Hey there, busy lady – have you heard the latest? We’ve got the hottest news in a handy-dandy round-up for you.
There’s a new pub on the horizon with North Hants about to gain The Great Escape Pub. Specifics are vague at the moment, but there’s a promise of award-winning craft beer, cider and spirits at this “micropub” and also the chance to take away drinks in eco-friendly containers.
Also, Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst has recently unveiled a whopping £4 million expansion plan which promises 38 brand new rooms on-site. The planning permission hasn’t yet been granted, but the idea is to take the current 54-room hotel to the next level when it comes to events, allowing people to choose to host larger gatherings in the New Forest rather than schlepping to Bournemouth, Southampton and Winchester.
Another new development is the relaunch of Winchester’s top waxing salon, Swit Swoo, under the brand new name Richmond House Beauty. The luxe beauty spot will feature a brand new state of the art salon, as well as brand new name and treatments. It’s officially launching this month and we can’t wait!
Switching up things is boutique hotel Spot In The Woods. The well-loved hotel was owned by the Basset family, the late Gerard Basset being part of the original driving force behind Hotel du Vin. The hotel has now changed hands to Hillbrooke Hotels who also own The Master Builders.
There’s also been a couple of closures *sob*. First on the list The Botleigh Grange Hotel. Following a rough start to the year, the historic building (apparently Cromwell stayed there once) has closed and new buyers are being sought for it.
Another closure is Southampton’s Gatehouse 1833. This rooftop spot at the city’s Royal Pier has shut BUT according to the building’s owners – Kuti’s Brasserie – there’s big plans in the pipeline for this quirky location. Watch this space.
Love a TedX talk? Don’t fancy flying to a far-flung corner of the globe to watch one? Then the announcement of TEDxWinchester will surely delight. Mark the 25th March in your calendar, as the county’s capital will become a hub of insight, inspiration and downright interesting stuff. The events are self-organised and with the fascinating people we have in Hampshire, I can’t wait to see who will be speaking.
As the weather gets warmer (wishful thinking much?) we draw our attention to festival season. There’s been a couple of big announcements already for line-ups with The Streets, local ledge Craig David, Blossoms and Ian Brown all being tipped for this year’s Victorious Festival on the August Bank Holiday.
Over on the Island, boutique fest Rhythm Tree has announced two of its first acts – The Skatalites and beanie-wearing Badly Drawn Boy.
Over on the Island, there’s been an exciting discovery… if only for a short time. Guest Relations Manager of The Hut in Colwell Bay, Pippa Fairweather, went viral recently on her discovery of a fossilised dinosaur tail of an iguanodon. The impressive specimen was found at the bottom of a crumbling cliff face in Brighstone however attempts to extract it failed and it’s now sadly fallen into the sea. We’ll always have the Instagram pics though.
And a right Royal(ish) visit…
And finally, The Queen has been in town… weeeeell, Olivia Coleman. Winchester residents spotted the cast of Netflix smash, The Crown, filming around the city at the end of January. The rumour is that the fictionalised version of Charles and Di’s wedding has been filmed at the cathedral, but we’ll have to wait for the new season to come out in November or December to confirm. Exciting stuff!