Friday, 22 October 2010

Pincho's to erect New Awning

Does anyone remember the canopy/awning that Pincho's of Church Street, Twickenham used to have so long ago?

Well, after numerous attempts to have it brought back, they finally had a victory last night with the new Council granting planning permission approving an abridged version. In light of this news, Pincho's have promised to have the new awning in place before the year end.

Now we can look forward to enjoying their delicious Mediterranean Tapas during the more unfavourable weather once again!

Richmond to Represent London in Britain in Bloom

If you have ever walked down Church Street, Twickenham, then you will be most familiar with the beautiful floral displays that line the quaint, village street.

If you have ever given a passing thought as to what the displays are in aid of, you may be interested to know that each year, Church Street enters the Borough in Bloom competition. This is a competition that is simple to define, in that entrants receive awards based on their floral displays. If a Borough receives enough to garner attention, the next level up is London in Bloom.

Keeping track with where this is going, you will be quite interested and excited to know that Church Street and the Twickenham Town Centre have scooped up numerous awards for Richmond at London in Bloom. Not only that, but Richmond has been selected to represent London in Britain in Bloom 2011 - beating rival Gold Award Winner, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

This is truly an honour, further complimented by how fitting it is to have the Greenest Borough, in terms of parks and open spaces, competing. Thus, there will be much work to do in preparation and so we here from Church Street urge you to watch out for Blooming Displays next year!

Pizza Express Launch Party

After having just read about the Richmond branch of Pizza Express training its staff in the art of ‘small-talk’ in my daily subscription to the online Metro, I thought it was a mildly entertaining thing to look forward to the next time I gorge myself on pizza. Little did I expect to receive an invite later that same day from Rudi of the Unity PR team to attend the launch party on 20th October; apparently, what the Metro didn’t cover was that the entire establishment was undergoing a re-imagining, as it were, looking back at their roots not so much re-branding, but re-inventing themselves to bring the original vision to life – as detailed here.

Courtesy of Unity PR

In the pursuit of this vision, a collective of bright minds was tasked with this monumental undertaking. I can barely imagine the pressure each of them must have felt, because quite frankly their decisions would define Pizza Express for years to come. Until recently, my experience with the restaurant has been minimal, limited to passing the Hounslow branch on numerous occasions and very recently attending a party at the Twickenham one - to be honest, I always felt that Pizza Express was more of a formal venue and no place for a snot-nosed child (I would look longingly through the window when I was younger, but we always went to the rival branch next door, which has since closed down while the former still stands)

That being said, the team that was brought together consisted of key members Ab Rogers (Designer), Karl James (Theatre Director - 'small-talk' teacher), Carrie Longton (Mumsnet Founder), Sergio Luzzi (Acoustics Professor) and many more whose contributions are apparent in every facet.

Dancing on Ice and Eastenders newcomer, Stefan Booth having an engrossing chat with Pizza Express founder, Peter Boizot.

Courtesy of Unity PR

I attended the event with two colleagues – one of whom brought her lovely daughters, and we all had a wonderful time. The party was excellent and the staff were fantastic; they made sure we were well-stocked with food – Pizzettine’s, cocktail sticks of cherry tomato, mozzarella and olives, mini chocolate fudge cakes and doughballs with Nutella – all of which were samples from the new menu. It was a splendid layout and very delicious; I had a hard time resisting the temptation to just eat and drink prosecco all night.

The music was great and the new floor-plan was very much my style. It was less formal and very much exuded a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. We stayed in the children's section and, as a kudos to the team's hard work, the 'child within' finally felt welcomed.

Courtesy of Unity PR (minus the scribbles)

As you can see, there’s a brand new activity corner with interactive memory games and a drawing table. You can’t see it from this image, but there is also a slot with a selection of children’s books. I love this design; parents can sit at the 'grown-up' tables and watch over their children as they play nearby.

