Warren Tots: What’s on in December 2018

Hatch Warren Community Centre

Sessions run from 9.15-10.30 & 10.45-12

£3.50 per family (adult plus 2 children, additional children £1)

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Kingsclere Village Bunnies Under 5’s Group 2018

We meet weekly at the Village club in Kingsclere where the children have fun playing and experimenting with different toys and activities in a relaxed environment, with a cuppa and chit chat for the parents, grandparents and helpers.

Each week a different art or craft activity is available for children to enjoy. Different toy stations are laid out around the hall and Village Bunnies provide the children with a snack before rounding off the morning with a sing-song. There is a garden with outdoor ride-ons, slides, for those sunnier outdoors days and lots to do indoors on rainy days and through the winter.

You do not need to have had your baby to join us – come along to as many sessions as you want to before his or her arrival. Once your baby is here, we have a protected baby area with bouncy chairs, rugs and baby toys for them to use.

We are here every Tuesday morning 9am – 11am. The first session is free so you can try us on for size and after that sessions cost just £1 for bumps and unweaned babies, £2 for first child (including snack donated by Swan Street Stores) and 50p for additional children.

Kingsclere Bunnies is run by a committee of volunteers and always on the lookout for new members, find us on Facebook to find out more!  

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New Businesses open in Basingstoke Dec 2018

New businesses open their doors in Basingstoke

Shoppers, visitors and businesses in Basingstoke can make the most of a new and exciting selection of independent venues and national chains which have opened their doors in the Hampshire town.

Nine new businesses have specially selected Basingstoke town centre to set up shop in the last three months. The new businesses which now call Basingstoke home are:

The Olive House, photo credit Basingstoke Together

 

Basingstoke is bucking the national trend as a thriving shopping hub as high streets across the country face a number of difficulties. Six out of the new businesses have chosen to open in the Top of Town, which is an area rich with local history. It is home to the landmark Willis Museum, it is the starting place of Burberry and it is also host to the Basingstoke market alongside several independent businesses.

The new businesses have been supported by Basingstoke Together, which is the public face of the Basingstoke BID. Basingstoke Together aims to help the town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses to be successful.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “Basingstoke has so much to offer to prospective businesses looking for somewhere to launch their new or latest venture. Alongside the array of national high street brands in Festival Place and The Malls, we also have some fantastic independent shops and businesses, which make a visit to Basingstoke truly unique.

“We are so pleased to welcome the new businesses to Basingstoke and we wish them all the best. We also hope that residents and visitors to the town will explore both the newcomers as well as the existing independent businesses throughout the town centre. There is so much choice on our high street now, so we look forward to seeing how people embrace that, both in the run up to Christmas and well into the new year.”

Basingstoke town centre, particularly the Top of Town, is also already home to a wide array of successful independent businesses including The Tea Bar, Arc hairdressers, and Exciting Escapes.

Some of the new companies in Basingstoke are fresh to the market, including The Olive House and Chennai Express. However, the team behind Duck & Tipple already run a successful events company, IncuHive has begun opening various other branches in the south of England and Surya’s relocated from Basing View.

Duck & Tipple, photo credit Basingstoke Together

George Scott-Welsh, Chief Operating Officer of IncuHive, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see the number of new businesses opening within the town centre and especially at the Top of Town. With the Top of Town being majority independent owner run businesses, this creates a more personal experience for both the shoppers and the other surrounding businesses who are collaborative and supportive of one another.

“The community feel of the Top of Town, teamed with fantastic architecture and local history, creates a hugely positive environment in which to visit and run a business.”

Basingstoke Together is committed to supporting independent businesses in the town to develop a vibrant shopping hub. It has recently launched a #BIndependent campaign to foster a regional business community.

For more information visit www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

The Salt Lounge, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Basingstoke Together supports local businesses by creating cultural hotspots within the town centre to draw visitors into the town and promote the business and leisure opportunities on the doorstep.

Basingstoke is a BID – a Business Improvement District, which is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. The improvements made by a BID are determined by the businesses themselves. It may include additional cleaning, security or projects such as recycling and improved infrastructure as well as destination branding and promotion.

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NHM Readers Recommend: Daytime Carol Services

I had a question last year from an NHM Reader which may be useful this year too: “Do you know what daytime carol services are being put on in the area this year? 6:30pm seems to be normal but that’s a bit late really.”

