I can't deny it! The latest, greatest happenings in the Berkshire 'hood, as brought to you by the nosiest blogger this side of the M25.
What’s goin’ on? Marvin Gaye once sang. Well, Marv, I’m glad you asked…
Strictly Come Gardening
Fancy joining Craig Revel Horwood underneath Berkshire’s giant glitter ball? Cha cha cha down to Aldermaston on Sunday 7 October because the Strictly star is officially opening the brand spanking new Rosebourne home and garden centre. If you’ve not visited the sister site in Andover, you’re going to absolutely LOVE it. For starters, the farm shop is massive. It’s like having Whole Foods on your doorstep but selling local food and drink produce. Then there’s plants, outdoor furniture, gifts and a pretty cool waitress service restaurant for brunch, lunch and afternoon teas.
Craig, lives in Hampshire and is a regular at the Andover branch, so he thought he’d add a little showbiz sparkle to the Aldermaston grand opening. Who are we kidding, he’ll bring all the sparkle. Rosebourne Aldermaston opens Saturday 6 October, but I’ll be slapping on the fake tan and sequins on Sunday. Faaaaaabulous Daaaaarling.
Rosebourne, Basingstoke Rd, Aldermaston, Reading RG7 4LD rosebourne.co.uk
Merry wife of Windsor
Royal Wedding invite got lost in the post? Better late than never, but we’ve all been invited to Windsor Castle to get up close and personal with newlyweds Harry and Meghan. Ok, so they won’t actually be there but a new exhibition opening on 26 October will display Meghan’s Givenchy bridal gown designed by Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller is, her 5m veil embroidered with flora symbolising the 53 Commonwealth countries and the 1932 Queen Mary diamond and platinum tiara landed to the Duchess by the queen. It’s not all about the bride (even though we known it is really), Harry’s Blues and Royals frock designed by Dege & Skinner on Savile Row will also be standing to attention.
Win £25k of bling
Feeling a little giddy at the prospect of this, but the awesome Strange The Jeweller is celebrating 100 years in Wokingham town centre by giving away 100 blingy prizes over 100 days. The star prize being this beauty a 1 carat diamond bubbles ring worth £4,50. Now I’ve got your attention. But this is the tip of the iceberg, owners Jo and Jason are giving away pieces by Alexander McQueen’s master of bling Shaun Leane, Fei Liu, Clogau, Rachel Galley, Uno De 50, Strange The Jeweller’s own collection and much more. Simply pop into the store on Bush Walk, fill out for your details and pop it in the glass jar. Let me know if you win!
Grab the Bull by the horns
Running a pub must feel a bit like bull fighting. You can be a flamboyant crowd pleaser, but if you don’t know what your doing you can seriously hurt. Enter the bullring chef-owner Richie Sanderson, because he plans to wave his red cape and tame The Bull Inn Stanford Dingley once and for all. Richie owner of Muddy award-wining pub The Bladebone in Chapel Row has taken on this stunning pub with rooms in one of Berkshire’s prettiest villages. Expect plenty of quirky interior touches, a simpler menu to The Bladebone’s gastropub offering, and hunting lodge styles rooms. Opening night is Sept 29 – chaaaaaaarge!
You heard on the grape-Vyne
Break out of the Berkshire bubble and head into North Hampshire, The Vyne is reopening on this autumn following a £5.4million project to save the roof and its precious collections. The house has been reorganised to reveal the untold story of a Victorian brother and sister who became entwined The Vyne’s survival. Spaces previously closed to the public will be now be open and the experience will be less starchy and more immersive. The National Trust has recreated the long money chute with stairs to the top for you to throw your loose change into, The Vyne’s Tapestry Room will be a darkened space with images of rare 18th century Soho Tapestries projected onto them (the real ones are currently being restored) and a new ‘below stairs’ experience will open in the Servants Quarters.
The UK’s most delayed hotel is open
While we’re peaking over the Hampshire fence, the super luxurious Heckfield Place hotel is finally open. Six years later than planned, multiple managers, chefs and designers, guests can now cross the threshold of this 18th century Georgian mansion just 9 miles from Reading. What can you expect? 70 swoon-worthy rooms, a farm to fork food offering under the stewardship of Heckfield’s Culinary Director Skye Gyngell (formerly Pertersham Nurseries), all-natural spa, plus and eclectic mix of events and talks including movies nights, guest speakers and planting and food classes. Rooms from £350.