Only a few weeks until our annual wine festival on 15th November

glassesinarow 580 x 288 Only a few weeks until our annual wine festival on 15th NovemberWell, with just a few weeks to go to our annual Wine Festival on 15th November, I have written the tasting book and compiled the wines to be poured on the day. I have to say that I’m really pleased with the line-up this year, with real diversity and quality so here’s a little “heads-up” on some of the delights in store… Tickets for the Wine Festival are just £25 and masterclass tickets are £5 per class. View masterclasses and suppliers

Glasses in a row 150x150 Only a few weeks until our annual wine festival on 15th NovemberWe do also have a five course dinner with matching wines to open the annual wine festival on the evening of 14th November. It’s going to be a very lively and entertaining affair with suppliers each giving an insight into the wines they’ve chosen to match with the dishes. We are filling up fast for this event, but do still have places left if you would like to join us. View menu

As you would expect, California will be well-covered on the day, showcasing the best of the true North Coast region (taking in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties) and wines such as Waterstone, Ferrari-Carano and Donelan Family will be on tasting. Donelan has been our success story of 2014 with just beautiful Chardonnay, Roussanne and Syrah. Peter Michael Winery will have a selection of Pinot Noir plus the Knights Valley flagship Les Pavots on the stand.

Turning to Europe, brilliant winemaker Dermot Sugrue (ex-Nyetimber) will have his Goringtumblr ma5g2y57h11rveocqo1 1280 150x150 Only a few weeks until our annual wine festival on 15th November Brut to show you just how good English fizz can be, however Champagne Taittinger will doubtless want to argue that point with their collection of wines open, plus I will stand my corner with Schramsberg Vineyards! Germany is covered by the wines of Weegmuller and Huesgen whilst Spain has Lopez de Heredia – surely the most classic Rioja you will find. On other stands South Africa, Italy, France and Austria are all showcased. This is truly a world wine festival!

And just to finish, we’ll be opening a selection of Sherries this year, plus a pair of beautiful Madeiras, the perfect Christmas day post prandial.

MeatPlatter 150x150 Only a few weeks until our annual wine festival on 15th NovemberThe Wine Festival begins at 12pm and finishes at 4pm. There will be over 150 wines to taste throughout the day and you’ll also be able to chat to WSET experts about the WSET courses we offer here.  Don’t forget,  your £25 wine ticket can be redeemed against a case of wine over the value of £250 and we also have a special lunch menu available in our restaurant for just £25 per person. To view the menu, please visit our website.

See you there…

James Hocking
Director of Wine
The Vineyard Cellars

Daniel’s Bitter Chocolate Dessert with Orange Zest

Mousse au chocolat noir et zest d’orange – Bitter chocolate mousse with orange zest

This is a fantastic chocolate dessert from Daniel Galmiche’s new book, Revolutionary French Cooking. It’s quick and easy to prepare and tastes delicious.

Bitter chocolate mousse 202x300 Daniels Bitter Chocolate Dessert with Orange ZestPreparation time 20 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling
Cooking time 20 minutes

1 orange
90g/3.oz/heaped 1⁄3 cup caster
sugar
100g/3.oz plain chocolate
(66–70% cocoa solids), chopped
into small pieces
3 egg yolks
150ml/5fl oz/scant 2⁄3 cup double
cream
1 tbsp icing sugar

Pare the zest from the orange into fine strips using a zester or a small, sharp knife, cutting any pith away. Put the zest in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from the heat. Refresh under cold water, drain and repeat this entire process once more.

Using the same pan, return the zest to the pan and add 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar and 3 tablespoons water, stirring to dissolve. Bring to the boil and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the zest becomes transparent, then leave the zest strips to cool in the syrup. When cold, drain and set aside.

To make the chocolate mousse, put 75g/21⁄ 2 oz of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and rest it over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat for 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted, then remove from the heat and keep warm. In a separate heatproof bowl, mix together the remaining sugar, egg yolks and 2 tablespoons warm water. Rest the bowl over the saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Beat the mixture for 8–10 minutes until it turns pale, thickens and forms ribbon-like shapes when you lift the whisk and the mixture falls back into the bowl. Slowly stir in the melted chocolate until well combined.

