Christmas 2019

Christmas is for giving

Traditionally Christmas is a time of giving.

The custom for Christians is to remember the presents given to Jesus by the Wise Men of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

For those trying to make ends meet the festive season puts an extra financial burden managing the expectations of the family.

Here is Nailsea lots of people would like to help.

Nailsea United goalkeeper Rob Brown has set up a collection point at Grove Sports & Social Club, St Mary’s Grove, and @thegym, Blackfriars Road for donations to North Somerset food banks.

Rob said: "Nailsea United is collecting for local food banks in time to help everybody have a great Christmas

“Let’s do everything we can to make it the season to be jolly for as many people as we can.”

You can drop donations off at two Nailsea collection centres during the first week of December at the times listed.

Here is a wish list of some of the items you can give:

  • Tin food for families (meat, fish, tomatoes, soup, baked beans, spaghetti)

  • Packets (rice, pasta, cereals)

  • Hygiene accessories (everything from toothpaste to tampons, loo paper to cleaning products)

  • Pet food in tins (cats and dogs)

Ring O'Bells

Kev and Di Mildon, Liz and James Harding and some of their staff from the Ring O’Bells are going into Bristol on Thursday, December 19, to help people living on the street.

Kev said: “What with the weather getting colder and wetter we are looking to give out sleeping bags, coats, hats, scarves and gloves.

“If anyone has any of the above items can you drop them at the pub before Sunday, December 8, in time for ups to sort before the 19th.”

Give-A-Gift shop

Nailsea & District Churches Together is opening its ‎Give-A-Gift shop again this year.

People are invited to leave unwrapped presents under their tree in a shop at Colliers Walk.

The presents will be given to children's centre at Pound Lane and any food parcels will go to the foodbank.

The shop will open at Crown Glass Shopping Centre Monday to Friday, November 25- 29, noon-1.30pm and again 3-4.30pm.

For more information you can email Charlotte Crooks who is putting together a rota of helpers at charlotte.crooks@htnailsea.org.uk.

Charlotte said: “We can take anything which is new in the way of toys, food or toiletries.”

The Old Farmhouse

At The Old Farmhouse publicans Wes and Becky Devonald are donating 100 vegetable boxes enough for a family of four to six to the foodbanks.

Each box will contain potatoes, carrots, cauliflowers and more to make a tasty Christmas dinner.

And they are also launching an appeal for clothing to keep the homeless warm this winter.

The Star Inn

The Star Inn at Tickenham is hosting a subsidised OAPs Christmas lunch and is collecting for city food bank as part of a Radio Heart appeal.

Nailsea Social Club

Nailsea Social Club (formerly the Comrades Club) at Chapel Barton is also collecting with its reverse advent calendar.

On December 1 people across the country open the first window on their advent calendars, seeing them receive a little present every day running up to Christmas.

It's one of the better-loved Christmas traditions, and has been expanded in recent years as calendars featuring everything from cheese to candles, beer and gin have been added to the traditional piece of chocolate a day.

But while we might be anticipating small treats, others have found a way to make advent calendars that do the exact opposite - and it's for a truly brilliant cause.

Each day, instead of opening a window for a present, they instead put something in a box that they then donate to a food bank.

See poster for a wish list and you have until Thursday, December 12, to give.

 

Waitrose Nailsea

Food bank volunteers were at a Nailsea supermarket collecting squiry cream, trifle kits, Christmas cakes, chocolates, tinned ham, tinned custard, cartons of orange juice, Pringles and more for a Christmas shopping list - see photo below - on Saturday, November 30. 

OPENING HOURS FOR DONATIONS

Grove Sports & Social Club

Monday-Thursday, 6-11pm

Friday, 3pm-midnight

Saturday, 10am-midnight

Sunday, 10am-10.30pm

@thegym
Saturday 8am–3pm
Sunday 9am–1pm
Monday-Thursday 6am–9pm
Friday 6am–8pm

Giving in not just for Chrismas

  • Sugar (500g)

  • Fruit juice (cartons)

  • Pasta sauces

  • Tinned fruit

  • Milk (UHT or powdered)

  • Sponge puddings

  • Tinned tomatoes

  • Cereals

  • Rice pudding (tinned)

  • Tea bags

  • Instant coffee

  • Instant mashed potato

  • Tinned meat/fish

  • Jam

  • Biscuits

  • Snack bars

  • Tinned soup

  • Toilet rolls

  • Feminine hygiene items

  • Soap

  • Toothpaste

  • Toothbrushes

  • Disposable nappies particularly size 4

  • Rice/Pasta but often there is plenty of stock of these.

Bring donations along during opening hours on Fridays, or to the Sunday morning Family Service. Thank you.

Although the massive collections for Christmas there are still needy people in Nailsea and nearby.

People gave a massive amount to the collection at Grove Sports & Social Club and @thegym organised by Nailsea United FC.

