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
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.
Celebrated chef Bob Parkinson is returning to the kitchen but in a different venue for a one off pop-up night on Friday 24 January.
Bob James Parkinson left his eponymous Michelin recognised restaurant, Made By Bob, in Cirencester, after 10 years at the stove in March 2019. He was followed by his kitchen team of chef’s Sam Edwards and Jak Doggett, who went onto successfully take over and re-establish The Firehouse in Upton, near Burford.
The evening is a six course set dinner with delights such as grilled belly of pork and langoustine with clam’s, Asian style peppers, bean sprouts and yam tawai or grilled fillet of lemon sole with baby gem, prosciutto and truffle.
Glass of Crémant de Bourgogne
Cup oyster soup
Oxtail Cugliones with caramelised onion puree, salsify and thyme
Grilled fillet of lemon sole with baby gem, prosciutto and truffle
Grilled belly of pork and langoustine with clam’s
Asian style peppers bean sprouts and yam tawai
Panettone French toast, caramelised apple, sultanas and vanilla ice cream
Roquefort with chicory, walnuts and pickled pear, sourdough crisps
Book now - theuptonfirehouse.com/events
There are 31 entries for the Cheltenham Gold Cup that takes place on Friday 13th March 2020.
Last year's winner Al Boum Photo is the current favourite.
Local entries include the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Bristol de Mai and The Conditional trained by David Bridgewater.
The Festival™ presented by Magners takes place at Chelteham Racecourse from 10-13 March 2020
BAFTA award-winning comedy This Country returns to the Cotswolds for a one-off sneak preview screening of the new BBC Three series on Thursday 23 January.
Held in Daisy and Charlie Cooper’s home town of Cirencester you can be the first to see an exclusive preview of the first two episodes followed by a Q&A with the brother and sister stars, producer Simon Mayhew-Archer and director Tom George.
Apply by following the link below for your chance to see what Kerry and Kurtan have been up to before everyone else and get an exclusive insight into the making of the show!
Tickets will be allocated by random draw with 70% of the tickets going to local postcodes* and 30% going to the rest of the UK.
You can register at any time until 10am on Friday 10 January.
You can apply for a maximum of two tickets.
* Local postcodes: B50, BA1, BA11, BA13, BA14, BA15, BA2, BA3, BS12, BS15, BS16, BS17, BS18, BS30, BS31, BS32, BS34, BS35, BS36, BS37, BS5, BS7, BS80, CV36, CV37, GL1, GL10, GL11, GL12, GL13, GL14, GL15, GL16, GL17, GL18, GL19, GL2, GL20, GL3, GL4, GL5, GL50, GL51, GL52, GL53, GL54, GL55, GL56, GL6, GL7, GL8, GL9, HR8, HR9, NP16, NP5, NP6, OX1, OX11, OX12, OX13, OX14, OX15, OX18, OX2, OX20, OX25, OX28, OX29, OX3, OX33, OX5, OX6, OX7, OX8, RG15, RG16, RG17, RG18, RG20, SN1, SN10, SN11, SN12, SN13, SN14, SN15, SN16, SN17, SN2, SN25, SN26, SN3, SN38, SN4, SN5, SN6, SN7, SN8, SN9, SN99, WR10, WR11, WR12, WR13, WR14, WR5, WR8
There is no better place to start 2020 than a day at Cheltenham.
There will be seven races, including two Grade 2 contests and a whole heap of complimentary entertainment in the Family Fun Zone. Under 18s go free!
Why not enhance your day at the races and book hospitality or your own private box from just £155? We can't think of a better way to kick off the new decade!
The King's Arms in Prestbury, on the outskirts of Cheltenham, has reopened its doors today by Raymond Blanc's White Brasserie Company.
The pub has undergone an extensive renovation since closing at the end of last year and will offer fresh, seasonal French fare and Great British pub classics.
The pub is steeped in history with parts pf the building dating back to the 14th Century. There has been a huge effort to bring the best of the old pub back to life, reinstating the three fireplaces, restoring original beams and floors and rehanging the front door so it could be open from the High Street for the first time in over two decades.
Take a look for yourself here - kingsarmsprestbury.com
There is an exciting brand new addition to The Festival™ presented by Magners at Cheltenham Racecourse in March 2020.
Featuring entertainment and live music throughout the day, The Park will boast a range of new bars showing live racing and boasting an electric atmosphere and a 90 minute DJ set at 4:30pm.
Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw and Laura Whitmore have been confirmed for Day One and Two.
From the heights of a Ferris wheel, the buzz of the Magners bar and street food to live music from The Wandering Wings throughout the day, there is something for everyone.
Admission into The Park is available to racegoers with a Club or Tattersalls ticket, simply purchase as an upgrade in advance from just £15 per person (save £10 off the on-the-day price).
18-28 Members will receive a complimentary wristband for The Park and exclusive access to the Members only area, The Love Ireland Bar.
It's been a great couple of weeks which started with Soaring Glory winning, in my opinion, a very strong bumper at Ascot on bad ground. It was pleasing that he put daylight between the second and third who are both good horses. He still has to go forward but it looks like he has the world at his feet at the minute. He will probably return to Ascot next Friday in a listed bumper.
It was a really nice surprise to have a 40/1 winner on Who Shot Jr for Colin Tizzard in the Novice Hurdle at Taunton. He won nicely, although I'm not sure it was the deepest of races. However, he had come on a lot from his first two experiences at Chepstow and Wincanton.
I had great ride in the Hennessy at Newbury on Mr Malarky. He ran a cracker. I thought 3-out that he had a right chance. He probably didn't quite see out the trip but the cheek pieces definitely made a difference to him and there's definitely a good race for him to win this year. It was nice to see him back to his usual self.
Plumpton on Monday was a great day. I was just touched off on Bean In Trouble in the first which was a little frustrating. Adicci battled really nicely to win over 2 miles. It was a good performance and a nice horse for the future. He definitely will get further in time as he's from the same family as Black Jack Ketchum. It was great to ride out my claim too and to do it on one of dad's made it even more special.
We had a comfortable success at Lingfield on Tuesday with Maypole Class, followed by Cobolobo winning very nicely at Haydock on Wednesday after a good display of jumping.
Huntingdon produced another winner with Pagero. Hopefully we might get him out at the end of the week as he runs without a penalty.
Quarenta jumped nicely to win what turned out to be, a two-horse race at Fontwell yesterday. It was the feature race and good pot to win.
The horses are in great form at the minute. That's 6 winners in the last 9 days so hopefully it can continue!
There's no better way to get into the festive spirit than The International meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th December 2019.
Don your Christmas jumpers on both days that will boast 14 thrilling races, including The BetVictor Handicap Steeple Chase and Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase on Friday and The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and The Unibet International Hurdle on Saturday.
Racegoers will have the chance of winning on the spot prizes for the most fun and festive jumper and prizes will include a pair tickets to any of the forthcoming race meetings including The Festival™, presented by Magners.
Alongside the racing, racegoers will also get the chance to browse the stands in The Shopping Village, useful for those last minute Christmas presents.
Gates open at 10am on both days, with the first race at 12.10pm.
David Gray is coming to The Great Court at Blenheim Palace on June 18th 2020 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the seminal 'White Ladder' album as part of the Nocturne Live series.
Featuring the hit singles ‘Babylon’, ‘Sail Away’, ‘Please Forgive Me’ and ‘This Year’s Love’, ‘White Ladder’ is one of the top 10 best-selling albums of the 20th century in the UK.
Joining him will be The Lighthouse Family. Having recently released their first new album in nearly two decades, the duo will perform new music as well as their classic hits including ‘High, ‘Lifted’ and ‘Ocean Drive’.
Completing the bill is storied singer-songwriter Nerina Pallot playing highlights from her two-decade long career.
You can save up to 21% on your Cheltenham Festival tickets if you purchase before 10:59am on Monday 2nd December.
The most prestigious and unmissable Jump racing event of the year. The Cheltenham Festival is a bucket list event that captures the nation and produces extraordinary moments to last a lifetime.
The Cheltenham Festival welcomes the finest horses, jockeys, owners, and trainers to battle it out for the highest racing honours, their reputations and over £4.5 million of prize money.
Enjoy an extraordinary day out with friends and family. From shopping, to live music, to a variety of bars and restaurants available, we are sure you'll have a day to remember while watching world class racing and history being made.
We live in a very weird world, and that's not to mention anything to do with politics. Just this week I found myself defending the presentation of The Swan's pie on twitter to a "chef" who told me that the mash should have been quenilled [sic] with a little jus around the plate and some fresh watercress. I told him he was very wrong, and it's not the 90s anymore. Nobody puts watercress on top of food nowadays do they?
