All posts by The Vineyard

Events in Berkshire this March

Events in Berkshire this MarchLadies’ Lunch – Mojo & McCoy – The Vineyard

Monday 2nd March -12pm to 3pm

One of the events in Berkshire this March not to miss. Recently opened high end clothing shop in Hungerford, Mojo and McCoy, will showcase their latest range of clothing via a fashion show and talk you through the best buys for the up and coming season. With the race calendar about to begin for 2015, discover what to wear to stand out from the crowd and get some top racing tips for the Cheltenham Gold Cup Day on Friday 13th March.

Three course lunch with matching wines – £60 per person

Please call us on 01635 589407 to reserve your place

Discover more about our future ladies’ lunch events


Wine School – England – The Vineyard

Wednesday 4th March – 6.30pm to 8pm

England Just a few years ago, English wine was regarded as a misnomer, how that has all changed! We now can lay claim to producing some of the best sparkling wines to be found anywhere. This school will focus on those great competitors to Champagne of course, but will also have a useful insight into the range of aromatic white wines being produced, along with something pink and red. We will focus on Southern England from Kent to Cornwall.

Please call us on 01635 589407 to reserve your place

Discover more about our future wine schools


Royal Shakespeare Company – Love Labours Won

Wednesday 4th March – 7pm

The Corn Exchange
Watch the Royal Shakespeare Company perform Love Labours Won on a live broadcast at the Corn Exchange.

Tickets: £14.50, Concessions £12.50

Please call to book tickets on 0845 5218 218 or book via the website


An Audience with Jon Snow

Friday 6th March – 7.30pm

John O’Gaunt School, Hungerford

Join Jon Snow, longstanding presenter of Channel 4 News at John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford for what will be a fascinating evening.

Tickets – £10

Please call John O’Gaunt School on 01488 682400 or Hungerford bookshop on 01488 683480 to book

Find out more on the John O’Gaunt School website


Mother’s Day at The Vineyard

Sunday 15th March

Relax on Mother’s Day and enjoy a three course lunch in our elegant restaurant with a glass of Schramsberg Rosé on arrival. All Mums will be treated to a gift from The Vineyard.

£60 per person
Please call us on 01635 528770 to reserve your table


Andy Parsons: Live and Unleashed – But Naturally Cautious

Thursday 19th March – 7.45pm

The Corn Exchange
Andy Parsons is back on the road and heading for Newbury with his fifth show “Live and Unleashed – But Naturally Cautious’. Having enjoyed huge success as a writer and performer on television, radio as well as on the comedy circuit. Andy’s fifth tour will be packed with laughs with his brand or sharp witted and edgy comedy.

Tickets – £15

Call the box office to book your tickets on 0845 5218218 or book via the website


Tuxedo Junction

31st March – 11th April

The Watermill Theatre
A fantastic event in Berkshire this March. It’s the 1940’s, women are wearing their hair in victory rolls and dancing with the GI’s whilst Hollywood is booming. The music scene is booming with swing, Jazz and crooners and we’re off for a toe tapping ride across America.

Show Times:
Monday to Saturday evenings 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday matineés 2.30pm
Saturday 11 April performances at 1.30pm and 6.30pm

Ticket prices – £14.50 to £26.50

Please call The Watermill Theatre on 01635 46044 to book tickets.
Website – www.watermill.org.uk

The increasing popularity of English wines

Sparkling_Summer_HeaderSince I arrived in the UK in 2008, the reputation of English wines has not stopped growing. More and more consumers are aware of the quality of English estates such as Nyetimber and Chapel Down leading the market. During the past 15 years however, a fair amount of boutique wineries have emerged and improved.

We now hear a lot about English sparkling wines, but winemakers have proved that England is capable of also producing very good still wines.With over 400 vineyards planted in UK, there certainly is plenty of choice!