Many thanks to the NHM Community for your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend daytime carol services

Naomi said:

I don’t know about carol services generally, but Winchester cathedral has a fab crib service on Christmas Eve, it’s usually mid-afternoon and children can go dressed up as an angel, shepherd or other nativity character. It’s lovely.”

Heidi said:

Sherborne St John church has a children’s carol service at 4pm ish one Sunday before Christmas but I’m not sure what date yet…”

Rebecca said:

“There will be a carol service at Christ Church Chineham. There will also be a crib service on Christmas Eve.

Rebecca also recommended Christingle at St Gabriel’s at 5pm

Kath said:

Brighton Hill church near Asda used to do a Christingle service mid afternoon I think, and possible Oakridge Methodist church might do an early service

Gillian said:

“The Crib Service at Christ Church on Christmas Eve is at 4.30 pm”

Caroline said:

St michaels church in town centre has a lunchtime carol service usually in the week leading up to Christmas and also a children’s nativity story service (with dress up) at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

Allison said:

St Mary’s, Eastrop usually has a Christmas Carol Extravaganza for children on Christmas Eve at around 4pm and a 10am Christingle service earlier in December. Website is updated regularly http://www.stmarys-basingstoke.org.uk/upcoming-events/

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Small Business Saturday in Basingstoke this weekend!

BID to support independents in Basingstoke this weekend

Shoppers are being encouraged to love the local and independent businesses in Basingstoke this weekend to celebrate the UK-wide initiative, Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Saturday 1 December, is a national celebration of the smaller and independent shops which line the UK’s high streets. Basingstoke is home to a diverse selection of shops for different and unique Christmas gifts and restaurants to take a break from the shopping frenzy.

Cool!Merchandise, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Small Business Saturday is largely viewed as the antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is dominated by the big brands. An estimated £748 million was spent on Small Business Saturday last year, making it the most successful year so far. It also has the support of growing number of local authorities, with 87% pledging their support last year.* However, Small Business Saturday still lags behind Black Friday, as we reportedly spent £7 billion during last week’s buying blitz.** Basingstoke Together, the public face of the Basingstoke BID, wants more people to embrace the town centre independents, particularly in the Top of Town, to recognise its potential as a vibrant shopping hub.

To celebrate Small Business Saturday, Basingstoke Together have created a series of short videos to put small businesses in the town under the spotlight to showcase their products and services. Independent businesses in Basingstoke have also been provided with printed hessian bags reading ‘I supported a small business in Basingstoke’ to gift to customers free of charge with any purchase.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re lucky to have some fantastic national chains in Basingstoke, particularly in Festival Place and The Malls. But, a stone’s throw away at the top of town is the home to shops and businesses which you simply won’t find anywhere else. We hope that people in Basingstoke will support our independent and small businesses in the town centre as they do their Christmas shopping this weekend as well as in the future.

“There has been a lot of coverage in the media this year about the struggling UK high street. However, Basingstoke is bucking the trend. We have welcomed eight new businesses to the town in the last couple of months; the majority of which have been small and independent.”

The Salt Lounge, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Basingstoke Together aims to help the town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses. It will soon be launching a campaign to develop a regional community of Basingstoke’s small businesses.

As part of the campaign, independents in Basingstoke can display posters and window stickers, share their stories on social media using the #BIndependent hashtag. Basingstoke Together also offers free training with small businesses in Basingstoke on how to support growth in the town.

Joanne Goodman, Director of independent business Wax Works on Church Street, said: “It is a very difficult time to be a small business on the high street. We’re lucky to have such a diverse range of small and independent businesses in Basingstoke so a campaign to draw attention to them is a fantastic idea. It is also great to be able to reward people who choose to support small and independent businesses. When you support a small business, you support not only someone’s dream but the backbone of the town’s future. ”

For more information, visit www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/

The Secret Garden, photo credit Basingstoke Together

 

*Source: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2018/11/small-business-saturday-helps-smes-fight-back-against-black-friday/

**Source: /www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/26/cyber-monday-uk-weekend-sales-spend-over-7bn-black-friday

Basingstoke Together supports local businesses by creating cultural hotspots within the town centre to draw visitors into the town and promote the business and leisure opportunities on the doorstep.

