Get your body Summer-ready

With the advent of summery dresses, peep-toe sandals and barbecue invitations that June brings, we all want  our body-best. Our head therapist Kirsty Hughes gives the second of three weekly top tips, designed to help you achieve this.

Get your body ready for Summer

Prime your body for the Summer sun

There’s nothing better than feeling your best both outside and in. It is hard to find time to look after ourselves but truthfully, take action little and often, and it soon becomes really easy – and the benefits will come. Soon, getting your body summer-ready will be a natural part of your routine.

To help combat cellulite and get an even skin-tone, a great tip is to use a body brush on dry skin using long sweeping strokes in the direction of the heart every day. Slip it into your routine and soon it will be second nature.

Exfoliating once to twice a week is also key because exfoliation increases cell renewal and stimulates oil glands. Skin on the body has only 100 oil glands per square centimetre compared to the face which has 300 to 900. This is often the reason why skin on our body often feels drier along with the fact that we are less likely to moisturise our body than our face. Our own Red Grape range is perfect for this, with our Red Grape Body Polish to exfoliate and our Red Grape Body Cream (both £18).

Wrap treatments are great for the skin along with massage which as well as releasing tension, and detoxifying, helps to tone skin and moisturise through the use of oils.Our Red Grape Pampering Body Wrap will improve lymph drainage (£70 for 55 minutes) while The Vineyard Full Body Massage will increase blood flow (£75 for 55minutes) as well as making you feel great.

Fresh, delicious, seasonal asparagus

Locally-sourced and seasonal produce is absolutely our aim, with 90 percent or more of our foodstuffs hailing from Britain, and local farmers very much being our main suppliers. Executive Chef Daniel Galmiche has ‘picked’ the star vegetable of the moment- asparagus.

Asparagus

May heralds asparagus season

Late spring is harvest time for asparagus, both green and white – a mere seven or eight week season – and the best is whatever you can buy locally. You can often get hold of it throughout the year, but as ever I like to get seasonal, locally sourced produce, not only because it truly does taste better.

Green asparagus has more of an intense nutty flavour than white varieties and really works well with creamier sauces, such as hollandaise. I like to keep the flavours simple so you can appreciate the freshness and flavour of this wonderful vegetable.

Preparation is key and often it will naturally snap between your fingers at just the right place – to do this, when you cut it, hold a spear from both ends and bend.

When you cook asparagus, remove the bundle from the pan and plunge it into ice cold water. This helps to keep the chlorophyll (and therefore the goodness and colour) locked in.

Depending on how it is prepared, this vegetable is best served with a lovely glass of medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc, such as white Graves when served simply, or white Burgundy when served with Hollandaise sauce. Currently we have a number of asparagus dishes available at The Vineyard.

And…when the asparagus season is over, leeks make a great alternative!

Get your body Summer-ready

Our experienced head therapist Kirsty Hughes imparts her wisdom and suggests some do-it-yourself treatments to help you get ready for the sunny season. Here is the first of three excerpts from her over the forthcoming three weeks – just in time for the longest day of the year!

Summer Ready

With the shops starting to optimistically display barbecues at this time of year, and the British Summer calendar around the corner (cricket, Henley, Wimbledon, Ascot and Glyndebourne to name a few), the social summer season is almost here. Happily, we can look to wear summer dresses, sandals and pretty shawls. With our feet and skin about to be on show, it’s time to get our body-best for the summer. Here are some top tips to slip into your routine and soon it will be second nature.

Perhaps the least cared-for part of the body over the colder months are the feet. They deserve pampering; after all, they do serve us very well! It is so easy to care for them, too. Just set aside some you-time and follow the tips below.

Pumice stones gently remove hard areas, and nightly moisturising (pop some socks on after to keep the moisture in) helps to soften skin and get rid of any super-dry patches.
Mavala’s Hydro-Repairing Foot Cream (£12) is ideal to resolve dry or cracked skin.