The club give a massive thank you to those to helped donate 246kg for the food bank and those acting as collection points

The foodbank at Southfield Church, Southfield Road, is always happy to receive donations of:

Santa gets in shape

Sunday, December 8, 9am-2pm
Christmas Cracker 10k Weston-super-Mare

On Weston beach by the Grand Pier this 10K Christmas themed running race raises funds for Weston Hospicecare and many other local and national charities.

For more information click HERE.

Sunday, December 8, 11am-2pm

Santas on the Run Bristol

Run, jog, skip or walk your way around a festive fun 2k course at Bristol Harbourside raising monies for CHSW. Tickets adult £16, child £8, under 2s free with a sponsorship target of £30 adults, £20 child.

For more information click HERE.

 

​Thursday, December 26, 10am-noon

Clevedon Boxing Day Run

From the Little Harp Inn, Elton Road, Clevedon

This is a traditional four-mile town centre road race, starting on Elton Road outside the Little Harp Inn, finishing in Salthouse Fields car park.

The event has been held and organised by Clevedon Athletic Club every year since 1977.

It costs £12 to enter this four-mile race and it is £7 entry for the junior race.

For more information click HERE.

STAR PARTY: Get ready because The Star Inn Tickenham is hosting a fabulous New Years Eve disco. Open to all ages offering a children's disco 6-10pm and for the grown-ups an adults disco 10pm-2am. Pop in and ask at the bar for more details or call 01275 858836

Scouts Christmas Post

Nailsea and Backwell Scouts Christmas post comes of age this year.

The fundraising festive postal service is 21 years old and has been sponsored by online estate agents Pring & Co since it began in 1998.

Last year they delivered more than 5,100 cards to homes in Nailsea and passed on a further 560 cards to Backwell Scouts to deliver in their village.

1st Nailsea and 2nd Backwell shared the £1,300 raised and out of this donated of £160 to The Young Carers of Nailsea.

The Scouts Christmas Post not only helps fund scouting activities and buy new equipment but is also a community service which gives a percentage of its stamp sale profits every year to a local charity.

Group Scout Leader Richard Simmons said: “It is still so nice to receive a card at Christmas and whether you send a card to a family member, a friend or just a neighbour the Scouts Post is a brilliant delivery service.

“We would like to thank the people of Nailsea who supported us and a huge thank you to Pring & Co and all our ‘post offices’.

Stamps cost 30p and go on sale from Saturday, November 9, from:

NAILSEA

  • Tout’s Budgens supermarket at Wraxall service station;

  • School Togs, Clevedon Walk;

  • Hunter Leahy, High Street;

  • Cohens Chemist, Colliers Walk;

  • MayNews, Somerset Square;

  • Co-op, Hannah More Road; and

  • Grove Stores.

 

BACKWELL

  • Backwell Motors, Station Road;

  • Backwell Vets, Rodney Road;

  • The Barbers, West Town Road; and

  • Parkers estate agent, Station Road.

 

The last posting date is noon on Saturday, December 21.

TRENDLEWOOD TRIMMINGS: The Old Farmhouse pub at Nailsea is taking festive bookings but Christmas Day was already fully book up by end of September. They are offering three courses with the choice of traditional Christmas fare (and vegetarian options), coffee, chocolates and mince pies to finish at £57.95 per person with children aged under 12 £25. Pre-booking is essential. For menu and more details call 01275 851889, pop or click HERE.

Lions Christmas float

Good tidings of joy are coming the Father Christmas on his float collecting for charity with Nailsea Lions Club.

Here are the dates the Lions will be coming done your way:

  • Monday, December 2, 6-8pm Trendlewood (Queens Road end)

  • Tuesday, December 3, 6 -8pm Causeway View

  • Wednesday, December 4, 6-8pm Eastway and Westway

  • Thursday, December 5, 6-8pm Greenfield Crescent

  • Friday, December 6, 6-8pm Long Ashton

  • Monday, December 9, 6-8pm Engine Lane

  • Tuesday, December 10, 6-8pm Hannah More Road

  • Wednesday, December 11, 6-8pm The Elms

  • Thursday, December 12, 6-8pm Trendlewood (Bibury Close end)

  • Friday, December 13, 10am-4pm outside Waitrose supermarket, Nailsea

  • Friday, December 13, 6-8pmTrendlewood (Blackthorn Way end)

  • Saturday, December 14, 10am-4pm outside Tesco supermarket, Nailsea

  • Sunday, December 15, 10am-4pm outside Tesco supermarket, Nailsea

  • Monday, December 16, 6-8pm Karen Drive, Backwell

  • Tuesday, December 17, 6-8pm Porlock Gardens

  • Wednesday, December 18, 6-8pm The Perrings

  • Thursday, December 19, 6-8pm Station Road, Backwell

  • Saturday, December 21,10am-1pm Nailsea Farmers' Christmas Market

Festive sparkle at Tyntesfield

The good tidings of Christmas are well on their way at the National Trust’s Tyntesfield estate, near Nailsea.

