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Superflashy newsflash

Movers, groovers and gossipers I have news. We’re talking new foodie hotspots, hot new hotel openings and a new gin garden.


Exciting times Surrey peeps! There’s no doubt the hospitality industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, but it’s not all bad news. A new restaurant – Island House – is opening in the former ASK Italian venue in Reigate, promising ‘heavenly food and luscious food all day long.’ We’re told the menu will have global influences and will be available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And drinks don’t play second fiddle, there will be a good choice of coffees and cocktails. Sounds just about perfect. The planned open date is mid August.


Already open and doing a storming trade is Cullenders Parkside which took over the Bell Street venue left vacant by the closure of French restaurant La Barbe. The new restaurant, owned and run by locals Marc and Joelle Cullender, opened a couple of weeks ago for coffees, breakfast, brunch and lunch, and there are plans to add a dinner service soon too. The vibe is informal and family focussed.


Reigate residents really are the lucky ones. New foodie hotspots are springing up in this trendy market town like mushrooms after the rain. Flint House coffee shop opens in Bell Street tomorrow (Fri 31 July) offering breakfast, lunch bowls, sandwiches and sweet treats as well as a range of tasty artisan deli goods to take home. The owner is chef Simon Flint, former executive chef at the National Theatre. He’s also had stints at The Ivy, The Groucho Club, Le Caprice and J Sheekey. Well hello Mr Flint! Reigate is happy to have you!


If you fancy a bit of five-star frippery, Tony Parkin at the Tudor Room at Great Fosters in Egham is now open for lunch on a Saturday. The Michelin-starred restaurant will open for intimate evening sittings on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Thursday August 6. It’ll be an exceptional and intimate dining experience, with a just 10 diners at a time.


It’s been a busy time at Barnett Hill Hotel in Guildford. As well as a range of take away and finish-at-home suppers, the hotel is now offering al fresco dining, picnics and garden walks. The hotel is also open and offering discounted rates. Plus there’s the Silent Pool Gin alfresco afternoon teas. Phew! I’m not sure how I’ll fit it all in.


Listen up cake lovers! Bella’s, a new cafe, opens in Coulsdon this weekend (Aug 1) in the space that used to be Little Lambs play centre on Chipstead Valley Road. There’s a gorgeous selection of cakes and speciality sweet treats to choose from, as well as gorgeous grazing boxes and platters – for eat in or to take away.


Meanwhile, a happy outcome of the Covid crisis has been the now permanent addition of takeaway artisan pizzas from The Cricketers on the Green in Pirbright. The pub reopened for dine-in guests earlier this month but you must book first. But the wood-fired pizzas were such a hit with the locals that they’re here to stay. Check out the pizza menu here.



Reigate Ayurvedic Practitioner, Claire Paphitis – aka The Ayurvedic Coach – is releasing her first book – so if you don’t know your Pitta from your Vata or your Kapha, this book’s for you. Balance Your Agni addresses the connection between gut health and mental health and how balancing digestion and boosting immunity will help improve wellbeing. Claire wants to help people who are drawn to Ayurveda apply it to their lives. She has clinics in Reigate and London. Balance Your Agni is published by Ebury on Thurs 13 Aug, costs £8.99 and is available to pre-order though Penguin, Amazon or Waterstones.



Fairmount HOtel and Spa Windsor Park digital image

We’re suckers for high thread count bed linen and five-star service, so we’re bobbing up like meerkats when we heard the Savill Court Hotel & Spa in Windsor was having the mother of all facelifts. Say hello to the new Fairmount Windsor Park, a multi-million pound fully refurbished 210-bed stunner with spa – and one of the hottest new hotel openings. No expense has been spared – this is a conveyor belt of indulgence – tea lounge, restaurant, Champagne bar, all-day brasserie, gin bar, pillarless ball room, indoor lap pool, outdoor vitality pool, treatment rooms, salt room, Hammam, Japanese foot spa. It was due to open this year, but Covid has set things back, so our date with luxury will have to wait until early 2021.


Good news for Painshill, the 18th century gardens in Cobham, which has been given a £250,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help in its financial recovery from the Covid-19 lockdown. Designed in the 18th century by Charles Hamilton, Painshill fell into ruins until it was saved by the Painshill Trust in the 1980s. Hamilton designed the garden as a walk through a work of art, taking the viewer past theatrically placed follies, a Serpentine lake, vineyard and a heritage collection of trees and shrubs.

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