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Pavilion at the Park Bedford

Bedford Park

locally produced, seasonal food. We cook simple and imaginative dishes and high quality British cuisine.

Filtering by Category: The Kiosk at The Park

Comic Relief in the Park

'Do something funny for money' was the instruction from Comic Relief this year. Not needing much encouragement to don a Onesie or two in aid of a very good cause - the Kiosk team made preparations for a day of fun AND fundraising. Offering free drinks to all who came down to the Kiosk dressed in their Onesies - with the price of the drink instead donated to Comic Relief - we also enlisted the help of resident photographer Gemma Kirkham to come and record the day for posterity and a few more donations!

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Preparing for the big (red) day, we stocked up on lots of maltesers - a key ingredient of our ever-popular malteser squares. Maltesers were donating 5p to comic relief for every pack sold, so essentially we were baking and eating to raise money, never something to be sniffed at. We also had special red nose cookies supplied by our biscuit guru Karen Bland - all money from sales of those going straight to Comic Relief.

Our friend Jacquelyn Cooper from Halcyon Yoga came and painted our nails red and gave her time for the cause (realising her secret desire to be a beauty therapist at the same time), and Alison Godwin popped down with her Olympic Torch metaphorically, if not literally, lighting up our day!

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With so many charities competing for our donations, all year round, it's easy to forget what an impact Comic Relief has. The wonderful thing about the charity is that it supports vulnerable families all over the world - from children in the very poorest of countries, to families in the UK who are struggling to feed their children. It really does change lives in a very meaningful way.

We raised £100 for Comic Relief today. £100 could mean the world to so many people. Here's a few things that £100 can do:

It could provide life-saving anti-malarial drugs for 80 children - quite literally changing their lives.

It could vaccinate twenty children against deadly diseases like tetanus, meningitis and pneumonia.

It could pay for 20 mosquito nets to protect sleeping children and their mothers from potentially fatal malaria.

It could fund more than 30 people living in the slums of Sierra Leone with long term access to clean water.

It could fund access to advice and support for ten families in the UK living with dementia.

Or it could provide 100 meals for UK families struggling to feed their children.

Here are some photos of us enjoying our FUNdraising efforts. Enjoy. If you can, donate more money to Comic Relief here.

We can't think of any better ways to spend £100. Thank you so much to all of our customers, friends and the many local people who just popped by to show their support.

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Carers at The Park

One of the many lovely things about working at The Kiosk at the park is meeting lots of groups of people having a great time together, and enjoying being outside in the fresh air - even when the air has that ever-so-slightly-arctic feel about it. Recently we had a group from Carers in Bedfordshire arrive at the Kiosk for an essential warm drink interlude. A quick chat with them revealed that this walking group is just a part of the vibrant support network that the charity provides for the ever increasing numbers of people who become carers for aging or ill relatives. We were so impressed by the support that the walking group provided, we went to meet Linda, adult care support worker and one-woman dynamo to find out more about the work that Carers in Bedofrdshire do. Linda is one of those people who is so utterly passionate about her job that her enthusiasm and kindness is infectious.

Carers 1

Carers in Bedfordshire offers support for all kinds of carers - people who are elderly or sick themselves but still looking after a disabled husband or wife; parents who care for disabled or terminally ill children, even the siblings of disabled children, whose own needs can often feel neglected. The charity's strap line is 'working to prevent the carers of today becoming the carers of tomorrow.'  Linda explained how many carers, especially those who are elderly themselves see caring for their loved one as a responsibility that they must fulfill whatever the effects on their own health. 'It's like taking on another full-time, new career when they are well in to their own retirement,' she said. 'And often these people are very close to breaking point, because it's such a physical job, with all the lifting and moving it involves, as well as the huge emotional strain. When dementure is involved, it's a kind of grief the carers are dealing with on an every day basis, often for years at a time.'

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Founded by Yvonne Clark, herself a carer and nurse, the charity which also receives some local authority funding, provides a lifeline to hundreds of cares in the Bedford area. The walking group that we'd met at the Kiosk is one of their organised activities, and Linda was particularly enthusiastic about the benefits of the group meeting outside, and having a reinvigorating stroll in the fresh air, whilst having a natter and of course a restorative cup of tea. 'Many of the walking group have been going for a long time now, and it's become like a family. We keep carers registered for as long as they feel they need, even after the person they've cared for has passed away. There are even groups for ex-carers,' explains Linda.

