Saturday, 4 November 2017

Dining in Style in Teatro

Piano in the bar.
Carlo Vuolo reviews Teatro, the new restaurant at Ingleside.
Cirencester’s newest dining venue, Teatro, opened its doors fully on Saturday 21st October, following a ‘soft’ opening on Friday 6th October, with a 25% discount on the menu, the bar and restaurant had received many positive reviews from customers.

Teatro Bar and Restaurant is part of Ingleside House in Beeches Road, and has replaced the popular music venue The Vaults, which has now moved to The Golden Farm Inn. The rooms have been decorated to an exceptionally high standard and each of the four separate dining areas has its own style, from the bright and colourful Flamingo Room to the cosy and intimate Booth. The bar area is open and light, with a range of seating options. There is a lovely courtyard area outside which will surely prove very popular on summer evenings.

Jan and I had a table booked on the opening night for 7.30 but as the place was fairly quiet at that time we decided to sample a couple of the twenty-four different gins on offer in the bar. Ollie, Ollie and Callum, the three bartenders, were most helpful and, having recently endured a marathon tasting session themselves, as part of their induction, were able to recommend suitable pre-dinner libations. My Dauntless gin with elderflower cordial, fresh raspberries, a sprig of rosemary and Fevertree tonic (Cinchona tree bark contains quinine, used as a remedy for malaria – geddit?) was very refreshing and a perfect aperitif whilst Jan’s Cotswold gin tonic and a bayleaf certainly hit the spot.

We enjoyed some nibbles as we perused the menu. Lamb koftas with mint yoghurt for me (slightly too salty on their own but perfect with the yoghurt) and fried haloumi with mixed herbs for Jan, very tasty. For starters I chose the soup of the day, curried sweet potato, which was thick and smooth but perhaps not as spicy as I expected, whilst Jan’s wild mushroom arancini were delicious.

The ten main course options were fairly standard, fish, chicken lamb and beef all featured with a couple of vegetarian/vegan options, but the range of fresh ingredients and subtle twists made choosing quite testing. I was tempted by the wagyu beefburger but opted for the braised wagyu short rib ragu with hand rolled herb tagliatelle. The beef was lean and tender, the sauce rich and tagliatelle perfectly al dente. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. Jan’s artichoke tart with sautéed new potatoes and baby vegetables was good but rather a small portion and perhaps not something to choose if just having a main course, but as part of a two or three course meal would not leave one feeling overfull.

We selected a beautifully smooth Neropasso red from the Veneto region of Italy to accompany our first two courses but consulted the resident ‘gin expert’, Maitre d’ LisaMarie, to recommend something to go with our deserts. My excellent white chocolate
Chefs at work.
panna cotta was paired with Williams Chase grapefruit gin and Jan’s apple, fig and almond tarte tatin was perfectly complimented by Ophir gin with red chillies, both with Fevertree tonic, and both combinations pronounced wonderful.

My only criticisms of what was a lovely evening are 1) when you placed your knife or fork on the odd bowl-shaped plates they slid down into the food, and 2) the music from the bar was too loud from the dining area speakers, although separate volume controls in each room are due to be fitted shortly.

The music from the bar! Resident pianist, Steven Reid-Williams, who has toured with Boyzone and The Undertones as well as his own band, performs on most Friday and Saturday evenings. Outstanding both technically and vocally, it would be worth spending an evening in the bar enjoying his music even if not dining. I would pay good money to watch him in a different context.

Overall Teatro promises to be a ‘go to’ venue for lovers of fine dining, a relaxed atmosphere and an essentially classy ambience. Clearly no corners have been cut to create Cirencester’s latest and perhaps finest bar and restaurant. (Other dining experiences are available). At present Teatro is open in the evening from Thursday to Saturday, and Sunday lunchtimes. There are plans to extend this gradually, and to offer themed evenings with cuisines from around the world. For those going to see a production at the Barn Theatre, a pre-performance meal, from 5.30, would make a complete West End experience in Cirencester.

