Only entries from within our circulation areas will be accepted
Please don’t enter if you are not in a Round & About Magazine postcode region One entry per householder. You must supply a name, address and telephone number or your entry will not be accepted
One lucky winner can win a limited edition Quentin Blake / Roald Dahl print of Nine Hundred and Seventy-four, worth £109 from The Art Of Illustration.
The Art Of Illustration sells limited edition prints by fine illustration artists across the UK, the USA and worldwide.
Featured artists include Sir Quentin Blake, Shirley Hughes, Ronald Searle, Chris Wormell, and many more.
We’ve teamed up woth Julian at The Art Of Illustration to offer one lucky winner a limited edition print, mounted and cellophane-wrapped by Quentin Blake / Roald Dahl – “Nine Hundred and Seventy-four”, worth £109.
To enter our prize draw, fill in the form below before 12pm on Friday 24th November 2023.
Design legend Wayne Hemmingway MBE chats to us ahead of a charity retail highlight at The Oracle this month
We love vintage shopping here at R&A. How do you fancy some resale therapy this month, while helping great causes, and the planet?
The Charity Super.Mkt is a concept for social and environmental good, where people can shop the best of charity retail all in one place.
You’ll find a mix of household names and local favourites, brought together as a purposeful collective.
In January, Charity Super.Mkt opened in London’s Brent Cross Shopping Centre, for a 31-day stint, extended due to popular demand. The projected turnover for the month-long pop-up was surpassed on day four and is set to reach 10 times its original target and organisers hope for a similar smash-hit with the Reading highlight.
We caught up with the design legend Wayne Hemmingway MBE…
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Shop with independent brands for gorgeous Christmas gifts while enjoying mulled wine and wreath making for an abundance of festive cheer on Saturday 26th November
Indulge in a festive shopping experience and buy impactful gifts that pair luxury with purpose, at Asthall Manor, Burford on Saturday, 26th November.
This curated shopping event from 10.30am-4pm, brings together a group of independent brands that believe positive impact can be achieved through good business, sustainable practices, and the value of time-honoured crafts. Expect lovely Christmas gifts, mulled wine and wreath making for an abundance of festive cheer.
Visitors will have the opportunity to shop exquisite glassware, jewellery and kills from ISHKAR, a social enterprise seeking to challenge one-sided narratives of conflict-affected countries through a unique blend of craftsmanship, storytelling and travel.
Artisan woven scarves, cosy knits and beanies from Thread Tales inspired by the experience of travel. Discovering more rare, beautiful, sustainably produced fabrics, handwoven by Artisans from around the world.
Handcrafted homeware by Goldfinger who craft bespoke furniture and homeware from reclaimed and sustainable materials. All Goldfinger products are designed to support the circular economy.
Tamay and Me creates sustainable clothing and homewares made in partnership with communities in North Vietnam using local textile traditions.
Artisanal home & lifestyle collections sourced throughout Africa from Hadeda a lifestyle brand collaborating with talented artisans across Africa to bring you one-of-a-kind ceramic, art, furniture and fashion pieces.
Luxurious organic soaps and skincare products from La Eva and organic underwear from Pico Goods with a focus on simplicity, traceability and comfort.
Get ahead and prepare for the festive season with 15 per cent off
Squire’s invites shoppers to get ahead and prepare for the festive season with an exclusive early Christmas Shopping Evening taking place in November. While taking advantage of 15% off (see conditions) *.
Guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary glass of prosecco or a soft drink; live music as well as a curry meal** and lots more. Along with a very warm welcome from the team at Squire’s Garden Centres.
Shop at Long Ditton and Frensham on Tuesday, 1st November. And at Badshot Lea, Crawley, Hersham, Reigate, West Horsley, Shepperton, Stanmore, Twickenham, Woking, Milford, Wokingham on Thursday, 3rd November.
