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Berkshire's biggest blabbermouth reporting for duty. Here's this week's newsflash including the inside track on Heston's Fat Duck birthday bash.

The Fat Duck is back… for its birthday

Fat Duck Bray smoking box with moss

Slip into something roomy, Heston’s three Michelin star twinkler reopens after a four-month Covid closure tomorrow (15 Aug) – and it just happens to the be The Fat Duck’s 25th anniversary. The reopening marks the start of a year-long celebration which will see the return of some of its most iconic dishes.

The Anthology (a four-volume collection of iconic menus) will be released over the course of a year and will comprise of a new sensory experience where they will enable you to slip into Heston’s shoes and follow in this foodie footsteps. Volume 1 is available to book now until Mid-Nov (£250pp add a wine flight from £110pp). It’s a world of pure imagination, so in the words of Bray’s answer to Willy Wonka, ‘Question everything’.

More foodie news…

street food sandwich with seafood and salad wrapped in paper and served in a wire basket

If you’re a Reading local, then you’ll know all about Blue Collar Street Food – they’ve organised street food markets and foodie festivals in town for years. Grab your gilded forks, because this year these guys are hosting the Southern Heat of the mahoosive British Street Food Awards on the 19 and 20 September. This is a big deal. MEATliqour won Best Sandwich at the first awards – and now has 12 restaurants worldwide. It’s life changing stuff. So channel your inner Giles Coren, stuff your face and vote. Tickets available here.

Tom Kerridge strikes again

In the absence of the ever popular Pub in the Park this year, the Michelin-starred Marlow marvel has already treated us to a drive-and-dine cinema and is now going one further with a drive-in garden party. It’ll feature all the best bits of Pub in the Park – amazing musical artists (we’re looking forward to Groove Armada, Becky Hill, Gabrielle and Kaiser Chiefs) and food from top-notch chefs and restaurants – only you’ll have your own socially distanced private plot to park up in. The event is coming to Henley’s Temple Island Meadows from 4 – 6 Sept, with booking open now.

Light, camera… Ascot action

Retro drive thru blue car with food tray attached

Pull up to the bumper, baby. It’s outdoor cinema season, but Luna Cinemas has shifted gears to bring you a Drive In Cinema experience at some of the UK’s most iconic venues. Ascot Racecourse has definitely been missing the crowds at the ‘behind closed doors’ race days but, hit the horn, from 27 Aug to 10 Sep, you can park up and watch a film from the comfort of your front seats. 24 films on the movie reel from The Joker and Rocketman to Toy Story 4 and Grease.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga star in A Star Is Born embracing on stage with guitar

While we channeling out inner Barry Norman, we’ve spotted a couple of pubs who have launched pop-up cinema nights in Berkshire. The Last Crumb in Caversham launch’s Escape To The Cinema on Fri 14 Aug (Bohemian Rhapsody, if you fancy it) until 5 Sep (remember to bring your own chair). Meanwhile, The Shurlock Inn in Shurlock Row is launching the Nightfall Cinema on the 27 Aug. Four films will be screened under the stars with a complimentary cocktail and a comfy bean bag. Where do we sign up?

Ice ice baby

Where has Ozone been this summer? A day at an ice rink would be a lot more effective than standing in front my freezer to keep cool. Yup, Bracknell is hopefully getting a new ice rink at the Western Centre, courtesy of Ozone Hockey. It will be the newest state of the art training facility for newbies and pros and, if it gets through planning, will open later this year.

Going for gold…

Berkshire Botanicals Berkshire gin fox on label glass packed with ice gin and tonic

Desperately seeking a stonking local gin? You can’t go wrong with a gold medal winner at the IWSC (the Oscars of the wine and spirits world) because Berkshire Botanical Dry Gin took the gold – with an impressive score of 96/100. Currently available online via The Drop Store, selected Tesco and Booth’s store nationwide, Yattendon Village Store and Casey’s Field Farm Shop in Ashampstead.

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