What’s on: The Muddy Guide 11-17 Dec 2014
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Christmas at Grey’s Court, Henley, open through December and January
An early heads up on a fab family option for the Christmas hols. The gorgeous National Trust-owned Greys Court in Rotherfield Greys (nr Henley) is opening this year for the first time throughout Xmas and New Year (other than Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), and not just the gardens either – the house, shop, tea room are also at your disposal, plus garden tours and house tours. Perfect for stretching legs or depositing arguing family members in different areas until calm ensues (a patented Muddy technique, try it!). I visited Greys Court in the summer and just loved it, so if you haven’t been check out my review here and it will give you a feel of what’s to come.
Greys Court Rotherfield Greys, Henley RG9 4PG. Tel: 01491 628529 Open 10-4 daily.
The Coach, Marlow, now open
Hello Mr Tom Kerridge and you lovely new venture! The Coach has been open a couple of weeks, and is the antithesis to Kerridge’s other Marlow venue, the the book-years-in-advance two Michelin-starred The Hand and Flowers. The Coach works on a non-bookable, first come first served basis, with unreserved tables and bar stool seating, and the kitchen is open so you can peer at the chefs. In an uncompromising ‘local pub’ move, The Coach offers um, multichannel TV to encourage your inner sports fanatic. *Eng-a-land!*
The Coach, 3 West Street, Marlow, Bucks SL7 2LS.
Xmas at Christ Church, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford, Fri 12 Dec
Stop. Breathe. Close your eyes and listen to something really beautiful in a gob-smackingly beautiful location. Christ Church Cathedral Choir offers traditional and unusual carols by composers including Warlock, Holst, Walton and Howells. If you do decide to cheat and open your eyes, a live video relay means that the choir will be visible on screens in previously unsighted areas.
The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club, O2 Academy, Oxford, Fri 19 Dec
Coro, I’m A Celeb and general funk soul brother Craig Charles DJs quite a bit around Bucks and Oxon, but if you haven’t caught him live yet, he’s rocking up at the O2 Academy in Cowley Road Oxford next Friday (19th). Over 18s only so make sure your toyboy brings his ID, and curfew is 3am.
Santa’s Supersized Seat at The Eden Centre, High Wycombe, from Fri 12 Dec
Dragging your children shopping over the next few weeks. Here’s your new not-so-secret weapon. Santa’s Supersized Seat arrives at Eden, High Wycombe tomorrow (Friday) – cue some hilarious, undignified moments when small people try to clamber on, and some glorious selfies (yup, you’ll see it here first!) Santa’s Grotto also launches tomorrow (opposite Mothercare in an inspired move) but it’s free – FREE! – which is great. Kids will get a tasty prize, and you get the chance to buy a picture of your child with Santa if you’re full of Christmas cheer.
Until 31 December. Opening times
Chris Hadfield rockets into Blackwell’s, Oxford, Tues 16 Dec
Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield lands in Oxford this Tuesday to sign copies of his new book, You Are Here which includes many photographs that have never been seen previously. This is a free event, and he’s even bringing his guitar if you want a personal rendition of Major Tom (OK, that last bit is a joke, we can but hope).
2.30-4.30pm. Book here though the Blackwell’s website
Toad’s Christmas, River and Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames, Sat 13 Dec
Poop poop! Kids driving you mad? Boot them into the River and Rowing Museum on Saturday to help decorate Toad Hall for Christmas. Pressies, songs, and a smattering of The Wind in the Willows mayhem for £3 per child.
10.30am-4pm. River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley RG9 1BF. Tel: 01491 415600.
Santa Sunday, Stratton Audley Christmas Barn, Sun 14 Dec
If you live Bicester-way, this is the weekend to make it over to Stratton Audley Christmas Barn. Santa’s arriving (11am-3pm), the reindeer will need feeding, there are cupcakes galore from the brilliant Wonder Kitchen. and the gift shop is just brilliant for trinkets and gifties.
New film releases
Head off to the cinema and have a sneaky sleep while your kids gorge on fudge and inappropriate E numbers. New out from tomorrow is The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (12A) and Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (U).
Light up the Palace, Hampton Court, Fri 12-Tues 23 Dec
Hot on the heels of Kew Gardens’ outdoor lighting experience, Hampton Court Palace has its own night-light event with an interactive light trail, including the maze-after-dark which sounds quite bonkers and brilliant. Then you can follow a trail of illuminations with responsive lights that react to audience movement and lead you through different areas of the garden. It takes about an hour and there is the usual food/drink options on hand.
Adults, £10, Children and HRP members £5, 5 – 8pm. Book ahead for a timed slot
Pantos ahoy! Starting this week …
Cinderella at the Aylesbury Waterside starring Suzanne Shaw, Dick Whittington at the Wycombe Swan with Shane Ritchie, and…. well just check out the Muddy Panto Guide, it’s rammed full of brilliant pantos to choose from.