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Mon 6 – Sun 12 Nov 2017

Light and art, Mill Green Museum, Tues 7 Nov – until Jan 2018

Mill Green Museum and Watermill                                                                   Photo: Oaklands College

Some of the art and design students at Oaklands College have created work based on how light interacts with the mill at Mill Green Museum. Go and have a look! You can buy flour there as well. Good time of year for baking.

Mill Green Museum

Masterclass with cake artist Sherry Hostler, Wilstone, Tring, Tues 7 Nov

Sherry Hostler is a cake artist extraordinaire and her masterclasses always sell out so best be speedy! Sherry works in a shiny white studio in Wilstone, Tring. This is a hands-on class, and no previous experience (or O Level cookery) required. Small class size (maximum seven) so lots of individual help from Sherry. Everything is supplied and gift boxed for you to take your creations home. £40. 7-9pm.

Sherry Hostler

Midweek set lunch and dinner delight, Thompson St Albans, Weds 7 Nov

Pan roast fillet of Cornish pollock, squash – mashed (but still chunky) and pickled, verjus dressing

I recently ate (twice!) at Thompson St Albans and it is splendid. Amazing value too, if you plump for one of the midweek set menus. Here’s my review. Phil Thompson is a fantastically gifted chef and has just won 3 AA Rosettes. Lots of the produce comes from his father-in-law’s allotment, and the set menu changes every day and is very much a seasonal and sustainable – and colourful – feast.

Thompson St Albans

Sixth Form Open Evening, Bedford Girls’ School, Bedford, Thurs 9 Nov

Bedford Girls School Annual Prize Giving 2017

I recently visited and reviewed Bedford Girls’ School and I was extremely impressed and here’s my review. There’s a Sixth Form Open Evening on Thursday, so if you’re looking for an inspiring place for A Levels or the IB, I would go and have a look. Thurs 9 Nov, 6.30pm.

Sixth Form Open Evening

The Cocktail hour, White Hart, Welwyn, Thurs 9 Nov

Rhubarb Crumble Cocktail, created by Adam, White Hart, Welwyn

Do you know the White Hart? I may be biased, because it’s my local, and in Welwyn village. Come 5pm it’s the cocktail hour, or rather, happy hour for two hours, where you can choose from a selection of cocktails at the Billy Bargainous price of £5. Adam is the bartender and he is a highly creative mixologist and a bit of whizz. Which reminds me that I haven’t been for a couple of weeks. I might see you there. Food is excellent. Here’s my review.

The White Hart

Jeremy Hardy, Hertford Theatre, Sat 11 Nov

Alan Bennett says he likes Jeremy Hardy because he’s ‘only on the radio’. But he’ll be live on the stage at Hertford Theatre on Sat 11 Nov. It’s almost a family show although Hertford Theatre has issued some guidance: ages 14+ and swearing and adult content likely. Be warned. A seasoned stand up performer. 8pm.


Wimpole Christmas Craft Fair, Wimpole Hall, Sat 11 Nov

Wimpole’s festive season starts with the Christmas Craft Fair.  Situated in the stable block there’ll be tasty food, mulled wine to get sloshed on and heaps of shopping opportunities for unusual pressies. Combine it with a walk in the surrounding park land or a spot of lunch, Wimpole Hall is one of my fave go-to National Trust properties and they really know how to nail Christmas. Wimpole Hall, Arrington, SG8 0BW

Wimpole Hall

Buddy Holly and The Cricketers, Rhodes, Thurs 9 Nov

The show that keeps on giving. It’s been travelling around the world for 25 years. If you’re a Buddy Holly fan, you’ve probably seen it more than once, and here it is at Rhodes, Bishop’s Stortford. For the uninitiated, be ready to dance in the aisles. 7.30pm.


The Counterfeit Stones, Hertford Theatre, Fri 10 Nov

Standing room only, or rather no seats (it’s like a proper gig!) for the Great British Take Off (see what they did there?) and the Counterfeit Stones at Hertford Theatre. You’ll be close to the stage (this isn’t Wembley) and the SATIS-FiCTION show promises a ‘rusical’ (I know) with humour and all the fakery you desire. Get your glam on and take your kids – but only if they are 14+.


Gerald Scarfe, House of Illustration, Granary Square, Kings Cross, until 21 Jan 2018

Orpheus in the Underworld © Gerald-Scarfe

I love the House of Illustration and if you haven’t been, it’s well worth a visit. The current exhibition is a collection of production designs by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, including props, costumes and storyboards from Disney’s Hercules, the English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker and Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

House of Illustration

The Close Up Show, Hertford Theatre, Sat 11 Nov

Impossible to write about magic without saying ‘sleight of hand’. So there you are. I’ve done it. I’ve spoken to so many people who rave about The Close Up Show. Coming to a theatre near you! Hertford Theatre, in fact. Be quick. This show is immensely popular!


Howards End, BBC1, Sun 12 Nov

BBC/Playground Television UK Limited/2017 Laurie Sparham

Thanks to the new Howards End, the Poldark/Downton hour is back. Happy days indeed. Nothing like a day of crunching through autumn leaves, a big fat pub lunch and then home to a cosy-up drama on the telly. And before you tune in, have you ever been to Walkern? It’s beyond Stevenage, and it’s where you’ll find the real Rooknest, now Rook’s Nest House, the house where EM Forster lived as a child, and the inspiration for his novel Howards End. Forster lived at Rooksnest for ten years before moving to Tonbridge Wells. In this new production,. Hayley Atwell plays Margaret Schlegel and Philippa Coulthard is her sister Helen, in the roles played by Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter in the 1992 film. Sunday night sorted.

Howards End, BBC1, 9pm

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