Now to address the scribbles I made, these were to highlight a feature that we loved very much – being able to plug in your iPod/iPhone and listening to your own music from the overhead dome-speaker! Also on the table, were controls to dim the light to set your preferred mood and a convenient button that sets off a light to call the staff when you’re ready to order or cover the bill - now I don't have to feel awkward, silently willing someone to come within earshot due to my otherwise barely audible voice.

At the event, I also met a few lovely people:

Eastenders cast members, from left to right:
Stefan Booth (Greg Jessop), Nina Wadia (Zainab Masood) and Himesh Patel (Tamwar Masood)

I really need to invest in a real camera; I can rely on my camera-phones for so much...but they were an amazing bunch to speak with.

I also met with fellow bloggers, Jackie Lee of I am a Feeder and Rajini Lolay of Young and Poor - both of whom were great to spend the evening with; they were pure fountains of knowledge and generously offered valuable tips. Being that I was also there in a business capacity, I even got a chance to push Destination Richmond a bit, so hopefully we can get a good relationship going.

As you can see, I only have good things to say and being the first event I was invited to, it really has set a standard. The only other opening I have attended was for Strawberry Hill House, and I should really write about that…

I’ll post a link to further images when I’ve uploaded them, for now I should do some work.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lighting of the Christmas Lights in Church Street

26th November is a date for your diary, as you’re invited to join in the celebrations for the annual lighting of the Christmas Lights in Church Street, Twickenham. The fun starts at 4pm and ends late, with a great line-up of activities and offers throughout the evening!

Church Street closed for set up from 2pm
St Mary’s Church Bazaar open from 3pm
Kneller Hall marching band from York House up Church Street from 4.30pm
Trafalgar School Choir to sing with Kneller Hall band at Xmas tree from 5.00pm
Lights to be switched on by Harlequins Rugby Players at 5.30pm
Street activities to continue until 8pm

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Hallowe'en in Church Street - October 30th 2010

Come down to Church Street, Twickenham this Halloween on 30th October 2010. We are marking this event by a host of goodies and fun entertainment for all the family.

Langtons Bookshop will be holding their ever popular ‘Spooky Story Time’. This is from 2pm in the Children’s Section and will also feature spooky pictures for colouring and is suitable for children from 2 years to 7 years of age. Better still, it’s FREE!

Sweet Memories will have face painting from 12pm midday and a ‘Trick or Treat’ corner. For £3.50 your child can have their face painted and dip their hand in theTrick or Treat’ bowl.

There will be ‘Cupcake Decorating’ workshops at the Sweetie Pies spooky courtyard (weather permitting!) from 4-5pm for ages 4-7 and again at 5.30 – 6.30pm for ages 7–12 at £12 per child. Limited spaces available; book early to avoid disappointment: 0208 891 5844. There will be creepy cupcake gift boxes and other Halloween treats available! They are offering face painting for all purchases over £10.

In the square, the Mary Wallace Theatre will be performing the famous ‘Witches’ scenes from Macbeth. There will also be Apple Bobbing from 5.30pm followed by a Fancy Dress Competition at 6pm with prizes for the scariest outfits!

The Fox will be hosting the ‘Eel Pie Pirates’, a live local band, from 8.30pm onwards so come down and have a pint whilst listening to their grooves.

All the restaurants are joining in on the festivities, so come on down for a howling time!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Rugger Beds! - Alternative Accommodation for the November 2010 Rugby Weekends

November certainly is a busy month - Guy Fawkes, Diwali, the Richmond Borough Literature Festival...oh and every weekend having a Rugby Match on for the Investec International!

If you have your tickets for either of the four matches but are having trouble finding accommodation, fret no more! We, at Destination Richmond, have been hard at work these past few weeks putting together a selection of alternative options. With each booking made, we will provide a voucher for discounted meals at five of Richmond's finest restaurants.

Each offer has its own character, providing a unique experience, and is within easy commute to and from the station. The selection includes a choice of hotels and barges, and can be reviewed along with their availability here. We hope these tickle your imagination and look forward to hearing from you.