Another Positive Perspective 

One of the great things about being involved in promoting Banbury is that you get to know lots of other people who share our perspective.

They also have the view that Banbury has lots to offer and a latent potential ready to be realised, if only people were to accentuate the positives rather than to dwell on the areas to improve (which town doesn’t have those).
One of those people is US expat Deborah Menikoff Simmons who blogs about all sorts of wonderful things Banbury-based. 
Here is Deb’s great blog page – give it a good read because it is a good read!

Blogging about Banbury 
Blog & biog photo credits: Deborah Menikoff Simmons / Neil Simmons

Love is…… Banbury

Do you remember those 70s cartoons of the little man & woman with the message “Love is…..”?

www.loveiscartoon.com

To celebrate the anniversary of the Visit Banbury “Be Positive About Banbury” video which we gifted to Banbury on St. Valentine’s Day last year and to give someone a special treat, we have a little competition for all of our Twitter followers & Facebook likers. And we have taken inspiration from those famous cartoons.

Our friends at The Italian Larder www.theitalianlarder.co.uk


also have something to celebrate as this is their first St. Valentine’s Day in their new location on Wildmere Industrial Estate (close to Banbury Gateway Shopping Centre) and so they have very kindly donated a Tiramisu panettone & a bottle of Prosecco for us to give as a prize to one lucky follower or liker of the Visit Banbury Twitter feed or Facebook page.  

How to Enter
All you have to do is ensure you are following http://www.twitter.com/VisitBanbury or have liked http://www.facebook.com/VisitBanbury and send us a tweet or a Facebook message with the hashtag #LoveIsBanbury and tell us what is the ONE thing you most love about Banbury.


You can also find The Italian Larder on Twitter & Facebook

http://www.twitter.com/Italianlarder

https://www.facebook.com/theitalianlarder/

Ts&Cs

Closing date is Midnight on Friday 12th February 2016.

All entries received with #LoveIsBanbury, an item which you love about Banbury and which are verifiably from a follower or liker of the Visit Banbury social media channels mentioned will be entered into the competition and one entry will be drawn at random.

The winner will be advised on Saturday 13th February.

Prizes will NOT be sent by post / courier so please ensure you could collect them from the Visit Banbury team in Banbury.

The winner agrees to take part in promotional photography & authorises Visit Banbury to retain ownership of the photos taken and to use them in Visit Banbury social media / internet or print media publicity.

Neither Twitter or Facebook are involved in this competition run by Visit Banbury in conjunction with The Italian Larder.

The decision of Visit Banbury is final and Visit Banbury reserve the right to withdraw the competition if circumstances dictate.

E&OE

 

Geek Con Fast Track Pass Competition

Hi all !

One week to go until Geek Con 2016 happens in Banbury!

https://www.facebook.com/events/212690559064200/

Visit Banbury are really excited to be able to offer 2 Fast Track passes in a fun competition so that two lucky people can keep ahead of the crowds and not miss a moment of Geek Heaven!

Banbury presents

This is what the organisers of Geek Con, Banbury Presents, say about the Fast Track Passes:

FAST TRACK PASSES!

GEEK CON: Banbury’s 1st Comic Con and is coming to Banbury Town Centre for January 2016 and it’s so much more than the usual comic con.

With so much on at Geek con, you wouldn’t want to miss a minute! So why not treat yourself to our extra special service and get yourself a FAST TRACK PASS. A PASS gets you to the front of the queue in a flash and saves you time so you can get to as much of GEEK CON as you can squeeze into one day.

Yeah, we absolutely LOVE our STAR WARS, but we have so much more in store for you this January at Geek Con.

Geek Con brings together a classic con full of Q&A, signings, cosplay, gaming, showings and screenings, early releases and special appearances together with added features like body art demo, dance performance, circus and contortion, steam punk, modelling, art exhibition, illustration, music, fantasy battles, martial arts and stunt displays, behind the scenes workshops and much more.

Link to FAQ:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=454404438080573&id=368250960029255

What do you need to do to win ?

Simple really – we know how much you all love Cosplay, so we are going to give one Fast Track Pass to what our three judges decide are the best home made costume and the best pro / shop bought outfit.

How you can win?  Meet our three judges at 8.45am on Saturday 30th January outside the entrance to Castle Quay by HMV and Debenhams and we will decide the two best cosplay costumes from the people who are there at 8.45am.

At 9am we will give you a code and go with you to the Geek Con desk so that you can pick up your wristbands which will allow you to have access as a Fast Track Pass holder.

Our judges’ decision will be final.

See you there !

