Super Saturday starts here
Lockdown lift off is go go go. Wanna know which Muddy fave pubs, restaurants, hair salons and family attractions are opening in Berkshire? Step this laydee.
It’s been a gazillion weeks (ok, 16 if you’re being picky) since we set foot in a pub, enjoyed a day out with the family or had our hair done. And we’ve had the best weather ever. It’s a national scandal, I tell you. All of that starts to change from tomorrow as we take the next steps towards a new normal. Be sensible, carry your body weight in hand sanitiser and let’s have some fun. We deserve it.
UNLEASH THE MINI BEASTS
Between homeschool, refereeing sibling squabbles and hitting he gin every single day, the day has come to unleash the kids and let them run free. Hallelujah. But where to go first. From today (3 Jul) you can book for Wellington Country Park which will open on Sat 4 Jul. You must pre-book, contactless payments only, lots of social distancing signs to clock, some facilities may be suspended during your visit for a deep clean, keep your hands clean and have a good time.
Legoland Windsor opens on 4 Jul – most of the rides will be open, socially distant queuing in the new normal, seating on rides will be a bit different and your temperature will be taken before entry. Pre-booking and contactless payments are also a must. Oh, and brace yourself for bankruptcy as you glide through the shop.
Go Ape at Bracknell and Black Park, reopen on the 4 Jul. Get your little and large monkeys going mad in the treetops while you enjoy 15 minutes peace. Staff will wear visors to ensure harnesses are fitted properly.
Bucklebury Farm Park is adjusting too, there’s a one-way system, lots of green open space and animals to see, but the indoor slides and activities will remain closed and contact with the animals is a big no no. The park opens to season ticket holders on Sat 4 Jul and everyone else on Sun 5 Jul. The cafe will be offering takeaway too.
Just outside Maidenhead, the staff at BCA Zoo in Burchetts Green are bobbing up like meerkats waiting to see a stampede of kids when they reopen on the 15 Jul. Many of the zoo experiences are cancelled but a mooch around this small zoo, home to more than 100 animals, should keep the family entertained for a couple of hours.
It might be easier to say which pubs aren’t opening, but here’s a few Muddy favourites to whet your appetite. Check websites or call before you go as each pub has slightly different house rules. Most of them are taking bookings only, a few are not, contactless payments are de rigueur and some have whizzy apps for ordering and QR menus. Plus pop of hand sanitiser and a mask in your bag just in case.
The Newbury Pub is open from 4 Jul. Owner Pete has redecorated the pub, distilling more of his award-winning gin and making hand santiser for the frontline. Keep your eyes peeled for new rules. Booking is advised but if tables are available you can pop in on the off chance. Call us on 01635 49000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dolphin Newbury has a one-way system in operation, a reduced menu and food will be served in recyclable disposable boxes. Masks must be worn if you need the loo.
The Crown at Bray‘s garden is open serving food and drink from the outdoor kitchen and bar. The Wellington Arms in Stratfield Turgis is operating table service (app coming) and safety signage, West Berkshire Brewery Taproom open with booking advised. Walk ins will need to bring their own seat., Sit & Sip in Wokingham with chopped down hours (Saturday & Sunday 12 – 6pm) to start with. Hopefully, we’ll be able to extend these really soon – we’ll keep you posted. Gin palace The Leafy Elephant will also open its gin library to the public this weekend and is offering gin cocktail boxes for you to get in the mix at home.
If you fancy a vineyard tour, before sampling the goods, book in at Stanlake Park Wine Estate, or head straight to the wine bar and dive into the sparkling, whites and a pretty spesh rosé.
Looking for outside space? Have a nose at 22 pubs with brilliant gardens.
Sick of your own cooking and hankering for a meal cooked in butter, cream, truffles and washed down with fine wines. I hear you. Three star thriller The Waterside Inn in Bray reopens on 9 Jul. Its baby sister brasserie Roux at Skindles in Maidenhead opens on Mon 6 Jul, and The Vineyard in Stockcross has gone for inside/outside al fresco dining from 4 Jul. One Michelin starred Woodspeen in Newbury also opens from 4 Jul with a QR code menu, reduced capacity and contactless payment.
Many cafés are now open for takeaway – so your caffeine and cake fix is safe. Coffee.Under.Pressure in Reading, The Blackbird Café in Chapel Row, Nisby’s in Reading and , The Pantry Yattendon, Mrs B’s Kitchen Newbury, The Lounges – Reading, the achingly Instagrammable 7 Flowers & Tea will be serving tea for two tables; The Lounges – Bosco (Woodley) Cobrizo (Newbury) open on 4 Jul and Sodero (Wokingham) on the 8 Jul. Plus one the most exciting café openings is The Collective in Caversham – cafe, grover and lifestyle shop. Pop aa cute vase in your bag when you cappacino.
HAPPY HAIR DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN
The greys have staged a coup, and your roots are down to your ears, but the end is in sight. Salon’s open with a new normal and we’ll be banging on their doors. Cool eco salon Gilded Hair has sourced environmentally friendly PPE and will work in bubbles. No online booking at Nylon Hair Artists in Reading while they work through their waiting list. But contact the salon and they’ll book you in. Colour Palette Salon in Crowthorne has lots of social distancing measures in place and has decided not to increase prices. Banks & Klein in Newbury is fully booked until September. The House Salon in Sunninghill have fewer staff, but working longer hours. Basically the salon experience will be very functional but you’ll still walk out feeling fabulous. *Flicks hair*. Need a cracking barber? My boys are all booked in with the Alex at B Side Barbers. The youngest gets to sit on the flip side of a skateboard. It doesn’t get much cooler than that when you’re six. To have an idea of what to expect when you step in the salon, clickety click here.
Cliveden and Basildon Park woodland and gardens are both open. You need to book a ticket and they are released on a Friday. If you need to refuel an outdoor kiosk is selling hot and cold drinks and snacks plus some of the loos are open, so no need cross your legs. Love a mooch around NT shop? Cliveden’s is already open for business and Basildon’s reopens on Mon 6 Jul.
Windsor Castle? The Queen and Prince Philip are in da house and a nose around her grand gaff is still a no no, but Windsor Great Park, Savill Garden and Virginia Water Lake are for a weekend stomp. The Savill Garden shop, Plant Centre and loos are open but not the cafe. For your caffeine fix, find a kiosk and do not pass without grabbing a cuppa.