Quick out of post-lockdown blocks is Waddesdon Manor, which has just announced a unique dining experience that will take place at the estate’s archive on Windmill Hill. On Thursdays to Sundays, between the 20 May and 13 June, you can book a Dining Dome and choose from either lunch, afternoon tea or dinner menus, while making the most of those views over Aylesbury Vale. Places will be snapped up so be quick.
Another venue that has diners chomping at the bit is Crockers Henley. The glorious, relaxed fine dining restaurant and bar is not opening until 17 May and when it does, it will have a new head chef at the helm – no less than 29-year-old Alex Payne, who has cut his teeth at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill and Blumenthal’s Hind’s Head. So, not much of a pedigree, then. If you fancy tasting Alex’s inaugural tasting menu then you’d better book at slot at the 16-seat chef’s table quick sharp. Chop chop.
(Oh, and while we’re on the topic of head chefs, my people on the ground couldn’t help notice a job ad for a head chef to helm a new, high-end restaurant in Marlow. We’re digging for more info. Watch this space.)
Over to Amersham, and a new sushi restaurant is getting ready to open. Koyo, which is described as a Japanese sushi tapas bar, has a premises on Sycamore Road and promises traditional sushi, katsu, teriyaki and slurping noodles, along with Japanese beers and whiskies, a cracking wine list, healthy smoothies and Mochi ice cream. Opening date is slated for this May. Keep tabs on Koyo’s IG for updates.
We’re cracking out a G&T to celebrate… Oxfordshire gin company Sky Wave has won an award for the gin it created during lockdown… frankly, we can’t think of a better use of their time. London Dry, Liberation, scooped Silver in the London Spirits Competition 2021, alongside Sky Wave’s Limited Edition Cask Aged Gin, which also got a Silver medal. And while we’re on the subject, our perfect job has come up (aside from keeping you wonderful lot up to speed with the best of cosmopolitan life in the countryside…). Pink Marmalade gin is after a ‘Gin GENIE’… that’s Gin Evangelistic Nerd Improving Excellence, to you and me. Publicity stunt? Who cares… the successful applicant gets monthly tastings, a dabble at developing new recipes and time hanging out at the distillery, plus a bottle of gin a month for a year. That’s the drinks cabinet taken care of… the mortgage will have to wait.
Get thee to the shops
Well, mostly, get thee to Milton Keynes as Harrods – yes, you heard correctly – is opening a beauty emporium (named Harrods H Beauty) in the site of the old House of Fraser in centre:MK. The doors will be flung open this Thursday 29 April and visitors will be treated with interactive ‘Playtables’ so they can experiment with make-up, mini hair salons for blow dries and skin stations for treatments. There will also be a champagne bar. Just sayin’.
Lights, camera, action!
Fish Eye Festival may be based in High Wycombe but it has an international audience and now in its sixth year, it’s not letting Covid slow it down. A spring festival focusing on the international film and shorts competition is taking place virtually between 23 April and 2 May and there will also be an autumn event, where hopefully people will once again be able to get together and mingle. Click here for the festival programme and to book tickets.
Talking of films, several lorries and vans have been spotted setting up film equipment near Aylesbury Waterside Theatre this week – no news on what the film is but we’ve heard reports from a Muddy tween that Harry Styles was lurking in the area (although that could be wishful thinking!).
Elsewhere, it seems that two of Hollywood’s biggest names – Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg – are riling up Oxfordshire residents with their ambitious Second World War drama being filmed at a former military base near Abingdon and Shippon. The production of Master of the Air, which is due to air on Apple TV in 2022, has been the recipient of numerous noise complaints as locals have had to battle to make themselves heard over the noise of vintage aircraft and pyrotechnic explosions. And just when we thought it was safe to go back out in the garden…
Three questions: Does the camera love you? Can you cook a half decent three-course meal? And can you pull off a rendition of Sweet Caroline on the ukulele? If you answered yes to all of the above, then you absolutely have to put yourself forward for the next series of Come Dine With Me as the production team are looking for Oxfordshire residents to apply. Tap out a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org and watch your showbiz career soar.