Check out https://www.facebook.com/BYHPServices/ for info about a Wii Mario Kart Tournament for 16-25 year olds on the evening of Geek Con

Visit Banbury on social media:

http://www.twitter.com/visitbanbury

http://www.facebook.com/VisitBanbury/

http://www.instagram.com/visitbanbury/

 

 

 

VisitBanburyDigital

 

Banbury has a new dish !

The Visit Banbury “Create a Banbury Dish” Competition has found its winner for 2015!

1 Phil Seal

Sunday 9th August 2015 saw the culmination of a few months’ work by the Visit Banbury team, our partners and most importantly a number of local chefs, to find a new savoury dish for Banbury as part of a new competition for enthusiastic cooks and chefs to create a brand-new dish for Banbury and help us put our lovely historic market town on the food map!

Visit Banbury launched as a community organisation back in January 2015 and very quickly identified the growing food trend in Banbury as an area in which to develop projects to interest and excite Banbury residents and to promote Banbury, its culinary diversity and heritage.

The competition, the idea of Visit Banbury team member and project lead Tina Huyghe, was very much focused on promoting the values upon which Visit Banbury was established, such as Community, Collaboration, Local Cohesion, Inclusion, Diversity, Happiness, Positivity and Fun !

The intention was to work together with food-based organisations and the public to find a savoury dish which could be identified as the Banbury Dish for 2015 and shared with all of the local eateries who could then do their interpretation to put on their menus as follows:

Key project objectives:

  • Help put Banbury on the food map
  • Collaboration between various groups and businesses in Banbury in a common purpose
  • The promotion of Banbury as a foodie tourist destination linked to the Food Fair
  • A way to generate publicity for Banbury and the Visit Banbury Project
  • A new tradition established for Banbury, to be run annually in future

IMG_2611-0

Fortunately, following a number of discussions we were quickly able to link up with just the type of organisations we had wished for, the Catering Department at Banbury and Bicester College, Banbury Cookery School at Little Amsterdam and Banbury Town Council’s Events team responsible for the Banbury Food Fair, so the project would be truly collaborative.

Over time, we added Naomi’s Café & Bar, Your Letterbox, The Grass Man, the Art Framing Workshop, Tudor Photography / Banbury Wedding Cars, Chiltern Railways, Cherwell Trophies and a well-known chef who trained locally, to the list of kind people and organisations who have gone out of their way to help us on the project, so truly becoming Banbury-wide.

The competition was open to anyone of any age who had Banbury in their address.

The competition brief:

  • Can be any type of hot or cold savoury dish
  • Easy to prepare or cook (not time-consuming)
  • Use fresh ingredients, locally sourced if possible to give a Banbury identity
  • Be cost-effective
  • Provide a vegetarian alternative if your dish is meat or fish-based
  • Easily adapted by local restaurateurs to reflect Banbury’s culinary diversity

The 3 finalists, Rebecca (Becca) O’Brien, Christina Welz (both from Banbury and Bicester College) and Phil Seal (a sous-chef working at the Coach and Horses in Butcher’s Row and freelance chef) were selected by a panel of judges after cooking their dishes at The Cherwell Restaurant of Banbury and Bicester College & The Coach and Horses in semi-final cook-offs at the end of June 2015. semifinal

An earlier Visit Banbury blog tells all about the initial stages.

Summary photo

https://visitbanbury.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/an-exciting-new-competition-for-banbury-the-visit-banbury-banbury-dish/

ChristinaWelz

Christina Welz and her honey-glazed loin of pork with fennel and caramelised apple.

3 CW Pork Dish

BeccaOBrien

Becca O’Brien and her lamb shoulder with pea purée.

4 ROLambDish

2 Finalists

On Sunday morning they again cooked their dishes at The Banbury Cookery School at Little Amsterdam in front of a packed restaurant at a special brunch session hosted by Visit Banbury, wonderfully compered by the inimitable Steve Gold and produced by Ilja Harvey Andrews (who was also one of the judges) and her team, who said “What a great morning. It was fabulous”.

Other comments can be seen from those tweeting using the hashtag #BanburyDish – click below

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23BanburyDish%20&src=typd

6 IljaHarveyAndrews

Ilja Harvey Andrews of Little Amsterdam

7 Steve Gold

Steve Gold of Visit Banbury

8 Judging

Official judges Tina and Marta of Visit Banbury deep in contemplation alongside Naomi Perkins of Naomi’s Café and Bar and Ilja. They were joined by “Mr Banburyshire Info”, Ian Gentles, who is also in the Visit Banbury team and Sophie Jones from Your Letterbox.

9 Judging3

4 judges and an additional 11 public tables tasted the delicious creations and decided on who had best met the specification of the competition, their reasoning linking their dish to Banbury, their proposed vegetarian alternative and by providing a cost-effective, locally sourced recipe and of course, the chef who executed their food with the best presentation and taste.

