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Superflashy news flash: all the local gossip

From Adam Ant to Prince Charles, and flashy new waterspouts centres to prawn toast, it's all happening in Oxon and Bucks this week

We keep our ear to the ground to bring you the latest happenings in food, arts, lifestyle and general good times. Here’s what’s happening this week…

Chilfest 2021 to go ahead

Local festival favourite, Chilfest, in Tring, will go ahead this year, but the date has been pushed back to 23-24 July. Chilfest is aiming to come back big after being forced to postpone last year. The Friday night is dedicated to tribute acts – from The Bootleg Beatles to Noasis, while Saturday is 80s night – acts confirmed so far are Adam Ant, Tony Hadley, Roland Gift of the Fine Young Cannibals, Leee John of Imagination, and more. Get more details here.

Prince Charles back in Oxfordshire

Prince Charles can’t get enough of Oxfordshire – he’s been back for a second time in a month, visiting FarmED at Shipton-under-Wychwood. Earlier in the month he was marking the anniversary of 100 years of Oxford degrees for women with a visit to Somerville College, which itself is a vanguard among the Oxford colleges for its sustainable practices around food and energy. In this latest visit the green-fingered HRH was officially opening FarmED, an education centre that is focused on reducing climate change and promoting biodiversity hand-in-hand with farming.

Oxford’s new meadow

Oxford’s Broad Street – the one with the Sheldonian Theatre and the Bodleian Library – is to be part pedestrianised and turned into a public square and events space for the summer. Next time you meet a mate for coffee in the city, suggest ‘Broad Meadow’, as it’ll now (generously) be known. For the time being expect wildflower beds, benches and no cars! If the Council gets the go-ahead, it could be permanent.

New Watersports Centre

Willen Lake’s flashy new £5 million Watersports Centre and cafe opened on Saturday. The centre hosts the reception for anyone who has booked sailing, swimming, wakeboarding, windsurfing etc and has smart new changing rooms and loos plus accessible facilities.

Covered Market Gelateria Gets Gold

The Good Food Awards have given their coveted gold award to iScream. The Covered Market business opened six years ago and have work with local food suppliers such as Rectory Farm, which provides strawberries for the moreish sorbet. New season flavours include ginger and rhubarb, and honey. Locally sourced and part of your five-a-day… permission granted, we say.

The Stag to reopen as a community pub

The Stag at Mentmore, Bucks, reopened last week after a complete and fabulous refurb. It was bought by a group of locals after it closed in 2018 and has been modernised during lockdown. It will now open as a cafe during the day serving coffee, brunch and light bites, and open as a pub and restaurant in the evening. The focus is on local and sustainable with daily specials and a Sunday lunch menu. Tapping into the local cycling, there’s a cycle hub with pump and spare parts available to administer any repairs before the trip home.

Two Oxfordshire Festivals postponed until 2022

The plug has been pulled on the 2021 Fairport Cropredy Convention. Organisers of the Oxfordshire folk and rock festival have moved the event to August 11-13 2022 blaming uncertainty around lockdown and social distancing rules. News also broke this week that Truck Festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row for the same reason. The event in Steventon, Oxon, was a sell-out, but is now planned for July 22-24, 2022. Bombay Bicycle Club, The Kooks and Royal Blood were among the confirmed acts.

The Gardiners Chefs Table is back!

We love a spot of theatre with our meal and at Crockers Henley, the experience goes beyond the fabulously crafted food. The fine dining eatery is bringing back its Asian-inspired chef’s table menu from July 15. The multi-course tasting menu includes truffle prawn toast (a far cry from your local takeaway’s version), as well as asapargus, eel, and mackerel, plus there’s a vegetarian alternative. All dishes are matched with a curated flight of wines and sake. Get your designated driver brownie points stacked up before this night out!

Little Cooks

Bucks-based Little Cooks Co entrepreneur Helen Burgess has launched an interactive cookbook to help kids learn to cook – because frankly, isn’t it about time they did their own tea? It’s part of the series of ‘You Can’ activity books from Harper Collins. Others in the series include titles on getting active, crafting and learning about space.

Find more ideas here

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