Mon 10 – Sun 16 July
Hitchin Festival Photography Exhibition, from Weds 12 July
More fab photos from the wonderful Hitchin-based Kasia Burke and other photographers: Cassy Paris, Peter Goadby-Watt and Rita Abreu. Opens Weds 12 July in the barn at the Victoria Pub. Preview evening: 6pm. SG51TJ.
An afternoon with artist Antonio Russo, Gallery 1066, Baldock, Sat 15 July
Gallery 1066 has just won Best Art Gallery in the recent Muddy Awards. On Sat 15 July, you can meet artist Antonio Russo in the gallery, ask him whether a GCSE in art is helpful if you want to become a real proper artist, and you can even discuss private commissions with him. He’s a drummer and music producer turned artist and has worked with Kanye and Pink. From 1pm.
Brush Party, The Kings Arms, Berkhamsted, Thurs 13 July
The Brush Party craze is sweeping the county! I have been to one of these paint, drink, nibble and chat evenings and they are great fun. Fine to go on your own and fun to go with a mate or a group, and the best thing (in my opinion) is that you don’t need any experience or talent. (Although on the evening I went to a Brush Party there were lots of talented people.) Everything is provided, from brushes and paint and an apron, to teaching and encouragement. It’s very sociable, and you start to remember the days of dabbing paint about at school without a censor and it’s very liberating! It’s also relaxing because you have to concentrate, so it’s almost meditative as the to-do list is put on hold. You go home with your very own canvas. Also great if you want to give someone a special gift. And it’s a good idea to choose someone who will love whatever you have painted, however abstract. I gave mine to my mum. Recommended. These parties do sell out, so be warned. 7 – 10pm. £29. HP4 3HJ.
Open Studios, Parndon Mill, Sat 15 and Sun 16 July
Over the border we go to Essex. Parndon Mill is close to Harlow and is home to fine artists, glass blowers, guitar makers and product designers. During this weekend you can visit the studios and meet people who work in glass, weaving, calligraphy, guitar making, ceramics, jewellery, printing and metalwork. There’ll be an art play tent with activities for children and adults, with a pottery throw down on Sunday. Health and safety will be paramount, nevertheless will also be possible to try your hand at glass blowing and your party bag could be a your very handmade bauble. CM20 2HP. 10am-5pm.
Lussmanns opens in Tring, July
At last! Andrei Lussmann has been teasing his Twitter followers all year with work-in-progress snaps of the former HSBC bank in Tring. This month we’ll finally be able to enjoy the new location for this Hertfordshire chain which manages to feel like a the best local independent wherever you go. I’ve never had a less than perfect experience at Lussmanns and their sustainable ethos is award-winning yet somewhat understated. Impressive. At the time of writing, the official opening date is still under wraps but you can sign up for an email to be one of the first through the doors.
Whales: Beneath the surface, British Museum, Fri 14 July
Happy days! Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum has been closed for a major refurbishment but on Fri 14 July it will open again with a mega whale exhibition. The 4.5-tonne blue whale skeleton will be the central display. You can expect to goggle at ten new display bays along the length of the hall and there will be star exhibits galore. Get on down to South Ken!
Chez Sainlo Supper Club, Home Farm Glamping, Thurs 13 July
Who ever imagined that you could jump on the Tube to go and glamp it up for a night? But you really can at Home Farm Glamping. What is more, this glamping site hosts the most amazing events (I’m yet to experience them) and chef Sainlo is a regular with his pop up feasts. Book early, that’s all I’m saying. £50.