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Love your tennis? I have exciting news on Stoke Park’s brilliant The Boodles tournament (Muddy’s favourite tennis tournament – every seat is literally within 10 metres of world class players). There’s an early bird deal on at the mo where you can get four stadium passes for the price of three on Tues 25 and Saturday 29 June. Call 0207 384 4877 and quote ‘4for3’. The deal ends on 1 April and The Boodles sells out every year so get in there quick – I’ll see you courtside, champers in hand no doubt!

And while I’m on the subject of racket sports, Stokey P has also just introduced brand new padel courts. What on earth is padel? I hear you ask (er, go on then). Well, I’ll tell you – it’s the love-child of squash and tennis, and is an absolutely massive sport in Hispanic countries and Stoke Park is the only five star gaff in which to play it in Bucks, Ox and Berks. Juego, Set y Partido!

 

Green means go for The Grotto

The Grotto Berkshire plans for hotel and members' club what building wooden outbuildings river

The Grotto after its makeover

It’s finally got the green light! The Grotto Estate near Pangbourne will go from crumbling wreck to a luxury country crash pad and members’ club. SUSD.London – the guys behind London’s super-swanky Devonshire Club and Curtain – have finally been granted planning permission and are about to spank a serious amount of wedge (£32million, no less) on the project. There will be 53 rooms to dive into, a restaurant, bars, six new two-bedroom lodges, tennis courts, the boathouse will be reinstated, a 20th century studio building will be replaced by a two-storey spa and gym with outdoor pool and a ‘coach house’ extension will be built, linking the original building by a glazed walkway, to accommodate 19 of the guest rooms. Form an orderly queue and sharpen you elbows, it’s the best reason to visit Berks you’ll have all year!

 

Huey Morgan at Clayton’s Marlow 

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A post shared by Huey “The People’s Champ” (@hueymorgan) on

You heard it hear first, people! Huey Morgan (of former Fun Lovin’ Criminals fame) will be flying solo for a DJ at Clayton’s Marlow on Sat 12 Oct. He’s an amazzzzing DJ and it’s become quite the second career for him, so keep your eyes peeled for tickets – I’ll see if I can snaffle some to give away too.

 

The waiting game

Listen up, there’s two pubby re-openings just around the corner- hurray! The Perch, in Binsey, is due to reopen any time after 21 Feb after a massive refurb that’s added a swanky new dining space. And central Oxford, on Cornmarket Street, The Plough makes a return (it was open way back when, in 1656) – it’s just waiting on the furniture and final touches before I swoop in for a sneaky peek in the next couple of weeks – you’ll be the first to hear the verdict!

 

 

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