Tag Archives: Cabinet Rooms

Win Guide to June

Summer is here at last, and Winchester will not disappoint.  Hold on to your summer hats, it’s going to be a busy June:

WheatusRemember the band Wheatus?  Take a trip into some nineties nostalgia at the start of the month on 1 June with a chance to see them live at the Winchester Guildhall.  Tickets are available to book online and the show is advertised for 14+ years old. It’s also a Pin Drop Comedy double edition at the Guildhall this month.  The regular Pin Drop open-mic night will take place on Thursday 8 June from 8pm, with free entry and the Wintonian bar open throughout.  And on the 15 June there will be a Summer Special event with comedy from Norman Lovett, the original Holly from BBC’s Red Dwarf and also an Edinburgh preview from David Ephgrave. Tickets are £10 and available to book here, although it is advised that the line-up may be subject to change and audiences must be 18+ years.

The Chesil Theatre will be presenting Shell Shock by Neil Warkin, adapted by Tim Marriott, in association with Sussex Armed Forces Network. Shell Shock is described as a stunning personal realisation of one soldier’s experience of learning to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The production is running 31 May until 3 June at 7.45pm.
After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tommy Atkins’ observations on the absurdities of every-day life on civvy street are frequently comic, occasionally absurd, sometimes violent but always poignant.

Festival season is in full force this month.  The brilliant Winchester Speakers festival takes place 3-4 June at the Discovery centre, with some big names on the roster.  Speakers include Kate Adie, Nick Clegg, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Tom Mangold, Peter Conradi, Iby Knill and Dan Cruickshank among others. For more details or to book talks, visit the website here.

It’s Ginchester Fete time.  Hosted by the fine connoisseurs at the Cabinet Rooms, this festival of gin will take place at the Great Hall.  Fittingly scheduled for the 10 June (World Gin Day), there will be two sessions available at 12pm or 3pm. Enjoy gin tasting and summer fete frivolities.  For full details or to book tickets, visit here.

You can follow this up with Winchestival, a day of music and comedy at the North Walls Recreation ground on 17 June. It’s billed as a family friendly festival in the heart of the city. On the main stage acts include Eliza and the Bear, Richard Morris, Josh Savage, Daughters of Davis, Sean McGowan and many more. In the comedy tent choose from Hal Cruttenden, Rob Deering, Jen Brister, Tom Deacon and more. Tickets are available here.

Hat Fair is here! Starting Friday 30 June and running until Sunday 2nd July, Hat Fair is the UK’s longest running festival of outdoor arts and takes place across the historic city of Winchester. The event is free although donations in hats are welcome. Events take place across the city on Friday and Saturday with a day of food and finales at Oram’s Arbour on Sunday. For the full bumper line-up, visit the website here.

Dulwich Opera Company is returning to St Paul’s Church with a production of Carmen on Thursday 29 June.  The Pilgrims’ school Chamber Choir will also be participating in this event.  Showcasing some emerging professional artists, this is an excellent opportunity to experience intimate opera on your doorstep.  Tickets are available here.

Plenty to enjoy in June and we’ll be bringing you more updates on Twitter @Win_Guide

Win Guide to January

It’s a new year in the UK’s number one city. Here’s our guide to starting your 2017 in the finest Wintonian style:

1upThe Railway Inn has a weird and wonderful selection of events on offer to tempt city folk out this month.  The weekly free Poetry Platform runs on the first Tuesday of every month, Winchester’s longest serving poetry open mic. This month’s event is on 3 January at 8.30pm. Or for the gaming community, 1 Up Retro Video Gaming night is Winchester’s first pub-based retro video games event. From Master System to the Gamecube there will be classic games available every week, with tournaments and leader boards. 1 Up will run every Friday from 8.30pm, starting on Friday 6 January and entry is free. Hip Hop duo, Dr Syntax and Pete Cannon will be live on 20 January from 8.30pm.  For more details, visit the website here.