New friends

All of the groups the charity run are along a similar theme - treating carers as the individuals that they are, giving them a much needed break from the intense work that they do, or just offering a space to share worries and experiences with others in similar situations. 'Carers Cafes' are a service that the charity offer on a regular basis - these are regular drop in sessions across Bedfordshire where carers, and the people they care for can relax in a safe and friendly environment.

Hairdressing, manicures and chiropody appointments are amongst the services available at these cafes, as well as talks by guest speakers, arts and crafts and the benefits of having a good chat over a cup of tea and a slice of cake, and meeting new friends. Talking about the success of the cafes, Linda says 'they work because there are no age or gender boundaries. It's so inclusive, and we get such a variety of people who come. ' Offering services like hairdressing can be vital to full time carers. 'I knew of one lady who almost never got her hair done, because it just involved so much work and was so expensive - she had to arrange for a specialist sitter to come and look after her husband, arrange transport to and from town - and it was just very expensive. She can come to one of our Carers Cafes now, and her husband is looked after while she gets her hair done, just in the next room. And then they can have a cup of tea together afterwards.'

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There are also specialist  groups for people who care for those with mental health problems, for carers of disabled children, young carers and siblings of cared-for children. The charity offer advice on benefits and other services open to carers and hold regular fundraising events. Linda was instrumental in organizing the most recent - an Elvis night with a disco, bar and a special guest appearance by the man himself! She also organizes shipments of handmade teddies and hand puppets to be sent to children in hospitals and orphanages in places such as Burma. Often these are made by carers, or people who are cared for. 'The feeling that they are helping children who have very little,' says Linda, 'means a lot. They love feeling like they are helping someone else.'

If you, or someone you know is a carer, and would like some support, you can register as a carer on the Carers in Bedfordshire website here. And equally, if you'd like to donate to the charity, you can do that on the same page. We think the carers do a wonderful job, and can't wait to have a cup of tea and a cake or two with the walking group on their next outing!

The Good Life in Bedford

OUR FIRST GUEST BLOG POST COMES FROM BEDFORD NEWBIE JUDIT - MANY THANKS JUDIT FOR YOUR KIND WORDS AND WELCOME TO BEDFORD! The Good Life in Bedford starts at The Kiosk

Imagine the situation – a family of Londoners (plus sundry pets) with two months to find and successfully offer on a house in Bedford, which is near amenities, school and the station. We knew no-one in the area. “A tall ask”, I hear you say? Well, that was us last Autumn.

After walking down the High Street and other sundry areas, I had come to the conclusion that moving out of London was a very bad idea indeed and schools be damned, I was staying put. Fortunately for us, Purdey, our much-loved cocker spaniel (tri-colour no less!) needed a walk and we stumbled across Russell Park and The Kiosk and lovely Nansi. I know it sounds bizarre but an autumnal Russell Park, sitting on hay bales, drinking tea with husband’s grumps brought to an end by the first decent cappuccino of the day (at last!) and no whingeing from the boys as they were too busy with their Marshmallow Mountains (and all served with a friendly smile and some excellent advice on the local area), I felt the first flush of the Good Life outside London.

Marshmallow Mountain

Six months on, we live next to Russell Park. I can see the Kiosk from my house. It’s very apt after all. Without it, we’d still be in London and all the madness that entails. And it doesn’t stop there. I have been prompted to create my own personal Good Life through seeing the entrepreneurial spirit at The Kiosk. Who needs that hellish daily commute to London? Who needs that faceless boss and lack of creativity? Well, for a while I still do but I’ve also started something for me - Monster Yarns, with a new logo and everything!

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It’s a yarn e-shop, blog and I’ve become a knitting coach. How much more of a Good Life can there be for a knitting fanatic and yarn bore? Thanks to all at The Kiosk for helping us to see the Good Life in Bedford!

