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What’s on this month

OCTOBER

The month of harvest, Halloween and leaf-kicking fun, welcome to your October guide to what to get out of bed for.

 

Creative Workshops, Fisherton Mill, Salisbury, throughout Oct

Check out the new workshops at Fisherton this month – you’ve got to be a tad more creative than me to get stuck in but they include knitting, glass workshops, jewellery and hand-painting furniture.

fishertonmill.co.uk

Children’s Literature Festival Break, Woolley Grange, Bradford-on-Avon to 8 Oct

Stay for two nights during the Bath Children’s Literature Festival and treat yourself to a 30 minute complimentary treatment in the spa whilst your child enjoys storytelling, dressing up and crafty book themed activities in the Woolley Bears Den. Also included is breakfast on both mornings, a two course dinner for two (family or candlelit dining) and, if requested, a courtesy taxi to and from Bradford on Avon station for the 12 minute train ride into the heart of Bath and the book festival. Yippee, I say!

woolleygrangehotel.co.uk

 

Around the World in 80 Days, Salisbury Playhouse, 2-7 Oct

The mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagers his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. Join Fogg and his loyal valet, Passepartout, as they voyage from the misty alleys of Victorian London to the exotic subcontinent and the Wild West in a race against the clock.

salisburyplayhouse.com

 

FEASTival, Bradford on Avon, 2 Oct – 4 Nov

Celebrating all the welcoming and wonderful food and drink outlets in the Bradford on Avon area. Get your FEASTival Passport stamped at the outlets from now until the Prize Draw on Saturday 4 November.

lambyardevents

 

Legally Blonde,  Bristol Hippodrome, Tues 2–Sat 7 Oct

When Elle Woods’ boyfriend Warner dumps her the night before going to Harvard Law School, she decides to get into Harvard too and be the ‘serious’ person her ambitious boyfriend thinks he needs to further his career. By the end of the show, she’s still resolutely blonde, but no longer judged on it *sob*. With Lucie Jones (Eurovision), Rita Simons (EastEnders), Bill Ward (Emmerdale) and Charlie Stubbs (Coronation Street).

 

That’ll Be The Day, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Mon 2 to Tue 3 Oct

A new production of the rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza with hits from the 1950s through to the 1980s, it’s a veritable gallop through musical history with roll-in-the-aisles comedy thrown in between the tunes. rosestheatre.org

 

Our View Art Exhibition, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey, 3-25 Oct

Take10 Artists are celebrating 15 years of painting together in different locations, both at home and abroad. Their paintings explore the world around us and express their diverse interests and styles through the use of a variety of media. In this selling exhibition browse their artwork and chat to the artists.

sirharoldhilliergardens

 

Rob BrydonI am Standing Up, Colston Hall, Bristol, Weds 4 Oct

Ubiquitous comic hits Bristol in his 87-date tour of the UK. Last few tickets remaining (if you miss out, don’t fret, they’ve put on an extra date Sat 4 Nov).

 

Moscow State Circus, Bristol, Weds 4–Sun 15 Oct

The world famous circus sets up the Big Top on Durdham Downs this month. Their latest show,  Gostinitsa, combines the best of the circus art forms – trapeze, tightrope, unicyclists, clowns, you name it – with the Art Deco glitz and glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

 

Blade Runner 2049, various venues across Wilts, Thurs 5 Oct

Where’s the biggest cinema screen near you? That’s where you’ll want to see this head-spinningly spectacular sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic. Set 30 year on, Ryan Gosling is LAPD officer K, a replicant tasked with tracking down and eliminating earlier replicants who were manufactured as slaves but turned rogue.  After discovering a long buried secret that could plunge what’s left of the world into chaos, he sets off on a quest to find former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Can’t wait. Find a cinema near you.