Corinium Museum Exhibitions & Events

The Corinium Museums facade.
& Events

November 2017

Found Fired and Fabulous
Mixed Craft exhibition
2 November – 26 November

Found objects, fired glass and ceramics become unique, colourful and delicate creations in a fabulous exhibition by five local artists. Marion Mitchell translates watercolour into fantastic ceramic sculptures and bowls. Amanda Moriarty's utilises dynamic colour to create unique kiln-fired glass. Tara Davidson’s new ‘Poetry in Porcelain’ and rusty gold-edged bowls are inspired by her life and firing processes. Hannah Mathison's reclaimed metal and wood sculptures transport you to a world of inspiration and creativity. Gourd and Horse presents a range of functional handcrafted stoneware including yarn bowls, orchid pots and tableware. 
Perfect gifts for Christmas.

Admission free
All work for sale

Landscapes and Seascapes
Mini Exhibition by Derek Taylor
2 November – 2 December
A collection of artwork featuring watercolour and acrylic paintings. From ships on vivid blue seas to tranquil countryside and woodland scenes. Derek Taylor is an artist from Malmesbury whose love of colour has inspired his varied and interesting work.

Included in admission
Art work for sale

Revealing a New Collection
Afternoon Talk with James Harris
Thursday 9 November, 2.30-4pm

Come and see the big reveal and learn about a metal-detected collection from the Cotswold Water Parks which spans from the Bronze Age to post-Medieval. What stories can nearly 400 objects tell us about one site? See the real objects. This one is not to be missed!

Cost: £6.75 per adult, £5.75 for season ticket holders
Booking recommended

Their Finest
Corinium Cinema
Thursday 9 November, 7pm

A British film crew attempts to boost morale during World War II by making a propaganda film about the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk. Starring Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin.

Cost: £6.25 per adult, £5.25 concessions
Run time: 1 hr. 54 min.  (12A)
Booking recommended

The Corinium Sessions
Special Event
Friday 10 November, 8-10pm

A musical fundraising event for the ‘Stone Age to Corinium’ project.

Following the Success of our first sessions join us once again for a magical night of Music amongst the Mosaics. A chance to enjoy the very best of local original talent and Cirencester’s rich heritage, whilst raising funds towards the Stone Age to Corinium project.

We welcome the incredible Elles Bailey - 'One to Watch for 2017'.  Local duo ‘A New Leaf,’ ‘Counter Measures’ whose vocal stylings breathe life into songs new and old, alongside the amazing singer songwriter Emily-Jane Sheppard. Refreshments available. Under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult. Doors open 7:45pm.

Cost: £10 per adult, £9 for Season ticket holders
Booking recommended

Calligraphy - Roman Capitals
Adult Workshop with Adele Dark
Thursday 16 November, 10-1pm

Look at the original Roman Capital lettering carved into stone in the Corinium Museum collections. With artist Adele Dark, learn about the form and design of Roman Capital letters as used in calligraphy. Practicing this ancient art, you will design a panel about you including your name.

Adele Dark, Artist and Calligrapher, is a fully qualified teacher who has worked with museums, art centres and schools both in Jersey and the UK. Adele is member of the Society of Scribes and a printmaking graduate. Visit

Cost: £25 per adult, £22 for season ticket holders
Booking essential

The Year 1217
Afternoon Talk with Tim Porter
Thursday 16 November, 2-4pm

800 years ago England was in the throes of a massive insurrection and a foreign invasion. That it survived intact and retained its ruling dynasty, was down to one 70 year old man – William Marshall the Regent. This talk will tell the story of an amazing, epic year of war, intrigue and larger-than-life characters.

