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What’s on: The Muddy Guide 11-17 Dec 2014

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What to do this week, in between all those Christmas parties? Look no further – here’s this week Muddy Herts Guide! Bit of shopping, spot of culture, and some lovely things to eat and drink – all sounds good to me.

Miss Havisham’s Expectations, Trafalgar Studios, 10 Dec — 3 Jan


Lynne Marlow – award-winning actress and newest member of the Eastenders cast (but don’t hold that against her) – is appearing, as of Wednesday, in her one-woman show ‘Miss Havisham’s Expectations’ at the Trafalgar Studios in Whitehall.  If you had to read ‘Great Expectations’ at school, you’ll recognise the figure of Miss Havisham, sitting around in her mouldering wedding dress and making everyone around her thoroughly miserable – but you might not recognise much else about the novel.  Lynne Marlow takes another look at this very odd character — and at Dickens in general — in a show that promises passion, vengeance, humour and magic.  Yes, actual magic.

Odyssey Cinema, St Albans, opens 13 Dec

odyessy small
The newly-renovated Odyssey cinema in St Albans is opening this Saturday for real. All reports from last month’s opening weekend were that it’s at least as fab as the Rex in Berkhamsted, and I can’t wait to get over there and check it out. Tickets went on sale on Wednesday – in person at the box office or over the phone on 01727 453088. Be patient, though, as it’s already proving extremely popular. They’ve got a great selection of films in a gorgeous building so it’s no wonder, really.

Perfect Pop-Up, 10 Akeman Street, Tring, 13 Dec, 9am-5pm 

pop up
It’s a perfect pop-up – and a perfect chance to get that Christmas shopping underway, or find a little something for yourself. Dilly Carter, from Perfect Me has once again brought together some super-stylish stock for a gorgeously Christmassy one-day-only pop-up boutique, this time in Tring.  Dilly has had massive reactions to her pop-ups before, and they’re definitely a cut above: curated very carefully and really very cool.  Treats this time include Muddy favourite The Dandy Kid with its gorgeous kids’ clothes and accessories – and Delilah mini-makeovers with Katie and Janet from The Clinic in Tring.

The Feast of Seven Fishes, Borough Market, 14 Dec, 12.30pm & 3.30pm

seven fishes
Borough Market’s Christmas Feast of Seven Fishes – or Festa dei sette pesci if you want to get all authentic – looks like it will be a very different sort of Christmas lunch. Eco chef and blogger Tom Hunt will be cooking up a proper feast from surplus ingredients gathered from the market at the end of the week – all that wonky veg and odd-shaped fruit that might not always get the home it deserves, as well as wild, foraged ingredients and the traditional seven different kinds of seafood (the clue’s in the name, people). The menu looks utterly delicious, and there are two sittings with tickets selling fast. Half the profits are going to be donated to the food waste charity Fareshare, so you’ll be giving as well as receiving.

Wine Tasting, Cambridge Wine Merchants, 15 & 16 Dec, 8pm

wine tasting
If you’re a red wine drinker – and yes, that would be me – there are a couple of tastings in Cambridge this week that should get you all excited.  Monday night is all about claret – lots of Bordeaux wines, from Cab Sav to Merlot and more.  Tuesday is Burgundy night – yummy Pinot Noir and other deliciousness.  Both nights are £15 per person, and you’ll need to book in advance.  (I would love to be telling you about their Champagne tasting night, too but that’s already sold out. *sob*)

Whisky Tasting, Tomoka Spirits Boutique, St Albans, 17 Dec


Are you starting to detect a bit of a theme going on here? Oh well. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, after all. Tomoka Spirits Boutique, a specialist spirits retailer in St Albans, is holding a tutored whisky tasting next Wednesday evening. It’s a sit-down event (probably a good thing) and you’ll be guided through a range of fairly high-end whiskies, including a very rare Bowmore Port Matured whiskey that sells for – are you ready for this? — £400 a bottle. With that in mind, £20 a ticket sounds like a bit of a bargain.

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