From Saturday to Sunday, November 23-January 5, visitors can immerse themselves in the excitement of a Victorian Christmas, joining costumed characters playing the part of the Gibbs family as they prepare for Christmas of 1891.

There’ll be dancing, singing and merriment every day, and visitors will be invited to join in with traditional carols and learn some dance steps in the Drawing Room.

The house and estate are open every day except Christmas Day, and will open late five days a week throughout December, giving more visitors the chance to see the house dressed up in its winter finery, shop and eat. From Wednesday to Sunday, the estate is open until 8pm, and 9pm on Fridays.

The Cow Barn shop and restaurant are open until 30 minutes before closing, and last entry to the house is one hour before. 

While the halls are lavishly dressed, the decorations don’t stop there.

Throughout the estate, lighting and decorations will adorn the outdoors, and there’ll be two very special illuminated and animated sculptures made by Bristol’s The Gentleman Octopus, inspired by Tyntesfield’s flora and fauna.

In another first for the estate, visitors can take home a very special souvenir of their visit to last through the season, as Christmas trees will be on sale in the upper courtyard.

A selection of four different trees will be available, from £25.

To fully immerse themselves in Christmas spirit, visitors can book into one of many carol concerts in the chapel.

A range of local professional and community choirs will perform, including UWE Gospel Choir, St Mary Redcliffe Church Choir and Spiro.

For those wishing to travel in true Victorian style, there’ll be horse and carriage rides running daily from the front of the house, or for the more creative there are workshops, including firm favourite, wreath making.

Passengers arriving by public transport can claim a 20 per cent discount in the shop and restaurant.

Booking is highly recommended via the Tyntesfield website, or on 0344 249 1895.

'Ark the herald angels

For that Christmassy feeling join the animals and staff at Noah's Ark zoo farm for a truly wonderful celebrations with music, twinkly lights and nativities.

Noah’s Ark staff have creating magical scenes across the zoo, made completely from recyclable materials.

Building on the success of last year's Green Christmas, there are going all out with their Green efforts to show that Christmas needn't cost the Earth.
Pop into Christmas Corner to meet the reindeers, drop by the Christmas hut for a warm drink or get involved with some free recycled crafty fun.

The zoo will be decorated with elaborate recycled Christmas decorations made by staff and visitors are invited to go on an educational festive trails around the zoo and take selfies with our artistic animals!

There will be FREE reindeer feeding every Saturday from November 30 to December 21 3-3:30pm in Christmas Corner.

As Christmas approaches, Noah's Ark are thinking about loved ones. 

According to Age UK, 1.7 million older people in England haven’t met up with a friend in a month, so we thought we would give free entry to over 80s throughout the whole of December.

Why not contact a friend and bring them to the zoo this Christmas?

Special Christmas Performance Saturdays:

  • Saturday, November 30 – Sixth Portishead Brownies will be performing carols and poems at 1.30pm in the Ark Arena.

  • Saturday, December 7 – Christmas classics with the Salvation Army Band at 12.45pm in Christmas Corner and Carols and Festive Music with Cadbury Wind Band at 1.30pm.

  • Saturday, December 14 – The Hawthorne Trio will be continuing the festivities with more Christmas carols.

  • Saturday, December 21 – on the final Saturday before Christmas, it is a DIY Nativity with visitors getting involved. There's no need to rehearse! Noah's Ark provide the story, costumes, songs and the animals!

Other festive fun is:

  • Winter Wildlife Walk Trail – take part in the green Christmas recycled animal trail this winter. Explore the zoo and discover varied animal scenes that have been created using unwanted recycled items such as plastic bags and old materials.

  • History and mystery of Christmas trail - come and learn all about the Christmas story by being in the story yourself. Get involved with our interactive pictorial boards alongside the story and become a shepherd or an angel.

  • Christmas lights around the zoo - winter is a notoriously cold and dark time of year but don't let this put you off a visit to the zoo which will be illuminating with some magical lights using eco-friendly LED energy efficient bulbs.

WRAXALL WREATHS: Tyntesfield is getting ready for a Victorian Christmas. On Monday, December 16, 2.30-4.30pm; Tuesday and Wednesay, December 17-18, at 10.30am-12.30pm and 2.30-4.30pm expert florist Sarah Pepper leads workshops in the Sawmill, using fabulous foliage gathered from the Tyntesfield estate. It costs £40 and includes all material, mince pie and hot drinks. Booking is essential, online HERE or by calling 0344 249 1895. The very Victorian Christmas runs from Saturday to Sunday, November 23-January 5 when the gothic house steps back in time for a Christmas past as it takes up the season's best loved traditions and bring them to life with our immersive Victorian experience. With stockings full of festive family fun, traditional decorations, storytelling and games, soak up the atmosphere as the Gibbs family and their servants prepare for the festivities. Late night opening Wednesday to Sunday evenings during December.

