Tag Archives: events

Local Events this March

There are many local events this March, with Mother’s Day, the Easter Bank Holiday weekend as well as the clocks changing forward to British Summer Time. We’ve put together a round-up of the most exciting happenings in the local area this March.iStock_000005448261Large - 228 x 125


Romeo and Juliet

25th February – 2nd April
Opening Times: Times Vary
Call: 01635 523726
Tickets from £15
The Watermill Theatre, Newbury

An unforgettable production of this much-loved Shakespeare classic tale of an all-consuming love. Featuring live music and an outstanding new group of actors, this is the table of a young couple defy their feuding families and find love on the streets of Verona.

“I ne’er saw true beauty till this night”


Mother’s Day Lunch

Sunday 6th March
Opening Times: 12pm to 2pm
Call: 01635 551199
Tickets: full price £28, concessions price £20
Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa

Treat Mum to a three course Sunday lunch without lifting a finger. All mothers deserve to have some time off and this Mother’s Day join us for a celebration Sunday Lunch in our stunning recently refurbished WinePress restaurant with a glass of Champagne on arrival and a gift for Mum. Plus enjoy the extra brownie points for not making a mess in the kitchen!


Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race

25th March – 28th March
Opening Hours: from 6.30am
Call: 0118 966 5912
Kennet & Avon Canal

Held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948, this race is a real spectacle and atmospheric occasion, with a severe test of skill and stamina for the participants. Being 125 miles long with 77 portages it ends in the tidal section of the River Thames. Boats will pass through Hungerford on Saturday 26th from around 2pm onwards.


Easter Sunday Lunch

Sunday 27th March
Opening Times: 10am to 5pm
Call: 0118 984 3040
Tickets: £25 per person; £18 for children under 16, Under 5’s dine for free
Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa
Join us this Easter Sunday for a Three-course Sunday lunch with family and friends. What better way to enjoy the long weekend than a leisurely lunch out with family?


Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt

25th March – 28th March
Opening Times: 10am to 5pm
Call: 0118 984 3040
Tickets: The trail costs £3. Normal admission charges apply.
Basildon Park, Berkshire, RG8 9NR
The ultimate Chocolatey Easter adventure. Hunt for eggs in the house and win yourself a Cadbury chocolate egghead prize by solving the Easter Egg trail in the garden. With clues for the children hidden around the grounds, the trail is self directed and can be completed at any point during the visit with no time limit applied.

Local Events this February

February is the month for Romance – and there are a number of local events fitting this cause! ‘Tell Me On a Sunday’ is a local theatre production of the romantic misadventures of a young English Girl in New York. Or try a romantic snowdrop-carpeted walk at Welford Park?

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Tell Me On A Sunday

28th January – 20th February
Opening Times: Matinee and Evening performances
Call: 01635 46044
Tickets from £15
The Watermill Theatre, Newbury

This heartwarming play tells the romantic misadventures of a young English girl in New York in the exhilarating days of the 1980s. Brimming with optimism, she seeks success and love. But as she explores the city and her own mix of emotions, she starts to wonder whether she’s been looking for love in all the wrong places.

Originally conceived for television, this iconic musical, with a wonderful original score features songs such as ‘Unexpected Song’, the chart-topping ‘Take That Look Off Your Face’ and the title track ‘Tell Me on a Sunday’. It has been performed by many legendary musical theatre stars including Marti Webb and Sarah Brightman.


Snowdrops Walk at Welford Park

3rd February – 6th March
Opening Times: Wednesday to Sunday 11:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m (Car Park closes 5:30 p.m) Closed on Monday & Tuesday
Call: 01488 608691
Tickets £6 adults, £5 conc; £1 4-12 yrs old, under 4s are free

This breathtaking sight at Welford Park is enjoyed by thousands of visitors throughout the winter months. Over many years and generations, it has been tradition to open the grounds during February so that this wonderful spectacle can be viewed by all who want to see it. Famed to have beenplanted there by Norman Monks, the history also of this parkland is a wonderful learning experience.

After a bracing walk, you can revive at the Old Laundry Tea Rooms for a light lunch or homemade cake and a pot of tea, after which you can take a wander around the Snowdrops Gift Shop.


September In The Rain

3rd February – 6th February
Opening Time: 19:30
Call: 07756 141 734
Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions)
William Penney Theatre, Aldermaston

Two funny and touching One-Act plays by John Godber, Happy Jack and September in the Rain chart the lives of West Yorkshire couple, Jack and Liz, inspired by John Godber’s grandparents.

In Happy Jack, you will follow the couple over 60 years of marriage as the play retells snippets of their life together in their terrace house in the Yorkshire mining village.

In September in the Rain they will share 40 years of memories of Jack and Liz’s annual summer holidays to Blackpool; memories filled with tears and laughter.