In another bowl, whip the cream and icing sugar until soft to medium peaks form, then gently fold it into the chocolate and egg mixture until you obtain a lovely, smooth mixture, taking care not to overwork it. Divide the mousse into four glasses, glass dishes or large ramekins. Cover with cling film and chill for 1 hour before serving. If chilled for longer, remove from the fridge30 minutes before serving.

Just before serving, melt the remaining chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Swirl the chocolate over each mousse, then top with the orange zest and serve.

The Vineyard currently has a delicious chocolate dessert on the menu, Chocolate, salted caramel, cacao nibs, fromage blanc sorbet, which is a favourite among many of our guests. Take a look at our current dessert menu

Learn all about wine in a day with WSET

Glasses in a row Learn all about wine in a day with WSET

In our blog this week we’d like to give you an insight into what the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 Award in Wines course is all about. Then you can decide whether it’s the right level for you.

What is WSET?

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was founded in 1969 to provide high quality education and training in wines and spirits. Since then, WSET has grown into the foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits education, with a suite of sought-after qualifications.

The morning of the course

glassesinarow 580 x 288 150x150 Learn all about wine in a day with WSETYou’ll be asked to arrive at The Vineyard at 9.30am for registration and refreshments before the course begins at 10am. The morning session covers what wine is, the different wine styles, an you get to learn about sweetness, body and other factors such as oak, tannin and acidity.

 

Tasting wines and grape varieties

While tasting many different wines you’ll then move onto learning all about how climate affects the grapes’ acidity and sweetness amongst others things and then you’ll move onto the principal grape varieties. There will be activities through the morning to test your knowledge and help you learn all the important facts you’ll need for the exam. Other topics covered include how wine is made, how to taste wine like a professional.

A lovely lunch at The Vineyard’s restaurant

This is always a good time to break for lunch where you’ll enjoy a three course lunch withVineyard 69 150x150 Learn all about wine in a day with WSET matching wines in The Vineyard’s elegant restaurant. James Hocking, the WSET tutor, will talk you through the wines and why they match so well with each course so you can get a more practical understanding of food and wine matching. Take a look at our current lunch menu

Storage and service of wine

After a leisurely lunch it’s back to the classroom! The storage and service of wine is covered, which looks into the service temperature of different styles of wine, which glasses to use for which wines, preparing glasses and opening a bottle of wine, and social responsibility when drinking, amongst other things.

Food and wine pairing and the systematic approach to tasting

tumblr mg43b890cs1rveocqo1 1280 150x150 Learn all about wine in a day with WSETNext, you’ll be given a little plate with different foods to try with different wines and James will go through what happens to wine when you eat something sweet and when you eat a food that’s bitter. This will also depend on the style of wine. This part is very interesting and interactive and helps you understand the relationship between food and wine and the skill required to get food and wine pairing right. It does take practice, so don’t expect to get it right first time! Through the course you will be following the systematic approach to tasting, which allows you to identify and describe wines in six easy steps; colour, condition, sweetness, body, flavour characteristics and other which often includes tannin and acidity.

The exam

The course ends with a 30 multiple choice questionnaire that will test your knowledge of everything you’ve learned throughout the day. You will hear in about three weeks or so as to whether you have passed and we’ll send you out your certificate and lapel pin.

Please click here to discover more about our WSET Level 1 Award in Wines course. If you think you may know many of the topics above, you can move straight to our WSET Level 2 course.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our WSET courses in the near future.

James Hocking
WSET Tutor

Winter Skincare

Facial Winter SkincareWith light fading sooner and colder nights it seems the great summer we have had may be drawing to a close. The change in weather can also signify a change in your skin caused by freezing temperatures, low humidity and heating, that can in some people cause their skin to become dry, red and itchy.