It’s the perfect setting to choose a Christmas tree, quality decorations and seasonal lights for both indoors and out. There’s gift inspiration in abundance for family and friends – browse the extensive and carefully created ranges including homeware and tableware, candles and fragrances, gifts for gardeners, cards, wrap and stationary, calendars and diaries through to toys, games and puzzles. There’s certainly something for everyone. With an extensive range available, Squire’s is the local destination for families to ‘complete your Christmas’.
Squire’s is pleased to offer customers the chance to enjoy a delicious special curry meal on the night in their welcoming Café Bars available from 5-7pm. With a choice of Chicken Mangalor (GFA) or Penang Curry (VG, GFA) accompanied by basmati rice, onion bhaji (VG) and naan bread (VG). Priced at £12 adults / £8 children.
Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, said: “We are very much looking forward to giving Christmas shoppers a very warm welcome at our exclusive early Shopping Evenings. This is the lead-up to a wonderful time for families. I’m delighted to be able to share with guests our special Squire’s Christmas. Our garden centres are looking magical, I hope it excites everyone and gets them in the spirit of Christmas.”
*15% discount. NOTE: excludes stamps, gift card, gas, concessions and Café Bar
**Curry meal is available in Squire’s Café Bars exclusively for the Shopping Evening priced at £12 for adults / £8 for children.
The winner of a competition to design a logo to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the opening of Westgate Oxford has been unveiled – 10-year-old Tamsin Taylor from Oxford beat entrants from across the region.
Ahead of its 5th birthday celebration on Monday 24th October, Westgate Oxford supported by Experience Oxfordshire, invited local children in the region to design an emblem which will be used online, across social media and on a specially-made birthday cake.
The winning design, which features a shopper celebrating with a cake and balloons, will be seen at a birthday party event attended by the Lord Mayor of Oxford James Fry this Monday.
Tamsin Taylor, the winner of Westgate Oxford’s logo competition, said: “I am amazed and really excited to have won the competition. I love drawing and design and worked really hard on the logo. I can’t believe it!”
Brendan Hattam, Centre Director at Westgate Oxford, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating five fantastic years since the launch of the redeveloped Westgate Oxford, and we are proud to mark the occasion by unveiling this incredible artwork.
“We have some amazing artistic talent in the region leading to a very tough judging session. But, I think we can agree that our birthday emblem is a worthy winner – well done to Tamsin and thank you to everyone who sent in entries.”
Birthday celebrations will take place at 11am on Monday, 24th October.
Round & About’s resident wine columnist gives his top picks for the new season – mellow wines for the mellow season!
Hello. As a wine lover, I’ve always liked autumn as a season. Unlike winter or summer, where the weather and food tend to prescribe reds or whites, autumn, with its early warmth and latter chill, offers a much broader palate to work with.
As Keats put it, doubtless, after a glass of wine (or something altogether stronger knowing what the Romantics were like), this is the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and the following suggestions make for the perfect accompaniment to this golden transition.
First up is a white from Portugal, The Lisboa Valley Selection (The Wine Society £7.95). Portuguese reds have been a favourite of the wine trade for some time now, but the whites have never quite caught people’s attention. I tried this for the first time last year, and it’s become a regular in our house. Offering an intriguing combination of freshness – grapefruit, green apples, and watermelon – with a balancing richness – peaches and dried pears – it has a tang of Atlantic salt to the finish. Marvellous with seafood, it’s also lovely on its own.
As Keats put it, doubtless, after a glass of wine (or something altogether stronger knowing what the Romantics were like), this is the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’
Next is a wine from Sicily, a wine-producing island that has seen its fortunes soar in the last decade or so as winemakers have got to grips with the natural gifts they have been afforded. My recommendation is the Nostru Catarratto Lucido (Kwoff £12.49). This organic wine is made from the rare (I certainly had to look it up) Catarratto grape. Mid-gold in colour, it offers a complex nose of jasmine cut with almonds and peach stones. The palate is fresh and tangy with plenty of gooseberries and white currants, but this soon deepens as greengages, peaches, and apricots come in at the end.