Cost: £6.75 per adult, £5.75 for season ticket holders
Booking recommended

Evening Lecture with Dominic Sandbrook
Thursday 23 November, 7-8.30pm

Join author and TV presenter Dominic Sandbrook for an evening lecture in the Corinium Museum. Dominic Sandbrook is the author of many books, most recently The Great British Dream Factory: The Strange History of Our National Imagination, published by Penguin Books. He is the presenter
Dominic Sandbrook
of a number of highly successful BBC television series, on subjects as diverse as the joys of the Volkswagen and the history of science fiction.  He writes reviews and articles principally for the Sunday Times and Daily Mail. Dominic will be happy to sign books after his talk.

In partnership with Waterstones and Penguin Books

Cost: £6.75 per adult, £5.75 for season ticket holders
Booking recommended

Rural Cinema - The Promise
Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 November - 2.15pm

Cost: £5.20 per adult, £4.40 concession
Booking recommended

Animal Magnetism
Exhibition by Anita Saunders
30 November – 7 January

Anita Saunders is a figurative artist, printmaker and illustrator taking inspiration from the stunning rural setting of the Cotswolds in the UK. Growing up surrounded by the natural beauty of the Cotswolds; the people, animals and plants of her childhood delighted and fascinated her.

This exhibition shares Anita’s love and admiration for the natural world, expressed through a variety of media: paintings, textiles and print making. Beautiful artworks and furnishings for the country home. Perfect gifts for Christmas.

Free admission
All art works for sale

Anglo-Saxon Gloucestershire
Evening Lecture with Carolyn Heighway
Thursday 30 November, 7-8.30pm
Carolyn Heighway will discuss Gloucestershire from the end of Roman rule to the coming of the Normans. It is a long period, over 600 years, and only thinly documented through at least the first half of that time. Drawing on archaeological evidence alongside the written word, Carolyn will build up a picture of Anglo-Saxon life in the county. 

Carolyn Heighway is an archaeological consultant with special expertise in the archaeology of Gloucester and the Anglo-Saxon period. She is a director, with her husband Richard Bryant, of Past Historic.

Cost: £6.75 per adult, £5.75 for season ticket holders
Booking recommended

Contact details:
Corinium Museum, Park Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2BX
T: 01285 655611 E: 

Please contact us if you would like any further details or images for any of the events that we are holding.

M.A.P.S Tyre Maintenance Tips

Motoring with M.A.P.S. by Jonathan Wills
Tyre Wear and Topping Up Tips

A happy tyre.
As the darkening autumn nights advance upon us and we say goodbye to the long days of - a pretty wet at times - summer, it is time to think about the additional dangers that the forthcoming winter brings upon the motorist. Not only extra hours of darkness, but leaves and debris blown onto the roads, blinding low sunsets and a later morning sunrise glinting off wet roads. Plus the frost, fog, ice etc, and of course, other road users not paying attention or simply making human errors.

As wondrous as the modern motor car is with its bi-xenon lights, Iphone connectivity, park assist and the rest, one thing that has not changed at all is that all cars are connected to planet earth via four bits of rubber with each contact area not much bigger than the palm of your hand. A problem with modern motor cars is they are normally shod with very wide, low profile tyres which are great for sharp handling. But it does mean the inner edge of the tyre, even when on full steering lock is seldom seen.

Time for a change.
A stark reminder of how different both edges of the same tyre can be was brought home to me as I was working on a car recently. The first image shows the tyre when fitted to the vehicle looking worn but not particularly dangerous. The second image shows the tyre off the car, and it is clearly illegal and very dangerous. It is always prudent to check your tyres regularly for road worthiness, check tread depth, damage to sidewalls bulges cuts and pressures regularly as run flat tyres can look fine when they are not.

It is also worth checking vehicle fluid levels more regularly especially washer fluid as you use it more this time of year on muddy Cotswold roads and you can be fined if found to have a empty washer bottle! If unsure any garage should oblige and help.  It’s surprising what a professional pair of eyes can spot!

