If you have lived in the Cotswolds for a while, you may recognise the Alexiou's name from the wonderful restaurant in Chipping Campden. While still under the same ownership, the name of the restaurant changed a few years ago to Michael's Mediterranean and has been going strong for 35 years.
Fear not, Michael's Mediterranean is not moving to Stow, however his children, Cleo (who has been the Event Manger at the beautiful Aynhoe Park for the last 4 years) and Aris (who has worked in some of the Cotswolds finest establishments over the years- The Wild Rabbit, The Fox, Oddington, of course the family restaurant to name a few) are bringing something special to the town this Autumn.
Alexiou's will be a family fun, Mediterranean restaurant and bar based in Talbot Court, in the heart of the town. Their ultimate goal is to create a space that fuses cosmopolitan elegance with "'one of those' gorgeous tavernas lining a cobbled street on a Greek island,which oozes deliciousness in every way!"
Their menus will combine simple recipes, with stunning flavour combinations, using fresh local ingredients.
Their aim is simply to create a space with delicious food, beautiful surroundings, fantastic hospitality and affordability.
The spaces will be: (in Cleo's words)
THE BAR - Relaxed seating and a very sexy vibe
THE DINING ROOM - Filled with tasteful furniture- combining traditional, naturalistic and elegance!
THE COURTYARD - Filled with overflowing greenery, mirrors, candles, sheepskin rugs and much more gorgeousness!
We can't wait!
Originally scheduled for an April opening, theatre is soon to be served in Cheltenham. The Alchemist will be launching on the 28th August bringing immersive experiences, expertly crafted cocktails and all day dining to Gloucestershire. Creative bar and restaurant concept, The Alchemist is bringing its famed cocktail concoctions to The Brewery Quarter, which is set to be a new favourite with cocktail connoisseurs in Cheltenham.
The 4,500 sqft venue designed by London agency Turner Bates will feature an impressive emerald marbled bar top and signature dark wall murals. It’s not just the menu that plays with your senses as the bespoke mind bending floor-to-ceiling bar takes centre stage and will provide the perfect back drop for The Alchemists signature cocktails. Cocktails served with a dash of theatre such as the Colour Changing One created with Grey Goose Vodka, Briottet Apple, soda & citrus which, as the name suggests, will mysteriously change colour before your eyes! Guests can also opt for The Cherry Poppins; a concoction of Whitley Neil raspberry gin, cherry, strawberry, citrus and a cherry fog bubble that’s sure to set alight anyone’s Instagram feed!
To complement the show-stopping cocktails, The Alchemist Cheltenham will offer an all-day dining menu which of course includes a touch of playfulness, starter dishes such as the Chorizo & Cheddar Doughballs (choose your cheese level with the accompanying syringe) and Tempura Prawn Lollipops. For something more substantial, enjoy Pan-Fried Seabass with spicy Bombay potatoes, coconut yoghurt and charred lime and for a delicious plant-based meal try the Vegan Cauliflower Katsu Curry. To finish, the flaming Cotton Candy Baked Alaska is a must for a dessert with extra-oomph or, for something a little more low-key, order an Espresso Martini & Petit Fours.
The Alchemist Cheltenham will open on Friday 28 th of August at 10am.
For more information, please visit: www.thealchemist.uk.com
Pizza masters Baz and Fred have taken over The New Inn at Coln St Aldwyns.
The duo known for their incredible food at The Stump at Foss Cross will open the pub later this month.
In a statement on Instagram they announced "Roughly a year ago Baz & Fred achieved their childhood dream and opened their first pub together The Stump, a Cotswold pub turned pizzeria. Simple, delicious food done well. It’s been a fantastic first year and we can’t wait for many more to follow and working alongside our awesome team and customers."
"We’ve had such a great time running The Stump so we’ve decided to do it all over again. Introducing Baz & Fred’s New Inn, located in the beautiful village of Coln St Aldwyns. A stunning pub not too far from The Stump. During lock down we introduced a burger night at The Stump which has been an overwhelming success. We thought it was only fitting to increase this offering and give the people more of what everyone clearly wants. As a result of this we have taken to the streets of Coln! Expect smokey blues, booze, burgers & an all-round good time. The main staple of the menu will be a variety of burgers which have been a real hit. There will be other rolling specials, sides and main dishes on offer that will have Spanish, Portuguese and Italian influences plus anything that Baz & Fred feel is delicious enough to make an appearance, which is a fair bit!"