Gift wrapped gifts

The Works which opened at Colliers Walk, Nailsea, this summer is offering a seasonal gift wrapping service to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The discount retailer sells an extensive range of books, art and craft materials, gifts, toys, games and stationery at Crown Glass Shopping Centre in the heart of Nailsea..

It already has a donation table for customers to give arts and craft materials for use at Your Cancer Café which opens on the third Thursday  afternoon of the month at 65 High Street - next date on the Healthy Peeps page..
Now with Christmas approaching shop manager Kate Kisby said: "For  £1 per item on products bought from The Works we will gift wrap your purchase and donate the monies to the cancer charity."


Pictured is Kate among the amazing range of stock at the store

FESTIVE FARE: Being served at The Royal Oak, High Street, Nailsea until the new year in a pub festooned with Christmas decorations and new atmosphere...

An invitation to Christmas lunch

Not quite ready to take Christmas bookings yet in the run up to Nailsea Christmas lunch the festive feast is looking for more sponsors.

People can end up on their own at Christmas for a variety of reasons - loved ones have sadly passed away or maybe friends and family live too far away to travel.

But at Nailsea there is no need to be lonely at Christmas a community lunch of turkey with all the trimmings (and a vegetarian option) will once again be on the menu at the Trinity Centre.

This is the fifth year in succession people have shared this joyous Christmas get-together which is supported by many businesses and charity groups.

For 2019 they would welcome new sponsors call Lynda Dicks on 01275 853495 or email lyndadicks123@gmail.com for details.

The article top is from a Christmas past

Wednesday, December 25,

1-4pm at Trinity Centre

Christmas Boing! at Bristol Old Vic

There are beds to be jumped on, pillows to be fought with, seas to be sailed...  

Who can sleep on Christmas Eve? This piece of dance-theatre captures the delirious excitement of two boys waiting for Santa to arrive on the most magical night of the year.
Travelling Light and Bristol Old Vic have confirmed the lead roles for Sally Cookson’s award-winning production of Boing! will be Wilkie Branson reprising his role as Wilkie and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Kel Matsena making his professional debut as Wilkie’s mischievous and playful brother.  
Boing! has been a Christmas fixture in theatres since its conception, achieving sell-out Christmas runs at The Unicorn Theatre and Saddlers Wells in London.

Designed for two to seven-year olds, the show premiered at Christmas 2010 in Bristol Old Vic’s former New Vic Studio.

It was directed by Olivier Award-winning director Sally Cookson and choreographed by Bristol B-Boys Wilkie Branson and Joêl Daniel.

It went on to win the 2016 Off West End Award (OFFIE) for Best Show for Children and Young People aged 0-7.
Having toured New York and Beijing from Dec to Jan 2019, it now returns home to takeover Bristol Old Vic’s new Weston Studio throughout the Christmas period. 
Wilkie Branson is an interdisciplinary artist; the focus of his work lies in both dance and film, with origins rooted in b-boying (breakdance). He was awarded The Arts Foundation Choreographic Fellowship in 2012, the John Brabourne Award in 2019, and is a New Wave Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells and was an original member of the Sadler’s Wells Summer University – an international selection of emerging choreographers. He is currently developing new work for Sadler’s Wells while his new award-winning short film Little Dreams is being screened and broadcast internationally.
His other choreography credits for young people includes: Varmints, White Caps (Travelling Light); Baddies: the Musical, Minotaur, The Nutcracker and The Mouse King and The Velveteen Rabbit (Unicorn). 
Kel Matsena is currently in his final year at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. With a background in an array of dance forms from folk and traditional dances all the way to ballet, he has been able to develop a unique style. He has worked with National Youth Dance Wales for three years with choreographers including Kerry Nicholls, Neil-Fleming Brown and Eleesha Drennan and is also co-Artistic Director of Matsena Performance Theatre and Three Tone Theatre Company. Kel will be seen this summer in the title role of 'Nicholas' in the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School production The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, which will play at Bristol Old Vic this June. 

Boing plays from Friday to Sunday, November 29-January 5 in The Weston Studio, Bristol Old Vic at various times.

To book onine tickets from £10 click HERE.

PHOTO: Top Wilkie Branson and Kel Matsena

Returning also for the Christmas season after its record-breaking run last year, Tom Morris’ (The Grinning Man, Swallows & Amazons) enchanting adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale, A Christmas Carol, is back!

With Lee Lyford at the helm and music by Gwyneth Herbert (The Snow Queen), this spectacular show is not to be missed.

