All posts by Alastair Walton

Inset day ‘Cuppa & Colour’

11048754_1047115788672673_3770586917869357986_n This Friday is an inset day at Swanmore Primary. To help you get through it, Barnaby’s will have another one of it’s great “Cuppa & Colour” days from 9am. Come and relax with a lovely cup of coffee, while we entertain your kids with some great colouring ideas.

To help celebrate Burns Night, we may even have a slight Scottish theme ahead of our big day on Saturday. Pin your pictures up on the board for a chance to win a prize!

No need to book – just turn up. Tell your friends, and we’ll see you all on Friday!

Get your kilt on this Saturday

scotland_grungy_flag_by_think0 The birthday of Scotlands finest poet – the great Robbie Burns – rarely passes quietly. To celebrate the occasion, Scotsmen the world over celebrate the bards’ contribution to Scottish culture with much singing of his most famous song “Auld Lang Syne” and large helpings of haggis.

Find out more about Burns Night traditions here.

On Saturday 23rd January, Scotland will come to Barnaby’s for the day. Come along and enjoy a stirring blend of kilts, ginger beards, rousing bagpipes, and an awful lot of shortbread. Meanwhile, you can click here  to start learning the words you’ll need when addressing your haggis on Burns Night.

See you on Saturday 23rd January. We’re open from 10am to1pm. Slangevar!

fitforfelix launches first event

logo5The website is now fully up and running, with a host of great information available on forthcoming events and on Felixs recovery in Southampton General.

On the site today, you’ll find:

Fit For Felix was launched at the recent Santa Hat Workout, at which £5,000 was raised for the Hampshire Air Ambulance. The first Fit For Felix event will be a Forest Run, to be held in Bere Forest on Sunday 31st January. All are welcome. Download a sponsorship form at, and let’s help this great cause together.

For more information about Fit For Felix events, or to donate to this very worthy cause, head to today.

Say hello to our new coffee

Winchester Coffee Roasters Logo Final For the 2016 season, we are introducing a new coffee to Barnaby’s. It comes from our new friends at Winchester Coffee Roasters, where Mark and his team have developed a number of innovative approaches to the experience of making and enjoying coffee. We are delighted to be working with them for 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 00.45.47The first big difference is that our coffee beans will now be roasted locally, and closer to the time when we actually need them. With the assistance of Winchester Coffee Roasters,  we have learned to appreciate the importance of these two much-underated factors, and the blind tasting we conducted in December was very revealing! From these tests, we have selected a Roasted Synergy Blend for Barnaby’s that has a smooth, velvety finish with dry berry notes. We loved it, and we hope you will too.

Secondly, the team from Winchester Coffee School have been in to ensure we are using the latest techniques to get the best from the Synergy Blend we have selected. This has involved advanced barista training with all our Team Leaders, and some great tips for our fabulous volunteers. Being a barista is much easier than you think and it is great fun! If you would like to join a fabulous team for even just a couple of shifts a month, head to today! We look forward to meeting you.

Barnaby’s re-opens at 2pm on Tuesday 5th January after a winter makeover. We’ve made lots of little changes to Barnaby’s from the ideas you have suggested recently, so come and see them soon!


Barnaby’s is back on…


That’s it! Christmas is over for another year, and Barnaby’s is on a well-deserved holiday. We will be back on Tuesday 5th January, with a new look, a new layout, and some new coffee….

What a fabulous year it has been. Undoubtedly, it would not have been achieved without the dedication and enthusiasm of our amazing volunteers.  To all those who have baked, swept, served, cleaned, steamed, carried, and wondered which key you press on the till for chocolate reindeer, thank you. If you would like to  be a part of something fabulous in 2016, then click here for info on being a volunteer.

To re-live the memories of this year, have a giggle at all the photos on our Facebook page. Finally, to add to the amazing contribution we are making towards the Hampshire Air Ambulance, click here.

Happy New Year.

Free mince pies, all week!

mince-pie Here we go then! It’s Christmas week, the kids are over-excited, and the house looks like a bomb has gone off. Come and de-stress at Barnaby’s during Christmas week, with a delicious coffee and a free homemade mince pie. You deserve it!

On Tuesday 22ndWednesday 23rd December, we’re open from 2pm to 4pm. We’ll have kids colouring, free mince pies with every coffee*, warming Christmas carols, and lots of sparkly lights!

On Christmas Eve, we are open from 9 and it’s party time all the way up to midday! Join the fun with free coffee/tea and a free mince pie*. What more could you want!