"The New Inn is similar to The Stump. It’s an old roadside Inn that is ingrained into the history of the village. The pub is currently closed so Baz & Fred could move in for renovations and are currently in the process of changing things around, attempting to bring the inside of the pub back to its original design decades ago. Everything is full steam ahead; the new open kitchen is being fitted alongside the new local’s bar plus lots more."
"We aim to be open by the end of the month but please keep your eyes peeled for updates. We can’t wait to see you all down here!!"
The Gunpowder Gimlet was conceived as a way of showcasing Beaufort Spirit's ‘gunpowder proof’ gin in a traditional context - a drink originally issued by the Royal Navy - with a contemporary twist:
This isn’t a ‘true’ gimlet as it does not include Roses lime cordial (originally conceived as a way of preserving lime juice onboard ships); instead Beaufort have created a ‘smoked lime sherbert’ by gently cooking lime juice, pulp and husks briefly with sugar, then smoking in a closed vessel with a smoking gun. Also, in this version, they have lengthened the drink slightly with a gunpowder tea cold brew infusion, made with Temple of Heaven teas. Garnished with a smoked rum / cane syrup reduction with added black food dye.
- 40ml BeauFort Spirit Fifty-Seven smoked sipping gin.
- 40ml Smoked Lime Sherbet
- 15ml Cold Brew Gunpowder Tea
Serve in coupette / no ice
Garnish with ‘Squid Ink’ rum reduction
Shake & fine strain
Beaufort Spirits are based near Broadway in the Cotswolds and produce a delightful Smoked Sipping Gin and a stunning Smoked Demerara Rum.
The Times & The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2020 will be streamed free on the Cheltenham Festivals website from 2-11 October.
The Festival will present 100 live-streamed events with a socially-distanced live audience (government guidance permitting) in Cheltenham Town Hall and the Everyman Theatre. And, in a year when international travel is limited, an innovative series of filmed events with major international names, supported by a global network of festival partners and publishers.
The events will be streamed via the Cheltenham Festivals website through a digital hub, where the audience can interact with speakers and other Festival-goers. Visitors to the hub can navigate the virtual Festival site, browsing in the bookshop and exploring activities for book-lovers of all ages.
Announcing that the world’s oldest Literature Festival will take place digitally this year live from Cheltenham, Director of Festivals Ian George said: “We are recreating the spirit of the Festival online and sharing the joy of books with thousands of people across the globe who can’t meet in person in Cheltenham this year. Since lockdown, when we have all needed culture and creativity more than ever, Cheltenham Festivals has committed to bring its Festivals digitally to homes all over the world, for free. As the COVID-19 crisis means we are faced with losing vital box office income from our biggest Festival of the year, we hope that our devoted audiences and friends will keep donating generously so that we can continue our work.”
The Festival is equipping schools and families to run their own Literature Festival, providing 30 free author events, creative writing challenges, draw-alongs and read-aloud sessions available online from 5-9 October to watch on-demand. Plus eight live-streamed weekend events with best-selling children’s authors, poets and illustrators.
In a new partnership with CLPE, the CLiPPA (CLPE Poetry Award) will be awarded live at the Festival on Friday 9 October, with the shortlist announced on National Poetry Day, Thursday 1 October.
The programme will feature content unique to Cheltenham, presenting some of the biggest names in publishing this autumn. Award-winning authors of fiction and non-fiction will join poets, spoken word artists and new voices to delve into a range of topics including travel and adventure, food and drink, lifestyle, history, art and religion.
Through a continued partnership with The Times and The Sunday Times, expert commentators will consider the political, social and cultural ideas that will shape our future as we navigate a post-Covid world.
Guest curators are award-winning British-Turkish novelist and storyteller Elif Shafak and Shamil Thakrar – co-founder of Dishoom, winner of Best Restaurant in the UK two years running and author of the best-selling Dishoom cookbook.
A new unique, intimate dining experience is launching in the Cotswolds.
The Scenic Supper has been created by Toby Baggott, Scott Sullivan and Sam Lawson, three friends of over 20 years who each own small businesses, event styling company, outdoor catering and a local gin, and have all, in their own ways, been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Located at Kingstone Farm next to the the Roll Right Stones, just up the road from Long Compton, the supper offers a pre-selected 5-course tasting menu in five glass houses, each with individual art work and breath-taking views of the Cotswolds countryside.
There will be a bar ready to serve a variety of cocktails, wine, beer & cider throughout your evening.
The supper will be running Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm from Saturday 4th July to Saturday 12th September and costs £50 per person.
You can find the menu, further information and book by visiting www.thescenicsupper.co.uk.
THE STREETS, GARY NUMAN AND LIGHTNING SEEDS TO PLAY DRIVE-IN CONCERTS AT CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE THIS SUMMER!