The turkeys are hanging in St Nick’s butchers shop, the Christmas Steps are decked with holly, but Christmas Eve is a bleak night for miserly money-lender Ebenezer Scrooge. Before the night is through, he is visited by four ghosts who show him chilling portraits of his past, present and future. 

As the sun rises, he comes to see the bitter truth of his selfish life; learning kindness, compassion and, ultimately, the true meaning of Christmas.

Dickens’ classic comedy provides the perfect accompaniment to your 2019 festivities, exploring what it might take for a hard-hearted skinflint to transform into the living embodiment of the spirit of Christmas. 

So, from Nov 2019, join Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Scrooge himself in this riot of music and theatrical imagination, with a heart as big as Bristol.

For more details and to book click HERE.

To read a review of the 2018 production click HERE and for a review of the 2019 production click HERE.

MAGICAL PANTO: Nailsea Musicals present Cinderella at the Scotch Horn Centre from Thursday to Saturday, January 23-25. Thursday and Friday performances are at 7.30pm with two shows on Saturday at 12.30pm and 5.30pm. Online tickets adult £12, child £10 plus booking fee with discounts for groups by clicking HERE. Tickets are also on sale at Nailsea Music Shop. The Saturday matinee performance gets booked very quickly...

From West End via EastEnders Dick Whittington is Bristol star 

The ultimate rags to riches story comes to Bristol Hippodrome this Christmas in the magical family pantomime Dick Whittington, led by soap-sensation and musical theatre star Shane Richie.

Bristol Hippodrome’s panto will bring the set, costumes and staging previously seen in Qdos Entertainment’s acclaimed production at the London Palladium to the City with a brand-new script.

The much-loved story of Dick Whittington outwitting King Rat, winning Alice’s hand in marriage and becoming Lord Mayor of London will be brought to life with comedy, spectacle, live music and plenty of audience participation.

Having established himself as one of the nation’s favourite soap stars, Shane Richie has won numerous awards and millions of fans for his portrayal of Albert Square’s loveable landlord Alfie Moon in EastEnders. The King of the East End will hear the familiar peel of Bow Bells starring as our hero Dick, seeking his fame and fortune on the rat-infested streets of London this festive season.

Shane’s numerous television credits also include Oliver Twist, Skins, New Tricks, Minder and What We Did on Our Holidays. In addition to acting, Shane has also hosted a number of high-profile gameshows including the primetime lottery quiz Win Your Wish List and Decimate. He also starred in Redwater and Making Dad’s Army for the BBC and Benidorm for ITV1.

Shane will be joined by Cbeebies favourite Jennie Dale who will play Queen Rat. Jennie Dale is known for playing Captain Captain in Swashbuckle on Cbeebies. Jennie Dale has also been in The Tracey Ullman Show, Midsomer Murders, Victoria Wood's Mid-life Christmas and What Larks. As well as playing Deb in the hilarious and hearting warming Elf and parts in Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert, 42nd Street, Singin' in the Rain, Mamma Mia!, Oliver!, Sister Act and Scrooge to name a few.

Qdos Entertainment’s managing director Michael Harrison explains “Following the amazing audience feedback we received about last year’s production of Cinderella we wanted to make sure that this year’s Bristol Hippodrome pantomime is even bigger and more magical than ever.

"The opportunity to once again bring our dazzling West End production values to the city was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss.

"The stunning scenery and effects in our Dick Whittington production will be a perfect setting for Shane Richie to bring his unique high-energy comedy to the panto stage.”

Bristol Hippodrome theatre director Jenny Hutchinson said: “Having

GIANT RATS: The Bristol Hippodrome launched its 2019-20 pantomime Dick Whittington supported locally by Clarks Village with a photocall at Bristol Harbour Hotel

secured the London Palladium set and staging, and a brand new script written exclusively for Shane Richie, we are delighted to be hosting Dick Whittington which will wow our Bristol audiences.

"The bar was set high with the incredible season we had with award nominated Cinderella last year starring Brian and Gok, and producers QDOS Entertainment are making sure Bristol is once again thrilled throughout the festive season.

"We can’t wait!”

Qdos Entertainment is the world’s biggest pantomime producer, staging 35 shows in towns and cities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Dick Whittington plays from Saturday to Sunday, December 7-January 5 replacing the previously advertised production of Robin Hood.

All tickets previously purchased for Robin Hood remain valid for Dick Whittington.

For online tickets from £13 and more information click HERE or call 0844 871 3012.

To read a review click HERE.

WIN!!! WIN!!! WIN!!!

family ticket for Weston panto

Everyone’s favourite pantomime Cinderella is coming to Weston-super-Mare this December - and you could win tickets to the perfect show for the whole family.

Following the phenomenal success of last year’s production, Linda Lusardi is making a welcome return to The Playhouse, trading in the Wicked Queen’s evil cape for the Fairy Godmother’s magical gown.

While evil has been replaced with good, Linda is also swapping one family member for another.

