Getting crafty for Christmas!

It’s official – the countdown to Christmas has begun…

Time for the Girls Around Town to start getting into the festive spirit and where better to begin than with news of a series of Christmas workshops, especially one that involves chocolate?

Joining June and Claire next weekend, Amanda Stone will be sharing all the details of the seasonal events on the Rural Antics programme over the next couple of months.

Whether you want to add a personal touch to your presents or give wreath-making a go, create your own wire angel or add a touch of style to the table with a stunning centrepiece, the programme has something to fit the bill.

Then of course there’s the chocolate truffle making experience when you’ll not only be feasting your way through the morning of Sunday 24 November but will leave laden with goodies to share with family and friends…

And as if all of that isn’t enough to tempt you to book a place on one of the workshops, did you know that they’re held at the Hanwell Wine Estate, a family-run vineyard at Hickling Pastures near Melton Mowbray?

Yes, you guessed it – while you’re there you can stock up on English wines for those Christmas meals and drinks parties, including their very own new rosé!

Tune in to 107.8FM or listen online from 10am to 12 noon next Sunday to find out from Amanda just how and when you can get crafty this Christmas…

Grape expectations

sparkling wine

With around six million bottles sold in the UK every year, English sparkling wines are fast becoming fashionable.

The industry may have a long way to go before it catches up with the 130 million bottles of Champagne sold annually in Britain but consumer demand already outstrips supply.

Which is surely good news for next Sunday’s Girls Around Town guest, Helenka Brown!

As English Wine Week gets underway, she’ll be in the studio to talk about growing up on Eglantine Vineyard in Costock, which is still owned and managed by her parents. And about how, since setting up Hanwell Wine Estate in 2012, she and husband William have been working hard to create a ‘destination’ vineyard in the rolling countryside of South Nottinghamshire…

They’re looking forward to early 2018 when their first sparkling white wine, made from traditional Champagne grape varieties grown in the Hickling Patures vineyard and harvested in 2015, is ready for tasting.

Find out what happens between grape and glass and how the vagaries of the English weather impact on the journey. There’ll be news too of the regular events and activities on offer, from tours, tastings and hen parties to the varied range of arts and crafts workshops which make up Hanwell’s Rural Antics programme.

Tune in or listen online between 10am and 12 noon as June, Tina and Sue raise a glass – metaphorically at least! – to Helenka, William and the success of English wine-making…