandango (this year it’s 3 – 7 Jul) is adding an extra day to the bill meaning all the more straw boaters and lycra bulges to feast your eyes on. If the extension is granted the fest will run from Tues to Sun, will include more races for female rowers and leave bigger gaps in between races for Champers guzzling, obvs.