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Have you heard the hot gossip?

Your favourite blabbermouth reporting for duty - yes ma'am. Here's this week's superflashy newsflash.

The Crown spotted in Oxford!

Stockpile the popcorn as Netflix’s megabucks royal drama is back this Sun, 17 Nov, with a brand new cast including Oscar-winning Olivia Colman starring as HRH. We’ve had to wait two whole years for Season 3 to hit our screens, but fingers crossed it won’t be so long for Season 4 as the cast and crew were spotted filming in Oxford, by the Sheldonian Theatre, last week. Watch out for my cameo (kidding).


Big beauty news 

A brand new beauty playhouse, AfterBeauty (below) has just opened its doors in Piccadilly, London. The four storey townhouse stocks 4,000+ products from 140 global brands, features manicure stations, a meditation room and is an Insta-dream with flower walls, pink velvet furniture, vanity mirror and neon signage galore. Basically, it’s Hamley’s but for beauty buffs. If you don’t fancy travelling into London (or climbing all those stairs) then you’re in luck as their online shop is launching any moment now.

Closer to home, we’ve heard that Harrods are opening a standalone beauty store and salon, H Beauty, in Milton Keynes (exact location tbc) next year. Yup, really. There’s one in Essex (at Lakeside) launching first and that promises 23,000sq ft space of luxury brands, blow dries, facials and a bar so here’s hoping of more the same for MK…

And finally, Westgate Oxford has upped its beauty game with the opening of Rituals, opposite River Island, at the front of the centre, just in time for Christmas present shopping (I love a face mask in my stocking btw).


Now open: The Hollybush, Botley 

Botley has seriously been upping its cool creds of late – first was the opening of Muddy award-winning bar Tap Social on Curtis Industrial Estate, and now The Hollybush on Bridge Street, which has been overhauled by the same team behind The Oxford Blue in Jericho. The pub has undergone a dramatic transformation from old man boozer – think grubby pool table and sticky bar – to hip, dog-friendly restaurant with secret garden serving artisan pizzas, nibbles and hot pots.


New chef at The Greyhound

There’s a new look and a new chef to match over at The Greyhound Enoteca in Beaconsfield. The restaurant, which is currently under refurbishment, has announced that Masterchef: The Professionals semi-finalist Sean Norton will be heading up the kitchen. Sean joins The Greyhound from groovy The Frog in Covent Garden and has also worked at Michelin-starred joints L’Autre Pied and Pied a Terre. Roast partridge with spiced cabbage, slow-cooked pork belly and the chef’s signature mackerel with celeriac, grape and caper salsa are set to appear on the new menu. Yum!


Umberto Deli wins an award

A huge Muddy congrats to Umberto’s Deli in Thame which has been crowned Parma Ham Specialist Deli of the Year 2019. I’ve been using the deli for years and it really is a delight – Umberto really knows his stuff and all the produce is totally delicious. The accolade will sit nicely next to the Deli’s multiple Muddy Awards, and well deserved.


And finally…

Jo Wood is coming to Oxford (no Dermot in tow though, sorry) to speak at Blackwell’s on 7 Dec – tickets here. Obviously the ex-wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie has got a dinner party anecdote or two and she’s recorded them for posterity in a new coffee table book, Stoned. It won’t be too much of a schlep home afterwards as she’s recently moved from London to the Oxon bit of the Cotswolds. Which is, without doubt, the most rock’n’roll thing to ever happen there. Is Jo your new neighbour? We’d love to know.

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