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Foodies For Thought : What are you doing when lockdown eases?

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TrendLife talks with local Three Counties foodies about life after lockdown

With a number of our favourite eateries across Beds, Bucks & Herts getting ready to open their doors (and gardens) next week, TrendLife have spoken with six of our favourite foodies to find out where they plan to visit and what they plan to do as lockdown eases across the Three Counties.

In our first of two features, we speak to local foodies Chris of @meat_with_beer, Rachel of @bucksfood and Nadia of @MyRudeFood.

@meat_with_beer

Meet With Beer - Foodies For Thought :: What are you doing when lockdown eases?

How has lockdown been for you?

Honestly I can’t complain. No one has had it easy, but I’ve got a job, I’ve not been furloughed, work’s been pretty busy, and family and friends are all safe and well.

Food and drink are social activities for me though and I love nothing more than going out with friends for drinks or to try somewhere new to eat. It’s my passion and before COVID it is what I would be doing most weekends. Obviously lockdown changed that, so instead I’ve cooked more, used some of the money saved by not commuting to upgrade my BBQ, and tried some of the great meal kits that are around now. Those really helped bring a flavour normality home.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the same but it can be fun. I’ve also tried to check out more local businesses, meaning I have come across some great places across Herts I didn’t know about before. That’s as well as supporting local places I love and want to still be there after lockdown. So generally I’ve tried to make the most of it.

Hertfordshire lockdown highlights for me have included: cheese from the Little Deli (Hitchin), beers from Beer Shop (Hitchin & St Albans), wine from Wee Vinoteca and Hedley Wright (both Hitchin), breakfast baps from The Bull (at Gosmore) and The Groundworks (Hitchin), meat from Chapman’s butchers (Baldock), plant based delights from Chia (Hitchin) and Vutie Beets (Letchworth) and desserts from Pudding Stop (St Albans) and Neighbourhood Bakes (Hitchin).

Hitchin has had some awesome hot food places open during lockdown too, like Cawsburger, Chicken George Jr and Major Crusts.

What is going to be the first drink you order at the bar?

First will be a draft beer at the Kite in April, but I’m also looking forward to sangrias at Los Reyes, wine flights at Wee Vinoteca and some IPAs at Beer Shop in May.

Where have you missed visiting the most during the lockdown?

Los Reyes and Beer Shop in Hitchin both get my top vote.

Where is the first place you plan to visit when the restrictions are lifted?

Not everywhere is opening in April, but if those that are I am looking forward to having a few beers and some food at the Kite at the Red Hart in Hitchin. I’ve got a table booked at Los Reyes in May too.


TrendLife talks with local Three Counties foodies about life after lockdown
myrudefood

How has lockdown been for you?

It’s a weird one for me, I have been living with chronic illness (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome & Adenomyosis) since 2001. Lessons of acceptance and gratitude that had already become part of my tool kit, have helped so much during lockdown. I have also improved my Skype skills, texted more and generally communicated more regularly with friends old and new.

I also attended a few distance learning courses & a couple of online seminars, which on all likely-hood I wouldn’t have done in ‘normal’ circumstances. Like many others home cooks I also grew and nurtured a “Mother” (sour dough starter) I lovingly called Birtha. Using Birtha I mastered sourdough bread making fairly successfully.

I made more banana bread and cookies than was strictly necessary. I don’t want to make light of the situation, but I am aware I was better prepared than a lot of people. The general sense of appreciating the little things, the joys that can be found in nature and music was already part of my general outlook.

Where have you missed visiting the most during the lockdown?

It’s been a mixed bag, obviously I have missed my loved ones enormously. I’ve missed going out to restaurants , pubs, shopping, just the feeling of freedom that we used to take for granted. But truly, I just feel incredibly lucky that I wasn’t directly impacted by Covid-19 and was merely inconvenienced by Lockdown.

Where is the first place you plan to visit when the restrictions are lifted?

Really looking forward to a meal at the Alford Arms in Frithsden and my sister has already got us a table booked at Prime in Chandlers Cross

What is going to be the first drink you order at the bar?

Hoping that I’ll have a fruity Pimms in a pub garden on a sunny spring afternoon.


@bucksfoodie

BucksFoodie : TrendLife talks with local Three Counties foodies about life after lockdown

How has lockdown been for you?

This latest lockdown has been hard, I think with the cold weather and the shorter days it’s been difficult for a lot of people.