Here are my top five English wine recommendations below. It was a difficult choice to make though with so many incredible wines to choose from:

Wiston Wine Estate Goring NV
Based in the South Downs, the estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The 16 acres of chalky vineyard were planted in 2006 with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This is an outstanding non vintage, fresh with a great minerality, aromas of fresh apple, citrus and very well balanced. I discovered this estate fairly recently, and for me it is one of England’s rising stars. www.wistonestate.com

Ridgeview Knightsbridge
Ridgeview was established in 1994 in Sussex and released its first wine in 1996. Knightsbridge is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This wine has a rich palate of ripe stone fruit with a creamy texture and a long finish. I do like riper styles of Champagne in general, and this wine is definitely to my taste. www.ridgeview.co.uk

Chapel Down Bacchus 2014
Bacchus is a cross of Silvaner and Riesling itself crossed with Müller-Thurgau. And what better name could have been given than the name of the Roman god of wine? The cooler English climate allows this grape to retain a higher acidity than in Germany, where it was created in 1933. This wine is a bit a Sauvignon Blanc with notes of citrus, fresh cut grass, a touch of tropical fruit and a lively acidity. A great match with a cold pea velouté. www.chapeldown.com

Gusbourne Estate Pinot Noir 2011
The story of winemaking at Gusbourne dates back to 2004 when Andrew Weeber took over the estate and planted the first grapes in the same year. Their first releases were their Brut Reserve and Blanc de Blancs 2006. This Pinot Noir is without a doubt the best English red wine I have tasted. It has a ripe and juicy palate with flavours of ripe red fruit, a hint of smokiness and spices. The palate is very well balanced and offers a great complexity. www.gusbourne.com

Nyetimber Demi Sec
Since its establishment in 1986, Nyetimber has been regarded as one of the leading English estates. They produce wines which have received several awards, but I think that the Demi-Sec is one of the most interesting in their range. The Chardonnay base gives a lovely creaminess to the wine as well as aromas of very ripe white and stone fruit, confit citrus and a touch of vanilla. We don’t usually find lots of those off dry sparkling wines, but this in undeniably a great wine to have with an afternoon tea or a light dessert like an Eton Mess. www.nyetimber.com

Try more of my favourite English wines at our English wine school on Wednesday 4th March when I’ll be focusing on estates in Southern England from Kent to Cornwall. Discover more about this wine school. Just £30 per person. also browse our long list online containing a variety of fantastic English wines to enjoy.

Santé

Romain Bourger
Head Sommelier at The Vineyard

New Look for Cocktail Bar at The Vineyard

Cocktail bar at The VineyardUpdated by Liz Cleall Interiors, our cocktail bar at The Vineyard now has an elegant and sumptuous feel to it thanks to the luxury armchairs, lighting, tables, blinds and small sculptures all locally sourced from carefully selected suppliers. As well as the new furniture and soft furnishings, the bar has also been extended to accommodate our 100 wines available by the glass.

wallpaperAs we are all about wine here at The Vineyard, one of the luxurious wallpapers that now adorn the walls has a gold cork print, whilst the other has an elegant vinyl look. Both have been sourced from Altfield, a leading resource for beautiful textiles, wallcoverings and leather, distributing a number of high end lines from around the world.

The 1950’s floor lamp and mirror over the one of the sofas have been carefully chosenCocktail bar - lamp, mirror and sofa from Julian Chichester’s collection. Julian Chichester has established an enviable reputation for classically inspired, quality English furniture.

We are also proud to have two small glass sculptures made by well known local sculptor Johannes Von Stumm who is famous for combining three different materials; glass, granite and iron. He has attracted public and critical acclaim in a decade of successful exhibitions, both in the UK and abroad.

Our stylish scatter cushions on most of the cosy armchairs have been sourced from Wemyss who are dedicated to producing high quality fabrics with a wide selection of beautiful textures, patterns and colours. Most fabrics are 75% natural fibres to ensure a lovely handle.

Liz spent time searching for the perfect sofas for the cocktail bar and eventually found the smart shallow button back Manhattan sofas at Kingcome Sofas who have an excellent reputation for manufacturing the highest quality upholstered furniture in a wide range of designs from traditional to contemporary.

