Category Archives: Events

August Events

 Newbury racecourse photo

Joe Soap’s Masquerade! at Welford Park

30th July – 3rd August – 7:30pm
2nd August 2014 – 2.30pm
This year’s production entitled’ Joe Soap’s Masquerade’ is about how the First World War impacted rural communities like Boxford and includes five new musical theatre plays, 55 new songs and dances. It is part of this year’s commemoration of the Great War and brings fresh perspective on that historic event. Tickets from £9.

For further details see www.boxfordmasques.org.uk

Please contact The Watermill Theatre 01635 46044 to book


Battle Proms Picnic Concert at Highclere Castle

Saturday 2nd August – 4:30pm – 10pm
Prepare yourself for an amazing evening of classical music, firework, spitfires, cannons and the Calvary. The concert takes place at Highclere castle, which will be illuminated by lighting and forms the backdrop for the display. It’s recommended that you bring a picnic and enjoy the unforgettable evening with breathe taking displays over the beautiful castle for one of the most spectacular events in the musical calendar. Tickets between £17-£40

For further details see www.battleproms.com

Tickets can be purchased from the Newbury Visitor Information Centre, The Town Hall, Market Place, Newbury, RG14 5AA and by phone on 01635 30267.


The Tour De Berkshire 2014 at Bucklebury

Saturday 2nd August
A lovely family ride in West Berkshire with refreshment along the way at local pubs. The Tour de Berkshire is an annual family cycling event organised by volunteers. It takes place in the beautiful West Berkshire countryside with The circular route from The Cottage Inn, Upper Bucklebury, RG7 6QJ. Generous hosts, Gary and Mandy, are supporting the cycle by making it a family-friendly event, with games, bouncy castle and BBQ at the back of the pub.

The overall distance of around 20 miles and the aims is to not only raise money for the trust but to make it a family and friends event where everyone can get together. Last year raised the ride raised £10,888. Entry is £10 for adults and under 15 can ride free.

Online registration will close on the 26th July. Registration on the day will be £15.

For further details see www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk


Family Fun Day – Craft, Bake and Race Day at Newbury Racecourse

Sunday 3rd August – 11.30am to 6pm
Daisy’s Dream are hosting a family activity day with family picnics to raise money to support children and young people across Berkshire who are facing, or have experienced, bereavement. A fantastic day out for all the family to experience exhilarating flat racing along with a massive range of extra children’s entertainment on offer. There will be bouncy castles, craft workshops including glitter tattoos, sweet stalls and many more. Tickets from £14.40-£24. Under 18′s go free

Bring along your crafts and baked creations to win some fabulous prizes.

For further details see www.racecoursenewbury.co.uk


Stockfest 2014 at Stockcross

Saturday 9th – Sunday 24th August
Stockfest 2014 is a celebration of local talent, arts, music, culture and sport. The events taking place over two weeks are being supported and hosted by all the surrounding venues – St John’s Church, The Lord Lyon, Deanwood Park Golf Club, Stockcross Post Office, Stockcross House, Stockcross School, Rookwood Farm House, The Sutton Hall and Benham Estates.

Events include tennis coaching, cheese and wine tasting, a murder mystery evening, family treasure trail and a cup cake icing workshop.

For more information and see the full list of events and details of the venues and sponsors please go to: www.stockfest.co.uk

For further details see www.stockfest.co.uk


22nd Annual Classic Vehicle Show at Newbury

Sunday 10th Aug – 10am to 4.30pm
For all you car enthusiasts – visit the West Berkshire Classic Vehicle Club’s 22nd Annual Classic Vehicle Show at Newbury College, Monks Lane on Sun 10th Aug from 10am – 4.30pm. There will be over 1000 vehicles on display, ice-creams, refreshments, side stalls and auto jumble. All in aid of the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Fund. Adults £5 and Children go free.

For further details see www.classicvehicles.org.uk


Ladies Day with Annie Mac & Pete Tong at Newbury Racecourse

Saturday 16th Aug – 11am to 7pm
The highlight of the summer season featuring the superstar DJs Annie Mac and Pete Tong playing after racing. Full of glamour, fashion and fun off-the-track, Ladies Day is fabulous day to socialise and enjoy some of the best racing of the season. Queen of dance music Annie Mac and the iconic Pete Tong will take to the decks for a double-bill of dance beginning shortly after the last race of the day. Grandstand enclosure tickets – £30.