Valentine’s Dinner

12th, 13th and 14th February
Call: 01635 551199 to book
From £28 per person

This Valentine’s weekend treat your someone special to a delicious menu in our WinePress restaurant.

Why not stay the night and let us personalise your romantic stay with as many little extras that you would like flowers, champagne, chocolates or some relaxing spa treatments we can have it all ready for you. Imagine the surprise when they discover what you have arranged.


Betfair Super Saturday

13th February
Call: 01635 40015
Newbury Racecourse

Betfair Super Saturday is one of the Jump season’s most-anticipated racedays and a superb opportunity to see some of racing’s star performers. The day regularly showcases some of racing’s biggest names alongside the stars of the future. The £155,000 Betfair Hurdle, the richest race of its type in the UK, boasts a prestigious roll of honour dating back to 1963. There will be live music after racing, completing an exceptional day out.


A Show To Die For

17th February – 20th February
Opening Hours 7.30pm
Call: 01635 869893
Tickets £10 including a hot supper
http://www.kats.org.uk

This play is set in a village hall where the local amateur dramatics group is performing a cabaret night. Someone is murdered! You will have the opportunity to ask the cast questions and decide who the murderer is! Held at Bucklebury Memorial Hall.


Bantam Chicken Society Open Show

27th February – 28th February
Opening Hours: Sat: 10am till 5pm Sun: 10am till 2.30pm
Admission: Adults £3.50 per day or £2.50 if paid with entries and £4.50 for 2 days or £3.50 if paid with entries. Children under 16 free.
Email: readingbantams@gmail.com
Northcroft Leisure Centre

This Championship Show is celebrating 25 years at the Northcroft Leisure Centre and Belgian Club’s centenary. Come and visit the show and see over 1,500 bantams as well as bantam ducks and over 200 plates of eggs. There will be more than 40 different bantam breeds present from Anconas to Yokohamas! Plus trade stands selling poultry supplies. Why not go along and admire the birds or learn about keeping poultry as a hobby. There’s something for everyone!

The Reading and District Bantam Society was founded in 1947 and exists to encourage those keeping bantams in the area. Originally centred on Reading it now covers quite a large area with members from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and further afield.

Local Events this December

This month there’s a plethora of festive local events and activities happening in the  area. We’ve picked our six of the best:

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Bucklebury Christmas on the Farm
1st December to 23rd December
Opening times: 09:30 – 17:00
Call: 0118 971 4002
Ticket prices apply
A magical place at Christmas, Bucklebury Farm is stunning: the holly is chock-full with berries, the tree is up in the barn and the fairy lights are shining bright. All this and Santa is here! He is dropping in every day to meet the children and check up on his reindeer who are right next door to his grotto and busy getting fed ready for the busy time ahead. With home-cooked Christmas lunches up to 23rd December booking is essential and as we are now licensed you can enjoy a small alcoholic beverage with your food.
With a deer park, farm animals, indoor play, pedal go-cart track, tractor rides refreshments, adventure playground, a wild walk, Be a Farmer Club and den building, this is a fantastic day out for everyone, whatever the weather.


Watermill Book Club – The Story of Alice
Tuesday 1st December
Opening time: 7pm
Call: 01635 46044
Ticket prices apply

A good part of our cultural heritage is based on wonderland, and artists, poets, writers and many others have used this theme for over a century. Among this heritage sits the complex history of the author Charles Dodgson, the quiet academic, and his better-known counterpart, Lewis Carroll – storyteller and innovator. This author dreamed up Alice Liddell’s fictional alter ego in the seminal storybook that has spanned generations.
In this evening, Professor Robert Douglas-Fairhurst uses previously unpublished material to bring the timeless legend of ‘Alice’ to light.


Wine School at The Vineyard – Christmas Wines
Wednesday 2nd December
Opening time: 630pm to 8pm
£30 per person

This evening is quite simple. A collection of bottles suitable for the festive lunch and some tips on what to match with, serving ideas, plus a host of tips on making the most important lunch of the year stress-free!


Champagne Jazz Lunch at The Vineyard
Sunday 13th December
Opening time: 12pm to 4pm
£55 per person

The perfect way to begin the festive celebrations;live jazz, great food and unlimited Champagne! Sit back, relax and listen to the soulful sounds of jazz whilst enjoying a three course lunch and unlimited** Champagne with friends and family.
**Unlimited Champagne will only be served during lunch from starter to dessert.


Dick Whittington At The Corn Exchange
27th November 2015 to 3rd January 2016
Call: 0845 5218 218
Ticket prices apply

The 2015 Corn Exchange Christmas Pantomime is full of adventure, danger and magic. Joined by his cat and Sarah the Cook, Dick Whittington is trying to seek his fortune. Will he defeat the devilish King Rat, or save his love, Alice? Sure to be lots of fun and laughter, some performances are sold out already so book your tickets quickly!


