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Intu Milton Keynes set to get a new makeover by new owners

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Intu Milton Keynes set to get a new makeover by new owners

Milton Keynes is set to see more changes to its shopping district as intu Milton Keynes is set to get a full makeover. Following on from going into administration earlier in the year, parts of intu business are being taken over by a management firm called Ellandi.

Earlier in June, Intu Properties warned that their shopping malls across the UK may have to close their doors for a period. Intu Properties who were £4.5 billion in debt had been in talks with their creditors to obtain standstill agreements. This would have meant Intu would not have to pay back what it has borrowed until the end of 2021. These talks failed and Intu entered administration.

Where did it go wrong for intu Milton Keynes?

There is no definitive answer. It is a case of the perfect storm. Intu Properties had been struggling as a business due to changes in consumer spending habits and competition from the internet. Many ideas and good campaigns were rolled out over the years but the recent lockdown and shop restrictions due to coronavirus have all but finished the once-popular shopping destination.

Over the years, the management team had put on a number of events from intu Student Night with DJ’s and a full club setup to getting a mayor to play a few games of ping pong.

The other issue is that it was too close to Centre:MK, the ‘favourite’ Milton Keynes shopping destination. The rebrand from Midsummer Place to Intu MK was not really successful. With Centre:MK as the main shopping destination in Milton Keynes for so long, intu MK was seen by locals as ‘somewhere else to look at’.

What happens next to intu Milton Keynes?

One thing is for sure is that it will not be rebranded Ellandi Milton Keynes. New owners Ellandi have announced that it will keep its name in the short term. Officially, Ellandi, the privately-owned operator of many UK shopping centres, has been appointed as asset manager for intu Milton Keynes.

Ellandi believes thriving town centres are community hubs and 90% of Ellandi projects house crucial local amenities such as council offices, health services, banks, and post offices as well as libraries and sports facilities. What does this mean for the shopping centre formerly known as Intu Milton Keynes? At this stage, nobody knows. At some point, it will be rebranded and more profitable retailers/tenants will move in.

Earlier this year, fashion retailer Next announced they will be opening a new beauty store in the former Debenhams units. Called ‘The Beauty Hall from Next’, the new concept store will open in units formerly occupied by Debenhams in both intu sites in Watford and Milton Keynes.

Never full or satisfied, I am always willing to try new things and visit new places. Lover of food and all things FAST - Not necessarily fast food. If I am not in the office, you can find me near a track or under a car. I also work with great people in TrendLife's Editorial team.

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Business

A brand new Bingo Brunch experience is coming to Watford’s Barrio

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The launch of Barrio Bars in Watford is set to bring a brand new bottomless bingo brunch experience to the High Street

On 5th November, the newly opened Barrio venue will launch its bingo brunch concept, La Isla Bonita 80s Brunch, in Watford. Translating to ‘The beautiful island’, La Isla Bonita Brunch aims to recreate that perfect tropical holiday feeling, with food and cocktails galore, bingo mayhem and 80s music all afternoon-long.

The launch of Barrio Bars in Watford is set to bring a brand new bottomless bingo brunch experience to the High Street

Already a popular party experience at Barrio Shoreditch, the 80s themed musical brunch is scheduled to run every Saturday from 12pm, and will include a two-course brunch, welcome cocktail and a variety of bottomless drinks (prosecco, spiced rum sangria and Sol beer).

Once guests have finished tucking into a menu of delicious burgers, including Queso Libre as a vegetarian option and Saint and Sinner as the vegan burger plus Barrio Churros, the musical bingo commences, brought to life by a captivating host and nostalgic 80s tunes by Barrio’s best DJs. Brunch goers can expect witty bingo calls, group singalongs and impromptu tableside performances. Prizes for winning the brunch also include a very tasty £100 bar tab.

The launch of Barrio Bars in Watford is set to bring a brand new bottomless bingo brunch experience to the High Street

For £35 per person, over-21s can enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless drinks and then eat, bingo and party until 5pm.

Those interested can book the first La Isla Bonita 80s Brunch at Barrio Watford for a special launch price of £25 (valid for 5th and 12th Nov brunch dates).