For further details, please see www.racecoursenewbury.co.uk

July Events

Sparkling_Summer_Header

HARDBOILED – The fall of Sam Shadow at Watermill Theatre
1st July to 12th July

Created by Rhum and Clay theatre company and Beth Flintoff, this play explores the character Sam Shadow, a guy who has a long list of enemies, drinks a lot and is wise crack investigator and how he comes into contact with a beautiful Scarlett Crawford who knocks him out of the park. She brings him no ordinary case to solve, which in the end leads to a number of double crosses, car chases, gangsters and police chiefs.

Back by popular demand after last year’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Rhum and Clay invite you to step into the farcical world of gangsters, investigators and femmes fatales.

Tickets from £14

For performance times and further details, please visit www.watermill.org.uk


Ramsbury Silver Band at Victoria Park
6th July  – 3pm to 5pm

What better way to spend an afternoon after a day of retail therapy then to enjoy one of the local brass bands or silver bands playing at the bandstand in the beautiful victoria park in Newbury. Ramsbury Silver band originates back to the 1900 when founder Thomas Hobbs formed the band to play hymms for the Methodist church. They are well known for entreating people up and down the region and have made a name for themselves by winning many prizes at competitions both in Wilshire and afield.

Free entry – Bring your picnic rugs, deck chairs and relax for a couple of hours!

For further details see www.newbury.gov.uk


Tosca at The Racecourse Newbury
12th July  – 7pm to 10pm

Gates open at 6pm and the performance starts at 7.00pm.

Opera for all. Greenham Common Trust are happy to announce the return of Britain leading outdoor opera company opera brava and southern sinfonia to The Racecouse Newbury. They will be playing Tosca by Puccini – a heart wrenching tale of love mixed with betrayal and murder.

Guests are very welcome to bring their own chairs and picnics to the event or sit on the grandstand steps or the artificial grass and picnic tables provided.

Tickets are available from Newbury Corn Exchange box office.

Prices from £5 per adult and under 16s free – For further details see www.cornexchangenew.com


Marlborough Jazz Festival
18th to 20th July

A fantastic event for jazz enthusiasts and fun for all the family. They have a brilliant line up  this year with headline acts; Georgie Fame, Darius Brubeck Quartet and Clare Teal.

Tickets range from £25.00 to £66.00 and can be purchased online – http://tickets.marlboroughjazz.com/

Discover more about the Marlborough Jazz Festival online


The Beach Boys at Party in the Paddock at The Racecourse Newbury
19th July  – 11am to 7pm

Concert – Approx. 5.15pm

The Beach Boys are coming to Newbury for one night only! Enjoy a full day of horse racing featuring the Weatherby’s Super Sprint, which for this day is themed ‘Retro at the races’, encoring you to get into your retro gear and enjoy the festivities! Following this then one of the most successful band ever will perform a live show for you to take you back into those retro years!

Prices from £25.00 per adult and £15 per child

For further details see www.theracecoursenewbury.co.uk


Champagne Jazz Lunch at The Vineyard
20th July – 12pm to 4pm

The perfect Summer Sunday; live jazz, great food and unlimited Champagne! Sit back, relax and listen to the soulful sounds of jazz whilst enjoying a three course lunch and unlimited Champagne with friends and family.

£49 per person

Please call The Vineyard on 01635 589407 or see www.the-vineyard.co.uk/events.asp to book

Berkshire Events in June

4th June  – Beauty and The Beast at the Corn Exchange
Ballet Cymru brings to life this timeless story using the company’s unique blend of classical technique and storytelling. Ballet Cymru has been nominated by the Critics Circle National Dance Awards in 2013 as Best Independent Company as they perform a sparkling and refreshing ballet based on the eternal fairy tale.
Tickets – £16
Book online or call the Corn Exchange box office on 0845 5218 218


4th June – Wine School at The Vineyard– Can English wines really compete?
6.30pm to 8pm
With recent warmer weather conditions improving quality and consistency, along with an increasing demand, English wines are becoming a popular choice among consumers and diners. We’ve chosen a number of fantastic English wines for you to taste and learn about the grapes and problems that arise from producing wine in our moderate climate.          
£30 per person
Please call 01635 589407 to book and discover more


7th June 2014 -The Newbury Chamber Choir: Secrets of the Universe
Arlington Arts Centre
A programme of English music, dance and opera featuring a rare staged performance of Holst’s beautiful chamber opera Savitri. Based on an incident in Hindu mythology, Savitri outwits Death who has come to claim her husband… The title role is taken by Elaine McKrill who is well-known in many leading opera-houses and she is partnered by Andrew Dickinson, a rapidly rising star.
Tickets – £13
Book online or call Arlington Arts Centre box office on 01635 244246


14th and 15th June – No Fit State Circus in Newbury town centre
Coming to Northbrook street in Newbury on the 14th and 15th June is a daytime circus experience which takes place in public spaces.  Part of the Corn Exchange outdoor programme funded by Greenham Common trust and Arts Council England.
Tickets are free
Discover more about this event


Thursday 12th June – Summer Racing at The Racecourse Newbury
Start your weekend early and in style with a day of summer Flat racing with family, friends or colleagues. Enjoy award-winning fine dining in The Hennessy restaurant with panoramic views of the course, overlooking the winning post.

