All Angels

Round & About

Wiltshire

What better way to celebrate English Wine Week, June 15th to 23rd, than be raising a glass from one of our finest local vineyards.

All Angels vineyard sits in 31 acres of rolling Berkshire countryside around the small village of Enborne. Just five minutes from the centre of Newbury. A breath-taking world away from the hustle and bustle of the town. All Angels not only sells premium quality English Sparkling Wines! They also offer guided Tours & Tastings at the vineyard and Private & Corporate event experiences.

Boasting views over the site of the First Battle of Newbury, Beacon Hill, Watership Down, Highclere Castle and Coombe Hill, the vineyards and surrounding land hold an incredible history dating back to the 12th century. This includes several eras of civil and world wars and playing home to some of history’s most influential figures, such as Colonel Joyce, William Marshal and the 101st US Airborne.

The Darley family bought Church Farm in 2009. Inspired by friends with a successful vineyard much further north, and a confident analysis by one of the country’s leading viticultural consultancy firms – “Perfectly aligned, south-facing slopes of four to six degrees providing optimal sunlight exposure; free draining sandy loam over green sand with warming gravel and flint; ideal growing conditions for optimal grape ripening” – they began the business of growing grapes and producing wine.

Since then, Mark Darley has retired from his City job. Now focusing all his attention on refining the brand All Angels. Including by:
• An uncompromising dedication to outstanding quality in the vineyard, winery and bottle. From how the vines, and hand-selected grape varieties are nurtured and concentrated throughout the year. Using some of Britain’s best winemakers and facilities, to the elite Traditional Method of secondary fermentation in bottle.
• A firm belief in Single Vintage, Single Estate wines as the truest reflection of the year’s growing season and the vineyard’s land and ecology. Only grapes grown in their vineyards are used in All Angels wines.
• A deep-rooted ethos for sustainability and ensuring that the land and the ecosystem is improved year on year. This includes the creation of multiple wildlife ponds. A 5 acre wildflower meadow and a 250 tree orchard, amongst many other modern and traditional sustainability projects.
The tireless work ethic, dedication to detail and passion for stunning, premium quality, fine sparkling wine is now starting to pay off. The industry is finding out just how good the wines of All Angels are…
• In April, esteemed wine critic Matthew Jukes, published his thoughts in a recent article in Vineyard Magazine. “The wines are exemplary…The rare quality at All Angels is patience… All Angels deserves to be a household name…”
• Speaking of household names, Oz Clarke included All Angels Classic Cuvée 2014 Long Aged in his top three for the London Wine Fair in 2022 and in 2023 the most recent Classic Cuvée, the 2015 vintage won 3 prestigious industry awards: Gold at both the WineGB Awards 2023 and at the Drinks Business Global Sparkling Masters Awards 2023 and Best Wine for the Thames & Chilterns Region.
• The areas top Chefs’ are also supporting the growth of this local flavour sensation. Bringing All Angels into their listings and dishes to complement the outstanding cuisine they’re crafting. These include Tom Scade of The Vineyard Hotel Group, Henry Ireson of Damson Restaurant and MasterChef 2020 winner Thomas Frake, who has recently moved to the area.

You can find more information on All Angels at www.allangels.com, including information on buying their wines, how to join a Tour & Tasting or how to host a private event at the vineyards.

Acclaimed Chamber Choir comes to Manningford

Round & About

Wiltshire

An acclaimed international chamber choir will be holding a choral music evening at St Peter’s Church, Manningford, in aid of vital church roof repairs this June.

‘My Spirit Sang All Day’ will be conducted by renowned vocal coach and musician Rachel McCorry who will lead the Sharcott Chamber Group in a selection of timeless, sacred and secular choral music from across the centuries. Including works by Finzi, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Bruckner.

The event is taking place on Saturday 1st June at St Peter’s Church, Manningford, near Pewsey. Doors open at 6pm for a glass of wine and nibbles which are included in the £15 ticket price. The concert will run from 6.30pm to 8.15pm with an interval.

