MON 5 - SUN 11 FEB 2018
Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, 10 Feb – 11 March
Things are going totally tropical this month at London’s gorgeous Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please. kew.org
Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, 9 Feb – 3 June
I love Barbara Hepworth’s work – if you’re ever in St Ives, be sure to visit her gorgeous house/studio, with its striking sculptures dotted all around the pretty garden. So I’m very excited about this – and what a coup for Henley’s little museum. This retrospective covers the sculptor’s work from the 1930s to the 1960s, borrowing pieces from the Tate and National Portrait Gallery. A must-see. rrm.co.uk
Last chance to see Cézanne Portraits! National Portrait Gallery, London, until 11 Feb 2018
Brings together over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK . Over a working life of some forty-five years, Cézanne made almost 1,000 paintings of which around 160 are portraits and this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into this central aspect of his work. npg.org.uk
Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, The Stables, nr Milton Keynes, Thurs 8 Feb
Direct from London’s world-famous jazz club and combining live jazz, narration and rare archive images and footage, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars take to the stage at The Stables, near Milton Keynes, led by the Club’s Musical Director. stables.org
Artisan Food Market, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, 10 Feb
Nosh up! The Waddesdon Manor Artisan Food Market promises a celebration of quality, seasonal produce from local independent businesses, including Marlow Cheese Company, The Oxford Deli, Posh Pesto, Pasture Farm Juice and many more. Remember to bring cash on the day as there’s no card machine on site. waddesdon.org.uk
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, various cinemas, Weds 7 & 14 Feb
The latest and best films touring around the UK courtesy of the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. On 7 Feb at New Theatre, Oxford and then Weds 14 Feb at The Wycombe Swan there are 5 short films. My favourites? Edge, featuring 90 year old iceskating wundergran Yvonne Dowlen; and Stump, a documentary that follows fearless rock climber Maureen Beck, born missing a lower arm and climbing with her ‘stump’. Amazing stuff.
Discover Dahl’s Archives, The Roald Dahl Museum, Bucks, Sat 10 Feb & Fri 16 feb
This February, you can make a Crockadowndilly Pot or a Boggled Box Beast. You can listen to stories and explore the museum and even take a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes archives of Dahl’s letters and manuscripts. And that isn’t even half of it – there’s lots happening all month. roalddahl.com
Snowdrop Time, Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre, OX, Thurs 1 Feb – Weds 28 Feb
It’s snowdrop time! Choose a dry day (there must be one coming soon, surely?) and wander through drifts of snowdrops, aconites, crocuses and hellebores in the arboretum. Batsford are predicting this as the time to see the snowdrops, but advise calling first on 01386 701441 in case the weather has put the snowdrops in a grump and they’re late flowering.
Sunday coffee concerts at Holywell Music Room, Oxford, 4, 11, 18 and 25 Feb
It’s chamber music a go-go on Sundays in the oldest purpose built music room in Europe. The Carducci string Quartet play Haydn and Bartok on 4 and 25 Feb, the North Oxfordshire-based Adderbury Ensemble perform Ravel, Saint-Saens and Mozart on 11 Feb and the Maxwell String Quartet give Haydn and Tchaikovsky a good going over on 18 Feb. Bravo! coffeeconcerts.com
Imagining the Divine – Art and the Rise of World Religions, Ashmolean, Oxford, until 18 Feb 2018
*Warning*! You’ve probably seen this exhibition on Muddy for a while but now is the time to act as it’s due to close on 18 Feb. It’s the first exhibition to look at the art of the five world religions as they spread across continents in the first millennium AD. Brand new research from a major project between The Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum and Oxford Uni, with amazing objects created when the iconography of each of the major religions was still being developed… ashmolean.org
Bodleian Treasures: 21 Pairs, Bodleian Library, Oxford, until Sun 11 Feb
This long-standing exhibition is finally coming to an end. Displaying a selection of the Bodleian Libraries’ most magnificent items, it features rare items including Handel’s Messiah, Shakespeare’s First Folio and William Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell. 21 pairs of exhibits are united (chosen from 12 million), matching familiar icons shown alongside the less familiar.
Jorja Smith, O2 Academy, Oxford, Sun 11 Feb
i-D Magazine, The Fader and The Guardian all tipped the 20 year old singer Jorja Smith for stardom last year. Having made it to 4th in the BBC Sound of 2017 poll she’s not yet been handed the cigar, but she’s clearly got something going on, with collaborations with Preditah and Drake. This gig at Oxford’s O2 academy is part of a stream of UK tour dates that include Birmingham, Cambridge and O2’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Imagine Children’s Festival, Southbank Centre, Weds 7 Feb – Sun 18 Feb
12 days of jam-packed half-term fun in this brilliant annual festival by kids for kids. Aimed at 0-12 year olds, there’s a mind-boggling array of activities and events, including a whole clutch of free possibilities in The Clore Ballroom, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, dance-theatre Tidy Up, Fun DMC, Bedtime stories, plus debut authors comedian Harry Hill and Radio One’s Greg James.