Dry skin can be treated by ensuring you are applying your cream morning to protect the skin from the harsh environment and at night to replenish. This is a good time of year to boost your night time cream by applying a couple of drops of a face oil on your skin before applying your cream, not forgetting as well that your skin is most active at 2am when it does its most repairing and rejuvenating so the more nourishment you give your skin at night time the better your skin will be. It is also important to keep your skin hydrated which is harder in winter as we tend to stick to hot drinks but having warm squash is a good way to keep your fluids up. A bowl of water by your radiator can also help to raise the humidity in the room.

For those of you whose skin tends to be red and itchy the best way to treat it is to wrap up as much as you can, wear a scarf and hat and use a skincare range designed for sensitive skin. Darphin’s Intral range has helped a lot of people and we would recommend using both the serum to help soothe and restructure skin deep down along with either the soothing cream if skin is itchy or redness relief cream for skin that is red. Our Darphin Extreme Hydration Facial is perfect for quenching dehydrated skin.

In our skincare we also must not forget our spf as even though you cant see the sun it is still there and as UV rays are a major contributor to skin ageing every little bit helps to slow it down. You can either get your spf protection from your cream such as Darphin’s Melaperfect Cream or from your foundation. I would recommend having an spf of at least 15.

Often forgotten, our poor hands can really suffer in winter, so now is the time to invest in a good warm pair of gloves and then make sure you are using them whenever you are going outside into the cold. Apply hand cream as often as you can. Treating your hands to a deluxe manicure where your hand will be wrapped in paraffin wax where the heat warms and soothes joints while the skin is deeply nourished.

Lastly on cold winter days and nights our spa is the perfect place to curl up and enjoy the warmth relaxing at your lounger with a cup of tea or soaking in the Jacuzzi or enjoying the deep heat of our steam and sauna room. If this sounds tempting check out our full range of spa days and spa evenings.

Kirsty Hughes
Spa Manager

Events in Berkshire this October

Blossoms Syrup Events in Berkshire this October5th October  – Hungerford Food Festival at Hungerford
11am – 3.30pm
With over 50 stalls, sizzling street food and the buzz of live cooking demonstrations, this year’s Festival promises to be the most inspiring celebration of everything local and seasonal all organised by HEAT (Hungerford Environmental Action Team).

Local and award-winning food and drink producers will offer a tempting array of fresh produce, local meat & game, pies, beer, cider and wine, rapeseed oil, apple juice, honey, mushrooms, cakes, artisan bread and preserves with many offering free tasters and samples.

Come and learn top cooking tips from Gert Pienaar, Head Chef of The Walmesley Restaurant, make vegetable sculptures and even enter your own homemade baked delights, preserves and beverages in the HFF Cookery Competition. Details and entry forms can be found on www.hungerfordfoodfestival.com
Sponsored by Doves Farm, Audley Inglewood and Newbury Building Society.
For further details see www.hungerfordfoodfestival.com


6th October – Ladies’ Lunch – Blossoms Syrup
12pm to 3pm
Enjoy a food and cocktail matching lunch with Aude Dupont Dudley, Managing Director of Blossoms Syrup. Made in Southern England, her high quality real fruit syrups are truly natural with no added aromas, preservatives, or colours, and make desserts and drinks such as cocktails really come to life. View more Ladies’ Lunches

Three courses with matching wines – £60 per person
Stay the night with breakfast from £174.50 per person

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book


7th October - An Audience with Kate Adie at Watermill Theatre
2pm
Kate became the BBC’s chief news correspondent in 1989, and has reported from war zones around the world. She has won numerous awards including three Royal Television Society awards, the BAFTA Richard Dimbleby Award, the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting and also was awarded an OBE in 1993. Kate also presents ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ on BBC Radio 4 and is the author of four bestselling books.

Hear about her extraordinary career and life experiences as well as hearing about her new book, Fighting on the Home Front, a story of the First World War years through the eyes of women. Also take advantage of meeting the lady herself in the bar for tea and cake.