Audiences will remember Linda’s daughter Lucy Kane playing the title role of Snow White in last year’s panto; in this year’s production Linda’s husband Sam Kane will be joining Linda amongst the cast playing one of the Ugly Sisters.

Sam Kane, best known for his roles in Brookside, Coronation Street and Emmerdale will also be directing this year’s pantomime and is certainly no stranger to pantomime.

Panto has played a huge part in Sam's life.

Starting more than 30 years ago, he's performed and directed this amazing art almost every Christmas since.

His first experience in pantomime was at the tender age of 17 in the chorus as a dancer.

He soon went on to play lead roles as Prince, Baddie, Henchman and this year he's looking forward to his second time in a frock, as Ugly Sister.

Sam said: “Panto is all about family. It brings every generation together into the theatre, in one go, from grandparents to grandchildren.

That is just magic...making all of those generations laugh, cry, boo and hiss together is what panto is all about.”

Following the rags to riches story of Cinderella, the show has all the ingredients of a traditional pantomime - family friendly comedy, spectacular special effects, lively song and dance numbers, and of course real Shetland ponies.

Playhous general manager Mark Thompson said: “After Linda wowed our audiences last year, we are thrilled and delighted that’s Linda’s agreed to return this year and join us once again bringing a wealth of experience and talent to our festive, family pantomime.

Linda will be joined by a host of incredibly talented performers, such as Amy Thompson and Sam Kane, both of whom are very experienced in the world of pantomime having played to audiences up and down the country at some of the UK’s largest and most prestigious venues.

“The Playhouse is known for being the pantomime that puts family at the heart of what it does, ensuring that there’s something for all members of

the family from the youngest to the most life experienced and this year will be no different!​Cinderella will also stars Amy Thompson from Channels 5’s Milkshake, Joe Rowntree as Buttons, and Stewart Briggs alongside Sam as an Ugly Sister.

  • Performances run from Saturday, December 7, culminating in the final performance on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, December 31, to end another year of entertainment at The Playhouse,Weston-super-Mare.

FOR SMALL BEANS: DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House‎ present Jack & The Beanstalk as its Christmas pantomime. One special performance only on Sunday, December 29, 2-4pm (with a 20-minute interval) at the Congresbury hotel. Billed as a true family day out at Cadbury House will see  Jack and his beanstalk brought to life. See Jack in his quest to get the better of Mrs Lumpkin. Snacks and drinks will be on sale on the day. Tickets £12 adult and £8 child  by clicking HERE.

Turkey with all the trimmings

The south west’s leading four-star hotel is going local this Christmas in support of suppliers that are as close as possible to the popular venue.

With the country lurching towards Brexit uncertainty, bosses at Cadbury House in Congresbury, North Somerset, who are now drawing up their enormous Christmas shopping list, want to show camaraderie, wherever possible, to local and regional producers.

With approximately 8,000 meals to prepare during the Christmas party season in the main house and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill, executive head chef Patrick Frost certainly has his work cut out, but believes that ordering from south west-based suppliers sends a clear signal that Cadbury House will and is supporting the best of the local economy.

The ingredients needed for December includes nearly two tons of turkey, one and a half tons of potatoes, 250kg of brussel sprouts and 250kg of stuffing.

In addition, Patrick and his brigade of chefs will also be preparing nearly half a ton of gravy and 250kg of cranberry sauce - the popular accompaniment served with turkey dinners.

With a variety of options available to party goers, Patrick and his team now want local businesses and public alike to show their own support and book their Christmas party at the famous venue which is renowned across the area for celebrating the festivities in style.

Patrick said: “As one of the largest businesses in the area, we have a responsibility to not only employ people from the local area, but also use suppliers that have what we need and are as close to us as possible such as Buxton Butchers in North Somerset.

“We now need party revellers to show the same commitment and come here to enjoy a great lunch or night out.

"That way we can then support even more local suppliers.

“We’re pulling out all the stops again this year and have a number of fantastic options for a range of budget.

“We’ve got some brilliant party nights in the Great Room, which are always good fun, or for those wanting to experience a little more ‘affordable glamour’ the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill is the ideal venue.”

For further information on DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House call 01934 834343 or click HERE.

Saturday to Monday, November 30-December 23

Santa’s Grotto at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol’s only winter wonderland with more than 400 amazing species! Explore the magical animal-shaped lights, then enter the grotto for some quality time with Santa himself. Your experience also includes Christmas arts and crafts, Christmas letter writing, a special gift from Santa, and the chance to discover exotic and endangered animals from around the world! Pre-booking essential, please click HERE

Santa is a-pier-ing 

Santa will once again be booking into the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare to meet North Somerset children in the run-up to Christmas – and he will have an extra-special gift for them, too.

Every youngster who visits Santa in his new grotto at the seafront attraction will be presented with a book, Santa And His Missing Reindeer, as a souvenir of their visit.