Don’t fancy driving, then why not think about coming by train? Newbury Racecourse has it’s own stop and is only one stop from Newbury itself or six stops from Reading station.
Tickets from £16
Discover more about this event 


From 22nd May to 28th June – A Bunch of Amateurs
The Watermill Theatre
Keen to boost his flagging career, fading Hollywood action hero, Jefferson Steele, arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard but a sleepy Suffolk village and the cast are a bunch of amateurs. Jefferson’s monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity are tested by the enthusiastic amateur thespians – who are not averse to a spot of ego, vanity and insecurity themselves. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself and his relationships with other people… along with his inner Lear!

Evening performances begin at 7.30pm and matinées on Thursday and Saturday begin at 2.30pm
Tickets from £15
Discover more about this event   

May Events in Berkshire

Highclere Game and Country Fair

Thursday 1st May – Mark Thomas: 100 acts of Minor Dissent at The Corn Exchange

The performance starts at 7.45pm
Mark Thomas, comedy’s trouble-maker-in-chief, returns to what he does best: joyously bad behaviour with a purpose. Mark Thomas is well versed in the art of creative mayhem and over the years his troublemaking has changed laws, cost companies millions and annoyed those who most deserved to be.

Now with the task of committing 100 Acts of Minor Dissent in the space of a year, Mark catalogues everything from the smallest and silliest gesture to the grandest confrontations and the results are hilarious, mainly legal and occasionally inspiring.

Tickets £15, £13 concessions

For further details see www.cornexchangenew.com


Monday 5th May – Crafty Craft Race at Kennet and Avon Canal

8:30am to 4:30pm
Crafty Craft has been running since 1974 and is a fantastic fun event on the first May Bank Holiday. It is a boat race from Kintbury to Newbury in home-made boats. As well as building and rowing the boats, the teams must lift the boats out of the water and carry them around each lock. The race takes place along a 5 mile stretch of the Kennet & Avon Canal from Kintbury to Newbury starting from Kintbury Lock. The finishing line is in Newbury alongside Victoria Park.

Throughout the day Victoria Park is the focal point for the fun, with amusements, rides, food outlets and a wide range of attractions to suit all ages.

For further details see www.craftycraft.com


Wednesday 7th May – Wine School at The Vineyard – Can California Stay on Top?

6.30pm to 8pm

1976 saw the Judgement of Paris blind tasting stun the world by showing just how Californian wines could compare and beat the French. Join us as we compare great examples of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from around the globe in an attempt to see who will come out on top!

£30 per person

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book and discover more online


Saturday 10th May – Newbury Spring Festival

A fortnight of excellent music in Newbury and the surrounding villages. Where International Symphony Orchestras, and jazz legends and world music artists rub shoulders with the stars of tomorrow.

Discover more – www.newburyspringfestival.org.uk


Monday 12th  May – Ladies’ Lunch at The Vineyard – The Judgement of Paris

12pm – 3pm
Re-inact the Judgement of Paris blind tasting in 1976 where Californian wines beat the French hands down. Enjoy a three course lunch with matching blind wines; one Californian and one French, and decide which country gets your vote.
£60 per person
Please call us on 01635 589407 to book and discover more online


Wednesday 14th – Saturday 17th May – Box theatre – The Canterbury Tales at Watermill Theatre

Wednesday to Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday at 6.30pm
Bawdy, anarchic and lots of fun, this modern version of Chaucer’s medieval classic takes the form of a storytelling competition. Set in the present, with each tale as a stand-alone piece, linked by a Master of Ceremonies, the approach is deliberately un-academic and the aim, to entertain, with all the spirit of the original’s sense of chivalry and satire.

There are nine of Chaucer’s favourite tales told here, including those of The Knight, The Wife of Bath and The Miller. And, as a finale, the audience is invited to vote on whose tale wins the competition.

So, The Box ask you to join them for an evening of high (and low) drama and help decide the winner.

Tickets £10 and £7
For further details see www.watermill.org.uk


17th May – JLT Lockinge Stakes Day and Newbury Racecourse

11am to 5pm
The highlight of the Flat season features the Group 1 JLT Lockinge Stakes and the London Gold Cup. Expect the very best Flat racing and some wonderful live entertainment and attractions off-the-track.