wsc-web-content-event-or-film-banner-splendiferous-science-2Winchester Science Centre will be hosting BBC Bitesize science presenter Jon Chase for a Splendiferous Science Weekend, 14 – 15 January.  Participants are invited to delve into the whoopsy waffling worlds of Roald Dahl, to make James and his Giant Peach fly or discover George and his marvelous medicine. The shows will run for an hour at 11am and 2pm, and booking is advised.  The Winchester Science Centre’s science experts will also be demonstrating their own favourite Roald Dahl themed science throughout the day so there’s plenty for young people and their adults to enjoy.  For more details, visit the Science Centre website here.

imageFancy taking up a new skill?  The Discovery Centre will be running a beginner’s workshop for budding Taxidermists on Saturday 21st January, 12-4pm.  Mabel Edwards will lead students through a practical session to create a life-like mount of a mouse.  To find out more or to book a place, visit the Discovery Centre website here.

platform-4Winchester’s Platform 4 will be previewing Invisible Music: Variations on a Theme, a new project at the Theatre Royal on 24 January with tickets available for free. The project is a sound-piece inspired by a series of interviews with Winchester’s lip reading group. Booking is advised, so visit the Theatre Royal website for details here.

For more theatre, img-5107-a4-landscape-website-crop_1_origwhy not book to see the Chesil Theatre’s  Blood and Ice by Liz Lochhead, 21 – 28 January, directed by Alec Walters. Four young romantics compete to write a spine-chilling tale. Two of them are England’s greatest poets, the third a rebellious runaway, and the fourth, free-thinker, Mary Shelley. For more details or to book tickets, visit the website here.

Winchester Cocktail WeekDon’t forget to book your tickets for next month’s Winchester Cocktail Week, 6-12 February.  Probably to most decadent way to fall off the wagon, 26 different cafes, bars, restaurants and shops in Winchester will be offering discounted signature cocktails and hosting special events and parties. For more details and to book, visit the Cabinet Rooms website here.

Wishing everyone a prosperous and happy 2017. We’ll be tweeting more updates @Win_Guide throughout the month.

Culinary Cocktails in Winchester

ginchester-forte-2016-adrienne-photography-10039Following the success of the first Kitchen Cabinet event in July, Winchester’s Forte Kitchen will be opening its doors after-hours again for two further events designed for gastronomes and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Cabinet Rooms and Forte Kitchen are working together to offer a menu of sharing plates and complementary cocktails influenced by the new seasons’ flavours.

Co-founder of Cabinet Rooms, Gary Whiter, said, “We are very much looking forward to opening up the Kitchen Cabinet again and offering new drinks menus that pair with Forte Kitchen’s delicious, seasonal dishes.”

ginchester-forte-2016-adrienne-photography-10209Olly Biggs, Co-Founder and Head Chef at Forte Kitchen, explained, “We are entering one of our favourite times of year with some incredible fruits and vegetables coming into season. With apples, pears, blackcurrants and figs, to name but a few, we have real scope to offer some great autumnal and wintry flavours at our upcoming events.”

At the Kitchen Cabinet, as well as a range of Forte Kitchen’s small plates and sharing platters, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy some of Cabinet Rooms’ signature cocktails – such as the Twisted Vesper, using local Twisted Nose Gin and Pear Vodka – as well as new drinks inspired by Forte Kitchen’s menu.

“At July’s Kitchen Cabinet,” explained Gary, “the Pancake Martini, our homage to Olly’s superb breakfasts and made with our homemade bacon vodka, was a real hit with our guests. We have a few more ideas up our sleeve for this autumn and can’t wait to bring some new, delectable drinks to the table for the discerning people of Winchester.”

ginchester-forte-2016-adrienne-photography-10288The Kitchen Cabinet will be open from 7pm to 11pm on Friday 30 September and Friday 25 November. Entrance is free. Table service only. A small number of tables can be booked for two-hour slots by calling Forte Kitchen on 01962 856 840.

For the latest news follow Cabinet Rooms and Forte Kitchen on Twitter (@CabinetRooms and @ForteKitchen) and on Facebook (/CabinetRoomsWinchester and /Forte-Kitchen).