10 LA Brunch

After a close competition and much deliberation, the judges decided that Phil Seal and his “Banesebury Purple Pigeon Salad” was the winner of the Visit Banbury “Create a Banbury Dish” competition 2015 and he was awarded his trophy by Cllr John Donaldson who, as The Grass Man, had sponsored the purchase of the trophy from Cherwell Trophies in Parsons Street.

http://www.thegrassman.co.uk

11 The Grass Man

13 Phil Seal and Tina Huyghe

Phil is seen here with Tina Huyghe of Visit Banbury.

The winning Banbury Dish 2015 “Banesebury Purple Pigeon Salad”.

14 Winning Dish

After his victory at Little Amsterdam, Phil then went along to demonstrate his dish in front of a public audience at the Town Hall as part of Banbury Food Fair and then presented his winning menu to Town Mayor Cllr Mepham on behalf of the whole of Banbury.

15 Phil cooks Town Hall

16 Phil and Mayor

The Mayor congratulated Phil on his winning dish and also gave thanks to the Visit Banbury project team for organising new innovative, local project events in Banbury to coincide with his second Mayoral term. Later Phil said “thank you so much for today” and it “was so nerve-wracking”.

Visit Banbury will now share the winning recipe with all of the local restaurants and pubs for them to put their own twist on it for customers to try. Already, The Coach and Horses and Little Amsterdam have agreed to add their versions of the dish to their menus. This will be promoted to encourage people into the town’s restaurants to try the Banbury Dish 2015.

If you are interested in having a version of the Visit Banbury “Banbury Dish 2015” on your menu and for Visit Banbury to promote you please contact Visitbanbury@aol.com or contact us via Facebook or Twitter.

In addition to the opportunity to cook at the Banbury Food Fair and to meet the Mayor and have his menu shared across Banbury, Phil also took away the trophy, a Visit Banbury Commendation plus a very special prize as follows, about which Phil said “amazed by the prize, really looking forward to it” and “I cannot wait to see how the man does it himself”.

  • On an agreed date in the future, the winner and a guest of their choice will be picked up in style and transported from their home to Banbury train station in “Marilyn” the amazing 1969 Mark II 2.4 Jaguar limousine courtesy of Helen & Harry of Tudor Photography / Wedding Cars Banbury; (Photo courtesy of Tudor Photography)

Marilyn

  • On arrival at Banbury train station, they will travel on VIP passes for the day courtesy of Chiltern Railways on their network, allowing access to the Business Zone of the train, travelling to London Marylebone to spend the day as they wish; (Photo courtesy of Chiltern Railways)Chiltern Railways
  • Afterwards the winner and their guest will make their way to the heart of the West End to enjoy dinner as guests of Gordon Ramsay and his team at Heddon Street Kitchen, in Regent Street Food Quarter, W1B 4BE and to experience the kitchens first hand as part of a brief tour to meet the professionals at work; http://t.co/EBOk2BxqBQ (Photo courtesy of Heddon Street Kitchen / http://www.Gordonramsayrestaurants.com)IMG_6930
  • Then back to Marylebone to travel back to Banbury with Chiltern Railways and a taxi paid by Visit Banbury back home.

Visit Banbury were particularly thrilled to get the support of Gordon Ramsay who trained as a chef in Banbury. In a direct message to Tim Tarby-Donald, tweeting as @VisitBanbury on Twitter, Gordon advised that he “would love to support in some way” as “it was Banbury Round Table that helped fund me”.

Visit Banbury have been working with Gordon’s team at Heddon Street Kitchen and they have been very generous and flexible in helping us offer our young chef and his guest an amazing, inspirational prize.

“Gordon seems to have taken a particular interest in this competition supporting young chefs in Banbury” said Tim, adding “Gordon even tweeted Phil on Sunday to wish him Well Done”.

Thanks from The Visit Banbury Project Team to the organisations who have worked in conjunction with us to achieve our goal of creating a food competition for the Community within Banbury.

Visit Banbury Banbury Dish Competition 2015 Partners

Banbury and Bicester College, Banbury Cookery School / Little Amsterdam, Banbury Town Council / Banbury Food Fair, Naomi’s Café & Bar, John Donaldson – The Grass Man, Tudor Photography / Banbury Wedding Cars, Chiltern Railways, Your Letterbox, The Art Framing Workshop, Cherwell Trophies and to a certain GR who trained in Banbury and the team at Heddon Street Kitchen in London.

17 Recipe

18 VB Commendation

Tina with Phil’s winning recipe presented to The Mayor and Phil’s Visit Banbury Commendation for winning the competition.