Our toes’ cuticles need attention too, and caring for them straight after a shower or bath is best, because they are soft and can be pushed back easily. For more stubborn cuticles you can use Mavala Cuticle remover (£11).

Summery nail colours on toes really add a touch of glamour. I always apply a base coat to stop colour staining and help the colour apply evenly to your nail. Two coats of colour varnish and then a top coat seals the colour in to extend its life. Reapply every few days to prolong the life of the paint. Sit back and relax as it takes around 45 minutes for the paint to become rock solid.

If all this sound like too much effort then treat yourself to a Deluxe Pedicure (£50 for 55 minutes) and let us do the hard work. Your feet will be exfoliated, nails shaped, cuticle work, massage, a paraffin mask and last of all a paint. Your shoulders also get treated with a heated body wrap to ensure you have a relaxing time.

Events in Berkshire this May

Events in Berkshire this MayNewbury Open Studios 2015

2nd to 25th May

Set up in 1988, Newbury Open Studios is up and running for two weeks again this May. It is an ideal opportunity for you to visit the studios of the regions most prominent artists, see their latest works, talk to them about their processes and generally get your creative juices flowing.

Kick off the event with the flagship exhibition at the complimentary New Greenham Arts exhibition which features works from 115 artists, including 17 new artists. From glass to silk painting, jewellery to painting and drawing, the festival runs the gamut of artistic talent.

For more information, we recommend you visit the website.


Californian Wine School at The Vineyard

6th May

California wine is our specialist subject, and this event in perfect timing as our latest shipment will be on the water from the 2015 Spring releases. Join us for a vinous trip around Napa, Sonoma & Mendocino Counties, plus a trip down South to Arroyo Grande. We are a bit biased but it is one of the best events in Berkshire this May! We will explore the classic grape varieties and compare hillside and coastal fruit. Many of the wines being opened will be totally new and exclusive to The Vineyard which we are excited about.
£30 per person

Discover more about our wine schools.


Wolf Keeper Experience

7th May

Take advantage of this unique one-day experience to get up close and personal with wolves, including the new Arctic wolves.

On 7th May, the UK Wolf Conservation Trust has arranged for members of the public to learn more about these beautiful creatures. You will be able to help with aspects of care, shadow the keepers, see behind the scenes into the everyday life of wolves and their keepers, and see how the trainers encourage natural foraging behaviours. It is certainly one of the most unusual events in Berkshire this May. There will be plenty of opportunity for photographs, as well as added bonus of watching resident birds of prey such as kestrels, buzzards and kites.

For more information, we recommend you visit the website.


Peter Michael Winery Dinner

8th May

Hosted by Sir Peter Michael and family, we welcome you to the annual Peter Michael Winery dinner where you will be treated to five course dinner matched with exquisite wines from the Peter Michael Winery. Five course dinner with matching wines.

£120 per person

View menu.


Newbury Spring Festival

9th to 23rd May

Guaranteed to be the biggest and best yet, for two weeks from 9th May to 23rd May, the annual Newbury Spring Festival is taking place around the various prestigious local venues. One of the UK’s most prestigious Arts festivals, this year showcases international talent from all areas of the artistic spectrum: music, theatre, dance, literature and cabaret. Sopecifically, the large programme of work is aimed at young people and families, including the young stars award.

For more information, we recommend you visit the website.


Annual Pelican charity Golf Day

13th May

Held at the Donnington Valley Hotel and Golf Course, this annual event on 13th May is sure to be a fantastic day of sporting fun, followed by a delicious three course gourmet lunch. After a delicious breakfast of bacon baps, the starting gun is at 9am, and is all for the worthy cause of Pelican Cancer Foundation, driving innovation and development in bowel (colorectal), bladder, prostate and liver cancer treatment.