The choir is a tightly-knit ensemble based in Wiltshire who have shared years of musical experiences. Including tours in the US, the Netherlands, France and Belgium. They have chosen St Peter’s Church because of its excellent acoustic and are kindly donating their services in return for using the space for a recording earlier this month.

The group of nineteen singers who will sing in Manningford Church were an auditioned subset of ‘The Village Singers’. Founded by Rachel, the choir is an ensemble of around 70 musicians ranging in age from teenagers to 80 year olds from all around Wiltshire. The group began singing in the pub at Sutton Benger but quickly grew and relocated to a village school before moving to St. Andrew’s, Chippenham under the musical directorship of Rachel McCorry. The choir’s repertoire includes sacred and choral pieces, classical and opera, spirituals, folk, pop and show tunes.

In 2014 the choir sang in Ypres Cathedral and at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Bruges. In 2017, they performed in three stunning Paris venues. Eglise de la Madeleine, Eglise St Louis en L’Ile and Eglise St Germain l’Auxerrois. In January 2019 they performed the US premier of Symphonic Adiemus, in Carnegie Hall, New York, as part of an international choir with composer, Sir Karl Jenkins in residence. Earlier this year, Rachel took a small group for a return trip to Carnegie Hall and to celebrate the end of her time with The Village Singers, they have very recently completed a tour in Amsterdam.

The church has space for around 75 so people are advised to book early to be sure of a seat. There will be managed parking close to the church.

Tickets for the June concert are available in advance only from:

Manningford PCC Sort code: 30-92-63 Account number: 01724232 Reference: ‘Concert’ and your name.

Marlborough LitFest announces first event

Round & About

Wiltshire

Sir Simon Russell Beale, will discuss his memoir with Emma Smith

Marlborough LitFest celebrates its 15th year in 2024 from 26-29 September and the festival programme is currently being put together to provide an exciting mix of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s authors and free family activities over the festival weekend. The first announcement for the 2024 line-up is LitFest Patron, Sir Simon Russell Beale, talking about his memoir, A Piece of Work, on the evening of Sunday 29 September.

Sir Simon Russell Beale has had a longstanding and stellar career both on stage and screen. The critically acclaimed actor was knighted in October 2019 and won a Tony Award for his role in The Lehman Trilogy in 2022. He now lives in Marlborough, becoming LitFest’s first Patron in 2020. Russell Beale’s first book, A Piece of Work, is due to be published on 5 September, recounting his acting career with a focus on playing Shakespearean characters.                                                                                 

Russell Beale will be interviewed at LitFest by Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Oxford, who has published and lectured widely on William Shakespeare. She has written on Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623) and is interested in the cultural impact of the playwright over four centuries. She is an associate scholar with the Royal Shakespeare Company, has contributed to radio and TV programmes and written extensively for newspapers and magazines, as well as being a published author. Her recent book, This Is Shakespeare: How to read the world’s greatest playwright, was a Sunday Times bestseller and Portable Magic: A History of Books and their Readers was shortlisted for the Wolfson Prize in 2023.

Genevieve Clarke, Festival Chair, said: “This feels like a very fitting event for our 15th festival – our patron in conversation with a top Shakespeare scholar and book enthusiast.  Meanwhile we’re working hard to bring a raft of authors to Marlborough in September to appeal to all ages and interests.”

Friends of Marlborough LitFest benefit from priority booking for festival events and a brochure in the post. The full programme will be announced in July when tickets go on sale. For more information and regular 2024 festival programme updates, see www.marlboroughlitfest.org

Marlborough LitFest celebrates its 15th year

Round & About

Wiltshire

The first announcement for the 2024 line-up is LitFest Patron, Sir Simon Russell Beale

Marlborough LitFest is set for its 15th year and runs from 26th-29th September and the festival programme is currently being put together to provide an exciting mix of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s authors and free family activities over the festival weekend. Sir Simon Russell Beale will be talking about his memoir, A Piece of Work, on the evening of Sunday 29th September.

