Psst! All the latest news and hot goss
A stunning new super spa, celeb news, festive fun and a cocktail bar that'll leave you shaken and stirred - here's all the curated, cool and quirky news you need to know this week.
SHAKEN AND STIRRED
Feeling the need to be shaken and stirred? The utterly brilliant London Cocktail Club will open on Gun Street in Reading at the end of this month. If you’ve not propped up one their bars in the Big Smoke, then expect an exciting menu of outrageously good drinks, eclectic decor and a part atmosphere. JJ Goodman and James “Hoppy” Hopkins revolutionised the London Cocktail scene when they opened their first bar on Goodge Street in 2008. They now have 14 party palaces (Bristol opened this week) and it all started with a loan from JJ’s mum Lizzie and investment from restaurateur Raymond Blanc and Dragon’s Den’s Sarah Willingham.
SPAS IN OUR EYES
Fancy a sneaky peek at Fairmont Windsor Park? It’s one of the most hotly anticipated hotel openings in the UK and oozes luxury. If there’s a marble shortage, it’s because it’s all here. But it’s the £120m super spa that caught my eye. Work should be completed next month for the hotel’s grand opening on 1 January 2022. Wellbeing is very much the vibe: 20m pool with infrared heated bed set in the water, a Japanese foot bath, Himalayan Salt Room with a wall of salt, dark room with heated beds for a post treatment snooze, 18 treatment rooms, aesthetics and skincare from The Face Bible, plus the Greens spa restaurant which will cater for any dietary need you have. There was a whisper the spa may open in December so watch this space.
It’s all going on in Caversham right now, another cool indie store has opened in the ‘hood. The Live Well is a lifestyle shop on Prospect Street and online offering a curated range of modern homewares, textiles, stationary and beauty bits chosen for their beauty and usefulness to embrace a slower, simpler life. Owner Susie is also collaborating with other brilliant business owners to offer fun workshops, so book in for calligraphy class with Lucca Studios and festive table centre with Muddy Award-winning florist The F Word – both running in December.
Have the likes of Kate Winslet, Dame Judi Dench and Stephen Fry put their money where their mouth is. A number of mystery donors from the arts world have pledged millions to help save Reading Gaol, so that it becomes a centre for arts and heritage – Oscar Wilde was famously imprisoned here and it is the burial site of King Henry. Not forgetting the Banksy now spayed on the wall and the fact Killing Eve was filmed here too.
The extra funds will be added to the £2.6m bid by Reading Council to develop a heritage centre, a space for theatre, dance, music, cinema and outdoor exhibitions, public spaces, a creative innovation hub, rooftop café and housing. If successful, Kate Winslet has promised to perform on opening nights, so watch this space.
SAY HELLO TO BERKSHIREWOOD
It would seem Berkshire will soon be the epicentre of film making. It has just been announced that Winnersh Film Studios will open next year with the largest virtual production stage in the world. Bray Studios has just been given permission to add five new sound stages (bringing the total to nine), plus four workshops, rehearsal space and a backlot. The word on the cutting room floor is that Spielberg has been spotted filming his big budget Netflix TV show, Masters of the Air, here, starring Tom Hanks. Oh and then we’ve also got Shinfield Studios opening soon offering film and television producers 18 new purpose-built sound stages. Lights, camera… ACTION.
FEELING FESTIVE YET?
No? This should do the trick: Reading’s giving off Last Christmas vibes with the return of the much-loved Aprés Bar from 26 Nov – 31 Dec. The ski lodge is popping up in Forbury Gardens with mini chalet’s available to book too with winter cocktails, mulled wine and frosty biers on tap.
And that’s not all, if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Reading will get 20 Days of Snow. From 4-24 December The Oracle is gonna ‘let it snow, let it snow, let it snow’. Six snow machines will fire out a flurry of snow for one minute every quarter-of-an-hour, between 12pm and 8pm. Grab a mulled wine or a Bailey hot chocolate in a snow igloo and flirt with the entertainers dressed as toy soldiers, panto characters and elves. Christmas shopping could even be fun this year.