For more information, we recommend you visit the website or email events@pelicancancer.org


Award-nominated music in Newbury this May

14th May

The breathtaking and wickedly inventive music of Paul Hutchinson and Paul Sartin comes to Acespace in Newbury this 14th May. Playing like no-one else, the two have been nominated for Best Duo in the Radio 2 Folk Awards. Who else can you think of who are equally at home on 6 Radio (Cerys Matthews) and Radio 3 (In Tune). £10 in advance, £12 on the door, this is a great value evening, not to be missed.

We recommend you email events@acespace.org.uk or visit the website for more details.


Highclere Game and Country Fair

24th to 25th May

Set in the picturesque surrounds of the Highclere Castle, for 20 years Highclere Game and Country Fair has provided one of the UK’s finest showcases of country life. From 24th to 25th May, with world-class championship hunting and shooting events as well as the Highclere food festival, there’s something to suit all tastes, from competitive field sportsmen to those who want to relax.
Plus, for those new to country sports, you will find expert tuition and advice on how to get involved. The Highclere Game and Country Fair is also a great family day out, with live music and children’s entertainment too.

For more information, we recommend you email info@countrymanfairs.co.uk or visit the website.


Bucklebury Bushcraft and Barbecue

25th May

Set in a stunning 77-acre site, Bucklebury Farm Park has a host of attractions including deer park, farm animals, indoor play, pedal go-cart track, tractor rides, refreshments, adventure playground, a wild walk, Be a Farmer Club and den building. Join in this May Bank Holiday for some free bushcraft activities and a barbecue for a great value day out that will appeal to the whole family, school groups, senior citizens’ clubs, or just a couple of friends.

For more information, we recommend you email info@buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk or visit the website.

Unique wedding cakes by Yevnig

As an honoured preferred supplier to The Vineyard, it is always a real pleasure for Unique Cakes, by Yevnig to work with aspirational couples-to-be who are getting married, or are holding their wedding reception at this stunning & beautiful venue.

For the coming wedding season, we have been working on three very special new designs with a common and elegant golden theme. Whilst perfectly complementing the luxurious and exclusive setting of The Vineyard, our lavish new cakes are guaranteed to provide a grand and opulent centrepiece for the big day.

Golden Sequins

Unique wedding cakes - Golden Sequins Chic metallic sequins are a hot favourite and are very-much in vogue this season. With gorgeous sequined bridal dresses becoming very popular, our ‘Golden Sequins’ cake is a decadent mixture of vintage frills, pearls & a glamorous burst of sequins; in a luxurious and splendid 4 tier arrangement. A very bold and unique statement.

Champagne Birdcage

Unique wedding cakes by Yevng - Champagne birdcageInspired by the flourishing chic trend, this cake captures hints of gold champagne, with elaborate love nest frills and colourful vintage patterning. A romantic birdcage sits atop 3 towering tiers. Elements of opulent jewellery, pearls and frills nestle a pair of white lovebirds. This cake has a grand stature, presenting the perfect centrepiece.

Heart of Gold

Unique wedding cakes by Yevnig - Heart of GoldThe design of this cake captures the true essence of love and happiness, celebrating the fun of marriage and living life together… With an effervescence of tiny golden spheres rising up through the tiers, the cake takes its inspiration from the bubbly and joyful qualities of vintage champagne. Frills on the lower tier and in the heart at the top are influenced by the classic elegance of a flowing wedding dress train.

A luxury cake is not just about looking good. It’s what is inside that really counts – and we take a great pride in baking cakes of exceptional quality, taste and texture.

For the coming wedding season, we are seeing an emerging trend for our Signature Chocolate Stout and our exclusive-recipe Luxury Red Velvet cakes. These are two splendid flavours, for which I would strongly recommend a tasting.

Our gorgeously rich and dark chocolate cake with a cheeky hint of Stout is a little secret and a real favourite of our customers! Bursting with flavour, the rich and moist dark sponge is perfectly complemented by our light and silky Baileys Swiss meringue buttercream filling. It’s a divine combination!

