Nothing gets past ol’ nosey parker here, believe me. Here’s the latest buzz from our ‘hood…
Do put your daughter on the stage
Got a little jazz hands in your household? Oxford New Theatre is holding auditions this Saturday, 8 July, for Nativity! The Musical. They’re looking for local children, aged 9-12 who can “sing confidently, have basic acting ability and enjoy performing”. They’ll need to be available for the Oxford dates of the tour, 11-15 December. Pre-register here. Break a leg, little people!
The Ivy amid the dreaming spires
Fast-expanding glam restaurant chain The Ivy is planning to open its latest branch on Oxford’s high street in the former Natwest building, meaning Oxon dwellers won’t need to traipse to the Marlow branch for their Ivy fix any more. I once spotted Christopher Biggins and Gwyneth Paltrow at the original Covent Garden branch (not together, sadly) – we can but hope our new local outpost will be a celeb-magnet too.
If you live near Aylesbury, you’ll probably be familiar with Dinton Folly, the 18th century castle that’s said to be haunted by the ghost of the executioner of Charles I. Well, it’s being haunted by Kevin McCloud too this month. The Grand Designs presenter has been spotted lurking at the property as its renovation is filmed for a forthcoming episode of his show. In other exciting celeb news, we’ve heard that Lenny Henry is moving to Streatley in South Oxon – doesn’t he live in a Premier Inn though? – and Steventon’s Truck music weekender has rebranded as the Gareth Southgate Festival, in honour of the England football manager’s glorious winning streak (well, at time of writing it was still glorious – we can but hope). With the World Cup over by the festival weekend of 20-22 July, will we see an Oxon special guest appearance from the waistcoated wonder?
Take Stoke Park’s chef home (kind of)
Chris Wheeler’s debut cookbook, The Ginger Chef ‘Served Up’ is out now, featuring 65 of the exquisite recipes that have featured at Humphry’s fine dining restaurant at Stoke Park Country Club, Spa & Hotel. You’ve eaten them at the Bucks luxury hideaway, now you can recreate them at home. I wonder which version will taste best?! Side note: shout out to the Saturday Kitchen and Great British Menu celeb chef for totally owning his gingerness with that book title – love it! You can buy it here.
London calling for Kerridge
Marlow marvel Tom Kerridge is opening his first London restaurant at the Corinthia Hotel in Whitehall. It’s imaginatively called Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, but who cares – he’s saving his creativity for the grub. Head chef is Nick Beardshaw, alumni of Marlow’s The Hand & Flowers and The Coach. It’ll feature a rotisserie bar, where joints of meat, fish and veg will be roasted before your very eyes. Fancy!
Riverside restaurant rejig
Rossini at The Leatherne Bottel is reopening under new ownership in the next few weeks. The riverside restaurant in Goring, South Oxon, will be known simply as The Leatherne Bottel, which is somewhat easier to say after a few glasses of Chianti, no? The new lady in charge is Sally Albin, former marketing director of Michelin-starred L’Ortolan in Shinfield, Reading so we’ve got high hopes. ‘A modern British restaurant with a relaxed vibe’ is promised. We’ll go fill our boots soon and report back.