Events in Berkshire this FebruaryWe look forward to welcoming you to our newly refurnished cocktail bar soon to enjoy our range of unique cocktail and over 100 wines by the glass. The cocktail bar is also ideal for group wine tastings and cocktail making masterclasses. For more details on where Liz sourced the furniture and soft furnishings for the cocktail bar, please visit her website – www.elizabethcleallinteriors.co.uk

Photographs taken by www.ahpphotography.co.uk

Events in Berkshire this February

Events in Berkshire this FebruaryLadies’ Lunch – Colour Consultant

Monday 2nd February – 12pm to 3pm
Kate Jones is a Star Consultant with House of Colour and specialises in personal styling and colour analysis to the stars. She will explain how colour analysis and styling works, and give guests hints and tips to take away from the event.

Three course lunch with matching wines

£60 per person
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Wine School – Rhône Valley

Wednesday 4th February – 6.30pm to 8pm
In all of the classic French Viticultural regions, it is probably the Rhône Valley that offers the most diversity of style. This school will take our guests down through the valley and showcase the classic regions and styles. A school for the classical drinker!
£30 per person
Wine school & two courses with matching wines in our California Bar- £55 per person

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Wildlife Art Exhibition at Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre

Saturday 7th to Sunday 22nd February – 10.30 to 4pm
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife trusts present the Wildlife Art Exhibition. An exhibition of local artist Jonathan Pomroy will be on display at the Nature Discovery Centre during February.

Jonathan has staged a number of very successful exhibitions at the Nature Discovery Centre (NDC) over the last 20 years, and was in fact the Centre’s very first visitor when they opened the doors on 15th January 1995.

Jonathan has gone on to become a very well known and collected wildlife artist, regularly exhibiting at venues across the country, and has shown at the Mall Galleries with the Society of Wildlife Artists. He has a passion for painting wildlife & landscapes from extensive field work in all weathers.

This exhibition will include 25 of Jonathan’s most recent works including a number of wetland landscapes and bird studies.

Jonathan will also be running a sketching workshop on 7th February.

Price – donations welcome.

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The Secret Adversary at Watermill Theatre

Thursday 12th February to Saturday 21st March
There are many events in Berkshire this February that are not to be missed including this performance. The Watermill Theatre in association with Eleanor Lloyd Productions are showing Agatha Christie’s The Secret Adversary. A Tommy & Tuppence Thriller. Adapted by Sarah Punshon and Johann Hari.

Agatha Christie’s gripping thriller follows the daring and dizzying adventures of Tommy & Tuppence through 1920s London.

Home from the War, flat-broke and unemployed, our twenty-something heroes embark on a daring business scheme: ‘The Young Adventurers Limited’… willing to go anywhere, willing to do anything. But their first assignment plunges them into more danger than they ever imagined and they quickly find themselves sucked into a perilous world of political intrigue, criminal conspiracy, murder and mayhem.

Launching as part of the 125th anniversary celebrations of the author’s birth, The Secret Adversary takes to the stage for the very first time in this inventive new adaptation shot through with fast-paced action, comedy, live music and a dash of romance.

Tickets from £14.50 to £26.50

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Bordeaux Wine Dinner with Vine Trail

Friday 27th February – 7pm onwards
Vine Trail are specialist importers of artisanal, small domaine French wines. Using no agents or brokers, Vine Trail have developed a very individual selection of wines, and for this dinner they will focus on matching organic wines of Bordeaux with Daniel’s dishes.
Five course dinner with matching wines
£95 per person
Stay the night with breakfast from £173.50 per person

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Champions of Magic at The Corn Exchange

Saturday 28th February – 7.45pm onwards
Join our award winning team of tricksters for a spectacular night of mystery that’ll keep you guessing for a long time to come.

Witness stunning illusions including disappearances, teleportation, levitation and a heart stopping finale that sees one performer walk through the spinning steel blades of a giant industrial fan, all presented with lighting and pyrotechnics to rival the biggest arena productions.

