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Reader Treats Just For You!

July 2018

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Vyne Theatre, Sat 7 July

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is the new award-winning five-star hit musical for today. Jamie New is sixteen and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in. Jamie is terrified about the future. Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight. Live recording at the Vyne Theatre in Berkhamsted. 7.30pm.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Ministry of Science, Broadway Theatre, Tues 3 July

Are you ready? Ministry of Science Live is about to explode onto the stage! This is not your ordinary science show – it comes with a bang. It comes with a whoosh. But most of all is comes with a hovercraft built on stage…. Oh, and a human cannon too! 1pm and 6pm

Ministry of Science

The Greatest Showman, Knebworth House, 7 July

Hugh Jackman doing his thing under the stars at Knebworth House. And take a closer look at Luna Cinema, there’s a full programme of open air screenings this summer at various locations in Herts.

The Greatest Showman

Mark Thomas, Old Town Hall, Tues 3 July

This is a work in progress. Mark Thomas is 54; the NHS is 70; UK national average life expectancy is 84. If Mark makes it to 84 the NHS will be 100, what will they both look like? No idea but this could be interesting. Old Town Hall in Hemel.

Mark Thomas 

Champagne master class, Cellar Door Wines, St Albans, Thurs 5 July

Cellar Door Wines won Best Wine Merchant in this year’s Muddy Awards. Arthur Camut from Champagne Palmer will take you through some of the finest Champagnes – on the planet – according to Cellar Door Wines. Taste 5 champagnes and nibble light snacks. £20.

Champagne master class

Wimbledon afternoon tea, Sopwell House, until Sun 15 July

This looks yummy. Green manicured lawns in the gardens at Sopwell House with macarons to match. Champagne tea during Wimbledon fortnight. £44.95.

Wimbledon tea

Clear out the clutter, Broadway Gallery, Letchworth, Sun 8 July

You dream of a minimalist interior, don’t you? With a home that only has room for the very useful and the very beautiful? (And I’m not talking about that useful drawer that’s home to Christmas cracker gifts). To celebrate the interiors created by Arts & Crafts designer and architect Barry Parker, this event will help you to sort out your head and heart before you set off home to sort that shed or spare bedroom – or even your entire life. Local decluttering experts will talk and answer questions and this promises to be an interesting and inspiring afternoon, followed by a champagne reception in the gallery where you’ll have a chance to have a good look at Barry Parker’s work – and admire those clutter-free, neutral and restful interiors. £10. 4-6pm.

Clear out the clutter

Hitchin Lavender, Cadwell Farm, Ickleford

Hitchin Lavender is ready for you! It’s open again for the season and it’s a fairly short one so it’s best to see it at its peak. Make the most of it! SG5 3UA

Hitchin Lavender

Summer Beer Festival, The Fox at Willian, Fri 6 – Sun 8 July

A brilliant country pub in a great location. If you’re a fan of good beer, I can recommend this festival at The Fox at Willian.

Beer festival at The Fox at Willian

Chilfest, Tring, Fri 6 and Sat 7 July

Gold! It’s Tony, and it’s Chilfest. An amazing line up this year: Friday night it’s Tony Hadley taking centre stage for the evening accompanied by an impressive 35-piece orchestra and special guests.Saturday’s music extravaganza is headlined by 80s icon Marc Almond, and also includes Hertfordshire’s Kim Wilde, Go West, The Beat, Nick Heyward and more.


Ashlyns Festival, Berkhamsted, Fri 13 and Sat 14 July

A school event like no other! It looks and sounds amazing and if you’re in the Berko area, I’d mark this one in your diary.

Ashylyns Festival

The Art of the Short Story, David’s Bookshop, Sat 14 July

This is an event for all readers and writers of short stories. The Art of the Short Story will help people who is scribbling in secret or perhaps you have already come out as a writer and would like to learn more. Writers Ho Lin and Tom Rachman will be joined by Francine Elena, poet and commissioning editor at Sceptre Books. The events at David’s Bookshop are always buzzy and inspiring, and I’ve always left on a high with much food for thought. 

The Art of the Short Story

The Little Welly, County Showground, Sat 7 and Sun 8 July

This is a festival about mud. No, it’s not Glasto, but Little Welly. It’s an obstacle course and a festival rolled (in mud) into one. It’s in various locations: Kent, Surrey and Oxfordshire and it arrives in Herts at the beginning of July. Hay bales, tyres, army walls, spider tunnel, in and out ditches, log fence and water pit. Who ever said that children today don’t have enough exercise?

The Little Welly

Dog Fest, Knebworth House, Sat 7 and Sun 8 July

It’s the TV vet at Knebworth House for this year’s Dog Fest. The family festival where Lurchers fall in love with Labradoodles as they queue for a head massage or pedicure.

