Fri 13 – Sun 15 July
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.
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 are 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.
Cornbury Music Festival, Great Tew Park, Oxon, Fri 13 – Sun 15 Jul
There’s eclectic music across four stages, including Amy MacDonald, Squeeze, UB40, Alanis Morissette, plus top notch comedians like Katy Brand and Phil Wang. Children’s workshops, a fairground, therapy zone and disco shed are the tip of the iceberg with roaming entertainers and a huge range of great food and drinks, including The Hairy Bikers’ Pop Up Wood Fired Restaurant Adventure.
Settlement Showcase, Letchworth, Fri 13 – Sat 14 July
Letchworth is a hotbed of creativity and if you pop along to The Arcade, you can see some of the art work produced in recent creative writing and arts & crafts classes at The Settlement. There some great courses at The Settlement, so check out the programme for autumn.
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 Carthy, Folk 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.
From Renaissance to Ravel, The Kings Arms, Sun 15 July
Daniel Pioro and Clare O’Connell of Chroma play French chamber music at the Kings Arms in Berko on Sunday evening. Daniel has been on the radio this week and you can have a listen. 7pm.
Hitchin Lavender, Cadwell Farm, Ickleford
Hurry, hurry! It’s at its peak now. The season at Hitchin Lavender is a short one although it’s swiftly followed by sunflowers. Catch them while you can. SG5 3UA
Book for: Summer wines fun 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!
Book for: 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.