And for my last white, we have one from another region whose fame lies with its reds. Abruzzo sits east of Rome, where its coast borders the Adriatic. Its Montepulciano is a great source of inexpensive, often highly drinkable reds, such as Tesco’s Finest Montepulciano (£7).
Whites are thinner on the ground, but wines such as the Contessa Abruzzo Pecorino (£9.95) are well worth seeking out. Pecorino gives fragrant wines with plenty of citrus freshness that also offer riper notes of apricots, Mirabelle plums, nuts, and dried herbs. The Contessa is an excellent example of this, and I found it went well with creamy cheese pasta – one that was loaded with pecorino cheese, funnily enough.
There will now be a short interval for a glass of Champagne.
I’m a huge fan of Champagne. Good as sparkling wines are, even the best cannot match the complexity, elegance, and depth of the greatest sparkling wine on Earth. While I am a fan of many houses, the one I keep coming back to is Taittinger. Across the range, their wines are the epitome of style, and their Prelude (John Lewis £55) is arguably the best sub-£100 Champagne on the market. But it’s to the Taittinger Brut Reserve (Tesco £39) I’d like to give a nod to. This is a show-stopping wine. Mid-gold, the tiny, even bubbles (‘bead’ if you want to get technical), lift notes of spring flowers, red apples, citrus, and yeast. In the mouth, it’s gentle yet persistent, and at its core is a glorious note of peaches in syrup that is offset by taut acidity and creamy yeastiness.
And so to the reds.
You can’t talk about wines that boast mellow fruitfulness and not mention Rioja. Rioja’s reputation is at an all-time high. A succession of good vintages coupled with innovation and investment from leading producers has made the wines of this fantastic region world-beaters.
One that’s been turning my head lately is the Cune Reserva 2017 (Majestic £12.99), and it’s autumn bottled. The nose is a smoky, rich mix of red and blackberries with highlights of citrus fruits and spices. The medium-bodied palate is loaded with crushed black fruits, vanilla, cranberries, and liquorice, and finishes with a fresh, fruits of the forest in cream flourish. Magnificent now with hearty tomato dishes or red meats, it will improve over the next three to five years.
South African wine has undergone a reinvention to match Australia’s over the past couple of decades. Their traditional ‘big is better’ approach has been replaced by the pursuit of perfection done their way. Like Australia, South Africa has a hugely diverse mix of soils and microclimates that lend themselves to the creation of truly fine wines. One of these is the Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon (Cellar Door Wines £19.95). Cabernet Sauvignon is often said to be the king of red grapes, one that is capable of producing aristocratic wines that combine elegance, power, and longevity. The Neil Ellis shows these characteristics to the hilt. Inky black, the nose is an inviting mix of blackcurrants, prunes, and mint, while the palate offers a powerful mix of cassis, raspberries, chocolate, and a whiff of cigar smoke. I had this with a cheeseboard – and it was excellent – but with a fine steak or mushroom risotto, I think it would be even better.
And finally, a claret. I don’t recommend red Bordeaux that much these days because the good wines tend to be horribly expensive, and the cheap ones are just horrible. Stalwarts like Château Talbot – a wine I used to buy for under £30 – will now set you back over £60 a bottle. Great vintages, hysterical scores from critics, and wine investors have sent prices skyward and left drinkers out in the cold.
It was with deep joy then that I recently tasted the 2016 Caronne St. Gemme (Majestic Wines £16.99). The Nony family has worked wonders with this excellent estate, and the winemaker claims that the 2016 is the best wine he’s ever made. Classical nose of blackcurrants, smoke, cigars, and grilled meats, the medium-bodied palate is choc-full of plums, currants, blackberries, and chocolate, that lead to a long, well-integrated, satisfying finish. Just starting to open up, it will be fascinating to see how this develops.