Sir Simon Russell Beale has had a longstanding and stellar career both on stage and screen. The critically acclaimed actor was knighted in October 2019 and won a Tony Award for his role in The Lehman Trilogy in 2022. He now lives in Marlborough, becoming LitFest’s first Patron in 2020. Russell Beale’s first book, A Piece of Work, is due to be published on 5th September, recounting his acting career with a focus on playing Shakespearean characters.

Russell Beale will be interviewed at LitFest by Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Oxford, who has published and lectured widely on William Shakespeare. She has written on Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623) and is interested in the cultural impact of the playwright over four centuries. She is an associate scholar with the Royal Shakespeare Company, has contributed to radio and TV programmes and written extensively for newspapers and magazines, as well as being a published author. Her recent book, This Is Shakespeare: How to read the world’s greatest playwright, was a Sunday Times bestseller and Portable Magic: A History of Books and their Readers was shortlisted for the Wolfson Prize in 2023.

Genevieve Clarke, Festival Chair, said: “This feels like a very fitting event for our 15th festival – our patron in conversation with a top Shakespeare scholar and book enthusiast.  Meanwhile we’re working hard to bring a raft of authors to Marlborough in September to appeal to all ages and interests.”

Friends of Marlborough LitFest benefit from priority booking for festival events and a brochure in the post. The full programme will be announced in July when tickets go on sale. For more information and regular 2024 festival programme updates click here.

Spring into Easter

Round & About

Wiltshire

Easter comes early this year, March 29th – April 1st, which gives us an opportunity to enjoy the glories of spring as well of course, as eating chocolate!

There’s so much more to Easter than just choccy eggs, for many it has the deepest religious significance, for others it affords a long weekend of spending time with your loved ones hopefully with some bright cheery spring sunshine then and beyond.

This Easter pop along to a National Trust property near you for a family trail. Jam-packed with outdoor activities, games, riddles and crafts, every Easter celebration is different and ends with a chocolate egg.

Make your way along the trail at Avebury while taking part in 10 fun, creative, and playful activities inspired by our native wildlife for the whole family. The trail takes place between March 23rd and April 14th, so go along and explore the beautiful gardens of Avebury.

Basildon Park is going to the movies, March 23rd-April 14th, as children and families become director of their own Easter movie in the parkland. Basildon Park is often seen on screen as a location in films and the 10 action stations of the Easter trail will help families create their own movie. There’ll be plenty of walking, fun games and photo opportunities to be had along the way. There are also two pre-bookable Easter wreath-making workshops on March 19th and 21st.

Follow the trail through Highclere Castle’s gardens and woodland, finding clues en route to win a chocolate Easter egg at the end on Saturday, 6th April. Show off your creations in the Easter bonnet parade, meet some of the farm animals and take to the bouncy slide in a day of family fun for all ages. Please pre-book adult tickets and confirm how many children are coming with you so Highclere can ensure every child receives an Easter egg once they have completed the trail. Donations to the chosen charity on the day (suggested donation £5) are invited when collecting a map for the Easter Trail on arrival.

Explore Shaw House and follow the clues to find all the bunnies hidden around the historic rooms on Saturday, 13th April, 11am-1pm. Themed crafts will also be available in the Activity Room. Suitable for ages 4 – 8 years old, but younger and older visitors are welcome. Suggested donation £1.

Buscot Park house and gardens reopen for the summer season on Good Friday, 29th March, and will be open 2-6pm daily over the Easter bank holiday weekend. New for 2024 is a free sculpture trail around the gardens, featuring stunning glass sculptures by Gloucestershire artists Sally Fawkes and Richard Jackson. More here.

Hop into spring with a joyful Easter egg trail scavenger hunt at Town Gardens in Swindon on Saturday, 30th March. Children will crack the code, claim delicious treats, and create lasting memories. The trail starts at the bandstand by 10am.

Celebrate new life at Roves Farm near Swindon this spring with the birth of lambs and baby goats. Boer goat nannies will be kidding from 12th March and the kids will be included in the bottle feeding sessions once old enough from around early April, perfect timing for the Easter holidays! The second lambing takes place at the farm from April 6th to 23rd. Spend some time on the viewing walkway looking out over the barn as the day’s action unfolds. You may be lucky enough to see a lamb or two being born. And of course, there will be all the usual fun on the farm with daily activities, indoor and outdoor play, tractor rides, Rugrats & Rascals sessions, meet & feed the animals & lots more.

