Celebrate:MK December 2020/January 2021

Page 1

December/January 2021. Issue 48


Because Milton Keynes is worth celebrating

CELEBRATE: lifestyle magazine

lity T he qua e magazin for MK

Merry Christmas and a hoppy new beer! Top 10 craft beers for 2021


See centre pages

INSIDE! mk food & Leisure awards



festive fun


Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

5 CHRISTMAS EVENTS Sam Carmichael brings you the best local events to attend in the run up to Christmas



8 GINGER MUM The local lifestyle blogger reveals some fabulous last minute shopping finds and gift ideas

11 FESTIVE MUSICAL Find out how you can stream Alpha Club’s magical Christmas musical at home on December 19th

14 MK FOOD AWARDS Hazel Roberts talks to organiser Steven Dryden-Hall about this year’s virtual awards ceremony




Cranberryhome’s Hugo Fleming explains how to dress your table like a pro for Christmas dinner

18 MK11 IS READY TO ROCK Vicki McCarthy catches up with co-owner Simon O’Brien to find out about their gigs and wings

22 TOP 10 BEERS FOR 2021 Jon Boyle picks out his favourite craft beers for a hoppy new year


26 SUPERSHOES CHARITY Heather Murphy explains how you can help children with cancer

31 HOPE FOR THE HOMELESS MC Champagne Bubblee talks about his charity fundraiser

Plus! Murphy Runs (13), Creative Culture (20), Tyre Talk (28), Showstoppers (35), Dad’s The Word (36), Reel Reviewer (38), MKFM (41)


The smallprint: Celebrate:MK cannot take responsibility for the content of advertisements or quotes/claims in articles. All photos and artwork are accepted on the condition that permission has been granted for its use in Celebrate:MK. Reproduction of any content included in Celebrate:MK, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited unless permission has been granted by the editor. © Celebrate:MK

Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK


December/January 2021

Welcome from the Editor

W Fun Fact

Murphy related to Vera

Our resident running columnist Anastasia Murphy (see page 13) is related to the late, great Liz Dawn, who played the much-loved Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street. Liz, who died in 2017 aged 77, was the cousin of Anastasia’s nan, making her Anastasia’s first cousin twice removed. We’re sure you’ll agree the resemblance is uncanny!

elcome to the December/ January issue of Celebrate:MK, as we celebrate our fourth birthday as a magazine. We have gone bimonthly from this issue onwards, which means the magazine will be published every two months in 2021 instead of each month. The change has been prompted by a number of factors including the pandemic, the fact I would like a bit more free time as I work fulltime as a uni journalism lecturer, and to ensure the quality of the magazine remains high. Jon Boyle Merry Christmas and a Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK happy new year!

We celebrate our fourth birthday as a magazine by going bimonthly

How to Subscribe The best way to receive Celebrate:MK directly every issue is to subscribe to the free digital edition. Just email the word ‘Subscribe’ to jon@celebratemk.co.uk

How to Advertise To advertise in Celebrate:MK, please email jon@celebratemk.co.uk or call 07928 027444. We offer generous discounts when you book to advertise in at least 3 issues of Celebrate:MK.

• Homecare support • Live in care • Emergency care (provided same day) • Palliative care • Dementia and Alzheimer care • Brain injury specialist care

How to Contact Us Telephone: 07928 027444 Email: jon@celebratemk.co.uk Website: www.celebratemk.co.uk Social media: @CelebrateMK

01908 522245 superiorhcs.co.uk admin@superiorhcs.co.uk Read reviews at homecare.co.uk


Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

December/January 2021

What to do this Christmas? Cool


This month

Local news reporter and radio presenter Sam Carmichael explains how you can still celebrate Christmas, Covid-style...


riting an events column during a pandemic is… difficult. And there is no doubt that festive celebrations will be different this year. It may be a case of testing your tech skills by using Zoom to call the in-laws, or texting your friend asking for turkey basting tips. Regardless of how Christmas and the new year pans out, it’s important to stay positive with the hope that I’ll be bringing you more events in 2021. One exciting event that is set to go ahead this year, however, is the panto at Milton Keynes Theatre. Oh no it’s not, you say? It is, and will be one of the few socially-distanced pantomimes in the country. Sleeping Beauty will be the first production shown at our much-loved arts venue in nine months. There will also be countless Christmas Grottos across the city, all Covid-compliant, including one of the UK’s biggest at the centre:mk. Peter Rabbit is the theme of this year, and actors will be bringing the characters to life.

One for the kids! If you’re looking for more low-key festivities, then why not venture out of town and head to Waddesdon Manor for the afternoon? The gardens turn into a festive extravaganza full of light trails, a market, and quirky displays. It’s a safe way to get out of the house and into the festive spirit. Whatever you get up to,

have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year… I’ll see you in 2021! Let’s hope next year is far kinder to us. All events are planned to go ahead at the time of printing. If you are running or hosting an event email sam. celebratemk@gmail.com. Turn to page 41 to read about Sam’s new MKFM radio show.

Call 07928 027444 or email jon@celebratemk.co.uk if you are interested in advertising in Celebrate:MK



Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Cranberryhome Interior Design ~ Room Designs ~ Property Styling

01908 648805 cranberryhome.co.uk





01908 412376




CELEBRATE: Advertise in 2021

2 months for 1 in 2021 Celebrate:MK is now published bi-monthly, so when you advertise in one issue, your advertising lasts two months From

!* 0 5 ÂŁper issue *When you book for 3 consecutive issues. See issue dates at bottom of page

00es 0 , 0 2 opi sy c glos

Delivered to ABC1 homes, businesses & collection points in MK and surrounding areas Over 2,000 subscribers to the digital edition too

ality u q e T h gazine ma MK fo r

Call 07928 027444 or email jon@celebratemk.co.uk for the 2021 Celebrate:MK media pack 2021 issue dates: Dec 2020/Jan 2021 issue (ad deadline 6/11/20, published 20/11/20). Feb/March issue (ads by 8/1/21, published 22/1/21). April/May issue (ads by 5/3/21, published 19/3/21). June/July issue (ads by 7/5/21, published 21/5/21). Aug/Sept issue (ads by 9/7/21, published 23/7/21). Oct/Nov issue (ads by 10/9/21, published 24/9/21). Dec 2021/Jan 2022 issue (ads by 5/11/21, published 19/11/21).


Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

The finishing touches for Xmas Our resident lifestyle blogger Amanda, aka Ginger Mum, talks about the run-in to Christmas and looking forward to hopefully spending time with our families


is the season to be jolly…. Last minute prep incoming as we hopefully get to spend this Christmas with our loved ones, who we have missed out on so much of late. Lots of us have had more time at home to be organised this year so for me, it’s just the finishing touches still to be bought. These Xmas biscuits are a great little treat as the nights draw in and also make great gifts. A brand new independent MK business – Baby Granny Bakes - from a savvy 17-year old who started the biz during lockdown one to finance her dreams of becoming a singer/ songwriter as she studies for it.

Find her on Facebook. An ideal way to support a new local independent business and a flourishing star in the making. Another little treat, one for myself this time, will be one of www.neonmarl.co.uk new candles which I can burn as I indulge in my Christmas wrapping sessions. Freshly launched, we are already huge fans of Amber, the founder and her now famous rainbow hoodies which have been the snuggly symbol of hope for 2020. I struggle to come up with good, affordable personalised ideas for grandparent gifts and I’m so over the obvious options from the big-name retailers. This week, I discovered Olive & Pip, a Newport Pagnell based business who make really cool items from our children’s drawings etc, so that’s exactly what my parents will be getting

from the boys this year. Find them on Instagram @oliveandpip to see their full range of options.