Dog Fest

Sundown Cinema at The Cricketers, Weston, Tues 24 July

Moana screening in Weston with Sundown Cinema. I love this pub and the cricket ball wood fired pizza is just the ticket for watching a film in the garden on a big screen.

Cricketers outdoor cinema

Folk by the Oak, Hatfield House, Sun 15 July

As well as bringing together an exceptional line-up of folk, roots and acoustic talent, which this year includes international festival favourite Amy MacDonald, the legendary Billy Bragg, and critically acclaimed Eliza CarthyFolk by the Oak is a festival designed as a great family day out. For one day only which means that you don’t have to camp.

Folk by the Oak

Fanny’s First Play, Shaw’s Corner, Ayot St Lawrence, Fri 20 – Sun 22 July

Shaw’s hilarious heroine, with her “suffrajitsu”, creates mayhem and misery for her long-suffering parents as she struggles to liberate herself from stifling middle class tradition.

Outdoor theatre

Hoglands (Henry Moore’s garden) and Foxglove Cottage, Perry Green and Much Hadham, Fri 6 July

Double bubble blooms with the National Garden Scheme opening two gardens in Perry Green and Much Hadham. Hoglands is the garden in the former home of Henry and Irena Moore and Foxglove Cottage is nearby. Admire luscious lupins – if they still look like this after our June heatwave.

Perry Green open gardens

Standon Calling, Thurs 26 – Sun 29 July

This is a big one in Herts. This year’s line up includes Paloma Faith, Bryan Ferry, Goldfrapp, George Ezra, Maribou State and Lucy Porter. Load your wristband with dosh and get ready to glitter up and jump into a hot tub.

Standon Calling

George Street wedding show, St Albans, Sun 8 July

Seek wedding inspo in the most beautiful street in St Albans. Hosted by Cerimonia (a stylish wedding store if ever there was one) this is a day where several excellent local businesses get together to guide you through your wedding planning decisions.

George Street wedding show

Frithsden Vineyard wine tasting, Sat 21 July

A beautiful place with delicious wine and this is a great time of year to visit. There are also opportunities later in the year to volunteer for the harvest. The owners of Frithsden are great fun and inspiring and their events are always very popular. This is a tutored tasting of 6 wines, sourced from unusual origins, followed by a cheese and charcuterie. £22 per person. 1pm. Booking Essential!

Frithsden wine tasting

Portuguese supper club, The White Hart, Welwyn, Thurs 26 July

The White Hart in Welwyn village has great supper clubs. This photo is from one I went to earlier in the year (and I seem to remember snow on the ground although it really doesn’t seem that long ago). Delicious food, great wine from Wine2Trade, and evenings are also incredibly good value. Friendly atmosphere in the former village court room. £45.

Portuguese Supper Club

Henry Moore Studios and Gardens, Perry Green

It’s the perfect weather to visit the heavenly Henry Moore Studios and Gardens. If you haven’t been, put it on your list for this summer. There’s a new visitor centre, cafe and shop and it’s just the most fantastic place. It’s one of my top places in Herts.

Henry Moore Studios and Gardens

Gin Cruise on the River Lea, Ware, Sat 28 July

A three hour leisurely trip down the River Lea while you learn about different gins and taste them. Sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. You set sail from Ware at midday, travel towards Hertford and then you come back to Ware at 3pm. Ware Town Quay, next to the Priory, behind the library car park. SG12 9XB  £55.

Gin Cruise

Michael Jackson On the Wall, National Portrait Gallery

This promises to be amazing. An exhibition exploring the influence of Michael Jackson on some of the leading names in contemporary art, spanning several generations of artists across all media. It opened on 29 June to to coincide with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday (on August 29, 2018).

National Portrait Gallery

Nick Sharrat: Pirates, Pants & Wellyphants, River & Rowing Museum, until Sun 16 Sept

Nick Sharrat

If you’ve got kids, you’ll have a book somewhere in your house with Nick Sharrat’s fabulous illustrations. An interactive exhibition of his work starts this month and a drawing workshop takes place with the man himself on 14 July (book now as it’s bound to be a sell-out). This delightful, gentle museum is a great place to take kids but there’s plenty of adult  amusement with all you ever wanted to know (or not know) about rowing, visiting painting and sculpture exhibitions, a cafe with posh nosh, and a short stroll to the river and shops of Henley.

Teeth, Wellcome Collection – until 19 Sept

Napoleon’s toothbrush

Dentistry, fairground entertainment, happy smiles and horrific tales. 150 objects, including ancient protective amulets and dental bling, dentures and drills, sketches and spittoons, tooth transplants and toothpaste ads, If you catch a train home from Euston or Kings Cross, you might like to pop in here one evening. Open until 6pm during the week and until 8pm on Thursdays. Free.

Wellcome Collection

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