• Misses Winstonberry

Time for hot chocolate!

It's probably time for a little update and to share our news and events that we have planned over here at Winstonberry in the coming winter months. So, sat here with a delicious hot chocolate in hand, on this wet and miserable Tuesday, it seems like a good idea to open the diary and write a new blog post. Even though we enjoyed an absolutely scorching Saturday just gone, and everyone was out and about in shorts and summer tops, (wow, wasn't it fabulous!), there is no hiding from the fact that in just over a weeks time we will be into October! I think we'll all agree that our weather has gone a bit haywire to say the least, so it seems almost ridiculous to even mention the 'C' word.... yet in reality, it will be upon us before we know it. The leaves are turning on the trees now and the nights are really cutting in aren't they? It's getting dark by 7.30pm now - the signs are there, and no matter how hard we may try and pretend, our 2019 summer has ended :(

So in an effort to be better prepared this year, we have begun organising a few events for our winter diary and feel now is probably a good time to spread the word and let you all in on our up coming plans heading in to the autumn and winter season. People were asking about our infamous wreath making classes back in August (I know! It's incredible that some people are just so organised!) but we recently decided it really was necessary to get the dates in the diary and share them asap! As you know, we now have the Deli, and as such, have lost our event room space as before. So to avoid disappointment, we've come up with the idea of hosting a couple of late afternoon sessions and will host them in the cafe... Our wreath making classes will be held over 2 weekends - the first will be on the 30th November and the second on the 7th December. All details of costs and times are on our website or of course, pop in for a cuppa and we can give you all the details.... (www.winstonberry.co.uk/events). They were very popular last time, so we strongly recommend that you book early to avoid missing out.

Now... on another note... we have been asked time and again, if we have any plans to open in an evening. And as much as we love being here, and seeing all our lovely customers, we do have homes to go to.... (although you may not think so sometimes!). Anyway, with this in mind, we have decided to try out a little supper club and will soon be introducing our 'Winstonberry lates'. They will be held once a month, on a Saturday night, consisting of a 2 to 3 course menu with main courses changing each month. As you know, we have only one cook and a kitchen hand, so lets not get too carried away here.... But what we can promise is, it will be a great sociable evening with good fresh food served by friendly folks in a lovely cosy environment. Whats not to like?? Dates are on the website - along with a suggestion of a menu.... and remember, places are limited to our space and numbers of seating. We will also be offering cocktails and seasonal drinks alongside the food and we promise to keep the coffee machine on so you can round up with a delicious coffee (add a dash of whisky or brandy) after your meal. To book call 01325 730567 - our first 'Late' in October is already half full, and we're taking bookings for our December late already, so don't miss out!

As well as the wreath class and lates, we're hoping to add a couple of other Christmas Crafty sessions too, such as card making and gift wrapping - watch this space as we aim to confirm asap.

A chat is needed with Santa, to ascertain his availability for this December.... but we are hoping to have an offering for the children (up to around 11 years) and will announce it as soon as dates are confirmed. It won't be the full Santas grotto this year (sorry chaps but we are just too busy to do it all again), but hope it will be just as exciting and lots of fun for the children. Watch this space (check the website or follow us on Facebook or Instagram).

Our Christmas Shopping Event will also be coming up again in November. It was a huge success last year so we are looking forward to having some lovely goodies to offer you this time. As I type, we literally await delivery of Christmas stock from one of our gorgeous, gorgeous suppliers.... exciting!!)

And... if we can agree on a date, we are hoping to host a craft fair too. We may have to open the upstairs space for this one but it'll be a small showcase from some of our lovely artists and designer makers, offering their beautiful hand made wares.... We also hope to have some tasters from our artisan food and drink providers, so it could be a very nice event.

In other news, things are going really well with the Deli. It has been a big success (thankfully), and we are trying out new products all the time. Some things haven't worked sadly. The fresh fruit and veg was a disappointment. Organic produce proved to be very expensive and keeping it fresh during the warm summer months was difficult so in the end we decided it really wasn't viable. On a positive note however, our artisan bread from Rise bakery in Crook has been a big hit and has sold well. Provided our regular customers continue to support this, we shall endeavour to offer it. It has been a huge learning curve having the Deli, so we shall keep tweaking until hopefully we get it right.

And lastly, holidays.... In October we celebrate another milestone Birthday in our family. The In-laws/grandparents have reached the big 80!! So rather than a party, we have decided upon a little family break away and as such, are closing at 2pm on Saturday 12th October and re-open on Wednesday 16th.

Although its perhaps early to mention Christmas closing, we will be finishing on the 21st December and will re-open mid January as we did this past year. It is very rewarding having a business but it is hard work and we returned feeling much refreshed after the longer break. It is possibly something we shall continue with until we build a bigger busier business and have more staff who can help with the load :)

For now, that's all folks! I'm sure there'll be other things to mention over the coming weeks, so keep checking back to the 'Events' page on the website. We also update social media regularly, so you'll get 'real-time' updates on Facebook & Instagram - you can follow us @winstonberryonline

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