Champions Of Magic, the UK’s largest touring magic show, features 5 of the world’s finest magicians, including –

‘Young & Strange’ – Grand Illusionists as seen on ITV’s ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’
“Fantastic, just amazing” Jonathan Ross

‘Fay Presto’ – Queen of Close-up magic, having performed for every member of the Royal Family

Alex McAleer – Master Mind Reader as featured on ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’

Edward Hilsum – IBM International Champion Of Stage Magic 2014

Prices – £16.50 to £21

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Jay Antiques Fairs in Hungerford

Saturday 28th February – 8.30am to 4pm
Events in Berkshire this February include the Jay Fairs, which will be visiting Hungerford Antiques Market again where there will be 40 quality stalls for the antique enthusiast. When you have finished visiting the Antiques Market why not enjoy Hungerford, which is fortunate to maintain a traditional high street that is crammed with independent shops ranging from three Antiques arcades and numerous other dealers through to bespoke clothing, pretty home wares and destination shops for countryside pursuits and jewellery.

Prices – £1

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Celebrate Valentine’s at The Vineyard this February

rosesandsuitcase-914x437Valentine’s is all about spending time with your loved one, and with many of us having busy schedule, it’s the perfect reason to treat yourself and partner by booking a spa day or evening, having a couples massages, enjoying a romantic dinner for two or Champagne afternoon tea.

FacialVoted the most romantic retreat by the Good Spa Guide, The Vineyard Spa is the ideal place to come for a romantic day with your partner. Relax in the tranquil surroundings and enjoying spending time with just the two of you. We have plenty of spa days and evenings to choose from whatever your budget and the time you have to spare. From our pampering evening where you’ll be treated to a 25 minute treatment, a main course from our spa menu and use of the spa for four hours during the evening to our Ultimate Spa Day, which includes three relaxing treatments of your choice, a Bento Box lunch, light refreshments throughout the day and full use of the spa pool, Jacuzzi, steam, sauna rooms and poolside area.

We are lucky enough to have a couple’s treatment room, perfect for a romantic massage or facial. Choose from our range of Darphin and VitaMan facials and massages, or choose a treatment from our signature selection. Browse our treatment brochure for our full list of treatments.

For 13th and 14th February, our Executive Chef, Daniel Galmiche has created a special fiveCheese board with wine - 377 x 221 course tasting menu with matching wines and a special sharing dessert for Valentine’s at The Vineyard. This time of year is always popular with our guests, but we do have limited availability. Browse the menu and call us to reserve your table if you’d like to celebrate with us and why not stay the night?

Think delicious cakes, pastries and mini sandwiches, plus a glass of chilled Champagne in luxurious surroundings and you have Champagne afternoon tea at The Vineyard. Delicately created by our Head Pastry Chef, Anthony Millon, you’ll be in afternoon tea heaven. Browse our sample menu to whet your appetite.

The Best of Winter Wines

glassesinarow - 580 x 288Well, Christmas has passed, New Year celebrations are done, however winter is still firmly here with all it’s cold, dark mornings and evenings…makes you really fancy a glass of wine!

I’ve always been quite a seasonal drinker, trying to match season to wine style, and rich, heartwarming  winter wines are in my focus this month, along with fortified wines to banish the chill. Here’s a selection of what I’ll be opening over the next few weeks now that my 24-hour detox is over…

2011 Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California (£21.12 per bottle)

Rich, blackcurrant-led fruit, spice and vanilla from the oak. This remains one of the best Sunday roast bottles in our house, and works just great with a decent rib roast. Of course, a nice rare T-Bone would accommodate this also!

2004 Vina Bosconia Reserva, Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, Spain (£26.04 per bottle)

My favourite Rioja, made in a timeless, old-school manner. Tempranillo fruit allied to extended oak ageing gives a very classy wine indeed. A classic partner to lamb, but venison is a superb partner too.

