The cool stuff
Buckingham Literary Festival, Fri 1 – Sun 3 July
Today’s the day – the start of the first ever Buckingham Literary Festival. It’s small but perfectly formed, with speakers including Louis de Bernieres, Saul David, Will Gompertz, Oliver James, and for kids, the brilliant The Wimpy Kid Show – a live theatrical rendition the Mudlets’ favourite books. Today (Friday ) there’s a screening Captain Corelli’s Mandolin at The Film Place to compliment Louis de Bernieres’ visit and tomoz there’s a Festival pop-up cafe outside the University of Buckingham Bookshop provided by those lovely Oxford Foodies.
Henley Regatta, until Sunday
Two hundred races over 5 days, and your guess is as good as mine how many cubic metres of champagne that gets drunk over this event. All I know is you’ll be able to add two bottles from me to that total by the end of today! Still tickets for enclosures and you might even try your luck last minute with Chateau Marmot’s pop up restaurant today (in which case, see you at the bar). Either that or watch the fitties exerting themselves on the water from the ‘free seats’ of the river banks and BYO booze and brolly.
The Roald Dahl Festival, Aylesbury, Sat 2 July
It’s 100 years since Roald Dahl arrived on planet earth, and this annual Dahl-themed day of family activities and entertainment celebrates all things Dahlish. No surprise that the theme for 2016 is BFG, with a parade, samba and brass bands, street entertainers, kids authors, and CBeebies chef Katy Ashworth cooking in Market Square.
Chiltern Open Air Museum Celebration Weekend, Sat 2 – Sun 3 July
40 years old this weekend, but no midlife crisis for this lovely open air museum nea Chalfont St Peter. The Chiltern Open Air Museum started with 3 heritage buildings to celebrate historical and traditional Chilterns buildings. Now it boasts 33 buildings including an iron age house, a tin chapel and a 1830s wychert cottage from Haddenham! Aside from the usuals of wandering around the site and enjoying the buildings and the playground, this weekend you can wear your favourite kaftan or cord flairs (don’t be ashamed, be free!) with the Seventies fancy dress theme, there’s live music and, er, antiques valued by Tom Keane and Erick Knowles! Should be an eclectic event.
Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks, coam.org.uk
Alice’s Day 2016, across Oxford, Sat 2 July
Ooh I love this day! Well-established in the Oxford calendar, it’s a full day of Alice and Lewis Carroll-inspired. This year’s theme is ‘Animals in Wonderland’, so there’s a White Rabbit scavenger hunt around the city centre, a Lobster Quadrille you can join in The Story Museum (go on, I’d like to see you do that one!), a Caucus Race at the Museum of Natural History, jive music in Broad Street, a print-an-Alice-animal at the Bodleian, a giant Alice in Radcliffe square, story time at Blackwell’s and on it goes. Lots of fun, and worth shopping on a Saturday in Oxford to be part of it.
Much Ado About Nothing, Oxford Castle Courtyard, Mon 4 – Sat 16 July
The superfabulous Oxford-based Tomahawk Theatre return to Oxford Castle courtyard from next week for Shakespeare’s tale of love and loyalty as part of the ongoing Oxford Shakespeare Festival. A great one to take kids too as Tomohawk make Shakespeare really accessible, keeping the language and themes but packing the shows with live music, dances and songs. Say hi to ‘fair Hero’ from me!
Oxford Castle, New Road, oxfordcastleunlocked.co.uk
Georgia O’Keeffe, Tate Modern, Weds 6 July – end Oct
Shall we head into London for a bit? Remarkably there are no works by pioneering 20th century artist Georgia O’Keeffe O’Keeffe in UK public collections so this is a great opportunity to see over 100 of her beautiful paintings. Best known for her paintings of magnified flowers, animal skulls, and New Mexico desert landscapes, this exhibition brings together some of her most important works, including Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 1932, the most expensive painting by a female artist ever sold at auction.
Henley Festival, Weds 6- Sun 10 July
The Henley Festival is a sell-out every year, and its success is due to the fact it knows its audience to tee – so if you like dressing in black tie, hanging out in champagne lawn, and listening to Elton John, Bryn Terfel , Blake with Shirley Bassey and Will Young, you’re in luck!
The car park opens at 4.30pm, Festival gates open at 6pm