Facebook “f ” Logo

Final touches for my Christmas tree have arrived from Tony Almond Ltd – the Insta famous Christmas tree specialists, and another booming independent business. I love this pre-Christmas flurry of excitement but once the tinsel fizzles out and the last bit of turkey has been consumed, I like to prepare for the coming year and I think that more than ever it will be a very heartfelt goodbye to the year. I hope 2021 brings all of you good health, a renewed zest for life and a continuing appreciation of the things we discovered recently that truly matter. Merry Christmas to you all and happy new year. x Don’t forget you can follow my daily musings on my Instagram stories over @gingermumstyle

Call 07928 027444 or email jon@celebratemk.co.uk if you are interested in advertising in Celebrate:MK




CMYK / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .ai



Call us today on 01908 367770 @TyresDirectBletch www.bletchleytyres.co.uk




*only on production of this advertisement!



Ad_1117_A6_v3.indd 1

08/11/2017 13:15:31


A LEVEL ECONOMICS: online every Saturday from 9am-9:55am (£10 each) GCSE MATHS: online every Saturday from 1pm-1:55pm (£7 each) FIND OUT WHAT THE iXL TEAM HAVE BEEN UP TO FACEBOOK: iXLTUTORS • INSTAGRAM: @iXL_TUTORS • TWITTER: @iXLTUTORS


La Dolce Vita Clubcard

The La Dolce Vita Clubcard has launched just in time to raise everyones spirits... What is the La Dolce Vita Clubcard? Simply put, it’s a Clubcard, presented by the Alpha Family, which is available to purchase by everyone & anyone who loves the idea of living life for the moment. From as little as £25 per year the card pays for itself… new members receive a £10 cashback bonus, & this along with the thousands of discounts and offers nationwide, means the remaining £15 and more is back in your pocket in no time. What’s so exciting about it? Well, aside from the incredible prize draws, exciting competitions & exclusive benefits, you can now enjoy streamed Alpha Events from the comfort of your own home. Alpha’s West End stars & Headliners such as Ruthie Henshaw, Mazz Murray, Lauren Samuels & Ben Forster, along with X Factor’s Ben Haenow will be on your screens, delivering your favourite musical numbers from across the ages & genres. La Dolce Vita are filling your homes with live theatre & entertainment that everyone can experience & enjoy.

“What’s exciting about The La Dolce Vita Clubcard & the future of these events is that suddenly they’ve opened up so anyone can come & watch them” - Ben Forster

La Dolce Vita has a multi-tiered membership offering, which means you can choose which membership best suits you & your lifestyle. Once you’re a member, all of the opportunities that the Clubcard has to offer are yours for the taking. Start entering all the fantastic competitions, get your hands on all the exclusive offers & take advantage of cash back incentives. On top of that, if you purchase one of their Charity Clubcards, you receive all of the same benefits & your favourite charity directly receives £10 of each card sale from the Alpha Family. Doing things “The Alpha Way” is a great way to shake those lockdown blues.

“A Lot of dark moments, but thanks to Alpha Club, they are a fabulous family to be a part of, we can come into people’s homes & give them the Alpha night out. It’s wonderful.” - Mazz Murray Alpha at Oscars Restaurant, & Bar, in the Hub Milton Keynes, proudly supports & accepts the LDV Clubcard.

For more information, visit www.la-dolce-vita.club

Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

December/January 2021

Christmas musical to be streamed to Alpha’s La Dolce Vita members West End stars to perform a magical show on Saturday December 19th to clubcard members, before launching a Christmas album...


hristmas is on the way and the Alpha family have been busy creating lots of wonderful streaming content to warm you up nicely in these coming winter months. Alpha Club have their very own West End performers, including some of the most talented singers and entertainers the UK has to offer, and they have created a fabulous and unique musical performance just for you. Filming in the heart of London’s West End on their Covid compliant set, the stars have come together to create one of the most magical shows that has to be seen to be believed. And this is your chance to see this one-off Christmas extravaganza. As it ‘tis the season’, this exclusive stream will be available to all Alpha’s La Dolce Vita card members absolutely free on Saturday December 19th, ensuring the

perfect start to your family’s yule tide celebrations. This is just one of the amazing experiences you can get by being a member of this elite club. And joining has never been easier, as Alpha Club have launched a fantastic loyalty card, from as little as £25 per

year, with £10 cash back upon registration. If you are unable to join in with the merrymaking celebration on the 19th, fear not, as Alpha are committed to bringing joy to local people throughout this festive season. As such, they will be launching an Alpha Christmas Album in December, including all the songs from the streamed show, that you can download and listen to at your leisure. So you will no longer have to wish, as it really can be Christmas every day! Alpha at Oscars Restaurant & Bar in The Hub, Milton Keynes, supports and accepts the La Dolce Vita Clubcard. For more information visit www.ladolcevita.club


You might be a little spoilt for choice … Find out more @12thStreetMK



Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

December/January 2021

Two top tips to bag a PB Murphy Runs reveals a running positive that came out of lockdown 2.0


n the first day of Lockdown 2.0, I achieved a 10k personal best (PB). After months of knowing I had it in me, but failing several times, I ran my first sub-50 minute 10k – coming in at 49:31 minutes. I did two laps around Willen Lake – nice and flat with plenty of space to dodge people. No matter the distance, we’ve all got that time goal in mind that we know we can achieve if the stars align, so here are two pieces of advice if you’re trying to bag a new PB…

Trust your gut feeling On the day of my PB, I woke up one morning full of positivity, energy and selfbelief. Those three elements are essential when taking on a challenge, as you must genuinely believe you can do it. I knew on this day, I had to make the most of my mood. Know roughly when you want to attempt the run so you can train appropriately but listen to your gut and go when feels right. Set a strategy with a specific time goal Without a strategy, you’ll run as fast as you can and then potentially burn out and miss your target. I knew I wanted 49:59 minutes – coming in much faster was not my priority. I set a strategy and planned the pace for each mile so that I only had to focus on the

Murphy Runs mile I was in, ensuring I did not run any faster and risk burning out. For example, I started off running slower than goal pace to ensure I could ease in slowly, but I had planned what pace I needed for the second half to reach the overall goal time. Focus on the goal and don’t get carried away, then go for it right at the end if you’ve got loads left in the tank. So go on – get out here and finish 2020 with a big PB! If you need winter running motivation, head over to www.murphyruns.com where I have been sharing weekly running diaries. Follow Anastasia’s running adventures on Instagram @MurphyRuns

Call 07928 027444 or email jon@celebratemk.co.uk if you are interested in advertising in Celebrate:MK



Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Celebrating success at the Hazel Roberts caught up with organiser Steven DrydenHall to find out why hospitality needs recognition this year


he hospitality sector has certainly been in the news a lot during 2020 and it has taken a beating, but that’s not to say that it is beaten! In many ways there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate, but the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards made sure that businesses got the recognition they deserved despite these difficult times. Previous years have seen

Š James Kennedy Photography

the awards announced at a glitzy black-tie event in early May but the awards this year certainly looked different. I caught up with organiser, Steven Dryden-Hall, to find out what it took to put on the awards this year. As public voting opens in January and closes in April every year, this part was able to go ahead as usual. Customers were still able to vote for their favourite places

Food scene to eat and drink in Milton Keynes and Steven said that during that time they received over 10,000 votes. When lockdown happened, plans were made to move the awards evening to November.

Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

December/January 2021

MK Food & Leisure Awards © James Kennedy Photography

Voting opened again in September for a few weeks and more votes came flooding in, showing that the public were keen to support their favourite businesses. However, it became clear that the usual meal and social gathering of the awards evening would not

be possible. Instead, the announcements moved online. With host Chris Gregg bringing wit and excitement to the awards, the winners were announced live on Facebook, with all the usual tension of sealed envelope reveals. Steven said that despite the logistical challenges, it was well worth holding the awards this year. “Winning an award can only help the visibility of a business and it’s a moment of excitement at a difficult time that helps to recognise the hard work that the staff have put in throughout the year,” he said. Congratulations

to restaurants Pin Petch, The Three Trees, The Cherry Tree and Bella Italia, best takeaway Tasty MK, best street food Eat Is Greek and newcomers Mrs Mac’s Sweet Treats. Best Local Product (Food) is Simply Dairy Ice-cream from The Willen Ice-cream Company, and Best Local Product (Drink) is Stables Gold from Concrete Cow Brewery. The hard work of Jack Robinson and Louise Cuthbert has been recognised in the best waiter and waitress categories. The full list of categories and winners can be found at www.mkfla.com



Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

How to dress your Hugo Fleming, Design Director of award-winning local interior design company Cranberryhome, gives us an interiors insight into styling your table for Christmas dinner

interior design co lumn


f it's your turn to host Christmas this year you might be dreading all the preparation and pressure to deliver both culinary delights and festive decorations to match. Fear not, this insider stylist guide to your perfect table dressing will give you the confidence to put together your best table or try something new. If you are a traditionalist, you might be opting for the bright red, silver and white combination. Layer your plates with a soft grey linen napkin, earthy base plate and white bowls decorated with a red bauble tied with a name tag handwritten for the personal touch. A few sticks of cinnamon tied with string or ribbon will add that festive scent and quirky touch. For something new, try twisting the gold accents for a warm yellow accent colour this year teamed with classic black and white for that clean contemporary look. Personalise your baubles

for that personal touch from ÂŁ4 on Etsy. Central table decorations are a must to create that focal point. Greenery is perfect for this,

so use a mixture of cones, firs and even berries with elements of bark and moss for that earthy look. Linen table runners on a dark table

Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

December/January 2021

table for Christmas

look great. Printing out your own menu always looks good on a dinner plate. Consider a stylish font for the wording and style with berries that you can purchase at most homeware shops. Slip the contrasting napkin under the plate and droop over the table to create that stylist look.

However you celebrate the festive season, it's all about friends, family, home, scents, cosiness and relaxation. Make the most of this special time and be creative with your dining table this year. Wishing you all the best for the season and a more focused and creative 2021 from all of us at Cranberryhome.

Hugo is Design director of Cranberryhome, the award winning interior design and property styling company based in Milton Keynes. Often found at Ask an Expert at Grand Designs Live, Hugo is in demand as an interior designer all over the UK. You can email him on hello@cranberryhome.co.uk or visit cranberryhome.co.uk for more information.



Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

MK11 ready to rock with gigs and wings Music reporter Vicki McCarthy looks forward to getting back to MK11


t the time of writing this, we’ve just entered into Lockdown 2.0, I’m hoping by the time you read this we’ll be out of, or almost out of it. We can’t help but be optimistic. With this positive outlook in mind, before lockdown, I caught up with Simon O’Brien, who co-owns local live music and sports venue MK11, based in Kiln Farm. Like venues up and down the country, MK11 has been hit hard since March of this year, having had to cancel all events, lose its dedicated staff and see stock worth thousands of pounds go to waste. Furthermore, MK11 was unfortunately unsuccessful in obtaining a grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund, so they need our support more than ever when their doors reopen for music events. When Simon and I spoke, I was looking forward to learning what plans they had in December and January, as the venue tentatively hosts a number of socially distanced gigs. So, what’s on the cards? “Well, the plan is to reopen with local metallers Raging Speedhorn taking to the stage,” Simon smiled. “After

that we hope to entice giggoers to a number of excellent tribute acts. Plus, a gig from MK’s legendary forest of fools.” These gigs will be seated, people will be spaced apart, and the tickets will be available for matinée and evening performances. Which allows a lot more people to enjoy the live music, with the restrictions in mind. Sadly, the usual, delicious MK11 food menu won’t be available, as the kitchen remains closed, but Simon and his brother (and co-owner) Marc will be launching a new venture in the form of a street food truck onsite called Wingmania. Simon explained, “Building upon the love that the MK11 chicken wings has garnered, we've really pushed the boat out with the food truck menu. With an exciting array of choices for chicken lovers, as well as offering some homemade vegan options too.” Sounds scrummy! Looking ahead, Simon and Marc have booked a number of upcoming gigs, which are on sale now. Due to the limited numbers, tickets for these matinée and evening shows could sell out

The scene fast, so book ahead to secure your seat and help support this fantastic local music venue. So, I leave the final word to Simon, as we look to the future, what does he think? “We just want people to come and give these sociallydistanced gigs a go. Yes, they will be a bit different to how we normally enjoy live music but come and give it a try. “We’ll be using an app for ordering drinks as another method of keeping you all as safe as possible. “Lockdown has been hard on everyone. All independent venues - not just us - need your support as we open up to limited numbers. If people don’t use us, they could very well lose us, it could happen to any of your favourite venues. “So, let’s make the best of what we have!” Book tickets via facebook.com/mk11music

Friday 11 December - Raging Speedhorn Saturday 12 December - Simply Floyd (Pink Floyd tribute) Friday 18 December - forest of fools Saturday 19 December - Mad Mods and Englishman (Covers) Sunday 27 December - Fleetingwood Mac (Fleetwood Mac tribute) Friday 8 January - Wrong Jovi (Bon Jovi tribute) Friday 16 January - Guns 2 Roses (Guns N’ Roses tribute)

watchwords are Quality, These days most homeowners suffer from Integrity and Value. Quality in thearound materials a lack of storage space. Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from MK So many precious items that we use for all our installations and the fact that need to be kept that all our loft packages – but where to store it are fitted by time served all? That’s where Home tradesmen, so our Counties Loft Ladders customers are assured come in. of the best job. The company, Integrity in that we based locally, offers will turn stand up at the homeowners themost hese days Ladders out.time opportunity to maximise we say and make sure homeowners Manager Jamie the house isare spotless their storage watchwords Quality, These days mostspace from from a Oakley explained: when we leave, and with suffer a loftsuffer ladder, Integrity and Value. homeowners storage “Our are valuewatchwords in the thatmaterials we offer 50sqft of of boarding and Quality in a lack of lack storage space. our services a price a light - all fullyitems fitted that So many Quality, Integrity and we use foratall our Sospace. many precious peopleQuality canand afford. in less to than day precious items thatfrom installations Value. in the the fact that need beakept just £355!toBut it’s not that allbusiness our loft packages – but where store it need to be kept – but materials thatrelies we use Our on just the affordability are fitted by time all? That’stowhere referrals and we served get a where store Home itthat all? for all our installations of the package so that our Counties Ladders huge amount of our That’sLoft where Home tradesmen, and the fact all calls makes Home Counties customers are who assured come in. from people have Loft Ladders stand Counties Loft Ladders our loft packages are referred of been the best job. to us by out, as manager Jamie come in. fitted by time served The company, our existing customers Oakley explains: based locally, offers‘Our Integrity in that we

- that simply wouldn’t happen if we didn’t December/January 2021 adhere to our overriding principles.

every installation we carry out!’

So, if you want to make use of your loft space, At the end of the day the call Jamie free on 0808 old adage that happy 301 9558 and he’ll be customers lead to more happy to pop round and happy customers is true give you a no obligation and we work hard to quote so you too can make that happen for make use of your loft!

Create more storage space with Home Counties Counties Loft Home Loft Ladders, Ladders


Quality You Can Trust!