Learn Through Exploration and Experimentation at Rodmarton Primary School

Rodmarton School Open Mornings
The clocks are changing, the leaves are falling, and the woods near Rodmarton Primary School are ringing to the sound of the pupils learning all about the outdoors!
Forest School complements the pupils’ classroom education by helping them learn through exploration and experimentation. They learn to master simple tools, collect wood, make shelters and dens, paint with mud and understand wildlife and nature.
Just 10 minutes from Cirencester, Rodmarton School - rated “good” by Ofsted in September 2016 - also offers Little Acorns, early morning and after school clubs (7.30am - 6pm), with after school activities ranging from tag rugby and football to drama, science, and arts and crafts. There is also a modern library, a resource/computing suite, and a huge 2.5 acre sports field.
As well as the annual intake of Reception children, there are places available across the school. Parents call it “a hidden gem” but come and see for yourself at our open mornings – 9am to 11am on Wednesday 15th and Wednesday 29th November.
Little Squirrels Stay, Play and Make group for preschoolers takes place in Rodmarton Village Hall (next to the school) from 1.15-2.45pm on Fridays during term time. Why not come along?

Contact the school on 01285 841284

Do you need expert advice on maintaining your beard, or are you looking for a new haircut?

James & Etienne
 The Bespoke Barber Company has recently opened its doors at 51 Dyer Street, Cirencester. The expert team are on hand, to offer advice on haircut styling and give tips on how to maintain and manage your look. They also specialise in shaping beards with open blades, hot towels and facial moisturising, to help maintain your beard in excellent condition.

The team includes James, who has over thirty year’s experience in hairdressing and who has owned Jamie Daniel Hair in the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham for twenty years. For the last ten years he has run the Bath Bridge Barbers in Tetbury. James specialises in barbering and both traditional and modern fashion hairstyling work.

Etienne who is twenty-two, has been barbering since leaving school and trained at the London School of Barbering in Covent Garden. His niche and specialism is skin fade hair-cuts and all things high fashion.

The Bespoke Barber Company is open at 7.30 am weekdays and 7.00 am on
Now you know where to find Bespoke
Barber Company!
Saturdays, when a walk-in service is available for a pre-work haircut. An appointment service on Thursday evenings is open from 4.30 pm until 7.30 pm and Sundays from 9.00 am until 2.00 pm.

To book an appointment and receive expert advice on your new haircut or beard maintenance, contact the team at Bespoke Barber Company on 01285 643555.

Fireworks with Alison Fielden & Co


It’s that time again where we celebrate King James I having survived the Gunpowder Plot on his life by Guy Fawkes and his accomplices on 5th November 1605. Since then the celebrations have developed from being known as Gunpowder Treason Day, to the modern Guy Fawkes, Bonfire or Fireworks Night.

Just as the name has changed over time, so too has the law on this subject. It’s important that retailers and consumers familiarise themselves with the legislation fully as the following is only a quick guide.

To store or sell fireworks you must register or obtain a licence from Trading Standards and offer them for sale for a few weeks over the Bonfire Night period, namely 15th October to the 10th November. To sell fireworks at any other time of the year (other than at times of other celebrations), you need a licence from either the local council or the local fire service. To store or sell over 2000kg of fireworks, a licence is needed from the Health & Safety Executive. You must not sell fireworks to under 18’s and all fireworks must comply with British Safety Standards.

You must be over 18yrs to buy fireworks and they must be bought from registered sellers for private use on the dates mentioned above. Under 18’s cannot be in possession of a firework and they must not be set off or thrown in a public place, this attracts a fine of up to £5000, or an “on-the-spot” fine of £90. Always check you are buying fireworks certified as meeting the British Safety Standards (displayed on the packaging).

 Animal Safety:
The Protection of Animals Act ensures that no unnecessary suffering is caused to our beloved pets by imposing up to a £5000 fine or six month’s imprisonment for offenders causing our four-legged friends harm.

The safest way to enjoy this occasion is to attend an organised display. If you are organising such an event, familiarise yourself with the rules and best practices to follow.

For full information and for help obtaining licences contact Jude Owen at Alison Fielden Solicitors on 01285 653261.