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MONSTER YARNS, READ JUDIT''S BLOG.  YOU CAN ALSO LIKE HER FACEBOOK PAGE.  SHE IS ON TWITTER TOO.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO WRITE A GUEST POST FOR THE KIOSK PARK LIFE BLOG, JUST EMAIL US AT KIOSKATTHEPARK@GMAIL.COM, WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

Breakfast in a Bun

Image We do this thing on a Sunday.  Its rather good, even if we do say so ourselves.  We can't take the credit for it - that goes to the rather wonderful Xanthe Clay - no-nonsense cookery columnist for the weekend section of the Daily Telegraph.  She came up with it last Christmas as a one-stop-breakfast option and we love it! Breakfast in a Bun is our take on her recipe and you can find them on sale at The Kiosk every Sunday from about 11am. Bacon, mushrooms, egg and tomato all neatly packaged in a crispy roll. Perfect for those Sunday mornings when you feel slightly jaded, in need of some fresh air and a bit of delicious breakfast incentive to get you out of bed. We're working on the vegetarian version now.

If you are lucky enough to live in Bedford, its easy to head to Russell Park, with three shiny gold coins in your pocket - call it Elevenses, call it Brunch - call it what you will,  whatever you call it, we don't think you'll be disappointed.Image

The Kiosk, Russell Park, The Embankment, Bedford.  Open every weekday 8.30am to 5.00pm and at weekends 9.30am to 5.00pm.  Call 01234 271877 if you want to know more!

Meet the Maker: Karen Bland

Next up in our profiles of the multi-talented team of home-bakers who make treats for The Kiosk, we introduce Karen Bland. Creator of the much-loved cookie wands, gingerbread people and other firm Kiosk favourites; Karen is a biscuit guru with a burgeoning cookie-cutter collection. She likes to have a range of the more unusual cutters, so that her biscuits stand out from the crowd. As well as being perfectly formed, they are beautifully wrapped in cellophane and tied with gold ribbon; making them the ideal gift or a take-home-from-the-park treat. Karen always rises to the challenge of topical cookie-making, and in the past has supplied The Kiosk with Pudsey Cookies for Children in Need, Coffee mug-shaped biscuits for Macmillan Cancer Care's biggest coffee morning, and teddy bears wearing medals for Rainbow pre-school children taking part in a charity walk around the park.

Karen explains that she has always enjoyed cooking, and even remembers the first thing she made at primary school : Raspberry Buns (which sound rather tasty and quite ambitious for a first cooking lesson, clearly Karen has always aimed high!) These days, Karen cooks and bakes pretty much full-time; and says that she loves to make all kinds of things; savoury, sweet and anything that needs decorating – hence the edible artworks at The Kiosk. “The decorating part is quite time-consuming,” she says, “but luckily, I really enjoy that bit. That's why I'm always on the lookout for unusual cutters!”

As well as her masterpieces for The Kiosk, Karen supplies the renowned sandwich-capital of Bedford, Roosters, with cakey treats. She is also part of the talented team of home-bakers who supply a home-made goods stall for the regular Country Market Stall on Wednesdays in town centre. Karen is a keen jam and chutney maker, and also makes a mean Victoria Sponge. Keen to pick up good home-baking advice from reliable sources wherever possible, The Kiosk grilled her for some top tips for successful sponges:

  • Your grandma was right; weigh your eggs, and make sure the weight of the flour, sugar and fat match the weight of your eggs. For further advice on this, see the article here
  • Try using an electric hand whisk to whisk in the eggs. Karen thinks this is a crucial stage in the cake-making process. She uses her Kenwood hand-whisk to get the lightest results.
  • Get your oven nice and hot before the cake goes in.

The proof of the pudding is, of course, in the eating. So in the name of balanced scientific research, why not head down to The Kiosk and try out some Victoria Sponge for yourself. Or even a cookie wand. They really are hard to resist; often vanishing in minutes after delivery. Perhaps they really are magic?

Local Hero - Jeni Melia

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Our Local Hero for February is the very deserving and equally as lovely Jeni Melia; musician, music therapist and director of the fantastic Music 4 Memory in Bedford, nominated by Sarah Russell. Established in 2008, Music 4 Memory is a twice-weekly group which brings together people with dementia and their carers, aiming to offer them an opportunity to sing, dance and laugh together in a supported, welcoming and stimulating environment.