The company,

homeowners theoffers based locally, opportunity to maximise homeowners the their storage space opportunity to maximise with a loft ladder, their storage space with 50sqft of boarding and a loft- ladder, a light all fully50sqft fitted of a light – all in boarding less thanand a day from fully fitted init’s lessnot than a just £355! But just the affordability day from just £355. of the package But it’s not that just the makes Home Counties affordability of the Loft Ladders stand package that makes out, as manager Jamie Home Counties Loft Oakley explains: ‘Our

tradesmen, so our

will turn up at the time customers are assured we ofsay theand bestmake job. sure the house is spotless “Integrity in that when we leave, and we turnwe upoffer at valuewill in that theservices time we and our atsay a price make can sureafford. the house people

- that simply wouldn’t happen if we didn’t adhere to our overriding principles.

So, if you want to make use of your loft space, At the end of the day the call Jamie free on 0808 old adage that happy 301 9558 and he’ll be customers lead to more happy to pop round and happy customers is true give you a no obligation and we work hard to quote so you too can make that happen for make use of your loft!

on referrals and we get a huge amount of calls from people who have been referred to us by our existing customers – that simply wouldn’t happen if we didn’t adhere to our overriding principles. “The old adage that happy customers

Need more storage space?


Our business relies on leave, and value in referrals and we get a that we offer our huge amount of our calls services at who a price from people have people can afford. been referred to us by “Our business relies our existing customers

every installation we carry out!’

STARTER PACKAGE: Aluminium loft ladder, light plus 50 sqft boarding, fully fitted in less than a day from £355

lead to more happy customers is true and we work hard to make that happen for every installation we do.” Call Jamie free on 0808 3019558 for a no obligation quote so you too can make use of your loft space.

Need more storage space? • Loft Ladders • Hatches • Boarding • Insulation • Lights • Fully Guaranteed

INSTALL A LOFT0808 LADDER CALL FREE: 301 9558 AND USE YOUR LOFT! STARTER PACKAGE: Aluminium loft ladder, light plus 50 sqft boarding, fully fitted in less than a day from £355

• Loft Ladders • Hatches • Boarding • Insulation • Lights • Fully Guaranteed

CALL FREE: 0808 301 9558

Following COVID-19 Secure Guidelines



Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Four fab online exhibitions Creative Culture columnist Elizabeth Woodward reveals her top recommendations for online museum and exhibition content



ith lockdown meaning you will be spending more time at home, it is the perfect opportunity to take a virtual stroll around an exhibition or two that you otherwise may have missed! Many galleries and museums have adapted quickly to the current restrictions and have lots of content available online, but here are my top four recommendations: The Victoria and Albert Museum: The V&A has a dedicated Google Arts page with many articles, online exhibits and photographs of their collections. If you are interested in fashion and its history, their online exhibition ‘Balenciaga: Master Craftsman’ is a

fascinating read. It explores Cristóbal Balenciaga’s creative genius and will give you a new appreciation for the history of one of the 21st centuries biggest fashion brands. Picasso and Paper at The Royal Academy: A great watch for anyone looking to find out more about the world-renowned artist. The exhibition explores Picasso’s innovative use of the everyday material through more than 300 of his works on paper. His obsession with the media of paper and his experimentation with it is highlighted throughout; scraps of newspapers, sketches, studies, etchings and collages are all on show. The detailed 40 minute video which tours the gallery is an immersive watch and really gives you the feeling of perusing the RA. Andy Warhol at Tate Modern: A curator interview and room by room guides are available from the first Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern in 20 years, which contains both iconic images and never before seen works. The exhibition focuses on his identity as an immigrant growing up in America, his sexuality and his fascination with the themes of death and religion. An interesting exhibition for those that want to know

more about the man behind the iconic pop artworks and learn about Warhol’s motivations and insecurities. The Painted Hall at The Old Royal Naval College: For an up close view of some of Britain’s finest architecture, the interactive tour of the Painted Hall at The Old Royal Naval College is a must see. Often described as ‘The Sistine Chapel of the UK,’ it was designed by Christopher Wren in the Baroque style and built between 1696 and 1712. In 1707 British artist James Thornhill was commissioned to paint the Hall as a tribute to the founders, Queen Mary II and King William III. The painting took 19 years to complete and it is not hard to see why when you witness the breathtaking paintings full of nearly 200 religious, mythological and royal figures and look up at the beautiful domed ceiling of the Vestibule. artsandculture.google.com/ exhibit/balenciaga-mastercraftsman/-wIivb9hDv4rJQ www.royalacademy.org. uk/article/picasso-and-papervirtual-exhibition-tour www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/ tate-modern/exhibition/andywarhol/exhibition-guide ornc.org/our-story/today/ painted-hall-tours/

Cloudy2Clear, A Local Service With A Smile. I think we can all agree that the sooner we see the back of 2020 and this dreadful corona virus the better. That said, there are also some heart warming positives that we can take out of this situation. It has often been said that we can only really get to know one another and realise what is truly important in times of crisis. I think few would argue that in this case what has proven to be important is local community spirit. When talking to the Manager of Cloudy2Clear windows Stephen Moon it became clear that these values have been held dear for a number of years. Since starting the business some years ago Cloudy2Clear have remained true to their core values of

supporting the local community by providing a service that saves the public money. The Cloudy2Clear service only requires the glass to be replaced and not the whole window once the unit has failed. Stephen commented “Cloudy2Clear were able to assist our community through the last financial crisis in 2008 due to the savings that can be made in using our service. Unfortunately we might be going through something similar again soon and the public can rest assured that we will be there to help again”.

All C2C employees operate a strict social distancing policy.

For a free quotation please call 0800 61 21 118 or visit cloudy2clear.co.uk.

Have Your Windows Steamed Up? Replace the pane, not the frame!

All glazing backed by our

“I really liked the fact that they were a local community run business” Janet Beard

Social distancing in operation

We are a Which? Trusted Trader

Faulty locks, handles or hinges? Priority freephone www.cloudy2clear.co.uk

Love Your Home - Protect Your Windows - Save Money


Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Top 10 beers for 2021 After the year we’ve all endured, we deserve a very merry Christmas and a hoppy new year. As such, Celebrate:MK editor and craft beer enthusiast Jon Boyle picks out his top 10 beers to ensure you’re smiling from ear to beer


anet Jackson lied. The best things in life are not free. Craft beer is of course the best thing in life, and it’s pretty damn expensive. But I’m not here to expose the character flaws of Michael Jackson’s little sister, or to reveal that I could have funded the government’s botched Track and Trace system with the money I’ve spent at MK Biergarten (pictured) recently. I’m here to share with you the key to hoppiness over the Christmas and new year period, plus several other bad beer puns. Here are my top 10 craft beers for 2021. Hoppy holidays, MK! 1) VERDANT BLOOM IPA

Being an eternal hoptimist, I have dreamed of a beer like this ever since I compiled my last top 10 two years ago (see right page). Overflowing with juicy columbus and mosaic hops, think of blueberry muffins with a hint of caramel. It’s 6.5% and comes in large 440ml cans of goodness. Who said size doesn’t matter?

2) MIKKELLER BLOW OUT IPA Cure your alements from this miserable year with this magnificent beverage, which you can buy from M&S. It’s 6%, refreshing, and the big citrus flavour will blow you away.

4) VERDANT HEADBAND I don’t beer-lieve it, Verdant Brewery have done it again. The Cornish kings have a sweet habit of cooking up juicy, hoppy, unfiltered beers, and this 5.5% pale ale is delicious. Their beers are vegan too, if that’s your thing.

3) BRIXTON ATLANTIC APA Don’t worry beer happy, thanks to to this exotic American pale ale brewed in sunny Brixton, It’s 5.4% and the extra pale malt keeps it crisp for hops to rule.

