• Giggling Squid Oxford is coming soon to the old Loch Fyne site in Walton Street before branching out all over the country. The original restaurant was set up in a tiny fisherman’s cottage in Brighton way back in 2002 with a Thai Tapas menu. Expect fine simple, rustic, fresh Thai food in cool surroundings.
  • Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc in Jericho and The White Brasserie pub, The Black Horse in Thame, will be offering 50 per cent off all à la carte main courses and specials from January 2 to February 12.

Warm up and embrace the new year with a hearty duck leg cassoulet with pan-fried chorizo, lardons, haricot beans and herbs or the Malabar fish curry with toasted coconut, grilled king prawns, shallot crisps and coconut rice, for a vibrant taste of Raymond’s travels around the world.

Other classic dishes include slow-cooked boeuf bourguignon with red wine sauce, moules frites with red Thai curry sauce and steak frites with herb and mustard butter.

Or, ease the guilt of December’s indulgence with Veganuary’s glazed aubergine with butternut squash or pan seared organic tofu with Asian spiced marinade.

Sign up to Raymond’s newsletter at brasserie blanc.com to receive your 50 per cent off code.

  • Wychwood brewery in Witney, famous for Hobgoblin ales, is launching its very own brewery tap-room today.

Situated within the brewery, guests will be able to enjoy the freshest selection of beers including Oxford Gold, Brakspear Bitter and Hobgoblin IPA. Guest ales and small batch brewers from the local area will also be on tap-rotation. Go to the Wychwood Brewery, Eagle Industrial Estate, The Crofts, Witney.

  • The Pizza Express festive menu at The Golden Cross and Oxford Castle Quarter, and in Bicester, Abingdon, Witney, Banbury and Wallingford, features a new turkey pizza.

La Festiva, which is topped with Christmas classics turkey and stuffing, translates as ‘The Festive One’, with pulled turkey and festive stuffing with spinach, mixed peppers, pine kernels, rosemary, mozzarella, tomato, red onion and garlic oil, finished with parsley and Gran Milano cheese. Alternatively, opt for the vegan option, a mouth-watering mushroom and pine nut pizza, seasoned with oregano, black pepper and garlic oil, topped with sliced portobello mushroom, vegan mozzarella, pine kernels and fresh rosemary, finished with parsley.

Let’s not forget the Snowball dough balls and, to wash it down, The Winter Rum Punch. pizzaexpress.com

  • The Wriggly Monkey Brewery at Bicester Heritage is planning an apres ski event tomorrow, with a festive, alpine, heated marquee boasting a steak raclette, vegetarian/vegan and GF options, real ales, Berry Bros wines, a world-class DJ and a display of museum quality rally cars. Tickets are £15 per adult and £5 per child (including raclette and a drink). From 6pm-midnight. Go to wriggly monkeybrewery.com/events-
  • There are a few places left at the Sneaky Christmas supperclub tonight at 8pm at the Isis Farmhouse pub in Iffley. Enjoy a delicious five-course menu and a fully stocked bar. The menu includes roast cauliflower soup & rarebit toast, beef shin wellington with mulled wine spiced red cabbage, potatoes dauphinoise, garlic green beans, parsnip crisps, wine jus and bacon buttered sprouts, and a pecan praline yule log. £42 per person. tickedit.com The Oxford Wine Festival 2019 is being held on September 6-7. The first 100 tickets for each session are just £15.50. Go to oxfordwinefestival.org.
  • Oakman Inns, the owner of three popular family-friendly pubs in Oxford- shire (The Crown & Thistle in Abingdon, Old Post Office in Wallingford and The Blue Boar in Witney) have been nominated for four awards at the prestigious Publican Awards, the largest celebration of the UK pub industry’s work.

The ceremony will take place in March 2019.