Winchester Cabinet Rooms: Beatnik Supper

Jazz Festival Dont miss: Saturday 24 September 2016 at 7pm.

Live jazz, live poetry, great food and delicious cocktails.

For one night, Cabinet Rooms will offer guests who join them at the “Beatnik Supper”.

Winchester’s Forte Kitchen will be transformed into a 1950’s jazz den by the Cabinet Rooms.  It’s all part of the city’s inaugural Jazz Festival.

Brought to you by Gary and Marcus, from Cabinet Rooms., the team behind Winchester Cocktail Week and the Ginchester Fête.  Did you know the Ginchester Fête was named by Stylist Magazine as one of the top ways to celebrate World Gin Day in June?

Winchester Jazz Festival“When we heard that Winchester was getting its very own jazz festival,” said Gary, “we knew straight away the kind of evening we wanted to host for it. There are a lot of creative, bohemian people in Winchester and we are very excited to recreate a cool 50’s vibe right here with them at our very own Beatnik Supper.”

WuInspiration will be drawn from the writings of Beatniks such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg as well as the organisers’ own travels to San Francisco. The evening will commence with a Beatnik cocktail and guests will enjoy a three-course meal prepared by the chef at Forte Kitchen. Live jazz music will be played by Duo Theory with Tamas Teszary on vibraphone and Wu Yen Chan on bass. Southampton’s Poet Laureate for Children, Matt West, will be there to read Beatnik poetry and, in true spirit of the movement, will be writing a poem based on thoughts and ideas offered by guests on the night.

“This is going be a Jazz Festival event like no other,” said Gary, “and we can’t wait to celebrate with the city’s hippest cats. Be there or be square!”

TamasThe event starts at 7pm on Saturday 24 September. Tickets cost £49.95 per person and include a cocktail on arrival, three-course dinner, live jazz and live poetry. Spaces are limited so advanced booking is essential via www.cabinetrooms.com

For the latest news follow Cabinet Rooms on Twitter and on Facebook

Win Guide to July

July is here and Winchester will not fail to deliver its share of weird and wonderful events to brighten what has been a temperamental summer thus far:

Stonemasons-Festival-Have you ever experienced live stone masonry?  Winchester Cathedral will be hosting a Festival taking place in the Inner Close, 8-10 July, where stone masons from across the UK will be showing their carving prowess, culminating in a public auction of works on Sunday 10 July and a chance to meet the masons. The event is free.

hampshire-fare-Foodies will be pleased to hear that July is also the Hampshire Food Festival, with various events taking place across the county all month.  On Friday 15 July 2016, Winchester’s Forte Kitchen will be opening its doors afterhours for a unique evening of food and drink. “Kitchen Cabinet” is a collaboration between Forte Kitchen and Cabinet Rooms. For a comprehensive list of all the events on offer, visit the online programme here.

Winchester Festival of the ArtsThe Winchester Festival of the Arts runs until Saturday 9 July, a series of music, talks and drama throughout the city. Speakers include Michael Morpurgo, Robert Hardy and Sandi Toksvig. There is a lunch time recital programme at St Lawrence’s Church, a selection of visual arts exhibitions and some interesting city walks. We like the sound of Alfred’s Kingdom (a dramatised walk) described as a journey ‘back through time’ to Anglo-Saxon Winchester with a dramatic twist! Booking is recommended. For a full programme visit the Festival website here.

Wessex Dance Academy will be presenting an exciting evening of choreography and film at the Theatre Royal, 14 July at 7pm.  A new company of dancers will share their 12 week journey with  three new pieces of dance. The event is free although donations are welcome.

logoThe Winchester Science Festival takes place  22-24 July. A fantastically curated programme of speakers will take over the Discover Centre for a weekend of stimulating talks on space, nature, the future and of course, powerful lasers. Various exhibitions and other events will be taking place throughout the month, and a full programme is available on the Winchester Science Festival website.

Plenty of food and thought this month – enjoy!

