John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham has today revealed the first three local charities it will support as part of its local charitable giving scheme, Community Matters.
The Community Matters initiative allows local Cheltenham customers to decide which of the three chosen charities they would like to support by voting at the shop with tokens provided after making a purchase. At the end of the 12 weeks of voting, John Lewis will share the £3,000 donation between the charities, with the split determined by the number of tokens each organisation has received.
The first phase of Cheltenham’s Community Matters programme will launch on the shop’s opening day, Thursday 18th October 2018, and will run until the end of January 2019 when a new set of three charities will be selected.
The first three local organisations to be supported by John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham will be:
Cheltenham Borough Homes - an independent, non-profit organisation responsible for managing and maintaining Cheltenham’s social housing.
The Leukaemia & Intensive Chemotherapy Fund (LINC) - a cancer support charity working to improve the care of patients receiving treatment within Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court - a 16-bed hospice surrounded by beautiful countryside, providing a tranquil setting for specialist end of life care and support for people with life-limiting conditions.
Martin Bundy, Partner & Branch Manager at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham, said: “Supporting the community is one of the founding principles of the John Lewis Partnership, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to give back to these three very worthy causes. Our Community Matters programme assists initiatives valued by people in the local area, and these will be the first of many Cheltenham charities we’ll be supporting from our opening day.”
With the arrival of autumn, it's great to see Hedgerow Gin is back in stock at The Cotswolds Distillery.
Cotswolds Hedgerow Gin is a take on a sloe gin made with locally foraged fruit and Cotswolds Dry Gin.
It is a rich and full bodied gin and perfect on its own, mixed with champagne or in a hot drink.
We are used to seeing Broadway Tower at 65 feet but sculptor Willard Wigan MBE has reduced the second highest point on the Cotswold escarpment, into a tiny mico-sculpture set in the eye of a needle.
What's more incredible is that the sculpture is made of miniscule grains of stone taken from the tower and is complete with windows, turrets and a flagpole.
Willard works from memory and was able to memorise the tower's form after looking at and image and it took him a further four weeks to produce.
He was first introduced to Broadway when he opened an exhibition of his work at Broadway Museum and Art Gallery. He was so taken with the village that he decided to create its iconic tower as his latest project.
The tower micro-sculpture is currently on display at Broadway Luxury gallery in Broadway and an exhibition of Willard’s other work can be found at Broadway Museum and Art Gallery.
MOSCATEL MERSEGUERA 2016 TRAGOLARGO BLANCO
A white wine from Alicante in South East Spain which is amazingly orange in colour! This is due to “skin-contact” where the skin is in contact with the wine for a short amount of time meaning the tannins and characteristics of the skin are partially displayed, similar to how red wine is made. Flavour wise you can expect a dry beginning (due to the skin-contact) followed by a beautiful, almost orange nectar flavour due to the Moscatel grape. A very well balanced wine and a must for anybody wanting to try something new!
THE PLOUGH AT COLD ASTON
The Plough Inn Cold Aston is a beautiful Cotswold pub recently taken over by husband and wife team Thomas & Josie Hughes. Expect a warm welcome as soon as you walk in the door (either by the roaring fire or the smiles of the staff) in this traditional 17th Century Pub. Grab a drink at the bar and choose from a great selection of craft beers, real ales, wines & spirits. Or, if you are feeling hungry grab a table and enjoy anything from a bar snack to a full three course meal. The menu changes with the seasons but always focuses on fresh, high quality and local ingredients
With summer now leaving us for another year, some of you are probably already craving a bit of après-ski. Well guess what?, you can now enjoy a little bit of Courchevel in the Cotswolds!
From 12th November to 21st December, The Dormy House in Broadway have created 'Piste at The Potting Shed", a new pop-up Alpine dining cabin.
Within its wooden walls, groups of up to 30 can feast on three courses of authentic Swiss flavours – including a classic cheese fondue and roast pork loin with rösti and a hot G&T on arrival, as well as their own dedicated bar and a music system.