For further details, see www.watermill.org.uk


8th October – The Vineyard becomes The Ginyard
6.30pm – 8.30pm
Gin has had a massive resurgence in popularity in recent years, with many small craft distilleries popping up all over the country, even in peoples’ living rooms! Join us for this gin masterclass as we take you through the history of gin, and then have a go at blending your very own gin with the most popular botanicals. We’ll also give you tips on the different garnishes and how to serve the perfect gin and tonic or gin cocktail.

£30 per person

Wine school, two courses in our California Bar with matching wines – £55 per person
Stay the night with breakfast from £144.50 per person

View more details about our up and coming wine schools

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book


13th-17th October – Hamlet at Watermill Theatre
7.30pm and matinees at 2.30pm
A Shakespeare classic. When his father dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances, Hamlet returns home to find that his mother has married his uncle, who now rules Denmark in his father’s place. Torn between desire for revenge and loyalty to his mother, gripped by indecision, Hamlet must forge a new future for himself and the world of Denmark.

This production features the original text cut to a fast-paced 75 minutes, performed by just three actors in a contemporary setting, and follows the success of their previous touring productions, Romeo + Juliet, Othello, and Faustus.

Tickets from £8

For further details see www.watermill.org.uk


14th – 15th October - Pride And Prejudice at The Corn Exchange
7.45pm
One of the most romantic stories of all time with two actors, 21 characters, lots of laughs. This is your chance to catch the five Bennett sisters and the whole world of Austen.

This highly praised production, which premiered at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds in 2013, have sold out audiences and are now on a full UK tour.

Meet the cast yourself afterwards at the 7.45pm show on Tuesday 14 October.

Tickets from £14

For further details, see www.cornexchangenew.com


17th October – An Evening with Sacred Distillery
7pm
If you enjoy gin and gin cocktails, join us for an evening with Sacred Distillery hosted by the Founder, Ian Hart. Sacred is craft distillery in North London, which was founded in 2009. It’s the only vacuum microdistillery in London and uses twelve organically sourced botanicals including citrus and cardamom to create a gin that’s lush and fresh in character.

Four courses with matching cocktails – £89 per person
Stay the night with dinner and breakfast from just £238.50 per person

View more details on our up and coming dinners

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book


18th -19th October - Decorative Antique & Salvage Show at Beale Park
10am – 4pm
Bentley’s are proud to present this new event at Beale Park on 18th & 19th October, 2014. A decorative antique and salvage show where you can expect to find some of the finest original pieces, and a great display of garden statuary.

Antique Show entry price only: £5

For further details see www.bealepark.co.uk


25th October – Armed Forces Raceday at Newbury Racecourse
A fantastic finale to the Flat season featuring the Group 3 Worthington’s Whizz Kids Stakes and the Group 3 Worthington’s Champion Shield Stakes. There’s free entry for Armed Forces, MOD Civil Servants, RBL members and their families to this great family raceday, featuring the Launch of the Berkshire and the Vale of the White Horse Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Under 18s go free on a fun day for the family.
Gates Open – 11.30
First Race – 1.45
Last Race – 5.10

Tickets: £16.20 to £26.

For more information or to book tickets please click here or call on 01635 40015

Charcuterie by Daniel Galmiche

MeatPlatter Charcuterie by Daniel GalmicheBy Daniel Galmiche

The word charcuterie comes from the French terms chair cuite  ‘cooked meat’. Today, it has come to mean the art and science of the pig – in other words, the butchering, fabrication and preparation of pork – but it is also a term used more generally for all sorts of cold meat, poultry and fish products and dishes.

I remember when I was younger, we used to go down to the local town square for market day every Tuesday and choose our livestock. My family always bought from the same charcutier  as Maman and Papa liked his products and he came from near Maman’s village. Several years later, when I was starting my apprenticeship at a hotel in the town of Luxeuil-les-Bains, I learned how to make a few of the charcuterie products I used to eat. It was also a coincidence that Maman and Papa’s charcutier supplied the hotel. During my training I often had to prep the fowls, rabbit, deer or other animals before I started to make a dish. It wasn’t easy, but I was learning – after all, that was why I was here.