It's been a couple of years since I visited The Swan and lots has changed in that time. Most importantly it has been taken over by Sam and Georgie Pearman, the original founders of The Lucky Onion, with pubs like the brilliant Chequers at Churchill which they still own and the delightful Wheatsheaf at Northleach which they don't.
The pub has changed a bit too. Thinking back it was slightly disjointed but certainly not unpleasant. There was an odd little room if you entered the pub through the door on the road. That has gone has become an extension to the bar area with a few nice tables. The dining room which once had outlandish green walls, green wallpaper, and lots of flowers (the former owner was an interior and floral stylist) now boasts more subtle blues and looks more like a restaurant than someone's living room. There was a roaring fire in the other bar surrounded by the best seats in the house and a lovely room, perfect for celebrations and shoot parties leading out onto the courtyard garden which I imagine would be a nice spot in the summer. The pub has a warmer feel throughout.
It's very rare I order bread, or ever bother to talk about it when I do. However, the Chipping Norton sourdough came with horseradish and dripping butter which is very much worth shouting about.
I'm always torn between dishes and usually leave up to the waiter or waitress to decide for me. It was between the BBQ native prawns, English peas, Chipping Norton nduja and mussels. Without any hesitation, the prawns won. They were huge, messy (the water bowl and napkin both turned the colour your fingers go after eating a packet of Wotsits) and brilliant. I've never had peas with prawns before but it worked, and the nduja-fueled juice at the bottom of the copper bowl was incredibly good to for dipping the spelt toast in.
I wasn't torn for my main. It was 3 degrees outside and I wanted a pie. Chicken and leek or ox cheek and smoked bacon, and choosing the latter wasn't a difficult choice. It arrived standing wonderfully unpretentious on a bed of mash and gravy. It was a thing of beauty and yes Mr Angry Twitter Chef stuck in a different decade, there was no need for spooned mash or watercress. If anything, it could have done with an extra small jug of gravy as the mashed soaked it up like a sponge. The side of squash and cavolo nero, curly kale to you and me, was a decent addition.
This was some of the best pub food I have eaten in quite a while. I have a lot of time for places who have a one main menu fits all for lunch and dinner too.
The Swan will lure locals (there's a special menu in the bar with a £10 dish on every day ) and Londeners alike (there's a station in Ascott where one train a day stops from The Big Smoke). There are also 8 rooms at the pub for anyone wanting to make a couple of days of it which we would obviously highly recommend.
Food pictured is;
Ox Cheek and Smoked Bacon Pie
Crispy Cacklebean Egg
Triple ‘Ham’ Burger, Savoy Slaw, Toffee Apple Sauce, Blue Affine, Tabacco Onions, Alabama Fries
Series 3 of the hugely popular BBC comedy This Country will be aired in February 2020.
The mockumentary following the lives of cousins Kerry and Kurtan Mucklowe, played by Daisy and Charlie Cooper is filmed in and around the town of Northleach here in the Cotswolds.
Charlie said to us this morning "We've just finished the editing on series 3 which we think might be the best yet. We can't wait to for everyone to see it when it launches in February. Expect more of the same nonsense from Kerry and Kurtan as well as a few new characters!"
You can catch up on the first two series and "aftermath" on the BBC iPlayer by clicking HERE.
Arizona four-piece Jimmy Eat World are the first headliner announced for next year's 2000 Trees Festival at Upcote Farm near Cheltenham.
The multi-ward winning festival will take place on the 9th, 10th and 11th July 2020.
You can buy early bird tickets with a discount by clicking HERE.
It feels like the season has got properly underway now and I'm really looking forward to getting back on the course this weekend.
I went over to Ireland last weekend to watch some of the pointers, some of which will be going to the sales next week. I went around with Richard Pugh, an auctioneer with Tattersalls which was a great experience and we learned a lot.
I love The November Meeting at Cheltenham. It's the first multi-day meeting of the season, and one where I have happy memories. I rode my first ever Cheltenham winner aboard Palmers Hill in the Conditional's race on the Sunday last year for Mr McManus and dad.
I'm not sure who I will be riding on Friday. Maybe L'Air Du Vent of Colin Tizzard's who is entered in the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle 2m5f trial. I won his bumper in Bangor last year and he's a very nice horse. So if he goes there it would be nice to ride him. He's very much a work in progress but he could be something really nice.