Until next time...
Well, I hope that’s whetted your appetite. Next time out, I’ll look at some affordable fizz.
Visit Newbury has launched an updated version of Its Vegan -friendly trail map ahead of World Vegan Month In November
An updated Newbury Vegan-Friendly Trail Map with a new design has been launched to support the many local independents and national brands across the town centre.
The handy pocket map has launched online in advance of World Vegan Month, which starts on November 1st aims to help raise the profile of Newbury as a vegan-friendly destination, while promoting the national and independently owned shops, salons, cafés, and eateries to a vast and growing audience of vegans, v-curious, or simply eco-conscious shoppers.
This is the final map in the Newbury Town Trail map series to launch in 2022. Physical copies of the map are due to be distributed in matching display boxes to all 39 independent businesses and some of the national brands featured, as well as the 20 independent businesses included on the recent Dog-Friendly Trail Map, and 48 brands featured on the Independent Retail Map. The maps will also be available to pick-up from Newbury Library, West Berkshire Museum, and Old Town Hall, as well as from market stall holders at the next seasonal Vegan Market, taking place on Sunday, 20th November in the Market Place.
Additionally, maps will be available to collect outside of the town centre from the gift shop at Shaw House.
"We anticipate that the trail maps will encourage visitors to shop in-store on the vegan market day and beyond"
The Vegan-Friendly Trail Map includes a brief description of each venue and is set to become a useful resource for visitors and local residents who attend Newbury’s popular quarterly Vegan Market, signposting them to other animal-friendly and plant-based venues in the town centre. You can view the Vegan-Friendly Trail Map online here.
The businesses featured on the map will be open to customers on market day, and we anticipate that the trail maps will encourage visitors to shop in-store on the vegan market day and beyond. The trail, spanning from London Road through to Newbury’s Southern Quarter (consisting of Inches Yard, Bartholomew Street and The Arcade), should also help visitors to discover other businesses along the route, as the trail takes shoppers down some of Newbury’s quieter streets, many of which are hidden gems.
Find out more
The themed maps produced at Newbury BID are the third in a series of town centre maps for Newbury under the umbrella term ‘Newbury Town Trail Maps’. Downloadable copies of the physical maps and interactive versions of the Town Trails can be found online here.
Lucy Todd tells us about her journey from journalism to founding sustainable children’s clothing site My Little Green Wardrobe which has just turned one
Within a year, I went from being a mother of two with a steady job (and income), to the owner of an online business start-up in sustainable baby and childrenswear.
I have no background in fashion, sustainability or e-commerce. So what prompted such madness? Well, it started with a pair of wellies.
I learned of the impact the textile and fashion industry was having on the environment in my job at BBC News. The fashion industry is the third-largest manufacturing sector in the world, and one of its most carbon-intensive and polluting. It is also responsible for some of the most appalling working conditions, with child labour and forced labour among the litany of abuses. The change towards fast fashion over recent years has only made these problems worse.
While reducing my clothing consumption was fairly easy (after all, I already had a wardrobe of clothes that fit me), it wasn’t quite so simple for my children. They grow. ALL. THE. TIME.
My Little Green Wardrobe sells only brands that act more ethically than the current norm.
Deciphering the more sustainable brands from those that were greenwashing was hard. It took me a whole afternoon to buy just two products – a pair of wellies and a puddlesuit – from brands I was happy with. I’d gone down so many internet rabbit holes checking a brand’s ethos, where they manufactured, materials etc… Each time, I found the product or brand weren’t as planet-friendly as they made out. Why wasn’t there a website that sold only ethical and more sustainable kids clothing from pre-vetted brands? And when I eventually bought those wellies (from a lovely Swedish brand, by the way), I decided that’s what I’d do.
