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Summer vibes: Oxon’s latest alfresco party venue

A rustic table setting that's a stone's throw from the Chiltern Way, with wood-fired pizzas and local lager and wine on tap. Stonor's totally nailed it with its new outdoor event space

This summer is aaallll about the alfresco party because a) we wanna party but b) we’re not quite ready to throw off the masks and go elbow-to-elbow in the sweaty back room of our local/village hall.

So when a local new alfresco party venue pops up that caters for kids and adults and has the all important cover in the event of a not completely clement English summer, our ears are pricked and our pinkies are primed for that first sip of prosecco.

The venue in question is a couple of stretch tents in the bucolic surrounds of Stonor Park, the latest in a series of exciting happenings on the gazillion-acre estate near Henley. There’s a grown up party tent with festoon lighting and a kid’s party tent with very cute bunting, rustic wooden tables and, most importantly, the epic adventure playground that is Tumblestone Hollow next door. And did we mention that, as of last week, there’s a pizza hut (aka The Rumble Hut) in situ?

And this being Stonor, they don’t do stuff by halves, which means that installed in the pizza hut is the absolute A star authentic Italian pizza chef, Salvatore, who will churn out wood-fired masterpieces until the cows – or in this case deer – come home.

There’s margherita of course, this being a pizza hut in a kid’s playground, but also nduja, goat’s cheese, capers, roasted peppers, rocket. We’re talking crispy based, wood-fired pizza goodness – this is a kid’s party, people, and not a cheese sandwich in sight. Whoop!

Booking the party tent for a kids shindig here means that you have a place to store bags, coats etc, and somewhere to sit to have your pizza/cake fest, party games, and so on, as well as somewhere for the grown-ups to sit and catch-up with the kids in view.

When we sent a bunch of Muddy kids and parents along to test it out at the weekend, it got the big thumbs up from both parties – exhausted, happy kids and relaxed adults. Did we mention that The Rumble Hut is licensed? Which genius came up with that plan?! So you can sip a sparkling rosé from the Hendred Hills vineyard that’s literally metres down the road, or a pint of local Rebellion lager. It’s genius.

If kids aren’t in the equation and it’s a grown-up do that you’re after, roll-on the sparkly party tent just down the hill. Imagine – Joe Public have cleared out for the day and you have the whole valley to yourself, with a tent, catering from the Rumble Hut, plus a bar and, frankly some of the nicest loos we’ve seen in any venue in the county – they’re just so darned clean!

Whether it’s a birthday do, anniversary party or post lockdown shake-down, this is a rustic party venue that’s got countryside chic written all over it – The Chiltern Way is a stone’s throw from the table! Just remember which little birdie told you about it when it comes to compiling your guestlist… nudge nudge.

How to book: all the information about booking a kids party is on the Stonor website, and for adult parties, just email (enquiries@stonor.com) to get a quote for your bespoke shindig.

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