Win Guide to February

Get ready, Winchester, for there are 29 days in February 2016 which means we are in a leap year.  Ladies, traditionally this extra day is an opportunity to propose to your significant other if you feel so inclined, a custom dating back to 5th century Ireland and ‘St Bridget’s complaint’ to St Patrick about women having to wait. Partners, if for whatever reason you spurn the proposal, please be ready to pay a fine in the form of a pair of silk gloves. Do keep us posted on any leap year love matches. Here’s our guide to make this February a good one:

Winchester Cocktail Week
Winchester Cocktail Week

This month marks the inaugural Winchester cocktail week, 1 – 7 February. Yes, you heard it correctly, a whole week dedicated to supping cocktails in some of Winchester’s finest establishments. A collaboration between the Cabinet Rooms and Winchester Bid, you can purchase a wrist band for £15 to be entitled to £4 signature cocktails at venues across the city. There are also various masterclasses on offer for wristband holders, so you can learn more about cocktail artistry. Special events include the Luxardo masterclass with Chococo, 2 & 3 February. Expect cherries soaked in Luxardo, chocolate and cocktails – sounds decadent. Entry is free for wristband holders and £5 for others.  You can book tickets by popping into Chococo or by emailing Libby here. On 4 February, the Theatre Royal bar will be taken over by mixologist supremos from Hartnett, Holder and Co. Entry is free for wristband holders but do reserve your place in advance.  For full details on other events and participating venues, visit the website.


Award winning performance artist Peta Lily will be performing her confessional theatre piece ‘Imperfection’ at the Winchester Discovery Centre, 11 February at 7.45pm. Imperfection takes an unflinching look at the ordinary. An all-waving, all-drowning look at hidden corners of life where Dionysian worship rubs shoulders with Stevie Smith, Charles Bukowski and Japanese outsider art. The show is well worth a visit and tickets are available here.


We’ve got chills and they’re multiplying – Encore Youth Theatre will be singing their hearts out with Grease at the Theatre Royal, 17 – 20 February. It’s also the theatre troupe’s 35th birthday this year, so join them for a rock and roll celebration.

Winchester Rotary
Winchester Rotary

Winchester rotary will be holding a charity swimathon on 20 February in the Winchester College Pool. Teams of 8 are invited to participate in a 55 minute sponsored swimming relay. £25 of funds raised by each team will go to the Winchester rotary with the remainder going to other charities of their choice. To register, visit here.

Winchester 10k road race
Winchester 10k road race

The Winchester 10k Road Race starts outside the Guildhall on 21 February.  Participants must be over 16 to enter and will need parental consent if they are under 18.  The route includes a trip to Kingsworthy with a return leg through the village of Headbourne Worthy before the finish line at the Winchester City football club ground, where there will be custom medals, bottled water, bananas and Haribos on offer. Visit here to register.

Little Pickles Market
Little Pickles Market

Little Pickles Market will be taking over the Riverpark Leisure centre on 21 February with over 30 nearly new tables of baby kit: prams, high chairs, toys, books, maternity wear – the works.  The market is open from 2-3.30pm and entrance is £1, with kids allowed in for free.

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium
Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium will be hosting an exciting programme of activities for the school holidays, 12 – 22 February.  Advanced booking is advised, particularly for the planetarium cinema shows. Opening hours are 9.30am – 5pm. Keep an eye out for Destination Space, a live family show running at 10.45am & 2.45pm focussing on Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Programme.

Leap your way through February, Wintonians, for it is not long now until Spring.

Cabinet Meeting

An Historic Day for Winchester’s First Cabinet Meeting by Gary Whiter

Cabinet Meetings
Cabinet Meetings – Nyetimber

At approximately 17:30 on Wednesday 9 September, Queen Elizabeth II will officially become the longest reigning monarch in British history. To mark this historic day, Winchester food and drink bloggers, Cabinet Rooms, will be hosting a very special wine tasting evening in collaboration with leading English winemaker, Nyetimber.