The Streets, Gary Numan, Lightning Seeds, Dizzee Rascal and Ash are just a number of acts coming to Cheltenham this summer as part of the Utilita Live from the Drive-in concerts, taking place at Cheltenham Racecourse from 29th July - 5th September 2020.
Other names on the list include Tony Hadley, The Zutons, Skindred and Cream Classical Ibiza.
Tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd June at 10am.
Click HERE for the full line-up.
I doubt I'm the only one who has realised that one of their main hobbies was eating out. I love food and the novelty of trying to cook restaurant style (it was nowhere near) food at home has more or less worn off completely and we're back to cooking the same five meals a week that we had before the pandemic.
I got overly excited last Tuesday when I saw The Old Butchers in Stow on the Wold were offering a takeaway menu on the Friday and Saturday... "They do a whole Dover Sole for Christ's sake!"
They were also offering Healing Chicken Broth, Fritto Misto and a Prawn Cocktail for starters, Tempura Crab Roll & Chips, a Prawn Po'boy & Chips and a Rump Steak Burger & Chips for mains, and 1/2 Cold Lobster, Mayo & chips and 1/2 Lobster Thermidor & Chips.
This is incredible, but what the hell is a po'boy?
I googled it. They look amazing. But I really want a burger.
I ordered both (well who needs a summer body?). Over Instagram. And paid via bank transfer. Up yours Deliveroo.
My collection time (which I chose) was at 7pm. There were probably 10 people outside the restaurant waiting. We all kept our distance and nodded a hello, apart from one guy who really wanted a chat from about a metre and a half.
People went up to collect their bags like a university graduation, each getting judged on the amount of food they bought.
My name was finally called and I proudly marched up to the door. "Thank you" I muttered with my hand over my mouth. I realised that she was the fourth person I had spoken to all week.
I got home and presented the bag like a new puppy. We got overly excited once again when we saw The Old Butchers branding on the box. There's a moment of trepidation before opening them as you don't really know what to expect as these place don't normally dabble in takeaways.
The burger looked amazing, as did the po'boy. If it were a film, there would have been fairy dust as each box was opened.
I stole a prawn from the po'boy with my fingers as I eat with my hands now on a Friday, and never on a plate. It had a kick that I wasn't expecting but was incredibly good.
The burger was fat and ridiculously juicy. My white t-shirt looked like Onslow's vest. I didn't care. It was immense. Possibly the best burger I have eaten, ever, and I know that is a huge statement.
Thank you The Old Butchers.
Ordering via Instagram 10
Conversation while waiting 1
**Follow The Old Butchers' Instagram and Facebook for the menus and how to order**
Let's be brutally honest, everything is a little bit crap right now. It's OK to admit that. I was quite enthusiastic at the start, lots of places were offering takeaway and delivery and then within a week, most of them had stopped offering this through absolutely no fault of their own. However, there are a few still going and we'll do our utmost to support them!
Before we start, let's make something clear. I will not make this about me and in no way be getting overly emotional over a portion of fish and chips, I promise.*
It was Friday, which felt the same as the day before, and the day before that and... you see where this is going. I saw on Facebook (where I now spend 25% of my days now, the other 75% is split between actual work, Instagram, Twitter and ringing people) that Greedy's, the local fish & chip shop in Stow on the Wold, was delivering. I'll be completely honest, I don't eat a huge amount of fish and chips but when I do, they usually come from Mermaids in Moreton in Marsh.
Anyway, where was I? I have never reviewed fish and chips before so bear with me.
I replied to their post on Facebook and asked if they deliver to my village 2 miles down the road. I kind of knew they would or it wouldn't be the best delivery service but it was a fantastic conversation starter. They actually deliver to a 4 mile radius that covers Bourton on the Water and Moreton in Marsh Wednesday - Saturday. You can collect still too as long as you call ahead.
Being a Friday (did I mention that?) I presumed they would be busy, and going by their phone being engaged for 27 minutes I was right. I finally got through and ordered cod and chips twice, a large curry sauce and three cans of coke to be used for mixers of any rum I could find around the house. I paid for it over the phone too. This is how far the Cotswolds has moved on in the last 2 weeks. The directions were probably the hardest thing "Go over the first cattle grid, follow the drive until the second cattle grid. Do not fork off (everyone forks off) until you go over the second cattle grid..." They didn't fork off. The food arrived in 20 minutes. I thought it was going to take at least an hour and had prepared for that. The handover was done by shouting into the darkness through the door. Them - "The receipt is in the bag". Me- "Thank you". That was it.