A Merry Christmas At Basildon Park
28th November 2015 to 5th January 2016
Opening Times: 10:00 – 15:00
Call: 01491 672382
Ticket prices apply

This Georgian Mansion, surrounded by parkland, will be beautifully decorated for Christmas. Explore the wintery gardens with their trail and see the lovingly restored mansion with fine paintings, fabrics and furniture which you can still see today. Make the most of your visit by treating yourself to cream tea, explore the refined house, or breathe in the fresh air by taking one of their marked trails through the 400 acres of historic parkland.


Wine Tasting and Cocktail Making

Are you are looking for something a little different to reward your delegates with after a hard day’s work? Why not test our experts and try a wine tasting session before dinner? Julie Weston, our Events Manager, explains more.

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Blind tasting is always a fun way to challenge your taste buds, (don’t worry, no blindfolds are used). The wine is poured before you arrive to ensure there will be no cheating.

Throughout the session, our knowledgeable sommelier will give you a lesson in how to taste wine, and pass on lots of interesting facts about grape varieties and regions to wet your appetite for the tasting. And possibly help you determine their origin.

If you fancy yourself as a budding Tom Cruise, we could arrange a cocktail making master class, with plenty of testing and even the opportunity to mix your own creation!

Don’t have too much fun, in case there is a second day of concentration required!

Ask our conference experts about adding on something different to your residential conference, or for their team building ideas.

Wedding Tips at Donnington Valley

When planning for your wedding day, catering will be one of the biggest decisions you will make. The food is one of the main things your guests will remember from the day, what they had, was there enough, was there too little and how did the food reflect you as a couple? Here are our best tips.

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When it comes to deciding on catering for your big day there are a number of choices: a traditional three course wedding breakfast; a relaxed summer barbecue or even a Champagne afternoon tea. Try and be different – and think about the best bits from previous weddings you would have attended. Make it more about you and your partner.

Upon arrival following your ceremony, guests might be a little peckish; the perfect little appetiser would be individually handmade canapés. Time of year is key as to what this might entail – hot, cold, heavy or fresh. You might want the freedom to choose, some venues are more flexible here than others.

Drinks are also a very important part of the day and not everyone wants to drink, though some do! A range of beverages for your reception depending on the time of year including a Summer Pimms or hot winter cider toddy will go down well and don’t have to break the bank.

The main meal, often called the wedding breakfast, can come in a variety of guises – and our Head Chef, Kelvin Johnson, is happy to design a menu for our guests’ wedding day. Kelvin’s menus are influenced by the seasons, using the freshest ingredients from our local suppliers. Importantly for many, wines to compliment your menu sounds like a minefield but needn’t – our award winning wine sommelier, Chris Neeves would assist on selecting exactly what went with your chosen dish. Whatever you choose though, again consider what you and your partner like.

It is also nice to cater for others for example the vegetarians and children who might need something different to the rest. At Donnington we create ‘Little Meals’ – mini fish & chip cones or mini burgers and chips . If you have a large number of evening guests attending or have a family with a large appetite, a finger buffet is perfect, and we are able to customise to suit any dietary requirements. If you fancy something simple; a bacon, egg or sausage roll will go down a treat too and once the party starts can often be the saving grace!

And throughout the evening, something fun will keep everyone entertained and energy levels high! How about going for your favourite retro sweets, a popcorn machine or even candy floss! A great Summer treat is a slush machine which you can make alcoholic, adults only or even an ice cream stand- everyone loves ice cream!

It can be overwhelming trying to accommodate all of your family and friends’ needs. But most importantly remember the day is your day, and if you choose to have it at Donnington, we are here to make your day as special and memorable for you as possible.

Wedding Tips at Donnington Valley

Choosing a wedding venue is a source of great enjoyment – but also can be one of the most stressful and difficult decisions of the occasion. Our Special events co-ordinator Katie Foulds gives a few tips – her first in a series of top wedding tips – to help you plan the perfect day.

 Weddings at Donnington Valley.

When it comes to choosing a wedding reception venue there are of course a lot of factors which need to be taken into consideration. This can be very overwhelming to a couple and I often speak to brides who simply don’t know where to start.

The best place to start is for you to sit down and work out what type of reception venue you are drawn to. Are you interested in historical properties such as a country manor, castle, period hotel, or stately home? Maybe you’d prefer a barn style venue or even a marquee. I advise writing a list between you and your partner of what you’re looking for from a venue, such as: high ceilings, natural light, outside space, traditional features etc. By starting at this point you can easily eliminate the types of venues which don’t appeal to you both. This will instantly make the venue finding process easier and a lot less time consuming.