Cabinet Rooms are inviting wine lovers to join them on the evening of 9 September for a “Festival of Britain”, the first of their new series of food and drink events, grouped under the tongue-in-cheek moniker “Cabinet Meetings”. On arrival, guests will be given a Dubonnet cocktail, said to be a favourite of the Queen’s, before being introduced to Julian Kirk, Nyetimber’s brand ambassador, who will lead the group though a tutored tasting of a selection of their award-winning sparkling wines.

As a nod to the Queen’s ascension to the throne in 1952, Cabinet Rooms has worked with The Green Man, Winchester, to devise a series of 1950’s inspired small plates, created to pair with the wines being tasted. Throughout the evening, Cabinet Rooms will offer a lighthearted reflection on the Queen’s long reign.

Cabinet RoomsCabinet Rooms co-founder, Gary Whiter, said, “While Her Majesty may be hoping for a quiet day on 9 September, we didn’t feel we could let such an important milestone pass us by without at least enjoying a glass of bubbly! We’re over the moon to be able to welcome Nyetimber to Winchester for the occasion; it is a huge honour to be hosting our first Cabinet Meeting with such a prestigious winemaker on this special day. We have designed our Cabinet Meetings to offer something a little different from the norm and we hope that, in particular, our Festival of Britain will tickle people’s fancy!

Whether they attend on their own, as a couple or with a group of friends, our guests will have an opportunity to socialise with like-minded people, learn something new and, most importantly, have some fun along the way!”

Cabinet Meeting: Festival of Britain is taking place at 19:00 on Wednesday 9 September in the beautiful Dining Room at The Green Man in Winchester. Tickets cost £40 per person and include:

  • Dubonnet Cocktail on arrival
  • Tutored tasting of a selection of Nyetimber’s award-winning English sparkling wine with Nyetimber’s Brand Ambassador
  • Food inspired by 1950’s dishes, carefully paired with Nyetimber’s wines

Tickets are on sale now and can be booked online by visiting the Cabinet Rooms website. Spaces are limited so early booking is recommended.

Cabinet Rooms is a blog devoted to “celebrating good food, drink and culture”, run by Gary Whiter and Marcus Roe, based in Winchester. They have 1,890 followers on Twitter, with whom they have enjoyed sharing their gastronomic adventures in Hampshire and London since March 2014. Far from considering themselves aficionados, Gary and Marcus are honest about being on a ‘journey of discovery’ when it comes to food and drink. They ran successful gin tasting events (“Welcome to Ginchester”) with Winchester Distillery for World Gin Day on 13 June 2015 and have just launched a new, exciting series of events called ‘Cabinet Meetings’ aimed at food and drink lovers who want to learn about new things and meet new people at fun and quirky soirées.

Blog: blog.thecabinetrooms.co.uk
Web: cabinetrooms.com
Twitter: @cabinetrooms
Instagram: cabinetrooms


For over 25 years Nyetimber has had a single aim: to make the finest English sparkling wine, one to rival the very best in the world, including Champagne. A true pioneer, Nyetimber was the very first producer of English sparkling wine to craft wines exclusively from the three celebrated grape varieties found in Champagne: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Each bottle of Nyetimber is crafted from one hundred percent of estate-grown grapes. In 1988, Nyetimber planted its first vines and today, the House is regarded as one of England’s finest wine producers.

Julian Kirk

Julian spent 7 years in the City in Lloyds of London before escaping over the fence to freedom. He started his own wine company importing and wholesaling to Event Caterers and Corporates. After selling the company seventeen years later, he became a wine consultant for several years for everyone from Marriott Hotels to Russian Oligarchs. Julian joined Nyetimber in 2012 after being bowled over by the total dedication by its owner to the quality of the wines and everything that Nyetimber does.

Record for the Longest Reigning Monarch

Buckingham Palace has calculated the time at which Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest serving monarch, taking into account the exact time of succession and leap years: 5.30pm 9 September 2015. The current record is held by Queen Victoria who reigned over the United Kingdom and its empire for a total of 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes (63 years and 7 months). Queen Victoria set her own record on 23 September 1896.