Uplift your spirits with Vayu Yoga

Round & About


Forget your cares and de-stress in the calm inviting studio space of the new Vayu Yoga in Guildford

December is a non-stop whirl of activity, going here and there, school and work functions to attend and all amid the joy/chaos that Christmas brings so never is there a greater need for some ‘time out’ to take a breather for yourself.

Step into Vayu Yoga above Black Sheep Coffee in North Street, Guildford, and you’ll be stepping into a haven of all that is tranquil. Peace exudes and you’ll feel a lifetime away from the crazy world outside.

The clean, warm, inviting interior will have you letting out an instant sigh of relief as you absorb the unique experience that awaits, inviting you to feel the benefits of moving your body and calming your mind.

The only independent yoga studio in Guildford, Vayu Yoga is run by Lucy Butler, a yoga teacher and Reiki master. Lucy wants to share her passion and love for yoga through her calm and welcoming studio space ‘where you can breathe deeply and energise your morning or release into your evening’.

Vayu Yoga embodies three core principles – philosophy, community and your wellbeing. The philosophy is to curate sessions in which you can experience the rich variety yoga has to offer. Community is at the heart of Vayu Yoga with the emphasis on offering an accessible approach to yoga for everyone from beginners to those more experienced. Your wellbeing and self awareness will increase through the practice with a calm mind and healthy body helping to add to the feeling of overall contentment.

Lucy says: “We’ve created a beautiful environment with the best teachers in the area, where you will receive individual attention and guidance. We offer an experience, a step away from the stresses and strains of daily life, where you can focus on an hour of ‘you’ time from beginners to advanced practitioners.

“We also offer a range of intimate workshops for a longer immersive experience. A luxurious experience like no other studio, a clean beautifully scented space where you can relax and enjoy our tranquil atmosphere.”

A range of classes is available including hot vinyasa, Hatha, mindful flow, and the popular candlelight restorative as well as the relaxing Yin. One-to-one private sessions and small groups sessions, can also be enjoyed, alongside Reiki.

To find out more and book your class click here


Lucy is offering five Round & About readers the chance to join a free taster class. To enter click here.

Breathe your way through with yoga

Round & About


Stacey Black, founder of Wandering Wild Yoga, East Meon, has tips for staying relaxed over the festive period and tells us more about her new yoga walks and classes

As a busy mum of three, I understand how making space for self-care is hard especially over the festive season. But spending just 10 minutes a day practising these three simple techniques could make all the difference.

Gratitude Journal: Start your day by jotting down three things you are grateful for.

Mindful Breathing: Sit in a comfortable position with your spine long, close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Start to observe your breath, watching the subtle movements as you inhale and exhale, notice the qualities of your breath, does your breath feel slow or quick, does it feel smooth or jagged, notice how the ribs expand on the inhale and contract back with the exhale.

After a few rounds, gently start to deepen and lengthen your breath, engaging your diaphragm and using your lungs more fully. Sit for a few minutes breathing this way, letting your exhale be slightly longer than your inhale, this helps calm the body and nervous system. 

Yoga Pose: Legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani): Lying with your legs up the wall makes a difference to your mental and physical health. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system by slowing the breath and letting the body know it is safe to relax. It also relieves aching muscles and joints whilst also supporting your lymphatic and glymphatic system.  

Set a timer between 5 and 20 minutes. To go into the posture, sit sideways on to the wall, manoeuvre yourself around so that your back is on the floor and your legs are up the wall. Once in position focus on your breath, take slow deep breath (as detailed above). When you are ready to come out cuddle your knees to your chest and roll on to one side.

Please note: this posture is not suitable during pregnancy, if you suffer from glaucoma or have untreated high blood pressure. 

Make yoga a New Year resolution

Yoga is a transformational practice and benefits the mind, body and spirit. My journey began with a local yoga class, it was then I decided that I wanted to share this ancient practice with others.

I have now been teaching for 12 years and offer a range of classes including hatha yoga, chair yoga, restorative yoga, Mindful Wanders (outdoor yoga combined with mindful walking) and sound baths. My plan for 2024 is to focus on Yoga for Cancer with holistic yoga programmes for individuals and groups.

