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18th Dec 2017

Only six more sleeps; the most Christmassy things to do in our wonderful part of the country

Through 2017 Barr Group projects have extended across Oxon, Berks and Bucks, with hotspots in Great Missenden, Tring, Marlow, Henley, Wallingford, North Oxford, Thame and their surrounding villages… not to mention some great commercial and designer projects in London. What a fabulous catchment!

With only 6 more sleeps ’til Christmas we thought we would share some of the exciting Christmassy things the Barr Group team are planning to get up to in our very special part of the country. Of course, having nearly finished designing, building, plastering, machining, joining and decorating, we will have plenty of time on our hands to soak up some special Christmas outings.

Starting close to Barr HQ, excitement in Thame is reaching its seasonal peak as the much-awaited Black Horse hits opening day. The newest addition to Raymond Blanc’s White Brasserie Company and the first this side of the Chilterns. It is set to be a relaxed retreat, welcoming families and even four legged friends. Grab your diary and message your friends http://blackhorsethame.com. The Barr Group newsletter team were given a privileged sneak preview last week, click here to read more.

Whilst in Thame pop into ‘What’s Cooking’ on the High Street for a perfect UE Roast coffee and some fabulous Christmas edibles. We can vouch for the cloth-wrapped Montgomery Cheddar Truckle or Stichelton (a raw milk stilton), along with a rope hung Italian Panettone. Events Manager Anwen has managed to make the shop front effortlessly Christmassy - an inspiration for a ‘less is more’ traditional look.

We will also, of course, be visiting the fabulous Christmas Imaginarium at Waddesdon Manor. The display continues until Jan 2nd so there is no excuse to miss it. This year’s light and sound show was created by the Guildhall School. Complete with roaming porcelain animals, dancing musical clocks, fluttering clouds of butterflies and moths and spirited 18th-century portraits it is, as always, totally out of this world. Whilst exploring the grounds don’t forget to visit the Stables Courtyard, where you can grab a vin chaud or hot chocolate, pull up a sheepskin covered seat under the outdoor heaters and soak up the atmosphere – nothing will feel more Christmassy this side of Scandinavia!

Another bright local star is the fabulous Native Feasts who have ambushed the area with a season of celebratory pop-up Christmas banquets, culminating on New Year’s Eve with a grand finale at Coopers Marlow. Food and drink gurus Chris Godfrey and Greg Jones are the minds and hands behind this avant-garde pop-up restaurant model. Passionate about food (and with a Michelin star under his belt) Chris is focusing on flavour, seasonality and quality British produce. This, alongside Greg’s passion for all things liquid whether it be organic wine, single origin coffee or craft beer, has proved a simply spectacular combination. New Year’s Eve tickets were still available when writing this article but if it has sold out (and it would not be a surprise) keep an eye out for these guys in 2018. 

According to yet another local gastronomic guru, Tom Kerridge, (although our clients in and around other Berks and Bucks gorgeous market towns may not agree) there isn’t a more Christmassy place than Marlow. His pop up cinema restaurant nights are certainly testament to a special Christmas offering. With the Gourmet Picture Company a screen date has never been so fabulous; picture red velvet sofas, your favourite tipple, your favourite Christmas film and supper prepared by one of the best chefs in the business. Venues in and around Marlow include Bisham Abbey, Riley Park and All Saints Church amongst others. 

Should you be further into Bucks fear not - another great seasonal big screen experience is sweeping Beaconsfield with the Neighbourhood Cinema.What could be more Christmassy than watching Love Actually on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd in St Michael’s Church. Avail of the ‘date night snuggle bundle’ with prosecco, blankets, popcorn and ice cream. Alternatively, The Santa Clause, Elf or The Night Before Christmas with a ‘family snuggle bundle’ with mulled wine sorbet for mum and dad and little elves feast boxes for the kids!

If you are after a simple Christmassy pleasure look no further than our stunning countryside on a frosty morning. Grab a dog or an energetic bobble-hatted child (borrow if you don’t have one of your own, people are surprisingly willing to loan them out) don your wellies and take a yomp. We defy you not to feel that Christmas tingle!

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