As part of the food projects in the pipeline, the Visit Banbury team are looking to include all of the recipes from the finalists in a Banbury Recipe book being developed, plus work is already underway to explore how Banbury Cheese and Banbury Ale might be revived as local food and drink products and a very exciting project using chocolate is being explored with a view to creating wonderful sweet souvenirs.

IMG_2189

All rights reserved Visit Banbury 2015. Photos copyright of Visit Banbury unless otherwise stated and credited.

Destination Banbury’s Old Town S1/E3 – The Artery

Third in our mini series is a destination shop which we are very lucky to have in Banbury, as such shops have been disappearing from the retail landscape, as they have faced stiff competition from the internet and large multiples across the UK, that being The Artery.

http://www.thearteryonline.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Artery/173619079316237

The Artery is located in Parsons Street Banbury, within the café voted the Best in Banbury, The Old Town Deli. It is a small but perfectly-formed independent shop and art centre, offering a wide range of art materials.

  

      Whether you are a professional artist or an amateur hobbyist, and whatever your preferred medium, The Artery will have something for you. 

The product range includes oil, acrylic and watercolour paints – both artist and student quality -, pastels, paintbrushes, drawing materials, specialist paper and cards, and canvases.

  

For crafters there is a range of modelling tools and materials, adhesives, lino cutting supplies, and specialist paints for glass, ceramic and fabric painting projects.  

Colouring-in for grown-ups has recently become very popular, with increasing numbers of adults realising its potential to calm and inspire. With colouring books starting at just 99p, as well as magazine titles like Art Therapy and Zen Colouring, The Artery is a good starting point for anyone wanting to encourage their creative side. 

This week marks National Stationery Week: a celebration of the art of writing. The Artery stocks inks, calligraphy pens and markers, dip pens, quality paper and envelopes and beautiful arty greetings cards, some of which are designed by local artists.
   

In short, there’s something to inspire anyone’s inner artist at The Artery, not least the man who makes it all happen – owner, artist, teacher, tutor, art historian and writer, general man about Banbury supporting everything he can – not forgetting the man behind the original Visit Banbury painting which now has pride of place in my dining room, Mr Barry Whitehouse.


Barry’s passion about the town drives him and others to make things happen and when you #visitbanbury and give The Artery a visit, you too will realise we are lucky to have him and his destination shop in Banbury.

Here’s a short video tour to give you a flavour https://animoto.com/play/cavQYg3a5C9RqhfUF3IjhA

Oh and if you hadn’t already noticed, The Artery also stocks the range of Visit Banbury merchandise 😉

Tomorrow marks the start of Art Weeks in Banbury and so The Artery will be overflowing with creations from many different artists – just one more great reason to drop in and see Barry during the Old Town Spring Party tomorrow!

A BIG thanks to guest contributor Jacqui for some of the content of this blog.

Destination Banbury’s Old Town S1/E2 – Comic Connections

Part two of today’s mini-series of blogs is about another cool destination store in Banbury. 

Comic Connections is a little hidden away in Parsons Street in Banbury but they are really worth seeking out.

   
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Comic-Connections/188289971189629

Importantly, they are there every week, selling something which people travel from miles around to buy.
We recently visited to take photos and to talk with Glyn the owner, who is a real aficionado and so passionate about his shop, his products and most importantly his customers – not to mention being a big supporter of Banbury.

In readiness for Comic Connections’ biggest and busiest day of the year, Free Comic Book Day, we have been to take some photos and to get a feel for this great retail experience; I am now desperately resisting my youthful pass time of getting back into reading 2000AD & Judge Dredd as nothing else will get done if I start again !! 

 But take a look around for yourselves with this virtual tour http://tinyurl.com/nftwawy   

Then #VisitBanbury tomorrow to pick up your free comic books and look out on the Facebook page for a very special scavenger hunt being launched at 10am tomorrow morning.  

Destination Banbury’s Old Town S1/E1 – Record Savings

Hello all and on the eve of the Old Town Spring Festival we at Visit Banbury thought we would do a blog mini series to celebrate three of the destination stores in town. 
A sad one to start, but a really cherished addition to Church Lane over the last six months is Record Savings aka Pink Pig, the Independent Record and Cult Merchandise Shop.


Unfortunately 2nd May is the last day of their lease but they are leaving on a high with their real record store day sale continuing with up to 30% off across the shop.

In addition, in light of recent events in Nepal in a very kind gesture, they have decided to donate 50% of the profit made on Saturday, 2nd May to the DEC’s Nepal earthquake appeal so go and #VisitBanbury shop local and support them on their last day of trading.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/pinkpigrecords/

And we hope they’ll come back again very soon !!

(Some photos from Record Savings’ Facebook and Twitter feeds).