This month we’re excited to share news of a new Champagne School in London celebrating English sparkling; one of many royal wedding screenings to celebrate the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle; and a new exhibition charting Bristol’s vibrant music scene. See below for more information, plus a round-up of more exciting news just in from around the country.
New Ginger Peanut restaurant-with-rooms, Devon
A new restaurant-with-rooms has opened in the Devon town of Bampton. Christopher Badham and Damian Llambias (the duo behind the nearby exclusive hire baronial mansion, Huntsham Court) have restored a Grade II-listed building in the heart of Bampton’s conservation area to create a stylish restaurant-with-rooms. There are five individually decorated and very comfortable en-suite bedrooms, but the emphasis is firmly on the bar and restaurant, with menus designed by award-winning chef Peter Mundy; they make no secret about wanting to become the best place to eat in Devon. Rooms from £76.50 per night (based on 13 May for one night, non-fundable).
Champagne School by Searcys opens, St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar, London
Opens 16 May
The 16th May will be the official launch of the Champagne School by Searcys at the St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar, which will champion English wine makers with the theme ‘Made in Britain.’ Guests can taste three exceptional sparkling wines alongside expertly paired plates. Monthly Champagne School dinners are designed to appeal to all kinds of wine lovers – from absolute beginners to accomplished connoisseurs. Guests are also able to book their own private classes for groups. £45 per person.
Bristol Music: Seven decades of sound exhibition, Bristol
19 May – 30 September
A new exhibition at M Shed charts Bristol’s music scene since the late 1950s. Bristol Music: Seven decades of sound celebrates and debates the city’s reputation as one of the UK’s best places for music. A series of zones use a wealth of public anecdotes, photographs, fanzines and memorabilia to dive deep into aspects of Bristol music: the Bedroom zone explores why music is so important to people’s lives; Club goes back to momentous nights in some of the city’s legendary venues; and Lounge screens films about the significance of Bristol’s various music scenes such as grime and dubstep. Entry is ‘pay what you think’.
Royal Wedding Garden Party, the Yacht Club Liverpool
19 May, all day
Watch the Royal Wedding on the big screens and enjoy afternoon tea, plenty of bubbles and live music. The Yacht Club Bar & Restaurant is an independent, family run business, proud to join the growing number of independent restaurants in Liverpool. Free entry, visit the website to register.
Pub in the Park goes on tour, nationwide
May – September
Following the success of last year’s inaugural festival in Marlow, Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park is going on tour. A winning mix of “gourmet food, cracking music and lush vibes,” Pub in the Park will once again kick off summer in Higginson Park, Marlow (17- 20 May) before heading to Royal Victoria Park, Bath (8-10 June), Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells (6-8 July) and The Lambing Shed, Knutsford (7-9 September). Expect pop-ups from Michelin-starred pubs, including Kerridge’s The Coach and Hand & Flowers; live music from the likes of Tom Odell, Razorlight, Scouting for Girls and Gabrielle Aplin; a shopping village with stalls from brands such as AGA, Hello Fresh and Riverford Organic Farmers; and demos from a star-studded line-up of chefs including Paul Ainsworth, Jodie Kidd, Angela Hartnett and Kerridge himself. Adult ticket £42.80, child ticket £26.75.
Bigger venues for VegfestUK, Bristol and London
In a clear indication of the growing popularity of the vegan movement, VegfestUK Bristol and VegfestUK London are moving to bigger venues for 2018. VegfestUK celebrates the vegan lifestyle in a rock’n’roll festival atmosphere, with music, talks and, of course, delicious vegan food. VegfestUK Bristol (26 – 27 May) will move from the Lloyds Amphitheatre to Ashton Gate Stadium, home of Bristol City football and rugby clubs, where there will be educational talks, local DJs, acoustic sets, comedians and magicians as well as hundreds of stalls. Meanwhile, VegfestUK London (27 – 28 October), the UK’s biggest vegan festival, will add a whole new level to its existing layout to meet mounting demand from exhibitors and visitors. VegfestUK Bristol – standard tickets £11 adults, concessions £6.
Nine new rides for Dreamland Margate, Kent
Dreamland Margate is launching nine new rides for the 2018 summer season. The new rides are either based on former popular rides at the park, restored vintage rides, or new thrills purpose-built for the theme park. The Dreamland Drop (subject to planning permission) is a custom-built ‘shoot up and drop’ tower; Pendulum is a huge pendulum gondola based on the classic ‘90s ride, Mary Rose; Pinball X is a high-impact family-friendly coaster; Air Force will give riders a sense of weightlessness; and a further four family-friendly rides will include The Vintage Caterpillar, a heritage ride from the 1920s. Adult ticket from £13.00, child ticket from £9.
New Stonor Food Festival, Oxfordshire
Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames, launches its first food festival. The legendary Mary Berry CBE is booked to headline, and Masterchef finalists and Stephen Carter-Bailey of GBBO fame will be there too. There will be talks, tastings and cookery demos from local and celebrity chefs, plus stalls piled high with local and specialist produce. As the event falls on the Father’s Day weekend, expect plenty of craft beers, barbecuing tips and family-friendly activities. Adult ticket £10, family tickets from £22.50.
Reading Abbey Ruins reopen, Berkshire
The 900-year-old ruins of Reading Abbey are set to reopen following Reading Abbey Revealed, a £3.15million restoration project. As well as undergoing extensive conservation, the Abbey Ruins have been re-interpreted with new signage and volunteering opportunities; there will be a new programme of public activities too. Reading Abbey was one of medieval Europe’s largest royal monasteries and the burial place of King Henry I, but its ruins were closed to the public in 2009 due to safety concerns. The restoration is a key part of Reading Borough Council’s ongoing Abbey Quarter conservation and development project. The Abbey Ruins reopening ceremony will be a key part of Water Fest, Reading’s annual celebration of its waterways. Admission is free.
For more information on what’s new for 2018 visit: www.media.visitengland.com
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Evelina Andrews / Anais Bobst / Sophie Dinsdale
VisitEngland Press Office
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