I carried the bag back into the living room like some kind of magic had just occurred. We don't get Deliveroo, or any other delivery services) out in the sticks, this type of thing just doesn't happen to people like us.
Opening them was like opening the first present at Christmas when you were 10. First the wrapping paper (it was the normal chip paper), then a box (I wasn't expecting a box), and there they were, the most amazing looking fish and chips.
They were incredible and I was grateful that I could actually taste them after losing my sense of taste and smell for a week. Always a bonus with food I find.
I know it's nothing huge but a local business thriving in these times is amazing, and they wouldn't know it but they actually made our day a lot better**
**They would know it as I plastered it over Facebook as apparently that's what I do now, I write statuses on Facebook about fish and chips.
Thank you Greedy's, you have a customer (probably about once a month, possibly 2 months) for life.
Conversation with delivery guys 2
Emotional warmth 10
* I failed on both accounts
Wednesday - Saturday. 4.30pm - 8.30pm
The Stump at Foss Cross, located between Northleach and Cirencester, is looking to support the local community and businesses by opening a drive-thru take away service and farm shop, welcome ’The Stump Shack’.
Due to open from Monday, they’ll be bringing out their old events trailers from 2014, giving it a re-vamp, and opening it as a drive-thru pizzeria, produce shop and breakfast cafe. Perfect if you are looking for something quick to eat, pick up your local groceries or even grab a beer or two whilst keeping your ‘Social Distancing’ in check.
Locals will be able to purchase The Stump's knockout pizza - made by award winning pizza duo, Baz & Fred - soups, sarnies, drinks as well as local produce - without having to leave their car. Order from the car, park up and wait for it to be delivered straight to you!
Keeping the community eating well, ’The Stump Shack’ will be working along side a host of local producers, including Sourdough Revolution, Cackleberry Farm, Deya Brewery, The Cotswold Cider Co., Mimi’s Kitchen, The Extra Virgin Farm and many more. They have even found a way to freeze their own delicious pizzas, so everyone can continue to enjoy them from the comfort of their own home.
Two of The Lucky Onion’s restaurants, The Tavern in Cheltenham and The Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power have launched takeaway options in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.
In a message to all their customers, The Lucky Onion said.
In light of current events we have be working away on some different ways to support our local communities in Northleach, Guiting Power, Minchinhampton and Cheltenham Town.
From 5:30pm tonight we will be offering a take-away service for food and drinks at the Tavern in Cheltenham and the Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power.
We are working towards providing further food and drink options at our other properties in the next 24 hours as well as looking into ways we can re-purpose our business to support the current environment.
We will provide further communication on this as soon as we have it.
Please see all our food and beverage offerings below and gives us a call to order.
We will be taking orders from 5:30pm to 9:30pm every night.
Please note* You will need to collect and pay for your order. Our staff will be vigilant with regard to social distancing.
TAVERN TAKEAWAY MENU (To order Please call 07934 716729)
CHORIZO SCOTH EGG £4.5
ROAST BEETROOTS (v) £8
Whipped feta, dill & dukkah
DUCK & PORCINI MEATBALLS £8.5
Slow cooked tomato sauce
THE MAIN EVENT…
PUY LENTIL & VEGETABLE LASAGNE (v) £14
Baby gem, radish & shallot salad
COTSWOLD WHITE CHICKEN MILANESE £16
Garlic butter, parmesan & chicory salad
HOT BUFFALO WINGS & blue cheese dip £8
SWEET STICKY WINGS sesame & spring onions £8
KOREAN WINGS radish & black sesame £8
MAC ‘N’ CHEESE (v) £6
CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD £11
TAVERN BURGER & fries £10
AMERICAN CHEESE BURGER £13
Streaky bacon & fries
BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN BURGER & fries £10
8oz FLAT IRON (ANGUS) £15.5
8oz ONGLET (ANGUS) £18
8oz SIRLOIN (HEREFORD) £22
10oz RIB-EYE (HEREFORD) £26
SIDES all at £4.50
French fries (v)
Tavern slaw (v)
Chilli cheese fries (add 1.5)
Sweet potato fries (v)
DRINKS MENU AND PRICES:
House White - £18
French Sauv Blanc - £22
House Red - £18
Malbec - £26
House Rose - £18
Studio Rose - £29
Prosecco - £26
Nyetimber - £56
Dunkertons - £4.50
Peroni - £4.50
THE HOLLOW BOTTOM TAKEAWAY MENU (To order, please call 07398 620737)
Vegan Burger and Fries £12.50
Cheese Burger and Fries £12.50
Fish and Chips £14.50
House White - £18
French Sauv Blanc - £22
House Red - £18
Malbec - £26
House Rose - £18
Studio Rose - £29
Prosecco - £26
Nyetimber - £56
Dunkertons - £4.50
Peroni - £4.50
Flynn's Bar & Brasserie in Cheltenham has tonight announced that it will not be renewing its lease and will close with immediate effect.