For more information about my classes please click here.

Wandering Wild Yoga is offering a free taster session for two people in 2024. To win this experience click here.

A Shed load of festive fun

Round & About


Enjoy the magic of Christmas with friends and family this December in Bordon

Visit The Shed this December for a Shed load of festive fun! Bring your friends and family and enjoy the magic of Christmas and embrace the holiday spirit with our enchanting festivities. From seasonal arts and crafts to live music, a dazzling Christmas market, and cosy drive-in cinema screenings, The Shed has got it all!

Christmas markets

From Friday 15th to Sunday 17th December, The Shed’s seasonal Christmas Market is back for its third year, and this year it’s even bigger than ever. With traders opening for the Friday afternoon and across the weekend, there’ll be hot food and drinks as well as local crafts and gifts available for everyone.

Music will be from local choirs, entertainment from the Phoenix Players and Shed favourite Stephanie Belle, plus much more.

Friday 15th, 4 to 8pm – It’s a chilled evening with lots of grown up things to delight.

Saturday 16th, 12 to 8pm – A family-orientated day with loads of fun, a nativity farm with real animals including special donkey story-time sessions throughout the day.

Sunday 17th, 10 to 2pm – An ideal day out for all the family with lots of great stalls and festive music.

On Saturday 16th don’t miss the chance to ride the reindeer bucking bronco, don your Christmas hat, put down the mulled wine and see how long you can hold on for!

Festive films

‘Tis the Season for Magical Movie Nights at Ticket Cinema. Get ready to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with a heart-warming selection of Christmas classics including  How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, Polar Express and Home Alone 2 under the starry night sky. Join them throughout December for a cinematic celebration of the Christmas spirit, with screenings twice a day on the 20th, 21st and 22nd you’ll have lots of opportunities to catch your favourite holiday films. Don’t miss out on this chance to make enduring traditions and create unforgettable moments with the family.

Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company is looking forward to welcoming you to these Christmas events this December, as well as providing a central community hub where people of all ages can meet up to enjoy activities across the festive period.

1st December 7-9pm: Christmas Wreath Workshop

15th December 4-8pm: Christmas Market

16th December 12-8pm: Christmas Market

17th December 10am-2pm: Christmas Market

20th December 3:30-5:30pm: How the Grinch Stole Christmas @ Ticket Cinema

20th December 7-9pm: Elf @ Ticket Cinema

21st December 3:30-5:30pm: Home Alone 2 @ Ticket Cinema

21st December 7-9pm: Last Christmas @ Ticket Cinema

22nd December 3:30-5:30pm: The Polar Express @ Ticket Cinema

22nd December 7-9pm: The Holiday @ Ticket Cinema

W: theshedwb.com/shed-events/

Surrey Wildlife Trust: The Big Give

Round & About


All donations to the Trust’s campaign to support conservation grazing will be matched by The Big Give from 28th November to 5th December   

Surrey Wildlife Trust’s fundraising appeal to help its team of four-footed conservation heroes preserve and protect precious habitats has received a big boost as match funding platform The Big Give has promised to match any donations received from members of the public – effectively doubling the impact your money can have on local wildlife.

All donations made between 28th November and 5th December will be matched by The Big Give as part of its Christmas Challenge, and the campaign has received backing of £9,800 thanks to Kia UK and a further £5,000 from The Reed Foundation.


SWT is urgently asking for donations to help maintain and extend conservation grazing using herds of Belted Galloway cows and specially-bred cross breed sheep in the county. This is an effective way to keep chalk grasslands and heathlands buzzing with life as the climate and nature crisis bites, and supports a huge number of species including Nightjars, Dartford Warblers, Silver-studded Blue butterflies, Sand Lizards and a multitude of pollinating bees and beetles as well as plant life including orchid species and Cut-leaved Germander. 

But the Trust is being hit by increasing costs for overwintering, feed and veterinary care. Additional funding is urgently needed to recruit more volunteers to help look after the herd.

