October What's New Bulletin

Tue, 09/10/2018 - 10:38


This month, we bring you news of the world’s first gin and tea bar, a new celebrity-backed cocktail bar with a few surprises up its sleeve, and an on-the-pulse reinterpretation of one of Tudor England’s most remarkable women. Looking ahead, choose between embracing winter at Britain’s first dedicated ice attraction or clinging on to those summer vibes with a beach hut-based sleepover in a warehouse. Of course, there’s a nod to Halloween too, with a dark new adaption of Dracula swooping into theatres around the country.

See below for more information, plus a roundup of more news just in from around the country.

Coming soon


Memsahib Gin & Tea Bar, Cheltenham


The owners of East India Café, an award-winning Anglo-Indian restaurant in Regency Cheltenham, are launching what is believed to be the world’s first gin and tea bar. The Memsahib Gin & Tea Bar will serve 55 gins sourced from around the globe, its own distilled gin and a range of teas and spices. The bar taps into Cheltenham’s Anglo-Indian heritage with décor, food and drink inspired by the 19th-century British Raj period, a time when many Anglo-Indian women settled in Cheltenham. The Memsahib Gin & Tea Bar will have a soft launch in October, followed by the official launch in November.



Idris Elba to launch new cocktail bar, London

Early October

Hollywood actor and Hackney local Idris Elba is co-launching The Parrot, a luxury new cocktail bar at the Waldorf Hilton hotel on Aldwych. Elba is opening the bar with twins Lee (Hollywood’s ‘go-to guy’ within the celebrity world) and Nicky (a professional drummer) Caulfield as co-founders. With the promise of “A-list surprises” such as a hidden cocktail menu, regular, unannounced secret shows and an exclusive guest list, it looks like Elba and the Caulfield brothers are planning to cash in on their celebrity connections. There will be live music every night, and Elba will occasionally take to the decks under the name DJ Driss. The Parrot will also be the first bar in London to offer its own chauffeur-driven car, an Aston Martin branded with The Parrot logo.



The Chilworth marks Chocolate Week with a new Chocolate Afternoon Tea, London

1 October – December 2018

The Chilworth hotel, which launched in Paddington earlier this year, has created a decadent new Chocolate Afternoon tea to mark Chocolate Week (15 – 21 October 2018). Sweet treats served on The Chilworth’s afternoon tea stand include chocolate mousse, chocolate brownies, lime and chocolate tarts, assorted macaroons and chocolate scones. Cost is £29 per person, including a glass of bubbly.



We are Bess exhibition at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

3 October – 4 November 2018, re-opens 16 February – 2 June 2019

Coinciding with the release of the hotly anticipated film Mary Queen of Scots is this exhibition that redefines the life of another of Tudor England’s most remarkable women – Elizabeth Talbot, a.k.a. Bess of Hardwick. A shrewd businesswoman, Bess rose through the ranks by marrying and surviving four husbands and amassing a fortune of her own to become one of the most powerful women of the time. The original doyenne of Chatsworth, Bess was trusted by Queen Elizabeth I to be Mary’s caretaker for 17 years; she also created the breathtaking Hardwick Hall, "more glass than wall". We are Bess conveys several influential modern women’s take on Bess’s fascinating story, positioning her as the ‘Material Girl’ of her time, rather than a domineering ‘shrew’. Classicist and broadcaster Professor Dame Mary Beard and Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman are among the women involved, all of who have been photographed by Rachel Adams; their portraits will hang in Hardwick’s Long Gallery as part of the exhibition. For the first time, the exhibition will also be available online. 



Peter Street Kitchen launches, Manchester

13 October 2018

Peter Street Kitchen brings a game-changing Japanese-Mexican fusion ‘shared dining’ experience to Manchester. Dishes will predominantly be small plates for sharing – think shredded crab with spicy ginger mayonnaise tostadas or king crab tempura with ponzu. The restaurant is part of a multi-million-pound refurb of Manchester’s five-star Edwardian Hotels-owned Radisson Edwardian Blu, and its launch coincides with the opening of the hotel’s new bar and lounge, Rikyu. The small-plates fusion concept has already proved successful in London, where Edwardian Hotels has three Kitchens. Soft launch 13 – 17 October 2018.



Just opened


New production of Dracula on tour, various locations

28 September – 1 December 2018

The Touring Consortium Theatre Company is hitting the road with a brand-new stage adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that’s being billed as the most terrifying staging yet. The story has been completely reimagined by an exciting creative team. This sexy and dark contemporary interpretation will thrill theatregoers in Cheltenham (28 September – 6 October), Nottingham (9 – 13 October), Bromley (16 – 20 October), Hull (23 – 27 October), Darlington (6 – 10 November), Blackpool (13 – 17 November), Wolverhampton (20 – 24 November) and Bradford (27 November – 1 December).