A statement by Kelly Jones on Facebook said "We have made the very difficult decision not to renew our lease and so with immediate effect we are closing our doors.
As you can imagine it is an extremely emotional time. It has been my absolute privilege to work with the most incredible and loyal staff over the last 21 years. We have been so fortunate to get to know and look after our wonderful customers who will all be terribly missed and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your custom over the years.
The first announcements for the Wychwood Festival have been announced and will include The Divine Comedy, Embrace, The Lightning Seeds and Seth Lakeman.
The festival takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse from 29th - 31st May, with over 100 acts performing across four stages, plus music, dance and arts workshops, a circus school and a programme of talks, debates and comedy for all ages.
This Spring will see Cheltenham welcome a brand-new hotel concept focusing on the culture and experience of the beautiful town. Cult Hotels is the brainchild of Julian Dunkerton, co-founder of fashion giant Superdry and the highly successful Cotswold’s hotel and restaurant portfolio - The Lucky Onion.
Inspired by the originality and diversity of each local area, Cult Hotels will be an easy, accessible bolthole for travellers who are big on exploring and big on design.
The George will be the very first and flagship hotel by Cult Hotels made up of five beautifully refurbished Grade II listed Regency townhouses with 46 bedrooms. The original features cleverly weaved in with modern touches.
With well-considered practical elements such automatic check ins and post-box key return, a well-stocked Pantry for guests to visit at any time day and night, Cult Hotels will be tapping into the clued-up urban crowd who value design and exploration. The plan will see the brand rolling into popular cities within the UK and beyond over the next few years.
Socially conscious, the team behind the brand love to repurpose these characterful, older buildings and this will be a cornerstone of the brand as it expands its footprint with ambitious growth plans for the future.
Julian Dunkerton states ‘The name Cult Hotels is a nod to my history and where it all began for me, naturally Cheltenham is home to the flagship hotel – The George. As an entrepreneur I identified a gap in the market to create a new hotel concept that is accessible, approachable & cool. Cult Hotels exists for the savvy traveller who values aesthetic and culture at a fair price. My ambition with this venture is to continue to breathe new life into old buildings and bring a game changing hotel concept to the marketplace”
Room categories and rates start from:
Edgy - £105
Urban - £115
Cool - £125
Culture - £145
The Big Feastival has today announced their line-up for 2020 which sees Sigala, Nile Rogers & Chic and Rag 'N' Bone Man headline the 3 days.
Also confirmed to perform is Swedish pop sensation Zara Larsson who has had a string of top ten hits both as a solo artist and a featured artist including Lush Life, Never Forget You and the massive number one hit Symphony with Clean Bandit. Tom Walker will also be joining the bill: the British singer-songwriter had an incredible year last year with a debut number one album and top ten singles Just You And I and Leave a Light On. Brighton born pop singer-songwriter Maisie Peters and Rock Band Reef are also added to the bill.
Now in its ninth year, the festival has become renowned for delivering music of the highest calibre, world class chefs, award winning street food and an unrivalled programme of family entertainment.
The Big Feastival has also revealed the acclaimed chefs that will be bringing their awe-inspiring masterclasses to the culinary stages, including Marco Pierre White and Mark Hix.
Host Alex James said: “This is now our ninth Big Feastival and I can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the farm. It is such a thrill to see how the festival develops and evolves each year and I have no doubt 2020 will be bigger and better than ever. I couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of Nile Rodgers - the king of funk no less – and CHIC basically playing a gig in my back garden, not to mention hosting culinary rock star Marco Pierre White. The lineup already has something for everyone, with plenty more to come… See you in August!”
The Big Feastival takes place on the Bank Holiday Weekend, 28th - 30th August at Alex James' Farm in Kingham.
Camping and Weekend tickets are on sale now available at www.thebigfeastival.com
Jeremy Clarkson has opened a new farm shop on his farm near Chipping Norton.
Diddly Squat Farm Shop, located on his Diddly Squat Farm, was full of potatoes grown on the farm, horseradish, eggs, apple juice and some bottles of special edition natural spring water that was being auctioned off for charity.
We have no idea of the opening times or whether this was just a publicity stunt as a full film crew was covering his every move. Whatever it was, it was good fun!
