From 5* hotels to Michelin-star chefs and celeb spots, when it comes to hot gossip, our salt-rimmed glass runneth over. Here are the latest need-to-knows in our patch...
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If you loved the ‘rose all day’ aesthetic of summer’s Netflix hit Motel Makeover, this pretty-in-pink hotel from PrettyLittleThing should be right up your street. A multi-million-pound property in Oxford, the PLT Hotel gives the Love Island villa a run for its money, and its itinerary boasts cocktail masterclasses, tarot card reading, spa treatments, and luxury catering courtesy of a private chef. That’s if you find time between Instagram photo opps, clearly.
The sad news is that the hotel is already fully booked for the season, but keep your eyes peeled for any upcoming vacancies.
For an altogether more grown-up affair, we’re loving Oxford institute The Randolph‘s sleek makeover. The hotel is now fully open again (including brand new revamped eatery and bar The Alice), and we hear on the grapevine that their spa offering is due to open next month. We’ll be taking our fluffy robe and slippers on the Park and Ride to test it out…
While you’re in the city centre, pop over to The Museum of Oxford to gawp at their £2.8m refurbishment, which is finally finished after C-word delays. Their exhibitions have almost trebled in size, which ain’t half bad considering the museum is entirely free!
Over in Bucks, the new Boathouse Café at The Rye park in High Wycombe has opened this week after a swish £400,000 revamp. The cafe is now totally unrecognisable and features a space for indoor seating, a patio area with outdoor seating and views of the Dyke, an eco-friendly ‘living’ roof, new boat equipment store and public loos. Sorely needed and greatly appreciated!
Youth of Marlow, rejoice! Mega cool streetwear brand Hypescape has opened up shop on the High Street, and is packed to the brim with brands like Supreme, HUF and Nike. Just in time for those tricky teens around Christmas…
Also in Marlow, chic pottery shop Keeeps (no, that’s not a typo) is putting down permanent roots in the town after its pop-up shops were a hit. As well as a store there’ll also be a studio for pottery classes, but you’ll have to wait until Jan 2022 for the big opening. In the meantime, browse and buy online for their Scandic-cool homeware and kitchenware – they make great Christmas gifts (hint hint).
Finally, a triple whammy for Marlow, stylish lifestyle brand TOAST is joining the ranks on the High Street in early November – a welcome addition to the town’s boutiques. Pop your head in for timeless pieces for women, men and home.
No trick, these Halloween cocktails at The Ivy Oxford Brasserie and The Ivy Marlow Garden are definitely a treat. We’ve got our eye on The Skull Crusher (catchy name), made with Cazcabel Blanco Tequila, Ancho Reyes Chilli Liqueur, Cointreau, pineapple juice, lime juice, pumpkin puree and grenadine. The menu is limited edition, so get over there with the girls ASAP.
We’ve been living off Lieviti‘s incredible Italian pizzas since the Marlow restaurant opened for takeaway in June, and now it’s officially opened for indoor dining – perfect for date night.
One of our fave Oxfordshire breweries Tap Social has launched a brand new super-limited edition beer called In Deep Water to raise awareness of the role of food waste in climate change, to coincide with the COP26 Climate Conference. Created in collaboration with Toast Ale, it’s made using waste bread (that’s one way to use up your leftover Hovis) and comes in biodegradable 6 pack ring holders – naturally.
Plant-based foodies (and even those who’d rather jump off a bridge than partake in Veganuary) will love brand new culinary experience Table 13, squirrelled away down a residential road in Wheatley. Created by Georgia Gallacher, former general manager of Michelin-starred London restaurant Pidgin, Table 13 is a ‘social dining experience’ that seats all its 10 guests on one large table to serve them inventive ‘seed-to-talk’ cooking. As you can imagine, booking is required, so get in there pronto.
Paloma Faith fans will want to get out the diary for this one – she’s coming to Milton Keynes in July next year as part of her The Age of Optimism tour. She’ll be coming to Campbell Park for the first time ever on 17 July, so we’d snap up tickets if you have a Paloma fan in your life.
Succession obsessives, keep an eye out for Brian Cox (no, not that one) in Oxford next month, as he’s due to give a speech at The Oxford Union (student attendance only, sadly).
Scrooges, look away now, we’re about to talk Christmas. After last year’s video Christmas light switch-on, Marlow residents can expect to see Chris Evans in the flesh for this year’s event (standing on top of the double-decker bus outside The Chequers, to be precise). The big switch on will happen on 25 Nov, and there’ll even be ‘real’ snowfall.
Speaking of Top Gear hosts, Jeremy Clarkson’s Chipping Norton farm has won an award at this year’s British Farming Awards. The team from Clarkson’s Farm scooped a Flying the Flag for British Agriculture Award – all the more reason to visit the Farm Shop, then!