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Superflashy! Celeb, foodie & pop-up news

Top chefs set to open Oxon deli, Bicester Village's guilt-free shopping event, pop-ups in Oxford, a new blockbuster being filmed in Hambleden, and more hot stuff...

Hollywood comes to Hambleden!

credit: Instagram / @mymarlow

Hollywood royalty Amy Adams has been spied strutting around the village of Hambleden in full princess get-up this week, filming for Disney’s new film Disenchanted, a follow up to 2007’s Enchanted.

credit: Instagram / @mymarlow

The Bucks village – that has been given a sprinkling of Disney magic over recent days with flowers, bunting and kitsch signage – adds the film to its enviable IMDb profile which also includes – deep breath – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Witches, The Avengers, 101 Dalmatians, Into The Woods, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. No exact date on when the movie will be released, but I’ll keep my ear to the ground!

Hot new deli

A new deli-bakery (I mean, what a combo!) is opening in Nettlebed soon. McQueens will open at the historic former site of Field Kitchen in the Oxon village near Henley. It’s the blossoming brainchild of local brothers, Freddie (above) and Jack Wilcox, whose stellar careers have taken them through jobs at Orwells in Binfield Heath and The Goring Grocer. It’s expected to sell sourdough bread, fresh bakes, pastries and cakes as well as savoury snacks and homemade ready meals to take home. I’m in!

Coffee + cake = happy

The haven of coffee and cake that is Barefoot is reopening its Jericho site after two long years… The bakery was turfed out while the landlord renovated the building and as with all building projects it faced epic delays. So, finally, it reopened on 16 March on Walton Street, and meanwhile the North Parade site will also remain open. Mine’s a raspberry and white chocolate cruffin… mmmm

Celeb panto alert!

OK, so it might be a bit too early to say the ‘C’ word but here’s just a tiny sprinkling of festive cheer… Milton Keynes Theatre​ has announced the cast for its 2022 pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Birds of a Feather‘s Lesley Joseph tackle the role of the Wicked Queen (I can totally see that!) and Rob Rinder, of Judge Rinder and Strictly Come Dancing who will be The Man In The Mirror. The pair have worked together before on stage, as well as competing against each other in Strictly, so it’s sure to be a great show.

The very cute and bucolic 18th Century Chandos Arms in Oakley, Bucks, is set to reopen in mid-April following a complete overhaul thanks to the arrival of new co-owner Matteo Romeo. The Italian chef comes from The Long Dog where his cooking was much-lauded. We can’t wait to see what he and partner Brandon will do with the Chandos in their bid to turn it into one of the best gastro pubs in the area.

The deli is now open at Summertown’s Kitchen Food Company selling all manner of tempting goodies sourced locally and from the mighty Daylesford Organics. Check it out, and read our exclusive first look review of the fab new Oxford eatery here.

Guilt-free shopping

DO GOOD pop up Bicester Village

Bicester Village is running a very special pop-up on 24 March – 21 April selling gorgeous new and pre-loved pieces from brands like Free People, Ghost, Cefinn, RIXO, and Joseph and celeb-donated clothes to boot. The ‘Do Good’ Smart Works pop up will put all proceeds towards four charities, Brides do Good, Into University, Smart Works and World Connect, which aim to unlock futures for women and children around the world. There’s also sustainable brand Ecoalf, which uses recycled materials to make fabulous clothes.

Shop-til-you-pop

Are you into shopping? (*rhetorical question*). If you haven’t checked them out yet, Oxford’s Covered Market has had a veritable totes-ful of fabulous foodie and fashion businesses pop up in the past few months. There’s fresh yoghurt drinks company Puggi Yoggi, sourdough pizza bakers Sartorelli’s Pizza, book and beer shop Gulp Fiction, kids and baby clothing company Ducky Zebra, much-lauded sustainable underwear brand Y.O.U Underwear and craft shop The Woolhound.

Kids like dinos and cave dwellers? Thought so… If you head over to Discover Bucks Museum from this Sat, 2 April, there’s five new galleries dedicated to ancient history, including fossils from sea monsters, evidence of woolly mammoths, a 3,000-year-old sword, ancient coins, right up to more recent artefacts, costumes and stories, plus a section dedicated to local wildlife. If you get there on launch day there’s also a load of special activities on.   

The Cotswold retreat of artist and designer William Morris will reopen this Fri 1 April after almost three years of repairs work. Kelmscott Manor near Faringdon had a cool £6m spent on it and now has a snazzy new exhibition space, activity studio (watch this space for workshops!) and has been reorganised to a less formal layout to reflect its former life as a family home in the late 19th century. It will be open Thurs-Sat 11am-5pm.

Arts venue is back!

After taking the tricky decision to close for repairs, the Cornerstone arts centre in Dicot has sorted its heating and is open again, with a piping hot line-up of good stuff in the months to come. There’s Frankenstein on stage now (28-29 March), an ongoing exhibition of oriental art around the theme of spring called Anticipating Spring, plus alternative tellings of Great Expectations and I, Elizabeth and a ton of fab family activities including the incredible Morgan and West magician scientists

Will Kaleb out-sell Clarkson?

Clarkson’s Farm has spawned many business ventures – gin, t-shirts, tote bags…. and now there’s a book – no, not Clarkson’s – but this one will (apparently) be written by his side-kick and scene-stealer, Kaleb Cooper. Said to have been dreamt up while he drove his tractor around Clarkson’s Farm, the book is called ‘The World According to Kaleb’ and is available for pre-order.

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