The next thing to do (if you haven’t already) is to plan your guest list. Knowing how many guests are attending your wedding reception will help eliminate down the venues that are too small or even too large for your needs. Having a number in mind also helps the venue quote for your wedding.

If you plan to hold your wedding ceremony at a different location from your wedding reception try to look for venues within a radius of a thirty minute drive from your chosen location.

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a list of approximately ten, get in touch with the venues and organise a show round with the wedding co-ordinator.

When making your first enquiry always give the venue the following details:

  •  You and your fiancé/e’s full name
  •  The number of guests you’re interested in having attend your ceremony and/ or reception
  •   A date if you have one (if you don’t have a date, a rough month and year will always help give you an accurate quote)

Giving these details will mean the wedding co-ordinator at your venue can give you a quote as accurately as possible to your requirements and budget.

 

 

Trim up for holiday, hit those target areas

The sunny weather and social season is upon us and in the back of your mind you will have that niggling wish you’d done those extra couple of minutes in the gym, attended that spin class or lifted a heavier weight. Phoebe McCully our Senior Fitness Instructor helps you make that change.

Trim up for holiday

If you always do the same routine in the gym, your body won’t make the changes you want to see. Yes you might have seen some positive developments in the beginning but as you go on, your body adapts to what you are doing and will plateau. So make a change and get the results you want.

Try a different cardio machine that will work you harder. For example if you always tend to use the treadmill switch to the Stair Climber, you’ll feel your heart rate pick up, helping to push those fitness levels higher. The Stair Climber will also help add some toning work to your legs.

Try a different exercise for the muscle you want to train. By changing your routine around, you will find that you will be bringing other muscles in to play that you wouldn’t have used before, helping you get that shape and toned look you have been fighting for. There are many different exercises you can use to tone and strengthen each body part. For example, if you always do squats to help train your lower body, why not try a walking lunge? It still trains your lower body as well as hitting different areas.

Try swimming; this is also a great form of all-round exercise. It’s ideal if you want to be more active and stay healthy, whatever your age or ability. Swimming can help tone muscles, correct posture and improve core stability. Try to vary your strokes to eliminate boredom and ensure every muscle group gets a workout.

Try a class

If the thought of pushing weights or different exercises bores you, then classes are surprisingly easy and addictive alternative – and prove results.

If your target area is to train and strengthen your core, then come along to one of our abs classes; you will come away with new ideas. Aimed at giving you an intense workout to strengthen the core abdominal and lower back muscles, it will help you get over that plateau. Or for better body tone and shape, Body Toning class will sculpt the entire body, helping you burn fat, gain strength and produce lean muscle.

This month why don’t you try and get yourself out of your comfort zone and make the changes, so you get to see the results you want?

Local Events this July

Summer is upon us and the British Social Season is here with plenty to do in West Berkshire: why not plan a couple of days out to enjoy the great British weather with the family.

July

Summer Street Party
Saturday 4th July
Kick start your Saturday shopping trip and join Parkway’s incredible summer street party. The Street Party will include a whole host of entertainment for all the family from Covent Garden performers, live music, and free face-painting. There are also some fantastic offers to be used in Parkway stores on the day.


Newbury Balloon Festival
Friday 17th July – Saturday 19th July
Although balloon weather is not always guaranteed, this event is a weekend packed with activities and entertainment for everyone. Enjoy live music every day from local bands and performers, a giant funfair and various ‘have-a-go’ activities. There is plenty to see and do for all ages.


Champagne Summer Jazz lunch
Sunday 19 July
Our sister hotel The Vineyard at Stockcross offers the perfect Summer Sunday; live jazz, great food and unlimited Champagne! Sit back, relax and listen to the soulful sounds of jazz whilst enjoying a three course lunch and unlimited Champagne with friends and family.


Donnington Valley Hotel Wedding Open Evening
Monday 20th July
Needing a bit of inspiration for the big day, come along and join Donnington Valley Hotel for our wedding open evening. Discuss your plans for your special day and book a guided tour with our dedicated wedding coordinator. We’d love to show you around and spend time with you to completely understand your wedding day wishes.
Whether you prefer a small and intimate gathering or a larger event, the flexible design of our elegant spaces offers you a wide choice of size, layout and entertainment. To make sure that everything goes exactly to plan.


West Berkshire Brewery Tours
Saturday 25th July
Why not support a local brewery come on a tour and gain first hand insight into all parts of the brewing process from the arrival of the raw ingredients to the finished article and, of course, there’s always plenty to sample. Get your friends together to join for a guided tour a few pints of beer and take a glass home for the goodies you can purchase in the shop open on the day.