SWT also wants to increase the use of  ‘no fence’ grazing, which uses specialized GPS collars, controlled using an app. This makes costly fencing unnecessary and enables herds to be moved to new grazing territory safely, quickly and easily.

Surrey Wildlife Trust’s farm and livestock manager James Stoyles says: “Our unique landscapes bring huge benefits to thousands of visitors and residents, but they need sensitive management to stay in good shape for people and nature. Our conservation grazers are the best possible team for the job – but they need help to keep carrying out their vital mission.

“Thanks to the wonderful generosity of our supporters, we’re already 30 per cent of the way towards meeting out overall fundraising target of £50,000. It’s great that The Big Give has offered us this opportunity, but to get over the line we’ll need help from everyone who can afford to make a donation, however small.  Every penny we raise will contribute to a healthier, more biodiverse and more beautiful Surrey.”

The fundraising campaign has four main aims:    

Expanding ‘no fence’ grazing in Surrey. Equipping more conservation grazing cattle with GPS collars will reduce the need for physical fences (thus reducing the costs of installation and maintenance) and allow more targeted grazing.

Increasing awareness of conservation grazing and engage with local communities to ensure that people, dogs and grazing animals can safely enjoy local reserves. 

Increasing the Trust’s conservation grazing team capacity by recruiting and training more volunteer ‘lookerers’. To ensure the day-to-day welfare of the grazing herds, SWT aims to have 15-20 weekend volunteer lookerers.


Breeding a flock of cross-breed sheep (combining traditional Wiltshire Horn and Boreray breeds) with wool-shedding qualities, resulting in improved welfare and low cost. These animals could be a vital resource for land managers and conservationists across the county and beyond.  

If you are able to support the appeal, please donate through https://donate.biggive.org/campaign/a056900002RXpaHAAT to maximise your impact. 

Farmer Kaleb Cooper star Q&A

Liz Nicholls


Liz Nicholls chats to Clarkson’s Farm star & dad Kaleb Cooper, 25, whose book Britain According To Kaleb is out now and whose UK theatre tour starts in January

Q. Nice to see you, Kaleb, where are you now? “Well, as you can see I’m currently in a field. I’ve just jumped off the tractor to speak with you because we’re muckspreading just over there, then you don’t have to heart the tractor buzzing away! I do apologise if you can hear a load of beeping. It’s a busy time of year; we’re doing about 114 hours a week – it’s pretty busy, and doing the other jobs that get missed out during the harvest time.”

Q. How do you keep your energy up? “I think I run on adrenaline. I love doing what I do so it’s never hard to stay out all night or all day, not having a lunch break. I have a dream and I’m going to get to that dream eventually. It’s pushing me to that place. In the back of my head I always say to myself: dreams don’t work unless you do. My dream is to own my own farm. I’d love to get to the point where I can wake up in the morning with my little kids and walk out on to my own farm and say: in that field over there, I’m going to plant wheat in it because I want to, not because anyone else told me to… And that’s the dream!”

Q. Would you like your kids to go into farming? “I’ve got a little boy and a little girl now and I would love them to take it ever but I would never push anyone to do anything they wouldn’t want to do. If they decide they don’t want to do farming but try their luck as a hot-shot lawyer in London, then great… I just hope they know that I’ll never, ever visit!”

Q. You love where you live don’t you? “I love it. Chipping Norton for me is the most amazing place in the world and I’ve always said that. I just hope everyone wakes up in the morning like I do & feels ‘I’m home’. This is my home, this is where I’m going to spend the rest of my life, I hope. If a farm comes up & it’s not too expensive and I can stay close to home, I’ll be happy.”

Q. You’re going to be on the road soon, though are you nervous? “It’s been work hard, play hard all summer, and I’ve just sat down and thought **** me, I’m going on tour soon, I can’t wait for this. It starts on the 25th January and we’re going everywhere. I am a little bit nervous about it, though, yes, but I hope everyone will be really welcoming and if I get a nosebleed on stage just know it’s normal and it will go away. I don’t like crowds and I think everyone knows I don’t like being touched so I think everyone respects that. It’s a miracle I’ve got two kids!”

