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Super-duper superflashy newsflash!

Stunning new staycation destinations, pop-ups galore, celeb news, festive fun and upside down houses - here's all the curated, cool and quirky news you need to know this week.

A room with a view

Old Bank Hotel

Fancy waking up to stunning views of Oxford’s dreaming spires, Radcliffe Camera, St Mary’s Church, and All Souls College quad? Then you’ll want to book yourself into the Old Bank Hotel which has just scooped up the Editor’s Choice award in the The Good Hotel Guide’s ‘Rooms with a View’ category. Making the most of its location, Room 1 (above) features floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and a private terrace where you can sip on drinks shaken on the room’s own cocktail-making station. Bliss.

Cabu Cabins

Or if you prefer bucolic vistas, Cabü Cabins – which has two outposts in Kent and Ireland – has just announced that its new batch of gorgeous eco-conscious self-catering timber cabins will be set up in the Cotswolds. No confirmed launch date as of yet, but I’ll keep my Muddy ear to the ground…

Thame’s new kids on the block

It’s all going on in Thame with three new businesses moving in, starting with edie + po opening on Buttermarket. The store will stock beautiful one-off vintage and upcycled furniture as well as a curated range of modern homewares chosen for their ethics and eco-creds. The store will be opening this Sat (13 Nov) with a little celeb sparkle from owner Kate’s brother Simon Farnaby (of Horrible Histories and Paddington 2 scriptwriting fame) so head over for free laughs and fizz whist you browse.

We’re also excited to hear on the grapevine that Haddenham’s BeerGinVino (your go-to for independent tipple) will be opening a second outpost, Gin & Vino. The new venue will still have wine and gin available to buy by the bottle (clue’s in the name, eh?) as well as turning into a bar in the afternoon to serve drinks and grazing boards.

It’s all change for Biagio the Jeweller – the luxury jewellery store will not only be moving into a new Thame location but will also be opening an Italian café for customers. Gloria’s will serve artisan food with a Neapolitan influence including dishes like bruschetta al pomodoro and gnocchi as well as pizza and sharing boards. Pizza and pearls, a winning combo.

Feeling festive yet?

No? This should do the trick: a shop dedicated entirely to the festive season has just opened inside the old Topshop on Queen Street in central Oxford. Christmas Supermarket is packed to the rafters (seriously, Muddy scoped it out over the weekend and it’s like Santa’s workshop) with ribbons, wrapping paper, gift boxes, labels and Xmas decorations. Seeing as Christmas seems to be on the brain early this year, no doubt stock will fly out quicker than Donner and Blitzen, so get in quick!

Ice rink

Elsewhere, Aylesbury has a brand new outdoor (it’s covered, don’t worry) ice rink at Chiltern View Nursery popping up from 25 Nov – 10 Jan. For the kids there’ll be free skate aids, plus live performances from Gareth Gates (27 Nov), ABBA Sisters (11 Dec) and more. And, if you fancy showing off your triple axel (or, erm, flailing around on the ice) to disco beats, every Friday is disco night with a resident DJ. Child tickets from £7.50, adult tickets from £10, spectator tickets from £7.50

Perky pop-ups

Wyld pop-up

If you go down to the woods today… brand new supper club venture WYLD will be bringing its outdoor dining experiences to Milton Keynes in the new year. With a strong focus on sustainability and connecting with nature, WYLD promises ‘a sustainable solution for conscious carnivores’ with the menu centred around local WYLD venison (don’t worry veggies, there are plant-based options too). Hosted in a secret location in south MK, all dishes will be cooked outside over an open fire and eaten on tables built by hand from wind blown timber and coppiced wood from local woodland management.

No, you don’t need to turn your phone/laptop the other way round! This giant pink house is actually the ‘UK’s first inverted photo experience’ (a fancy way of saying upside down) that’s recently appeared in MK’s Midsummer Place Shopping Centre. Visitors can pay £5 (under 3s go free) to enter and take snaps standing on the ceiling in the upside down kitchen, lounge, bedroom and office.

And over in Oxon, we’ll be heading to The Old Rickyard in Lower Heyford on 27 – 28 Nov to check out local potter Fleur Enser’s pretty pottery pop-up (try saying that 10 times over after a few G&Ts). Shop chic, yet practical sharing platters, bowls and dipping dishes from her Earthenware collection or statement pieces (these fired clay pears have gone straight on my Christmas list) from her Stoneware collection.

Hollywood comes to the ‘hood!

@JodieMComer

Don’t be surprised if you see Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) and Joaquin Phoenix (The Joker) running around the streets of Oxford in full period drama costume this January – the pair have been cast as husband and wife in Ridley Scott’s new historical blockbuster about the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Filming for Kitbag will begin in the new year with battle scenes being filmed in various locations around the city, although we’ll have to wait until 2023 to watch the full film.

Meanwhile, in Wycombe, planning permission has been submitted to turn part of Booker Airfield into a the set for a ‘global film franchise’ – no news on the film or production company yet, but we can only hope it brings more Hollywood hunks to our locale (fingers and toes crossed for Tom Hardy!).

Something a little dirty

Not like that! Beloved burger joint Dirty Bones in Oxford are launching a new festive food menu on 25 Nov, and it sounds positively drool-worthy (hello, deep-fried mac & cheese balls with cranberry sauce!). For the main event, those DB mavericks have whipped up an array that includes the above bonkers burger of fried turkey, sweet potato waffles, sprouts, bread sauce aioli, and redcurrant sauce. Somehow cannot look away?!

And if you really want to go all-out for Christmas, you can book Dirty Bones Oxford (and it’s super-swanky rooftop) for a private party of up to 250 people, including two / three courses from the holiday menu, or a comfort bites selection of their rather naughty canapes. Crispy chicken bites, southern fried doughnuts, sticky toffee pudding cup… er, is it Christmas yet?

And finally….

We love Nettlebed Creamery, winner of Best Local Producer in the Bucks & Oxon Muddy Awards – and it turns out we’re not the only ones. Its triple cream, mould-ripened (much tastier than it sounds) BIX cheese has just been awarded Bronze at the World Cheese Awards. Just imagine being a judge for that – best job ever?!

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