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Newsflash! Hot local goss right here

Hot news in Berkshire! Hollywood in the 'hood; an exciting new restaurant from a Michelin star chef, new foodie openings, and Christmas is going to be lit! Read on.

Ooh la la! A new shop

Funghi Club, beef bourginon

Sacre bleu! Muddy favourite The Funghi Club is bringing its restaurant quality French food to a brand new shop on Hungerford’s High Street.

If you’re not familiar with The Funghi Club’s foodie offering, you’ve been missing out. Chef Laurent has been cooking quality French inspired Heat & Eat meals – canapés, starters, mains, side dishes and desserts – for delivery for the past 18 months. It’s been insanely popular whether you’re looking for a next level supper à deux or a dinner party for 10.

The shop will open in the next couple of months, but don’t want it’s not replacing the delivery service. The shop stock the Funghi Club faves, ready to be portioned up for you to take home and heat up. Expect to see Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au vin, tagines, quenelles and schnitzels, as well as a range of charcuterie, pâtés, terrines, salads, tarts and quiches too.

The company currently crowdfunding, with lots of generous foodie perks for investors. So if you’re interested in putting your money where you mouth is (literally) this could be an opportunity for you.

Saucy new restaurant

Renaissant Restaurant Newbury Berkshire

It’s the second coming! So bye bye The Blackbird in Bagnor and hello Renaissant. Chef Dom Robinson’s new saucy restaurant opens today! Renaissant will serve classical French food in a relaxed but refined setting. Food menus will pay homage to gastronomic greats with a thoughtful and interesting drinks menu. With the pub forced to close during the pandemic, Dom sold takeaway fish and chips, curries and loo roll – helping the community get through Covid one day at a time. With plenty of time to reflect on himself and the business during that time, he decided to change thing up, close The Blackbird, hand back his Michelin star, and emerge as Renaissant. Good luck, Dom. We can’t wait to see what you’ve done to the place.

Hello to Hollywood

Shinfield Cine Studios
Image: University of Reading

Ready to do the walk of fame? It looks like filming will soon start at Shinfield’s brand new TV and film studios which will see major Hollywood, Amazon and Netflix movies filmed in Berkshire.

Rumour has it a large movie franchise will be the first through the door of Cine Valley Studios on Thames Valley Science Park, Shinfield. Everyone’s remaining very tight lipped about who it is. So we’ll have to put our celeb stalking skills to the test.

When work is completed, this will be the UK’s largest film studio – on a similar scale to Pinewood Studios. A planning application is also in place to develop 14 more studios on the site including a permanent TV studio with enough seats for an audience of 550 people.

Once upon a time in Buckinghamshire

Peeking over the border, Buckinghamshire’s very own Waddesdon Manor stars front and centre as the Prince’s palace in Amazon Prime’s big-budget retelling of Cinderella. The manor has previously been used as a double for Buckingham Palace in The Crown as well as Helen Mirren’s The Queen. Dunno about you, but we want to know where we can find our own dashing prince who’ll come neatly with a beautiful, French-renaissance style 1800s castle…

New foodie openings


People of Bracknell, pull on your stretchiest pants – the artisan bakery GAIL’s is coming to The Lexicon. It will be the third Berkshire branch of this popular patisserie, following openings in Windsor and Wokingham. GAIL’s has a huge fan base, not least The Guardian’s sharp-tongued restaurant critic Jay Rayner who singled out the chocolate-chip cookies. Though for us, it’s their famous cinnamon buns every time! It should open by the end of the year.

Still at The Lexicon, we’re all doing a Gangnam Style dance with news that Kokoro will open in November. Serving Korean and Japanese takeaway, this will be the brand’s 20th store opening. We’re already dreaming of chicken katsu curry, gyoza dumplings and udon noodles. Yum

Had your fill? Of course not. There’s more good news. Robyn’s Nest is opening a second café in Shinfield. It will sling open its doors in the newly built community centre on School Green this autumn. To get a taste of what’s to come, rock up to their OG caff at Moss End Garden Centre. The afternoon teas are legendary.

Blimey! It’s only taken 17 years for Leon to arrive in Berkshire. The healthy fast food takeaway launched in Carnaby St back in 2004 and will open in Reading soon. It is taking over the old Thomas Cook space outside The Oracle. The fact that Utrecht, Oslo, Gran Canaria, Dublin and Washington DC all got one before us does not make us bitter at all.

Light ’em up, Windsor


It’s beginning to a look a lot like Chr… I know it’s early, but this is one festive event you’re going to want to put in the diary – a brand new light trail at Windsor Great Park. The trail, produced by guys behind Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, will feature a field of lights that will extend more than 1,400 sqm, fountains of projected flowers and holograms of woodland creatures. Prepare to be dazzled fro 13 Nov.  

Reading Winter Wonderland is back

Image: Reading Winter Wonderland

While we’re shaking our jingle bells in September, Reading’s Winter Wonderland is making a comeback (13 Nov to 3 Jan). It has a new location at Hills Meadow in Caversham and promises to be bigger and better than ever. While you’re juggling mulled wine and German sausage, there are 20 rides and attractions to enjoy, including a brand new Bavarian Snow Slide, ice-rink, Apres ski bar and Santa’s grotto. While entry is free, you’ll need to fork out for fun. Tickets for the ice skating are already on sale.

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