One of the most important charcuterie dishes I learned to make was terrine: a mixture of meat, fish, poultry or seafood, packed into rectangular dishes and often cooked in a bain-marie. Usually served in the container in which they are made and accompanied by pickles or even a sauce, they formed part of a buffet display. At The Vineyard, I always have a terrine on the menu and currently it’s guinea fowl and parsley terrine, apricot, chicory, almonds, which seems to be very popular with our guests at the moment.

Another great charcuterie dish I learned to cook was foie gras terrine. This is very popular during the festive season in France. A rare delicacy for food lovers, but a sensitive subject in general, it is made with goose or duck livers. Our pressed confit foie gras, peach, cucumber and ginger ,currently on our a la carte menu, is a dish that is often enjoyed by our guests during lunch and dinner. Our charcutiere boards together with our cheese boards that can be order from our California Bar menu are a great starter or sharing platter to be enjoyed with friends and family.

You’ll find more about the history and the different types of Charcuterie in my first Cookbook, French Brasserie Cookbook, as well as lots of great charcuterie recipes that are extremely tasty and easy to cook at home.

I hope to welcome you to The Vineyard soon.

Daniel Galmiche

Wine Tasting – A Perfect Autumn Activity

Glasses in a row 1024x609 Wine Tasting   A Perfect Autumn ActivityAs we say goodbye to summer (although hopefully we’ll have a few more balmy days) we look forward to autumn with the leaves turning to rich, vibrant colours
and being cosy inside warming ourselves in front of a roaring fire and enjoying a lovely glass of red wine.

Whether its red, white or rosé wine that takes your fancy or maybe all of them depending on your mood, dishes you’re matching wines with or simply the occasion, there’s lots of ways to have fun with wine.

tumblr mwbblh9Y6z1rveocqo1 1280 150x150 Wine Tasting   A Perfect Autumn ActivityWe’ve found that our selection of wine tasting masterclasses go down well with our corporate guests who’ve had a really productive day and simply want to relax and have fun with colleagues, but still learn a little. The blind tasting masterclass is always a good one to choose and gets everyone talking about the wine or wines in question. Or if you’re looking to perhaps focus on a specific country, region or style of wine, we can look to tailor your wine tasting to suit you and you team. Two of our popular wine tastings are Asian Influences and California Dreaming, but it’s really up to you to choose the topic that’s right for you. We are flexible with where we can hold the masterclasses too. They often take place in our California Bar, but can set up our Calistoga or Oakville suites to accommodate larger groups.

If you’re looking for something a little different then our cocktail masterclasses provide aCheese board with wine 377 x 221 150x150 Wine Tasting   A Perfect Autumn Activity perfect situation for further networking to take place in a fun and informal way. Our Gin Masterclass is a big favourite amongst both our corporate and leisure guests due to the rise in popularity in gin in recent years. Making your own cocktails is really interactive and is a enjoyable way to spend an hour learning new skills and catching up with colleagues. For the beer and cheese lovers among you, you’ll be pleased to hear that we also offer beer tasting and cheese tasting.

If you’re looking to host a meeting during the autumn months, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to visit our website and see more about our meeting spaces online and please call us on 01635 589407 for more details and a personalised quotation.

Daniel’s guide to fish – his favourite subject in the kitchen

Vineyard 64 914 x 437 Daniel’s guide to fish – his favourite subject in the kitchenThe topic of fish and shellfish is almost as vast as the sea itself and one that I have a particular love for. It’s my favourite subject and section in the kitchen.

Pan fried sea bass spaghetti roll 150x150 Daniel’s guide to fish – his favourite subject in the kitchenWhen I was younger I remember local fisherman coming to the door every morning with a massive quantity of fish, the quality of which was unbelievable. One of the most popular was sea bass, a very meaty fish with firm flesh, which is equally delicious whether grilled, pan-fried, braised or baked. Versatility and tasty, they are available all year round, although it’s best to avoid them in March to June when they are spawning. Other favourites were sardines, nutritious oily fish, which will grilled or barbequed whole, or made in bouillabaisse and ling, which are perfect for fish pie. These days they are much in demand and therefore over fished, so I only buy them if they are line caught and have them occasionally as a treat.