Le Doulos, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Thu 5 Oct

This 1963 French noir classic by master director Jean-Pierre Melville is Quentin Tarantino’s favourite film and was a big inspiration for Reservoir Dogs. And with its violent plot revolving around an ex con and gangster, it’s not hard to see why. Beautifully shot in black and white, it’s the perfect pre-weekend treat. rosestheatre.org

 

Baking with Ben, Lucknam Park Hotel, Chippenham, 5 and 14 Oct

Get ready for that Great British Bake Off audition with this day-long course of culinary creativity. Be inspired to create your very own showstoppers as Head Chef Ben Taylor guides you through a selection of both sweet and savoury dishes, before sitting down for lunch and a relaxing glass of wine. October offers include three peeps for the price of two, so bring your mates.

www.lucknampark.co.uk

 

NT Encore: Hamlet, Salisbury Arts Centre, Thurs 5 Oct

Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, screeching into Salisbury this week. As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.

salisburyartscentre.co.uk

 

Sherlock Holmes and the Crimson Cobbles, Corsham, Fri 6 Oct

The world première of this Sherlock Holmes caper is a hilarious, deeply daft theatrical explosion. Holmes and Watson are called upon to investigate the shocking Whitechapel murders, but when the evidence points to only one inconceivable conclusion about the identity of Jack the Ripper, is our super sleuth prepared to believe the unbelievable? This witty, laugha- minute pastiche is a raucous night out.

poundarts.org.uk

 

Cheltenham Literature Festival, various locations, Cheltenham, Fri 6 to Sun 15 Oct

It’s October which means it’s time for the literati to descend on Cheltenham and this year the town is aquiver with excitement at the arrival of the hot-ticket guest Hillary Rodham Clinton. No tickets left, obvs, they sold out in seconds (if you’re a diehard fan, you could always hang around the racecourse on Sunday 15 and try and catch glimpse of her), but there are loads of other juicy events, including tonnes of stuff for the kids. If my lot were younger I’d be beelining Miranda Hart who’s just brought out her debut children’s book The Girl With The Lost Smile and Harry Hill with his new book Matt Millz, The Youngest Stand Up Comedian In The World. My grown-up picks are Salman Rushdie discussing his latest novel The Golden House, Stroud-born author Alan Hollinghurst, and Girl On The Train sensation Paula Hawkins whose chilling new thriller Into The Water is currently making waves (sorry). cheltenhamfestivals.com

 

Vienna Festival Ballet: Sleeping Beauty, Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 6 Oct

I can’t resist this fairy-tale ballet by Tchaikovsky. I’ve always wanted to be woken with a kiss from a prince (still waiting) and this show with its fantastic choreography and costumes carries you away to another world where that sort of thing seems possible. Escapism at its best. bacontheatre.ticketsolve.com

 

Fancy A Fungi Foray?, Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt, Sat 7 Oct

Did you know it’s National Fungus Day on Saturday 7 October? Well, you do now, and to mark the occasion, Westonbirt is putting on two fungi forays where you go into the woods in search of weird and wonderful mushrooms. All ages welcome, 10.30am-12.30pm, 2-4pm. Only £5 for adults, £2 for under 12s and under 6s go free. forestry.gov.uk

 

Shappi Khorsandi, Corsham, Sat 7 Oct

Shappi presents England’s unsung heroine. For too many years she has been known as just Nelson’s mistress, a bit of a harlot. (You get one job in a brothel and bang goes your reputation.) Women’s lib wasn’t a thing in Georgian times, Emma moved mountains to haul herself from scullery maid to Lady Hamilton. Yes, she occasionally danced on tables naked to get ahead in life, but who hasn’t? As a fellow naked dancer on tables, Shappi is inspired by Emma, although she never wants hair big enough to house mice in.

poundarts.org.uk

 

Prohibition Ball, American Museum in Britain, Bath, Sat 7 Oct

Dress in your finest 1920s inspired outfits for a glamorous evening of dancing, gambling, and (secret) drinking, with music from Victoria Klewin’s Speakeasy Band. Enjoy Prohibition-era cocktails handcrafted by the Abbey Hotel’s pop-up bar.

americanmuseum.org

 

Wells Food Festival, various venues around Wells, Sun 8 Oct

Nosh, nibbles, booze, etc to try and to buy from over 150 artisan producers in the Market place, along the Bishop’s Palace Moat, recreation ground and Town Hall. There’s a rolling cocktail bar too.

 

Wedding Inspiration Showcase, Bowood House and Hotel, Sun 8 Oct

Bowood’s Inspiration Showcase is the perfect chance to experience Bowood in all its glory – and to put your money where your mouth is and book it for your big day, of course! Enjoy a glass of fizz on arrival and take in the beautifully decorated Kerry Suite at your leisure, then experience their English Countryside themed showcase and let them bring the outdoors inside for a truly romantic setting. Their fave handpicked suppliers and specialist Bowood team will be on hand to take any questions and will be bringing the venue to life with live demonstrations, food tastings, DIY tutorials and inspirational ideas worthy of any Pinterest board.

bowood.org

 

A Murder is Announced, Salisbury Playhouse, 9-14 Oct

The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advert in the local newspaper that a murder will take place this coming Friday at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock. Unable to resist, the group gather at the house at the appointed time, when the lights go out and a gun is fired. Enter Miss Marple, who must unravel a complex series of relationships and events to solve the mystery of the killer…

salisburyplayhouse.com

 

Driving Miss Daisy, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 9 to Sat 14 Oct

Love the film and the stage version looks equally fab. Dame Siân Phillips plays Daisy (her murderous Livia in the I, Claudius TV series all those years ago still lives with me) with 1960s children’s television presenter-cum-RSC actor Derek Griffiths as Hoke, Miss Daisy’s African-American chauffeur. It’s comedy drama that pierces the heart as employer and employee strike up a friendship against a backdrop of prejudice, inequality and civil unrest. everymantheatre.org.uk

 

Mere Literary Festival, Mere, 9-15 Oct

Various events taking place for this popular literary festival including talks by authors, writing workshops and a film night.

merelitfest.co.uk

 

Peter Waldron: Odyssey, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Wed 11 Oct to Sat 18 Nov

Swindon-based artist Peter Waldron’s bold, abstract paintings are inspired by the rhythm, colour and energy of natural forms. This exhibition explores the artist’s life and career to date and brings together a selection of his paintings and drawings. swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk

 

RSC Live: Coriolanus, various venues across Wilts, Sat 11 Oct

Power of the people, revenge, conflict.  Shakespeare’s tragedy about the rise and fall of legendary Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus, big time war hero turned failed politician and utterer of some of Shakespeare’s worst insults (just consulted my Cole’s Notes). This production filmed live at Stratford on Avon stars Sope Dirisu and Haydn Gwyne (Drop the Dead Donkey). Find a cinema.

 

MET Opera: Belli, Salisbury Arts Centre, 11 Oct

Norma is the high priestess of the Druids and daughter of their leader Oroveso. But she is also in love with Pollione, proconsul of their Roman oppressors, and secretly has had two children with him. Matters get even more complicated when another priestess, Adalgisa, innocently confesses to Norma that she has fallen love with Pollione, who in turns wants to take Adalgisa back to Rome with him. Bellini’s exquisite music conveys every nuance of the characters’ emotional dilemma, all the way through to the drama’s shattering conclusion.

salisburyartscentre.co.uk

 

Jackson Live in Concert, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, 12 Oct

Michael Jackson is not only remembered as one of the most influential artists of all time, but many of today’s artists have been inspired by his iconic style. His career spanned nearly five decades of music, and he was continually at the forefront of popular music. Jackson Live in Concert sees long-time fan and hugely talented Ben recreate the Michael Jackson experience with his stunning rendition of all his favourite songs.

swindontheatres.co.uk

 

Fools Paradise Showcase, Salisbury Arts Centre, 13 Oct

Fool’s Paradise, the international street performance agency, is coming to Salisbury to showcase the very best of UK outdoor arts. Come and meet a vibrant array of family-friendly walkabouts in the beautiful grounds of Salisbury Arts Centre. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see giant puppets, comedy characters, roaming robots, circus performers, acrobats and more.

salisburyartscentre.co.uk

 

Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair, Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford, Fri 13–Sun 15 Oct

Dealers from all over the UK come to tempt us with their wares to decorate the home, garden and even your good self. Just in time for Christmas, goody. Click here for a free ticket that might just win you lunch for two at the Roth Bar & Grill.

 

Apple Celebrations, Avebury, Marlborough, 14-15 Oct

Why not visit Avebury and celebrate the apple season? They will be paying homage to this special fruit with apple tastings, apple pressing and children’s activities in the Avebury Manor orchard.

avebury

 

Sculpt at Kew, Kew Gardens, London, to Sun 15 Oct

If you’re heading to London, this is hands-down the best time of year to visit Kew Gardens, as you’re treated to nature’s own technicolour art display in the form of the turning of the leaves. This autumn you can also explore a sculpture exhibition set within the gardens – catch Piers Mason’s and Hamish Mackie’s life-size animals lurking in the bushes, among 70 works by other British and international artists. Access to show is included in the general admission ticket. kew.org

 

Rockbourne Fair, Salisbury, 18-20 Oct

Christmas Shopping fair. Over 90 stalls selling gorgeous clothes, unique gifts and tempting treats! A great day out, have lunch in the restuarant and shop, shop, shop!

rockbournefair.co.uk

 

War Horse, Bristol Hippodrome, Weds 18 Oct–Sat 11 Nov

After young Albert’s beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped over to France during WW1, he sets off on a dangerous mission to find him and bring him home. Be prepared to shed a tear. We’ll be reviewing the show on opening night, so watch this space. Want to know how they created the horses? There’s a 2-hour family workshop on Sat 21 Oct.

 

Lulu: All About the Music, Salisbury City Hall, 19 Oct

Following on from her smash hit 2016 tour Lulu returns with her biggest tour yet. There is one overriding influence in the life of this acclaimed singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, Grammy and Novello Award nominee, and that is, it has always been ‘All About the Music.’

cityhallsalisbury.co.uk

 

Half Term Fun, Avebury, Marlborough, 19-29 Oct

Goosebumps and tremors, cat trials and mummer’s masks, children will love the atmosphere at Avebury this half term. With a chance to make a mask and win a spooky prize as part of a trial, there is guaranteed fun for all.

avebury

 

Indian Diwali Supper Club, Harts Barn Cookery School, Fri 20 Oct

diwali supper club at Harts Barn Cookery School

I don’t need much excuse to feast on samosas, veg curry and popadoms, but this looks like an excellent opportunity to enjoy topnotch Indian food and celebrate the Hindu festival of lights in style. Harts Barn supper clubs are a fab night out – fun and friendly and The Apple Barn dining area gets a massive Muddy tick for quirkiness. There’s also a loyalty scheme – you get a culinary passport to be stamped each time you visit and your eighth meal is absolutely free. Genius! hartsbarncookeryschool.co.uk

 

Voodoo VaudEvil, The Circus of Horrors, Wookey Hole, nr Wells, Fri 20–Sat 21 Oct

Trashy, bizarre, steam punk horror circus mash up of wincingly gruesome acts, burlesque and live rock music. Bloody good fun for those that like that sort of thing (they won Simon’s heart on Britain’s Got Talenta few years back).  Me? I’ll take a cuppa and an episode of  The Archers. Not suitable for under 16s.

 

Autumn Festival, Rococo Gardens, Painswick, Fri 20 to Sun 22 Oct

The gorgeous Rococo Gardens’ annual celebration of everything harvest is the perfect way to kick off the half-term holiday. Apple juicing, heritage produce display and tasting, plus the special magic of the gardens in late October. Normal admission, just turn up and enjoy. rococogarden.org.uk

 

Peter and the Wolf, Salisbury Playhouse, 21 Oct

Peter and Grandad have gone camping for the weekend. Grandad says stick to the campsite but Peter has other ideas…Join Peter on a hilarious adventure through the fields and forest as he discovers new sounds and noises. Featuring animal antics of singing birds, waddling ducks, sneaky cats, and a rocking wolf. With new music lovingly inspired by Prokofiev’s classic, this is Peter and the Wolf as you’ve never seen it before.

salisburyplayhouse.com

 

Apple Pressing Day, Woolley Grange, Bradford on Avon, 21 Oct

Join them in the Good Life Garden pressing apples from the orchard to make Woolley Apple Juice. Coffee and
homemade apple cake on sale…tempted?

woolleygrangehotel.co.uk

 

The Great British Autumn, Longleat, 21-29 Oct

The perfect day out for the whole family. The Longhouse will be playing host to some feathery visitors; Barn and Tawney Owls. Throughout the week you’ll be able to come and meet these stunning birds, learn all about what they get up to during the long autumn nights, and even see them in action in one of our live demonstrations.

longleat.co.uk

 

Haunted Half Term, Old Sarum, Salisbury, 21-29 Oct

Bring your little horrors this Halloween half term and wander the haunted landscape of Old Sarum. Discover some ghoulish goings-on and spooky happenings while hearing about Old Sarum’s eerie former residents.

oldsarum

 

Fast Love: A Tribute To George Michael, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Sat 21 Oct

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Wham on Top Of The Pops and fell in love with George Michael’s ‘wham, bam, I am a man’ rap. It wasn’t until years later that I realised I was never going to be his cup of tea *choke*. This tribute to the late pop legend is bound to be bittersweet and by the time Careless Whisper comes on, I bet there won’t be a dry eye in the house. rosestheatre.org

 

Last Man Standing, Trowbridge, 21 Oct

Last Man Standing draws from the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett. The performance is about living for the moment, about appreciating every second and enjoying life while it lasts.

trowbridgearts

 

Pumpkin Week, Roves Farm, Swindon, 21-29 Oct

Carve a pumpkin and leave the mess with them…Choose, design and create your very own spooky pumpkin to take home.

rovesfarm.co.uk

 

Spooky Salisbury, Tours around Salisbury, 21-30 Oct

Salisbury has an amazing collection of ghosts. Join us as we search for Salisbury’s secretive ghosts and listen to spine chilling tales of hauntings and gruesome happenings from the City’s past. These tours include tales of witches, wizards, ghosts and the violent death of the Duke of Buckingham plus much more…Explore hidden parts of the haunted City and hear of things that go bump in the night.

salisburycityguides.co.uk

 

The Night Pirates, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, 23-24 Oct

Adapted from the best-selling children’s book by Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright, The Night Pirates tells the tale of a group of little girl pirates who descend on a young boy called Tom at bedtime. Eager to join the pirate adventure, Tom uses his house as a pirate ship and sets sail to retrieve stolen treasure from Captain Patch and the bumbling grown-up pirates.

swindontheatres.co.uk

 

The Wipers Times, Salisbury Playhouse, 23-28 Oct

Returning to Salisbury following a sell-out run in 2016 and direct from a West End season, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s The Wipers Times tells the true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of The Somme, interspersed with comic sketches and spoofs from the vivid imagination of those on the front line. In a bombed-out building during the First World War in the Belgian town of Ypres (mis-pronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discover a printing press and create a newspaper for the troops. Defying both authority and gas attacks, it proves a huge success with the troops on the Western Front.

salisburyplayhouse.com

 

Halloween Hunt, Puzzlewood, Coleford, Forest of Dean, Mon 23 to Sun 29 Oct

Quite frankly, I can’t think of a better place for some spooky Halloween fun than Puzzlewood, the forest that inspired JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Search the mysterious woods for witches, goblins, pumpkins and goodness knows what else all hiding in mossy gulleys, under wooden bridges, in spooky trees and next to secret benches. And there are prizes! No need to book, just turn up. puzzlewood.net

 

Monstersaurus, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Wed 25 Oct

This brand new show from the creators of Aliens Wear Underpants follows young inventor Monty as he creates a whole new world of wacky inventions and incredible monsters. Lots of on-stage hilarity, music and audience participation. Perfect half-term fodder for your own little monsters. rosestheatre.org

 

Ben Waters And Very Special Guests, Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham, Thu 26 Oct

One of Jools Holland’s top ten favourites of all time, Ben Waters has played including Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones and, er, Mick Hucknall. It was a sell-out gig last year, who’s going to be the very special guest this year? bacontheatre.ticketsolve.com

 

Russian State Ballet, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Thu 26 to Sat 28 Oct

The classical ballet troupe is doing a run of three nights at Cheltenham’s Everyman kicking off on with The Nutcracker on Thursday 26 (Christmas comes early), Romeo & Juliet on Friday and Swan Lake on Saturday. From the magic of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy to Prokofiev’s evocative scores and the tragic story of Odette and Odile, the always mesmerising productions, accompanied by a live orchestra, never fails to delight. everymantheatre.org.uk

 

Salisbury Literary Festival, Salisbury, Fri 27 – Sun 29 Oct

Done Marlborough? Done Cheltenham? Well, you’re not done yet. Salisbury Literary Festival is bringing out the big guns with Philippa Gregory, Joanna Cannon and Muddy fave Sarah Winman. There are loads of events for kids, including Melinda Salisbury and the super-cool Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby. Budding writers, don’t forget to enter the Salisbury Story Prize, with categories for all ages.

salisburyliteraryfestival.co.uk

 

The Hive, Trowbridge, Sat 28 Oct

Join in the spook-tastic festivities at The Hive, with a spooky champagne party at 2pm.

thehive-hair.com

 

Rocky Horror Show, The Malthouse Bar & Kitchen, Stroud, Fri 27 Oct

Love a bit of Rocky Horror Show and you definitely need a crowd to get into the spirit, so The Malthouse is an ideal venue as you get to stuff your face with its brunch-style fare too. Dinner is between 5pm and 7pm – a main dish and side are included in the ticket price; drinks aren’t malheureusement – and the film kicks off at 7.30pm. The perfect October Friday night! stroudmalthouse.com

 

Lacock Modern Gift Fair, Lacock, 28 Oct

Modern Gift Fair full of interesting quality products ranging from home textiles to handmade skincare. Pop in and visit us while walking around the beautiful National Trust village of Lacock.

 

Salisbury Music Awards, Salisbury Arts Centre, 28 Oct

Join them for an eclectic night of music celebrating the finest acts in Salisbury.

salisburyartscentre.co.uk

 

Mexican – Night of the Dead, Devizes, 31 Oct

Celebrate a truly amazing Night of the Dead with Peter Vaughan of Vaughan’s Kitchen.

vaughanskitchen.co.uk

 

The Kite Runner, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Tue 31 Oct to Sat 4 Nov

A haunting tale of two childhood friends whose lives are shattered by a terrible incident, this stripped-down stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel left weeping West End audiences in its wake. Bring the tissues and go easy on the mascara. everymantheatre.org.uk

 

Still Lifes Michael Martin & Gaynor Dowling, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Sun 5 Nov

The sublime sculpture of this local duo who create beautifully textured, hand-carved wooden vessels from their studio in Stroud will take your breath away. And you’ll definitely want to take one home with you, so come after pay day. thechapelarts.com

 

Judy Pfaff: Roots Up, Messums Wiltshire, Tisbury, until Sun 26 Nov

Judy Pfaff’s Roots Up exhibition, which also features paintings and drawings by her, is the first one American Pfaff has held in the UK.  There has been two years of preparation for the exhibition, it will take three weeks to install and the installation process is being recorded and documented as it happens. messumswiltshire.com

 

Softer: Jenny Holzer Exhibition at Blenheim Palace, until Sun 31 Dec

dark art gallery installation blue and purple lights two silhouettes of bodies

The fourth artist to to showcase contemporary art at Blenheim Palace (my kids still talk about Ai Wei Wei back in 2015), Holzer will be creating new work directly addressing our military and political history – eeek! For this show she’s developing large-scale light projections that will transform the Formal Gardens after dark in a series of night time public events. Sounds cool right? Plus visitors can also explore more meditative areas featuring examples of Holzer’s best known work. blenheimpalace.com

 

*BOOK NOW FOR NOVEMBER*

Diamond Masterclass by Shen London, Calcot Manor, Wed 1 Nov

Learn about high-end jewellery design and sourcing rare diamonds at this swish event by diamond gurus Shen London hosted by the impossibly luxurious Calcot Manor. There’s bubbly and lunch and you can bring your own rocks for scrutiny. But I’m thinking new purchases! What with Christmas coming up and diamonds being a girl’s (and woman in her forties’) best friend. And, frankly, Shen’s Goddess Collection, which will be on display in all its glory, has my name on it. You hear that Mr Muddy? £50 per person. Tel: 01666 890391; email: reservations@calcot.cocalcot.co

Gin Discovery Evening, Sudbury House, 2 Nov

Innovative The Gin to My Tonic rocks up at Restaurant 56 at Sudbury House next week, where you can go on an evening of gin discover and food gastronomy. The Gin to My Tonic have selected some more unusual gins to give guests the opportunity to sample something new and learn more about this fantastic spirit, plus you’ll see that G&Ts need not just be served with canapes before dinner – if you get it right you can drink them right through to pud. Gin? Great food? Uh, do you really need to ask?

www.sudburyhouse.co.uk

 

Relax.create, Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, 2 Nov

Treat yourself to a special day to help you unwind, enjoy fun company, de-stress and learn a new skill all in the beautiful surroundings of the Larmer Tree Gardens. Join Lucy Bennett of Made By Lucy and Josie from Worry Free for a creative wellness retreat and take some time out. Go on, you’re worth it!

larmertree.co.uk

 

Spa Christmas Shopping, Woolley Grange, Bradford on Avon, 2 Nov

A festive glass of prosecco, nibbles, fabulous Christmas gifts, Elemis BIOTEC facial demos, plus 20% off Elemis products and lots more great offers. What more can you ask for?

woolleygrangehotel.co.uk 

 

Whales Beneath the Surface
■  Natural History Museum
, London SW7  ■ to Feb 2018

A major new exhibition exploring the extraordinary life of whales. Dive through one of the world’s most compelling evolutionary journeys in this family exhibitionwhen more than 100 specimens from the Museum’s collection will be on display together for the first time, from parts of a colossal blue whale to a small harbour porpoise. Travel back 50 million years to the beginning of the evolution of the whale. See how whales became sociable, aquatic mammals, some of which can communicate over vast distances.

■ Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD. nhm.ac.uk 

 

Robot Zoo
■  
Horniman Museum, London SE23  ■ until Sun 29 Oct

It doesn’t get much cooler than a robotic zoo. Let’s be fair it needs to be impressive to schlep deep into south east London. But it’ll be worth it to see a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-ft tentacles and a mahoosive house fly with a vacuum cleaner for a mouth at the Horniman’s Museum in Honor Oak. All the robot animals are made from everyday machines and gadgets. Through interactive games and challenges the creations will reveal how real anatomy works. Plus this museum with its quirky exhibits and large cafe and terrace is a big favourite with families at any time. Tickets: Adults £7; Kids, £4.
■ The Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ. horniman.ac.uk

 

BOOK NOW FOR…

Cliveden Literary Festival, Sat 14 – Sun 15 Oct

clivden house side view os grand stone building foggy garden

The River Café’s Ruth Rogers, novelists Robert Harris and Ian McEwan, and historian Lady Antonia Fraser are among the speakers at Cliveden’s refined gathering. The 5 star country house hotel has held literary salons since the 17th century, inspiring writers from Pope to Swift to Tennyson, so you’ll certainly be in rarefied company. And be sure to have a snoop around the exquisite grounds while you’re there.

clivedenliteraryfestival.org

 

The Muddy Literary Salon at Thame Arts & Literature Festival, Thurs 12 Oct

Did someone say girls’ night out? There are only 120 tickets available to see five frankly awesome authors at our inaugural literary event so be quick! Fashion/food blogger Sasha Wilkins (aka LibertyLondonGirl), Clover Stroud, Elizabeth Heathcote, Tamsina Perry and Alexandra Heminsley make up the line up, plus there’ll be more Prosecco than you can shake a stick at. Read all about it, or go straight for the jugular and book here for a bargainous £10.

 

Larmer Tree Christmas Fair, Fri 1 – Sun 3 December

Once again the Larmer Tree Christmas fest rolls around, supporting the very worthy causes for SERV Wessex, Volunteer Blood Runners for Hampshire, Dorset and Wilts who provide an amazing service delivering urgently needed blood and medical essentials to hospitals. More info to follow, but put the date in the diary now.

larmertree.co.uk

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Wiltshire