I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to work full-time ( & not just working from home) as it’s meant I’m out and about & can actually finance my #TakeawayTuesday that I started at the beginning of this year! I’ve tried to spend the money that I would’ve done at restaurants on food stalls & takeaways – supporting small, local businesses where I can.

I have enjoyed the odd day working from home – it’s meant I’ve had additional time to create content & experiment. I’ve LOVED the TikTok trends that have hit the foodie community. What better way to get people into cooking! I’ve definitely tried my hand at a few – the baked feta pasta is eaten at least twice a month in our house!

I think I’ve also found a lot more time to talk to fellow bloggers & businesses. I’ve made some truly wonderful friends like the lovely Fliss from @berkshirecollective_ but it’s all been virtual! I can’t wait to meet her & others in person! It’s a funny old thing Instagram, but I’m so grateful for the people it’s brought into my life & the relationships I’ve been able to establish with businesses, even if we’ve not seen each other face to face… yet! I won’t lie though – I’ll be glad to see the end of zoom!

What is going to be the first drink you order at the bar?

Well – definitely a STRONG cosmopolitan! I’ve missed cocktails, I just cannot seem to make good enough one’s at home. Or a G & T, hopefully with a local Gin, Bucks is bursting with amazing Gin distillers!

Where have you missed visiting the most during the lockdown?

I’ve definitely missed bars! Especially places like The Snug & Bar Botanic in High Wycombe. As well as some of my local coffee shops that haven’t been able to open at all for takeaways. That being said, I love a coffee shop in general and it’s been hard to get that ‘experience’ when you’re just picking up a takeaway coffee.

I kept my love for some restaurants alive by ordering takeaways from them – I loved the Lata Lata at Home takeaway, it was a delight to experience the brilliance of their food at home – but I’m very excited to get back to their gorgeous location. I can’t wait to sit in a restaurant, and get that buzz & excitement of reading a menu, placing your order and eagerly waiting for its arrival.

Where is the first place you plan to visit when the restrictions are lifted?

Probably my local pub – The George & Dragon in West Wycombe they’re a fantastic team and they deserve all the support possible. I’m also hoping to go to The Full Moon Pub in Little Kingshill, Lata Lata in High Wycombe and Pluma in Amersham. I’m going to stick to independents as much as I can. Besides actual venues I’d love to go to more food markets, and visit more food stalls.

Foodies For Thought : What are you doing when lockdown eases?

If you are a foodie from Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire, get in touch as we would like to hear from you. We will be working with eateries in the Three Counties this summer and have a number of opportunities for foodies and food bloggers.

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St Albans Comedy Extravaganza returns to Verulamium Park in July

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St Albans Comedy Garden presented by heycar is set to light up Verulamium Park this summer with a magnificent series of open-air shows from 27-31st July!

St Albans Comedy Garden presented by heycar is set to light up Verulamium Park this summer with a magnificent series of open-air shows from 27-31st July!

Starring legendary BAFTA and Perrier Award winner DYLAN MORAN, the guv’nor himself AL MURRAY, multi-award winning SARA PASCOE, the Last Leg’s ROSIE JONES, Father Ted star ARDAL O’HANLON, lo-fi hero DAVID O’DOHERTY and many more huge names performing at this year’s astounding set of open-air shows.

St Albans Comedy Garden line-up

Stand-up favourites are out in force too with cult poet / comic TIM KEY, German Comedy Ambassador HENNING WEHN, observational master ED BYRNE, Afterlife star KERRY GODLIMAN, Taskmaster champ LOU SANDERS, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner JOHN ROBINS, Netflix star JOEL DOMMETT, the inimitable REGINALD D HUNTER to name a few.

Alongside established names sit some of the brightest breakthrough talent such as the acclaimed CELYA AB, stand-up phenomenon FATIHA EL-GHORRI and the award-winning ESTHER MANITO, fast rising TADIWA MAHLUNGE all making their St Albans debut.

What to expect at St Albans Comedy Garden

Following last summer’s huge sell-out first edition St Albans Comedy Garden returns with another astounding programme of stand-up comedy presented in a fully-seated open-air theatre in the Park’s beautiful Water Meadow.

St Albans Comedy Garden presented by heycar is set to light up Verulamium Park this summer with a magnificent series of open-air shows from 27-31st July!

This year’s comedy extravaganza will once again be brimful with bars serving up a tastemaker selection of craft beers, cocktails and more, plus an array of street-food stalls from the leading lights of the local street food scene.