Crofton Beam Engines will be letting off steam on March 31st and April 1st when you can enjoy a look behind the scenes over the Easter weekend.

Easter fun awaits at Bowood House & Gardens from March 29th to April 14th where the Bowood Easter Bunny has hidden 10 large eggs through the Arboretum. Find the eggs, unscramble the letters and guess the word to win a prize. On Easter weekend, March 29th to April 1st, four golden eggs will be hidden within the grounds, along with one rainbow egg each day, (Friday –  Monday inclusive). Those that find a golden egg will win a chocolate Easter Egg and the rainbow egg winner will win a Season Ticket. Book here.

Meet rare breed ponies, pigs, sheep, rabbits, ducks, geese, goats, and more at Cholderton Charlie’s Rare Breeds Farm near Salisbury. Offering a range of events and activities during the Easter holidays, this is a fantastic place to take the children during Easter. Adults will also want to stop by the Farm Shop to browse gifts and locally produced food and drink and gifts before heading home. Visit choldertonrarebreedsfarm.com

Instead of Easter bunnies how about Easter horses? Huntersfield Equestrian Centre near Faringdon hosts regular pony camps, days and rallies during holidays and mid-term breaks. Open to children between the ages of four and 16 years, no prior experience is needed, just a positive and eager attitude to learn more about horses and their care. And of course there’s loads of fun to the activities too. Find out more and book at huntersfieldec.com

Image: National Trust/Paul Harris

Ring the changes with your wedding

Round & About

Wiltshire

Celebrate your big day, your way, your wedding day should reflect who you are and with these trends for 2024 it shows you can ‘rip up the rule book’ and surprise your guests

Congratulations! You’ve celebrated your engagement and now’s where the fun / hard work starts. Planning a wedding is exciting and sometimes overwhelming. Why not take some inspiration from the trends for 2024 to kick start those plans for your ‘big day’…

Sustainability is a key consideration for many brides and grooms this year with couples becoming increasingly aware of the impact on the environment of ‘throw away’ items. Many will opt for biodegradable, recycled and upcycled decorations with ‘pre-loved’ dresses ticking both the eco and cost boxes. Charity shops are a great source of beautiful bargain dresses and Oxfam has a website dedicated to them, onlineshop.oxfam.org.uk/bridal

Hiring is growing in popularity too for all the reasons above, older readers will remember fondly popping into high street stores for tails and top hats. Searches for ‘wedding dress hire’ have increased with specialist shops offering the opportunity to rent designer or vintage dresses. It’s only worn for one day and if you’re on a budget or are trying not to splash too much cash on one item, it gives you funds to use elsewhere. One of the key dress trends for this year is colour, expect blush or champagne hues, bold brides may even try blue or peach.

Alongside alternative colours and styles are a move towards alternative venues allowing couples to be more creative and often offering a more personal choice – beaches, barns, vineyards and even industrial spaces are becoming increasingly popular as are outdoor options. During the pandemic many couples wishing to continue with their nuptials had no alternative but to say “I do” in the open air and this is continuing especially with brides and grooms wishing to get up close to nature and celebrate in the great outdoors.

Ideally positioned within the heart of the charming historic village of Crondall, Crondall Village Hall offers a perfect setting for your magical day. Opening onto the village green and able to seat 150 guests comfortably, offering a further smaller room which can act as a bar, buffet space or a further entertaining area, a large well-equipped kitchen, parking and competitive packages, making it suitable for all requirements. Please contact [email protected]

Hand in hand with the venue will go the choice of food and again, there is an increasing trend towards less formal fare with couples reflecting their personalities with sharing platters and grazing menus. Both provide a great way for guests to mingle and break the ice, chatting over the charcuterie and cheese, wandering among warm bread and olives. Dessert bars are an original alternative to the traditional cake, choose a variety of mini options that are sure to please even the pickiest of guests, bear in mind you’ll need to cater for different diets but the possibilities are endless.