Q. What hairdo are you going to go for? “I think I’ve got to bring the perm back don’t you? I miss the curly. This year has been so stressful for me – look at my forehead [lifts fringe] – it’s just growing! I hope it will all be ok.”

Q. How’s Gerald? “Yeah Gerald’s really good – he’s got the mullet still! I would never ever get one, because I’ve got the king of mullets standing by my side. I can’t compete!”

Q. One of the things that endeared you to the nation was how blunt you have always been to Jeremy Clarkson and how you were unfussed by ‘celebrity’. Do you and Jeremy get on in real life? “Yeah. I’ve taught him a little bit of farming; it could me more but he doesn’t listen to me. He’s got a little knowledge and that’s dangerous! But I always say this for him: he’s taught me about the world of television and he’s the most amazing man for that because that man is a TV star, he knows what he’s doing in that world. We do quite a bit together – we go to the pub. If we’ve had an argument the day before we might not see each other for two days. We argue – I don’t think that’s ever going to change! But at the end of the day, I’m right and he’s wrong every time so…”

Q. Apart from the hair, have you changed? “People say I’m a celebrity now, well I’m not! I’m out here in the middle of a field, I don’t believe in celebrity format and I’m no different! People freeze up when they see someone famous but when I see a celebrity I just tell them the truth, which is how I was with Jeremy. I’m a chatty guy, I chat to everyone. I still drive my old beaten-up truck and people are lovely & chatty with me. Nothing’s changed!”

Q. You said you didn’t own any books, and that you hadn’t really read one, so how have you now written two?! “I don’t read books, own books… but I have got a book shelf now and it’s building up slowly – I’ve got The World According to Kaleb on it and now I’ve even got [new book] Britain According to Kaleb, and one of Jeremy’s too! I was a bit nervous about writing a book but I’ve got a recorder I keep in the tractor and as I’m going along doing my jobs, I record what I’ve got to say which is a win-win situation. Then, on a rainy day I can write it all up. There’s been a bit more googling for this book, Britain According To Kaleb, so I apologise if my tractor lines are a bit wonky next spring! I was finding out about different places across the country. Scotland, for example, is a phenomenal place. I thought, ooh, I can go on tour and see all these places and see what farming’s all about around Britain, not just here.”

“Dreams don’t work unless you do”

Kaleb Cooper

Q. Any local traditions you love? “Before I got too busy I used to go to the duck racing… Even though my duck lost I was still smiling at the end of the day and happy for the person who won. And that to me is how you sum up these events – it’s the community coming together and being really happy to all be there together. I’m a bit scared to try the wife-carrying – not because carrying my missus will be hard, but more because I know that if we lose, I’m going to get a b******ing when I get home! My other half is very competitive, you see. I can carry hay bales all day long but when you’re carrying someone precious to you it’s quite scary.”

Q. Can you tell us about your love of cider? “Yes, I don’t drink beer so I drink cider. I don’t yet own a farm but I know where loads and loads of apples are which go to waste every year so I thought why don’t I just pick them up and make my own cider? That’s what I do and I’m very grateful that Henry Weston takes the apples in and I can go with 50kg or 3kg in a bag and they still take it and we make some incredible cider. It’s a very dangerous drink!”

Q. You recently launched an agricultural bursary through the Royal Agricultural University which is great. What would you do to help young farmers? “Thank you, I’m trying to use my influence with young farmers’ groups, bursaries and help like that. But, I’m going to say it again: remember dreams don’t work unless you do. Young people who remember this will fly through the industry and do better than I am!”

Q. Do you still love to sing? “Haha! Stick me in a tractor and I just sing – I can’t help it. Jeremy took me to a concert the other day with The Who and I’ll always love The Wurzels!”

+ Britain According to Kaleb, The Wonderful World of Country Life, by Kaleb, is out now in hardback, ebook & audio. His theatre tour starts on 25th January and includes dates at Reading Hexagon on 25th February & G Live Guildford on 28th February. Book your tickets at Kaleblive.com

Christmas fun to enjoy in Bucks

Liz Nicholls


Have you been naughty or nice? Get your skates on to enjoy all the Christmas highlights coming up, including Father Christmas!