All through Christmas week, we will be collecting for the Hampshire Air Ambulance, who cared for Felix Barrow so well after his accident in October. Can’t make it? Donate here. Felix continues to improve in Southampton General Hospital, so please give generously to this very worthy cause. We wish Felix and his family a very Happy Christmas.

*while stocks last!

People-power takes over

1622623_10207950935522386_5462223060391422128_n Over 220 people joined Felix Barrow’s family at an awesome Santa Hat Workout this morning, run by Vanessa Barrow and Debbie Jones of InspireMeFit. The aim was to raise money for the Hampshire Air Ambulance,  who cared for Felix so well after his accident in Swanmore on 7th October. Family and friends gathered at 8am, to huff and puff their way through a circuits workout, followed by coffee & croissants in Barnaby’s.

There are some fabulous photos of the event on the big screen in Barnaby’s, and here on our Facebook page.

At the time of writing, the JustGiving page had already raised £2,600 for the Hampshire Air Ambulance. We know there is another £1,000 to come from Swanmore College where Felix’s eldest sister Charlotte is a student, and we expect the event today to have raised well over £1,000. Please keep giving for this fabulous cause here, and look out for the new FitForFelix campaign launching very soon.

Join the Santa Workout this Saturday

Just a few weeks ago, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) was in Swanmore following an accident involving 11 year old Felix Barrow. Felix required vital medical treatment on the scene, before being flown to Southampton General where he continues to improve. Every day, the Air Ambulance crew respond to situations like this across the region. Despite its vital work, HIOWAA receives no government, statutory or National Lottery funding for routine operations. It relies entirely on the generosity of local people and businesses to keep it flying and save lives.
On Saturday, join us for the big Santa Workout in aid of HIOWAA, run by Debbie Jones of InspireMeFit. You’ll need to be at the Broad Lane recreation ground at 8am on Saturday, followed by coffee and croissants at Barnaby’s. Children are very welcome. You should be reasonably healthy to take part, but if the workout isn’t for you then why not go for a hearty walk and meet us at Barnaby’s for coffee at 8:45!

The event is free to attend, but donations towards the Air Ambulance that provided Felix with such timely and urgent treatment are welcomed and encouraged. You can donate now through JustGiving, or on the day.

We’d love to see you on the 19th. You must post on the special Santa Run website to say you are coming, so we order enough croissants! Don’t forget your Santa hat!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Weihnachten

12182393_1008336369217282_492581241202643886_o There is plenty going on in Barnaby’s over the next three weeks, so we thought we would round it all off with a fabulous German Christmas. Join us on Saturday 12th December for armfuls of all the German favourites – stollen, glühwein, christmas trees, lederhosen (well, maybe not the lederhosen), and endless repeats of noisy Oompah music…

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 19.48.39With Barnaby’s as your base for the day, you will be able to enjoy the annual Christmas Country Market in the Paterson Centre, and the Christmas Tree Festival in St.Barnabas Church. The choir of Swanmore Primary School will sing carols in the Church at 1130, and the bell tower will be open to the public! The church will be decorated with a host of different styles of Christmas trees made by all sorts of people in the village. Last years tree collection included some truly impressive and creative designs, so watch out for the Barnaby’s version called “It’s a Wonderful Life“.

Because the Christmas Tree Festival runs all weekend, Barnaby’s hours are a little different. For this weekend only, we will be open:

Friday 9am to 4.30pm
Saturday 10am to 4pm
Sunday 12pm to 4pm

It all adds up, so thank you!

It will not have escaped your notice that there was a loo in the middle of Barnaby’s last week. The loo appeared again during Beer n’Hymms, and you could be forgiven for thinking that it has been following you around the building!

We first raised this subject during the Hope In Action service in St.Barnabas Church last month, after which we began raising money for the Toilet Twinning charity Shuna Rose has been championing this project for us, assisted by Alastair Walton who kindly lent us the loo in to which people had been popping their ‘donations’…

12239255_1016360705081515_7455486099222296066_oWe are pleased to report that we have raised enough money to twin all four of our own loos with new ones being built in four developing countries – Burundi, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. Pictures of the loos you paid for are now up in our very own loos at Barnaby’s and the Paterson Centre. In addition to that, your generosity has helped Swanmore contribute towards the following fabulous projects, here and abroad:

  • the Royal British Legion
  • the St.Georges Foundation
  • Swanmore Primary School

Details of the project we are supporting at the Primary School will be announced on this website before the New Year. Thank you to all who made this possible.