Tickets are expected to fly as comedy-lovers from St Albans and beyond grab the chance to see these masterfully curated shows, each featuring a host of critically-acclaimed stars guaranteeing a hit of absolute entertainment in the heart of the summer.

St Albans Comedy Garden - Sara Pascoe

The sibling team behind the Comedy Garden, Cass Randolph and Will Briggs of 57 Festivals, can’t wait to return to St Albans. Cass said “We’re thrilled with this year’s line-up and to be back in Verulamium Park, we had such a great first year last summer, the audiences were an absolute riot, far livelier than we had expected! The acts really feed off that kind of energy and in turn give incredible performances.”

Will added “We have some outstanding acts joining us this year, i’m especially looking forward to seeing Dylan Moran headline our opening night and can’t wait to watch stand-out newcomers CELYA AB and FATIHA EL-GHORRI on the big stage.”

St Albans Comedy Garden - Joel Dommett

This year’s event is partnered with heycar, Chief Commercial Officer Karen Hilton said: “With this year’s Comedy Garden returning to St Albans, it’s shaping up to be an incredible, feel-good summer. We have so much laughter to catch up on after the last few years and I can’t think of a better way to do it. The line-up is truly world-class, and we’re particularly looking forward to seeing the incredible Joel Dommett in action. heycar is honoured to be sponsoring this incredible event and we can’t wait to see everyone in St Albans this July!”

St Albans Comedy Garden tickets

Get your tickets now and be part of this year’s magnificent St Albans Comedy Garden! Visit the website to find out more www.stalbanscomedygarden.co.uk

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The Chequers in Woolmer Green reopens after refurbishment

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The Chequers in Woolmer Green reopens its doors

Wells & Co’s Hertfordshire based pub, The Chequers, is opening its doors after an extensive refurbishment. Completed works include an entirely refreshed bar and dining area, redecorated throughout to create a modern and chic look and feel to the pub located in the civil parish village of Woolmer Green. The cosy interior boasts an intimate lounge area, large dining area and an extensive garden makeover inclusive of heated spaces and high table fire pits, perfect for those late-Summer evenings.

Wells & Co’s Hertfordshire based pub, The Chequers, is opening its doors after an extensive refurbishment.

Upstairs has been reconfigured to make room for four en-suite bedrooms for guests to book, as well as a private dining room holding up to 20 people. The new dining room is perfect for all event needs, whether its a private party, private function or even to host a work meeting.

The updated food menu features seasonal and fresh dishes inclusive of much loved pub classics like fish and chips or the ever popular 21-day aged beef burger, where the team will also be donating 25p of every burger sold to local primary school St Michael’s. Aloingside the classics the full dining menu at The Chequers includes more indulgent dishes such as cajun sweet potato, okra, and black-eyed pea gumbo, wild porcini mushroom, truffle and ricotta filled mezzaluna pasta and new daily specials.

There is also a great new range of drinks behind the bar including a range of tasty Brewpoint beers brewed just down the road in Bedford, as well as a full wine and spirits list for guests to enjoy.

Greg Knox, General Manager for the Wells & Co. site said, “The Chequers has, quite simply put, been a transformational refurbishment. The pub is ready, our food is prepped, drinks will be flowing, and our team are on hand to welcome the people of Woolmer Green and beyond, back to their much-loved pub. I can’t wait to personally welcome everyone back.”

To book a room or table at The Chequers visit the website here: https://chequerswoolmergreen.co.uk/

Wells & Co’s Hertfordshire based pub, The Chequers, is opening its doors after an extensive refurbishment.

 

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What’s on at Waddesdon this Summer between May and June

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May half-term will see the return of our ever-popular Colourscape as well as the chance for children to discover the animals of Waddesdon with a brand new Birds and Beasts family trail.

May half-term will see the return of our ever-popular Colourscape as well as the chance for children to discover the animals of Waddesdon with a brand new Birds and Beasts family trail.

In June, outdoor theatre will also be returning to Waddesdon’s lawns. Visitors can enjoy an evening of Shakespearean comedy as well as a performance of The Teapot Prince, a contemporary reimagining of a lost 18th-century ballet that hasn’t been staged for over 280 years!

Discover the four-acre walled garden, glasshouses and orchard at Eythrope, the private Rothschild garden.