He’s making a list… He’s checking it twice… He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Yes the big man himself, Father Christmas, is taking time out from his busy schedule to visit lots of children in Buckinghamshire this month.

In fact, he and his elves will be at Amersham Field Centre, HP7 0QR, 11am-5pm on Sunday 10th, Saturday 16th, Sunday 17th & Wednesday 20th December, for an eco-friendly Santa’s Winter Wonderland. Explore the enchanted woodland with the elves, make a Christmas decoration in the workshop, help find Santa’s missing code and meet Santa in his grotto for your elf graduation certificate, elf hat and gift. Find out more at field-studies-council.org

“Father Christmas will also star at Marlow’s Christmas Fair”

Another planet-friendly highlight is the Eco Elves Tree-Cycle at Wycombe’s Eden Shopping Centre until Christmas Eve. With help from Mrs Claus, children can make decorations using recycled craft materials (Sunday morning SEND sessions). £3pp + booking fee at edenshopping.co.uk/events/the-eco-elves-tree-cycle

Father Christmas will also star at Marlow’s Christmas Fair at The Grand Hall and Versailles Suite on 2nd December. And we can’t mention the big man and Marlow without, of course, another mention for Santa’s Fun Run on 3rd December! santasfunrun.org

Missenden Abbey Christmas Market, 12-4pm on Sunday, 3rd December, will offer gift and craft stalls where you can support local businesses and perhaps find special gifts for friends and family. Watch out for favourite children’s book and film characters on the day. Little ones are also sure to love the merry-go-round and bungee jumping trampolines, plus a little bird tells me Father Christmas will star. Arrive hungry to tuck into pizza, pasta, hot doughnuts, cakes and more. £4pp, £2 children three-12 years; tickets on the door or book at ticketsource.co.uk/missenden-abbey-christmas-market-2023

Father Christmas will return on his giant red tractor at Hogshaw Farm & Wildlife Park (formerly Green Dragon Eco Farm), MK18 3LA. Up until Christmas Eve, you can wander through the festive forest, past the magical wishing tree and through the snow pits to Santa and his grotto, complete with adorable live reindeer. Share your wishlist, before stopping for a tasty treat and collecting a special present. Book your tickets at hogshawfarm.co.uk

A pop-up ice skating rink will give you a warm welcome at Chiltern View Garden Centre in Stoke Mandeville, HP22 5GX, all the way to New Year’s Eve (closed Christmas Day) with the last session 8pm (6pm on Sundays, 5pm Christmas Eve & NYE). If you’re the best-dressed Elf on a Saturday night you could win £150, and you can book in for Breakfast with Santa and the fabulous Drag Queen Bingo 6-9pm on 3rd 10th December with Cosmic. Visit chilternviewicerink.co.uk to book.

The mesmerising winter light trail lights the gorgeous grounds of Waddesdon Manor until 17th December. Wander the Aviary gardens to enjoy glowing orbs, starbursts, 3D birds and giant shooting stars set to music plus animated projections on to the manor’s façade, inspired by British tales Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Peter Pan. The fair and food village is also back with wooden chalets amid twinkling trees. Visit waddesdon.org.uk to find out more & book.

Santa’s Grotto at Frosts Garden Centre Woburn Sands, MK17 8UE, will open every day up to Christmas Eve with Snowball Sammy & friends offering fun and games before you head off to the reindeer stables to mix up some magical reindeer food with Reindeer Ronnie.Visit frostsgardencentres.co.uk/experiences/santas-grotto-experience

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton, HP22 4BY, will welcome you for The Panto Express with Father Christmas. Vintage steam trains will help you create wonderful memories and a professional touring company will perform Beauty & The Beast. Visit bucksrailcentre.org

Plus he’s on board for Santa Steam Specials through December at Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway; chinnorrailway.co.uk