Check out www.dormyhouse.co.uk/occasions/piste-at-the-potting-shed for more information and to book!
‘On the final day of 2017, I had not just the best mouthful of the year, but the best mouthful of my life’ claimed Giles Coren of a pub that had only been back open for five weeks after a couple of years in the wilderness. It was high praise indeed and something that appears on flyers on each table, but was also a lot of pressure for the new bosses Tom Noest and Peter Creed who's covers grew from twenty a night to over sixty with visitors looking for their 'mouthful of a lifetime'.
The pub is small and snug with painted walls, exposed beams and stone, mismatched art and furniture and flagstones throughout. We headed to the bar for a pre-dinner drink and discovered Wood Brothers Gin for the first time, created by brothers Ed and Charlie on a farm just down the road. We sat at a barrel that doubles as a table and enjoyed some Padron Peppers and Rock Salt before moving into the dining room.
The menu mixes modern and classic with simple and seasonal and includes an abundance of dishes large and small. The beautifully blistered garlic, parsley and bone marrow flat bread is delivered straight from the pizza oven, that you catch a glimpse of every time the kitchen door opens, is a must and is perfect for sharing. This was followed by Salt Cod Fritters and Buttermilk Fried Chicken to officially start although we had definitely started two courses ago. Both were served with aioli, the latter with a choice of garlic or chilli. We opted for chilli which generated a kick of heat in every bite.
The mains soon followed (Lamb Neck Fillet and Rainbow Chard and the Cheese Burger and fries) along with the extensive wine list that was heavily French and European with the addition of a few from the New World, a red, two whites and a sparkling from the Poulton Hill Estate that's just 20 minutes away and one from Lebanon. While she opted for a large glass of red which arrived in a carafe, I went for Bobby's Beer that was on tap behind the bar.
I had had my eye on the Lamb Neck Fillet while looking at the sample menu a few days in advance of our visit. It didn't disappoint, in fact, it was possibly the best dish I have eaten this year. The pink tender meat with an incredible salty crumb exploding with garlic and anchovy and the beautifully cooked chard blew me away. A dish you would expect to find at over £20 in most other places was just £14. The side of mash I ordered worked very well too. The Cheese Burger was recommended by Pete. A meal once looked upon as dull and pointless is now a mainstay on every good menu. The meat in this one perfectly cooked, the sauce was similar to what you might find in a Big Mac (completely intentional as Pete's favourite burger) yet nicer and it arrived under an avalanche of fries.
There wasn't enough room for pudding but it was hard to resist the Chocolate Nemesis. There were Maldon Salt flakes sprinkled on top and crème fraîche on the side. It was as rich as its name suggests and however much you will try not finish it, the saltiness and sweetness will make sure you do.
The pub has only been open for 10 months but you would never know it. They have just finished eight stylish newly renovated rooms, all with king size double beds and en-suite walk in showers and again you will be shocked at the prices that start from just over £70 a night B&B. Their ethos is all about offering people good food, good wine, good beer and a good experience and they do it in droves. The manner in which they cater for everyone; young and old, local and further afield and deliver it with such quality, ease and value is simply outstanding.
Summer is almost up and autumn is well and truly on its way, however, that doesn't mean that our cocktail shakers should be put away. The Cotswolds Distillery's Head of Mixology Ollie Morris has created some amazing cocktails for all seasons. We have picked an awesome dessert cocktail that showcases sweet and tart autumn delights with a delicious crumble finish.
45ml Cotswolds Dry Gin
15ml Cinnamon Liqueur
12.5ml Lime juice
50ml Apple Juice
8ml Orgeat (almond syrup)
HOW TO CREATE
Rim the martini glass with oat crumble. Muddle 8 blackberries in the Boston tin, fill with ice and add all the other ingredients. Shake and strain into a martini glass and serve.
Crumble rim, apple & blackberry
After taking 3 years to perfect, Cheltenham Gin is a wonderful new cloudy gin inspired by Cheltenham Racecourse.
