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Fun & Festive Carols

Sam Bertram

26 November 2018

It’s really getting festive so we thought we’d ask around for people’s favourite carol singing & concerts happening in the county. Nothing gets you in the spirit quite like a good old sing song!   1. If you’re looking for a spectacular venue then head to Salisbury Cathedral for BBC Wiltshire carol service on Saturday 8th December at 5.00pm to 6.30pm or the Carols by Candlelight on 22nd & 23rd December.    2. The popular Imber Festival of Carols at the deserted village of Imber on Salisbury Plain at 2.30pm on Saturday 22nd December. Places are limited to 250 so get your tickets early.   3. Enjoy carols in the beautiful surrounding of Malmesbury Abbey – Malmesbury Singers Christmas concert is on Saturday 8th December at 7.30pm and the Youth Action Wiltshire Carol Service is on Friday 14th December at 7.30pm.   4. Set in the stunning Marlborough College Chapel is a Christmas Carol Concert in aid of Hopes and Homes for Children. A great way to kick off the holiday – Saturday 15th December 4.00pm – 01672 562777 for tickets or from The White Horse Bookshop or Kim Vine.. Performers include the Great Bedwyn Millennium Choir, Blue Belles, Children's choir from Oare and Ogbourne Primary Shools & organist Chris de Souza. Tickets £10 - children under 12 free.    5. For an evening of Christmas wonderfulness head to The Invitation Theatre Company's Christmas Concert at St John's Church, Devizes on Saturday 15th December at 7.00pm. Raising money for Devizes Open Doors & Wiltshire air ambulance it also stars the Devizes Children's Choir. Tickets are £6 and available from Devizes books. Julia House's annual Carols by Candlelight is also at St John's Church on Tuesday 4th December at 7.00pm. This year Kris Marshall (star of My Family, Love Actually and Death in Paradise) will be reading at the event along with BBC's Flog it presenter and antiques expert Paul Martin. There will also be live camels!   6. If in Box there's an evening of carols, poems and fun readings called 'A Celebration for Christmas' at the Methodist Church in Box on Saturday 8th December at 7.30pm. Admission is free but there'll be a retiring collection for Action for Children.   7. If you're near Tisbury this free event at Messums Wiltshire sounds wonderful. On Saturday 22nd December at 6.00pm join 200 voices, including local choirs for an experience like no other this Christmas. Just bring your voice and best Christmas wishes and help them raise the roof of the building. Donations in aid of St John's Church East Window Appeal. The bar will be open for mulled wine, drinks and their homemade sausage rolls.   8. A visit to the beautiful stones of Avebury could be followed by a concert by Avebury Vocal Ensemble at St James on Sunday 9th December at 7.30pm.   9. Join the Seend Singers at Cleeve House, Seend for Christmas Carols & songs on Wednesday 12th December at 7.30pm.   10. On Saturday 8th December at 7.30pm the Rotary Club Christmas Extravaganza is on at St Andrew's Church, Chippenham. Featuring the Colerne Military Wiltshire Wives Choir and the Wiltshire Police Band and hosted by Amanda Parr from BBC Points West. Tickets £10.   11. Pop into Pewsey Fire Station on Saturday 8th December for an evening of Christmas carols from 6.30pm to 7.45pm. Mulled wine, mince pies and singing from the Pewsey Male Voice Choir.   12. The George & Dragon in Rowde have Christmas Carols on Sunday 23rd December. Complimentary minced pies & mulled wine at the pub from 4-5pm followed by carols at the church at 6.00pm. Return back to the pub for a 2 course traditional Christmas supper £17.50 per person (limited availability, bookings only).    13. John Rutter conducts 'A Camerata Christmas' at Holy Trinity Church in Bradford on Avon at 5.00pm on Sunday 23rd December      Got some more suggestions? Contact us on Twitter or Facebook or email us on hello@localuncovered.com and we’ll add them in.

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Christmas recipes with a twist