Jeni has lead the group from its beginnings, and she firmly believes that 'Music 4 Memory can achieve anything'. This vision and belief clearly inspires the whole group, who have gone on to achieve wonderful things such as participating in the hugely successful 'Hear and Now' project alongside youth choir Fusion, and the Philharmonic Orchestra. This pioneering inter-generational project was created to bring together these diverse groups from the same community in order to foster mutual understanding through a common love of music. Much of the inspiration for the compositions came from the reminiscences and memories of the Music 4 Memory group themselves – making it a very powerful, personal and extremely moving piece of music.

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Jeni is an experienced musician, teacher and qualified music therapist whose dedication to Music 4 Memory has ensured that each week, up to 60 people with dementia and their carers are united, inspired participants in something meaningful, and thoroughly enjoyable.  As one member of the group says 'Music 4 Memory reminds me of who I am and what I can do.'

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We are especially pleased that Jeni is our local hero this month, as Kiosk co-owner Nansi Rose takes her own mum along to Music 4 Mermory, and has seen first hand how much the participants all benefit from Jeni's enthusiasm, encouragement and kindness.  'My Mum even sings solos, her most recent performance being of a folk song in Welsh - Jeni makes even the impossible happen and there wasn't a dry eye in the house!'.

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We hope that Jeni and her friends are hungry when they come down to the Kiosk for her Local Hero reward – cake stands laden with home-baked cakes, scones and other goodies. Congratulations Jeni!

We are always on the lookout for Local Heroes and would love to hear from you if you have someone in mind who you think deserves a special treat.  All you have to do is send us an email to kioskatthepark@gmail.com or drop a note into The Kiosk with your name and contact details and the name and contact details of the person you would like to nominate.  Write a short paragraph about what makes them a Local Hero and we will do the rest!  The successful nominee will be invited to join us, with you and our friends from The Clanger to enjoy afternoon tea in the park where they will be presented with their Local Hero Certificate.

Meet the Maker: Barbara

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If you have ever strolled down to the Kiosk for a snack and gone for one of the marvellously-gooey- looking flapjack squares, then you will already be aware of Barbara's flapjack-making prowess. A special recipe she was given by her sister - a sheep farmer like herself - whilst in New Zealand, it is called the Triple-Tested-Flapjack™.

Barbara told me that she had gone out to help look after her baby nephew and her sister told her to make herself useful, showing her a recipe that 'couldn't fail'. 'Well,' said Barbara, 'on the third attempt it sort of worked, so I brought the recipe home!'  The Triple-Tested Flapjack™ is now available for your delectation, exclusively at the Kiosk. It is baked in the Aga at Barbara's farm in Wilstead, where she and her husband look after 460 sheep, as well as arable crops (and two teenagers.) The Aga was a 'non negotiable thing' says Barbar; 'having grown up with one, I couldn't bake in anything else. People ask me how long you cook the flapjack for, and at what temperature, but really I have no idea! I just bung it in the Aga and take it out when it's done!' So when you eat the TripleTested Flapjack™ you know that it is baked locally to perfection in an Aga, with no added weird preservatives or anything. Just pure oaty, crunchy, sticky goodness.

At the Kiosk's request Barbara recently developed something equally as delicious to rival the ever-popular but mass-produced Granola Bar.  Barbara's nutritious homemade Super-Seedy-Flapjack™ incorporates seeds, nuts, dried fruits and oats and is definitely one of the most tasty ways of introducing 'five-a-day' into your diet,  

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Both Flapjacks are extremely popular with Barbara’s teenage sons and their friends, especially the rowing contingent, and rations are often sent away to Regattas as a post-race energy-boosting snack. There is some resentment at home, she says, at the large trays of Flapjack that are regularly whisked out of the Aga and taken straight to Russell Park.

So for all growing teenagers with insatiable appetites, hungry children who've been on the swings all day, fitness fanatics needing an energy boost and dog walkers looking for an oat-stuffed gooey treat - head for the Kiosk in Russell Park and order a Flapjack or two..... a treat in store indeed!

