Coming in hot! The latest news and local goss
Movers, groovers and gossipers, listen up! From new gastropubs to a groovy street food market, here are all the new and exciting ventures in Berkshire this week.
SURPRISE I DOS
And earlier in the month, gorgeous All Saints singer Nicole Appleton (singer, actress, Liam Gallgher’s ex…) said ‘I Do’ to her partner Steven Haines at Cliveden House Hotel. The couple have been dating since 2018, had a daughter in March 2020 and tied the knot in secret. Naturally, Nicole was a stunning rock n roll bride in an Alida Herbst design – a simple, fluid silhouette with veil. Are we surprised Nicole announced her marriage on Instagram? The whole event was very cool
The deer at Bucklebury Farm have been especially gossipy lately. Word in the field is that the 72-acre Muddy Award winning family attraction has plans to fancy the place up. A planning application has been submitted to West Berkshire Council to refurbish and extend the visitor barn and create a new covered outdoor kids play area. The café will be extended, a new farm shop created, there will be a fancy glass extension and large doors to make the most of the views. Unfortunately, the legendary indoor slides will go, but the plans include a super-cool kids play area.
THE CROWN’S GOTTA SIBLING
Where Bray leads, Marlow follows. The team behind gastropub The Crown at Bray has just opened The Oarsman – a contemporary bistro and pub on Spittal Street Marlow. We can’t decide what we’re most excited about with this place – is it the 300+ wine list (with a weekly changing ‘by the glass’ menu and a 500ml carafe for 2/3rds the full list price) or is it the quirky seasonal dishes – Fillet of Stone Bass, Endive Marmalade and XO Sauce anyone? or is it the small plates and cheese/charcuterie (Burrata, Olive Oil and Fresh Honeycomb …genius!)?
While we’re wafting around the foodie villages of Berks and Bucks like the BIsto kid, we’re thrilled to hear a chef from Heston’s Fat Duck kitchen has made to the final six of the prestigious Roux Scholarship. Oli Williamson will cook in the final to on 25 Oct. The winner walks away with £12,000 and an all expenses paid placement in a three Michelin star restaurant anywhere in the world. Previous winners include Sat Bains (Restaurant Sat Bains), Adam Smith (Coworth Park), Paul O’Neill (Cliveden); Andre Garrett (Corinthia London), so it’s fair to say, it’s a big deal.
HOT OFF THE PRESS
The Evening Post’s printing presses are long gone, but news just in… this huge industrial space will open as an indoor street feast market this autumn. Market Yard at Printhouse Reading has been granted a licence by Reading Borough Council to run a pop-up venue will have a 1200 capacity, with food, bars, live music and DJs in three rooms plus an outdoor terrace. Get ready for launch in mid November.
CHEERS TO CLIVEDEN
We’ve known for a while that Cliveden House is one of the best hotels in the country, but the secret is out. This stunning Berkshire crash pad has been named among the top 30 hotels at Condé Nast Traveller’s Reader’s Choice Awards. Cliveden is sitting pretty in 16th sport with an impressive score of 95.11. The top spot was taken by Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire (score 99.49) and nearby Heckfield Place in Hook was fourth with a score 99.10.
CROCKERS IS ALL FIRED UP
A smidge over the Berks-South Oxfordshire border, Crockers Henley will unveil its new á la carte restaurant, Ember, this week (Oct 15) under the leadership of former National Chef of Wales, Tom Westerland. The grill and flame menu is all cooked over coals and comes by the dish or, as you’d expect from Crockers, there’s the full bells-and-whistles tasting menu option. With dishes like Orkney scallop, duck parfait, barbecued pineapple, rummy raisins, hazelnut and brioche, they’ve got autumn date night nailed.
WHIP OUT THE BUNTING
To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, a huge picnic table will stretch along Long Walk – and you’re invited to bring their coronation chicken sarnies and Champers along to celebrate. This is just one of the events planned to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne during the four-day bank holiday weekend in June. It kicks off with lighting of the Windsor beacon, part of a National lighting. On Friday, there will be a special St George’s Chapel concert followed by a carnival of fun on the Long Walk on Saturday and Sunday, with cars, music, sport and activities from across the decades of Her Majesty’s reign.
A frenzy of excitement at Ikea Reading last week. No they didn’t get a bulk order of Dime Bars – a Banksy-style artwork of Sir David Attenborough appeared with the words: “Time is up.” Graffiti artist Peachy created the piece with an Extinction Rebellion logo. Sadly, the staff have now removed it. Shame, I reckon I could have convinced my other half to meander around the Swedish store. A place he’s not set foot in since 2001.