The Muddy Guide 3-10 July 2014
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Looking for something different to do this week? Look no further than your trusty Muddy Guide and my curated picks to the fun stuff in Bucks, Oxon and beyond this week. Out you go!
Independent Retailer Month, Oxford, until 31 July
It’s hard for independent shops to compete, so hats off to the 18 indie shops in Oxford, including some big favourites of mine like Fabulous Flowers, Objects of Use and Annie Sloan, who are all clubbing together as part of Independent Retailer Month to encourage people through the door. Every time you buy anything in any of the participating shops you get put into a prize draw to win one of 18 rather quirky sweet prizes like sunflowers in a jug, a blini pan (!), a signed workbook from Annie Sloan etc. Worth supporting plucky local businesses with or without the carrot.
Paul Weller plays Warwick Castle, 11 July
Yup, you read it right. Pah to Glastonbury, Mr Weller has decided to headline, er, the Warwick Castle Summer Sounds. Rock on! The Gramotones support, I know that much, and tickets cost £42.50 plus usual fees.
Oscar de la Renta opens at Bicester Village, now open
Bicester Village continues its assault on designer-senses with only the second Oscar de la Renta store in the UK (the first being its flagship London store). Womenswear, bridal, kidswear, home, beauty and accessories all nestled into one lovely store. Win my Bicester Village competition before it closes at 12pm and head straight there!
Loving all the pop up restaurants that are appearing this month. I’m very excited to be going to Duende in Chesham in a couple of weeks (Saturdays all gone now peeps, but there is apparently still limited availability for the Friday 19 and 26 July so get to it!). Also, Field Kitchen Oxford has a weekend of outdoor pop-ups from 10-12 July; and Wolvercote Supper Club has two spaces still available for this Saturday 5th. Napkin placed, knife and fork at the ready, time to eat!
Sunset Safari, Woburn Safari Park,– 12 July
While the weather remains balmy, get out on Sunset Safari and meet the 800 wild animals at Wooburn Safari Park. You’ll get a BBQ for your trouble and also the potentially disconcerting sight of watching a Zulu dance while you’re attempting to spear your sausages.
Adults £59.00, children £49.00
A Journey Through Gin, Danesfield House, Marlow, Thurs 24 July
An early heads up on one of the most attractively titled nights I’ve ever come across… This sounds like a lot of fun – drink expert Joel Harrison, who is apparently a lot of fun, will impart his knowledge about gin throughout the evening with guests in an informal talk, plus there’s a lovely three course dinner (marinated scottish salmon, saddle of venison etc) and gin tasting session thrown in. Only 35 tickets are for sale at £60 a ticket, so if this sounds like your bag, book fast.
danesfieldhouse.co.uk. Tel: 01628 891010
The Design Museum, Shad Thames, 25th birthday party, Sat 5 July
Looking for something a bit different to see in London? The Design Museum celebrates 25 stylish, ground-breaking years with a family-friendly ‘party’ of workshops, BBQ, and a Design of the Year exhibition showing the latest, greatest creations. The first 25 people through the museum’s doors will receive some special Design Museum goodies, though if that’s enough to set your alarm on a Saturday I truly salute you!
12pm – 5.30pm. Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1.
Nicole et Martin, North Wall Theatre, Oxford, 10-12 July
North Wall Theatre has staged quite a coup bringing the award-winning family circus Nicole et Martin to Oxford for the first time. Choose from three separate shows, all with fairy tale themes under a gorgeous white canopy tent in the grounds of St Edmund’s School opposite, but don’t expect bad clown jokes or baleful tigers – it’s a very intimate, acrobatic, musical, theatrical event. By all accounts, this family touring circus is every bit as brilliant (and whisper it, half as expensive!) as the homegrown Gifford’s so should be a great family event.
The Bremen Town Musicians (1.30pm, Thurs 10 July); Hansel & Gretel (1.30pm, 6.30pm, Fri 11 July); The Fisherman and his Wife (6.30pm, Sat 12 July). Family ticket £42 (2 adults/2 kids, or 1 adult/3 kids). Adult tickets £14, concessions £10.
Sculpture in the Garden, Turn End Gardens, Haddenham, Bucks, 5-13 July
Turn End Gardens in Haddenham, Bucks are a real treat, a garden thought through with architectural flair, leading you through a series of outdoor ‘rooms’, nooks, crannies and surprises. My kids have been several times and are thrilled by it. This exhibition is part of a new initiative from the Turn End trust, that seeks to preserve the Grade II listed house and gardens for generations to come, and make their beauty public as much as possible. The Sculpture in the Garden exhibition is free, full of traditional and modern sculptures that are all for sale and are from local and international artists.
Francesca Simon and Steven Butler, The Story Museum, Oxford, Sun 6 July
Does your child love Horrid Henry or The Wrong Pong? This is their chance to meet the authors Francesca Simon and Steven Butler at Muddy fave The Story Museum, as they talk about why they like creating mischievous heroes and why they became the Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter for The Story Museum’s 26 Characters exhibition. It sounds a bit slight on paper I grant you, but these are authors we’re talking about here – they know how to bring something to life.
3pm, The Story Museum, Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP. £4 (£2 off if bought with 26 Characters exhibition entry).
Henley Regatta, Henley, until Sun 6 July
I haven’t been to Royal Henley Regatta for years, but I’m off to the waterfront today (via a special Regatta breakfast, courtesy of the nearby Quince Tree, Stonor – well, it would be rude not to) and hope to see some, um, great racing. Otherwise known as fit blokes rowing. If you haven’t already booked, get to it – 200 rowing races, Olympic teams spilling from the river, and some of the prettiest views in England.
Tickets from £18. http://www.hrr.co.uk
Midsomer Murders filming, Haddenham, Bucks, today
Haddenham’s idyllic duck pond and 12th century church take a starring role in Midsomer Murders today (Thurs), tomorrow (Friday) and next Monday. See if you can get into shot with Inspector Barnaby, and tip him a wink about the criminal – it’s bound to be the vicar!