After the day-long celebration comes that precious time for the two of you to be together and reflect but don’t despair if that bucket-list once-in-a-lifetime trip isn’t possible right now, opt for a minimoon instead. Choose a nearby location and enjoy just recharging and relaxing after the hectic past few months, perhaps extend your stay at your wedding venue and enjoy what that has to offer.

Explore a delightful array of wedding gifts at Culinary Concepts, crafted to capture the hearts of the newlyweds and be treasured for years to come. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or a stunning centerpiece, from beautiful barware to charming token gifts, our collection has you covered. Visit culinaryconcepts.co.uk for ideas.

Education Guide: Winter 2024

Round & About

Wiltshire

There’s a new year on the horizon and we hope our education special will help you. We take a look at the International Baccalaureate, learning to read as an adult and supporting the mental health and happiness of children.

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Learning for the future

Many schools are choosing to expand their education offering with the International Baccalaureate which examines ‘how to learn’ as much as ‘what to learn’, is it right for your child?.

In today’s world more so than ever children need to become well-rounded individuals developing strong academic, social and emotional characteristics, but how best to help them achieve this.

An increasing number of schools are opting to teach the International Baccalaureate. In its Schools of the Future report in January 2020, the World Economic Forum identified a model of education which “more closely mirrors the future of work and provides children with the skills to thrive in the new economy”.

In contrast to the traditional method of gaining specific subject knowledge, it emphasised the development of key skills, employing a wide-ranging set of characteristics which would enable today’s children to adapt more readily to the challenges of tomorrow.

So what is the IB?

The programme is spilt into four parts for children from the age of three to 19 – Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme. Schools and colleges can utilise one or more parts of the programme.

Rather than teaching a predefined set of information in preparation for a test / exam at the end, the IB focuses as much on ‘how to learn’ as ‘what to learn’ reinforcing the idea that this better equips children with the skills they need for the world at large.

Pupils still learn the content giving them the knowledge but it is more ‘self directed’ allowing them to develop the necessary critical life skills. Teachers are also given more freedom in the way in which they teach as subjects may develop along a different path depending on the existing knowledge levels and interests of pupils, rather than covering the same content in each academic year.

Children also benefit from the connectivity of the IB syllabus with teaching staff coming together with common topics (units of inquiry) so everything interlinks. For example, children may be learning about The Great Fire of London – in an English lesson they may read books and write about it, in art and DT they may build models of the houses, in science they may look at how fire spreads and then in maths, use this data to explore equations. While there is still separate and distinct teaching in some areas, a large portion of the learning is built around topics, better replicating the real world problems likely to be faced which are multi-faceted and benefit from a more all-round approach that learning of this type encompasses.

“IB students have the opportunity to reflect upon what they already understand”

One such school which has adopted this method is St George’s School Windsor Castle, which last year became the first standalone prep school in the country to be certified as an IB World School. It employs the Primary Years Programme from kindergarten to Year 6 (3-11 years of age) and then the Pre-Senior Baccalaureate in Years 7 and 8 (11-13 year olds).

Head of Pre-Prep at St George’s School, Emma Adriano spearheaded the roll out and said they realised the “rapid change of pace and uncertainty around the future job market required a bold change of strategy”.

“Rather than learning subjects by rote with the sole goal of passing exams, IB students have the opportunity to reflect upon what they already understand, identify their own knowledge gaps and areas of interest and explore how to research and develop a deeper understanding of each topic across a range of subject ideas and practical applications.”

She added: “Fundamentally, alongside imparting knowledge, the curriculum teaches not what to think, but how to learn.”

As with everything in life, the IB is not for everyone and critics cite those who have very defined career paths in mind such as physicists for whom specialisation may be more relevant with the need to focus heavily on maths, further maths and physics at A Level as opposed to a more broader curriculum.

