Easter Muddy Guide Part II
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Family Bushcraft Day, Earth Trust, Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire, Fri 5 April
What do you mean it’s too cold for a bushcraft day? Pah! Do you hear Bear Grylls moan about the weather? Ray Mears bleat for his thermal long johns? Oh alright, it’s bloody freezing, but maybe you have kids who like to be out whatever the weather, and this does sound like good fun. Explore the woods, make shelters, learn how to make a fire, cook on it – then race to the nearest café for a hot chocolate.
10am-4pm. Adults £20, child £15.
Earth Trust, Little Wittenham, OX14 4QZ Little Wittenham. Tel: 01865 407792
Mad Men, new series begins, Wed 11 April, Sky Atlantic
Oh Don! The utterly brilliant, stylish, clever and absorbing drama set in 60s New York ad land returns on Sunday and I cannot wait. Haven’t bothered to watch before now? Switch on, settle down and prepare to be amazed.
Children’s Tour of the house, Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, 10 April
Even the National Trust describe Waddesdon as ‘the jewel in the crown’ and this especially adapted Children’s Tour of the house allows kids to enjoy the Manor’s Ground Floor highlights with a special kid-friendly guide before it opens to the general public. With galleries, shops, a brilliant playground, a café and restaurant all on site, not to mention the beautiful gardens, Waddesdon is a total winner anyway, this is just another reason to go.
11.15am – 12noon. Child: £14.00, NT Child: £5.00, Adult: £23.00, NT Adult: £5.00. Includes House and Gardens admission. Booking essential. www.waddesdon.org.uk
New fining dining restaurant, Henley, formal opening 11 April
Fingers on speed dial to try out the new fine dining restaurant in Henley. Shaun Dickens, straight from his role as chef and farm manager at Fallowfields and previously at Le Manoir de Quatre Saisons, and L’Ortolan, has stepped into the old chandlery at the Hobbs boatyard where Spanish restaurant La Barca recently closed. ‘Shaun Dickens at The Boatyard’ will offer modern British fine dining, offering lunch menus at £17.95 (2 courses) and £21.95 (3 courses), splashes of neon if the website is anything to go by, and no doubt tonnes of enthusiasm – this is Shaun’s first eponymous restaurant. I’ll get down to test it out asap but if you make it before me, let us know your verdict.
The Boathouse, Station Road, Henley-on-Thames RG9 1AZ. Tel: 01491 577937. www.shaundickens.co.uk
Kew Palace at Kew Gardens, now open
Yet another brilliant reason to visit the fantastic Kew Gardens. The Kew Palace has just re-opened to the public at no extra charge to the price of garden admission. For the first time the palace kitchens, untouched since Queen Charlotte’s death in 1818, are open to the public, there’s a new interactive, slightly irritatingly-named People’s Library to explore the history of the palace and its residents, you can wander around the Princess’s bedrooms and generally have a good nose at how the other half (or is that more like 6 per cent now?) lived.
Get Growing!, Oxford Botanical Gardens, 10 April
Quick, someone tell Mr Bloom! It’s Veggie Month at the OMG, so Under 5s can follow a trail to learn about where vegetables come from, and get creative making fruity faces and Mr Potato heads. Drop in at any time. The event is free with entry to the Garden.
£4.50 Adults, Children FREE. 11am-1pm only. The University of Oxford Botanic Garden, Rose Lane, OX1 4AZ Oxford. Tel: 01865 286690
The Charles Napier Spring Foray & Lunch, Sprigg’s Alley, Nr Chinnor. 17 April
Foodies, this one’s for you, an early heads-up on an event that’s always oversubscribed. Take a leisurely walk through the glorious Chilterns beech woods around Michelin-starred Charles Napier restaurant, and gather wild garlic and herbs with expert Peter Creed, followed by a cooking demonstration using the goods by Charles Napier head chef Chris. If you can’t make this date, there are subsequent events on 24 April, 1 May and 9 May.