It's always an exciting time with Cheltenham just around the corner.
I will start with Annie Mc at Bangor. It was great that she won again and I was so pleased with the way she jumped because it was real testing sticky ground and she jumped out of it like it was good ground. She's definitely going the right way and will be entered in the Novices' Handicap over 2 and a half miles on the Tuesday at the Marsh Novices' Chase and the Plate on the Thursday. It will probably be between the two races on the Thursday but we will be deciding nearer the time.
The journey with Annie has been amazing, with Chris [Hughes] and everyone at Coral, We have been very lucky and you have to pinch yourself sometimes that we have stumbled on such a nice mare.
There was plenty of pressure on my ride on Native River at Newbury but I just tried to take it in my stride. It was a huge day and definitely the most important success of my career so far. Hopefully it will springboard a few more opportunities. He was deadly and jumped fantastically well. The blinkers definitely sharpened him up. I am very lucky.
It's desperately sad to hear that he will miss the Gold Cup and the National and I'm gutted for the Tizzards, Mr and Mrs Broom, Brocade Racing, and Dickie [Johnson]. It looked like he was really coming back to form and it's just really frustrating and unfortunate for everyone.
Copperhead was very good at Ascot last week. He put decent horses to bed very quickly, jumped them into submission really and was relentless in the finish. I don't think we found the bottom of him. Whether he goes for the National Hunt Chase or RSA Chase at Cheltenham, he'll be a huge ride in either race but we'll see where the connections want to go. He's going to be very exciting and will only improve with some summer grass on him.
Photo courtesy of Nigel Kirby
The Manor House at Castle Combe, Tewkesbury Park and Heythrop Park have all been included in the Top 100 Golf Resorts in the UK & Ireland published by Golf World.
The list sees Gleneagles take top spot, with The K Club in Kildare, Ireland and three of Donald Trump's resorts making up the Top 5.
You can find the full list HERE.
THE MANOR HOUSE
The full line-up for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival was announced this morning.
The festival returns in May with a broad spectrum of world -class contempor ary jazz, blues, soul, R&B and pop. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Cheltenham The Festival Town from May 5-10, this year’s programme once again delivers a balance of core jazz and mainstream offerings from today’s biggest stars, heritage legends and next -generation talent, with an impressive spread of UK exclusives and special commissions in the mix.
Coinciding with the Early May Bank Holiday, which moves to Friday (8 May) to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, this year’s festival will host New Wave icons Squeeze with hits from their illustrious 45-year career, as well as rarities from their back catalogue and solo careers, beloved UK soulstress Beverley Knight, R&B funk legends KC & The Sunshine Band, Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May with the Ronnie Scott’s Big Band and multi-million-selling vocalist Emeli Sandé. Blues/folk-inspired co-operative Saving Grace unveil their brand-new project featuring singers Robert Plant and Suzi Dian, Malian pop duo Amadou & Mariam and The Blind Boys Of Alabama present ‘Bamako To Birmingham’, multi-instrumentalist, DJ and cultural pioneer Nitin Sawhney will showcase music from his seminal record Beyond Skin alongside repertoire from his 20-album career, while Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winning Booker T Jones returns to the Festival with material from his new album Note By Note. The Festival’s Artistic Curator Gregory Porter opens the 6-day event with a concert at the 2000-seat capacity Henry Westons Big Top and has selected various acts for the ‘Gregory’s Picks’ series: Lizz Wright, Keyon Harrold, Makaya McCraven and Gary Bartz & Maisha, announced last month.
The Parabola Arts Centre programme presents a snapshot of the global landscape of jazz today, with this year’s line-up stronger and more diverse than ever. Award-winning trumpeter Laura Jurd presents her latest boundary-pushing project Stepping Back, Jumping In featuring a 14 piece-ensemble, Portuguese rock-fuelled outfit The Rite of Trio perform their UK debut as Cheltenham’s pick from the 12 Points Festival European jazz showcase, Anglo-Swiss quintet YDivide celebrate Switzerland’s lively jazz scene and legendary jazz vocalist Norma Winstone teams up with German pianist Pablo Held. British singer Lianne Carroll pays tribute to the legendary Carole King with a concert at The Daffodil and million-selling US vocalist Stacey Kent will delve into the Great American Songbook with acclaimed saxophonist Jim Tomlinson at the Everyman Theatre.
