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WHAT’S ON: The Muddy Guide 19-25 Nov 2015

Christmas Living Crafts, Blenheim Palace, Thurs 19 – Sun 22 Nov


Blenheim’s massive Christmas ‘do’ is now in its 13th year, with pavilions now situated in the Great Court right in front of the palace for optimum ‘ooooh!’ effect. Over 150 British designer-makers will be showcasing the usuals – millinery, ceramics, leather work, sculpture, textile crafts, toys and puzzles, fashions, soaps, jewellery  with food and drink and street theatre and entertainment.

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire,

The Brakspear Jazz and Blues Festival, Henley, now to 22 Nov

james deane

The Brakspear Jazz and Blues Festival, now to SUNDAY 22 Nov

The perfect mash up of jazz and pub food. The Brakspear Jazz and blues festival takes place through the Cotswolds and Henley. Loads of free events at some great pubs including The Bull in Henley, The Three Tuns and The Golden Ball in Lower Assendon. It’s free to enter, and if you feel like scoffing something while you’re there, it’s £21.50 for a 2 course set menu.

Henley Christmas Market, Fri 20 – Sun 22 Nov


Henley’s Three Day Christmas Market is a big deal – it’s really really well supported locally and is known for having good quality clobber. Plus you’re right in the centre of Henley afterwards for a mooch around. I haven’t been to it myself but my trusted moles tell me it’s worth a visit.

Market Place, Henley on Thames,

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution, National Maritime Museum, Fri 20 Nov – 28 March 2016


My smallest Muddy has become very excited about diarist Samuel Pepys, as he’s currently learning about the Great Fire of London. A new exhibition Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution, opened yesterday (20 Nov) at the National Maritime Museum and is the largest ever exhibition about the famous diarist with 200 objects from national and international museums, galleries and private collections. Granted, it might be a tad esoteric for a six year old, though it will be fun looking at the 17th century medical implements that removed a gallstone the size of a snooker ball from the Pepys body, without anesthetic or antiseptic. Oh, just me?

National Maritime Museum, Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10,

Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, Little Angel Theatre, Islington, Sat 21 Nov – Sun 31 Jan


Worth a trip into London to catch the famed Little Angel Theatre’s Christmas musical production of this Roald Dahl classic. Suitable for 4-11 year olds with passports issued for kids 3+. Under 3s are only admitted at All Ages performances.

Little Angel Theatre, Dagmar Passage, London N1,

Bellowhead’s Farewell Tour, Aylesbury Waterside, Sun 22 Nov


The UK’s most successful folk band Bellowhead are calling it a day and this is their farewell tour. The final date is actually on May Day 2016, an intimate concert at Oxford Town Hall where it all began, but you can catch them in Aylesbury if you’re keen for an early bite at the cherry. Bellowhead formed ‘just for fun’ back in 2004 but have gone on to record 5 studio albums, win 8 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, release a songbook with Faber, and spend 8 years as Artists in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre. They’re also brilliant live apparently so go and see for yourself.

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre,

Three brilliant acts coming to New Theatre Oxford this week…


Caro Emerald, the Dutch jazz and pop star, who had a number one UK album with The Shocking Miss Emerald in 2013, is rocking up on Mon 23 Nov. Lovely Will Young,  beloved of housewives everywhere, takes his first tour in four years to Oxford on Tues 24 Nov. And Diversity pop and lock their way through their new show Up Close and Personal on Weds 25 Nov. Blimey.

New Theatre, Oxford,

Christmas Workshops…


I did a workshop last year and it was actually really good fun, so if you’re in the mood to wrestle with the ribbon and pinecones, try Creative Green’s Christmas workshop in Brill (Weds 25th or Thurs 26 Nov) to learn how to create your own luxury door wreath and table centre, Waterperry Gardens is holding Christmas Paper Cutting course tomorrow, or there’s wreath-making at the 03 gallery in Oxford on 5 Dec.

2015 Booker Prize Winner, Marlon James, Blackwells, Oxford, Weds 25 Nov


Marlon James will be discussing the book that won him this year’s Booker Prize, A Brief History of Seven Killings in a free event in the Norrington Room. Set against the backdrop of 1970s reggae culture, disco, sex and excess the book is a re-imagining of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley. No booking required but make sure you get there early as it’s bound to be rammed.

4-5pm. Blackwell’s, Broad St, Oxford,

Free Dick Whittington Family Fun Day, Aylesbury Waterside, Sat 21 Nov

fun day

A free Family Fun Day at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre tomorrow with a Dick Whittington-inspired play day. Free activities include public tours of the venue and its backstage areas, arts and crafts , a baby play area, face painting, dressing up, dance routines on the stage, Splat the Rat (I’m loving the sound of that one already) and more more more. Sounds like fun.

From 9.30am, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre.

Apres Ski Supper Club, Peterley Manor Farm, Thurs 26 Nov


This could be the nearest I get to the ski slopes this year. Peterley Manor Farm is putting on an Alpine-inspired sharing enu of charcuterie, whole baked cheeses and apple streusels. The farm also has a range of homegrown Xmas trees on sale now, if you really want to multitask. Better tell your taxi driver in advance! Prebookings only,

Peterley Manor Farm, Peterley Lane, Great Missenden,


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