Another often-requested flavour is our Luxury Red Velvet cake. A smooth and luxurious cake, noted for its attractive and unique red colour. We bake our Red Velvet cake with a hearty portion of chocolate and cocoa, for a scrumptious richness. It is ideally paired with our premium white chocolate truffle filling for a decadent and memorable celebration.

We hope these emerging trends have given you food for thought.

Providing a bespoke and premium service, each and every commission is tailored and designed exclusively for your special day and is always very unique. It would be my honour to create your dream wedding cake.

As a preferred supplier, Unique Cakes, by Yevnig offer a 10% discount for clients booking their wedding at The Vineyard and can be contacted on 01256 421984 or www.yevnig.com

To speak to one of our dedicated wedding co-ordinators about celebrating your special day at The Vineyard, please call us on 01635 589407 or email events1@the-vineyard.co.uk

Californian Wine Weekend – 8th to 9th May 2015

Californian wine weekendWell, we are getting ever closer to our Californian Wine Weekend on 8th and 9th May this year so I guess I should start to announce some of our visitors from across the water and the wines they will be showing…

At dinner, featuring Peter Michael Winery, we will be opening for the first time the 2013 L’Apres-Midi Sauvignon Blanc, a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc-based wine with a touch of Semillon added. Think white Bordeaux…but VERY good white Bordeaux. It goes without saying that the Les Pavots will be opened along with some of the family’s Pinot Noir. It promises to be a good night! View the menu with matching wines

At our Saturday tasting, these wines will be again open to taste, but joined with many others from our range of Californian bottles. Taste over 50 Californian wines that will be open to taste and purchase for just £30 per person. Maryann Bautovitch will be flying in from Talley Estate and pouring their Arroyo Grande Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Brent Shortridge, owner of our best sellers Waterstone, Mandolin and Amala Springs arrives on the same day and will be showcasing his entire range from the delicate Mandolin Riesling, to the deep, dense Waterstone Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Joe Donelan joins us for the first time this year and will showcase some of the finest Syrah to emerge from the US, plus a beautiful Viogner from Sonoma County. Masterclasses will be in progress throughout the day to help you get the most out of every taste…

And if you’re really lucky, I might just open a bottle of Peter Michael Chardonnay…!

Discover more about the Californian Wine Weekend.

Cheers,

James Hocking
Director of Wine
The Vineyard Cellars

Berkshire Events this April

Events in Berkshire this April3rd to 20th April – Easter at Bucklebury Farm

Come and join in during the Easter Holidays: bottle feed the baby lambs and go on an egg-citing Easter egg hunt (3rd April to 6th April) or enjoy a delicious meal from Woody’s – the new cafe and tea rooms.
Set in a stunning 77-acre site they have a host of attractions including: deer park, farm animals, indoor play, pedal go-cart track, tractor rides (included in your admission price), refreshments, adventure playground, a wild walk, Be a Farmer Club and den building.
Bucklebury Farm Park offers a magical experience and a great value day out whatever the weather, that will appeal to the whole family, school groups, senior citizens’ clubs, or just a couple of friends.

You can find them in the Berkshire countryside close to the village of Bucklebury between Reading and Newbury. Sat Nav: RG7 6RR

Prices: Adults – £9.45 and children & seniors – £8.45 (under 2’s are free), family ticket – £32.50 (2 adults and 2 children)

Please call 0118 971 4002 to book or find out more online


Wednesday 8th April – Italy Wine School at The Vineyard

Chianti lovers won’t be disappointed here, but think of all those other Italian regions producing consistently great wine – Campania, Trentino Alto-Adige being just a couple we will showcase. Italian wine has often been viewed as the most food-friendly of all the great wine producing regions, so we will go into some depth about the process of pairing classic dishes to these great regions.

