A right royal knees up

Artisan & VineWith less than 72 hours to go, have you made your plans for the Big Day? For those not planning to don their tiaras and tails for Denbies Wedding Celebration Ball, here's my definitively selective, significantly random round-up.

English wine-specialist bar/bistro and Best of English collaborator in crime Artisan & Vine in Battersea has the bunting out already and will be opening its doors at 9am. Owner Kathryn O'Mara is planning plenty of traditional British party foods and reckons it'll be a "great English wine knees-up". With the largest selection in London, she could be right. Further afield, St Austell has provided a handy round-up of its pubs in the south-west celebrating the Bank Holiday in style.

Hobgoblin Cider FestivalNever needing much prompting for a drink-infused knees up, The Alma in Islington is turning to cider and perry for the weekend, a theme that is proving popular. The rejuvenated Hobgoblin pub in Brighton is also running a four-day Cider Festival over the weekend, while also raising money for the British Heart Foundation in the process.

On the beer front, the aptly named Old Brewery Tavern in Canterbury will be holding a mini-beer festival, with 10 local real ales. The Bunch of Grapes in Pontypridd has a host of star brewers on its Beer Festival list, including Otley, Brewsters and Castle Rock, while Camden Brewery’s Pale Ale will be making its first appearance across the border in Wales.

Wedding Beer by BeerGenie.comFor those wanting to taste some of the beers specially created for the occasion, the Brantham Bull in Manningtree on the Suffolk/Essex border is holding its own Royal Ale Festival, complete with bouncy castle and barbecue. Sightings – and tastings – of Castle Rock's Kiss me Kate and numerous others are promised.

Back in the south-west, Camel Valley has produced a slightly sweeter than normal version of its sparkling rosé to accompany a piece of wedding cake – they are in practice since there's been a spate of family weddings in recent years – with cake proceeds going to ActionAid Haiti.

Wherever you are, make sure it's a glass of something British in hand when you toast the happy couple.


Thanks to Beer Genie for use of the photo right. For fun facts about weddings and beer, visit here.