The book tells the charming tale of how Santa’s sleigh comes to Weston one Christmas Eve only for his famous reindeer to go missing.

Could it be that they have taken a break from delivering presents to go and enjoy the many rides and attractions on the Pier for themselves?

You will have to read the book to find out for yourself!

Meanwhile, the jolly man in red will arrive in Weston on Saturday, November 30 and return on December 1, 7, 8, 21, 22, 23, and 24.

On the weekend of December 14 and 15, he will take a break while the grotto is taken over by Mr Grinch!

Between 11am and 3pm on each of the dates, guests will begin their magical experience by following a trail of snowy footprints on the Pier, which will take them to the first floor of the Pavilion.

There will be some other people also eager to meet and greet guests – some of Santa’s elves.

Children will begin their magical experience by following a trail of snowy footprints on the Pier, which will lead them to the first floor of the Pavilion.

Here, the Winter Wonderland experience begins as they step through a Narnia-style wardrobe, through the coats and into a magical forest.

Friendly elves will be on hand to guide them by lamplight across the woodland floor, strewn with bark, winding through the wonderland which will be lined by Christmas trees.

At the end of the path, Father Christmas himself will be waiting to meet them in his wonderfully festive Grotto.

Tickets cost £8, which cover one child and up to two supervising adults. If bought online in advance, the ticket allows free entry to the Pier itself for each child and up to two adults.

Some tickets will be available to buy on each Grotto day from the Adventure Cove Play Area, although guests will have to pay the usual Grand Pier admission fee before they get there.

The ticket price includes the winter wonderland experience and visit to Santa, admission to the Adventure Cove soft play area, a wrapped gift, and some fun festive activities, including making reindeer food and decorating gingerbread.

Once again, the Pier will also be offering special ‘autism hour’ sessions at the Grotto, which will provide an environment more appropriate for guests who experience sensory difficulties.

These sessions are 10-11am on Sundays December 1, 8 and 22.

Due to structural limitations, the Winter Wonderland walk-through is not accessible for wheelchair users. However, guests in wheelchairs will still have the chance to meet with Santa by accessing the Grotto via the exit route.

Grand Pier event manager Hollie Otley said: “Last year, the grotto was at the shore end of the Grand Pier.

“As a result of feedback we had from guests, we have moved it to the Pavilion for 2019, and have worked hard to make the whole experience more magical and extra-special.

“The book we are giving to each child is also something quite unique; it has been written and illustrated by members of the Grand Pier team and is something you won’t get from anywhere else.

“It will be a nice souvenir of your visit to the Pier’s grotto, with the story itself involving Santa and his reindeer visiting our attraction.”

For full information, and to book your tickets click HERE.

A spectacular seaside Christmas

Summertime may well be too soon to start feeling festive but if you want to party on the Pier in Weston-super-Mare this Christmas, you’re being advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

One of the seafront attraction’s Christmas party nights has already sold out completely, and tickets are selling fast for some of the other dates.

This year’s Spectacular Spectacular! seasonal specials are adopting a Greatest Show… theme, promising a night of theatricality and wonder as the showman and his troupe will keep guests entertained and ensure they get in the Christmas spirit.

Guests enjoy an hour of rides on the pier before sitting down for a three-course meal while spectacular aerial and acrobatic performances take place overhead.

They can then dance the night away with the Ultimate Party Band and resident DJ.

The Spectacular Spectacular! nights are from December 6 to 20 on selected Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the Pier Pavilion, which will be fully-themed.

Premium tickets are available for an additional charge, which includes seating with the best views and a 20cl bottle of Prosecco per guest.

The Saturday, December 14, event has already sold out, and only Premium tickets are left for Saturday, December 7. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply.

The Spectacular Spectacular! events are not the only Christmas festivities on the Pier this winter.

Festive Fever Christmas Parties are being held in the beautifully decorated Tiffany Room on Fridays and Saturdays between Saturday and Friday, December 7-20.

An hour of rides is followed by a two-course Christmas carvery and then dancing in the company of the resident DJ.

The Casino Noel Christmas Parties begin with a lavish drinks reception and an hour of rides before a sumptuous three-course dinner.

Guests can then try their luck at the exclusive, in-house fun tables (not using real money) playing casino classics such as Blackjack and Roulette.

After a sell-out success last year, the Lipinski Band is returning to host their own Christmas Party on Saturday, December 21.

With headlining gigs at such well-known venues as London’s Borderline and the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, the Lipinski Band is fast-becoming the South West’s most sought-after act.

With a set list that spans some of the most popular sounds from the last 50 years, and airplay on BBC Radio 6 and, more locally, BBC Radio Bristol, for their original material, it’s easy to see why the band is one of the busiest gigging groups in the UK today.

Although their visit to the pier is a standing concert, there is the option of paying extra to enjoy a carvery before the music starts.