Christmas Storytime

Storytime sessions at The Kiosk have been a lovely part of our development over the last six months.  We have had Grandpas, big sisters, actors, Mums and friends taking part reading and singing to our younger fans.  Whether they come for the stories, the milk and biscuits, the songs or the giant Cookies remains to be seen, but come they do, rain and shine!




We thought we'd celebrate Christmas at storytime by compiling a list of great Christmas books for children. Everyone has at least one that has to be dug out each year, and read on the magical night before Christmas. We'd love you to suggest any that you love and bring them along for us to read at Storytime. Here are some you may already know:
Mog's Christmas
It is very hard not to like Mog, the well-meaning but troublesome cat who makes Mr Thomas shout “bother that cat!” every few minutes. Judith Kerr's illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to this brilliant story about the mischief that Mog unintentionally causes over Christmas.

Lucy and Tom's Christmas

Shirley Hughes' story about the excitement of getting ready for Christmas, and her wonderful drawings are just magical. Although it was written almost 30 years ago, it is a timeless reminder about how fantastic Christmas can be. And it contains a lovely line about Tom getting very excited, and rather cross, and having to go out for a walk with Grandpa to calm down, which often seems rather pertinent during tired and over-excited Christmas Day afternoons with small children.


This is a new book for 2012, but destined to be a classic. Written by National Treasure Richard Curtis, it is the story of twins, one good and one, less good, and the consequences of some unexpected good behaviour:
“This really had been Charlie's naughtiest year yet. What with the eating-a-whole-box-of-chocolates incident. And the glue in the DVD episode. And the ice -down -the -back -of -the -teacher's -dress -moment. And the WORSE things.”

We await your suggestions eagerly - you can comment below on our blog, or on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/RussellParkKiosk, or tweet us @KioskAtThePark. Alternatively, just turn up to Storytime on Monday at 9.30 with a Christmas Book.  

Christmas songs to sing with children are always welcome too, we're warming up for a Very Musical Christmas!


Festive Fun in The Park

We love the festive season at the Kiosk, so we've put together an exciting schedule of celebrations to help keep you feeling Christmassy. Don't forget you can borrow a hot water bottle to keep you toasty whilst you enjoy your drinks and cakes - being warm definitely helps generate Christmas Spirit!  Oh, and thermals are not essential, but they certainly make a difference!



We will be kicking off our celebrations by supporting the brilliant Santa Run, a 5k sponsored run raising money for Keech Hospice Care which takes place at 11am on Sunday 9th December along the Embankment. If you are participating, and you pop along to the Kiosk (before or after your run!) in your Santa costume, we'll give you a free hot chocolate as a reward, we'll also donate 10% of the days takings to Keech. It's going to be a great day for participants and spectators alike!


Then at 9.30am on Monday 10th December, we'll have the first of our Christmas Storytime sessions with the statutory milk and biscuits for the kiddies and delicious gingerbread lattes for the grown ups.  In the afternoon, the little cherubs from Years 3 & 4 at Bedford Prep School will be heading down to the Kiosk to sing for us from 2-3pm.  There are going to be about forty of them serenading us - we can't wait!

On Saturday the 15th December, we'll be joined by the possibly slightly less cherubic (!) Eagle Choir (find out more about them here - www.eaglechoir.org.uk ) from 12 until about 12.30 pm. Buy a Mince pies & mulled wine for £2.50 to really get you in the mood.

On Monday the 17th December, Storytime will be hosted by the magical Kris from Frog's Chorus and then, continuing with Carols at The Kiosk, we host the marvellous Castle Lower Choir on Tuesday 18th, from 12.45 until 1.15pm.  Hopefully by this stage of events we will all be well and truly full of Christmas Spirit - and we're not just talking about the mulled wine! 

Speaking of Carols - if you come down in December with proof that your name is Carol - we'll give you one of our famous MarshmallowMountainHotChocolateExplosions on the house!!! 


And last but by no means least, we'd like to wish all of our wonderful customers a very Merry Christmas by inviting you to join us for some carol singing, mulled wine and mince pies on Christmas Eve from 4pm. Pick up one of our Christmas cards next time you are passing which includes information about all our events as well as a very special Christmas recipe for our legendary Malteser Squares! 

