Superflashy newsflash! Have you heard?
Pssst! The latest, greatest happenings in Berkshire from new openings (hello foxy new gastropub!) to a cool Hockney exhibition and PYO sunflowers.
Race you to The Greyhound
Roomy pants on! A new gastropub is opening in the Berkshire ‘hood this Friday. The Greyhound in Finchampstead is being relaunched by James Lyon-Shaw and Chef Jamie Dobbin – owners of Brucan Pubs and formerly of The Ivy’s parish. This will be their third pub – they own the Greene Oak in Windsor (read my review here) and the Drumming Snipe in Mayford, Surrey. The menu will be seasonal and focus on British game, meat and fish. overseen by head chef Andrew Sage. No tiny portions, deconstructed dishes, frills or foam – just superb food. Watch this space, a review will be coming soon.
In a few weeks the team will also open Goswell & Bird’s, a traditional village store located next to the pub, that will focus on British seasonal produce and champion small producers and regenerative farming. It will offer rare-breed meats, fresh bread, and seasonal fruit and vegetables, as well as a daytime café menu for breakfasts and light lunches.
A cool Patch in Windsor
The hottest seat in Windsor town right now? The brand new Patch on the Plaza. This super-cool outdoor restaurant is a collaboration between the Lumley family (who own a number of local leisure businesses) and Test Kitchen (owned by foodie icons Milly and John). The restaurant has breathed new life into an unloved area of the arches and Chef John and Milly will be flexing their culinary creativity with their delicious sharing dishes. These two are passionate about food and the menu is a pleasing list of locally sourced, quality produce. Ready to drool at the menu? How does corn-fed chicken thighs on spiced corn purée, herbed feta & cucumber grab you? Or perhaps a Korean steak melt or Miso double cheese burger. Snap up a reservation now.
Be caught in the NOOD
A new shop? You’ll find me nose pressed against the glass trying to see what’s popping up. Well Caversham is in for a treat. NOOD Stores has just opened on Church Street and it’s good… really good. It is a eco-luxe lifestyle shop, home to three brilliant business owners – Claire of NOOD Skin and NOOD At Home – an eco vegan brand producing nasty-free products that work really well for sufferers of acne, eczema or anyone sensitive to chemicals. Plant queen Jacqui owner of MidRib and Muddy Award winning florist Hannah of The F* Word. There’s also lots of gorgeous gifts, prints, and refills. On its opening night and walked away with a frilly fern, a bunch of dried lavender and a MOOMOO salt and pepper soap which is brilliant for teen skin. I defy you not to buy something.
David Hockney in the ‘hood
The works of Britain’s most famous living artist will go on display in West Berkshire – and we’re giddy with excitement. The legendary David Hockney’s major photomontage Hollywood exhibition will open at The Base Greenham Common on 22 October to 28 November 2021.
It features an extraordinary life-sized nude photographic study of Theresa Russell by David Hockney. The Yorkshire-born artist was commissioned by Hollywood film director Nicolas Roeg to create the montage for the film Insignificance. It starred his then wife Theresa Russell as Marilyn Monroe.
Hockney and Hollywood is at The Base, Greenham Common from 22 October 2021. Tickets £8 (£7 concs, £5 schools/students, under-16s free). Booking is essential.
Reading takes the Biscuit
Wowzers! What is going on in Reading right now? Broad Street Mall, which has looked a bit shabby in recent years, is having a makeover of epic proportions. Case in point, the recently opened new cinema named after Reading’s iconic biscuit factory. The Reading Biscuit Factory is a stylish three-screen boutique cinema, work space and community hub, offering food and drink from Reading’s local food producers. Become a Member and get discounts on films, events, food & drinks and more!
It’s always sunny in Berkshire!
Looking for a low-cost, lovely day out? Then head to family-run Picking Patch, in Cookham, to check out its sunflower farm, wildflower meadow and Peter Pan themed Maize Maze open until 30 Aug. Waft down the sunflower paths (buggy friendly), take snaps, pick your own flowers (9 varieties to choose from) which you can purchase for £1 each or £5 for six and there’s crafty activities and a maze to give kids (and grown ups) to opportunity to let off steam. Don’t worry there’s snacks, ice cream, coffee and cake for much needed refuel. Proceeds will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Mutts of Marlow rejoice! Dog-friendly restaurant chain Megan’s is set to open its second outpost outside of London (the other is in St Albans) in the refurbished Liston Court. The Mediterranean-inspired restaurant will serve all-day from brunch to evening cocktails with options like baked eggs shakshouka, ‘posh’ kebabs, sharing dishes and mezze plates. Meanwhile, on Spittal Street, The Oarsman gastropub will be reopening mid Sept under new ownership with revamped interiors and an open kitchen. At the helm is Nigel Sutcliffe (CV: Hetston’s The Fat Duck Group, managing director of The Crazy Bear Group) and James Mclean who has experience working in Michelin restaurants and has previously won Young Chef of the Year – so yeah, we’re expecting big things!