Sam Bertram

6 November 2018

We spoke to The Wiltshire Liqueur Company’s Tiffinie Pride about her favourite recipes & cocktails using her liqueurs, and why we should be stocking up for Christmas. Why should we be buying your liqueurs? ‘They are incredibly versatile – they are great on their own but also brilliant as a basis for cocktails and in cooking. We have lots of cocktail and recipe ideas on our website - they’re perfect to keep drinks and food interesting through the festive season. My favourite cocktail is one I conceived after a hard day’s slog in the office. It’s still my go to drink after a long day.  ‘Damson in Distress’ has Damson Vodka, Ginger Ale and Ice and if I’m feeling flush I add a mint leaf. My favourite recipe is a bit summery but it’s just so delicious I have to share. At a fair someone once told me they mix Blood Orange with Olive Oil and mustard to make a salad dressing. We’ve eaten it with fresh peas, mozzarella and Parma ham and it is so yummy.  Perfect for dinner parties as a light starter. Craft is a bar in Greenwich in London that stock our liqueurs. They make a delicious cocktail called SE10 made up of our Wild Strawberry, Gin, honey and black pepper. It is amazing!’ What should we be cooking up for Christmas? ‘Christmas cake soaked in Blood Orange rather than brandy is so good. People are starting to make their Christmas cakes at this time of year so if you’re looking to do something different this could be the answer. You just feed your cake with Blood Orange in the same way you would with brandy. We’ve also got a great Nigel Slater recipe on the website.  Pheasant and Sloe Gin – really good and perfect with the shooting season upon us, and lots of winter entertaining to be done. On Christmas day serve any of our liqueurs with Champagne.  We have a name for every combination – Sloepagne, Damshame, Bloodyfizz & Chamberry. And it doesn’t just have to be Christmas day it could be Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or indeed any time you’re drinking during the festive season! Another Christmassy treat is Sloe Gin or Blood Orange chocolate truffles. Really yummy and they make great homemade presents to thank someone for their hospitality or serve with coffee. I’m thinking of having a gift box at fairs which has some small liqueur bottles and truffles. So if you see me at any fairs please do ask about them and tell me what you think.  Everything else is available to buy online so you can get it anytime and even better the price includes postage and packaging. There’s no excuse for not getting creative in the kitchen this season!’ And Christmas Gifts? ‘All our full size bottles can be ordered online and have personalised labels at no extra cost. We’ve had some funny requests for labels. The one that sticks in my mind the most is ‘Kevin loves pink ponies’. I didn’t like to delve too deep about what that was about! Most people put a name and there are lots of puns on the word sloe ‘for your Sloe investment’ or ‘Drink it Sloe-ly’.  Our gift packs of smaller bottles are only available at fairs. We can be found at Marlborough Feast of Food, Beaufort Hunt, Highclere Castle and a couple of school Christmas fairs like Pinewood and St Francis in Pewsey. Check our website to see where else we’ll be. Our liqueurs are also extremely popular for corporate gifts. You could give every employee a bottle with their name on the label – we’ve done that in the past and it went down a storm. Or give them to clients with your company name on the label or a cracking phrase to show your creativity! http://www.wiltshireliqueur.com/  

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Avebury Day

Sam Bertram

6 September 2018

Avebury Day happens very two years and is back for 2018 on Saturday 8th September.  A fabulous fair set against the backdrop of the historical Avebury stones. Fun for all the family. Find the action at Avebury Sports Field, Beckhampton Road, Avebury, SN8 1RD (Between the monument and the visitor car park). There is a marquee lunch from midday (re-booking essential as limited seating - email yesplease@aveburyday.org.uk) with the main action kicking off at 1.00pm. Highlights include the Beer tent and Cheeky Dog Show at 3.00pm.   You can also find: - Ferret Racing - Chariot Racing - Bar - BBQ - Mobile animal farm - Handmade Cakes - Ice Cream - Live Music - Freshly ground coffee - Magic tricks & games - Morris Dancing - Classic Cars - Vintage Steam Engine - Vintage Fire Engine - Pony Rides - Traditional and Ancient Crafts - Crafts (flint knapping, wool spinning, leather and metal working) - Face Painting - Tractor Rides - The Wiltshire Bee Centre - Outdoor Skittles - Splat the Rat - Coconut Shy - The Stocks - Human Fruit Machine - Tombola - Raffle - Traditional Village Fete Games - Tarot Reading - Toy Stalls - Bouncy Castle - Mega Slide - Assault Course - Balloon Modelling - Toy Tractors - Giant Garden Games And More.....    

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Full Flavour Behaviour

Sam Bertram

6 September 2018

Recently voted UK’s most authentic pub by Alastair Sawday, it’s fitting that The Three Tuns Great Bedwyn chef & owner James Wilsey along with good friend Tamara have just set-up a catering arm ‘Full Flavour Behaviour” serving upmarket but casual food. We spoke to business partner Tamara Spencer to hear all about it.   Love the name, tell us a bit about it ‘It’s all about family style feasting and Full Flavour Behaviour reflects the fact that there are lots of different elements to the sharing meal.  We wanted to set-up a different style of catering company, something much more casual. It’s all about sharing plates and minimal service as everyone just tucks in. It’s a much more social way of eating - getting a caterer doesn’t have to mean everything is formal.  The inspiration comes from community eating where everyone chats and laughs and there’s an easier atmosphere. It’s taking what people enjoy in the pub to people’s houses and is most suited to gathering of up to 30 people’.   What sort of food do you serve? ‘We can do anything but as an example we’ve done an event where a beautiful plate of slow cooked smoked lamb shoulder took pride of place in the middle of the table. It was served with peas a la francaise (peas cooked in bacon and onions) along with the most delicious garlic aioli and gremolata. It was absolutely delicious with a lovely jus and exploded with flavour. We’ve also done a table filled with lots of smoked meats and fish and James’ homemade pickled cucumber, slaws and cornichons. For one event our puddings were meringues and strawberries, raspberries, mint and pistachio. It’s a more rustic style of catering – an upmarket street food.’   How do you work? ‘When a client wants to work with us we come up with a whole solution of things that might be suitable. We can also do as much or as little service as the client wants us to. Our first job in June was for a 70th birthday.  Everyone loved it and there were empty plates and smiles all round!    And plans for the future? ‘James’ ultimate goal is to have a food truck so watch this space…. But in the meantime, please do get in touch – we’d love to make your party one that your friends will remember.’   Please call Tamara on 07900 788440 or email fullflavour@tunsfreehouse.com  

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