Each bottle of Cheltenham Gin contains a unique blend of botanicals, including fresh zest from Spanish oranges and limes and benefits from a double distillation process to create a gin with a very refined, smooth and elegant palate.
The wonderful fresh, clean start continues to deeper spices on the mid-palate, adding length and complexity.
The Ebrington Arms near Chipping Campden has scooped yet another award to add to their collection.
They have been awarded ‘County Dining Pub of the Year 2019’ by The Good Pub Guide beating off strong competition from over a thousand pubs across the whole of Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, one of the UK’s favourite foodie areas.
The pub has held two AA rosettes for 9 consecutive years and was voted Number 1 Village Inn by The Times in 2017
John Lewis Cheltenham has become one of the first shops to welcome the new John Lewis & Partners name, as both John Lewis and Waitrose have added ‘& Partners’ to their brand names.
The change has been designed to highlight their Partnership business model and culture which differentiates them from their main competitors at a time when the business is investing in the service that their Partners offer.
When the new shop opens on 18th October, John Lewis customers in Cheltenham will notice striking new window displays, newly designed bags, and signage in store, new delivery on lorries and vans; as well as a fresh new look on johnlewis.com and the retailer’s app.
In addition to investing in their identities, the John Lewis Partnership said in June that it would continue to invest in both businesses at a rate of £400m-£500m per year, to enable the two retail businesses to differentiate themselves from other retailers by innovating in products, customer service and services.
Today, John Lewis & Partners’ largest own brand womenswear collection of 300 designs, which was created entirely in-house and carries the new name John Lewis & Partners went on sale and will be available in the Cheltenham shop from opening day. The retailer has also launched its first own-brand gifting collection called ‘Find Keep Give’ in all shops and online. The range is comprised of unique pieces, the majority of which were designed in-house by Partners.
Martin Bundy, Branch Manager at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham said; “Our Partnership business model and the inherent strength of our Partners really sets us apart. Cheltenham will become one of the first shops to adopt this new visual identity, which puts Partners back at the heart of everything we do. This move not only reflects the business we have become but more importantly, the business we want to be.”
The launch of the new identity is being supported by the first ever joint John Lewis & Partner and Waitrose & Partners national marketing campaign; the single biggest ever campaign for both brands outside of Christmas. The campaign shines a light on the stories and skills of more than 100 real partners from across both businesses to illustrate what makes the partnership a unique business.
A select few stores unveiled new John Lewis & Partners identities today, with the full change to all 50 John Lewis shop facades and fleets of lorries being phased over five years to tie in with the refurbishment plans.
There is something very special happening at Manor By The Lake in Cheltenham on September 27th all in the name of charity.
The Bakers Dozen will see 14 chefs creating 13 courses for a one off evening in aid of Cheltenham Open Door, a charity who provide support to vulnerable, disadvantaged and lonely people including companionship and respect, food and drink, showering and laundry.
Some of the chefs on show include Simon Rogan, Adam Handling, Greg Newman, Ruth Hanson, Chris Underwood and Wayne Sullivan who are all giving their time up for free, as are everyone involved on the night including the venue.
This is a culinary event that shouldn't be missed.
Tickets are priced at £100pp and are available by clicking HERE.
JEAN PAUL THEVENET MORGON 'LE CLACHET' 2015 BEAUJOLAIS
Jean-Paul Thévenet is one of the winemakers responsible for bringing greatness back to
Beaujolais. He is very old school in his winemaking philosophy and makes this wine from 70
year-old vines in the Morgon area, which are cultivated organically and yield very little fruit.
The grapes are fermented with natural yeasts without the addition of any sulphur dioxide.
After fermentation Thévenet ages the wine for eight months in used oak barrels that he gets
from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti before being bottled without filtration.