£30 per person

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book

Discover more about our future wine schools


Saturday 18th April – Ashampstead Spring Food and Local Produce Fair

10am to 5pm
Following the success of their Easter food fair in April 2014 Ashampstead are now organising another fair in order to raise money for the village hall. There will be hot food available/coffee/tea/beer as well as homemade cakes. Stallholders cover everything from preserves, cheese, bread, cakes and chocolates to plants and crafts.

Ashampstead Village Hall, Church Lane, Berkshire RG8 8SW.

Entry fee – £1


Sunday 19th April – Aladdin at Arlington Arts Centre

2.30pm and 7.30pm performances

There are so many Berkshire events in April and this is one not to be missed.
Ballet Theatre UK returns to Arlington Arts with their breath-taking adaptation of the story of Aladdin. Be enchanted as the dancers weave together the story of the lonely, streetwise orphan. A tragic deception sets Aladdin on the path to treasures even greater than the gold and jewels he seeks. The classical ballet company are dazzling as always in this adventure that uncovers spells, riches and, of course, true love.
BTUK features a cast of some of the most superbly talented dancers handpicked from across the globe. As one of the newer ballet companies, their choreography can be relied upon to be exciting and up to date. Their shows are always fast to sell out at Arlington and, like any fairy tale, have to be seen to truly be believed.
“one of the most innovative companies on the touring circuit” – getreading.co.uk.

Prices: £17, concessions – £15, family – £50

Please call 01635 244246 to book and view more details online


Friday 24th April – Italian Wine Dinner at The Vineyard

7pm onwards

The Frescobaldi family own over 1,000 hectares of vineyards, all located in excellent areas for the production of fine wines. We will be joined by the family’s export director, Giuseppe Pariani, who has spent his whole life in the Tuscan wine business, and has been a passionate advocate for the Frescobaldi estates for the last 25 years. He will give us a full insight into the different regions and it’s wines mixed with a fascinating look at Tuscany’s turbulent past.

Five course dinner with matching wines

£95 per person

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book

Discover more about our future wine dinners

Create your very own Easter nest

Chocolate - 580 x 288With Easter just around the corner, impress your friends and create your very own Easter nest by following our Head Pastry Chef, Anthony Millon’s step by step instructions and recipes.

Recipes

Chocolate mousse

Ingredients: 100g dark chocolate, 1 egg yolk, 200g soft whipped cream

Method: Melt the chocolate (slightly warmer than luke warm, but do not boil or burn), add the yolk to the chocolate, and mix and add cream to the chocolate and yolk .

Honey cream

Ingredients: 25g honey, 25g sugar, 75g double cream, 100g soft whipped cream.

Method: Use a pan and bring the honey and sugar to the caramel stage on the stove once the sugar starts to colour and you have a strong honey smell stop cooking. Heat the double cream in a microwave or on the stove until warm. Add this to the honey and sugar and leave until cold. Use a large pan to do so as this is likely to double in size. Leave to go cold. Once cold, add the soft-whipped cream through, and place into a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Rhubarb compote/purée

Cook the rhubarb with sugar until soft, and use as compote. Or alternatively once cool, blend and pass through a sieve to make a purée.

Step by step instructions

image1Crack the eggs two thirds of the way along, take the egg yolks and whites out and put the shells to one side.

 

 

 

image4Wash the shells and leave them to dry.

 

 

 

Easter nest -image 1Left: Raw Rhubarb, peeled.

Right: Strawberries, lime juice, crème fraîche and sugar
Mix these together

Crushed chocolate eggs

 

New Picture (42).jpgTop: Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry, add the mixed strawberries with lime juice, crème fraîche and sugar.

Bottom: A spoonful of mixed berries; blackberries and raspberries

 

New Picture (43)Top: Add chocolate mousse, pipe use a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Middle: Add crushed bits of meringue on top of the strawberry mix.

Bottom: Add rhubarb purée

New Picture (44)Top: Add decorations eg. crushed mini eggs and edible flowers

Middle: Drizzle raspberry coulis over the top of the meringue.

