Who knows all the latest news and hot gossip across Berkshire? Me, me, ME!!!! Read on for the latest happenings near you.
New chef at The Newbury
It’s all change at The Newbury with a brand spanking new chef taking over the culinary helm. This Muddy Award-winning pub has always had a great rep for food, so no pressure for Newbury newbie Chef John Harrison. To be fair, he’s classically trained, is inspired by Marco Pierre White and Pierre Koffman and has worked in Michelin star restaurants and gastropubs all over the UK. So The Newbury’s food is safe hands. John’s already got his feet under the kitchen table with a new menu, which offers John’s interpretation of fine, contemporary British food. Can’t wait to see what he creates for the private dining tasting menu., I’ll report back… obviously.
Boy, have we been waiting a long time for Monkey Island Estate to fling open its doors so that we can do what we do best… eat, drink and test the quality zzzzzzzz. But I can confirm the end is nearly there. Like a very long labour the final push is requiring a lot of gas and air but I can confirm Monkey Island in Bray will be open by the end of this month. My nose is already pressed against the glass, gagging to being you the beautiful interiors and fabulous food and drink.
Easy-peasy brain food
Polish your parental halo, you’re going to love this. Natural, brain-boosting food for kids, delivered straight to your door. Yup, this is the opportunity to pack your freezer with something other than fish fingers and oven chips and make your kids smarter at the same time. Smart Infused Füd – the UK’s first range of frozen food with all-natural ingredients – is the brainchild of elite caterer Hattie Mauleverer and Berkshire-based nutritional therapist (and mum of 3) Jo Saunders and chef Georgie Soskin. Ditching the ‘5-a-day’ thinking (a mealtime battle every day) they came up with the idea of food to promote mental wellbeing, packed with the right vitamins and minerals for help with mental performance, concentration, anxiety and nerves as well as energy levels in children. Hallelujah! It launched this week, so order online, they’ll deliver to your door, pop it in the freezer and grab it when you need it.
Is Tom Hardy moving to Berks?
The worms in Windsor have been very gossipy this week. And, to be honest, it’s got us all a it hot under the collar at Muddy Berks HQ. Hollywood actor and total babe, Tom Hardy, who’ll be back on the telly box later this year in series 2 of the BBC hit Taboo, is rumoured to be moving to the Berkshire ‘hood. Rumour has it, during Jeremy Kyle’s monthly pedi (whole other story) at his fave Eton nail bar, he slipped into convo that Tom might be buying his house. We can only hope that this is not wishful thinking on Jezza’s part, but with showbiz neighbours like Natalie Umbruglia, Nick Knowles and Kirsty Gallagher – plus Harry and Meghan – that’s quite the dinner party.
Heston’s world tour
Gastro groupies get ready to scream! The culinary Berkshire bubble cannot be contained for much longer. We know we’re onto a good thing with some of the best gastropubs in the country and 12 Michelin stars shining bright over the Royal county. One of those twinklers belongs to The Hind’s Head in Bray, and Heston and his band (aka Head Chef Peter Grey and team) are going on tour. They’ll head to India for a whistle-stop service in Mumbai and Delhi, back to Blighty for Pub In The Park Marlow and Chiswick before jetting off to the Singapore Grand Prix to pop up at the Paddock Club.
Chop chop… new salon
I noticed recently that the new hair salons popping up are becoming more creative, design focussed spaces – which makes the experience more luxurious and fancy shamancy for us in the chair. The new kid on the block is The Colour Palette Salon in Crowthorne and, not only is it interiors heaven, owner Hardia (an accomplished Sassoon stylist and make-artist) has snagged Alessio Matta as Creative Director. Alessio is a fashion week regulars styled hair for iD and the Telegraph and his celeb clients include Lily Allen. Form an orderly queue. The salon – offering hair and bratty services – opens on 1 April and you get 40% on throughout the opening month.
No plastic, fantastic
Tick, gold star and this week’s Teacher’s Pet Award goes to Upton House School in Windsor who have massively upped their eco creds to become the first Berkshire school to be awarded Plastic Free School Status by the national Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) organisation – and all within a remarkably short time. The pupils have replaced plastic snack bags with hessian nets and reusable boxes – saving an incredible 6,220 bags per year; disposable water bottles, cartons and carrier bags are banned. We’re aiming to reduce plastic use in pens and plastic wallets and are working with Plastic Free Windsor to set up a School’s Forum so we can encourage other schools to join us and share ideas.