The classic Christmas tunes are back on the radio, shop windows are bursting with festive displays (including our very own award-winning Wombling Christmas display!) and annual Christmas Light Turn Ons have now taken place, where has the time gone?!.
Edina and the team here at The Red Lion are full of festive sparkle as they celebrate The Red Lion’s first Christmas on the Odiham High Street and already the restaurant is brimming with good tidings, comfort and joy as many Christmas parties and gatherings are underway.
If you’re looking for ways to inject the Christmas spirit into your life, look no further for our quick re-cap on things going on in and around the area as we enjoy the final countdown to Christmaaaas.
Festive fun this December
Winchester Christmas Markets
Started in 2006, the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is recognised as one of the best in Europe and loved for its unique location nestled between the iconic cathedral and the ice rink, the market includes over 100 chalet-stalls. The exhibitors are selected for the high-quality, one-off products they offer. The focus is very much on British crafts, independent traders and artisan festive foods, as well as regular performances by local choirs, making this market stand out from the rest. And at the heart of the city of Winchester, there’s plenty more to be found beyond the Cathedral Close. The 2017 Christmas Market will be running until Friday 22nd December. Open every day, 10am-6pm from Sun-Wed, 10am-7.30pm from Thu-Sat.
Christmas with Peppa Pig at Paulton’s Park
Peppa Pig World (within Paulton’s Park) will be transforming this Christmas season as Peppa Pig and George wrap up in their winter scarves, hats and coats. Among the land of seasonal music and giant Christmas trees, Santa in his sleigh from the TV series can also be seen. Guests will be entertained with a daily Christmas Show and can meet Frosty the snowman, Rudolph the reindeer, Billy and Belinda elf and, new for 2017, Paultons very own Snow Princess! Adults can enjoy a complimentary hot fruit punch and a seasonal treat and children will also receive a Christmas gift. A great range of selected rides and attractions will also be open during the Christmas season. Available until Monday 18th December.
Pull a Pine Day, RSPB
Christmas is the time of giving, so maybe give something a little different this year by volunteering for the RSPB on Saturday 2nd December and help them on their ‘Pull a Pine‘ day at Farnham Heath. It’s a great opportunity to help maintain your local nature reserve by aiding them in the removal of invasive young pine trees. As an added bonus you can also choose and cut down your own free Christmas tree straight from the heath! All you need to do is put on some stout shoes, wrap up warm and the head down for as much time as you can manage on the day. All help is greatly appreciated.
Christmas at The Rural Life Centre
Santa and his little helpers are now busily preparing for their special Christmas event at the Rural Life Centre , which is taking place on Sat 9th Dec | Sun 10th Dec | Sat 16th Dec | Sun 17th Dec. This fantastic event for children is the key to making their childhood festive memories magical, with festive rides on the light railway, live animal encounters, toy workshops and of course a visit to the big man himself.
Farnham Christmas Market
Pay a visit to Farnham’s Christmas Market on Castle Street this year for a perfect festive family day out on Sunday 10th December. Browse over 150 stalls of unique gifts, yummy treats and decorations, as well as enjoy seasonal treats such as roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, with a background of festive music and carol singing. With plenty of entertainment for the little ones, including the chance to meet Father Christmas and a live Nativity, this local event will ensure your whole family gets into the spirit.
Carols in the Bury
Organised by All Saints Church, warm up your vocals with Christmas carol singing, in the Bury, Odiham on Saturday 16th December from 6 pm. A great evening is planned with choirs, bands, food and much more.
Escape the Hustle and Bustle
If you’re looking for a pre-Christmas escape, to enjoy the festivities and finish the gift-buying in a new town, why not book a night or a weekend away at one of our two pubs, which offer beautiful and modern hotel accommodation. The Stag on the River, Eashing and The Red Lion, Odiham both offer Bed & Breakfast or Dinner, Bed & Breakfast packages, with rates starting from just £80 per room, per night. Make time for each other during the crazy season and make the most of our brand new winter menus. Alternatively, these make excellent gifts, book online or buy gift vouchers from any of our pubs or by calling Head Office on 01252 913 513.
Did you know…
The Red Lion opening hours will be slightly different over the Christmas period? Don’t get caught out, take a quick swizz at our opening times here. We do expect to be busier than usual whilst all the Christmas celebrations take place, so if you do fancy popping in for a wintry G&T and some delicious fresh, local and seasonal grub we do recommend you book a table in advance to avoid disappointment. We will be serving food and drink all day on Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th December so don’t forget to pop by with friends, colleagues or on your way back from the dreaded festive shopping (to calm your frazzled nerves!).
Wintry walks and roaring fires
If you’re meeting up with family and friends for a catch-up lunch over the festive season, don’t forget to put your wellie boots and a warm coat in the car before you leave home and squeeze in a good winter’s walk before (or after) you dine with us… you can definitely allow room for pud then! The parish of Odiham and North Warnborough offer plenty of walks and interesting sights, including discovering Odiham (King John’s) Castle, the Basingstoke Canal and Odiham Common to name just a few. Make the most of the winter season and get out and about exploring the beauties that Mother Nature has to offer.
Once you’ve worn yourself out, come and settle down by the fire with a delicious glass of our Winter Pimms or allow us to recommend a Wine of the Season, followed by a leisurely meal, showcasing fresh, local and seasonal food at its very best.
When we asked our Deputy Manager, Michelle, what she loves most about the Christmas season, she replied:
“Taking the dog out with the family whilst the big feast is cooking… I love nothing more than getting up early to prepare the Christmas lunch; with Radio 2 and a glass of Bucks Fizz for company. We then getting wrapped up warm and head out to enjoy a walk with the family, catching up on life and news, in the crisp, cold air, before returning to exchange gifts around the tree – we always work up a big appetite, which makes every bite taste even more delicious!”
It’s all about the Turkey Dinner
As the temperature drops with the change in season, so too does our menu – to reflect the seasonal ingredients all around us. Don’t worry, they will still feature a few of the classic dishes that our customers like to enjoy all year round. But, for those seeking to taste exciting, new dishes each time they dine with us, make sure to check out our Daily Specials. Here, our chefs’ get to showcase their culinary flair with the freshest produce available that day – so throughout December, you will likely see the freshest chestnuts, chicory, parsnips, pumpkin and winter squash entwined throughout the menus!
If the arrival of December means you are now ready to enjoy your first turkey dinner of the year, you won’t be disappointed. We source all our turkeys from a family-farming business in Essex that has been trading for over 30 years and are all UK Red Tractor and Free Range certified. The birds are reared in spacious open barns on the family farm, with low stocking densities, plenty of sunlight and are fed on a naturally balanced cereal-based diet, rich in oats, grown on the farms. Enjoy our festive menu (pre-bookings only) from just £22.95 for two courses or keep an eye on the Daily Specials, which will no doubt be featuring this beautiful bird!
“I love the lead up to Christmas in the pub, everyone’s in good spirits and food is such a huge part of the celebrations, plus I get to play with such great ingredients to create exciting dishes on our Daily Specials board. Come Christmas Day, I am ready to enjoy quality time with my wife and little girl… the best day of the year by far!” Says Simon, Head Chef.
Did you know you can make a reservation up to 45 minutes prior to seating if you’re dining from our a la carte menu? What are you waiting for, we’ve got Christmas and New Year covered!