Saturday, we have Prefontaine running in the Grade 2 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle. He's a bit of a monkey. He unseated me in his first run and was quite sloppy in his jumping on his second time at Fontwell. He really got his act together at Kempton the next time in blinkers that sharpened him up and won quite nicely having made the running. The horse that came second that day has gone out this week and won, so the form looks good which bodes well. This however is a big step up in grade and we will know where we are with him after the race.
Pop Rockstar is also in on Saturday in the 3m3f Grade 3. He's an interesting horse who is on the way up. He has won his last two races at Carlisle and Chepstow and he's a good strong stayer who jumps very well. He could either go for this race or wait until next weekend at Haydock. He's in great form and dad will make a decision with owner Laura Day later this week. He could have the Welsh National in the back of his mind if he goes well in the next couple of weeks.
I was at Cheltenham on Tuesday morning with Richie (McLernon) schooling over the cross-country fences. The ground was pretty soft and I imagine the main track will also be relatively soft which is to be expected. It could definitely suit Pop Rockstar.
On Sunday, we have a couple of entries in the conditional race. It's a pretty special race for me and it would be amazing to try and win that again.
I'm really looking to getting going again with hopefully no hold ups and a clear run through the season, touch wood"
Lionel Richie is the first headline act to be announced for Nocturne Live at Blenheim Palace in June 2020.
The multi-award winning singer, known for hits Dancing on the Ceiling and Hello, will perform on Saturday 20th June.
Tickets on sale Friday 15th at 9am.
Visit www.nocturnelive.com for more information.
Cheltenham Racecourse have announced that Jack Whitehall has added a matinee performance to take place before his sold out evening show on Tuesday 26th November.
The earlier performance will start at 5:00pm in The Centaur at the racecourse and tickets will be on sale on Monday 11th November at 10:00am.
Visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/jack-whitehall for all information.
With The November Meeting at Cheltenham just 10 days away, we have found the best places to go after you leave Prestbury Park.
See the full guide HERE.
After an extensive four-year-long renovation, The Harcourt Arms in in the charming Oxfordshire village of Stanton Harcourt has reopened its doors to the public.
Headed up by Olivier Bonte, former GM of No.131 and Alan Gleeson, previously Head Chef of The Lucky Onion’s No.131 and No.38 The Park, The Harcourt Arms will offer exceptional pub food using the finest produce, ingredients sourced through long-standing relationships with ethical suppliers.
The drinks menu will feature beer and wine from small but talented producers across the world with amazing brands such as Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, William Chase Rose and Chateau Musar alongside Hook Norton Beers, Butcombe and Timothy Taylors Landlord. They will also be serving up delicious cocktails such as Negroni with a twist, proper Espresso Martini and their very own Bloody Mary, allowing guests to order an old favourite or try something new.
Since the renovation, there are an additional 10 individually style en-suite bedrooms, making this 17th-century pub with rooms ideal for both leisure and business needs.
With the local community at its heart, The Harcourt Arms have created The Harcourt Stores, which will offer luxury, artisan produce alongside healthy everyday essentials. A one-stop-shop for locals, there will be fresh coffee, cured and smoked produce,sweet treats and everyday essentials.
The ultimate village pub with a home away from home feel makes it the perfect place to visit.
Jump season is full speed and it's just 2 weeks until The November Meeting takes centre stage at Cheltenham.
It's the biggest meeting at the course outside The Cheltenham Festival and takes place on Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th November.
The highlight on the track across the whole weekend is the iconic BetVictor Gold Cup, a Handicap Chase over 2m4f with a prize to the winner of over £90,000.
Recent winners have included locally trained Taquin Du Seuil for Jonjo O'Neill and the hugely popular Splash Of Ginge for Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Alongside the action on the course, there is a host of awesome things taking place throughout the weekend.
Friday is Countryside Day and lots of country themed events including Sir Anthony McCoy receiving a lesson from double Olympic medal-winning dressage rider Laura Tomlinson in the Parade Ring at 11:45am, as well as a parade by a local hunt and live music from The Lucky 15's in The Guinness Village for Club/Tattersalls Racegoers.