The sustainability of fish is a big issue these days and one that we need to consider. At   TheScallops 150x150 Daniel’s guide to fish – his favourite subject in the kitchen Vineyard, we try to make sure we buy from a sustainable source. It is very important that we find the right suppliers who will provide us with the best possible fish that is also sourced from sustainable stocks. It is all too easy to forget that most species are over fished, and therefore becoming not only expensive, but increasingly rare. So, for, example, we buy hand-dived scallops, not dredged ones, line-caught not net-caught fish, and farmed, but organically reared fish, where possible.

We currently have hand-dived scallops on the menu served with vegetables “à la grecque” and walnuts, and also many other fish dishes;  fillet of Cornish cod, Heirloom tomato, ratte potato, chive, fillet of Scottish salmon, aubergine, kumquat, lime  and South Coast turbot, girolles, rocket, chicken jus. View our current menu. Our food and wine matching dinners are also proving popular and I have included a particularly lovely turbot dish on the Clarendelle dinner menu on 25th September. Discover more about this dinner

I can’t stress how necessary it is to buy fresh, quality produce from a good source. A fish should be firm to the touch and its skin and eyes should look bright – dullness or discolouration denote it is past its best. And smell it – a fresh fish has clean, not overly ‘fishy’ odour, and sea fish often smell slightly salted or like seaweed. Lobsters and crabs should look undamaged and feel heavy for their size, while shellfish should have tightly closed shells.

Daniel Galmiche

Events in Berkshire this September

Glasses in a row Events in Berkshire this September3rd September – Wine School at The Vineyard –  Ageing Gracefully

6.30pm to 8pm
Join us for a celebration of wines that become better with age. You’ll taste some fantastic wines which have aged extremely well, and you’ll be given a fascinating insight into buying wines for future ageing and investment.

£30 per person

Discover more online


6th September – Mary Berry Book signing at Camp Hopson

10.30am – 4.30pm
With the arrival of her new cookbook “Mary Berry cooks the perfect”, due out on the 1st of September, Mary will be signing copies at Camp Hopson in Newbury Town. Camp Hopson themselves are incorporating her visit with a ‘cookery themed’ day, which will consist of other demonstrations throughout the day.

Discover more online


8th September – Ladies’ Lunch with Charlie Barton at The Vineyard

12pm to 3pm
Join Berkshire based artist Charlie Barton, known for her paintings inspired by the cosmos. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and is working towards a solo exhibition in London at The Club at The Ivy in late September.

Charlie will be showcasing a range of her paintings at the Ladies’ Lunch and the week running up to the event, and will be signing a limited number of prints on the day.

Three courses with matching wines – £60 per person

Discover more online


6th – 8th September - Chieveley Flower Festival

Come and see all things floral with the Chieveley Flower Festival, including craft stalls, tea and refreshments, a BBQ and an accompanying art exhibition created by local artists of the surrounding area.

The ‘Let there be Light” festival is being held over three days at St. Mary’s Church, Chieveley.

Discover more online


13th September – Shaw House open-air cinema

The last in the series of movie showings this year will be the multi Oscar winning Les Miserables. Set in 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for years has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker’s daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.

A large area of the garden will be set up so pop your deckchairs and picnics around and feel free to bring your own food and drink.

Tickets available from Newbury Visitor Information Centre, Town Hall, Market Place or on 01635 30267. Priced at £12.50 per adult or £8.50 per child/student

The film will commence after sunset and will go ahead even if the weather is inclement, but please bring an umbrella if you think you may need it.

Discover more online 


17th – 20th September – Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Corn Exchange

The classic tale of two lovers, torn apart by the anger of their apposing families in Verona, this dynamic new theatre production combines the purity and beauty of Shakespeare’s original text with entrancing contemporary street dance.

Directed by Rae Mcken(Artistic Director, Custom/Practice), in collaboration with choreographer Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy and composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante from the Olivier award winning hip-hop dance company, Boy Blue.