Eastbourne Beer Festival goes on tour

26 September – 26 November 2018

Fans of Eastbourne Beer Festival can relax. The festival is still going ahead despite its regular home, the Winter Garden, being closed for renovation. Instead of taking a year off, the festival will go on tour. The two-month Eastbourne Beer Festival on Tour features 32 pubs in Eastbourne, Pevensey, Polegate, Seaford and the South Downs, each selected with the help of CAMRA and local publican Shoes Simes, for their array of real ales, traditional ciders and proximity to public transport. Those taking part can pick up a passport to stamp in The Lamb Inn, The Eagle or The Stage Door (£1, or free at the opening night at The Lamb Inn on 26 September 2018); a free festival t-shirt and the chance to enter a competition to win an exclusive brewery tour at festival sponsor Harvey’s in Lewes are up for grabs at the end of the tour. The October Beer Festival will return to the Winter Garden next year (10 – 12 October 2019).



YES, a new four-storey indie music venue for Manchester

20 September 2018

YES, a new independent music venue spread across four floors of the former auctioneers’ house and printing press on Charles Street launched in late September, with a flurry of free drinks, pizza and cheesy crab balls. There’s a basement club, ground-floor beer hall, live ‘Pink Room’ and a rooftop terrace. Street food vendors Firebird Hope and Pepperoni Playboy provide the food: pizza by the slice, free-range chicken burgers and vegan sandwiches. Regular family-friendly days include events such as storytelling and face painting. YES is the latest venture from Manchester promoters and huge music fans Now Wave.



Name of new landmark hotel on Leicester Square unveiled, London

September 2018

The name of a new hotel on London’s Leicester Square has been unveiled. Scheduled to open in 2020, The Londoner will be a five-star, 15-level hotel with 350 rooms (including 15 suites), five concept restaurants and lounges including a spectacular rooftop bar, a state-of-the-art ballroom for up to 1,000 guests, two new Odeon Luxe cinemas and a unique subterranean spa. The hotel will be part of Edwardian Hotels London’s portfolio, and play a key part in the regeneration of Leicester Square.


And beyond

Towed Town Camping launches inner-city beach huts, Bristol

November 2018
Following the success of their quirky indoor caravan park, independent Bristol enterprise Towed Town Camping is launching a collection of beach huts in a warehouse. The new venture takes the seaside sleepover to urban south Bristol with a collection of cosy beach huts, ideal for parties of friends. Towed Town Camping’s original campground features five up-cycled retro caravans on fake-grass lawns with sun umbrellas and deck chairs and a games area – think table football – all under one industrial warehouse roof.



Britain’s first dedicated ice attraction, Manchester

9 November – 5 January 2019

Britain’s first dedicated ice attraction will transform Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens into Ice Village Manchester, a frozen world complete with an ice bar, ice rink, Santa’s Grotto, Woodland Market – and some clever salutes to Manchester’s heritage. The centrepiece will be the Ice Cavern, filled with more than 100 ice sculptures hand-carved by the world’s best ice artists. The theme is ‘Journey to Santa’s Toy Factory’ so expect to see a vast frozen steam train, elves, toys and arctic animals sculpted from huge blocks of ice. The female train driver will bear a ‘Votes for Women’ badge in a nod to Mancunian suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, and the whole tableau will be set to an icy factory backdrop in tribute to the city’s industrial heritage. There will be live Christmas choirs, hot chocolate, mulled wine and winter games such as hook-an-iceberg, too. The Ice Village is free to enter but certain attractions require tickets, which can be purchased on-site or in advance from 27 September 2018. See website for pricing details.


New five-day Peaky Blinders tour, northeast England

April 2019

There’s a blinder of a tour in store for fans of the BAFTA award-winning TV show Peaky Blinders. Leading coach company Bakers Dolphin is encouraging travellers to don 1920s gangster garb for their new Peaky Blinder tour, which visits filming locations in Manchester, Arley Hall, Liverpool and Port Sunlight. The tour is led by Blue Badge Guide – and huge Peaky Blinders fan – Julie Kershaw, who graduated as the Institute of Tourist Guiding’s “Guide of the Year”, so holidaymakers know they’re in safe hands as they delve into the murky world of the Shelby TV crime family. Fans of Coronation Street can choose the tour of Coronation Street and MediaCity UK studios, another option from Bakers Dolphin’s new Autumn-Spring 2018-19 brochure.



For more information on what’s new in 2018 and 2019 visit: www.media.visitengland.com


For further press information and images please contact:
Sophie Dinsdale / Eve Commander / Evelina Andrews
VisitEngland Press Office 
Tel: 07972 369 637  / 07971 497 079 / 07500 008 737
Email: vepr@visitengland.org

Notes to Editors:
About VisitEngland

  • VisitEngland’s focus is on the development and delivery of the new Discover England fund for product development to ensure that bookable regional product is being sold in international markets. This activity will also benefit the domestic industry by building engagement and partnerships between and across regions and developing product that will be attractive to both domestic and international markets.
  • Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics.
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