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Reader Treats Just For You!

Mon 16 – Sun 22 July

Summer wine tasting, Fleetville Larder, Fri 20 July

You need to know about the wine tasting events at Fleetville Larder together with Flagship Wines in St Albans because they are so hugely popular and they always sell out. Fleetville Larder won Best Deli in this year’s Muddy Awards and I went to review it recently. It’s a fun place with an upbeat vibe, a knowledgeable and friendly cheesemonger and shelves full of food that you’ll want to buy. On Fri 20 July, there’s an evening of  summer wines, great cheeses and fun. The evening kicks off with a Croft Twist aperitif (a fun drink if ever there was one) and then it’s on to white, rose and red with cheeses galore. Be quick, you have been warned.  8-10pm. £25 in advance – you won’t get in on the night!

Summer fun wine tasting


Hitchin Coffee Festival, Sat 21 July

The Vic pub in Hitchin and Wakelin and Son are putting on the Hitchin Coffee Festival this Saturday. Local roasts, breakfast, brunch, beers and barista workshops. 9am – 2pm.

Hitchin Coffee Festival


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


Outdoor yoga, Hitchin Lavender, Sun 22 July

This looks like bliss. Sunday evening yoga. Hopefully it involves lots of lying down and resting. Yoga with Aminta, and when you inhale, you’ll be blessed with the aroma of fresh lavender. Don’t fall asleep! 7-8pm. £10.

Outdoor yoga


Antony Gormley, Kettles Yard, Cambridge – until 27 Aug

Nip over the border to Cambridge. Kettles Yard has been transformed beyond recognition, and once I got over the initial shock, I loved what I saw. I visited during the week of opening, so I think the whole team was in shock due to the queues, but I imagine it’s settled down now. ‘SUBJECT’ highlights many of Antony Gormley’s interests, including how sculpture can activate both the space that it occupies and the body of the viewer. The exhibition offers a series of physical and metaphysical encounters, exploring our relationship to space and our sense of self.

Kettles Yard


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


The Great British Food Festival, Knebworth House, Sat 21 & Sun 22 July

Local and seasonal food will be celebrated for two days at Knebworth House. You’ll also be able to sample Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean and Thai street food. Chefs will demonstrate how to do things at home and there’s music and dance. Not sure about the dance, but you could always be the first on the lawn. Let’s hope they don’t run out of ice cream.

Great British Food Festival


Next week: Big Jiveswing Festival, Cassiobury Park, Sun 29 July

All you need for this is a picnic, a blanket, and a flippy skirt. Oh, and perhaps a scarf to tie around your head. And bright red lipstick. Music, bands, dancers and dance classes.And it’s all free!

Big Jiveswing Festival


1066: A Medieval Mosaic, St Albans Cathedral – until Mon 27 Aug

Now then. Just because exams are over doesn’t mean that you can close those history books. Michael Linton started recreating the Bayeux Tapestry in 1979. And now it’s finished! And you can see it in Herts. A 64-metre mosaic with three million tiny pieces of steel. Linton’s work has broken the Guinness World Record as the longest steel mosaic and can you believe that it’s now hanging out in St Albans Cathedral? Do not delay. It’ll be there until Mon 27 August. Entry is free.

Medieval Mosaic


Michael Jackson On the Wall, National Portrait Gallery

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




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