Toast to The White Oak, Cookham!

Round & About


Cookham’s newest pub, The White Oak, has summer fun in store, including bottomless brunch and live music. We raise a toast to the pub along with manager Luke Weston

Our local pubs are often the beating heart of our community. So it’s fantastic that The White Oak has reopened its doors after being saved thanks to the Brucan Pubs Group.

What’s more, in this fertile, foodie-populated part of the county, the fabulous British-inspired menu is attracting hungry punters. And the first reactions from diners has been hugely positive.

“I’ve had so many conversations over the last few weeks with locals,” says the White Oak’s general manager Luke Weston. “They’ve told me how much they love The White Oak and how sad they were when it closed. Our opening weeks have been great and the feedback fantastic. Having worked out of the area, it’s so good to be back with friends popping in.”

Luke lives in nearby Maidenhead with his wife and son and the former Sir William Borlase pupil loves the area. This month, as you can see, we’re celebrating local produce and suppliers, and Luke has a lot of love for Gordon Supermarket in Gordon Road… “Here you’ll find lots of interesting Asian ingredients to play with,” he says. “Italian Continental is also great. My favourite, though, is probably the Meat Hook of Marlow; it’s worth popping in just for a chat with Andy.”

Brucan Pubs currently operates four other pubs in the collection: The Greene Oak in Windsor, The Drumming Snipe in Mayford, The Greyhound in Finchampstead and The Star in Witley. The Brucan team hope The White Oak will follow in the same footsteps. The team pride themselves on rescuing closed pubs and breathing new life – and traditional hospitality – back into the heart of the community.

The White Oak menu focuses on British seasonal produce, with a regular changing menu, extensive selection of beers, quality wines and cocktails. The are daily, hyper-seasonal specials. Brucan’s MD James Lyon-Shaw is passionate about sourcing the finest ingredients from the British larder and showcasing them in traditional dishes.

Serious meat-lovers can expect 45-day aged native and rare-breed steaks on offer as well as produce from Vicars Game in season. Fish is wild, sustainable, and British, sourced from day boats on the south coast. There’s a handsome bar menu too, Sunday roasts are a big fixture and live music starts on Saturdays, mid-July.

“We’re so lucky to have such beautiful countryside without being out in the sticks,” says Luke of this bit of Bucks. “And loads of amazing pubs! As well as the White Oak, I pop into the Crown in Burchett’s Green for their amazing value fixed-price lunch. And The Dew Drop Inn, which I ran for six years and is now in the capable hands of my mate, Simon Bonwick, who is an amazing chef. I am also reasonably well known in my local, The Pinkney’s Arms.

“If I had a magic wand I’d wish for lower VAT on pub and restaurant food so more people can enjoy the amazing pub culture in our country.”

Wild life

Karen Neville


Brian Clews tells us about Wild Cookham which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year and how we can help ahead of Big Cookham Wildlife Weekend

This year, the WildCookham team are celebrating our tenth anniversary, during which time we have organised dozens of talks, guided walks and several significant wildlife projects in the Cookhams. These include toad patrols, wildflower meadow creation, the Wild About Gardens awards scheme and the reintroduction of water voles after 30 years of absence.

As is well-known, much of our wildlife is struggling in our open countryside which has needed to be worked hard to produce our food and other country pursuits. But, while there is not much we can do individually about that, the good news is that we can all do something within our own gardens to help our beleaguered wildlife. So WildCookham is challenging us all to help our gardens become havens for as many species as possible.


We are asking our neighbours to do a bit of preparation for the Big Weekend. Firstly, if you don’t yet have a pond or water feature, we recommend you create one early this year. It need not be huge, but it needs to be fish-free and suitably planted up. Advice is available on our web site at


Also we are asking as many of you as possible to create a small patch of wildflowers, perhaps a square metre to start with as a minimum. In memory of much-missed Adrian Doble, who worked with Boston Seeds to create a mix of seeds suited to our area, we will soon have available small packets of seed to create such a patch (2gms per sq m). Our website will advise where in the village these can be obtained from, and how to prepare the area. 

Hopefully, by the time of the main weekend in June these efforts will be contributing to even greater diversity of garden creatures.

And so to the main event itself in June. We would love as many as possible to spend some time that weekend observing and recording as many critters and creatures as possible. Great fun for the whole family as the search in shrubs and bushes, and under leaves, stones etc goes on. You can list all the ones you know, but you can also simply count how many different sorts of birds, butterflies, bugs, beetles, ladybirds, bees and other beasties you find. Our website will list sources of online identification aids of animals to help families, and there are numerous apps one can download too.

So put the dates in the diary, check our website, and get ready for the “holiday safari” of a lifetime! For more info please email [email protected]

Let’s Rock the Moor

Round & About


Get ready to rock the moor in Cookham

It’s festival season and there are so many to suit every musical taste – if retro style is your thing then Let’s Rock The Moor in Cookham is for you.

Celebrating 10 years this year, Let’s Rock The Moor began in 2009 as a charity event attended by 1,200 people and headlined by Nick Heyward (who remains part of the Let’s Rock family). In 2019, almost 10 times that audience will be treated to non-stop entertainment and hits from many of the biggest names from the 80s including Erasure’s Andy Bell, Marc Almond, Shalamar, Jason Donovan, Go West and Nik Kershaw.

This is the first of 12 Let’s Rock festivals taking place over the summer, expected to attract in excess of 150,000 party goers who will be entertained by some of the biggest names of the era, with different line-ups.

Let’s Rock organisers Nick Billinghurst & Matt Smith said: “We’re really proud of what we’ve created with Let’s Rock and it’s such a thrill to work with so many iconic artists.

“What makes Let’s Rock truly special is our amazingly loyal and up-for-it audience, and every year we strive to improve their experience. Here’s to our best Let’s Rock summer yet!”

Let’s Rock continues to work with many amazing charities including Child Bereavement UK, The Wooden Spoon, and The Link Foundation. They also work with local charities wherever possible. To date almost half a million pounds has been raised for children’s charities by The Let’s Rock brand.

Let’s Rock is a family-friendly festival; children can enjoy complimentary activities within the ‘Kids’ Kingdom’. For adults, there are multiple bars and a ‘Club Tropicana’ VIP area, plus of course the all-important posh loos.

To find out more and book tickets go to Let’s Rock the Moor