Henley Food Festival, Sat 16 – Sun 17 Sept
Is there anything that doesn’t happen in Henley? This brand new Food Festival takes place in the heart of the town, showcasing the local talent from restaurants and supporting local producers. Demos and talks will take place over two days in Henley Town Hall and no doubt all done in the best possible taste.
Daylesford Cookery School, Supper with Rose Prince, 16 Sept
Fancy a night in the Cotswolds? Food writer and best-selling author Rose Prince rocks up at Daylesford Cookery School for a four-course, seasonal tasting menu created by Rose featuring dishes and ideas from her latest book, DINNER & PARTY. Yum, yum and yum.
London Fashion Week, various venues, Friday 15 – Tuesday 19 Sep
LFW is a lot more democratic than it used to be – these days you don’t have to stow away in Anna Wintour’s handbag to get a taste of the action. LFW highlights that are open to the public include the Design Frontiers exhibition at Somerset House featuring work from 30 of our most pioneering creatives and giant outdoor screens showing live catwalks shows in various public spaces in London (such as Soho Square) and Birmingham. What’s more, London Fashion Week Festival comes hot on the heels of the shows – from 21-24 Sep at Store Studios on The Strand, you’ll be able to watch catwalk shows, attend talks by industry experts and, but of course, shop until your credit card catches fire.
Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, Blenheim Palace, 13 – 17 Sept
Tally-ho! The 27th annual Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials return this week, a three day event over four days (go figure) featuring dressage, cross country and show-jumping. It’s very horsey as you can imagine – the trade stands are rammed with tweed, leather boots and strange equine fashion, but you get great views of the competition (nearly so close you can touch in some instances), and it’s a slickly run event in stunning surrounds. This year the popular Fun ride route has been changed with more jumps and both a long and short course, plus there’s a new shopping pavilion. Horsey heaven.
London Design Festival, various locations, 16 – 24 Sept
This festival, now in its 15th year, is just incredible – hundreds of events taking place across the city at venues including the V&A where you can see this stunning Reflection Room, by designer Flynn Talbot, an immersive coloured light experience that will be the first London Design Festival installation to be housed in the Prince Consort Gallery.
The Handmade Fair, Hampton Court, Fri 15 – Sun 17 Sept
I can’t even sew labels onto school clothes so this kind of event is way out of my comfort zone. However, you may be au fait with a with needle and thread, sewing machine, knitters and fabric scissors, in which case fill your boots at this slick annual offering from everyone’ favourite Head Girl Kirsty Allsopp. Joining her are interior designer and author Sophie Conran and founder of Not On The High Street, Holly Tucker, and, of course, Kirstie Allsopp. Plus there’s the chance to try something new in the interactive workshops – from calligraphy to wirework, machine sewing to screen printing.
The Handmade Fair
The Great Antique & Vintage Car Boot Fair, Stonor Park, Sun 17 Sept
I’m not sure how Stonor Park polices what qualifies as vintage and antique but this sounds like the kind of event where you could find a real bargain or two. Tickets are £7 between 7-9am (yes, you read that right – set your alarm) and only £4 from 9am onwards, so if you’re serious about snaffling that masterpiece, get there early! Otherwise meander around until 5pm at your leisure.
Stonor Park, Stonor, Henley-on-Thames, stonor.com
Charity Car Boot Sale, Cornbury Park, Charlbury, Sun 17 Sept
The Stately Car Boot Sale returns to the private grounds of Cornbury Park in aid of the ROSY charity for terminally ill children and their families. Over 100 upmarket stalls including top end bric-a-brac, furniture, indoor décor & soft furnishings, vintage & good-as-new designer clothing, refreshments. Great morning out to bag a bargain.Gates open for vendors on the day at 7am and attendees will arrive at 8.30am. £5 adults, under 16’s go free.
Kop Hill Climb, Princes Risborough, Bucks, Sat 16 & Sun 17 Sep
Calling all Penelope Pitstops! Get yourselves down to Bucks’ answer to Wacky Races, featuring 800 vintage, classic cars and motorbikes – and, um, a sofa. Yes, some lunatic will be driving a motorized sofa. More sexily, we’re also promised a cavalcade of Ferraris to celebrate the iconic sportscar’s 70th birthday. You can check out the vehicles – once they’ve come to a stop of course, health & safety fans – and chat to their owners, test your own driving skills or hang out at the retro funfair in the kids’ zone.
Marlow Carnival, Sat 16 Sep
It’s carnival time! Head down to Marlow’s Higginson Park for pony rides, classic cars, mini go-karts, fair rides, live music, BBQ food, lashings of booze and a tea tent. What’s more, gym bunnies can test their mettle on an Immortal Fitness obstacle course (*immediately hides in the bar*).
Sarah Kendall, North Wall, Oxford, Fri 15 Sep
It’s a great time for female comedians, with women winning two out of three of Edinburgh Festival’s awards this year, despite making up only 30 percent of the performers. Here’s chance to catch a hotshot humourist – Sarah Kendall, creator of hit BBC Radio 4 series Australian Trilogy, was nominated for two awards at Edinburgh last year, and returns with new show, One-Seventeen. I’ve never seen her stand-up routine so she sounds like she has the creds. If you make it, let me know how it goes for you.
The Vintage Collections LFW, The Yard, Shoreditch Sun 17 Sept
Open to industry and the style-loving public this London Fashion Week, Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair arrives at Shoreditch venue The Yard for one day of unique shopping. 50 of the best vintage traders from across the UK selling Chanel and Gucci, and vintage faves like Biba and Ossie Clark, plus original designs dating from the Victorian era to the 1980s will all blow your retro rocket sky high. A major resource for the fashion industry, the pieces sourced at the fair go on to be next season’s trends, so here’s your chance to be fashion forward.
11am until 5pm at The Yard, 89&1/2 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2BF. Entry to the fair is £4 (£2 for students) on the door.
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Legally Blonde, Wycombe Swan, Mon 25 – Sat 30 Sept
I took my mum to a production of Legally Blonde last year and we both hooted our way through it, it was much funnier than I thought it would be. This new show has a celeb cast – Rita Simons (Roxy Mitchell in BBC’s EastEnders) Lucie Jones (Eurovision UK representative 2017) and the delicious Bill Ward (James Barton in Emmerdale, Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street) as Professor Callahan. Grab a group of girlies and go have a giggle.
Flashdance, New Theatre, Mon 18 – Sat 23 Sept
Pass me my legwarmers, high leg leotard, and heavy dute welding visor – I’m ready for my Flashdance closeup. Eh, what do you mean Joanne Clifton already has the lead role? (*sigh*) Yes tis true, the current Strictly champion continues her successful foray into musicals taking on the role of Alex, tomboy building site worker by day, gyrating sweaty permahaired foxtress by night. She stars with A1’s Ben Adams in this touring production that has me more excited than I dare express.
Age guidance: 11+. Book tickets