MON 4 - SUN 10 SEP 2017
Oxford Photography Festival, various Oxford, 8 – 24 Sept 2017
Loving the look of this celebration of photography curated by Tim Clark and Greg Hobson. The programme is small but convincing, with exhibitions including Russian prison tattoos, Mariken Wessels’ critically-acclaimed Taking Off. Henry My Neighbour, which tells the story of a failed marriage, sexual frustration and voyeurism through archival photographs and collage; and a new work by Martin Parr on student life, co-commissioned with The Bodleian Libraries and Oxford University Press on show at the Weston gallery.
Oxford Wine Festival, Oxford Union, Fri 8 – Sat 9 Sept
Did you know that Oxford Wine Festival was included in Decanter Magazine’s Top 10 Wine Festivals in the World last year? I mean, WOW. This week you can explore over 500 award-winning wines from 25 countries. Use a spittoon if you’re a pro, or make like Muddy and get merrily plastered as an enthusiastic amateur!
St Giles Fair, Oxford, Mon 4 – Tues 5 Sep
Fancy scoffing diabetes-inducing amounts of candyfloss and winning a cuddly toy that’ll fall apart before you get home? Course you do! Or at least you probably know some small people who would like that very much indeed. The St Giles Fair in central Oxford is the biggie of our region and has been going strong since Victorian times. Just head for Debenhams – the rides and stalls extend into Magdalen Street to the south and Banbury Road and Woodstock Road to the north.
Goring & Streatley Food & Drink Festival, Sat 9 Sep
A day of legitimized over-eating and heavy drinking? Where do we sign up? We love a food festival at Muddy and this one in the Oxon villages of Goring and Streatley is free to attend. There’s street food; a kids kitchen; artisan meat, chocolate, bread and preserve tastings; chef demos (these cost £5) – starring Nick Galer, co-owner/head chef at the Miller Of Mansfield in Goring and Tom Clarke, head chef at Michelin-starred L’Ortolan in Shinfield. Plus there’s a drinks zone, serving up local ales and ciders, chilli ginger beer, wine and cognac. That’s where you’ll find us, naturally.
Highclere Castle Vintage Garden Party, Sat 9 & Sun 10 Sept
If you have a Downton Abbey fan in your midst you could just about make them the happiest person alive if you splash out (or is that remortgage?) on this event. Highclere Castle is going back in time to welcome guests for a vintage weekend including tour of the castle, access to the Egyptian Exhibition, croquet, jazz music, carousels to ride, brass bands, a traditional fete, vintage cars and marquees on the lawns. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in period or vintage clothing from the Edwardian era – choose from ‘upstairs’ or ‘downstairs’ and they’ll even provide details of costume hire companies if you need help. Tickets are £120 – good grief, what would Carson say to that?
10am to 6pm. highclerecastle.co.uk
Oxford Open Doors, Oxford, Sat 9 – Sun 10 Sept
One of my favourite events in Oxford, Open Doors has been running annually since 2008, literally opening doors behind some of Oxford’s most beautiful – and private – buildings and projects. There’s an extraordinary range of buildings and spaces to choose from, but there are a couple of stand-outs for me including a visit to the Painted Room (above) in Cornmarket, visited by Shakespeare; a rare opportunity The Jesuit Hall of the University, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens with its fine architectural features including the main Chapel and Library. You can see the 16th century wall paintings Medieval Merchant’s House in Abingdon, take guided tours of Magdalen College’s delicious 15th century Old Library or even cuter, demonstrations of Real Tennis on the second oldest court in the world at Merton College, or visit the restored Osney mill and marina, and the remains of Osney Abbey built in 1410. Frankly the list goes on and on! Take a look at the list of events and make sure you’re wearing flat shoes – it’s going to be a busy weekend.
Venues across Oxford, oxfordopendoors.org.uk
LAST CHANCE TO SEE:
Giacometti, Tate Modern, ends Sun 10 Sep
No, that’s not me after spending too long frying on a sun-lounger on holiday, it’s the iconic work of Alberto Giacometti. It’s now or never to catch the UK’s first major retrospective of the sculptor’s work in 20 years, at the Tate Modern. It includes rarely seen plasters and drawings and showcases the full evolution of Giacometti’s career across five decades and is very much worth jumping on a train to the Smoke for.