The Festival’s long-standing partnership with BBC Radio 2 continues with special broadcasts throughout the weekend including Squeeze live in concert and a New Orleans-themed Friday Night Is Music Night with Guy Barker’s Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Taste-making DJ and broadcaster Gilles Peterson takes up residence at Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter – a new pop-up venue, where in addition to his own DJ set will showcase some of the acts he’s championing right now on the UK scene: alt singer-songwriter Rosie Lowe, punk jazzers Melt Yourself Down and the genre-bending Nubiyan Twist.
Also on the bill and representing the UK’s kaleidoscopic jazz scene are SE London collective Steam Down, jazz/hip-hop/soul-influenced vocalist and guitarist Oscar Jerome and 8-piece Afrobeat outfit KOKOROKO. Elsewhere, Ibibio Sound Machine, fronted by Nigerian singer Eno Williams will explore a tapestry of African and electronic soundworlds and iconic drummer Tony Allen pays homage to the late South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela. And set for Cheltenham are some of the most in-demand blues artists currently touring the world: recent Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Keb’ Mo’, US bassist and founding member of blues-rock band Trampled Under Foot Danielle Nicole and harmonica extraordinaire Errol Linton.
Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2020 is hosted in a tented festival village in the town centre’s Montpellier Gardens featuring the Henry Westons Big Top stage, Jazz Arena, Free Stage, Yamaha Discovery Space, a programme of family activities and events and a food, drink and market area. The Festival reaches beyond the festival village into Cheltenham bringing jazz to venues throughout the day until late into the night. These include Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham Ladies’ College Parabola Arts Centre, Hotel du Vin, The Daffodil and a new pop-up venue Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter plus a dozen more clubs and bars and three street stages in the …around town programme supported by Cheltenham BID.
Tickets go on sale to Members at 10am on Wednesday 26 February 2020 and on general sale from 10am on Wednesday 4 March 2020.
Foals, Loyle Carner and Supergrass have been confirmed as headliners of Wilderness Festival, Season 10.
The 4-day feast of music, the arts, fine dining and the outdoors takes place on July 30th - August 2nd 2020 at the stunning Cornbury Park.
It's been a really good busy month with over 50 runners and a few winners which is always nice.
I have to start with Annie Mc. It's great that she has won her second Novice Chase. The horses she is beating are not mugs. She beat If You Say Run the first time at Wincanton who's a good yard stick, and was wasn't too far away from Reserve Tank who was a dual-grade one winner over hurdles last year. She beat one of Alan King's mares who is rated at 140 decisively at Wetherby. She jumped great and is getting better and better with each run.
She will probably go to a normal Novice Chase next with two penalties but will get a Mares' allowance so will probably only be offset by 3lbs. If she won that, we would definitely to have start thinking about the Cheltenham Festival with her, either the handicap or the Grade 1 Marsh Chase. Her next run will probably tell us a lot more. She's going the right way and we're very excited about her.
It was good to get Django Django on the right track. I was really impressed with the first day behind Erick Le Rouge and Not That Fuisse at Uttoxeter which is really good form. He was disappointing the next time at Aintree with Bryony but to be fair, he lost his two hind shoes so there's an excuse for that run. He looked very strong in the finish at Newbury and won going away. He does look like he could turn into a National horse next year but he has a long way to go but he does have that way about him. He's a horse I have always really liked and has probably still got another year until he reaches his full potential. A horse we're very much looking forward to for some lucky owners who are very loyal to us at Jackdaws Castle.
We really fancied Knight Destroyer in the Fred Winter at The Festival couple of years ago when he fell and it was great to see him win again at Taunton. He had a major pelvis injury, which he has now got over, and seemed to lose a bit of confidence. I would say we will be going over fences sooner rather than later. He suits the tight tracks and making all the running and it's great he got his confidence back and really deserved the win.
Arrivederci beat a strong field at Wincanton. He was due a win after coming second behind Fiddlerontheroof last time out at Sandown who went on to win a Grade 1. He's got very good form, he came third to Tea Clipper at Warwick who has gone onto win a few races since. He's progressing nicely and is going to be a chaser for next year and definitely a horse to look forward to.
It was good for the veteran Valadom to get back to his winning grove at Catterick, and good placing by Richard Hobson. He runs at Musselburgh tomorrow in a similar race but I won't be riding him as I will at Sandown.
Beaufort West was very good at Fontwell for Colin Tizzard. He quickened away nicely and really impressed me. It will be interesting to see where they go with him now. I think he could go for a handicap race at Cheltenham, perhaps the Martin Pipe or Coral Cup.
It was very exciting to win Conditional Jockey of the Year at The Lesters. It's a huge honour to win a Lester award as it's your peers who are voting. I feel very lucky that I have a good network behind me and around me. It really does make you appreciate how lucky we are that we live in a such a good weighing room where the camaraderie is great.