Tickets: £20 to £30 for enclosure tickets
For more information or to book tickets please click here or call on 01635 40015


Sunday 18th May – Butterfly and bug walk at Greenham and Crookham common

2pm to 4pm
A wander around Bowdown Woods looking at the spring butterflies and hoverflies. Get to know some of the other insects that abound here at this time of year. Booking is essential.’ A Guide to Finding Butterflies & Day-flying Moths in Berks, Bucks and Oxon’ by Peter Creed and Rachel Hudson will be on sale.

Meet at: Bowdown Woods ‘Bomb Site’ car park, off Bury’s Bank Road, Newbury, Berks.
Tickets – £6
For further details see www.bbowt.org.uk


Secrets beneath the Grass at Shaw House

Open weekends until Sunday November 2014
This exhibition marks an exciting point in the history of the garden at Shaw House.  Areas of the garden are being reunited after many years as part of school grounds and can now be explored by us all for the first time. With 433 years of history there are tales aplenty of glamour, beauty, innovation, ingenuity, hard work, daring and bravery.
Open every weekend until 28th September and then school half terms and Summer holidays.
For further details see www.shawhouse.org.uk


Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th May – New World vs Old World Dinner at The Vineyard

To celebrate the Judgement of Paris blind tasting in 1976 where Californian wines beat French wines, join us for a five course dinner in our restaurant with two blind matched wines per course; one French, one Californian and decide which country gets your vote. We’ve chosen some fantastic wines from each country for your enjoyment so no doubt it’s going to be a tough decision!

£120 per person

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book and discover more online


Sunday 25th May – Bayer 10K Run

Entries are now open here for the 2014 Bayer Newbury 10k race. This will be the 7th year of this chip-timed race and will include two pre-event runs for under 16′s through the town centre. The adults 10k course starts and finishes in the historic Newbury market place, a gentle climb for the first 3km is followed by a short descent and the rest of the course is flat. Approx 7km is on the road and the remainder on footpaths and the tow path.
Fees for the Bayer Newbury 10K race are £12 for members of affiliated athletic/running clubs and £14 for non-members.

For further details see www.bayer.co.uk


Sunday 25th to Monday 26th May – Game and Country Fair at Highclere Castle

8am to 6pm
Set in the glorious grounds of Highclere Castle, the fair draws visitors from across the southern counties and much further afield. The Highclere Game and Country Fair is home to some of the world’s most prestigious field sports competitions and attracts competitors from across the globe. If you’re new to country sports, you will find expert tuition and advice on how to get involved in some of the most enjoyable and rewarding pastimes. With over 200 retailers to choose from, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Tickets – adults – £13 and children under 15 go free
For further details, please visit – www.countrymanfairs.co.uk

What’s on in April in Berkshire

Chocolate - 580 x 288

Wednesday 2nd April – Wine School at The Vineyard – Chocolate and Wine Hedonism – 6.30pm to 8pm
With chocolate being one of the hardest foods to match with wine, we’ll be looking and tasting a range of wines that pair up exceedingly well, including Port, fortified dessert wines and rich red wines. Chocolate and wine will never be a difficult pairing again! £30 per person
Discover more about our wine schools
Please call us on 01635 589407 to book


Friday 4th to Monday 21st April – Easter on the farm at Bucklebury Park Farm
Come and feed the lambs and go on an Easter egg hunt! Enjoy a delicious meal from Woody’s the new cafe and tea rooms. Set in a stunning 74-acre site they have a host of attractions including: deer park, farm animals, indoor play, pedal go-cart track, tractor rides (included in your admission price), refreshments, adventure playground, a wild walk, Be a farmer club and den building.

Bucklebury Farm Park offers a magical experience and a great value day out whatever the weather, that will appeal to the whole family, school groups, senior citizens’ clubs, or just a couple of friends. Opening times 10am to 6pm (last admission 5:00pm)

A family ticket is priced at £30, adults – £8.95 and children – £7.95.
For further details see www.buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk


Friday 4th April Southern Sinfonia Café concert at The Corn Exchange
1pm onwards
A hot new quartet, The Consone Quartet, winners of the coveted Century Fund Prize, bring the classical sound world through period instruments. Programme to include Purcell, Haydn and Schubert. Tickets from £7.

Discover more at www.southernsinfonia.co.uk and www.southernsinfonia.co.uk


Monday 7th April – Ladies’ Lunch – The Healthier Way to Enjoy Chocolate
12pm – 3pm
Join Anneliese Setchell, nutritionist and owner of www.tonichealthboutique.com, who will give you a fascinating insight into the many health benefits of chocolate as well as delicious examples of how to incorporate it into your diet. Did you know that chocolate has more antioxidants than most other plant foods? It can help with weight management and anti-ageing as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.