Happy Christmas!


Cooking up a Gluten-Free Storm

Last week, in the first of our 'meet the maker' series, we introduced Nikki, our gluten-free chef extraordinaire. Well, Nikki was nice enough to share a recipie with us, so that anyone who would like to try cooking gluten-free, nut-free cakes can have a go. You'd never know that Nikki's cakes are gluten-free. They are nothing like the dry, crumbly things you get in supermarkets, so these muffins are definitely worth a try. Nikki says that they are easy-peasy, so a good thing to start off with. And if it all goes wrong (let's face it, cooking distaters happen to the best of us, er, right?) you can always come and cheer up at the Kiosk with a hot water bottle and some of Nikki's Kiosk-based gluten free delights.

Nikki's Chocolate Orange Muffins


Basic Gluten-Free Muffins:

180g Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp glycerine
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
175g SR GF flour (I use Doves)
1 tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Xantham Gum
130 ml Sunflower Oil
130 mls Milk / Soya milk( If you want them gluten + Dairy free)

Beat sugar, eggs, glycerine and vanilla in bowl for couple of minutes.

Add flour mixture (flour, baking powder, Xantham Gum) and oil and milk until just mixed together (don’t overbeat.)

Divide into Cases (makes 9 tulip cases /12 normal muffin cases)
Bake at 180 C for 18-20 mins.

Add fruit or flavourings of choice. For chocolate muffins substitute 25g flour for cocoa.

Xantham gum and Doves GF flour are both stocked in Waitrose or Tescos. Just in case you don't have any lurking at the back of your cupboard.

Meet the Maker: Nikki the Gluten-Free Genius

At The Kiosk at the Park, we see the importance of good cake. Proper, home-made, tasty cake. So to keep us well stocked, we have a mini army of local bakers who supply us with top-notch, home-made cake. Nikki makes our gluten-free delights, and is a great example of somebody who discovered a gap in a market, and has turned it onto a successful business. We're very proud to have her as a supplier.

Nikki (left) with two happy tasters
Nikki was diagnosed as Coeliac a little over three years ago, and immediately had to go on to a gluten-free diet. Luckily, there are lots of gluten-free foods available in the shops. Less luckily though, some of them are not very nice. She found that the bread and cakes in particular were crumbly and dry, with an odd taste. This was frustrating for Nikki, who has always loved cakes: "But what is the point of coffee without nice cakes?" she asked herself. Well, quite. 
Domino Brownies
So Nikki set about experimenting with making gluten-free cakes, and discovered that she could make really, really good ones. Better than the cakes in the shops. She says the thing that she misses most about her pre-gluten-free days is doughnuts, and that try as she might, she hasn't yet come up with a decent doughnut recipe. But she has perfected lots of other kinds of cakes, including the gluten-free domino brownies, apple and raisin cakes, mini lemon drizzle cakes and white chocolate and raspberry muffins, all made at home and all available to taste at the Kiosk. Nikki's cakes are all gluten and nut-free, making them ideal for children with nut allergies. She also makes a gluten and diary-free chocolate cake which is to die for! Her favourite cakes to make, she says, are the lemon and poppy seed muffins - a firm favourite at the Kiosk. 
And it is Nikki who piles the beautiful cake stands full to the brim of delicious afternoon tea for our Local Hero celebrations once a month.

As Christmas is coming, Nikki has plans for making sure that gluten-free dieters don't miss out on the festive fare: she is going to be making mince pies, chocolate logs and mini gluten-free iced Christmas cakes. We can't wait, and if you know of a gluten-free doughnut recipe that really works, she'd love to hear from you!

A Very Exciting Friday

Friday 23rd November is going to be a very, very exciting day at the Kiosk At The Park. We are hosting a live broadcast of a 3 Counties Radio show! That's right, the Kiosk will be live on the airwaves! We've got lots to do (and say!) - Kris Wilkinson-Hughes will be leading the little ones in song with her Frog Chorus skills, the masterchefs from Roosters will be there, armed with fresh home-made soup, sandwiches and paninis, and we are expecting lots of friends to come down and celebrate with us on a radio show LIVE from Russell Park! And if this wasn't already exciting enough, you will be able to read all about the very first adventure of our resident hedgehog, Russell, and a few of his friends. Russell will be telling you all about his life in the park, here on our blog!