Finally, when Christmas has come and gone, and it’s time to say goodbye to 2019, the Pier is promising a return to the era of hedonistic parties, bootleg liquor, flapper girls and gangsters, the Charleston and jazz with a Roaring 20s New Year’s Ball.

There’s a lavish drinks reception, four-course banquet, a party band to take you towards midnight, when you will be showered with confetti to mark the start of a new year.

And for those who are still celebrating into the early hours, there’s a ‘survivor’s breakfast’ to help keep their strength up!

Grand Pier event manager Hollie Otley said: “We had some fantastic feedback to some of our festive events last year, and ticket sales so far this year suggest that the Pier is proving to be the place to party this Christmas, too.

“Whether it’s a family get together, a group of friends, or a works’ outing, there’s something for everyone here to get people in the right spirit and ensure you have a cracking Christmas.

“We’re still in the school summer holidays and people might dread the idea of thinking about Christmas just yet, but in terms of getting the party that you want, we would advise people to book early to avoid disappointment.

“Many people booked their 2019 Christmas party very quickly after visiting us in 2018.

"Their eagerness to ensure they could come back and party on the pier again this year is the best possible endorsement we could have, and we look forward to seeing lots of returning revellers as well as welcoming many new ones.”

For full details of the December delights on the Pier, including menu information as well as terms, conditions and restrictions click HERE.

NEW YEAR: The Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare is planning to welcome in the New Year and a new decade – by winding the clock back a century or so! Tickets are still available for the seafront attraction’s Tuesday, December 31 celebrations, which will take the form of a Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve Ball. As partygoers prepare for the promise of another new year, they will find themselves transported back in time to an era of hedonistic parties, bootleg liquor, flapper girls and gangsters. The Charleston and jazz will be taking centre-stage in a party that even the great Gatsby would be proud of. It all starts in true 1920s style, with a lavish drinks reception, after which guests will be seated for a spectacular four-course banquet. While they eat, there will be amazing aerial and acrobatic performances overhead. When the dining is done, guests will be entertained by the Grand Pier’s fabulous party band while they dance away the hours until midnight, when they will be showered with confetti. Those who are still celebrating into the early hours can then enjoy their first food of the new decade, with a delicious survivors’ breakfast. Full details, including the banquet menu, can be found on the Grand Pier’s website: www.grandpier.co.uk. Tickets £65 per person. The VIP tickets have already sold out and anyone interested in attending is being urged to visit the Pier’s website and book their tickets.

Christmas ice skating rink

Icescape returned to Weston-super-Mare for its third winter season this Christmas.

The south west’s ultimate fun-filled festive destination is at the Tropicana on the seafront.

Icescape @ The Tropicana will open its doors on Friday to Sunday, October 25-January5.

The iconic venue will be transformed once again into a winter wonderland, where family and friends will be able to skate on the UK’s largest covered winter ice rink, enjoy some delicious festive food and drinks, visit Santa’s Grotto and much more.

The rapid freeze, real ice technology provides the ultimate skating experience for all to enjoy, whether you’re a complete beginner or skating’s next best thing, it’s the perfect day out.

Icescape operations director Jamie Dann, said: “It is really exciting to be coming back to the Tropicana.

"We have some great new additions to this year’s event, plus brand-new ice skates.

"As well as our normal skate sessions, we will be introducing disco sessions on selected Friday evenings so visitors can skate to the best disco tunes provided by our resident live DJ.

“We’ll also be continuing with our parent & toddlers and quiet sessions after their success last year.

"We’re really looking forward to putting on another fantastic winter event for the people of North Somerset to enjoy.”

Skaters can take to the ice – come rain or shine – on the undercover ice rink which will be decorated with sparkly festive lights.

After a 45-minute skating session, visitors can relax in the alpine themed Lodge Bar & Restaurant.

The covered seating area provides the perfect setting for a well-deserved drink or some tasty food and has great views of the ice rink.

Why not combine your ice-skating session with a trip to see Santa?

Santa and his elves will be in his magical grotto on selected days from Saturday to Tuesday, November 30-December 24.

Also, Pippen the Penguin will be back to see all his old pals and meet some new friends.

Tickets for the festive season are expected to sell out fast – get yours now at www.icescape-tropicana.co.uk.

Be prepared and take advantage of the online saver tickets, available if you book a day or more before your desired skate or grotto session.

  • As part of We The Curious’ climate emergency declaration earlier this year, and pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030, there will not be a temporary seasonal ice rink this winter; BUMP roller disco will instead run on Millennium Square from Friday to Sundayl, November 15-January 5. Following the extensive warnings on the risks of rising global temperatures in the 2018 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and on the back of the overwhelming body of scientific evidence the venue was the first science centre in the world to declare a climate emergency. With this in mind the charity has taken the decision to stop running a seasonal ice rink.

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