5) LOST COSMONAUTS DDH IPA Brewed by North Brewing Co, founders of the first craft beer bar in the UK, the taste of this 6% double dry hopped IPA made me smile from ear to beer. Available in Tesco.

Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK


Brewed with a high volume of oats and wheat to create a full, thick mouthfeel, this 6.5% New England IPA from Northern Monk is brewtiful. It contains the classic hop combination of citra, simcoe and mosaic for masses of tropical flavours. Available in 440ml cans in Tesco, the price has a northern feel to it too.



Only the Irish could brew a pale ale that is actually dark brown. But this 5.5% beer from Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork is the perfect pick for a cold winter’s night. Drink it on draft at The Barge in Woolstone, in front of the open log fire.

If you like Tiny Rebel’s Clwb Tropica, then you’ll love this beer from Vibrant Forest Brewery. This 4.5% pale ale comes in 440ml cans and provides a sweet hit of light citrus and ripe tropical fruit flavours. Available from Brewhouse and Kitchen in 12th Street, MK.

8) MAD SQUIRRELL SUMO APA This 4.7% APA has a fruity taste I hold beer to my heart, and it’s brewed locally in Hemel Hempstead too. Find it on draft at All Bar One MK, or at Mad Squirrell Tap in St Albans.

10) BREWDOG PUNK IPA Two years ago I ludicrously advised you to pour away your cans of Punk IPA and replace them with Elvis Juice. I love Punk IPA again now and can only assume I had my beer goggles on. Soz.

Two years ago, Jon’s top 10 beers for 2019 g o.uk to book your advertisin Email jon@celebratemk.c


Hoppy new beer!

Visit celebratemk.co.uk

for more news from around

ow that I no longer live with a girl, my fridge is being used for its proper purpose (see picture, right). So I was thoroughly prepared for this groundtive breaking piece of investiga ately, I journalism but, unfortun that drank so many craft beers I forgot all the results. t But fear not as I re-bough them all the beers and drank are the all again for you. Here of results, ranked in order me... how hoppy they made


New pups Tiny Rebel and Beavertown are my current there favourite breweries but of the is no denying the bite like old dog Brewdog. If you step Punk IPA, the logical next g is to pour away all remainin 6.5% cans and go and buy this instead. IPA d grapefruit-infuse


Every time I drink this 4.2% Vermont style IPA I hear Sean Paul’s voice in my head saying ‘Dutty, yeah’, which is a good thing, of course. This beer from is Welsh wizards Tiny Rebel It’s called Dutty for a reason. – unfiltered, hazy and murky just how I like my Jamaican dancehall music. OIL 10) BEAVERTOWN NECK This lovely, light 4.3% session IPA not only lubricates my neck, but my soul too. Buy it for £2.20 a can in Waitrose to ensure dry this January. isn’t your neck

8) TRAILS AND WAYS This 5.4% New England pale ale from Neon Raptor excites me as it has the rawness of a home-brew. It tastes amazing but contains floaty ogy). bits (the official terminol

Guideline Publications


on If there is a nicer beer try it. this planet, I am yet to This tropical IPA from Welsh must brewery Tiny Rebel is a because MK for all residents of and take eyes your close if you on a a sip, it feels like you are actually tropical beach and not d. 90 miles away from Southen This 5.5% beer is packed peach, hops, American of full and passionfruit, pineapple so mango flavours and it’s d good that I just got distracte 24 from and ordered a crate of this. tinyrebel.co.uk while writing and Try a can at Brewhouse District. Kitchen at The Theatre


January 2019


7) LAGUNITAS IPA I feel like I’m boring you with beers you already know now but this has to be in my top 10. It’s a well rounded 6.2% IPA that doesn’t get sickly, so I always keep a bottle ready to reset my palate during an evening on the of like fruity pale ales – kind break. an unhealthy half-time Cleaver. Try it on tap at Craft and

craft beer and everything... but Dry January is brilliant siast editor and craft beer enthu is better. Celebrate:MK to try in 2019 you for ales pale 10 Jon Boyle picks his top


2) HEATHEN IPA Northern Monk have created a little 7.2% slice of heaven with this juicy, Citraoverloaded beer. They usually have it in the takeaway fridges at the Brewdog bar at The Hub. 3) MINNOW APA The can is about the most boring thing I have ever seen in my life but wow, this 5% APA is actually the new Gamma Ray. Find it in takeaway fridges. Brewdog the

IPA 4) YEASTIE BOYS DIGITAL Yeastie Boys is becoming a seriously popular brewery and this is my favourite one from them. A tasty 5.7% New Zealand-hopped It’s beer with a bitter finish. cheap too at £1.80 in Tesco. RAY 5) BEAVERTOWN GAMMA The only reason this 5.4% APA is not in my top 2 is because I’ve drunk so much of it that I taste it in my sleep. On tap at Woburn Ale . House and in cans at Waitrose


December/January 2021


For more


t: information please contac



153368 or email tom@

s Publication Guidelinepubl ications.co.uk

Tom Foxon on 07540


Call 07928 027444 or email jon@celebratemk.co.uk if you are interested in advertising in Celebrate:MK

So that’s the rundown of my top 10 beers for 2021 complete – it’s ale in a day’s work. We are lucky in Milton Keynes to be blessed with some great craft beer shops and bars, so pop along to start your voyage of discovery. My personal favourites are MK Biergarten in Wolverton and Brewhouse & Kitchen at 12th Street, closely followed by Brewdog at The Hub. Stay brewtiful, folks! Do you agree with Jon’s top 10? Do you have a beer that you would like him to review? Email Jon on jon@celebratemk.co.uk




A space every member of the family can use, a space of tranquility and relaxation, a space to create the perfect home office or a space in which you can dine. Insulating your conservatory turns it into these things and more, creating a space you can use all year round.


CALL US ON: 01908 547939 OR TEXT TAME TO: 60066 Flexible payment options available.



The winner of our competiton to have their conservatory insulated up to the value of ÂŁ3000 is: MRS CHLOE LAWLESS FROM NEW BRADWELL CONSERVATORY ROOF INSULATION SPECIALISTS

Competition terms & conditions: You must have a conservatory and be the homeowner. Cash alternative prize is not applicable. Insulation up to the value of ÂŁ3000 includes polycarbonate and glass roof conservatories up to 11 square meters, anything above this size will be subject to additional costs. All prices based on the discounted rate card which can be seen in our brochure. Not all conservatories can be insulated and a full survey will have to be carried out prior to insulation. Competition entries must be received by midnight on Friday 6th November. Insulation will be completed within three months of the winner being announced. Winner to be announced in the December edition of Celebrate MK and will be contacted by Tame Your Conservatory. All competition entrants give permission to receive marketing material and business updates from Tame Your Conservatory and other associated business partners. Winner picked at random.


Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Give time to help Supershoes’ mission to empower children fighting cancer Heather Murphy, owner of Brand Mission, talks about shoes that are created with kindness and laced with hope


ost businesses have been disrupted and contingency plans shattered – and sadly, Brand Mission hasn’t escaped this. The impact of the pandemic has been damaging for the industries we work with, consequently, impacting the work we do. In the 5-years of owning Brand Mission, time isn’t

something I have ever had but now, faced with a few months knowing all business decisions are out of my control, I’ve decided to turn my attention to doing something positive… By a chance dog walk, I met the wonderful founder of Supershoes - which uses shoes and art to empower children fighting cancer. Learning more about the

charity, I shifted my ‘work mindset’ and had an urge to help by volunteering my skillset and time. Like me, there will be many who specialise in specific areas and are currently not working at full capacity. If you have time and the skillset, offering a few hours each week to help Supershoes could help to stay mentally stimulated as well as doing some good. Supershoes, a volunteerled charity, have lifted the spirits of over 4,052 children fighting cancer by gifting them a pair of shoes designed specifically for them – containing all the things they love. Laced with hope, handpainted with colour and individuality, each pair of shoes provide a reminder to

Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

the receiving child of who they are, despite having to battle with illness. Often said to help younger children feel they have super-powers when wearing them, Supershoes encourage mobility and improve wellbeing. The team are the people who make the difference and you can be part of it! Achieve a greater sense of purpose and personal growth by giving a little of your time to volunteer for Supershoes. Could this be the best time to offer your expertise? Supershoes are looking for

December/January 2021

the following: A Project Manager to get a colouring book project off the ground!

