New indies, launches and openings in Milton Keynes for summer 2021

It has been a while since I hit publish on a new blog post, and for that, I apologise. As you might be aware, I’ve recently made the transition to self-employed life and with that has come a new routine on top of lockdown easing, meaning my time has been a bit all over the place! Now Sophie etc is part of my wider business, I am super excited to dedicate more time to it and bringing you even more content to inspire your local eats and adventures.

The independent scene in Milton Keynes is FAST moving, and although I keep you up to date on what’s been going on every month in my newsletter, The Squeeze, the news rarely makes it to the blog! I am so lucky to try SO many new places and experience lots of new businesses, so I’m going to attempt to write a round-up post every few months to keep you up to speed with the new indies and openings on the block.

This blog post features vendors and businesses who are open now, as well as some that are coming soon later on this summer.

Read more: The lowdown on the latest lockdown launches in Milton Keynes

The Game Changer Kitchen

You might be familiar with The Game Changer Kitchen from its time at DW Fitness in Bletchley. Alessandra now has a brand new location in Giffard Park, next to her partner’s private gym. GCK has managed to embody style AND substance. The décor is very ‘Instagrammable’ – Think pink, velvet and marble complete with neon lights and dried floral arrangements by local florist, Harding & Bloom. The menu features brunch dishes, sandwiches and burgers, all of which I can vouch for. Homemade cakes, coffee and other fun drinks like unicorn hot chocolates are available too. What I love about GCK is the emphasis on child-friendly – you’ll find a cute little kitchen play set for the kids and a monthly Princess afternoon tea!

The Game Changer Kitchen is open Tuesday – Sunday. Follow them on Instagram for up to date opening times.

Great Gelato

I recently worked with Great Gelato on a paid Instagram partnership and as with all the businesses I work with – I HIGHLY recommend them! Newly launched and fresh to the independent producer scene, Ethan, founder and owner of Great Gelato produces traditionally made Gelato in a variety of flavours, including Eton Mess, Malteaser, Pistachio and more. At £22 for four tubs, it’s not the cheapest but you can truly taste the difference and a little goes a long way. Great Gelato has also collaborated with Out of Office Coffee house to create an exclusive coffee-flavoured Gelato served in their shops.

Buy Great Gelato from Local delivery and collection is available in Milton Keynes, as well as national delivery (yes, it stays frozen!)

Kuku Coffee House

Kuku Coffee House opened a brand new location in Whitehouse Park in June which is brilliant news for local residents as it’s the first coffee shop and shop of any kind to open in the new-ish development! Kuku’s serves amazing coffee (sourced from local roaster, Wooden Hill) and serves brunch with a desi twist from 9am – 2pm.I highly recommend trying the Halwa Puri which is served at weekends as well as the Chaat! The new coffee shop is located in the Whitehouse Surgery building – just follow the signs to Kuku’s and you’ll find it. Kuku Coffee House in Broughton and Monkston Park both remain open as usual.

Read more: Best Brunches in Milton Keynes

Ottoman Kitchen

Ottoman Kitchen opened on Woburn Sands high street just before Christmas, but only recently did I have the opportunity to try it. It is probably one of the best new additions to Milton Keynes’ independent food scene and one of the best Turkish restaurants I’ve tried in a long time! The hospitality was second to none, and we enjoyed a delicious range of dishes including hot and cold mezze, Sarma Beyti, Moussaka and grilled fish. We finished off the evening with a cup of Turkish coffee and it was just wonderful. It’s definitely one to add to your list this summer.

Check out the menu at Ottoman Kitchen:

Parklife Campers

If you are looking to book a UK escape this year, have you thought about a camper van holiday? Parklife Campers launched in June and they are a brand new Milton Keynes-based business with two gorgeous blue campervans to hire. The vans are names after their two sons – Hey Jude and Buddy. These VW Californias are fully specced everything you need for an adventure around the UK and beyond! I was lucky enough to try one out for the day and it was SO much fun to drive and I loved it so much we’re going to hire one for a festival in September (Way more comfortable than a tent!) They comfortably sleep four people and the Park family are seasoned campers, so can tell you everything you need to know.

Visit to book – and let them know I sent you!

Peach & Palm

If lockdown turned you into a crazy plant person like me, you will love Peach & Palm, a new local business bringing the most beautiful houseplants to your door! Run by Isabella Smith, a self-confessed plantaholic who has over 80 houseplants, this is the perfect shop to find lovely, healthy houseplants. I have a few plants from Peaches & Palm and they are just lovely. Peach & Palm offers local delivery in MK.

Shop via Use code SOPHIE10 to get 10% off your order!

Coming soon

MK Eats

MK Eats is a new, local Just Eat-style food ordering app, specifically for people in Milton Keynes. It puts the interests of independent businesses at its heart and doesn’t charge sky high commission. It will launch in July 2021 and if you want to find out more, make sure you’ve signed up to my newsletter, as there’s an interview with the owners, Andy Roberts and James Cann! They’ve already got some fantastic local vendors on board including Kings Comfort Food, Maaya and The Codebreaker’s Cafe. I am so confident this is going to be a hit in MK. Stay tuned for more!


Namji is a Punjabi restaurant located in Wolverton Square and will be opening a new venue in Xscape this summer. I’ve yet to try Namjis, but members of my Eat & Explore MK group continue to hail it as a local favourite! There will be new additions to the menu like Punjabi afternoon tea.

To stay up to date with the latest launches in Milton Keynes, make sure you’re signed up to my newsletter and are part of my Facebook community group, Eat & Explore MK.

If you are a local vendor with a new launch or opening coming soon, I’d love to hear from you. Email and let’s chat!

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