Basingstoke is a BID – a Business Improvement District, which is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. The improvements made by a BID are determined by the businesses themselves. It may include additional cleaning, security or projects such as recycling and improved infrastructure as well as destination branding and promotion.

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Bramley Toddler Group 0-5 Club

Bramley Toddler Group is a small, friendly group who meet every Tuesday from 10.15-11.45 during term time at The Clift Meadow Pavilion in Minchens Lane. There is a lovely mixture of mums, dads, grandmas and children aged from just a few weeks old up to 4 years old. Everyone is welcome and it’s always great to meet new people. As well as the children having a great time playing with all the toys, it’s a brilliant opportunity for the adults to socialise and chat over a cuppa!

We have a big selection of toys and equipment from dolls to trains, to slides and seesaws, a play kitchen and a massive collection of dressing up costumes. We have loads of baby toys and baby mats and bouncers so that the babies can also play safely and join in the fun.

As well as the usual play activities, we regularly have guest activities such as pottery painting, Usborne Books and a photographer, along with crafts such as cookie decorating and painting. We always have story time each week and the children can spend a few minutes enjoying a biscuit and drink while sitting and listening to the story.

We run as a small voluntary committee of mums and grandmas and we are always looking for new people to come on board. The main thing we need help with us opening up and setting up all the toys at the start of a session, and putting everything away again at the end.

You can keep up to date by joining the Bramley Toddler 0-5 Facebook group.

Tuesday 10.15-11.45 (Term Time only)
The Clift Meadow Pavilion, Minchens Lane, Bramley. RG26 5BH

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Review 2018: Muddy Fingers

 

Have a bit of free time and fancy doing something a bit different with your toddler – try Muddy Fingers!

https://www.facebook.com/MuddyFingersGardenClub/

07775594463 or info@muddyfingersgardenclub.co.uk

About

Muddy Fingers truly is a one of a kind class in Basingstoke. I have been to a lot of toddler classes in the local area and I have never been to one like this. If your kids love gardening and learning about nature, food and the environment then this could be for you.

Lauren, who started Muddy Fingers in September 2018, is a keen gardener and has two young children of her own. Her enthusiasm for the subject is obvious and so far, we have covered some great topics ranging from berries, sunflowers to hedgehogs. Each session is based on a new area and every week your child gets something to take something home with them, be that a craft or a seed that they have planted in their own pots.

We particularly enjoyed the pumpkin class that was held around Halloween. Each session starts with a talk about the topic so at this class we got to touch and feel lots had of different pumpkins. The children were encouraged to describe how then pumpkins felt – were they bumpy, smooth, squashy? Lauren then told us about how pumpkins are grown and the differences between each of them. I was particularly surprised that a pumpkin is technically a fruit as its seeds are grown on the inside. Each child then picked a pumpkin and using a fact sheet they measured how big it was, how heavy it was and how tall it was.

The children then picked one pumpkin for Lauren to slice open. This allowed them to all look at the inside and enjoy the messy job of scooping out the flesh and seeds! This was another opportunity to discuss how the pumpkin felt inside as it was pretty squashy and slimy! After a lot of messy fun, we moved onto some tasting as Lauren had brought in some homemade pumpkin soup and roasted pumpkin seeds for everyone to try. The seeds were particularly popular! Our last activity involved orange peppers which the children carved like Halloween pumpkins. My son ate his 5 minutes after finishing it!

The class concluded with a lovely pumpkin themed story which was read by Lauren.

 

Tips

Don’t wear your best clothes to this class, your children will get dirty!

Food

There is not food or drink offered at these classed but occasionally food will form part of the class. For example, we have made smoothies from popular berries which the children drank one week. If your child has allergies it would be worth telling Lauren about them when you register for the class, then she can accommodate for them.

Facilities

Currently sessions are held in two community centres – Brocas Hall at Clift Meadow in Bramley and Brookvale Village Hall, Basingstoke. Both halls have a toilets and disabled toilets with changing facilities.

Parking

Both halls have good parking facilities. The car park at Brookvale is closed as soon as the class has concluded. Brookvale Village Hall is an easy 10 min walk from Basingstoke town centre.

Prices

£40 for 5 weeks block of classes, and every week your child gets to take home something.

Tuesdays at Brookvale Village Hall, Basingstoke at 10am-10.50am.