After racing from 4pm-5.15pm, The Wurzels will be taking to the stage in The Centaur. This is free for Club/Tattersalls ticket holders,
Saturday features more music with The Wickermen playing in The Guinness Village and after racing, Club and Tattersalls racegoers can enjoy live music from The Wandering Wings in The Centaur who will get your Saturday night started with upbeat acoustic versions of classic pop, rock and soul hits.
Sunday will see the finale of the Pony Racing Authority Racecourse Series, sponsored by Charles Owen. There have been 25 fixtures throughout the season, across a variety of racecourses around the UK, starting at Aintree Racecourse in May. The jockeys are aged between 11 and 16. The first race will be at 12pm.
There is a host of family themed activities to enjoy throughout the day and more live music with The D-Day Darlings performing live in The Centaur after racing, free for Club/Tattersalls racegoers.
Other things of interest:
For tickets and further information, please click here.
It's very rare that food blows your mind. I'm always seeing that someone had "the best meal they have ever eaten" followed by an #ad in the hashtags, hidden enough that some people will miss it and mistakenly believe that they genuinely had their best ever meal.
After seeing much hype and happening to be in Cheltenham, I booked a table at Bhoomi Kitchen. It's the same old Bhoomi but with a much more relaxed feel, new Indian BBQ dishes and Thali to the menu and no white tablecloths. If I'm honest I wasn't a fan of the white tablecloths in the old style Bhoomi. If I'm even more honest, I'm not a fan of white tablecloths full stop. I find it a little uncomfortable in restaurants when someone in white gloves starts brushing the cloth in front of you between courses. I kind of get it, but I feel like those days have gone and it's something my grandparents would have would have appreciated. Anyway, they have gone. Also the walls have changed colour. You know that lovely bluey, greeny grey colour that everyone uses? It probably has a trendy name at Farrow and Ball. Evidently I'm no expert, I just know it looks nice.
The Thali is served between 6pm and 6.45pm every evening (bar Monday as the restaurant is closed) and lunch time on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. There was already a trickle of the after work crowd when we arrived just after 6. How bloody clever to capture that audience with a silver tray of pleasure for a tenner or £12 if you opt for the Butter Chicken or Kerala Lamb. Either way, it's a bargain.
I never eat at 6pm. I don't trust people who do. They must be the ones who go to bed at 10pm when I'm just about to sit down to eat my dinner. With a mix of naivety and fear of having to eat twice in a night, we treated the Thali as a starter and ordered three of the Indian BBQ dishes for our main; Tharavu (Duck breast, rubbed with south Indian
gunpowder spice blend then barbecued in charcoal tandoor), Chicken Reshmi Kebab (Marinated breast in hung yogurt, ginger, garlic, cream, ground peppercorn, ground cashew nuts, skewered and tandoor roasted) and Barbecued Prawns (marinated in lime juice, chilli, cumin, coriander tandoor baked).
Now we've all had duck chicken and prawns before but this was on a different level. The duck and the chicken more so than the prawns which were seriously good, just not as good or a memorable as the other two. The flavours were immense, compelling and fiery all at the same time, and the meat was like butter. It was simply brilliant.
I'm not here to say that my meal at Bhoomi Kitchen is the best I have ever eaten, but it was some of the most exciting food I have eaten for a very long time.
One of Bristol’s brightest star chef’s is coming to take over the kitchen at Tetbury’s The Priory Inn.
New head chef Tom Bannister has worked at some of Bristol’s best eateries including a head chef role at The Souk Kitchen.He is planning to introduce a new, more casual approach to dinning focusing on the social side of eating, using the charming dining space at The Priory.
The Arkell’s Brewery hotel has undergone a management makeover since Greg Heath took over the reins of the hotel in July.
The Cotswolds Distillery have introduce their own twist on the classic Old Tom Gin.
Dating back to the 18th century, at a time when gin was consumed in copious amounts, this juniper spirit was traditionally sweetened with sugar or liquorice to conceal the astringent qualities of the substandard spirit. Thanks to the thriving craft cocktail scene, Old Tom Gins based on traditional recipes have made a comeback in the past few years.
The Cotswolds Old Tom has sweet, woody notes from liquorice root balanced with zesty orange citrus and light spice from the ginger.
We enjoy our Old Tom neat, garnished with fresh orange peel, or why not try a Tom Collins cocktail by adding lemon juice, soda and sugar syrup.
It's available now in-store and online.
500ml | 42% ABV | £29.95