More about Barrio Watford

On 20th October 2022, Barrio Familia opened its first out-of-London venue in Watford, bringing Latin-inspired cocktails, authentic Mexican eats, a killer happy hour offering, live entertainment and DJs, plus an immersive 80s Bingo Bottomless Brunch.

Following the announcement of the group’s flagship site, and world’s largest tequila bar, in Covent Garden which is set to launch in early November, Barrio Familia has opened Watford’s first Tequila bar this month.

Barrio Familia opened its first out-of-London venue in Watford, bringing Latin-inspired cocktails, authentic Mexican eats, a killer happy hour offering, live entertainment and DJs, plus an immersive 80s Bingo Bottomless Brunch.

Bringing the spirit of the Latin Quarter into Watford, the new venue will have space for up to 200 guests to enjoy a brand new, freshly crafted cocktail menu, delicious Mexican inspired food creations, including their signature tacos, and famous Latino party vibes.

The outside terrace is also being turned into Barrio’s popular tropical yard, offering the perfect space for another 80 guests to gather with like-minded ‘amigos’ and sip cocktails, enjoy a meal and experience a fiesta like never before.

Barrio Familia was acquired by Nightcap in November 2021 and has since gone from strength to strength. New venues; Barrio Watford and Barrio Covent Garden will add to their growing portfolio of sites in Shoreditch, Soho, Angel, and Brixton. After opening the first Barrio site in 2007, the group’s vision was to have a Barrio in every big party neighborhood in the UK and Watford will play a huge role in that exciting expansion.

Each of the Barrio Bars sites offer a full-colour, full-flavour experience, and of course, plenty of Tequila. The group plans to open seven days a week and be the perfect new spot in Watford for all occasions, from lunches and daytime drinks to brunches and late night partying.

Jim Robertson, Managing Director of Barrio Familia,

Jim Robertson, Managing Director of Barrio Familia, commented:

“We are incredibly excited to be taking our Latino party outside of London for the first time. This is a fantastic venue and we can’t wait to welcome the residents of Watford into the Barrio familia and bring the party! I believe Barrio will be a fantastic addition to Watford High Street that will suit all types of occasions and bring a feel good bar that welcomes everyone. We have some amazing things planned for Barrio Watford, so watch this space and get ready for the biggest fiesta in town!”

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Christmas at Wimpole has new light experience this year

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Running from 25 November 2022 until 1 January 2023, Christmas at Wimpole provides a special way to celebrate the festive season with an unmissable outdoor experience.

Visitors to Christmas at Wimpole can expect a host of new light installations and a different route to last year when Wimpole Christmas lights turn on.

The popular Wimpole Christmas lights trail, which runs from 25 November 2022 until 1 January 2023, features an array of installations from artists across Europe. The magical trail, featuring spectacular light installations and enchanting visitors with seasonal Christmas classics, will transform the Wimpole estate’s landscaped grounds and garden.

General Manager at Wimpole, Polly Ingham-Watts said: “We’re thrilled to have Christmas at Wimpole returning for a second year. The trails give visitors the opportunity to see Wimpole Estate in a different light, with some of the most iconic Wimpole views; the grand façade of the Hall, Walled Gardens and Pleasure Ground, coming alive with twinkling lights and colour.”

Wimpole Christmas lights

Among the new installations is ‘In Bloom’ by London-based art collective, toystudio, a star-like shape casting colourful intricate shadows across the landscape.

Floraison at Wimpole, which features hundreds of poppy-shaped flowers suspended in the branches of trees

Heart Arch by Art AV, My Christmas Trails. Photo by Richard Haughton © Sony Music 2021

Other curated installations include a huge heart-shaped tunnel with over 1000 pea lights, a Snowflake Walk, giant reed-shaped neon plants; and Floraison, which features hundreds of poppy-shaped flowers suspended in the branches of trees. Spend time together and create everlasting memories as you wander between the specially chosen illuminations, all choreographed to a soundtrack of Christmas classics. Pause at the mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden and don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way.

Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist with tasty treats on offer. Complete your walk under the stars with a *spiced winter warmer or *hot chocolate shared with friends and family. Everyone loves toasting a marshmallow over an open fire and the artisan *marshmallow stall gives visitors the chance to warm their hands and enjoy this sweet outdoor tradition.