NV Sugrue Pierre, Goring Brut, England (£29.87 per bottle)

Can’t exist on red wine alone? Well try this “frankly better than many Champagnes in my opinion” fizz made not that far away by legendary winemaker Dermot Sugrue (he of Nyetimber fame). Loaded with biscuity, brioche notes, citrus flavours and a lovely finish. You all need a bottle of this in the fridge to banish winter blues.

2012 Talley Estate Chardonnay, Arroyo Grande, California (£21.56 per bottle)

Another is our good friend and probably the world’s most revered critic Mr Parker has showered praise upon this winter wine so it probably won’t be around for long! However, if you do get to us in time, you’ll experience a lovely balance of citrus fruit and vanilla – just perfect with chicken dishes and quite highly spiced foods.

1998 Justino’s Colheita Madeira, Madeira (£21.17 per half-bottle)

Finally, a favourite fortified…vintage dated Madeira in very useful halves. Liquid Christmas pudding is the bast tasting note I can think of, with surprisingly high acidity. It’s the perfect end to dinner or as a warming post prandial late-evening…

If food and wine pairing is your thing, why not join us for our Bordeaux wine dinner on 27th February? Discover more

Enjoy!

James Hocking
Director of Wine

January Events in Berkshire

January Events in Berkshire

January Events in Berkshire

9th to 30th January – Basildon Park – Lift the January Blues

10am to 3pm
There are lots of January events in Berkshire that you can enjoy including this great trail to explore in Basildon Park. Blow away the cobwebs with a motivational trail around the 400 acre historic parkland as you get ready for the year ahead. Take a tour around the Georgian Manor that was lovingly restored by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid 1950s. And why not treat yourself to a cream tea and experience the nostalgia of their 1950s kitchen?

Suitable for all ages. Normal Admission Charges Apply.
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23rd January – Lee Nelson – Suited and Booted at New Greenham Arts

National tour warm-up – 7.30pm
Lee Nelson is back with a brand new show and will be warming up for us highly anticipated nationwide tour with a series of intimate gigs! He’s hosted Live at the Apollo and you may have caught him trying to join the England Squad as Premier League footballer Jason Bent.
“Never lost for words, never less than ingenious. . . a seamlessly entertaining touring show” The Times.
Tickets – £15
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25th January – WSET Level 1 Award in Wine at The Vineyard

9.30 to 5pm
Improve your wine knowledge with this informative and fun January event in Berkshire. Learn all about wine and gain an internationally recognised qualification in one day. Plus, enjoy a three course lunch with matching wines. This course is suitable for anyone who has an interest in wine and would like to know more about the different wine styles, food and wine pairing, and the correct way to store and serve wine.
£199 per person
Please contact us on 01635 589407 to book and for further details see our website


25th January – Bolshoi Live – Swan Lake at the Corn Exchange

This is a not to be missed January event in Berkshire. Live and Encore performances by the Bolshoi Ballet on screen at the Corn Exchange direct from Moscow. Swan Lake tells the tragic love story of Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried. With Tchaikovsky’s famous, lyrical score, Swan Lake depicts the tragic love between Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried, and will no doubt be performed to perfection by the unparalleled virtuosity of Russia’s great Bolshoi Ballet. This universal and enchanting masterpiece of love, deception and drama is a must.
Tickets from £12
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Festive Wine Recommendations

glassesinarow - 580 x 288Sparkling_Summer_HeaderWith some many sparkling wines and Champagnes to choose from, which would be your favourite picks for a festive drinks party or as an aperitif on Christmas Day?
For my festive wine recommendations for Christmas Day, I think I’ll play a classic game here and head for Champagne. I’ve always been a fan of the fuller-bodies styles, so Bollinger would be on the hit list, as would Krug subject to lottery winnings! One thing I have tried recently and been very impressed with is sparkling Shiraz (Magpie Estate, Australia). This has enough body to cope with a decent roast dinner, whilst still having all the fun of bubbles…See our wine list for our extensive range of Champagnes and sparkling wines