Pupils choosing to study the IB Diploma (16-19 year olds) which focuses on six subject areas over the two-year course, need to be organised and committed as well as being an independent thinker and learner and be able to communicate their learning well, oral presentations are a key feature.

In terms of life skills and developing a critical balance of knowledge, skills and mindset – the IB is highly rated. Some schools offer both options to suit individual needs giving students more choice.

Find out more at ibo.org

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Icons To Light Up Nocturne Festival

Round & About

Wiltshire

With 2023 coming to a close, it’s about time we started looking to next year and the fun we can have once the sun returns.

A surefire hit for music fans is Nocturne Festival with runs from 12th – 16th June at Blenheim Palace. The festival began in 2015 and has played host to music royalty over the years with the likes of Elton John, Kylie, Van Morrison, and Nile Rodgers gracing the stage over the years. With some of the headliners only recently announced we have to say we’re really excited about these shows..

Music legend and pop culture icon Chaka Khan will be performing on June 13th. The 10-time Grammy winner, who is touring in celebration of both her 70th birthday and 50th year in music, will be joined by disco legends Sister Sledge and party-starting funk group The Fatback Band.

Three era-defining British pop acts – Sugababes, Melanie C and Shaznay Lewis hit the stage on June 15th.

Sugababes are one of the most successful British girl bands of all time with six number one singles, multiple platinum selling albums, and numerous awards to their name. Since reforming in 2022 with their original 1998 line up of Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan, and Siobhan Donaghy, Sugababes have played at Glastonbury and performed live to over half a million fans.

Melanie C needs no introduction, surely. But just in case…she was in the Spice Girls and was known as the slightly less formal Sporty Spice, or Mel C. Melanie, is far fitting for the auspices of Blenheim Palace, isn’t it? As a solo artist she has over 3 million album sales, two number 1 singles, and six top 10 singles to her name.

Shaznay Lewis was in All Saints.

Sugababes are apparently jazzed to be taking part in this year’s festival, saying, “We are excited to be performing next year at the stunning setting of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. To get to play alongside our friends Mel and Shaznay is going to make the evening even more special.”

The third date to be announced features Crowded House, Sheryl Crow and Turin Brakes. This show, on 16th June, has all but sold out, with just a few VIP tickets remaining. So, if you have a quid knocking about and fancy a unique dining experience in the State Rooms of Blenheim Palace, followed by Crowded House, head to the Nocturne Live website. You may be required to rattle your jewellery during Weather With You.

Tickets for all events are available here.

Stunning installations at Christmas at Kew

Karen Neville

Wiltshire

Seven new displays as the UK’s original festive lights trail returns to Kew Gardens, November 15th to January 7th

Brand-new installations will showcase Kew Gardens in a whole new light, as the UK’s original festive light trail returns to the world-famous botanic gardens in London this November.

Since the inaugural Christmas at Kew trail in 2013, this unique event has paved the way for festive displays across the country. This year’s trail is a celebration of nature by night, bringing Kew’s incredible natural architecture to life. Visitors can expect the return of seasonal favourites alongside immersive new installations, seven of which are making their UK debut. Not to be missed, Christmas at Kew is enchanting seasonal experience for everyone to enjoy.

New installations for 2023

Bespoke new installations include Lili by TILT, a series of abstract, illuminated flowers that stand at almost three metres tall, towering over visitors. ArtAV return with Trapezoid, one of the longest light tunnels to ever feature at Christmas at Kew, and along Camellia Walk over 400 cascading lights are suspended from the tree canopy, set against an assortment of neon backdrops.

Elsewhere, the Hive – a stunning piece of contemporary artwork at Kew that recreates life inside a beehive – will feature in the trail for the first time. With its 1,000 LED lights aglow and an accompanying musical score, see this unique structure like never before as twilight descends across Kew Gardens.

Creative studio Pitaya return to Kew with Spark Ballet, 24 lanterns filled with subtly sparkling lights that appear to ‘dance’, and candles. This brand-new commission sees one hundred candles suspended in the air, magically appearing to float above visitors’ heads. The flickering flames will illuminate tree-lined passageways to create an enchanting festive atmosphere.