Three course lunch with matching wines – £60 per person
Discover more about our ladies’ lunches
Please call us on 01635 589407 to book


Saturday 5th to Tuesday 22nd April – Easter Trail at Beale Park
10am to 4pm
Take part in an Easter Trail & Dig for an Eggstra Special Chocolate Treat! There will be an eggstra special Easter trail at the Park in the Easter half term. All you have to do it complete the trail, hand it into the Park’s restaurant and you will get the chance to dig for a chocolate egg! 50p admission
Discover more at www.bealepark.co.uk


Friday 11th and Saturday 12th April – Dubai Duty Free Weekend – The Racecourse Newbury 
The Flat season gets into full swing with a weekend of quality racing starting on 11th April. Be here to welcome its return in style with a table in The Hennessy restaurant and toast the start of a fantastic summer of racing ahead. The 12th April racing day is crowned by the Group 3 Aon Greenham Stakes, as well as a host of entertainment for all the family. The day is also devoted to new racegoers through ‘Inside Track’, an array of features and demonstrations aiming to introduce racing to curious, inexperienced racegoers.
Tickets from £14.40 per day – buy online


Friday 11th to 13th April – All about Gardening Show at Newbury Showground
9.30am to 5pm
The All about Gardening show, organised by Aztec Events will also be treating visitors to its pawsitively spectacular All About Dogs Show. So whether you’re a serious green-fingered enthusiast or just looking for a ‘grrrreat’ way to entertain the entire family, the Newbury showground will have it all.

Popular TV presenter and prolific author Pippa Greenwood will be giving grow-your-own advice on Saturday April 12th and on Sunday April 13th. Celebrity Ground Force gardener Charlie Dimmock will be offering a huge crop of advice on choosing and installing water features.

Aztec events have a 2 for 1 offer on at the moment until 8th April 2014. Simply visit www.aztecevents.co.uk tickets and quote the promotional code NEW14, which will gain you entry to both shows. But don’t delay! Availability is limited. Parking is free and dogs are allowed on leads.
Discover more –  www.visitnewbury.org.uk


Saturday 12th April – History Walk at Greenham and Crookham common
10am to 12.30pm
A gentle walk led by local enthusiast Lloyd Garvey. Walk through time as you discover the vast history of Greenham Common and the surrounding area. Discover how our history has shaped the landscape; from Roman remains and Civil War battles, all the way to World War 2 and the Cold War. Finally, learn about the restoration of the common and why it looks the way it does today.

Dogs on leads welcome. Meet at Greenham Common Control Tower car park, off Bury’s Bank Road, Greenham Common, nr Newbury, Berks. Free entry.
Discover more – www.bbowt.org.uk


Friday 25th April – A Delicate Pairing – Chocolate and Wine Matching Dinner
7pm arrival for 7.30pm
For many years now, chocolate and wine have been enjoyed together, but it can be tricky to get the pairing just right. Join us for this truly indulgent dinner and discover more about the wines that can be matched with both sweet and savoury dishes, and why they go together so well.
Four courses with matching wines and chocktail aperitif – £95 per person
Please call us on 01635 589407 to book
Discover more about our wine dinners


Tuesday 29th April – Tutti Day at Hungerford Town Hall
8am to 10am
Hungerford residents are the only people in Britain still to don their costumes as part of the Hocktide celebrations. Tutti-Day (the second Tuesday after Easter), marks the end of the financial and administrative year.

The Bellman (who is also Town Crier) summons the Commoners to the Court, while the two Tutti-men work their way around the town, visiting every house with common rights, numbering nearly 100 in total. In the past they would have collected the ‘head penny’ from each householder, but nowadays the most they collect is a kiss from the ladies of the house, and a little hospitality to help them on their way.
Discover more - www.hungerford.uk.net

Discover more about Californian Wineries

Vin-de-Cal is the international sales representative for select small family-owned wineries in California; Schramsberg, Ferrari-Carano, Benovia and Talley. Taste wines from all these wineries on Saturday 15th March at The Vineyard from 11am to 5pm and attend masterclasses throughout the day for just £40 for two tickets. Discover more

Schram - old imageSchramsberg was originally founded in 1862 by Joseph Schram, who made still wine. When he died the winery lay dormant until Jack and Jamie Davies bought it in 1965. The Davies’ plan was to make sparkling wine the same way that Champagne is made as no one in the U.S. was doing this. In 1972 President Nixon chose their Blanc de Blancs to toast Premier Zhou Enlai when the U.S. re-opened relations with China.