Fridays at Brocas Hall at Clift Meadow, Bramley at 10am-10.50am.

Rating out of 5

5 out of 5. It may be a pricey class but it’s great to do something so different with your children. They truly love getting their hands dirty when they have done planting. We have made our own runner bean mini greenhouse one week!  The best bit is that this class helps you and your children learn about the world around them. Kids are encouraged to try new foods and get outdoors in the garden. My son and I are really looking forward to attending the summer classes when we will see the results of our winter planting and then we can start growing some fruit and veg for next summer! Roll of 2019!

 

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs @ The Anvil, Basingstoke – 13 Dec 2018 – 6 Jan 2019

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs @ The Anvil

Thursday 13 December 2018 to Sunday 6 January 2019

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s off to Basingstoke you go for this year’s traditional family pantomime at The Anvil: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

When the Wicked Queen’s magic mirror declares that Snow White is the fairest in all the land, the evil Queen wants her out of the way.  Snow White escapes to the forest where she meets seven little friends.  But the Wicked Queen doesn’t give up, and with a poisoned apple in her possession she tracks down Snow White …

Taking the title role of Snow White is Dani Harmer, best known as CBBC’s Tracy Beaker, and playing Muddles is Chris Pizzey, who was such a hit in Jack and the Beanstalk at The Anvil in 2015.  And once again Chris will also be directing the panto, and is planning lots of fun, magic, mayhem, and laughs.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.
www.TheBigCheesePhotography.co.uk

Dani Harmer was born in Berkshire and is one of the biggest stars of children’s television having played the lead role of Tracy Beaker since she was 12 years old.  She also had her own hit shows Dani’s House and Dani’s Castle.  She joined the line-up for Let’s Dance for Sports Relief in 2012; the following year she appeared in Strictly Come Dancing, reaching the final with her partner Vincent Simone.  She took part in the national Strictly tour partnering Pasha.  Dani is much in demand as a panto performer and is delighted to be coming to Basingstoke to play Snow White for the very first time.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.
www.TheBigCheesePhotography.co.uk

Chris Pizzey is best known to youngsters as Mr Stephen in the hit television show The Basil Brush Show, and Gerald Smedley in The Sooty Show, and for roles in CBBC’s Planet Ajay and The Sarah Jane Adventures.  Theatre includes most recently playing Randall Shuck in the Olivier nominated The Comedy About A Bank Robbery in London’s West End.  He has performed in and directed many pantomimes over the last 20 years and Anvil Arts is delighted that he is returning to The Anvil stage.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.
www.TheBigCheesePhotography.co.uk

The Wicked Queen is played by Kirsty Sparks, who has appeared in Me and My Girl, CATS, Starlight Express and Saturday Night Fever.  She also works as a choreographer and most recently worked for ITV’s Girlfriends.

Chris Warner Drake is the handsome Prince.  Chris is currently appearing in Chicago and has appeared in many musicals including Hairspray and Starlight Express.  Films include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Jack the Giant Slayer.

The dame is played by seasoned panto performer Jamie Steen who has a wealth of experience in theatre, musicals and cabaret.  As Nursie, Jamie is looking forward to sharing his/her medical and fashion advice with the people of Basingstoke!

Join the Wicked Queen, handsome Prince, and seven mischievous dwarfs for a huge portion of festive fun.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will have lavish sets and sumptuous costumes, a mix of up-to-the-minute pop songs along with old favourites, great gags and plenty of audience participation – perfect for keeping the whole family entertained during their Christmas treat.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.
www.TheBigCheesePhotography.co.uk

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will run from Thursday 13 December 2018 to Sunday 6 January 2019.

There is a relaxed performance for those on the autistic spectrum and with other disabilities on Wednesday 2 January at 2pm.  There is also a BSL signer at the 6pm performance on Tuesday 18 December.

For more information or for tickets, call the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244, or visit the Anvil Arts website anvilarts.org.uk.

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Let it snow in Basingstoke town centre

Christmas is coming to the Top of Town in Basingstoke as it will be the only high street in the UK to be adorned with a vast array of specially commissioned window displays of snowy scenes.

Several of the independent businesses throughout the Hampshire town will be displaying bespoke vinyl decals of festive fun from today. There will be six designs in total yet each business will have its name incorporated into their one-of-a-kind Christmas creation by the artistic team from Snow Windows.

