Psst! We’ve got hot goss
I'm all over it! A stunning fine dining pop up, shoe boutique (oh hello!), a new plastic free shop, Ed Sheeran on a pub crawl and a Berkshire pub's TV debut. Find out the latest goss right here.
Dining Under The Stars
The most ridiculously exciting pop up this summer… Coworth Park nr Ascot, has just launched a new summer al fresco private dining concept, and you’re gonna love it. Working in collaboration with Dom Pérignon, Coworth’s Michelin twinkling chef Adam Smith has created four menus (3-5 course lunch/dinner and afternoon tea), each course paired with a vintage Dom Pérignon Champagne that tickles your tastebuds and really enhances the foodie flavours.
The setting is totally unique as you dine under a starry night’s sky within a specially created geodesic dome, with views of the hotel’s lake, formal gardens and beautiful wild meadow. All menus are named after and inspired by constellations to give a nod to the beautiful remote setting of Coworth Park, and there’s even a telescope for your to get your Prof Brian Cox on. Sadly he’s not part of the package (damn it).
I was there for the launch last night and tucked into the Libra five course menu which was described as a fine dining barbecue. The food was phenomenal, the Champagne, exceptional and I have the fizzy fog to prove it. I can’t recommend it enough.
Turning Japanese at Hurley House
Tired of the pub food? Fancy a foodie change of scene? Then you’re gonna LOVE Hurley House Hotel‘s new sushi menu. Yes, you heard me right, SUSHI. And they’re going all out. From Tues 16 July, a new, full time Japanese Master Chef Kyoichi Kai (who’s worked in Zuma, Roka and The Arts Club in London and Toko in Sydney). The menu will be available for lunch and dinner Tues-Sat, alongside the hotel’s traditional a la carte dishes. Grab your chopsticks and tuck in. I was really impressed.
New brunch spot
Hello weekend and welcome to the slow movement. If you struggle to charge into the day, skip breakfast and head straight for the happy hybrid… brunch. Not just any brunch either, a Bountiful British Brunch with unlimited prosecco refills (now you’re talking). The Corn Stores Reading, offers a diverse menu including a traditional full English, baked eggs with Dorset cherizo, Devon crab benedict and avo and eggs on toast (so no need for hipsters to have a meltdown). Plus there’s an entire menu dedicated to Bloody Marys with six, yes you read that correctly, six options to choose from. Brunch is served on Saturdays, 11am–4.30pm.
Guilt free shopping
Polish your halo, you can shop and save the planet at the same time. Zero Joe‘s on St Leonard’s Road Windsor, opened by mum and son eco warriors Kate and Joe Chevis, sells fresh fruit and veg, loose frozen food, cleaning products and toiletries. There’s no packaging, so bring your own containers, or you’ll be juggling loose leaf tea and grab what you need (everything is sold by weight) and off you go.
New Berkshire gin
So brand spanking new the website’s still in development, but Berkshire Botanical has just been launched and the first batch sold out in a day. Created by Mr Gin himself, Johnny Neill, of Marylebone Gin and Whitley Neill fame, installed his pot still ‘Harry’ (named after his son) in the Royal Oak in Yattendon and created a Berkshire gin based on the flora and fauna found on the 9,000-acre Yattendon Estate. The result is a Dry Gin with 9 botanicals including Norway Spruce which can be found across the Estate. A sloe gin will be launched laster in the year,with more innovative varieties to follow, inspired by the local countryside.
Prosecco In The Park cancelled
Excitement levels were bubbling over at Muddy Berks HQ when we heard we had not one but two opportunities to go to Prosecco In The Park. A brand new event in Berkshire ‘hood, it promised to deliver a fizz-fuelled day of al fresco films, scrumptious food and family fun. But news just in, both the Newbury and Reading events this August have been cancelled. The organisers announced they were having licensing issues and had to make the difficult decision to put the corks back in the bottles until it is resolved. So if you’re looking to fill the bubblicious void, the Abingdon and Oxford events will go ahead.
This is going to be HUGE! Unique Dining who own Crockers Tring in Herts, have announced this week (hot off the press!) that it’s set to open a new locale in our neck of the woods, Crockers Henley. Like Crockers Tring (which FYI holds a Michelin plate), the new restaurant will offer a fine dining experience but without the stuffiness and have two Chef’s Tables – one more than the Tring outpost – where you can see you dinner being cooked live, in an intimate, relaxed setting. There’ll also be a cocktail bar, social dining space serving small plates, sharing dishes and a handful of boutique bedrooms above. The venture will move into Lock Fyne’s old lot on Market Square and will open in spring 2020. I. Can’t. Wait.
New shoes alert!
This one’s all about stilettos so, naturally, we’re on board. Italian luxury footwear brand AQUAZZURA is set to open it’s second UK boutique in Bicester Village (the other is in Mayfair, if you’re heading to the Big Smoke). Founder Edgardo Osorio really knows how to design – he was made Head of Shoes at Roberto Cavalli at 23 years old – and the boutiques are really beautiful (and totally Instagrammable). No confirmed date yet, but I’ll keep my ear to the ground.
…Ed Sheeran has been spotted in Henley, no less. The ginger songster crawled around 10 Brakspear pubs on the Henley Ale Trail including The Little Angel(over the bridge in Berkshire), Three Tuns and The Old Bell to add another accolade to his Grammy and BRIT awards – the Ale Trail T-shirt. Considering Ed has an actual pub in his Suffolk-based home, that’s praise indeed for our local award-winning brewery chain.
Plus Channel 4’s cameras were spotted in The Old Boot Inn, Stanford Dingley interrogating the locals for intel on a couple of fantasy fugitives for their The Hunted team. We’ll all have to wait until January 2020 to see this Berkshire pub’s TV debut. Don’t worry, I’ll set my alarm and let you know nearer the time.