The 12 days of Christmas exhibition returns to Hughenden Manor in High Wycombe, HP14 4LA. Find scenes from the famous carol brought to life with giant gold rings and swans a-swimming on a sea of baubles. Musical Saturdays will bring choirs, silver bands and jazz singers and there are separate festive creative workshops for adults. Children can follow a festive trail to find the 12 presents of Hughenden in the garden and storytelling in the bookshop. Visit nationaltrust.org.uk

Spot giant willow-woven bird sculptures on the seasonal wildlife trail around Stowe in A Winter’s Tail until 1st January. Match tails to their owners, find clues, solve puzzles and keep an eye out for the elusive fox tail. Local choirs will perform at weekends beneath the decorated tree. And join the annual Boxing Day pilgrimage at Stowe Gardens – dogs welcome!

Whatever you do, wishing you lots of peace and goodwill!

Care is not just for Christmas

Round & About


Almost 1.5 million people feel more lonely at Christmas than any other time, do what you can to make this one full of love and joy

Christmas is a time of great joy and celebration but for many, especially the elderly, it can be an unwelcome time bringing sadness and loneliness.

It’s important to stay connected with any older friends or relatives, invite them to family get togethers and events, how about an uplifting carol concert or a trip to the panto? A simple outing to a garden centre for example with a seasonal display may make all the difference. Some may be content to enjoy just staying in the warmth and comfort of their own home so always make sure your attentions are welcome, they may not want to join in the excesses of the season.

If there isn’t time to pop round in person, pick up the phone, a tech savvy elderly person may benefit from a video call, just seeing a friendly face can make all the difference. Perhaps set up a rota among yourselves to vary the calls and keep in touch.

Help with the shopping, many grandparents will love the opportunity to spoil their young relations at this time of year, they may need help to seek out suitable gifts. Offer to go shopping with them, many will enjoy having some company on their visit to the supermarket, involve them in your shopping visit, if they’re coming to you for the festive season ask them what they would like to eat too.

Consider their mobility too, icy surfaces and wet conditions can make getting out and about tricky and make elderly people more susceptible to falls. Check their home and access to it is safe to walk on, make sure they have any extra walking aids if necessary and if you’re not able to get them out and about, try a ‘dial-a-ride’ service or other community transport scheme.

You may need some extra support at this hectic time of year. There are plenty of companies and agencies who can provide a helping hand. Perhaps you just need someone to pay your relative a visit, as little or as often can be arranged? A live-in carer will help in the home, offering round-the-clock care for them and peace of mind for you. Respite care offers short-term support. Christmas has many demands on time and if you’re going away this may be an option.

Help make this Christmas a little more joyful for an older person.

Giles Luckett’s Christmas wine crackers!

Round & About


Our wine columnist raises a glass to top tipples for the big day

Hello!  Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year and for wine lovers, I’d say that was definitely the case. It’s that time when you can pull a cork at 11am without people raising eyebrows (or organising an intervention!) and when everyday wines are replaced by fine ones. So, to give you some festive inspiration here are the six Christmas crackers I’ll be pulling out this year.

First up, a fizz.  I’m convinced it’s no coincidence that traditional Christmas breakfast fare perfectly partners sparkling wine. Whether you’re having smoked salmon or eggs Benedict, a glass of fizz is a must. This year I’ll be toasting my smoked salmon on toast with a glass of Balfour 1503 (Majestic £21.99). This English sparkler is delightfully fresh, with plenty of green apples and citrus fruit offset by a pinch of pepper and a twist of thyme before the creamy, yeasty finish.

Suitably restored after my daughter’s excited 5.30am alarm bellow, It’s time to cook. For this I need a sip and run wine that will pique my appetite and year after year I turn to Tio Pepe (£12 Amazon). Quite the most civilised sherry I know, with its arresting, Sauvignon-like crispness, generous pear and melon fruit and creamy hit of yeast, it’s the perfect aperitif and goes brilliantly with all types of canapé and Christmas nibbles.

“There’s no point putting wine with Christmas pudding.”