So join us for plenty of these, lovely warming coffees and tea, lots of yummy food, plus a lot of jumping-up-and-down-style excitement. We canNOT wait!

What our Customers Say About Us

We have only been open a little while, and we are lucky enough to already have some very loyal customers, many of whom have become friends. Here's what they have to say about the Kiosk in The Park:

"I love Kiosk at the Park because as a mother of two busy boys I live at the park, and instead of groaning and thinking 'not again' I can now see it as a treat, an extremely well made coffee for me and delicious treats for the boys. They have thought of everything, I forgot my nappies in the summer, no need to worry, The Kiosk had some, and wipes, crisis over!!!"

"Here are my favourite things about the kiosk - Finn loves their giant cookies and I always look forward to finishing it off, which never seems to happen! Great coffee, great service and I love the fact that when I walk round the corner I always end up seeing someone I know for a chat!"

"Here's my favourite things about the kiosk - Finn loves their giant cookies and I always look forward to finishing it off, which never seems to happen! Great coffee, great service and I love the fact that when I walk round the corner I always end up seeing someone I know for a chat!" 

" I LOVE the kiosk, it really has genuinely changed my trips to the park! A perfect Americano with a piece of the epic Malteser chocolate square makes the never ending swing pushing and 'inter child refereeing' actually enjoyable again. It also makes the odd Sunday family trip to the park much more of an 'occasion' for the parents too. We will definitely be supporting it throughout the winter months as well as just the summer as I don't want it to ever close!"

"The children and I love The Kiosk. We love story and singing time, milk, straws and party rings and we love the family activities at the weekends and during the holidays. Every time we go to the park (which is fairly frequently) the girls seem to get mysteriously hungry, which is fine with me as I really love Malteser cake!"

"Emma & Nansi have made such a brilliant success of the Kiosk and we're proud that they have chosen to sponsor the 'Local Hero' section of The Bedford Clanger. We share many of the same values (community focused, keeping it local, family-friendly) and we look forward to working with them for a long time to come and wish them contined success. With love from Erica & all at The Bedford Clanger xxx"

"The Kiosk does the most amazing gluten-free muffins, and arguably the best coffee in Bedford. Emma's attention to detail and community spirit have made it a go-to destination in its own right x"

"The Kiosk opening up here, may have been a very personal reason for both Nansi & Emma, but what it's done is far greater! It has brought families outside together, a place to belong, friendly smiles, community sharing experiences together, great cakes and a whole lot more they probably never imagined. Well done Nansi & Emma xx"

"I grew up opposite Russell Park and although I just about remember the original café (the restaurant building the other end) - a good many years passed when there was nothing there at all. I often wished there was a place like the kiosk .. and now it's here and it is just so perfect. Years of waiting fulfilled! It's friendly and wonderfully innovative with the funkiest, tastiest cakes and biccies and really fabulous coffee. Just love it!"

"The Kiosk has made my dog walks so much more enjoyable with a hot cuppa and a naughty nibble especially on those rainy/cold mornings. Service is always with a smile and I just LOVE the place. I am officially hooked on the popcorn and love the way they are always thinking ahead of the game and introduce new beverages, food and snacks for us to gorge on! Think I lived there in the summer, drank tea with friends and watched kids run around. It has indeed brought families together. Last Sunday there must of been around 20 of us all sat round talking with our kids - just bliss. Can't thank you enough Emma and Nansi, you've transformed the park. Love Liz xxxxxx"

