Hot new deli
A new deli-bakery (I mean, what a combo!) is opening in Nettlebed soon. McQueens will open at the historic former site of Field Kitchen in the Oxon village near Henley. It’s the blossoming brainchild of local brothers, Freddie (above) and Jack Wilcox, whose stellar careers have taken them through jobs at Orwells in Binfield Heath and The Goring Grocer. It’s expected to sell sourdough bread, fresh bakes, pastries and cakes as well as savoury snacks and homemade ready meals to take home. I’m in!
Coffee + cake = happy
The haven of coffee and cake that is Barefoot is reopening its Jericho site after two long years… The bakery was turfed out while the landlord renovated the building and as with all building projects it faced epic delays. So, finally, it reopened on 16 March on Walton Street, and meanwhile the North Parade site will also remain open. Mine’s a raspberry and white chocolate cruffin… mmmm
Celeb panto alert!
OK, so it might be a bit too early to say the ‘C’ word but here’s just a tiny sprinkling of festive cheer… Milton Keynes Theatre has announced the cast for its 2022 pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Birds of a Feather‘s Lesley Joseph tackle the role of the Wicked Queen (I can totally see that!) and Rob Rinder, of Judge Rinder and Strictly Come Dancing who will be The Man In The Mirror. The pair have worked together before on stage, as well as competing against each other in Strictly, so it’s sure to be a great show.
Bicester Village is running a very special pop-up on 24 March – 21 April selling gorgeous new and pre-loved pieces from brands like Free People, Ghost, Cefinn, RIXO, and Joseph and celeb-donated clothes to boot. The ‘Do Good’ Smart Works pop up will put all proceeds towards four charities, Brides do Good, Into University, Smart Works and World Connect, which aim to unlock futures for women and children around the world. There’s also sustainable brand Ecoalf, which uses recycled materials to make fabulous clothes.
Are you into shopping? (*rhetorical question*). If you haven’t checked them out yet, Oxford’s Covered Market has had a veritable totes-ful of fabulous foodie and fashion businesses pop up in the past few months. There’s fresh yoghurt drinks company Puggi Yoggi, sourdough pizza bakers Sartorelli’s Pizza, book and beer shop Gulp Fiction, kids and baby clothing company Ducky Zebra, much-lauded sustainable underwear brand Y.O.U Underwear and craft shop The Woolhound.
The Cotswold retreat of artist and designer William Morris will reopen this Fri 1 April after almost three years of repairs work. Kelmscott Manor near Faringdon had a cool £6m spent on it and now has a snazzy new exhibition space, activity studio (watch this space for workshops!) and has been reorganised to a less formal layout to reflect its former life as a family home in the late 19th century. It will be open Thurs-Sat 11am-5pm.
Arts venue is back!
After taking the tricky decision to close for repairs, the Cornerstone arts centre in Dicot has sorted its heating and is open again, with a piping hot line-up of good stuff in the months to come. There’s Frankenstein on stage now (28-29 March), an ongoing exhibition of oriental art around the theme of spring called Anticipating Spring, plus alternative tellings of Great Expectations and I, Elizabeth and a ton of fab family activities including the incredible Morgan and West magician scientists
Will Kaleb out-sell Clarkson?
Clarkson’s Farm has spawned many business ventures – gin, t-shirts, tote bags…. and now there’s a book – no, not Clarkson’s – but this one will (apparently) be written by his side-kick and scene-stealer, Kaleb Cooper. Said to have been dreamt up while he drove his tractor around Clarkson’s Farm, the book is called ‘The World According to Kaleb’ and is available for pre-order.
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