Christmas at Wimpole provides a special way to celebrate the festive season with an unmissable outdoor experience. The trail is designed for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Running from 25 November 2022 until 1 January 2023, Christmas at Wimpole provides a special way to celebrate the festive season with an unmissable outdoor experience.

Heart Arch by Art AV, My Christmas Trails. Photo by Richard Haughton © Sony Music 2021

Christmas at WimpoleThe after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens

Christmas at Wimpole Opening time: From 25 November 2022 to 1 January 2023
Doors 0pen from 4.30pm, last entry 8pm and closes at 10pm.
Doors close on 28, 29 November and 5, 6, 25 December

Why Visit Wimpole Christmas lights: 

Discover a Christmas illuminated trail for all the family set within the beautiful landscape of Wimpole.

Christmas at Wimpole ticket prices: 

Advanced From: Adult £19, Child £14.50, Family £64 (2 adults & 2 children). Free entry for carers and children aged 2 & under.

Parking £8 per car.

For more info on Christmas at Wimpole or to book Wimpole Christmas light tickets, visit christmasatwimpole.co.uk

About Wimpole

Wimpole first opened to visitors in 1979, considered the finest country house in Cambridgeshire bequeathed to the National Trust by Mrs Elsie Bambridge, daughter of Rudyard Kipling.  Wimpole had a succession of owners from Lord Harley (1711-1740) to the Earls of Hardwicke (1740-1894) and Viscount’s Clifden, before being bought by Elsie Bambridge in 1930’s and has a roll-call of celebrated architects and landscape designers who have developed both the mansion and parkland into a place of beauty and graceful living.

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Christmas at Hatfield Park trail opens with amazing fire garden

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Hatfield Park’s Christmas trail opens with amazing fire garden

A beautiful Fire Garden has been revealed as one of the spectacular works in the new Christmas light trail at Hatfield Park, Hertfordshire, between 25 November and 31 December 2022.

The installation will be part of a spectacular collection of illuminations which will transform the 42 acres of gardens and parkland where Queen Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood.

Designed by Culture Creative, the Fire Garden at Hatfield Park is made up of hundreds of flame heads interspersed with Lantern Trees by Mandylights, which echo the timeless beauty of old Victorian-style street lamps. The brass-effect shades shimmer in bright gold, with electric flames inside the lanterns to inspire a feeling of warm firelight.

Hatfield Park’s Christmas trail opens with amazing fire garden | Fire Garden by Culture Creative. My Christmas Trails

Matthew Findlay, Head of UK Trails for Sony Music/Raymond Gubbay Ltd, said: “We are hugely excited by the plans for this fantastic new trail, with artists creating beautiful installations which will cast an entirely different light on a beautiful, historic property.”

Visitors to Hatfield Park can look forward to some precious time with friends and family as they discover sparkling tunnels of light and walk beneath glistening trees drenched in jewel-like colour.

Hatfield Park lights are choreographed to a soundtrack of much-loved seasonal music, transforming Hatfield’s majestic park into an instant winter wonderland.

Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist with tasty treats on offer. Complete your walk under the stars with a *spiced winter warmer or *hot chocolate shared with friends and family. Everyone loves toasting a marshmallow over an open fire and the artisan *marshmallow stall gives visitors the chance to warm their hands and enjoy this sweet outdoor tradition.

*separate charges apply 

Christmas at Hatfield Park is brought to you by Sony Music.  The trail is created by Culture Creative.

Hatfield Park’s Christmas trail opens with amazing fire garden

What is happen at Hatfield Park?

Christmas at Hatfield Park The after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens. Discover a Christmas illuminated trail for all the family set within the beautiful landscape of Hatfield Park

When is Christmas at Hatfield Park?

From 25 November and 31 December 2022. Open from 4.30pm, last entry 8pm and closes at 10pm. Trail closed on 28, 29, 30 Nov; 5, 6, 24, 25 Dec.

Admission: Limited capacity with timed entry, early booking advised
Advanced From: Adult £24, Child £17, Family £78 (2 adults & 2 children).
Free entry for carers and children aged 2 & under.

Parking £7 per car.

Website:         https://christmasathatfieldpark.seetickets.com/
Hatfield Park Address:         Great North Rd., Hatfield AL9 5HX

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