Giles Luckett

Prep done, it’s time to take a well-earned break and share a glass with the family. This calls for Champagne and I’ll be serving Adnams’ 2012 Vintage Champagne (Adnams £41.99). 2012 was a fantastic year in Champagne, and the extended bottle age this has received has imparted a lovely softness that makes it a real crowd-pleaser. From its inviting nose of dried apples, honey, and lemon to its broad, generous, weighty palate of red apples, melon, peaches and digestive biscuits, this is a class act.

The turkey’s resting (no idea why, it’s me that’s done all the work) so it’s time to open the wines for the main event. I like to have a white and a red on the table, the latter being perfect for brown meat lovers, and this year I’ll have the Organist Chardonnay 2022 (£26 Ocado) and the Miguel Torres Vigno Carignan (Waitrose £13.99). 

The Organist cleverly balances intense, bold, fruit tones of baked apple, peach, and grapefruit with a luscious, buttery vanilla imparted by the oak ageing. This allows it to balance the breast’s natural dryness while bringing out the flavour without overpowering it. The Vigno on the other hand is a dark, juicy wine whose ample blackberry and loganberry character cuts through leg and wing’s gaminess while its dried herb tones add another dimension to it.

And to finish. There’s no point putting wine with Christmas pudding. Trust me, I’ve tried everything from Sauternes to Madeira and all get lost like the one of the kid’s presents by Boxing Day. After the pud’s done, however, I’m going to settle myself down with a glass of the Ned Noble Sauvignon Blanc (Ocado £14). I tried this little sweetie earlier this year and I was hugely impressed.  Opulently rich with flavours of barley sugar, pineapple, caramel, and dried pears, it has a cleansing gooseberry and lime acidity that stops it being cloying. Try this with full-flavoured cheeses – if you can find the room!

Well, here’s to a merry Christmas and a fantastic 2024.

Cheers! Giles

What does Christmas mean to you?

Round & About


Churches in Abingdon have a variety of services in Advent and Christmastide for you to attend

Well, the Christmas season is officially upon us. You may (or may not) have noticed the decorations already up in the shops by now. Personally, when I think of Christmas, I tend to remember my younger years and those exciting times of waiting until Christmas morning to open presents under the tree. Looking back, when I was a seven-year-old boy the Advent season and countdown to Christmas seemed to take forever.

But, what does Christmas mean to me now? For me, Christmas means far more than just physical gifts under a tree, but that the king of heaven and earth had left heaven to be with his people. The good news of Christmas is that Jesus came to save you and me.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.   John 1:14 NIV

Let us remember this holiday season that the baby born in a manger is so much more than any ordinary baby. That baby born in a manger is God himself who came to be with his people. The king had come and through his coming, his life, his death and his resurrection, we too can find hope and peace not just during Christmas, but in and out of every season.

 Merry Christmas to you and yours.

 Pastor Michael Ivey

Abingdon Community Church

Churches in Abingdon: Services in Advent and Christmastide 2023

Abingdon Baptist Church (OX14 5AG)

17 December 2023, 6 pm – Carol service followed by mince pies and mulled wine

24 December 2023
     10.30 am – Interactive nativity service for All-Ages

     11.30 pm – Midnight Communion

25 December 2023, 10 am – Christmas morning celebration

Abingdon Community Church (Thameside Primary School, OX14 5NL)

24 December 2023, 10.30 am – Christingle service

Abingdon Vineyard Church (Preston Road Community Centre, OX14 5NR)

17 December 2023, 10.30 am – Christmas café with family Christmas craft activities

24 December 2023, 10.30 am – Family Christmas celebration with Carols and nativity

25 December 2023, 10.30 am – Christmas Day celebration

All Saints (OX14 2AQ)
3 December 2023, 10.30 am – Advent Communion
10 December 2023,3.30 pm – Family Carols
16 December 2023, 10.30 am – Christmas tree festival                        
17 December 2023, 3 pm – Carol service
24 December 2023, 10.30 am – Morning worship
25 December 2023, 10 am – Christmas Day service