Bottom: Add the honey cream, pipe using a piping bag with a star nozzle.

New Picture (45)Bottom: Once the honey cream has been added, add the raw rhubarb (peeled) on top.

 

 

 

New Picture (47)Place in a cardboard egg container; add straw and extra chocolate eggs.

 

 

I hope you enjoy making these Easter nests and have a very happy Easter. Enjoy afternoon tea over the Easter holidays for just £25 per person.

Happy Cooking!

Anthony Millon
Head Pastry Chef at The Vineyard

 

 

 

What to drink this spring

What to drink this springSpring is here! OK, the weather may be a little variable at the moment, but things are definitely warming up and this certainly affects my seasonal wine selections. Read on for my recommendations on what to drink this spring.

Historically, March and April see the gamut of new wine and vintage releases throughout the vinous word. Many wine trade fairs are hosted around the country, with producers across the globe visiting the UK and showcasing their latest releases. So, what am I drinking at the moment…?

I always have a soft spot for Italy at this time of year, and have picked up a beautiful new Greco di Tufo from Feudi di San Gregorio, based down in Campania, Southern Italy (RRP £15.52). Lovely almond nose with a touch of white peach and honeysuckle flavours. I added their red wine Rubrato, made from the Aglianico grape (RRP £14.10) at the same time wanting that lovely balance of high acidity and low tannin. With a charcuterie board, either of these will be stunning. The whole concept of wine and food pairing is second nature in Italy…it’s just a concept that works!

wine glasses with rose wineLeaving Italy for a second, Germany and the classic grape of the region Riesling starts to come into fashion at this time of year, with Koester Wolf Riesling Kabinett (RRP £8.75) being consumed by the gallon chez Hocking, loaded with all that crisp lemon/lime zesty flavour and suitable for the spiciest of dishes. Also look out on our wine lists for the most exciting rosé wine I’ve tasted in years and on the water now – it’s from Austria and called Umathum. Every household should open this whilst the BBQ is getting up to temperature!

We have an Italian wine school coming up at The Vineyard on 8th April where you’ll be able to try some fantastic wines from all the great wine producing regions. We’ll also go into detail about how to match these delicious wines with food. Discover more

Cheers

James Hocking
Director of wine

Relax at The Vineyard Spa this Mother’s Day

Mother's Day at The VineyardOn any given day mum is often the hub of the family, from cleaning, taxi duties and cooking to being a shoulder to cry on. Say thank you to your mum this Mother’s Day by nurturing your loving bond with some mother and daughter spa time.

Relax at The Vineyard Spa this Mother’s Day. Our half spa days are ideal Mother’s Day gifts if you don’t have a whole day to spare. And in March enjoy a half day spa day for two for £120 saving £20. Available Monday to Friday. The half spa day includes use of the spa in the morning or afternoon, a freshly prepared Bento box lunch, one x 25 minute treatment each of your choice and tea, coffee and non-alcoholic refreshments.

A pamper evening for two is a great way to get away from it all and spend some quality time with mum in our tranquil spa. Enjoy full use of the facilities, a 25 minute treatment each and a main course from the California Bar menu for just £105 for two people.

If you can only spare an hour why not treat mum this Mother’s Day to a couple’s deluxe pedicure and have a good catch up whilst being pampered?

If time is an issue in your busy schedules, why not give the perfect pampering gift with our Red Grape Body Polish and Red grape Body Cream, which is exclusive to The Vineyard Spa.
This is the perfect combination to make your skin gleam. The Red Grape Body Polish will gently exfoliate any dead skin cells away leaving the skin feeling silky smooth while the Red Grape Body Cream will leave your skin beautifully nourished and hydrated.

We also offer our full range of spa days and treatments as gift vouchers, these last for a year so your mum is able to come and pamper herself at her own leisure. Browse our range of spa vouchers.