Designed to help children and young people forget the challenges they face. A Fundraiser who has experience of grant applications, corporate fundraising or legacy giving. A Graphic Designer who can develop a new super fun Supershoes fundraising pack. Office Volunteers (starting 2021) who want to help make a difference (make it one of your New Year’s resolutions). If you’re a business and want to be part of the Supershoes mission, you can become a Super Sponsor and demonstrate your CSR. Find out more by emailing Heather info@brandmission. co.uk or Sarah admin@ supershoes.org.uk

Reap the benefits of outsourcing your Marketing and PR. Contact Brand Mission at info@ brandmission.co.uk or visit www.brandmission.co.uk for more information.



Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Recycled rubber earrings Ray Pantling, owner of Tyres Direct in Bletchley, talks about using recycled tyre rubber for a new purpose, plus an eye-catching new tyre accessory traditional Christmas earrings for you ladies to wear during the festive period, all made from recycled waste tyre rubber. Is it OK to be a little obsessed in choosing jewellery, why not!

To date I’ve crafted earrings, necklaces, pendants, wristbands, zip pullers, belts, shoes, bow ties and coffee tables. My passion over the decades dealing with rubber and tyres opened my imagination, and now I have a large stock of Christmas earrings in various sizes, colours available, so with Christmas on the horizon please drop by to have a browse. Maybe you even have an idea or challenge that I could develop or create.


s Elizabeth Taylor was once quoted as saying, “jewellery has the power to be the one little thing that makes you unique.” With Christmas almost upon us, may I take this opportunity to wish all our customers and readers of Celebrate:MK a merry Christmas in what has been a testing and very trying year. So maybe it’s time to drop our guard, lift our spirits, bring back a reminder of past years and the many Christmas days we have enjoyed and experienced. So I have created some

I am a certified ‘Amazon Artisan’ and have been for a number of years. I have been designing and creating my pieces, from recycling your waste unwanted tyre rubber and helping save the planet by giving it a second life.

Call 07928 027444 or email jon@celebratemk.co.uk if you are interested in advertising in Celebrate:MK

Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

December/January 2021

and special tyre thongs

TyrE Talk


ntil now, the only way to dress up a car tyre was through the wheel and rim choice, but everyone does that. You want to be unique, stylish and cool? Sensational tyre thongs are fresh, fun, interchangeable and affordable. Show off your ride with colourful tyre thongs that set your car apart from the crowd. At the moment designed for car shows, showrooms and special automobile events, sensational tyre thongs

are available in a variety of colours. The tyre thongs fit snugly into the grooves of your car’s tyres, instantly transforming your tyres from plain and ordinary, to fun and sexy! They are easy to install with no tools required. With the exception of the white wall tyres of yesteryear, tyres are traditionally black and I say boring. Tyre thongs are simple

and an affordable form of expression that adds that much needed sex appeal to your cars tyres. Sensational tyre thongs are more than just fun and games, with many potential uses beyond their eye-catching visual appeal. Match your mood or personality, show your support for your team’s colour, maybe use pink to support breast cancer, red for heart, or green for earth and energy. Make your car stand out at car shows, rallies, parades, or club events... Have fun and dance with life!

You can find Ray at Tyres Direct, Unit 51, Barton Road, Water Eaton Industrial Estate, Bletchley, MK2 3BN. For more information follow @TyresDirectBletch on Facebook or visit the website www.bletchleytyres.co.uk



Celebrate YOUR business! To advertise with us, email jon@celebratemk.co.uk

Subscribe to Celebrate:MK Simply email the word ‘Subscribe’ to jon@celebratemk.co.uk in the subject box of your email and you will be emailed a link to the digital edition of Celebrate:MK every issue for FREE! #Winning

Please mention Celebrate:MK when responding to adverts as it lets our advertisers know that their adverts are being seen by our lovely readers!

Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

December/January 2021

Hope For The Homeless Champagne Bubblee, aka Mr Milise, shares excerpts from his poem ‘Roofless’, about the struggles that the homeless have to endure...

champagne bubblee


ead hanging with a heavy heart and hurt in your soul. Braving the cold in shoes with holes in the soles. Has anybody listened to the stories you’ve told? You sleep THERE every night, the streets ain’t paved with gold.” These are the opening lines from a poem I wrote about Homelessness called ‘Roofless’. The title is a play on words, as the piece offers an insight into the ruthless world of those living on the streets of our county. I often research a subject matter before I put pen to paper when writing. It helps to build a realistic picture for the reader/listener and in this particular case I found that areas such as relationship breakdown, domestic abuse, adverse childhood experiences, intergenerational trauma, substance abuse, low level offending cycles and mental health problems can ALL contribute to making

individuals homeless. Add a severe lack of affordable housing across the country and you begin to understand why “rough sleeping” is on the rise. I talk about some of these issues in an excerpt of “Roofless” here: “Nobody ever asked you, how did you get here? They look down and walk past, go home and forget-ish! Like you never existed! Didn’t care that you were in care as a kid. Never knew that your Dad went down for a six, when you were six. And it turned your Mum into an alcoholic. Or that she attempted suicide and nearly died from taking tablets. Or that she moved her Boyfriend in who’d rather kick you than kick a crack habit! Now that's damage...You knew more about class A’s than getting A’s in class. Lost your childhood ‘cos you were raised too fast!” With unemployment on the rise, increasing poverty levels and winter on its way we will no doubt see the deep impact that Covid-19 has had on the homeless community. We often have different ideas as to why many are in such circumstances without asking questions. Recently I’ve teamed up with local grassroots charities and they demonstrated how they help those struggling with isolation, poverty, unemployment, hunger and mental health issues, “seven days a week”.

Presenting Stan from Project 16:15 with £500 cheque

The people they help form part of a much wider picture. We are all experiencing difficult times at present, but if you are reading this in a place that is warm, if you are sheltered with a hot drink and a full stomach, then I’m appealing to you to spare a thought for those less fortunate in these especially difficult times. We recently raised £1,300 to help local charities that support rough sleepers. Search GoFundMe to read about our Hope For The Homeless fundraising campaign. Let's look at ways to improve the circumstances of the vulnerable this winter. “We don’t need to have deep pockets or be rich to help the needy, the poor and the hungry. We just need to have a heart” - Kevin Dcruz. Roofless is available on all digital platforms December 1st. Quinton teaches poetry and creative writing online. Follow Quinton on Instagram @champagne_bubbler and @whoismrmilise. Follow Mr Milise on Spotify.



Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Waitrose recruits extra Xmas staff Baroque violinist is one of 1,850 new staff employed for Christmas


his Christmas, Waitrose will be recruiting nearly 1,850 additional drivers and pickers for its online delivery service Waitrose.com. The combination of temporary and permanent roles will help meet the surge in customer demand for the Waitrose.com service, picking and delivering online orders in Waitrose shops and also within two online fulfilment centres in Enfield and Coulsdon. The positions will cover both the home delivery and grocery click & collect services offered by Waitrose. The roles will be filled throughout December to prepare for the busiest time of the year. Since the start of the year, Waitrose.com has more than trebled the number of online slots to around 190,000 per week and recruited 1,800 additional delivery drivers who have been working in the network of shops and customer fulfilment centres, which together deliver to 90% of UK postcodes. A number of these new Partners were in different professions before the pandemic began, including two Partners from the fulfilment centre in Enfield, where one was performing in the theatre and another is a Baroque violinist (pictured).