Festive favourites

With many of Kew’s 12,000 trees and other botanical treasures being accentuated along the route, visitors can wander beneath colourful canopies and bushes draped in seasonal sparkle, experiencing nature from a new perspective whilst treasuring the essential role that plants play in all our lives.

Other returning favourites include Kew’s famous Christmas Cathedral, a twinkling tunnel of light inspired by arched church windows, and a newly designed Fire Garden. Over 300 candles will line the path to the Temperate House, the oldest Victorian glasshouse in the world, as flame bulbs create the illusion that this cathedral of glass is glowing from within.

Elsewhere, visitors will be entranced as a series of breath-taking light displays dance across the surface of Kew’s iconic Palm House, and LED lights ‘float’ on the surface of the adjacent lake. This grand finale is set to a memorable playlist of much-loved Christmas classics, guaranteed to stir sentimental memories or provide a soundtrack for new traditions.

To add an extra touch of magic to the Christmas at Kew experience, visitors can book a delicious traditional Christmas dinner at The Botanical Brasserie. Indulge in celeriac and truffle soup, Caramelized shallot, beetroot and mushroom wellington or turkey ballotine stuffed with sausage meat, washed down by a warming glass of mulled wine. Kids favourites can be found at the Family Kitchen & Shop, and tasty treats from a selection of independent street food vendors are available along the route. Treat yourself to loaded hash browns, spiced cider, waffles or hot chocolate.

Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said: “Christmas at Kew is a magical celebration of Kew’s natural landscape, offering sparkle and festivities during the winter months. With an incredible range of brand-new installations and some returning favourites, this year’s trail is guaranteed to be a seasonal spectacle like no other.”

At Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, Glow Wild celebrates a milestone 10 years. Bringing festive magic and wonder to the South East with 10 new installations and myriad hand-crafted lanterns, this winter lantern trail is not to be missed.

Tickets for Christmas at Kew and Glow Wild are available to purchase now at: Royal Botanic Gardens

Ally Pally fireworks festival banger’s back

Liz Nicholls

Wiltshire

On Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th November Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival is back with a bang, starring live music, Dj sets and entertainment, climaxing in an epic fireworks display above the iconic hill view.

Sad that festival season is drawing to a close? Us too! But good news: the Glastonbury of fireworks is back!

Yass: on Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th November book in to experience foot-stomping live music, a taste of Bavaria at the UK’s largest German Bier Festival with sets from tribute acts Joel Coombes: Elton John and Rogue Minogue: Kylie, plus legendary DJ sets in the StrEATlife Village courtesy of none other than Fat Tony and UK garage pioneer DJ Spoony. Enjoy mind-blowing lightning magic from Lords of Lightning, a whizz around the ice rink to a disco soundtrack and, last but not least, lighting up the London skyline with our legendary fireworks display!

Firmly established as one of the biggest and best fireworks events in the country, this year’s highlight will include a stunning programme of live music, DJ sets and entertainment spread across the park and palace’s 196 acres.

The park will also play host to a huge bonfire, funfair and entertainment for all the family. Meanwhile, over in the StrEATlife Festival Village, you’ll find more than 35 of London’s top street food vendors, craft beer bars and cocktails. Live performers and resident DJs will provide the vibes.

Visitors can also step inside the palace, with the ice rink featuring a variety of skating sessions and ice disco. The Great Hall will be transformed into the UK’s largest German Bier Festival, with music coming from the likes of Joel Coombes, Elton John tribute act (Friday) and Rogue Minogue (Saturday).

With Alexandra Palace celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2023, this year’s event continues the tradition of spectacular displays held in the palace grounds, dating back to the late 19th century. This has included astonishing recreations of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in The Last Days of Pompeii and Destruction of the Spanish Armada on the boating lake.

Boom! Ally Pally has been letting off zingers, sending up sky rockets and spinning Catherine wheels into London’s heavens for 150 years! The Friday offers wall-to-wall club classics and on the Saturday relive your favourite movie moments with some of the best film soundtracks of all time.