Tues 29 May – Sun 3 June
Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery Summer Event, Halls Green, Sat 2 June
Harriet Kelsall‘s events are not to be missed. The jewellery studio and café are in a beautiful barn, and on Saturday, there will be fun and games – and Pimms! – outside as well. Take your own jewellery and you’ll be able to have it cleaned – for free! And the cakes at these events are worth the visit alone. You’ll also see the jewellery makers at work; there are jewellery making workshops for the children; and the Letchworth Garden City Classic & Vintage Car Club will be there hosting their annual car show and family picnic. 9.45am-5pm.
Barbecue and late night shopping, Carpenter’s, Sandridge, Sat 2 June
Apparently it’s the eve of National BBQ Week. On Saturday, Carpenter’s will be celebrating in style and you’re all invited to an afternoon event that starts at lunchtime and goes on until the early hours. I’m not quite sure about how late exactly, but they will be serving food until 7pm and, happy days, you can do a bit of shopping while you’re there. If you haven’t been to Carpenter’s since they opened The Potting Shed café and restaurant, I suggest you make a trip there immediately. The food is fantastic and there’s a whole new landscaped garden and outdoor area with views across the fields. And of course the original farmshop and nursery are still there and even better than before. Farr Brew will be at the party so you can get the beers in. 1pm-8pm.
Sally Magnusson, David’s Bookshop, Tues 29 May
Sally Magnusson, the broadcaster and author comes to Letchworth Garden City! Sally is a natural storyteller, and the book about her mother’s dementia, Where Memories Go (2014) was a Sunday Times bestseller. The Sealwoman’s Gift is set in Iceland and Algiers in the 17th century and reimagines the true story of a pirate raid on one of the tiny Westman islands, in which a pastor, his wife and their children – along with half their island and many others – were abducted into slavery. Captive in an alien Arab culture, the pastor’s wife meets the unravelling of her identity and the least bearable of losses with the one thing she has brought from home: the stories in her head. 7.30pm.
Jump Monk, Herts Jazz Club, Tues 29 May
Herts Jazz recently moved from Welwyn Garden City to its new home in The Maltings, St Albans and it’s quite amazing to have such wonderful music on a Tuesday evening. Led by bassist Arnie Somogyi, Jump Monk pays tribute to two of the greatest composers in jazz: Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk. 7.30pm.
Colourwheel Art Classes, Welwyn Golf Club, Weds afternoons and evenings
Colourwheel is new to Herts but it’s very established in Buckinghamshire and further afield. These are art classes for people who think they can’t draw. They are already proving very popular in Welwyn. It’s not too late to join – the 10-week course started a couple of weeks ago but you can join in now and pay for the remaining lessons in the term. The teacher is experienced and very friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed and fun. Wednesday afternoons and evenings.
Colourscape, Waddesdon Manor, Sat 26 May – Sun 3rd June
For the fourth year in a row, the spectacular Colourscape returns to Waddesdon with 56 interlinked chambers for the trippiest experience outside of Glastonbury. There’s a new structure to fit the Aviary glade with long views of intense colour and light plus music and dance performances inside the larger spaces. To be honest, the performances are a bit bonkers but you can easily whizz off down another bouncy tunnel if they’re just too, erm, ethnic, for you. Obviously, it’s great for kids too so although the queues are often daunting, persevere as it’s one of the most unusual experiences around.
London Nights, Museum of London, until Oct
Explore London after dark in a new, evocative photography exhibition. Fusing portraiture, documentary, conceptual photography and film, London Nights will reveal the city after dark through photographs ranging from the late 19th century to the present day.
The Alford Amble, Thurs 31 May
The Alford Arms has just won Best Destination Pub in the Muddy Awards. This is a circular walk that takes you past Frithsden Vineyard, up Roman Road, under the ‘spooky bridge’, by the watercress beds and through the woods. The knowledgeable guide has lots of local history, stories and information to share with you. You’ll end up back at the Alford Arms, for complimentary tea, coffee and cake. 2.30pm. 4 miles. 2-5 hours.
Henry Moore Studios and Gardens, Perry Green, the perfect half term destination!
I’m not going to apologise for banging on about the delights of a visit to Henry Moore’s former home, studios, wonderful gardens and surrounding parkland. There’s a new visitor centre, cafe and shop and it’s just the most fantastic place. It’s my top tip for half term.
Tuuletar, Finnish Friday, Kings Place, London, Fri 1 June
Vocal folk-hop from Finnish goddesses of the wind, Tuuletar. I’m in! Expect a combination of ancient Kalevala poetry with contemporary beatboxing and gorgeous harmonies. This is their UK debut. 9.30pm.
White Hart, Supper Club, Welwyn, Thurs 31 May
Join the supper club in the former court room at the White Hart, Welwyn. It’s a wonderfully friendly and fun evening, hosted by James Dowling from Wine2Trade, and James Bainbridge, owner of the White Hart. Enjoy German bubbly and wines from a 3-course sharing style dinner inspired by the country. Tickets are £45 per person. 7pm.
Lynn Chadwick, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, Wed 1 May – Oct 2018
I’ve pinched this from Muddy Berks: If you loved the Benar Venet sculptures at Cliveden last year, then the new installation of English sculpture and artist Lynn Chadwick’s awesome abstract metal works inspired by the human form and natural world. His big, bold sculptural pieces are doted around the grounds. Take a stroll, admire and then pop into Cliveden House for afternoon tea or lunch at the Astor Grill.
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Sat 2 June