Instagram / @kourtneykardash
We’ve got our fair share of celebs based around these parts (oh hi, Beckhams and Osbournes!), but it’s not often we get a visit from the Kardashian family – until this weekend, apparently. Kourtney and new husband Travis Barker were holed up in a cabin at Soho Farmhouse in Great Tew this weekend, taking full advantage of the bikes for hire and vegan breakfast delivery – and sharing the whole thing on Instagram, naturally. If you’re due a visit soon, be sure to book in at the newly revamped Lazy Lake spa, with private outdoor hot tubs on the water. One word: divine.
Russell Brand is apparently getting a ticking off from Henley locals – after buying former pub and wedding venue, The Crown at Pishill (above) at the end of last year, the comedian has applied to turn the Barn area into a recording studio (presumably for his YouTube channel, which has a whopping 5.9mil subscribers). However, people aren’t too happy about the decision, especially after he hosted a stand-up show at the same space in July which – predictably – caused total chaos on the roads. We’ll see how this one pans out!
No such problems for local boy Alex James, who’s had the expansion of his cheesemaking business on his Kingham farm approved. Although the original plan was to put in riding stables and an arena, the Blur bassist has stuck to what he knows and has opted for a cheesemaking barn instead. Hey, if it means more award-winning local cheese for me…
After a new drinks spot or easy drop-in dinner? Browns has opened a brand new branch in Beaconsfield, in the Grade II building that used to be The White Hart pub. Get in quick to make the most of their summer cocktail menu before it goes.
Speaking of cocktails, Witney locals will soon have a new watering hole popping up in the Market Place. The rather oddly-named Blind Tiger will be a cocktail bar and live music venue, and although there’s no opening date set in stone yet, we’ll be keeping our eyes on it.
We were delighted to hear that Hendrik Dutson-Steinfeld and his wife Julie, founders of Harvest Kitchen, were taking the reins at The Duck on the Pond in South Newington, Oxon – and now we’ve seen the menus, we’re even happier! The pub reopened its doors at the end of August with a revamped seasonal food offering, including this delectable-looking Hampshire Chalk Stream Trout with Dill Pickles, Cultured Cream and Watercress. Lunch date, anyone?
Good news if you’re a fan of the sweet treats at Alfonso Gelateria, which you can find at Woodstock and Summertown – they’re opening a shiny new shop in Witney! The grand opening is slated to happen at the end of the month, but we’ll keep you posted on the latest dates (and best flavours).
Danish bakery and cafe Ole & Steen is setting up shop on Marlow High Street, in the former Barclay’s bank building. Well, you can never have too many pastries or, er, open-face smoked salmon sandwiches – that’s what we always say.
The doughnut gods are clearly smiling on Oxford! A mere month after Doughnut Time opened in Westgate, Crosstown Doughnuts are joining the ranks with their sourdough offering (as well as cookies, ice cream and the rest). Get there for opening day – Fri 9 Sept – and you could bag a free vegan Tongan Vanilla Bean Glaze or Dark Chocolate Truffle doughnut. BRB, taking a long lunch break!
The fabulous Jessie’s Art Shed is opening a brand new shop based at Yarnton Home & Garden on Sat 10 Sept – drop in on launch day between 10am and 5pm and you can try your hand at their floral collaging workshop or watercolour painting for free! Can’t make it that weekend? Head over to Yarnton on Weds 14 Sept instead for the launch of their Fashion Boutique section – it’s a free event with talks from local fashionistas (and complimentary nibbles and bubbles, of course), and you’ll be able to browse the new A/W collections.
And some sad goodbyes
We’re extremely saddened to hear that past Muddy Awards winner The Jam Factory in Oxford is closing its doors on 17 September. We hope that the teamis able to find a new space for its incredible artistic offering, and we’ll be keeping our ear to the ground to find out what’s to become of the venue. Pop in and wish them well while you can.
Marlow has also said goodbye to refill shop Seed1, which closed its doors last week, and will also sadly be losing artisan bakery Burgers – you still have a few months to get your bread, cake and bun fix though, so head in ASAP.
Harry’s Bar & Kitchen at Horwood House in Milton Keynes has just launched a brand-new seasonal menu under new Executive Chef, Will Dimartino. Expect locally-sourced ingredients and inventive dishes like Ware beetroot with goat’s cheese mousse and maple walnuts, burratina with pomegranate and toasted almonds, lamb kofta with onion flatbread and pomegranate glazed grilled chicken. Finish up with a Valrhona caramelia chocolate delice served with Biscoff purée or a tropical rum roasted pineapple brioche with milk ice cream. One of everything, please!
The Bell pub in Crowmarsh Gifford near Wallingford is due to reopen on 19 September after being closed since March 2020 – apparently it’s been given plenty of TLC in the meantime, and we can’t wait to see the new look. If you pop in, let us know!
There’s obviously something in the water in Wallingford, as Muddy Award winners of Best Bar 2022, Soirée, have also had a zhush. Both the interiors and the drinks menu have had a shake-up, so what better time to book in that cocktail night with the girls? I’ll be having the Salted Caramel Espresso Rumtini, ta.
The Black Horse in Great Missenden is now closed until the end of the month for a makeover – apparently their 200k refurb will include an improved kitchen and an outdoor space for beer festivals, as well as a general pretty up of the interiors and exterior. Watch this space!
What do you get a Bucks local who has everything? A High Wycombe-themed Monopoly set, of course!
Locations and pictures are due to be revealed, but you can pre-order your set for when it launches on 28 Oct.
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