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What’s on this week in Bucks & Oxon?

Mon 10 - Sun 16 Aug: The Ashmolean and Modern Art Oxford are springing back into action this week, plus cool pop-ups, exhibitions, open-air fun and more.

POP-UP: Barefoot Chic, Bicester Village, until 21 Aug 

If you’re looking to expand your summer wardrobe, make sure you hotfoot it over to Bicester Village’s latest luxe pop-up, Barefoot Chic. The boutique features clothes and accessories from over 20 luxury designers including super-cool (and actually really affordable) eyewear brand Cubitts, high-performance plant-powered skincare brand Votary and Fashion Week favourites Erdem and Mary Katrantzou, both known for their gorgeous summery prints.

OUTDOOR CINEMA: Chilfest Cinema, Tring, throughout Aug

With Chilfest music festival postponed until 2021 (*sob*), the organisers are instead putting on an outdoor cinema to keep us entertained, just a hop, skip and jump over the border in Tring, Herts. Enjoy a drink from the bar and park your bottom in a deck chair for a new line-up of films each week (this week it’s Dirty Dancing (Fri), A Star Is Born (Sat), Paddington, Mad Max Fury Road (Sun).

POP-UP: The Lockdown Lodge, Hambledon Lock, nr Henley, 8 Aug – 1 Sept

Cool new pop-up alert! Currently residing on the bank of the Thames is a 35-seat terrace restaurant offering a five-course tasting menu inspired by Henley and cooked up by celebrated chef and restauranteur Jimmy Garcia. Expect fine-dining food plus cocktails featuring local gins such as Muddy favourite, Mr Hobbs Gin. There’ll also be takeaway street food during the day.

RE-OPEN: Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, 11 Aug 

Johanna Unzueta, Nocturnal (detail), 2020. Johanna Unzueta: Tools for Life, installation view at Modern Art Oxford, 2020. Photo by Ben Westoby

Modern Art Oxford will be opening its bright and airy galleries this week and showing Tools for Life, the first solo show from Chilean artist Johanna Unzueta. It combines art, clothing, a large-scale felt installation and a short film for a multifaceted look at function and form.

COMEDY: Open–Air Comedy, The Oxford Artisan Distillery, South Parks, Oxford, 15 Aug 

A hilarious night out with pals plus lashings of gin. Sounds good to me! This open-air gig, from Jericho Comedy, will be performed overlooking South Parks and the (hopefully glorious) sunset over Oxford’s spires. There’ll be an award-winning comedy line-up, plus locally made cocktails, Tap Social beer and oven-baked pizza.

RE-OPEN: Ashmolean museum, Oxford, 10 Aug 

I’ve missed our brilliant museums, haven’t you? The Ashmolean will be opening its doors once again to show its major exhibition Young Rembrandt, a chronological journey through the artist’s early work beginning in his native Leiden with paintings, prints and drawings and ending in Amsterdam when his career rocketed to stardom. You’ll get to see 34 paintings by Rembrandt, along with a further 90 drawings and prints including the newly discovered Let the Little Children Come to Me, which is making its public debut at the exhibition.

THEATRE: Alice in Lockdown, Oxford Castle & Prison, 14 Aug 

A red queen, a white rabbit, some hand sanitiser, and, erm, a brawl over loo roll. This new take on Alice in Wonderland, by Heartbreak Productions, is popping up for an outdoor performance in the stunning setting of Oxford Castle & Prison. You can book your own socially distanced ‘island’ for up to six people to watch the show. 

EAT: Picnic at the Palace, Blenheim Palace, until 16 Aug

Live music, comedy and cocktails, anyone? Blenheim has transformed its grounds into an al fresco dining space with socially distanced deck chairs and pergolas (you can book a space for two to six people) overlooking the lake. From Tuesday to Thursday, you can choose from a lunchtime hamper or indulgent afternoon tea, and on weekends you can pick up a graze box to nibble on as you watch the entertainment.

GLAMPING: Camp Hox pop-up, Eynsham Hall, Witney, throughout Aug 

Camp Hox Pop Up Eynsham Hall Oxfordshire

Run by the same lot behind London’s Hoxton hotels, this chic take on a camp site features 12 lotus tents decked out with all the necessities (actual beds, electricity, Roberts radios and tea and coffee-making facilities, etc.), and you’ll get access to your own private hot showers and toilets, a bottle of wine on arrival and a Hoxton breakfast bag delivered every morning. Best of all, there’s an outdoor pour-your-own Graham’s white port and tonic bar. Prices start at £185 per night, and you’ll also get a free night at any of Hoxton’s London hotels thrown into the mix.

EXHIBITION: International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, until 19 Aug 

Wanna see some pretty pictures? This outdoor exhibition features unusual earthy shots of gardens, flowers, plants and botanicals printed on large display boards next to the Rose Garden. The palace, park and gardens are now all open for visitors.

EAT: Picnic in the Park, Nuneham Estate, Oxon, 16 & 30 Aug

A picnic doesn’t have to involve soggy sandwiches and squashed scotch eggs, you know! Jericho Kitchen is hosting two picnic events this month, A Latin American Picnic and A very British Picnic, both prepared by John Fernandez.

EXHIBITION: Nick Knight: Roses from my Garden, Waddesdon Manor, until 25 Oct 

Nick Knight, Sunday 6th September, 2015

Isn’t this just beautiful? The image was taken by legendary fashion (Jil Sander) and celebrity (The Queen, Lady Gaga) photographer Nick Knight. He’s coming up roses with an exhibition at Waddesdon Manor, which features manipulated photographs of roses inspired by the work of 16th- and 17th-century still life painters like Jan Brueghel the Elder and Jan van Huysum. Read our interview with Nick here.


EXHIBITION: Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers, The Design Museum, London, until 14 Feb

From underground raves to the pioneering sounds used in Dr Who, this exhibition explores the history and culture of electronic music throughout the ages. 

EXHIBITION: Ai Weiwei: History of Bombs, Imperial War Museum, London, 1 Aug – 24 May 2021

Part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, artistic commissions and immersive events taking place across IWM London and IWM North, this exhibition draws on renowned artist Ai Weiwei’s ongoing investigation into politics and power.   

DRIVE-IN CINEMA: The Drive In, North London (Troubadour Meridian Water), until 10 Aug 

A 1950s nostalgia fest with great films, classic cinema refreshments and stand-up comedy. The event is fully contact-free with snacks ordered through an app and delivered to your car. 

EXHIBITION: Steve McQueen, Tate Modern, London, until 6 Sept 

I love this shot! This solo exhibition of London-born artist and director of Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s portfolio features 14 major works spanning his extensive career in film, photography and sculpture and is the first major UK exhibition since he received the Turner Prize in 1999. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal! The display will cover the last 25 years of McQueen’s career, including personal and intimate works such as his early film on a Super 8 camera and this awesome aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty (above).

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