Psst, have you heard the gossip? We've had our ear to the ground - gather round and we'll tell you EVERYTHING.
Paul Ainsworth’s coming to Berks
If you love food and Padstow, brace yourself because this news is BIG. Superstar chef Paul Ainsworth is bringing his Cornish culinary magic to Berkshire. No need to spend hours in a jam to the South West, this Michelin star chef – owner of No.6, Rojano In the Square and The Padstow Townhouse – will be cooking a special 6-course menu at The Hind’s Head in Bray on 27 Feb. The menu is yet to be confirmed but will include signature dishes from No.6. Tickets are on sale. Snap ’em up. There are just a few tables left.
For the love of gin
It’s the Muddy office’s favourite tipple – and the nation’s love of gin doesn’t seem to been waning. Thank god for that, because Wokingham is about to get a super swish gin bar in the Spring. The Leafy Elephant will open on Peach Place alongside newcomers Gail’s Bakery and Cook, and promises to offer 200 gins in a swanky setting with awesome service. Watch this space, and make mine a double.
If a new bar isn’t exciting enough, the good peeps of Berkshire are also busy making the stuff. Peter Lumber owner of the Muddy Award-winning Newbury Pub has just created the town’s first ever gin distillery – 137 Gin – making small batch gins called Lumber’s Bartholomew. Pop down to the pub, or buy online, and sample the goods: Country Garden, Navy Strength, Berkshire Dry and London Dry. Let me know what you think. Hic!
Orangery is the new black
Another Muddy Award winner, The Royal Oak in Yattendon is kicking off 2019 looking bigger, better and more fabulous. This stunning village pub has had an almighty makeover by adding a new contemporary new dining room, The Orangery, with glass doors that open onto the garden, a new kitchen, and everywhere’s been thoroughly spruced up. Gin maker Johnny Neill – the man behind Marylebone Gin and Whitley Neill – is also busy creating the Royal Oak’s very own tipple from Harry, the pub’s the shiny, new copper still (named after Johnny’s son).
Perfection takes time
Grab your diaries folks, Monkey Island Estate in Bray will be opening on 14 Feb. The long-awaited and much delayed 30-room hotel will welcome guests on Valentine’s Day. Enjoy a beverage or two (actually make that three) in the fancy pants Monkey Bar, Executive Chef Will Hemming will be serving a unique menu in the restaurant or catch some luxury zzzz and stay the night. There are 27 bedroom and 3 luxury suites to choose from. You can even get pampered and pummelled on the hotel’s quirky Floating Spa – a Dutch barge containing three treatment rooms. I’m heading to the launch, so I’ll bring you the first look. Tough job etc etc.