Psst! The latest hot goss in the ‘hood
Movers, groovers and gossipers, listen up! From the West End popping up in the woods to swish hotel refurb, here's all the hot goss from this week.
SUPERGRASS AT ENGLEFIELD
Dig out your wide leg denims and wrestle your boobs into a hankerchief top, 90s Brit Pop band Supergrass (originally from Oxford) are back and headlining a summer outdoor gig in the grounds of Englefield House on 23 July.
Part of the Heritage Live Concert series, the band – brother Gaz and Rob Coombes, Mick Quinn and Danny Goffey – will take to the stage at this impressive stately home in Theale supported by Feeder and Sports Team. The following night (24 July) Boy George and Culture Club will perform with Lulu, Kim Wilde and Gabrielle and tenor Russell Watson be belting out the classical crowd-pleasers at the Last Night Of The Heritage Proms on 25 Jul. Pre-sale tickets will be available from 9am on Wed 5 May and go on general sale from Fri 7 May.
STAR SPANGLED REFURB
Who needs Washington when you can have Old Windsor. Welcome to The White House – aka De Vere Beaumont Estate While its doors have been closed, the team have been busy giving this rather fabulous mansion house a to- to-toe refurb – including 26 bedrooms and six events spaces. It was the next phase of a planned £12million refresh and comes just in time for all those end of lockdown celebrations: delayed weddings, family get togethers and private dining blow outs.
The 14th century estate was a catholic boarding school in a former life, and the upgraded rooms which mix contemporary design with the estate’s original features include the Matron’s study, the school chemist and 26 bedrooms including 10 suites. The 44-acres of gardens also feature sculpture by local artist Emma Stothard.
DOWNTON ABBEY THE SEQUEL
Downton Abbey The Sequel is all systems go. Poor Carson must be run off his feet. This week, film trucks and catering marquees popped up in the sprawling Highclere Castle grounds just outside Newbury. Although scenes are shot in the studio and different location, the cast and crew spend most of their time at Highclere – home to the Earl and Countess of Carnavon.
Bosses confirmed there will be a gaggle of new characters played by actors Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West. Put the smelling salts down, there are plenty of Downton vets reprising their – Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, and Penelope Wilton are all confirmed.
Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn, Woman in Gold) will direct Downton Abbey 2 and the show creator, Julian Fellowes, has written the screenplay once again. The film is due to open in cinemas on 22 December.
POETRY IN MOTION
How you mark the long walk out of lockdown? With an enormous travelling light poem, of course. The outdoor installation appeared around Newbury, encouraging the public to think about their experiences of living through a pandemic – the good, the bad and the silver linings. Entitled Recovery Poems, the illuminated prose was presented by the Corn Exchange Newbury, 101 Outdoor Arts and Emergency Exit Arts.
The poem was made up of two phrases: ‘The surge of spring hides into the blank wood of winter now we have paused in the heartland of care, made beds of sodden earth’s mournful moss, our mortal thrum’ and ‘At what point do we fall into each other’s arms and dance again loosening our shadow? We are vulnerable in this first light, but rising steady now, crowning in the new music’. One to ponder over your next bottle of vino at your next outdoor dinner.
WEST END AT WASING
The show must go on! If you’ve missed the smell of grease paint and a toe-tapping show tune, then you’ll love Wasing Estate’s latest outdoor spectacular – West End In The Woods. This June, you can enjoy a concert and dining experience in the beautiful Wasing woods and amphitheatre in Aldermaston. Tuck into a delicious three-course dinner followed by a concert of hit songs from Into the Woods, Lion King, We Will Rock You, Les Misérables, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, Wicked, Starlight Express and more. The show will be under the musical direction of Steve Clark and featuring the West End’s leading ladies and men. Tickets from £60pp. Luxury glamping tents available with breakfast and a morning lake swim. Bell tents are £130 per night and are offered on a B&B basis based on two people sharing.
News just a smidge over the Buckinghamshire border. Waddesdon Manor has just announced a unique dining experience that will take place at the estate’s archive on Windmill Hill. On Thursdays to Sundays, between the 20 May and 13 June, you can book a Dining Dome and choose from either lunch, afternoon tea or dinner menus, while making the most of those views over Aylesbury Vale. Places will be snapped up so be quick.