Meeting a Local Hero

Once a month, the Kiosk at the Park host a very special afternoon tea for the winner of that month’s local hero competition. The competition is run through local Arts newspaper the Bedford Clanger, and each month celebrates a local person who does heroic things as part of their everyday lives. You can send in a nomination to the Clanger, and the winner – and crucially, the person that nominated them, gets to come to the Kiosk for a very nice cake-stand-full of delicious home-made cakes, and tea or coffee, or indeed hot chocolate. 
On Friday, it was the well deserved turn of Tracey Emmott, a local solicitor, who has spent most of her career helping victims of abuse. Tracey works tirelessly, fighting cases which often take up to seven years to complete, for justice on behalf of very vulnerable people. Recently, she won a landmark case in the Court of Appeal, London, which gives victims of abuse by members of the Church greater legal rights against them. Nominated by friends Fiona and Kristy Adams, who say that although her line of work could be seen as depressing and relentless, she is always “ever-cheerful, and despite work commitments, is extremely active in the local community, and is described as a ‘terrific mum’ by her children.” A true hero! 
As well as afternoon tea, local heroes are presented with a certificate, and are featured in the Bedford Clanger. It is a great way of recognizing the achievements of some of Bedford’s unsung heros. If you would like to nominate someone, you can email the Clanger here:
 thebedfordclanger@gmail.com
Tracey brought her mum, her husband, and the two friends who nominated her to share her celebratory afternoon tea at the Kiosk, much fun (and cake) was had by all. Congratulations, Tracey!
Here is our local hero Tracey (centre), along with friends Fiona (left) and Kirsty (right), and some rather tasty looking cakes…

Onsie Fun

Friday 16th November was officially Go Pyjamas for Children in Need day. All over the country, people were raising money for Children in Need, and wearing their pyjamas to do it! This was fundraising at its most cosy, which turned out to be a good thing - Friday 16th November was freezing!. The Kiosk staff got fully into the spirit of the appeal by wearing onsies all day. And better still - any customers who turned up wearing pyjamas or a onesie got a free hot drink - with the entire cost of the drink being donated instead to Children in Need. Lots of our lovely customers came decked out in their onsie finest, and we had lots of pyjama-wearing customers too. We were also selling special Pudsey biscuits - all of the money raised from these went directly to Children in Need too.

Here are a few of our favourite ONESIES from the day - we raised a magnificent £115.88 for Children in Need. Many thanks to our wonderful customers who came and drank, nibbled and munched whilst wearing their pyjamas, all for a wonderful cause.

MarshmallowHotChocolateExplosions

THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is our MarshmallowHotChocolateExplosion. Did you catch that? It is a triumph of hot chocolate, cream, smarties, maltesers, chocolate buttons, and hundreds and thousands. It will keep you warm and happy in the colder months. There is expertly made coffee at the kiosk, there is a wonderful range of speciality teas, there are gingerbread syrups, and now there is also marshmallowhotchocolateexplosion. Happiness in a cup.

The Art of Good Coffee

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It is not every day you are taught how to make the perfect latte by a superstar barista, so you can imagine the excitement at The Kiosk when staff and friends were visited by Chris from the wonderful cafe in town, The Fountain.

Chris is not only an expert in the tricky skills involved in making a good Cappuccino, but an excellent teacher with a seemingly endless supply of patience. We were taken through the science of making a good cup of coffee; how to aerate the milk in order to make the perfect froth for a cappuccino, and then also a latte. And yes, it is very different kind of froth – this is most definitely an artform. You know what they say though, the proof of the pudding is most definitely in the eating. (Or drinking, clearly.) Come and test out our newly honed skills for yourselves, and tell us just how you like your coffee!

Milk and Biscuits (something for the kids!)

Just because the sun hasn’t got his hat on so much doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do at the Park. How about challenging your siblings or friends to a Shiniest Con
ker Contest? Or a Biggest Conker Contest? Conkers are found on Horse Chestnut Trees and start to fall in Autumn. There are lots of Horse Chestnut Trees in Russell Park – get gathering!

Bring some buckets and spades and make some sandcastles in the sand pit in the play area. The sand won’t be as dry as it is in Summer, which makes castle-building easier! (Or, if you’ve forgotten your bucket, get your mum or dad to buy a cup of coffee from the Kiosk and once they’ve finished, use the empty cup as a bucket!)

Collect some awesome-autumn-coloured leaves for a leaf-collage, or to paint and make leaf-prints.
Play a mini game of tennis to get your Wimbledon-practice in early… well, you know what they say. Practice makes perfect!

See if you can scoot, cycle or run a whole lap (or even more if you’re really full of beans) of the park! It will warm you up on chilly days and afterwards you can make a pit-stop for essential milk and biscuits.

Milk