Andrew Ratcliffe, Whatlington

Last Saturday’s Port and cheese tasting at The Royal Oak was a really fantastic relaxed and informal evening in front of the new wood burner. The Port was certainly flowing (there was very little left by the end) and the white and Rose varieties were very unusual, with Hazel providing a wealth of information about how they were produced and what food and cheese they might go with. We will have another wine tasting evening after Christmas, details to follow.

We have a full calendar of events throughout December at The Royal Oak, we started with a showing of “Love Actually” last Friday and the next film will be “A Christmas Carol” at 8pm on Saturday 22nd December - the perfect end to a frantic day of last minute shopping perhaps? Other events include our Christmas Quiz on Thursday 20th from 8pm. Christmas fancy dress is encouraged and there will be a prize for the best decorated team/table. We use this evening as an opportunity to raise some money for St Michael’s Hospice so there will be a raffle with some super prizes. It will be a great evening, so if you would like to reserve a table for your team (up to six people) please call me on 01424 870492. The usual will quiz will resume on the following Thursday 27th.

On Christmas Eve at The Royal Oak we hold our traditional evenings of Carols around the bar, lead by John Shepperd and his mighty organ! This is such a nice pre-cursor to the following big day and brings the community together with a good old sing-song. There will be mulled wine and mince pies and will really get you into the festive spirit, so do come along and join us. If you would like to reserve a table to eat, please call me on 01424 870492.

The bar at The Royal Oak will be open on Christmas Day from midday until 4pm if you fancy a drink with your neighbours while the turkey’s in the oven, and we are open for the same hours on Boxing Day and taking bookings for lunch on 01424 870492 (reservations only for food please).

The regular Irish Music Night will take place around the bar on Friday 28th December from 8.30pm - so if you’re bored of turkey and TV Christmas Specials, come along for a great night out of live music!

For further details of all our December events, please see the details on our website www.royaloak-whatlington.co.uk.

There was a wonderful sense of festive spirit at the Village on Hall on Saturday at the Christmas Fayre, but a shame that not more Whatlington residents came to have a look and support The Village Hall Committee. However, the event was well attended by visitors from Battle, Hastings and surrounding villages and nearly £400 was raised for the Village Hall. The mulled wine was flowing and stall holders were very pleased with the amount of produce that was sold, including the PCC who enjoyed success at their stall of Yew, knitted goods, cakes and preserves and I can report that the jam and marmalade I bought is delicious! Enormous thanks to Angie Moore for organising the day and producing a range of goods, table decorations and wreaths which had pretty much sold out by the end of the afternoon!