Schram - bottle displaySince that day Schramsberg has been poured by every President at the White House. The wines are frequently mistaken for Champagne in blind tastings. The wines are all vintage dated. The J Schram is Schramsberg’s signature wine and is the perfect balance of acidity and richness. The Blanc de Blancs is the most popular wine and works well as an aperitif and as an accompaniment to food. The winery is now in the hands of the Davies’ youngest son, Hugh.

bottle display - FCFerrari-Carano was founded by Don and Rhonda Carano in 1981. Both Caranos are of Italian descent and the rolling hills of Alexander Valley reminded them of Italy. They chose to add Don’s grandmother’s name, Ferrari, to the name of their winery as a tribute to her. Ferrari-Carano began by making Chardonnay and Fume Blanc. They established a highly acclaimed reputation for these wines. They added their red wines a few years later and are now known for both red and white wines.

FC - coupleThe Fume Blanc continues to be one of their best loved wines. A well rounded, flavourful wine that is highly regarded by consumers and restaurants, and often served as a wine-by-the glass. On the red side, the Merlot is a favorite having rich berry fruit with firm structure, able to have as a glass,but perfect with duck or beef.

Benovia owners - hi resBenovia is a small winery owned by the couple, Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane, and the winemaker, Mike Sullivan. They founded the winery in 2007 when they bought the land in Russian River. They now also own a vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. Mike Sullivan built a reputation for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay before joining Jo and Mary in this venture.

Benovia offers Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as several vineyard select Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. The wines are consistently regarded highly by well-respected critics year after year Although the winery is small its reputation is growing for the balance of fruit and texture the wines provide. The Russian River Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are bright, full-flavoured wines on their own, but a great accompaniment to meals. The individual vineyard select wines are distinct in each case, reflecting the terroir where they are grown. Enjoy a vineyard designated Pinot Noir with fowl or heartier fish and the combination proves that the marriage of wine and food makes both better.

Talley coupleTalley began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing specialty vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. During the 1970s extensive planting of wine grapes began in the neighbouring Edna Valley and Santa Barbara County areas. After observation and extensive analysis, Oliver’s son, Don Talley, was convinced of the potential to grow high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms. Don planted a small test plot in 1982. Over time the varietal and clonal selections were refined and planting expanded to a total of 165 acres in the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys.

Talley Vineyards produced its first wine in 1986 with the production of 450 cases. Today the third generation, Brian and Johnine Talley, own and operate Talley Vineyards. Producing only Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays fromtheir vineyards, the Talleys have put Arroyo Grande on the wine map. Their goal is to produce distinctive wines of consistently high quality that best express the unique character of each of the Talley family’s six vineyard sites in the two valleys.

Talley’s wines are highly regarded for their character and balance. The vineyard specific Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are frequently singled out by wine writers for their reflection of the vineyard where they were grown. The wines are full-bodied, rich in fruit and exceptional in their pairing with food.

March Events in Berkshire

Friday 14th March 2014 – An Audience with Nicholas Parsons at Watermill Theatre – 2pm

Join the famous Radio 4 presenter for an afternoon of entertainment. Funny, enjoyable and a real treat, this is not to be missed. Nicholas Parsons takes his audience on a humorous and nostalgic journey through the memorabilia of his long and eventful life. Seeing the funny side of every situation, he highlights with superb and often hilarious observation those events that have shaped his career. His comic timing and accurate observation creates a cast of characters that make this a wonderful afternoon of comedy, which has his audience entertained and laughing throughout. Join Nicholas afterwards in the bar for tea and cake.

Ticket prices £30 per person

For further details please visit www.watermill.org.uk

Friday 14th March – Peter Michael Winery Dinner at The Vineyard– 7pm

Join The Vineyard, the Michael family and Hugh Johnson, wine writer and expert, for the Peter Michael Winery Dinner where you will have the rare opportunity to try the latest and back vintages of Peter Michael wines perfectly matched with a five course dinner. View menu and discover more

Wine dinner – £120 per person or a table of 10 is £960
Saturday tasting ticket – £30 per person

Please call us on 01635 589453 to book

Saturday 15th March – Californian Wine Tasting at The Vineyard – 11am to 5pm

On Saturday 15th March, we are hosting a wine tasting of over 50 Californian wines. Come and meet the winemakers, join us for wine masterclasses throughout the day and discover more about Californian wine.