My Little Green Wardrobe sells only brands that act more ethically than the current norm. I’ve come a long way since buying those wellies, when I felt like I needed a degree in materials science to understand the info some brands were giving. I’ve tried to make sustainability accessible to explain what brands are doing to improve their impact across the supply chain.
And don’t just take my word for it. Whether it’s organic cotton or recycled materials, all the brands I work with are certified, or use materials certified, by third-party organisations that guarantee environmental and social criteria. There is no perfectly “sustainable” item. – we’re looking for progression, not perfection.
What I lack in knowledge, I make up for in passion. And, if in doubt, to fall back on my old journalistic training: to ask questions. That’s what I’d urge you to do of the ethical brands you shop from too. After all, without transparency, there can be no sustainability.
Columnist Giles Luckett recommends some sensational summer sippers available locally.
Summer is a brilliant season for wine lovers. There’s nothing quite like being able to sit in the sun and sip some time away in the company of a diverting glass or two. Over the last 30 years, I’ve written dozens of best of the summer wines columns, most of them under strict deadlines. Not because of pressure from my editor, but because spells of good weather have often lasted about as long as a bottle of Graham Beck Rosé (Majestic £11.99) lasts in my house. The current two-person record being 14 minutes and 18 seconds.
That certainly isn’t a problem this year. And with the forecast for our part of the country giving better odds on cloudy with a chance of meatballs than rain, here are some summer sipping wine recommendations that should bring a smile to even parched lips.
First up, a fizz. I’ve always been passionate about sparkling wines, and the last few years have proved a golden age. When I joined the wine trade, Harrods’ wine department reflected the mood of the times by listing a wide range of Champagnes but virtually no sparkling wines.
This was great for tastings – the evening we spent tasting every Champagne in the shop was one of the best tastings I’ve ever attended – but woeful for the wallet. Good (drinkable) sparkling wine was rarer than a hen’s dentures, but how things have changed…
South Africa, Australia, California, France (who knew?), and Italy all offer great tasting; great value fizzes these days. For this column, though, I’m going to recommend a homegrown wine, the Denbies Whitedowns (Waitrose £18.99). This is everything you could wish for in a sparkling wine. From the fresh, floral, white berry nose to the refined, zesty palate with its flavours of pears, citrus, and peach stones, it’s complex as it is and refreshing.
There's nothing quite like being able to sit in the sun and sip some time away in the company of a diverting glass or two.
Next up, the first of two whites. CUNE is one of the great names of Rioja. Wines such as Vina Real and Imperial are the stuff of wine trade legend, and even their entry-level Crianza (Sainsbury’s £7.50. No, seriously £7.50, I couldn’t believe it either) is brilliant. Their whites can be just as compelling, and the Cune White Rioja is deep joy Barrel fermented; this traditionally styled white Rioja offers masses of peach, red apple, and honeydew melon fruit, with overtones of spicy vanilla. Versatile enough to partner with white meats, fish, or creamy cheeses, it’s also lovely on its own.
My second white couldn’t be more different. It’s the Wine Society’s Vihno Verde (£6. ) Portugal’s wines have been a trade secret for years, though attention has focused on the reds. I’ve had quite a few of their whites of late, and if you’re looking for value and excellence, look no further. The Society’s Vihno Verde is a wonderfully pure, clean, fresh-tasting wine that is light, delicate, and has a touch of spritz to it Fruit-driven; it has a pear and almond flavour to it that finishes with a twist of lemon. The perfect summer evening sipper or elegant aperitif.
If you’re looking for a serious rosé for summer sipping, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Domaine des Echardieres (£9.50). This is made by Vineyard Productions, which is headed up by Liam Stevenson, the youngest ever Master of Wine and someone who holds world records for rowing across the Atlantic. Hero worship is due, especially when you try his wines. The dedication to the cause of creating great wines with a ‘taste of place’ shines through this delicious Loire Valley wine. Made from Cabernet Franc, Gamay, and Malbec, it offers an intriguing blend of blackberries and green peppers from the Cabernet, cherries from the Gamay, and a richness and a hint of ripe plums from the Malbec. This is an outstanding choice in a cluttered and often disappointing rosé market, where presentation counts for more than contents.