It is just one of the many festive events which will be bringing the spirit of Christmas to Basingstoke this year. It is being run by Basingstoke Together, the face of the Basingstoke Business Improvement District (BID). The BID’s aim is to help Basingstoke town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re really proud that Basingstoke has so much to offer residents and visitors who want to enjoy a truly festive feeling this year.

“Alongside picking up a bargain or two in the busy shopping period, we hope that everyone who spends some time in the town centre makes the most of the various opportunities to experience the spirit of the occasion on our doorstep.”

25 businesses in the Top of Town will be supporting the initiative to create a snowy spectacle along Winchester Street and the surrounds. The Snow Windows will be on display in time for a wide variety of festivities happening in Basingstoke.

Surya’s International Food and Newsagent on Church Street is one of the businesses who will be dressing their windows ready for Christmas.

Owner Kishor Patel said:  “We’re really looking forward to Surya’s wonderful snow window display being installed. It will give our store a welcoming feel and also hopefully encourage people to take the time to visit the top of town and admire the festive decorations.”

The array of festive events in Basingstoke this year include:

  • Nutcracker Trail – 16 November – 31 December: Take your children on a magical trail around Basingstoke to discover all ten of our Christmas Nutcrackers. Collect a Trail Book from various pick-up points around the town centre to be in with a chance of winning festive prizes.
  • Christmas Cracker Making Station – 24th and 25 November: Get crafty and join the elves at the Christmas Cracker Making Station in Festival Place. Fill your crackers with giggles, jokes and wishes to set your Christmas off with a bang.
  • Christmas street theatre – every Saturday from 24 November – 22 December: Head to The Malls to take in a wide variety of festive fun shows including Funky Santas and Giant Christmas presents.

  • The Night Before Christmas projection – throughout December: A special Night Before Christmas show will be projected onto The Willis Museum. Shows will be on the hour every day from 4pm.

Keri Ackling, of Snow Windows, said: “We have loved the challenge of creating bespoke and reusable decals on a much larger scale for the first time in Basingstoke. We feel that they will really create the ‘wow factor’ for the festive season – they are the perfect backdrop for your Christmas selfie!”

Find out more about Basingstoke Together by visiting https://www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

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Tea Shops and Coffee Shops in North Hampshire

Thank you to Shona for putting together this post!!!!

Tea Shops and Coffee Shops in North Hampshire

Tea Bar

9 – 13 London Street, Basingstoke, RG21 7NT

The Tea Bar

Dome Cafe Project

Brighton Hill Parade, Basingstoke, RG22 4EH

The Cafe Project

Little Roses – Tadley Garden Centre

Elm Park Garden Centre, Aldermaston Road, Pamber End, Tadley, RG26 5QW

Little Roses

Wyevale

Wildmoor Lane, Basingstoke, RG27 0HL

Wyevale

More of the Good Stuff

1 Dummer Down Lane, Dummer, Basingstoke, RG25 2AR

More of the Good Stuff

Redfields Garden Centre

Redfields Lane, Church Crookham, Fleet, GU52 0AB

Redfields Garden Centre

Wellington Farm Shop Cafe

Welsh Lane, Heckfield, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 0LT

Wellington Farm Shop Cafe

Jolly Olly’s – Oakley

32 Oakley Lane, Oakley, Basingstoke, RG23 7JY

Jolly Olly’s

The Departure Lounge

Basingstoke Road, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 4BH

The Departure Lounge

Milestones Museum Cafe

Leisure Park, Churchill Way West, Basingstoke, RG22 6PG

Milestones Cafe

Marks and Spencers Cafe

Chineham Shopping Centre, Great Binfields Road, Chineham, Basingstoke, RG24 8BG

M&S Cafe

Newlyns Farm Cafe

Lodge Farm, North Warnborough, Hook, RG29 1HA

Newlyns Farm Cafe

The Parlour Tearoom

Unit 14, Viables Craft Centre, Basingstoke, RG22 4BJ

The Parlour Tearoom

Morrisons

Worting Road, Basingstoke, RG21 8BJ

Morrisons Cafe

Sainsbury’s

3 Wallop Drive, Basingstoke, RG22 4TW

Sainsbury’s Cafe

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