Please call us on 01635 589453 to book

Saturday 15th March – Meet the Wineries Dinner at The Vineyard – 7pm

Enjoy a five course discovery dinner where five of California’s well known wineries will host the evening along with James Hocking, Vineyard Cellars’ Director of Wine, showcase their favourite wines and give you an insight into why their wineries keep ahead of the vinous world. View menu and discover more
£95 per person

Please call us on 01635 589453 to book

Wednesday 19th March – HG2 Homegrown at The Corn Exchange – 7.45pm

Children, young people and professional dancers come together in an evening of dance that spans the breadth of talent in Newbury and surrounding areas. It has been three years since the first production of HOMEGROWN in 2011 celebrating the wealth of dance talent from here in West Berkshire. Since then we have continued to have a thriving community for dance and more young dancers have trained, graduated and are now professional dancers in their own right and so it is time for HG2 to celebrate these achievements and see the dancers of today, tomorrow and the years to come.

Tickets £10 (concessions £7)

For more information please visit www.cornexchangenew.com

Saturday 29th March – Elke Brooks at The Corn Exchange, Newbury – 7.45pm

Performing some of her classic hits, blues and jazz, an electric evening with Elkie Brooks is guaranteed to leave you begging for more. Quite simply one of the most successful and popular singers the UK has ever produced and still proving to be one of the most powerful and versatile vocal talents of our generation. With numerous hit singles, million selling albums and awards, her annual tours are a treat for fans old and new.
Tickets prices £25 per person

For more information please visit www.cornexchangenew.com

Sunday 30th March – Mother’s Day at The Vineyard

Sunday Lunch – 12pm to 2pm
Treat your Mum on her special day and enjoy a three course lunch with a glass of Champagne. All Mums will receive an exclusive Red Grape spa gift to enjoy at home.
£50 per person

Afternoon Tea – 3pm to 5.30pm
Enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea with carefully created cakes, warm scones and finger sandwiches with your choice of tea or coffee. View sample menu
£22.50 per person

Please call us on 01635 528770 to book

How the Wine World has Changed

Over the last few months I have been working alongside James Hocking of The Vineyard Cellars on the new Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses that we are able to offer. It was while studying and preparing for this, when it struck me how much has changed in the 15 years or so since I originally started in the wine industry.

When the old world was dominant
Back then France was still the dominant country, with Spain and Italy close behind. Germany was having real problems shaking their cheap, sweet wine image and Austria was still suffering from the disastrous effects of the anti freeze scandal. Meanwhile in the New World, Australia was just seeing its gutsy Shiraz and Oaked Chardonnays gather momentum, New Zealand was on the rising tide of Cloudy Bay and its gooseberry laden Sauvignon Blancs, South Africa was stuck with Apartheid, California was overpriced and difficult to source, while South America couldn’t quite work out what it was producing!

We now have so much choice
Now though, the wine industry, and particularly the choice available in the UK, is booming! The choice from Europe has grown massively with new wines from old areas, but also increased competition arriving from the east, with Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Bulgarian wines improving immensely. Particularly at The Vineyard we have seen a dramatic increase in Austrian wines with Gruner Veltliner and Blaufrankisch being of great excitement. Germany has seen a massive increase as their style of wines has become more commonly bone dry in style, with the sharp zesty citrus fruit appeal that works beautifully with Oriental influenced sashimi style seafood.
As for the New World… well we certainly weren’t seeing as many wines from China, Japan and India on our wine lists as we do now! New Zealand has moved on, to produce top quality Central Otago Pinot Noirs and Gimblett Gravel Cab blends. South Africa now offers some of the best value and most interesting wines around, especially from the burgeoning Swartland District, then we come to California…

How California has changed
It is quite easily apparent the huge steps that have been taken to not only improve quality but also value for money. Cooler areas like Sonoma coast, Monterey and the hillsides above and around Napa instead of the valley floor are providing some excellent examples of varietal wine making. Meanwhile a touch of delicate acidity from this mountain fruit has added balance to many of the hottest Cabernet blends around.

Of course, the best way to notice these changes and improvements is to taste it yourself, so why not join us for our Californian Wine Weekend on 14th and 15th March. There’s something for everyone. So whether you’re wanting to try as many wonderful Californian wines as you can, or are looking for a really special evening where you’ll have the rare opportunity to try some of the Peter Michael Winery best and highly sought after wines, you won’t be disappointed. Discover more – www.the-vineyard.co.uk/CalifornianWineWeekend.asp

What I’m really looking forward to is the Les Pavots vertical tasting at 4.30pm on 15th March where you’ll get the chance to try some of the more recent vintages. Be sure to sign up soon as I know this will be the most popular of them all.