With the festive season well under way, which varieties of wine are great for mulling and is there a special ingredient you would include?
I guess with mulled wine I would just choose a full-bodied red and keep the price down as you are distorting the flavour so much. Oranges and cinnamon would go into my mix, but I have to say that mulled wine is not quite for me…

Which wines would you be pleased to be given as a Christmas gift?
I’m hopelessly addicted to Riesling, especially that from the Mosel Valley in Germany, so I guess anybody bringing a bottle of Haag, Prüm, or Von Schubert Maximin Grünhaus would be especially welcome! In the wine business, the pros take estate-bottled olive oil to give as gifts. If you’re looking for more gift inspiration, our gift vouchers can be emailed to you instantly. Browse our selection

Are there specific wines or grape varieties that you’d recommend with the traditional Christmas turkey with all the trimmings?
I usually serve red and white concurrently with “event” meals like this, so my red choice would be Pinot Noir-led. This year, I will be pouring Gevrey-Chambertin En Jouise from Domaine Harmand-Geoffoy in the very heart of Burgundy with all that earthy, elegant red fruit intensity. For white wine would head to my beloved Riesling grape, and I think that maybe something from the Alsace region in France would fit the bill admirably. Try a producer such as Weinbach or Zind Humbrecht.

Most Christmas lunches finish with a Christmas pudding, so what dessert wines would you recommend to match?
Tawny Port is a time-honoured classic – try something like Krohn’s 20-year old Tawny. Australian Liqueur Muscat is another choice. However, this year, I’ll be serving the pud with Argyros Estate Vinsanto from Santorini, Greece. The grapes were sun-dried for around 10 days prior to the fermentation starting, then aged for four years in oak. Trust me – it’s sensational… Browse our fortified and Port selection we serve by the glass

Cheers and have a very merry Christmas

James Hocking
Director of Wine

Top Ten Spa Tips this Winter

The Vineyard - spa poolside - 580 x 257

Our spa team have put together some top ten spa tips this winter that will help your skin through the party season as well as some great spa offers this December and January.

1. Drink plenty of water each day. Hot squash is great alternative for tea and coffee

2. Use an oil at night such as Darphin’s aromatic face oils under face cream to help combat tight skin

3. Prepare your skin for the party season using Darphin’s Age Defying Dermabrasion followed by Darphin’s camellia mask for radiance

4. If all the Christmas stress is getting too much try using some lavender oil on your pillow to comfort and calm your mind

5. For fresh looking skin, make sure you remove your make-up each evening before going to bed

6. Our therapists’ top tip is use Darphin’s Purifying Balm at night to detox and cleanse skin

7. We recommend using coconut oil as a great natural alternative to a conditioning hair mask

8. When your shoulders and lower back are achy, try using Aroma Home herb pillows

9. As a real treat, why not spend the day with us at The Vineyard Spa and relax be pampered?

10. Even though the sun may not be as strong and shining every day during the winter months, it’s still important to apply an spf cream on top of your moisturiser to prevent the UVA and UVB rays from damaging your skin.

We have some great last minute offers that you can take advantage of:

1. 20% off our Luxury Spa Day on 16th to 19th December 2014. Visit our spa days page to discover more

2. As a Christmas special, why not treat yourself to a 25 minute chocolate and orange scrub for just £30. It’s a full body exfoliation with the delicious smell of Jaffa cakes. Your skin will be left feeling soft and smooth perfect for the party season or before applying self tan.
Only available on 16th -19th and 24th, and 26th December. Discover more about our treatments

3. January Spa Day Offer
Relax after the hectic festive season and enjoy a half day spa day for two for £120 saving £20. This could also be a great Christmas present if you’re still looking for a pampering treat. Discover more

To book any of the above, please contact the spa team on 01635 589415.

We hope you’ve found our top ten spa tips useful. To purchase any of the Darphin products mentioned above, please pop into The Vineyard Spa.

Have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Kirsty Hughes
Spa Manager