Corinium Radio Future is Looking Bright

DJ Alice with the cans on.
Corinium Radio doesn’t need a crystal ball to see what the years ahead have in store for the local station.

Volunteers at the Cirencester-based community radio are predicting that the future will be bright – at least if they can harness the youthful enthusiasm they’ve discovered recently.

The station’s youngest helper has hit the airwaves and has proved a real success.

Eight–year–old Alice has just put together a programme called ‘Alice’s Adventures in Musicland’ in which she plays some of her favourite music.

The show also expresses her joy and love of music and dance.

If you missed Alice’s programme when it first aired you can still catch up thanks to the listen again facility on the Corinium Radio website.

Corinium Radio spokesman Tony Coleman said, “It’s amazing that someone so young can produce such a great show. I hear that she really enjoyed doing it and it’s likely we’ll hear more from young Alice in the not–too-distant future!”

The radio station was also represented at the Cirencester Careers Convention at the town’s Deer Park School.

As a result, lots of young teenagers came to talk to us and were keen to work with the station.

Added Tony, “The amount of talent out there among our young people is staggering. We will definitely be in touch with them.”

Meanwhile, the station is always on the look-out for new volunteers…both young and more mature! So, if you want to help run your own local radio station just give Carole Boydell a call on 07776 144033 and get more details.

Why Vets recommend Senior Health Screening for Pets with Corinium Veterinary Surgery

A wise dog needs looking after.
Advances in health care have resulted in extended life expectancy of humans as well as our dog and cat companions. Yet, we and our pets appear naturally programmed to age.
Aging is a process that involves a progressive and irreversible loss of functional reserve capacity in the body’s major organ systems. When dogs reach 8 and cats 10 years of age they are considered to have reached their ‘Senior’ stage of life.

Although most dogs and cats live much longer than this, their bodies are getting to the stage where diseases of old age, including arthritis, diabetes, kidney and liver damage and heart conditions can start to develop and can begin to take their toll.

The importance of senior screening was brought to light in a recent study. In this group of over 9 year old dogs, Vets identified abnormalities in 80% of them. Serious and sometimes life threatening signs of age related disease (respiratory distress, increased thirst, and weight loss) were not noted by pet owners or were attributed to non-serious causes. Signs of pain were also not recognized, but 1 in 4 dogs in this study required pain medications.

Only about 14% of senior animals undergo regular health screening. Testing yearly in middle age patients is comparable to seeing your doctor every 4-5 years. However, once an animal is geriatric, routine health care visits are recommended every six months. This would be like seeing your doctor every 2-3 human years.

A proactive approach to senior health issues through regular screening promotes early detection of abnormalities resulting in enhanced quality of life and longevity.

A routine senior screening includes a thorough physical examination, complete blood count, biochemistry profile, blood pressure and urinalysis.

During the October, November and December 2017, Corinium Veterinary Surgery have a Special 50% discount on our Senior Wellness Screening. Please call the surgery to find out more and make an appointment to keep your pet healthy.