Cheers

Alan

Tonic’s “I Do” Nutrition Pod

WeddingShoes_1

Blog by Anneliese Setchell – www.tonichealthboutique.com

Every bride wants to look and feel like a million dollars on their wedding day. But having to cope with mounting to-do lists, engagement drinks, hen celebrations, choosing the wedding breakfast menu and drink tastings can often lead to stress eating and eating on the run which can take their toll.

Anneliese Setchell, owner of Tonic Health Boutique in Hungerford, has developed a unique nutrition plan called the “I Do” pod to ensure you look and feel fabulous on your wedding day, leaving you to focus on planning the big event!

While many brides focus on reaching their target weight for their wedding day, the “I Do” pod also ensures they are energized, radiant and calm. They can look forward to having beautiful skin with no hint of bloating or puffiness as well as strong nails and shiny hair.

Nutrition plans and bespoke recommendations

The “I Do” Pod includes a 30-day cleanse to whip the body into shape and help you reach or maintain your goal weight with a nutrition plan written by Anneliese that has meal suggestions, beauty foods and a shopping list. Bespoke supplement recommendations help to combat specific health concerns such as constipation, skin problems, hormone imbalances, stress and poor sleep. A post-wedding strategy will help you avoid regaining the weight you have worked hard to lose and you’ll also receive a 45-minute telephone consultation with Anneliese that will create a bespoke plan that suits you.

The plan helps you with all kinds of mild digestive disorders which can compromise a radiant complexion and a flat tummy. It also helps with weight loss and to balance blood sugar levels so that you’re on top form throughout the busy pre-wedding period when you are likely to be flat out trying to combine a job with planning the biggest day of your life.

Combating sleepless nights and reducing stress levels

Beauty sleep is vital and will keep you feeling and looking calm and collected. Many brides suffer from sleepless nights as they are unable to switch off and so putting a good sleep strategy into place can work wonders. There is also help at hand to reduce those damaging stress-induced hormones steering you away from burn-out and the overwhelming pressure of the mounting to-do list.

Anneliese adds: “This unique package provides the necessary support to help you become the beautiful, radiant and calm bride you deserve to be. It enables you to reach the aisle without feeling worn out, full of cold and a few pounds heavier than you had planned.

“Don’t forget it doesn’t end on the day itself, as the plan will also enable you proudly unveil your bikini body for the honeymoon!”

Anneliese will be at The Vineyard Wedding Fair on Sunday 2nd March so pop over and say hello.

Discover more about The Wedding Fair

 

Chile – One of the most exciting wine producing countries

At the moment, I think that Chile is one of the best and most exciting wine producing countries. Despite the fact it being a “New World” wine country, Chile is in fact fairly old as vines were first planted in 1548 by Spanish colon, Brother Fransisco de Carabantes.

The first grape variety planted was Mission (known as Pais in Chile). The name refers to the Catholic missions where they were generally grown and the wine had, as a main purpose, to be served during the masses. Another exciting fact about this country is that it remains Phylloxera free, meaning that some of the vineyards are 100 or more years old.

Because of the length of the country, vineyards were planted mainly nearby where people were living, close to the big cities. The problem was that most of the vineyards were planted in the wrong place. The tendency is changing and wineries are nowadays looking more into the different terroirs and where the different grapes would best been grown to show all their potential.

The main grape varieties you are likely to find are Sauvignon Blanc; usually producing wines of great freshness and flavours, but without being as vegetal or herbaceous as the cousin from New Zealand. Chardonnays also are magnificent and tend to develop more tropical aromas such as lychee and coconut. Riesling is also found and gives good results.

In term of red wines, the very local Carmenere is a great example of Chile’s wine identity. Carmenere used to be grown in Bordeaux during the 17th to 18th Century, but is not really used any longer. This grape variety has a very long history as Carmenere and Merlot used to be planted together in the same vineyard, however, winemakers didn’t know that. In fact you could have bought a bottle of red wine labeled as being a Merlot and find 90% of this grape.

It wasn’t before 1994 that Carmenere was really discovered as a grape and was split from Merlot vineyard to be produced on its own. Then, in 1998, the Chilean Department of Agriculture officially recognised Carmenere as a distinct grape variety. Alongside this fantastic variety, you will find the more classic Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah which are all, given the right conditions, producing wines of great character.

If you are interested in discovering more about this beautiful country, I would be glad to welcome you to our Casa Lapostolle Wine Dinner taking place on Friday 28th February. View menu and more details

Casa Lapostolle is owned by the Lapostolle-Marnier family of Grand Marnier and was established in 1994. Since then, its notoriety has never stopped to grow and it is nowadays regarded as one of the best winery.

Discover more

Romain Bourger
Head Sommelier