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Nigel Kennedy, Bach + Fats Waller, Wycombe Swan, 19 Nov


I saw Nigel Kennedy at the Aylesbury Waterside in the summer and it was the most incredible classical concert I’d ever seen, with Kennedy slipping in and out of jazz whilst playing The Four Seasons. He’s coming to High Wycombe next week with a similar mash-up of high-minded classical and modern charm. I checked yesterday for tickets and there are still some available, though they’re getting pretty steep. But if there’s ever a classical concert to inspire your kids or make you feel like you’re watching the future of the genre, this is it.

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Isabel Marant at H&M launches today

H&M has an uncanny knack for creating sell-out collaborations with top designers (remember the bunfight for Karl Lagerfeld’s designs?). Isabel Marant’s new collection for the high street fashion giant will no doubt go the same way, her Parisian boho aesthetic of embellished trophy jacket with leather cropped trousers, or mannish outerwear with fringed slouchy boots perfect for the times. Buy up my friends, buy up!

Christmas Market, Henley on Thames, 15-17 Nov

6600_thumblargeHenley is one of the first towns out of the traps for Christmas with its three day Fair. Arts, crafts, clothing, jewellery, accessories plus great street food are all promised, in one of the most beautiful riverside settings in England.  Worth a gander.


Christmas Shopping Village Raceday, Ascot, 22-23 November

snowflake_horse_holiday_christmas_greeting_card-r120278a1a79e4b37ba1e40ad9bea3a7a_xvuak_8byvr_512If you’re keen on the gee-gees this is pleasure and practicality rolled into one. In between six jump races, you can get ahead on your Christmas shopping by browsing over 40 independent stalls selling handpicked and original gifts. The shopping is in association with Country Living so the quality is bound to be great, and at £20 for a pair of tickets it’s good value too.

Free admission for Under 18s accompanied by an adult. – use NOVSHOP2013 to buy tickets.

 Oxfordshire Craft Guild, The Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, 16 Nov – 5 Jan


You can’t go wrong with the Oxfordshire Craft Guild exhibition – over 30 members presenting a wide range of stunning ceramics, jewellery, textiles wood, silversmithing and glass in the beautiful surroundings of Woodstock.  The OCG has been exhibiting at Christmas for more than 25 years, and their longevity speaks for itself. BTW, they are also currently showing at The Old Fire Station, Oxford if you’re more in that direction. Woodstock: Tuesdays to Saturdays 10 am – 4.45pm. Sundays 2 pm – 4 pmPleases note that it’s closed Mondays.

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, Somerset House, from 20 Nov


Isabella Blow needs no introduction really, a patron of fashion and art and creativity above all us. This Fashion Galore! exhibition celebrates her extraordinary life and wardrobe, showcasing more than 100 pieces from one of the most replete 20th/21st century  private fashion collections, includes garments Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Hussein Chalayan and Julien Macdonald.

Reworked Tate Britain opens, London, 19 Nov


It took a cool £45 million, but the Tate Britain’s main gallery entrance is now complete and opens once more next week. This photo is of the rotunda staircase. Isn’t it incredible? Overseen by architects Caruso St John, the reopening of the main entrance follows the opening in May 2013 of 10 new galleries and the chronological presentation of its phenomenal art collections.

The re-worked entrance to the Tate Britain combines new architectural features with the excavation of the most beautiful original architectural elements of the building. The changes will restore the historical logic of the building and include a striking new spiral staircase inside the entrance opening up access to new public spaces below.

The eating areas have been revisited too (always a plus in my book!) The Whistler Restaurant has been updated, with its famous Rex Whistler mural, The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats 1926-7, fully restored; and the new Djanogly Café, opposite the restaurant, will open onto an exterior terrace.  Sound fab.

Jude Law in Henry V, Noel Coward Theatre, London, from 23 Nov


An early nudge for Jude Law or Shakespeare fans (or both!) as Law teams up once again with award-winning director Michael Grandage after their triumphant Hamlet of 2009. Time to dig out your O’level Lett’s study aids (OMG, do you remember those?) so you know what’s going on!

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 Ice-skating at Somerset House, London, from today

8789203_origThe second outing for Somerset House on today’s Muddy Guide. Grab your ice skates, a stylish wool hat and warm gloves, and start practising your triple sulko (or at least moving in a straight line). Today Somerset House  opens its festive ice rink, and I’d move fast – it gets booked up incredibly fast. With increasing competition from other London rinks including the Tower of London (opening 16 Nov) or the already open rink at the National History Museum, Somerset House continues to push the boat out. This year you can choose extras such a champagne and chocolate, dinner at Tom’s Kitchen or a luxury stay at The Savoy, with DJs playing music after dark as you skate. Or, um, fall on your bum. Closer to home, try Frosts’ garden centre ice rink in Wooburn Sands (Milton Keynes) or Millet’s Farm near Abingdon, Oxford’s year-round ice rink if you want to make like a pro.

 Additional research: Sara Pinotti


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