What’s On in Oxon/Bucks: Muddy Guide 29 Aug – 3 Sept
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The Big Feastival, 29 – 31 Aug
Oh Jamie, have you been working out?! Yup, Jamie Oliver and Alex James’ fabulous foodie Big Feastival returns for another year, this time with Fatboy Slim, Kelis and Jamie Cullum amongst those providing the music, and easy-on-the-eye chefs including Rachel Khoo and Gizzi Erskine offering glamour behind the stoves. For the kids, Mr Bloom and Justin Fletcher have been drafted in, so it’s all terribly middle class and worthy and no doubt brilliant fun. No camping left, but you can still buy tickets for the day.
Bunkfest, Wallingford, 29 – 31 Aug
Now in its 13th yer, this local Bunkfest festival cranks up a beer festival, dance (including ‘rap dance’ apparently, according to its webpage!), a music festival, street performers, children’s entertainers, and deliciously, all for free.
Fish n Chip Quiz Night, Watlington Flyer, Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, 30 August
£18 per person, 7pm – 10.30pm approx. chinnorrailway.co.uk
19th Century Living History, Chiltern Open Air Museum, 30-31 Aug
I’m a big fan of the Chiltern Open Air Museum – it’s a great way to get kids having a bit of culture and fresh air at the same time. If you haven’t been yet, this weekend the museum recreates life in 19th-century England with soldiers, a gamekeeper with his hawk to a candle-maker, toll-house keeper and other costumed characters in full re-enactment mode, plus falconry displays, a military drill and a Radical protest. Placards at the ready!
Chateau Marmot pop up restaurant, Henley, 13-14 Sept
If you don’t buy tickets this week you’re probably going to miss out. I went along to the first Oxfordshire Chateau Marmot last year (see my review here) and it was a lot of fun – and now a year older and wiser, it’s back, with a 5 course, locally-sourced menu for a great value £48. The chef team is lead by Ramael Scully, one of the executive chef’s for the Ottolenghi group, with head chef Chris Lyon. Venue is the gorgeous River & Rowing Museum, so it’s fun times all round.
Last free weekend for kids, Waddesdon Manor, 30-31 Aug
If you go up to Waddesdon Manor as much as I do, it’s well worth saving on your kids entry to the National Trust’s so-called ‘jewel in the crown’. On Saturday kids can make and decorate a bird or Meet The Roman Surgeon, focusing on the weird and wonderful treatments available during Roman times. I’m guessing it doesn’t involve butterfly stitches or anaesthetic.
Sarah Waters evening at Divinity School, Oxford, Tues 2 Sept
I met Sarah Waters once at a writer’s retreat, back in the day when I was just starting to write a novel (that’s um, still sitting at 4 chapters but who’s counting?). She was the visiting success story but was soooo lovely, and I’m such a fan of hers anyway. Her new book The Paying Guests launches on Monday and on Tuesday she discusses it and signs copies at the Divinity School. There are only 120 places and one of them has my name written all over it! Buy tickets through Blackwell’s Bookshop, Broad Street, Oxford. or call 01865 333 623.
Sarah Waters, ‘The Paying Guests’ at the Divinity School, 7-9pm.
Secret Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, from Monday 1 Sept – Sat 13 Sept
A fab idea, this Secret Theatre. Throughout two weeks, five different shows will be performed on the main stage, back stage, in the Burton Taylor Studio and in a secret off-site location. Titles and authors are being kept secret, creating a genuine surprise and an intriguing chance to discover something new. It might be a classic play, an adaptation or a brand new show, but you won’t know until the curtain goes up. I’m going on Wednesday, can’t wait!
Summer Funtime with Mr Toad, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, ends 7 Sept
Summer Funtime with Mr Toad, a fab little exhibition/sensory experience at the River & Rowing Museum, and it’s ending at the end of next week. I went with my 5 & 7 year olds and they had a great time for an hour, playing (or um, bashing) the musical instruments, dressing up, games, puppets etc. Lots of fun.
Bumper Summer Hols Muddy Guide 25 – 31 July
25th Jul 2014
Holy crap! And I thought childbirth was painful… I’ve spent hours, days, weeks, in fact what feels like centuries finding the cool stuff in Oxon, Bucks and beyond to keep you and yours occupied throughout the summer! Here’s the next week sorted for you. As there’s so much going on, and so you can easily find what’s going on during the most stressful hipflask-and-Tramadol days (we all have them *sigh*), I’ve compiled brief descriptions under days of the week. I will be adding to the Guide as and when I hear of new things so please do check back. Anything new will be added to the top of the list in a slightly lighter colour, so you don’t have to scroll around madly.
Here’s to a fabulous Summer!
Friday 25 July
Summer Funtime with Mr Toad, a fab little exhibition/sensory experience at the River & Rowing Museum. I went in yesterday and my 5 & 7 year olds loved the musical instruments, dressing up, games, puppets etc. Lots of fun.
– See more at: http://www.muddystilettos.co.uk/2014/07/25/bumper-summer-hols-muddy-guide-25-31-july/#sthash.ragYKUSV.dpuf
Outdoor screenings, various, from next week
Well we’ve had the summer for it, and fingers crossed next week will be perky too. Cult Screenings on the roof bar at Malmaison in Oxford continue until the end of September, so plenty of chances to catch modern classics, with Dead Poet’s Society, Fargo, American Psycho, and The Never Ending Story all showing next week. Kew the Movies (geddit?) at Kew Gardens start next weeek too and Waddesdon Manor has an outdoor screening of Some Like It Hot on Friday 5 Sept.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Regent’s Park Open Air theatre – until 13 Sept
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story is adapted for the stage in this short run ahead of a major UK tour in the beautiful setting of Regent’s Park, and was Critics’ Choice in The Telegraph, Guardian, Times, ES, Metro and Time Out. Bring your brolly just in case!
Winnie the Pooh at London Zoo, 30-31 August
If you have little ones, they might enjoy this London Zoo take over this weekend by Pooh and friends. There’s a teddy bear’s picnic, bear exhibition, honey sandwiches, a woodland walk that takes you to the wise owls and tigers, kangeroos and donkeys. You’ll either love it or hate it, but you’d have to be a bear of very little brain to discount it entirely.
Abercrombie Kids opens its first flagship store, Sat 30 Aug
I’ve never found much cause to venture down Savile Row but I think finally I may have found a good excuse. Abercrombie Kids opens this weekend down the venerable old street with three levels of clothing and accesssories. Frat pack ajoy!