Eythrope Garden Tour © Waddesdon, A Rothschild House & Gardens. Photo Paul Hewes

Eythrope Walled Garden Tour

Every Wed from 18 May – 19 Oct, 10.15am & 1.15pm

Discover the four-acre walled garden, glasshouses and orchard at Eythrope, the private Rothschild garden. Visits are by guided tour only and include a light meal with savoury and sweet elements inspired by the produce from Eythrope.

Adult £50. Includes a meal in the Manor Restaurant, free Grounds admission and shuttle bus.

Marchesi Frescobaldi is one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers, and their global ambassador will be hosting a magical evening at Waddesdon.

Marchesi Frescobaldi is one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers, and their global ambassador will be hosting a magical evening at Waddesdon.

An Italian Feast with Frescobaldi

Sat 28 May, 7pm
Marchesi Frescobaldi is one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers, and their global ambassador will be hosting a magical evening at Waddesdon. Wine-lovers can sample a glass of Frescobaldi sparkling wine in the atmospheric cellars, followed by a delightful five-course dinner served with carefully-selected wines.

£99.50 per person (over-18s only)

This May half-term, an immersive experience of colour, light, space and music lands on Waddesdon’s lawns.

Colourscape

May Half-Term Sat 28 May – Sun 5 Jun (inc Mon 30 & Tue 31), 10.30am-4.30pm

This May half-term, an immersive experience of colour, light, space and music lands on Waddesdon’s lawns. Returning to Waddesdon for its eighth year, Colourscape is for visitors of all ages and promises an extraordinary experience you will not forget.

Advance booking recommended. Adult £6, Child £4; plus normal Grounds admission applies.

May Half-Term at Waddesdon

May half-term will see the return of our ever-popular Colourscape as well as the chance for children to discover the animals of Waddesdon with a brand new Birds and Beasts family trail.

Family Visitors on the South Front Parterre © Waddesdon Manor, National Trust. Photographer Chris Lacey

Birds and Beasts trail

Sat 28 May – Sun 5 Jun (inc Mon 30 & Tue 31), 10am-4pm

Enjoy fresh air and family fun this May half-term. Discover the animals of Waddesdon with a new outdoor Birds and Beasts trail, adventure in the Woodland Playground and then refuel with a delicious family picnic.

£3.50 per trail (inc souvenir), plus normal Grounds admission applies. One trail per child

Cellar visit and tasting

Every Fri, Sat & Sun from 15 Apr – 31 May, 12noon

Join one of Waddesdon’s wine experts for a short tour of the atmospheric wine cellars, which house over 15,000 bottles of Rothschild wine, before an informal tasting of two Rothschilds wines.

£7.50 per person (over-18s only), plus normal Grounds admission applies

What’s On at Waddesdon in June 2022

A contemporary reimagining of the lost 18th-century French Ballet des Porcelaines—The Teapot Prince—will be performed in the fairy-tale grounds of Waddesdon Manor,

Cast of the Ballet des Porcelaines at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Villa Albertine’s headquarters at the Payne Whitney Mansion in New York City. Photo by Joe Carrotta

The Teapot Prince

Thu 16 & Fri 17 June, 6-9pm

A contemporary reimagining of the lost 18th-century French Ballet des Porcelaines—The Teapot Prince—will be performed in the fairy-tale grounds of Waddesdon Manor, bringing to life a story of magic, desire and exotic entanglement.

Tickets include a talk by the ballet company, exclusive access to the Manor’s west galleries and a chance to preview an Edmond du Waal display until 8.30pm.

Adult £32, Child £16

One of the UK’s finest touring theatre companies, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, invites you to join them once again in the grounds of Waddesdon Manor.

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Image © Lord Chamberlain’s Men

As You Like It – The Lord Chamberlain’s Men

Thu 23 June, 6pm gates open

One of the UK’s finest touring theatre companies, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, invites you to join them once again for an evening of sparkling Shakespearean comedy in the grounds of Waddesdon Manor.

Adult £20.50, Child £11

Celebrate the wines of one of England’s most renowned and innovative winemakers at Waddesdon.

Dinner in the Manor Restaurant © Waddesdon Manor, National Trust. Photographer Pascale Cumberbatch

Dinner with Gusbourne Estate Wines

Sat 25 Jun, 7pm

Celebrate the wines of one of England’s most renowned and innovative winemakers at Waddesdon. Enjoy a sparkling aperitif in the atmospheric wine cellars, followed by a delicious five-course dinner served with wines from the Gusbourne Estate’s wonderful portfolio.

£99.50 per person (over-18s only)

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