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This weekend

FRI 31 AUG - SUN 2 SEP 2018

CULTURE: Spellbound, Ashmolean, from Fri 31 Aug


Showcasing the history of magic over eight centuries, this new unusual exhibition has everything from a unicorn’s horn to a human heart encased in lead (sounds like my ex). The exhibition’s launch coincides with the monthly Ashmolean After Hours event where you can wander the galleries with live music and talks, and then enjoy a drink or supper on the Rooftop until 8pm.


FILM: Pop-up cinema, Babylon Plants, Watlington, Fri 31 Aug

This wholesale nursery spread over 4 acres is heaven for garden designers and landscapers with a wonderful selection of plants and gardening must-haves. On the last evening of August, they open their doors to the general public for a screening of the wonderfully quirky The Grand Budapest Hotel with its all star cast including Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Defoe, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton and Jude Law. Tickets cost £20 which includes a complimentary cocktail plus there’s a licensed bar with food. Sounds like the perfect way to bid a fond farewell to August and welcome in the autumn.


CAR EVENT: Salon Prive, Thurs 30 to Sat 1 Sep, Classic and Supercar Show, Sun 2 Sep, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxon

Photo by Max Earey & Rachel Palmer

Blenheim has gone car mad. Get your posh frock on for this fancy smancy garden party on the south lawn at Blenheim Palace. Supercars, hypercars and classic cars will be parked up for your perusal plus a luxury retail village and top notch nosh. Friday is Boodles Ladies Day (where you can oogle the jewellery) and Sat 1 sees a tribute to 70 years of Porsche. If you just want to see the cars without all the VIP extras, you can head to Blenheim on the Sunday where you can get close to the cars and watch the Pirelli Prestige & Performance Competition in the Great Court, featuring 80 sensational super and hypercars built from 1976 to current day with a Winner’s Parade later in the afternoon.


FOOD & DRINK: Chilli Festival, Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, Sat 1 – Sun 2 Sep

Spice up your life with this festival held in the grounds of Waddesdon Manor. There are 65 local exhibitors who promise to give your tastebuds a workout, with chilli sauces, jams, beer and chocolate. If it all gets too much, you can cool your tongue at the frozen yogurt stand. Not to worry if your kids haven’t yet reached a level of spice sophistication, just settle them down at the crafts table or the face-painting. From 10am-5pm


EDUCATION: Open Day at Oxford Department of Continuing Education, Summertown, Oxford, Fri 31 Aug – Sat 1 Sep

books pencils knowledge

More than 90 free events are on offer to celebrate 140 years of this well-respected institution with workshops, talks, walking tours and loads of information to encourage you to sign up to one of their many courses. One of team Muddy went on the Applied Ethics course a few years back and found it really fascinating and enjoyed being back in the classroom. The diversity of courses means you can commit to short, long, loads of works, no homework at all options so you’re bound to find something that can fit in with the time you have available.


FAMILY FUN: Didcot Family Day Out – Sat 1 Sep

Rock up to Didcot Civic Hall for a day of live music, stalls, bouncy castle, rodeo bull rides, funfair, BBQ, candy floss and more. Free for kids under 16 and only £5 for adults – entertainment awaits, people.


MUSIC: BunkFest Music Festival, Wallingford, Fri 31 Aug – Sun 2 Sep

Now in its 17th year, the community-spirited Bunkfest festival cranks up a beer festival, dance, a music festival, street performers, silent disco, children’s entertainers, food, drink and a street fair. DJ and broadcaster Andy Kershaw also presents his one man show which has become a highlight on the literary festival scene, recounting his adventures on the front line of the rock and roll scene and more recently his travels to some of the world’s most dangerous places.


FOOD & DRINK: Artisan Food Festival, Millets Farm Centre, Frilford Nr Abingdon, Sat 1- Sun 2 sep

Enjoy a weekend of artisan food from UK producers, including gin, chutney, cheeses and chilli products with live jazz to soothe you in the background and lots of hot food on offer to scoff.


WEDDINGS: Temperley Bridal Trunk Show, Black Swan Bridal Studio, Wallingford, Sat 1 – Mon 10 Sep

These trunk shows are a brilliant way of introducing brides to designer gowns that aren’t necessarily already in the area, with the added bonus of delicious discounts available during the event. With wedding dresses costing around the £2,000 mark, these are savings worth having, right?  You can bring a posse with you (Black Swan suggest under four guests, so it doesn’t get to distracting or stressful for the the bride), have a couple of glasses of bubbles, and try on lots of different styles. One thing I can promise you – there’ll be no saccharine meringue dresses to avoid, just foxy Temperley frocks at every turn.


ME TIME: Yoga Festival, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes, Sun 2 Sep

women crossed legs meditation position sitting on deck river sun setting in background

With the summer nearly over, now is a great time to have a day to yourself to contemplate, destress, unwind and gear up for the new season. The fabulous Sweat Studios from Milton Keynes are hosting a one day festival in a beautiful tee pee overlooking a lake. Tickets to the event cost £75 and include a full day of yoga (suitable for all levels), lunch, refreshments and all equipment. With most schools going back this week and workplaces returning to normal, I reckon you owe it to yourself to invest in some ‘me time’, don’t you?



ART: Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World, The British Museum of Food, London, until 30 Sep

Finally! A valid excuse to stuff my face. The British Museum of Food returns with its first major exhibition Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World. Dedicated entirely to the frozen treat, explore memorabilia from the world’s largest collection of ice cream paraphernalia, discover the neuroscience behind it and try scoops of bygone eras, from daffodil to all-day-breakfast flavour (hmm). Other highlights include ice cream-flavoured weather (vanilla fog!) and glow-in-the-dark concoction that you can eat in a futuristic luminescent cave. Pass the ladle, I’m going in…


THEATRE: Little Shop of Horrors, until 15 Sep, Regents Park Open Air Theatre

This off-beat musical about a florist shop assistant who pines for his work colleague but doesn’t know how to win her heart or what to do to sate the appetite of a human-eating plant looks great fun. Matt Willis from Busted fame, drag queen Vicky Fox, Jemima Rooper and Marc Antolin star in the OTT show that seems perfect for summer in the lovely setting of Regent’s Park (Brucie bonus – the theatre boasts the longest bar in the West End!).


FAMILY FUN: Zip Now London, Archbishops Park, Lambeth, until 9 Sep

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope it’s a human torpedo whizzing down a 738ft wire, 100ft (9 double decker buses!) above Archbishop’s Park at 50mph. Beats the tube any day of the week. What we’ll do to avoid our faces been wedged in someone’s sweaty armpit. Get yourself down to South Bank, climb to the top the tower and wheeeeeeee. Suitable from 8+

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