Superflashy newsflash! The hot gossip in Berks
Have you heard the latest? We're talking Bridgerton, celeb spots, new pubs, cafes and fashion openings, and - er - Christmas. It's all happening in Berks!
Loosen your corset and flick open your fan – things are about to get hot in the ‘hood. Not just because of the heatwave… filming has started on Bridgerton season 3 and rumour has it the cast have shooting scenes in Berkshire. *Pass the smelling salts*.
The third installment in the Bridgerton family saga will focus on the romance between Penelope Featherington (aka the acid-tongued gossipmonger Lady Whistledown herself, played by Nicola Coughlan) and her crush Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton). Basildon Park featured in season two when the Featherington’s hosted a ball at their home. With this production focussing on the love life of Penelope and that fact that Basildon Park’s house and part of the gardens have been closed to the public between 15 – 21 July for filming. You do the maths.
It doesn’t get cheddar than this. Michael Bublé – the grand fromage of cheese – spotted in Windsor enjoying Rex Bakery’s puns. Bublé loved the sign on Peascod Street so much he posted on Instagram. Gouda to see you Michael, you better brie-lieve we’re here for this. Um, we’ll stop there.
Just a few miles down the road Man V Food legend Adam Richman was raving about the Bel & the Dragon Cookham. He took to twitter with a pint and lamb cutlet to rave about Cookham – the breathtaking village, pretty church and delicious pub lunch. Adam tweeted it as a ‘hidden gem’ and ‘one of the greatest finds in my entire time exploring this Earth forkfirst!’ We think Adam needs to subscribe to Muddy Stilettos, we’ve been raving about this place for years.
Christmas in July
Forget Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, Newbury Racecourse has finally got the green light to run a Christmas Carnival this year – and it’s gonna be huge. Expect fairground rides, a Christmas market, a maze and a big top managed by the utterly brilliant Underbelly.
Beale Wildlife Park will also be creating its first winter wonderland with Reindeer Railway, letter writing and the chance to meet the Santa, his reindeer and lots more festive fun. Tickets are on sale at £8. Normal entry prices (or membership) applies to enter the park.
Cliveden Literary Festival
Cliveden Literary Festival (15-16 October) has just announced some of the big names from this year’s line-up of speakers. Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful will be talking about his rise to the top of the fashion world, author and historian Simon Sebag Montefiore will chair a panel on Putin’s Russia, Succession‘s Brian Cox will spill the tea on becoming Logan Roy, Louise Perry dares to question the sexual revolution, alongside authors Monica Ali, Tina Brown, Ben Okri and Catherine Ostler. Tickets on sale from Monday 25 July.
Blimey, Berkshire doors have been swinging open all over the Royal county. We are thrilled to hear that Chef Dom Chapman (The Beehive White Waltham) taken over The Crown Burchetts Green. The foodie destination, previously owned by Chef Simon Bonwick, held a Michelin star and a special Micheline award for service. We were all crying into our consomme when it closed on 18 December 2021.
Dom will be creating the magic in the kitchen and his wife Helena is running front of house. It’s good to know, The Beehive and The Crown will be run as “distinctive and individual restaurants in their own right” but share the Chapman DNA of excellent service, quality food and a relaxed vibe. Can’t wait to visit.
Over in Windsor, a new Italian has popped up in the Royal Station. Mamma Mia sells traditional homemade Italian pasta alongside coffee, ice cream, cakes and more. If you prefer your nights out with shot of glamour and exclusivity, head down to Goswell Hill and check out new cocktail bar Upstairs. It’s the latest project from Test Kitchen’s Milly and John who also run Patch on the Plaza.
Doing it for the kids and their frazzled parents, Chai Cocoa café has opened in Maidenhead offering chic eco-conscious soft play (no, really) and a space for grown ups to meet friends or drink their first hot cuppa in months possibly even years. You’ll find it on Queen Street.
If you’re a lover of Knead Neapolitan Pizza at The Crafty Taproom Marlow, save your petrol because they’ll soon be opening their first ever pizzeria in Maidenhead. Simon and Olivia have just got their hands on the keys, to transform their Trinity place space, so you won’t have to wait too long to sink your teeth into their signature slow-proved Neapolitan dough topped with banging flavour combos. They’re in good company, with new craft beer emporium A Hoppy Place practically next door and another artisan pizza place on Bridge Street. Check out Presto for a slice of foodie heaven.
Over in Hungerford, you’ll once again be able to get your coffee and cake fix at Barrs Yard. Tray’s Café has taken over the space previously run by Honesty and will be serving up salads, sarnies, baked goodies using local, seasonal ingredients and lashings of top notch coffee. Open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Go and check it out.
While you in the area, grab your bucket and spade and head to Hungerford’s beach. OK, so it’s a giant sand pit next to Cobbs Farm‘s super cool double decker café. Hop aboard and head to the top deck for fully loaded milkshakes, Whippy-style dairy-free and plant-based ‘Pawsome’ ice creams available, homemade toasties, hot drinks, and cake! What it lacks in water, it makes up for with food.
Shop in the wild
If you’re a fan of fash brand Scamp and Dude‘s signature leopard print and lightning bolts (you’re in good company – Laura Whitmore, Emma Bunting, Vicky McClure and Stephanie Beatriz have all been spotted sporting S&D pieces), then good news! Owned by Berkshire homie Jo Tutchener-Sharp, the first flagship store has just opened in Marlow, replacing Hypescape on the High Street. Expect womenswear, childrenswear and accessories in neon brights, poppy pastels and metallics.