Christ Church

17 December 2023 (Northcourt Road, OX14 1PL)

     4 pm – Carol service

     7 pm – Carol service

24 December 2023

     3 pm – Christingle service (Northcourt Road)

     4 pm – Christingle service (Long Furlong, OX14 1XP)

     4.30 pm – Christingle service (Northcourt Road)

     11 pm – Midnight Communion (Northcourt Road)

25 December 2023

     8 am – BCP Christmas Communion (Northcourt Road)

     10 am – Christmas Day services at Long Furlong and Northcourt Road

Parish of Our Lady and St Edmund (OX14 3PL)

24 December 2023

     8.45 am – Mass

    10.15 am – Mass
    6.30 pm – First Mass of Christmas

  8.30 pm – Christmas vigil with Carols
     9 pm – Mass

25 December 2023   
     8 am – Mass
     9.30 am – Mass
     11.30 am – Mass

     2 pm – Polish Mass
26 December 2023 – Feast of St Stephen

     10 am – Mass

     2 pm – Polish Mass

Peachcroft Christian Centre (OX14 2RT)

17 December 2023

     10 am – Nativity service

     7 pm – Carol service

24 December 2023

     10 am – Christmas worship

     3 pm – Christingle service

     5 pm – Christingle service

25 December 2023, 10 am – Christmas celebration

Salvation Army (OX14 5BL)
10 December 2023, 10.30 am– Toy service
17 December 2023, 10.30 am – Christingle service
20 December 2023, 11 am – Community Carol service
24 December 2023, 4 pm – Candle-lit Carol service
25 December 2023, 10.30 am – Christmas morning service

St Helen’s Church (OX14 5BS)
3 December 5.30 pm – Music and readings for Advent                                            
22 December 6.30 pm – Lessons and Carols for Christmas                                   
24 December 4.30 pm – Christingle 11 pm – First Eucharist of Christmas
25 December 2023
     8 am – Holy Communion (1662)
     10.30 am – Family service with address

St Michael’s Church (OX14 1DB)
17 December 2023, 9.30 am – Sung Mass
24 December 2023
     9.30 am – Sung Mass
     3 pm – Crib service
     6.30 pm – Carols and readings
25 December 2023, 10 am – Sung Mass

St Nicolas’ Church (OX14 3NZ)
10 December 2023

     11.15 am – Holy Communion
     5.30 pm – Patronal Evensong

17 December 2023

     11.15 am – Third Sunday service

     5.30 pm – Carol service       

24 December 2023

     11.15 am – Holy Communion

     4 pm – Crib service

 25 December 2023, 10 am – Holy Communion

Trinity Church (OX14 1DB)
3 December 2023, 10.30 am – Gift service and Baptism
10 December 2023, 10.30 am – Civic service
17 December 2023
     10.30 am – Advent Communion
     4 pm – Carol service
24 December 2023, 4 pm – Christingle service
25 December 2023, 10 am – Christmas Day service

Details of all the churches can be found on the Church in Abingdon website:

Round Table Santa Claus is back

Round & About


Catch Santa around Twyford and the surrounding area from December 1st to 17th

Once again, Santa and his enchanting sleigh, brought to you by the Twyford and District Round Table, will be spreading joy throughout the Twyford, Hurst, Wargrave and Ruscombe communities this holiday season.

Our cherished annual tradition of Santa’s sleigh gracing your streets, accompanied by festive tunes, opportunities to wave at Santa himself, and special treats for well-behaved kids, is set to continue between December 1st and 17th. We’ll be kicking-off Santa’s tour at the annual Twyford Together Christmas Fayre on the 1st.

If you can spare some change to drop into our collection buckets when we visit, your generosity will be deeply appreciated. The Twyford and District Round Table relies on contributions from beloved community events like this one, which are then channelled to support local charities such as Daisy’s Dream, Age Concern, Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, Understanding Dementia, Thames Valley Air Ambulance, and many others.

Stay tuned for updates closer to the event by visiting our Facebook page where we’ll be sharing routes and updates during the period.

We are always looking for volunteers to join us, if you are interested in getting involved just drop us a message on FB.