And so to the reds. My first choice is a perennial summer favourite of mine, the Zuccardi Los Olivos Malbec (£11.50 Oxford Wine Company). I’m a massive fan of Argentinean Malbec, and Zuccardi is one of the finest producers of it. Inky purple, the sumptuous nose is a combination of stewed black fruits, offset by notes of raspberries and rose petals. In the mouth, it’s generous, full, multi-layered, and offers everything from blackcurrants and chocolate to red berries and charcoal. This is an absolute must for barbecued red meats.
And finally, another wine from Liam, the Petite Immortelle (£11.95 Vin Cognito). This hails from the South of France’s Roussillon region and is a traditional blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Carignan. Earlier this year, I tried this with its big brother, the Immortelle (£20.95 Dawe Wines), and I knew that both would make my top ten wines of the year. The Petite Immortelle is approachable now (its big brother is a beast that needs time to show its full beauty) and offers up masses of sweetly toned black fruits, plum skins, smoke, herbs, and a long minerally finish. This is another outstanding wine from a winemaking team that is doing some fantastic things.
Until next time...
Well, that’s me, for now at least. Given a following wind and an available glass, I’ll be back soon with a few words on affordable fizz.
Newbury BID launch new Town Trail Maps to support Local Businesses
Newbury Business Improvement District (BID) is supporting the local independent retail sector with the launch of its brand-new Newbury Independent Retail Map.
The handy pocket is helping to raise awareness of Newbury’s growing independent scene and to support the local independent retail sector.
The handy pocket is helping to raise awareness of Newbury’s growing independent scene and to support the local independent retail sector.
Physical copies of the map have been distributed in matching display boxes to the 44 independent businesses featured. The map includes a brief description of each retailer and also signposts to specialist markets that take place in the town centre. You can view the map online here: visitnewbury.org.uk/independent-retail-map.
The aim for our Town Trail Maps is to help support and raise the profile of our local independent businesses and our wonderful town centre
Copies of the map produced by the BID are being introduced as part of a series of town centre maps for Newbury under the umbrella term ‘Newbury Town Trail Maps’.
Newbury BID, the not-for-profit organisation behind the Visit Newbury brand, is happy to announce the theme for the next map in the series will be a Dog-Friendly Trail Map. This map will promote 26 dog-friendly hospitality venues across the town centre and highlight five prominent dog-walking routes within walking distance of the town.
The map will also highlight the location of dog waste bins in the town centre and its surroundings to discourage dog litter and to encourage dog-walkers to use the map on a regular basis. With National Dog Day 2022 coming up in late August, the map is expected to launch in time for this nationally recognised day for dog-lovers in West Berkshire and across the country.
The map will also highlight the location of dog waste bins in the town centre
The BID has also confirmed that the third map in the Newbury Town Trail Map series due to launch this year will be an up-to-date and reformatted version of the Vegan-friendly Map. First launched in October last year, the updated map is due to be released around the year anniversary of the initial launch and will come in the new fold-out pocket size format.
Kirsty Lemberger, Marketing Manager at Newbury BID, says: “We’re delighted with our new Independent Retail Map for Newbury and hope these handy and beautifully illustrated maps will be kept in the pockets and handbags of local residents and visitors alike for their next visit to the town centre.
“The aim for our Town Trail Maps is to help support and raise the profile of our local independent businesses and our wonderful town centre, and we hope the new look and feel of these pocket maps will make it even easier to do so.”
Maps are available to collect across the town centre at most businesses featured on the map, and from Newbury Library, West Berkshire Museum, and in the Old Town Hall.
If you run a business in Newbury town centre and would like to be included on an upcoming map, please email: [email protected].