Meet and Greet: Stay behind after the 1pm show on Thursday 18 November or after the 7:45pm show on Friday 19 November to meet the cast!

Tickets: £15, concessions £13

Discover more online  


20th September – Dubai Duty Free International Weekend at the Racecourse

11am – 6pm
Featuring top class horseracing with two Group races, sporting masterclasses and trick shot shows.

Gates Open – 11.00am. Last race is 4.40pm
General tickets are priced from £18 – £30

Discover more online


20th – 21st September – Royal County Show at Newbury Showground

8am-6pm
The Royal County of Berkshire Show has something for everyone! See everything from chickens, llamas, horse driving and pigs showing skills in the animal show. Alongside this taste Britain’s finest foods and watch cooking demonstrations to get your cooking skills up and running. Traditional crafts and horticultural displays are around to take a look at and have a try yourself. To finish the day, come and watch the best in show jumping, the wonderful spectacle of the Livestock Grand Parade and the breath taking Hot Air Balloon flight.

Tickets from £15

Discover more online


25th September – An Evening with Clarendelle Winery at The Vineyard

7pm arrival for 7.30pm
Join us for an exquisite four course dinner matched with fantastic wines from the Clarendelle estate with an extra special main course wine from La Mission Haut-Brion.

£120 per person

View menu and discover more online


27th September – Rubys Vintage and Retro Fair

10am-4pm
Ruby’s are fabulous Vintage and Retro Fairs in the West Berkshire area!
They run regular fairs in Newbury and each fair is full of vintage, retro & unique object d’art, jewellery, clothing, homeware, vintage and upcycled furniture and everything in between.

You can also sit down for a vintage style tea at their themed tea room.

Park House School, Newbury RG14 6NQ – They have moved venue from Newbury College to Park House School, Newbury RG14 6NQ but will still be full of vintage loveliness along with a pop-up vintage tea room. There is plenty of free parking on site and the location is easy to find at the southern end of Newbury on the Andover Road.

Discover more online 

Where would we be without herbs?

herb image Where would we be without herbs?By Daniel Galmiche

I cannot remember a day when there were no herbs in my home or my kitchen, and if such an instance we ever to happen, it would purely be by accident. Would I be able to cook without them? Yes, because I love my trade. Would I like it? Probably not.

It’s very hard to explain how essential herbs are to the cooking process or how profoundly they enhance food, whether added to a salad, meat, fish, vegetables or even a dessert. They have such an important place in the kitchen simply because they bring so much taste, so much scent, so much colour to a dish.

Like everyone, I have a few favourite herbs that I often use. One of them is thyme; one of the most versatile and commonly used herbs in the kitchen. It is especially good with meats such as pork, lamb and mutton because it aids the digestion of fats, and it’s also used in stuffing, ragout, and the all-essential bouquet garni- my standard bouquet garni is made up of a sprig of thyme, a sprig of parsley and a bay leaf.

Another herb I like to use is lavender. Many people do not associate lavender with cooking and are surprised to find it in food, but it is a versatile culinary herb. It is great in meat and poultry dishes as well as desserts. We use it in our specialities at The Vineyard. For example, lavender infused in honey and chilli gives a wonderful flavour to fish dishes.

My favourite herb to cook with is rosemary. Whilst it’s difficult to explain why I love it so much, I suspect it is partly because it is so evocative of my childhood, reminding me of when I would cut it freshly from our garden at home to go in whatever dish Maman was preparing that day.

When mixed with other ingredients, rosemary changes character. It is a great herb, but it’s strength can be lethal, and adding too much of it can make a dish taste bitter. Using rosemary carefully is therefore crucial – but when you succeed, you have a heavenly scent.

Growing a variety of herbs in your very own herb garden, whether in your kitchen or on a balcony, a roof terrace or window sill, is a great idea, especially if you cook a lot. Not only does this allow you to control the quality of herbs you use in your cooking, but it also means you regularly get to use fresh herbs whose flavour is completely different from and far superior to the flavour of shop bought dried herbs.