All these Partners have played a key role in delivering the Waitrose.com service to customers around the country where support for delivering groceries has been vital. Waitrose Director of Online, Laura Burbedge, said: “This year our online shopping operation has more than trebled, and we know that the demand for our Waitrose. com service will continue throughout the festive season. “Our customers are planning ahead and adding Christmas items to their online baskets, with seasonal products on Waitrose.com up 250% so far in comparison to last year and turkey orders up by 280%. “These additional Waitrose. com drivers and pickers will

allow us to better support our customers over the Christmas period with their online grocery orders.” In addition to Waitrose.com deliveries and grocery click & collect, there is the Waitrose Rapid service. This service offers 7000 delivery slots per week and customers in areas of London and Hove can purchase up to 25 products for delivery within two hours. Waitrose has also recently announced that it will be expanding its trial with Deliveroo to 25 more shops, reaching 3.1 million households across the UK. An additional 150 products have been added to the range, meaning Deliveroo customers can now choose from more than 650 Waitrose products.

Visit your local branch of Waitrose at Oakgrove, Milton Keynes

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 7am-10pm, Sunday 11am-5pm




• Double Glazing • Triple Glazing • Sash Windows • Composite Doors • Bifold Doors • French Doors • Patio Doors

Free no obligation quote

ElementsMK.co.uk Call 01908 616 697


Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Browns Tree Solutions Ltd

Make Up By Della B Certified Mac Make Up Artist www.makeupbydellab.com

Family run business since 1997

Call now for your FREE quotation Offering a complete solution for all of your tree work

Tree removals

Your local professional Make Up Artist. I am also a trained brow technician including KB PRO trained in microblading. Working in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas so please call me on 07980 927337 or email della_dior@hotmail.co.uk. I’m on Instagram and Facebook too @Make up by Della B.

Bridal Make Up. Bridal packages price on request.

Deadwooding Tree reductions & pruning Veteran tree pruning Hedge reductions & trimming Stump removal Hedge & shrub maintenance Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .eps

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .eps

Find us on info@brownstreesolutions.co.uk www.brownstreesolutions.co.uk

0800 862 0863


• Make up (W/O Strip Lashes) - £35 • Make Up (With Strip Lashes) - £40 • Brow Wax And Tint - £15 • Brow Wax - £8 • LVL Lash lift treatment - £35 • Hydrating Facial - £20

15% off your order

Valid for new clients or clients who have not visited in the last 12 months. Valid until 1st December 2020.

Celebrate your business by advertising in Celebrate:MK

Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk or call 07928 027444 for prices

Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

December/January 2021

Sleeping Beauty at MK Theatre Cara Lee talks about MK Theatre’s socially distanced show this Christmas

show stoppers


he best theatre news we’ve had on a local level recently, since the lockdown, is that we will be getting a Pantomime this year after all! After the initially planned Jack and the Beanstalk was delayed until next year, MK Theatre is one of three regional venues across the country to be chosen for a socially distanced show this Christmas. Restrictions allowing, Sleeping Beauty will be on from the 19th of December to the 10th of January, with casting yet to be announced at the time of writing. Held as part of a collaboration between Qdos Entertainment and the National Lottery, Sleeping Beauty is part of a national scheme, the other two venues being Bristol and Manchester.

If you want to know more, you can go to: https:// www.atgtickets. com. In spite of the present uncertain situation, at the moment there are also still shows planned for The Stables in December, going into January. Held on the 10th, Steve Harley’s concert will see him celebrating 47 years in music, whilst Jonny Awsum will be performing on Friday 18th and Welsh vocalist Cherry Lee Mewis will finally take to the Stables stage on Friday 19th. More information on their full December line-up is available at: https://stables. org. Going further afield into the wonderful world of the West End, there’s been some light at the end of the tunnel there too! Although its initial opening date had to be pushed back due to the lockdown, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will be the first major West End musical to reopen on the 12th of December, joining the ranks of the Play That Goes Wrong, The Mousetrap and Magic Goes Wrong.

In addition, after a stunning performance a while back with the casts of Mary Poppins and Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables is planning an eight-week limited run over the festive period, more specifically from the 5th to the 31st of December. Although this good news is something to celebrate, sadly many smaller local venues are still unable to operate at the present time. So please keep your eyes open for reopening dates and support them if you can.

Cara Lee is a Milton Keynes based freelance writer and editor, who also writes the theatre blog ‘In the Lights’. You can find her on Twitter at @LeeInTheLights, on Instagram at @inthelightsblog and on Facebook at @caraleecontent

Call 07928 027444 or email jon@celebratemk.co.uk if you are interested in advertising in Celebrate:MK



Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Looking forward to Christmas and beyond Former MK Citizen reporter and married dad of two, Gareth Ellis, discusses how Christmas is coming earlier and why we should be hopeful for 2021


his year Jess and I have booked to take the kids to two different Christmassy attractions – Covid permitting. At the start of December, we’re off to see Santa at Frosts, which we’re mega excited about, and then we’re off to see the Christmas lights at Waddesdon Manor – two things we’ve never done before. Of course, making these plans before December isn’t anything strange - it’s the fact we had to book them both in August that baffles me. In the last few years, I’ve noticed that Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier but when you have children it’s a whole new ball game. Before it was ‘want to go to London and see the lights tomorrow?’ Now it’s ‘Gareth, it’s August, shall we look at what Christmas things we can do?’ Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and I’m one of those who will start blasting Christmas songs and wearing garish jumpers from December 1 - but no earlier. The reason? I’ve always loved Christmas, but I think to start celebrating it before December makes the build-up longer, which in turn makes the actual day seem so short and sudden. Now Rupert is creeping towards that age where he will embrace and enjoy Christmas, I want him to place

Dad’s the Word

special importance on the day, and not pique his interest too early. Soon we’ll all be starting another year and I hope for all of those reading this that it brings you something so much better than 2020 did. In all honesty the past year has been full of ups and downs. Most notably our daughter Emilia completed our family in May, then I was made redundant in October, only for that to open the door to some exciting freelance opportunities. See what I mean about ups and downs. The pandemic may have robbed us of seeing our

friends and family as much as we wanted, and I feel so terribly for those who lost those they loved to Coronavirus. I don’t wish that on anybody. For me, I took the positives it gave me and my little family unit. I was able to spend so much time with my wife and our two children and if 2021 can give me that same gift – minus the pandemic – then I’ll be a happy man. Gareth writes a regular blog at www.garethellisblog. wordpress.com and you can follow him on Instagram @dads_the_word_blog


VISIT DAVIDLLOYD.CO.UK OR CALL 0345 129 6807 TO BOOK YOUR TOUR TODAY David Lloyd Milton Keynes Livingstone Drive, Newlands, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK15 0DL


Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

A Christmas Carol remake Jason Day previews the latest movie releases across Christmas and the New Year holiday period Blithe Spirit (December 25) Gorgeous looking remake of Noel Coward’s classic play, that was made by David Lean in to a memorable 1945 comedy of manners. Starring Dan Stephens, Leslie Mann and Isla Fisher.

wer Reel revie


lease note, due to delayed releases because of the coronavirus, some films noted here may have been included in previous articles. A Christmas Carol (December 4) Carey Mulligan, Martin Freeman and Daniel Kaluuya lead this lavish, handsome, starry new version of the Charles Dickens classic. Andy Serkis plays the ghost of Jacob Marley who, along with three ghosts, taunts miserly Ebenezer Scrooge about how better the world would have been without such a frugal fellow. Wonder Woman 1984 (December 25) Sixth time lucky for this Marvel sequel – originally slated for release in December 2019. Gal Gadot returns as the DC Comic Amazonian superhero.

