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Psst, have you heard the gossip? We have, naturellement - gather round and we'll tell you EVERYTHING.

If it’s going on in Bucks or Oxon, rest assured, big ol’ flappy ears over here knows about it. Here’s the lowdown on this week’s goss.

 

Naked lunch

Food in the nude? Would you, could you?! Botley’s hippest hangout Tap Social have just announced a collaboration with supperclub supremos Native Feasts and naturist group Dine Naked Oxford (yep, it’s a real thing). On Tues 5 Feb, they’ll be serving up a four course, locally sourced menu for £25, including roasted winter veg chaat, homemade hummus and confit duck, washed down with the venue’s brewed-on-site beer. And diners will be totally nekkid. I’d like to say I’ll go down to review but…. um. If you’re a braver soul than me and decide to give it a whirl, do let us know! PS – look out for more sexy new (but not nudey, phew) supperclub announcements in Thursday’s newsletter.

 

Marlow murmurings  


Roll up, roll up for your tickets to Tom Kerridge’s Pub In The Park festival – they go on sale on 1 Feb, or 31 Jan if you sign up to their newsletter. The Higginson Park festival, this year 17-19 May, is always a hot ticket, with its blend of Michelin-starred pop-ups (Heston is coming this year, along with Bibendum’s Oyster Bar and Dominic Chapman’s The Beehive ) and live music.

Elsewhere in the town, look out for the reopening of The Cross Keys in Spittal Street in April, following a £500,000 major refurb. Its new owners, who also run The Yew Tree in Frieth (which we recently reviewed here), promise an extensive selection of craft beer and artisan spirits (and an onsite gin distillery) and a healthy plant-based menu. We’re intrigued.

 

Hot author in the area

Westgate Blackwells books

You might not recognise Kristen Roupenian’s name but you’ll probably remember the furore around her – in 2017, the US writer’s short story about a disastrous date, Cat Person, went viral. Blackwell’s in Oxford have just announced Kristen will be in town on 8 Feb to talk about her new book, with tickets just £5. Although maybe not one for date night…

 

It’s all going on in Milton Keynes (yup, really)

Photo: Derek Wales

MK Gallery has announced it’s reopening on 16 March, after a year long, ring-a-ding-dong refurb. Seriously, I’m very excited. Its first leisure-themed exhibition, The Lie Of The Land, will be spread across all five galleries and feature works by a diverse bunch of artists, including Gainsborough, Turner, Capability Brown, Jeremy Deller and Bridget Riley. Can’t wait.

 

Fashion fix

Alright pouty, what you got to be sad about? We love a bit of Mint Velvet at Muddy – the shoes are especially strong and the new Mintie girlswear is very cute – so we’re pleased to hear that a new branch is opening imminently in Thame; 11 Feb to be precise. Race you to the trainers!

 

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon