My Faves

Click the bookmark icon to save all the stuff you love.

Congratulations to the 2019 Muddy Stilettos Awards Winners!

Meet our winners here

Muddy Stilettos Awards logo
Reader Treats Just For You!

What’s on this week

MON 7 - SUN 13 MAY

Polo ExperienceBeaufort Polo Club / Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, dates in May
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa has teamed up with iconic Beauford Polo club to offer guests the chance to stay at the hotel and enjoy a hands-on Polo Experience. As well as being a renowned training centre offering lessons to players of all ages and experiences, it is a great way to celebrate a special event or just have a go at the ‘sport of kings’. The half-day Beaufort Polo Club ‘Polo Experience’ package offers the chance to work with HPA-accredited coaches – you’ll start on a wooden horse before graduating to actually hitting balls and playing in a chukka. Top it off with lunch in the Clubhouse and watching the pros play in the afternoon. I might just stick to that bit…

Chris Dunn, Parsley Rabbit and the Treehouse Content, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, throughout May

Get the chance to meet former studio artist Chris Dunn at the opening of his exhibition. He is showing 33 original pieces following a rabbit going against all the odds to build a magnificent treehouse.


Woodland Garden, Bowood House and Garden, nr Calne, throughout May

Don’t miss the short 6-week season of Bowood’s 30-acre Woodland Garden. It’s display of rhododendendrons, magnolias and azaleas is unique to Wiltshire – originally laid out in 1854 by the 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne, the Woodland Garden features some of the earliest known hybrids in the UK.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival, various locations, to Mon 7 May

Quite a line-up this year, not least Van the Man, Randy Crawford and Courtney Pine – it’s like the Neopolitan ice cream of live music – delicious! And the rest of the bill is looking might fine too. And as well as musical feasts, The Lucky Onion will also be hosting its famous supper clubs and house parties at No 131. This festival just gets better every year.


Olympigs, Cotswold Farm Park, Cheltenham, Sat 5 May to Mon 7 May

Don’t let him win!!

Do you think you’re in with a chance of becoming an Olympigs champion? With loads of farmyard sporting events, including hobby horse racing, egg and spoon and, my favourite, welly wanging, this family sports day sounds like a Bank Holiday Weekend blast.


May Day Lunch with Live Music, The Greenway Hotel & Spa, Cheltenham, Mon 7 May

A real bargain this – a four-course meal cooked by the fabulous kitchen at The Greenway, served in the to-die-for surroundings of the country house hotel, with some atmospheric music served up by Steve Street and his band. And it’s only £35 per person! And if you can’t make it on May Day bank holiday, can I recommend the hotel’s special May Asparagus Suppers that run throughout the month from Sunday to Thursday?


Storywalk, Stable Block Lydiard Park, Swindon, Monday 7 May

Join international storyteller Cat Weatherill for a walk-through nature as you get to hear some of her best stories. Grab a piece of cake (or two) while you are there and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.


Jo Pavey, Lydiard Conference Centre, Lydiard Park, Swindon, Monday 7 May

Olympic runner Jo Pavey gives insight on her experience as runner; she will delve into the lows and highs of being an Olympian and what it’s like to be one of the ‘mums who run’.


Chipping Campden Literature Festival, Tue 8 to Sat 12 May

Lots to enjoy at this bijou lit fest, including award-winning poet and writer Fiona Sampson talking about her latest book In Search of Mary Shelley, which I listened to serialised on Radio 4 and was shocked by what she endured – as Sampson says, her story couldn’t be more relevant to the #MeToo generation. Also worth marking your pocketbook for is Sue Cook’s Big Book Group with author Carol Drinkwater discussing her novel The Lost Girl, the matinee screening of Picnic at Hanging Rock and the Letterpress Book Jacket Workshop.


Great Expectations, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Tue 8 to Sat 12 May

Charles Dickens’ timeless classic is brought to life on the stage starring Olivier award-winner Nichola McAuliffe as Miss Havisham. And people, two tickets for the price of one on opening night.


Gill Sims, Why Mummy Drinks, Arts Centre, Swindon, Tues 8 May

This is for the women who aren’t part of the ‘mummy’ crowd. You aren’t an arts and craft goddess; your life spans further than your kids and your favourite thing may be a glass – or bottle – of wine at the end of the day.


A Brave Face, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Thu 10 May

Vamos Theatre brings its trademark wordless, full-mask style to tackle post-traumatic stress caused by the impact of war. Expect humanity and humour.


A Taste of Spain Cookery Course, Devizes, 10 May

Off to Spain and want to get in the mood or just fascinated with Spanish cuisine and culture? This class is perfect.

Crimes Under the Sun, New Old Friends, Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury, Thurs 10 May to Sat 12 May

You have been invited on a funny yet murderous retreat to the English Riviera. In the cluedo-esque production, all the guests are suspects, can you figure out who committed the crime?


A Song to Sing, Salisbury Art Centre, Salisbury, Thurs 10 May to Sat 12 May

Musical Theatre Salisbury are putting on a musical with all the best bits from the countries favourite musicals including Chicago, Sister Act, Les Miserable, West Side Story and many more. Get your voice ready because you are in for a night of hits.


Edith Hall, Aristotle’s Way, Art Centre, Swindon, Thurs 10 May

Edith’s book discusses the impact Aristotle has had on modern society and how his teachings could impact your life for the better.


Soushi Pop-Up Restaurant, The Garden Café, Miserden, Fri 11 May

soushi rice green

Good looks and great tastes collide at the Soushi Miserden pop-ups. Expect another night of super fresh seafood inspired by classical Thai cooking in Gloucestershire’s most magical supper club setting, the 1920s greenhouse at Miserden.


Parisian Night, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, Fri 11 May

Join the Whatley chefs as they bring a taste of summer in Paris to The Green Room. This will be a relaxed evening showcasing elegant Parisian dishes cooked in the central island while you watch and interact with the Chef’s.


Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Sat 12 May

linocut print people in Tube

Gail Brodholt’s London Bridge Underground (linocut)

This looks rather special – along with Bankside in London, Cheltenham’s own Chapel Arts is showing 52 selected prints and drawings to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the founder and first president of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Francis Seymour Haden. Members of the society will be visiting the gallery to walk people round the exhibition, explaining the different techniques and processes being used. Don’t miss!


You’ve Got Dragons, Taking Flight, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Sat 12 May

Families will love this tale of a child learning to love their dragon in Taking Flights original show. With live music and a highly visual production its guaranteed to keep the little one’s attention.


The Greatest Story Never Told, Arts Centre, Swindon, Sat 12 May

Join Gareth P Jones and Steve May on stage to create the best story that has never been told. This event will fun, creative and full of audience interaction. At the end of it all, you will have played a part in writing a book!


Flavours of the Mediterranean Cookery Class, Natural Cookery School at Asparagasm, Nailsworth, Sat 12 May

aubergine red pepper stew

Get ready for your summer dinner parties with this veggie take on Med cuisine using nuts, beans, pulses and, of course, olive oil. Starter: Caponata Siciliana with soft polenta. Main: Socca pizza with roasted veg and green olive tapenade with pine nuts. Pudding: chocolate, orange and date cake with pistachio crumble and cardamom cream. Yum!


Molly-Anne, Stroud Brewery, Stroud, Sat 12 May

Gloucestershire’s own Taylor Swift, Molly-Anne is holding her debut live performance as part of a duo. Expect soulful, country-inspired sounds with elements of indie rock.


Cinema Under The Stars, Forestry Commission Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean, Fri 11 & Sat 12 May

The best date night – watching a film al fresco in the magical Forest of Dean – IT on Friday, Forrest Gump on Saturday. Thank you Alfresco Film Company.


The Carole King and James Taylor Story, Wharf Theatre, Devizes, Sat 12 May

This show is a crossover between documentary and musical, taking you on a journey through the career of Grammy award winners Carole King and James Taylor. Giving you an insight of what their careers would have been like behind the glitz and glamour of fame.


The Mayor’s Well Fit Morning, Sandford Park Lido, Cheltenham, Sun 13 May, 9am-1pm

Cheltenham’s indomitable mayor Klara Sudbury’s fundraiser is a virtuous morning of wellbeing with local studios, including One Grove holding yoga, Pilates and Zumba classes. And after you’ve given your body a workout, you can treat your mind to a transformational meditation. And then jump in the heated pool and relax!


Pam Ayres, The Last Hedgehog, Arts Centre, Swindon, Mon 14 May

Pam Ayres is one of the most popular poets in Britain, with her work being the most borrowed poetry library book in 2016. To raise awareness during National Hedgehog Week she has written a poem in support of the endangered species.


The Clay Loft Studio view, Nailsworth, Open Studio Sat 12 to Sun 13 May

ceramic pots, pottery workshop

A kind of coworking space and workshop setting for potters, The Clay Loft Studio is a hive of ceramics activity led by owner Tom Knowles-Jackson who was a finalist in the BBC’s The Great Pottery Throw Down. His work will be just some of the pots on show over the two weekends of the Sit Select Festival 2018.


Giffords Circus, Fennells Farm, Stroud, to Mon 14 May

two women red velvet hats and jackets

Photography by Gemma Hall

The annual outing of England’s most glamorous and wonderfully quirky circus has come round again, kicking off at its Stroud home – where a spanking new big top has already gone up with Giffords in lights and sumptuous red velvet and chandelier interiors. The theme this year is My Beautiful Circus to celebrate 250 years since the very first circus near Westminster Bridge in London started the magic in 1768. After Stroud, the troupe head to Sudeley Castle from Thu 17 to Mon 21 May and Daylesford Organic Farm near Kingham from Thu 24 May to Mon 4 June. See full list of dates here.


Gareth Ward Pop-up, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, Mon 14 May

Book now for Gareth Ward of Ynyshir Hall fame, who descends on Wiltshire with his Michelin star to feed a few lucky peeps. Places are limited so book now for the foodie experience of a lifetime.


Find more ideas here

Things To DoThis Week

Tell us what you think

Your email address will not be published.

* Required
* Required

Little Black Book

The Little Black Book

Our A-Z of the grooviest local businesses to help make your life easier

View the businesses
Home icon Back Home

The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Wiltshire