Nomadlad (January 1) Frances McDormand plays a woman who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling nomad. The Father (January 8) Anthony Hopkins plays a man whose daughter (Olivia Colman) moves in with him. He is rattled at her presence but then expensive things in his apartment go missing. Then another woman takes her place. He starts to feel he is losing his mind in this gripping psychological drama. Chaos Walking (January 22) Dystopian drama about a young man who has been brought up to believe a pathogen has killed all women in a colony world and unleashed a special ability to hear people’s and animals' minds. When he meets a woman, they go on the run and learn

more about the true history of their world. Little Things (January 29) This crime thriller stars Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto. Clashes between a Kern County deputy and a Los Angeles detective occur during the investigation of a murder. You can read more in-depth reviews from Jason by following him on Twitter: @Reelreviewer

Call 07928 027444 or email jon@celebratemk.co.uk if you are interested in advertising in Celebrate:MK

Solution on page 42 Across

Your Dec/Jan crossword

1 Covet (4) 3 Preachy (8) 8 Boy attendant (4) 9 Given to bragging (8) 11 Zest (10) 14 Actuate (3,3) 15 Small building with a wide view (6) 17 Mercurial (10) 20 Idle (8) 21 Paste made from fermented soya beans, used in Japanese cooking (4) 22 Container for leftovers? (5,3) 23 Gambit (4)

Down 1 Strong black coffee (8) 2 Lead a quiet life (8) 4 Emblematic (6) 5 Siestas can (anag) — help (10) 6 Upper-class gent (4) 7 Monastic accommodation (4) 10 It's often used in pies and canapés (4,6) 12 Lasting reminder (8) 13 Drudge (8) 16 Unimportant details (6) 18 Discovery (4) 19 Product of hunger (or guilt?) (4)

Your Dec/Jan sudoku

Place a digit from 1 to 9 in each empty cell so every row, column, and every 3 x 3 box contains the digits 1 to 9. Solution on page 42 01908 569949


Based in Kiln Farm, MK11 3EA Now accepting new patients! First Exam £44.99 Book now on our website www.mkdentalspa.co.uk



Our 40+ years of expert knowledge, personal service and direct customer care is what sets us apart.

Brochures • Flyers • Posters • Banners • Business Stationery

Mailings • Catalogues

• Exhibition Stands • Signage

ARE YOU READY to press print?



01582 573 471


Visit celebratemk.co.uk for more news from around MK

December/January 2021

MKFM launches news show MK Today




s part of our commitment to keep the community well informed, MK Today will be hosted by in-house journalist Sam Carmichael who is responsible for heading up the news team at MKFM.com. Sam will be live on MKFM 106.3 from 1pm - 2pm Monday to Friday discussing the biggest local stories of the day. It is important to keep well informed while also ensuring you get the content from trusted sources. MKFM has a news team passionate about bringing you real news that truly matters to local people. MK Today will focus on the biggest daily stories ranging from coronavirus cases to the council, and positive pieces to planning applications. Sam joined the news team in January 2020 and has since been thrown in the deep end reporting on everything going on in the community. She said: "I've lived in Milton Keynes my whole life and have always wanted to keep up to date with the latest goings-on in our city. I hope that this show will bring you all the headlines you need to know so that you can go about your day knowing that you’re up to date.�

MKFM has launched a brandnew show at 1pm to bring residents an hour of the latest local news each day...

We welcome your feedback on the new show MK Today. Should you have any, or wish to tell us about a story, please email news@mkfm.com.

You can listen to MK Today every weekday from 1pm via 106.3FM, DAB, online or via your smart speaker



Email jon@celebratemk.co.uk to book your advertising

Local Business Directory To advertise, email jon@celebratemk.co.uk or call 07928 027444 Accountant AD Accountancy........01908 675938 Barbers Just Gents, CMK..........01908 606003 Istanbul, Stony...........07405 107928 Beauty and Aesthetics Dermaspa..................01908 242023 Make Up By Della B 07980 927337 Dentist MK Dental Spa...........01908 569949 Design Agency Design Agency westfourstreet...........01908 618639 Estate Agents Cauldwell..................01908 304480 Food and Drink Maaya Indian..............01908 242665 Handyman Odd Jobs....................07464 171032

Mortgage Advisor BMC.............................07756 315441 Heating

Printer Bartham Press..........01582 573471

Home Fuels................07867 386343

Neves Solicitors.........01908 304560 Schools Swanbourne House...01296 720264 Shopping centre

Home and Garden Prestige Lawns..........01908 542422 Snug Roofs.................01908 645566 Tame Your Conservatory 07598 341793 Home Loft Ladders...0808 3019558 Cloudy2Clear Windows 0800 6121118 Motoring Scuff ‘N’ Scratch........01908 377217 Tyres Direct MK.........01908 367770 Private Members’ Club Alpha Club MK..........01908 354960 Public Relations and Marketing Brand Mission..............07970 395110 Perception PR..............01908 380936

S & M Leaflet Distribution Make your business stand out from the crowd with solus leaflet distribution. 10% off first campaign! From cards, newsletters and menus, to leaflets and magazines (including Celebrate:MK), we deliver them all. A reliable and affordable family business.

Call us now on 07783 416052 Or email sarah.deakin@rocketmail.com for a quote

Crossword solution


centre:mk...................01908 678641 Sport and Fitness David Lloyd Club.......01908 207907 Let’s Kick It.................07415 178399 Be Military Fit.............07984 775332 Studio44 Training.....07808 030091 Taxis Skyline Taxis...............01908 222111 Theatre MK Theatre.................08448 717652


Used Cycle Sales, Mobile Servicing, Repairs, Accessories & Bikes Wanted

07464 171032 www.bluehorsebikes.co.uk


Sudoku solution

You can find this month’s crossword and sudoku puzzles on the Puzzle Page on page 39. No peeking at the answers until you’ve finished!


CELEBRATE: Advertise in 2021

2 months for 1 in 2021 Celebrate:MK is now published bi-monthly, so when you advertise in one issue, your advertising lasts two months From

!* 0 5 ÂŁper issue *When you book for 3 consecutive issues. See issue dates at bottom of page

00es 0 , 0 2 opi sy c glos

Delivered to ABC1 homes, businesses & collection points in MK and surrounding areas Over 2,000 subscribers to the digital edition too

ality u q e T h gazine ma MK fo r

Call 07928 027444 or email jon@celebratemk.co.uk for the 2021 Celebrate:MK media pack 2021 issue dates: Dec 2020/Jan 2021 issue (ad deadline 6/11/20, published 20/11/20). Feb/March issue (ads by 8/1/21, published 22/1/21). April/May issue (ads by 5/3/21, published 19/3/21). June/July issue (ads by 7/5/21, published 21/5/21). Aug/Sept issue (ads by 9/7/21, published 23/7/21). Oct/Nov issue (ads by 10/9/21, published 24/9/21). Dec 2021/Jan 2022 issue (ads by 5/11/21, published 19/11/21).


For more information visit:

www.oscars-mk.co.uk or follow us!

@oscars.hubmk In partnership with:

In partnership with:

Oscar’s Restaurant and Bar - The Hub, MK 01908 242977 I www.oscars-mk.co.uk I enquiries@oscars-mk.co.uk