The Value of Evergreens-Geoff Carr

Always green!
The Value of Evergreens
Twitter @GeoffCarr2
Give evergreen plants a moment’s consideration. On reflection, what image comes to your mind’s eye when you think about evergreen plants? One image might be hedges? Do Christmas trees come to mind? Bushy shrubs? You might think about holly trees? Even ivy or grass? 
Perhaps you don’t have a clearly defined image of what an evergreen is – do not confuse the word ‘evergreen’ with meaning frost or winter proof, a plant can be evergreen without being hardy. The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopaedia of Gardening
describes evergreens thus: - ‘Of plants that retain their foliage for more than one growing season’. The word ‘foliage’ is important to remember when you are considering buying an evergreen, for instance, some varieties of Kniphofia (red-hot-poker) are described as an evergreen and yet, surely, it’s only ever considered for its showy August flowers? Unless used with a real design flair its long and lank, sometimes scruffy, grass-like evergreen leaves add little to the garden for the remaining months of the year. Something else to consider when talking about evergreen plants is that many of them are not green at all. Good examples of evergreen plants that are other colours than green are: Heuchera, Artemisia, Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’, Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’.
Get in touch!
The most common use of a properly chosen evergreen is probably for bringing garden interest between November and March and, surely, there cannot be a garden anywhere, of any size, that won’t benefit from the presence of at least one plant that keeps it foliage for all 12 months of the year?  However, to utilise evergreens simply as winter interest can mean missing the point of some evergreen plants. For example, Azaleas, Hypericum, Viburnum, Bergenia, Rhododendron and Camellia all have fabulous displays of seasonal flower colour.
 Too many evergreens can make a space feel leaden, static and wanting although there are some exciting examples of beautifully designed evergreen gardens. The generally accepted design rule of thumb is to have roughly the same volume of evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees.
In my opinion the most important quality of an evergreen is not how it looks but what it symbolises. They serve to remind us of the continuous and uplifting characteristics of the natural world, characteristics that I believe are what makes gardening and gardens so important to so many individuals. 

Hens Eggs and Bonfires - Country Matters with the Hodge November 2017

Country Matters
By The Hodge

“She who cackles most, lays least eggs”
Traditional country lore
So, now we know – eggs are safe, even for small children and the prospective mother. Eggs, rich and golden, runny and delicious; fried, boiled, scrambled, poached, coddled, as an omelette, as an ingredient… cheap, nutritious and… safe!

The unfertilised ova of the domesticated jungle fowl, the most populous bird on planet earth. We eat 12,813,000 eggs per annum in this country – that’s 196 for every person and a total of 35 million a day. Our farmers produce 85% of those eggs, the rest are imported. When there was a health scare a few weeks ago, it transpired that our friendly neighbourhood supermarkets were promoting their credentials by telling everyone their eggs were all British but what they put in ready meals and sandwiches were all cheap imports – the source of the food scare!

So for a nutritious, cheap and easy meal, go to work on an egg. Toast those soldiers, chip the top off and dip your spoon into the golden reservoir of gorgeousness. And remember… it’s safe.

* * * * *

November marks the start of winter for the countryman. The clocks have gone back, the curtains are drawn early, the fires are lit and we take on the mantle of whatever weather is thrown our way. Cold winds, frost, rain, snow, more frost. We change our diet and get the casserole dish down from the shelf and enjoy the stews and winter vegetables. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Not much work can be done on the farm once winter sets in. The mud and the cold means that animals are brought in and bedded down in their barns. The fields lie fallow awaiting a breath of warmth in spring and the new life that it heralds but in the meantime the farmer spends his time on planning and maintenance – there’s always plenty of both.

You may not have the same responsibilities in terms of livestock but if you have a garden you can do your bit. Precious hedgehogs will be finding cosy corners in which to hibernate so don’t be over-tidy. And before you light a bonfire, make sure the base isn’t one of those cosy corners. It’s best to move the whole structure and make sure before you light it. And talking of bonfires, my usual message is to attend an organised firework display and not try to do-it-yourself which is expensive by comparison. Fireworks are alien to all non-humans – farm stock, dogs and other pets, horses and wildlife – and no one knows what effect your snap crackle and pop will have on those creatures around you except for the pet owners who live in dread of this time of the year. So please be considerate.

Whilst ranting, the same goes for Chinese Lanterns which have proved to be a real menace, either setting fire to things or being eaten by cattle or sheep, causing their deaths. Please don’t have anything to do with the infernal contraptions.

You can also do your bit by looking after the birds that visit with dedicated feeders and fresh water. Keep the feeders clean and the food fresh and enjoy the sights and sounds of a regular stream of visitors to your garden throughout the winter.

If you dread the coming of winter, and many do, try and make the most of it. When there are bright sunny days, dress up and get out there and make the most of the countryside around us. And even when the weather is poor, the sights and sounds can still be amazing. Keep warm and comfortable, look after those around you and before you know it, spring will be just around the corner.