It’s a super-foodie newsflash
Heard on the grapevine! From a street food emporium to the coolest new local openings (I spy big London chefs in the 'hood), here's my foodie superflashy special.
Windsor’s new foodie hotspot
What’s that coming over the hill? It’s only Masterchef The Professionals finalist and London restaurateur Chef Adam Handling. He’ll be opening his first ever venue outside of London – and you’ll find it in Old Windsor.
Adam will open The Loch & Tyne (formerly known as The Oxford Blue) on 17 May – and it’ll be one of the most sustainable pubs in the UK. Adam’s teamed up with Estrella Damm to create an eco-beer garden which will incorporate solar-panelled phone charging points, blankets made from recycled materials, hot water bottle covers knitted by Adam’s mum, and table décor using homegrown herbs. The pub also has its own vegetable garden, orchard and flowerbeds. It’s all about eco luxury, so put your jute knickers away, and enjoy the relaxed fine dining with a culinary conscience be it in the pub, restaurant or star-fishing in one of the two boutique rooms.
Blue Collar Street Market permanent home
Reading isn’t exactly known for a surfeit of cool hangouts but that looks set to change with the opening of Blue Collar Corner – a street food hangout made out of shipping containers on the abandoned site of the Hosier Street Market. Opening this summer, it become the permanent home of Reading’s much-loved Blue Collar Food and feature a bar, two floors and four kitchen and a huge beer garden. While we wait for the grand opening, head to the Blue Collar Street Food Market on Market Place, Reading
Meet the chefs at Fairmont Windsor Park
One of the biggest hotel openings in the UK – and it happens to be on our doorstep. Fairmont Windsor Park (country cousin of The Savoy) is opening soon, and they’ve just announced their chef line up. The luxury hotel and spa will have a tea lounge, specialty dining restaurant, champagne bar, gin bar, an all-day dining restaurant and wellness café.
So who will be creating the culinary magic? Mark Brega is the main man, joining as Executive Head Chef. He’s previously worked with the Lansdowne Members Club, Relais & Chateaux Hotels as well as On Air Dining for private jets. Chef Matyas Rigo, will head up the all-day dining restaurant MOREISH. Matyas developed his culinary skills travelling the world on five-star mega yachts. For the last five years, Matyas has worked as the Senior Sous Chef at InterContinental – The O2.
Chef Luke Fouracre will be top dog of fine dining restaurant 1215, having worked in Berkshire’s Michelin star gastropub The Royal Oak and a variety of other notable establishments. Luke’s love of seasonal British ingredients will be the driving force at 1215. Finally, the hotel’s high priest of patisserie, Swapnil Sawant joins as Pastry Sous Chef at Fairmont Windsor Park. He’ll predominantly lead the afternoon tea selection at Orchid Tea Room.
Pub in the Paddock is back
Missing seeing the gee gees’ thundering past at Newbury Racecourse? While the racing is happening behind closed doors, you don’t need to miss out of the social vibe. Newbury Racecourse has announced the return of its Pub In The Paddock this spring. There are five dates planned so far, with socially distanced seating pods (max six people), deckchairs, a big screen and outdoor bar.
Cuppa at the castle
A new café has just opened in Donnington Village, near Newbury. The Honesty Café’s latest edition is located just behind The Hartley Arms (also part part of the Honesty Group) and has a lovely courtyard which can be used for outdoor seating from 12 April. As you know, we love a quirky set up, and the fact you access the café via the pub will an interesting tussle between coffee and cake or a wine and sticky toffee pud. It’s fantastic news for Donnington Castle walkers though, as the area was lacking a coffee pitstop. It’s currently open for takeaway, Wednesday to Sunday, 8.30am-4.30pm.
New beginnings at The Baliwick
Just a smidge outside Windsor, The Bailiwick Pub in Englefield Green is all set to open on 12 April. The pub was saved from closure by chefs Steven and Ami Ellis and restauranteur Ratnesh Bagdai. The trio joined forces to take over The Bailiwick – a stone’s throw from Great Windsor Park – to create a foodie destination. You’ll know Steven and Ami from their previous culinary adventures atThe Oxford Blue in Old Windsor which was a sad Covid casualty.
Pub food that’s fit for Branson
Shimmy a little further down the Berkshire-Surrey county line and we discover The Brickmaker’s Arms in Windlesham has lured Simon Dyer – former executive chef at Richard Branson’s Necker Island – to the their spinky-spanky new gastropub kitchen. The pub has been taken over by small family run group, Noble Inns – The Princess of Shoreditch and Smokehouse and The Pig and Butcher in Islington – with a rep for gastropub excellence. Before Necker Island, Dyer worked the stoves in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants including a period as Head Chef at the Savoy Grill and Senior Sous Chef at Petrus. The pub is getting a top to to renovation, so no word yet on the opening date – but watch this space.