I'm extremely grateful and feel very privileged to get asked to ride Native River and to be associated with a Gold Cup winner. It's a huge call up which I'm relishing and don't take lightly. It's Dicky's (Johnson) ride and hopefully he'll be back fit for Cheltenham but it's great to be riding him at Newbury and hopefully it works out well. He won very well at Aintree last time and the blinkers seem to sharpen him up. I'm very much looking forward to Newbury next weekend!
I have three good rides for Mr Tizzard at Sandown tomorrow (Saturday 1st Feb). Elderado Allen in the Champion Hurdle Trial. He's pretty unexposed and ran really well on comeback when he was second at the same track earlier this month. Vision Des Flos in the Scilly Isles Grade One Novices Chase. He's bee a very good horse who won at Chepstow last time very comfortably and has a good chance n what looks like a open race. Mister Malarky runs in the Masters Handicap Chase. He ran very well in the Ladbrokes Trophy earlier in the season. If he returns to that kind of form he should go close.
The BBC confirmed last night that the third series of the Bafta award-winning comedy This Country will be the last.
The show, created by siblings Charlie and Daisy Cooper, and filmed in the Cotswolds, first landed on our screens back in 2017 and has since won and array of awards.
It will be the first series not to feature the brilliant Michael "Slugs" Sleggs who sadly passed away in July 2019.
On an Instagram post confirming the news of the third series being the last, Daisy wrote "It's been the most incredible journey of my life and I'm so grateful to you all"
This Country will return to our screens on February 17th on BBC3.
Cheltenham Racecourse opens its doors for its final raceday before the The Festival™ presented by Magners in March on Saturday 25 January, Festival Trials Day.
With seven cracking races on the card, including the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase, often considered a trial for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle which always produces key contenders for The Festival™ presented by Magners.
Last year, we saw three winners from Festival Trials Day go on to success at the Cheltenham Festival, including the formidable Frodon and Bryony Frost, Paisley Park winning for trainer Emma Lavelle and owner, Andrew Gemmell who has been blind since birth, and Lizzie Kelly aboard Siruh Du Lac.
Popular Irish contemporary band, Lampa will be back to perform on The Centaur stage after racing to keep the celebrations going.
Tickets are available to buy online from £12 in advance - www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/festival-trials-day/
BUY BEFORE 31ST JANUARY AT 10:59AM FOR THE BEST PRICE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL TICKETS
Artistic Curator Gregory Porter opens Cheltenham Jazz Festival with a headline show on Tuesday 5 May. He has selected four concerts as Gregory’s Picks - favourite artists he thinks more people should hear during the six-day Festival in May (5-10 May).
Undeniably one of the best voices of our generation, Porter has also revealed today that he will release his sixth studio album All Rise on Decca Records/Blue Note in April and will kick off his much-anticipated UK tour of the record at Cheltenham.
American vocalist and composer Lizz Wright will be Gregory’s special guest in his show and will perform her own show at the Everyman Theatre on Bank Holiday Friday 8 May featuring songs from her new album Grace.
‘Beat scientist’ Makaya McCraven is a drummer, producer and sonic collagist who has made a big impact on Chicago’s cultural scene and who won ‘International Jazz Act of the Year’ at the Jazz FM Awards 2019. He plays the Jazz Arena on Friday 8 May.
Also playing the Jazz Arena on 8 May is trumpeter Keyon Harrold, best known for his performances in Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead (where he earned his nickname The Mugician).
Gary Bartz & Maisha perform on Saturday 9 May. The sax legend manages to be both an elder statesman of jazz and at the forefront of a new wave, backed by Maisha – the UK’s leading spiritual jazz outfit.
These names join Bebel Gilberto, a double bill of Blind Boys of Alabama and Amadou and Mariam, and David Liebman/Randy Brecker/Marc Copland Quintet, who were announced at the end of last year.
The full Cheltenham Jazz Festival programme will be revealed on Wednesday 12 February. Tickets go on sale to Members on 26 February and General sale is on 4 March.
The line-up of DJ's in The Park at the Cheltenham Festival is now complete.
Nick Grimshaw (Day One) and Laura Whitmore (Day Two) were already confirmed, and they have now been joined by Roman Kemp (Day Three) and Marvin Humes (Day Four).
The Park is a brand new addition to The Festival™ presented by Magners, featuring entertainment and live music throughout the day, a range of new bars showing live racing and boasting an electric atmosphere, followed by a 90 minute DJ set at 4:30pm.