Bursting with aromas of bright red fruit which explode on the palate, the wine has a
wonderful brine-like quality and a long cooling mineral finish. This is what Beaujolais is really
THE GRAPE ESCAPE
The Grape Escape is a wine bar in Cheltenham offering a selection of over 250 labels and a
weekly changing list of wines available by the glass. The bar is run by wine-loving husband
and wife team Ant and Zo who's passion is infectious and service is impeccable.
There are regular events including wine tasting, quizzes as well as some amazing daily offers. On the first Monday of every month they host a wine tasting event, giving you the chance to try some fine wines from all over the world. The tastings are all themed and might cover a specific region, grape variety or even a single producer.
If you love chocolate truffles you will definitely love Costello + Hellerstein. We received a box this week and they are the best we have ever had. What's better still is the fact that they are handmade here in the Cotswolds using the finest ingredients.
So let's get to the crux, Costello + Hellerstein need your help. They really want to expand and share their chocolate to more and more chocolate lovers out there and have created a crowdfunding page where you can support them and get some chocolate (and other things but chocolate is the most important) in return.
Their aim is to raise £40,000. That's a lot of chocolate and enough to turn their dream into a reality. You can find out what they need it for by clicking HERE and we beg you to give generously. Like we said, these are best truffles you will ever try and a company us Cotswoldians should be very proud of!
There are a few things in life that I'm very sceptical about and chain pubs are pretty high up on my list.
The Frogmill, which is now owned by Brakspear, has recently undergone a huge renovation which has transformed what was a tired country inn into a beautiful looking pub with 28 boutique rooms. The patio is one of the best places to sink a drink in the sunshine, I for one enjoyed a few afternoons on the sun loungers during the recent heatwave.
My only other experiences of Brakspear establishments have been The Porch House and The Sheep, both in Stow on the Wold. The food is always pretty good but the service in both can be a little trying to say the least so I was intrigued (slightly concerned) to see what it would be like at The Frogmill.
We were greeted three times by three different members of staff, the third of which showed us to our table in the restaurant that was full to the brim which is very good for a Thursday. We shouldn't ignore the fact that it took nearly an hour for our food order to be taken, however, I would hazard a guess that it was delaying tactics enabling the kitchen to cope. This doesn't really bother me as I'm out for the evening and would always much prefer to be sat in a restaurant that's buzzing than an empty one with no atmosphere.
Our starters arrived, Smoked King Scallops with summer pea velouté, pancetta and nasturtium oil (£11.95) and Summer Lobster Ceviche, BBQ’d watermelon, sweetcorn & jalapeño succotash (£14.50). Both were simply delicious and were generous in size. The scallops were the fattest juiciest we've had away from the coast and the freshness of the BBQ's fruit with the lobster was truly delightful.
All day leading up to the meal I was craving a good chunk of meat. Luckily there is an extensive grill menu that includes three steaks, whisky glazed pork belly ribs, tuna, lobster and the 16oz pork tomahawk (£16.50) that we ordered along with a medium-rare (it arrived with a stick in it telling us it was medium-rare too just in case we had forgotten what we ordered) 8oz ribeye steak (£20). None of the dishes from the grill menu come with any sides which, as I have mentioned before, is a pet hate of mine. The menu recommends three sides between two people but two was enough. There are heaps to choose from and we opted for Lobster Bisque Macaroni Cheese (£6.50) and some incredible Parmesan & Truffle fries (£5). The steak was perfectly cooked and you could tell that it was a real quality piece of meat, as was the pork. Both were seasoned well and the sides, and a pot of Béarnaise sauce, worked really well and again were generous in size.
Like with the meat craving, I really fancied some cheese too so followed this with The Frogmill Cheeseboard (£8) which included a blue, a creamy goats cheese, a cheddar, some wonderful crab apple jelly and crackers.
The food was faultless. The service was really good and the staff all extremely attentive and wonderfully friendly hosts. There were a few teething problems as you would expect but nothing major and certainly nothing that couldn't easily be ironed out quickly.
What Brakspear have done to The Frogmill is truly outstanding. They have created a country inn for all seasons that has the potential of becoming one of the most popular venues in the Cotswolds.