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Reader Treats Just For You!

Fri 18 – Sun 20 May

Spring & Summer Collection 2018, Norton Way Gallery, Letchworth, Sat 19 and Sun 20 May

I’ve only been to this gallery a couple of times but it always surprises and delights. I particularly like the linocuts. This is a special weekend opening for the gallery’s spring and summer collection. There’ll be new work from regular artists and there are two artists who are new to the gallery: Andrew Farmer and Gary Raymond Pereira. If you don’t know Norton Way Gallery, it is definitely worth a visit.

Norton Way Gallery

Taste the Highlife, Christopher Place, St Albans, Fri 18 May

For anyone who has slightly blurry memories of the George Street gin party last October, you may like to step out again for another different and possibly sparkly evening. This one takes place in Christopher Place and promises food, music, shopping and cocktails. It doesn’t promise a warm and sunny evening, but that would be very nice.

Taste the Highlife

Barry Parker, Architecture For All, Broadway Gallery, until Sat 15 July

I thought this exhibition was going to be brilliant and it was. It is!! Join Broadway Gallery and the Garden City Collection to explore the life and work of Barry Parker (1867-1947), the architect of the world’s first Garden City and a key figure to the Arts & Crafts movement. It’s the first ever exhibition to examine Barry Parker’s contribution to architecture, showcasing some of the 4,500 objects from the Parker Collection, including architectural plans and drawings, photographs, furniture and fine art. It’s completely fascinating and you’ll be fashioning an outdoor bedroom before you know it, or at least, opening a few more windows before you go to sleep. Kevin McCloud would have approved of Barry Parker’s approach to design.

Architecture for All

The Manor House, Open Garden, Ayot St Lawrence, Sun 20 May

Do not miss this garden! I visited last year and it’s now one of my favourite Herts’ gardens. 6 acres and an Elizabethan Manor House (sadly not open to the public), a walled garden and glasshouses. Parterre and water features. Designed by Julie Toll. Cakes and drinks and produce for sale. I seem to remember buying some rather splendid apple juice. 11am – 5pm.

The Manor House

Yarrow+Yoga, Allergy Proof, Chilterns Walking Festival, Sat 19 May

I was lucky enough to experience one of these workshops a couple of weeks ago, and I have been recommending them ever since. Run by Kathyrn Fa of Yoga Atelier, this workshop is part of Chilterns Walking Festival. It takes place at the delightful Hemel Food Garden and it thoughtfully combines yoga postures, Qi Gong and meditation with learning about medicinal herbs in the garden. This one focuses on allergies and hay fever. It’s all very practical and I took away some easy and practical tips to help with concentration and overall wellbeing. It’s fun and different and memorable. 10am-12pm.

Yarrow+Yoga

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier, Design Museum, until 7 Oct

Conceived and co-curated with Monsieur Alaïa before his death in November 2017, the exhibition charts his incredible journey from sculptor to couturier, his nonconformist nature and his infectious energy for fashion, friendship and the female body. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Alaïa personally constructed each garment by hand and refused to bow to the pressures of fashion week deadlines, instead working to his own schedule. His collaborative approach earned him an esteemed client list, including Greta Garbo, Grace Jones, Michelle Obama and Rihanna

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

James Mayhew, Broadway Theatre, Letchworth, Sun 20 May

Be transported back to the sights and sounds of Shakespeare’s world through an enchanting afternoon of art and music. Watch the stories unfold on James Mayhew’s renowned easel whilst listening to many original tunes from As You Like it, Othello, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Macbeth, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Hamlet, all performed on an array of lutes, violins, recorders and viols by Realm of Music. A mesmerising performance of music, art and storytelling for all the family. 3pm.

James Mayhew

London Nights, Museum of London, until 11 Nov

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.

London Nights

Richard Long, Circle to Circle, Lisson Gallery, until 23 June

I always enjoy Richard Long’s work and I’m looking forward to his new exhibition. Circle to Circle is a large new floor-based stone circle, Flint Wheel made from Norfolk flint and the stones radiate out like spokes on a wheel. Looks good! 27 Bell Street, London NW1 5BY.

Lisson Gallery

Book for: Kathy Lette’s Girls’ Night Out, Hertford Theatre, Fri 25 May

According to Hertford Theatre, this is a psychological strip tease taking us from Puberty Blues to Menopause Blues, with tales of love, lust, men, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, mastitis, sexist bosses, teenage-daughter-wrangling, ageing, toy boys, making the Queen laugh, hiding Julian Assange in her attic, tongue kissing Prince William and Close Encounters of the George Clooney Kind, en route. I couldn’t have put it better myself. Be quick, this is bound to sell out.

Kathy Lette

Book for: Geronimo Knebworth House, Sat 30 June – Sun 1 July

Geronimo is the ultimate family festival that’s known as ‘Glasto for Kids’. Now in its 4th year, Geronimo will continue to celebrate its success at Arley Hall in Cheshire, but it’s venturing further afield, and has chosen a new field, or rather parkland, at Knebworth House. On the main stage you can expect to see Justin Fletcher and Mr Bloom among other talented and friendly faces. Delights on the ground include activities with two circuses, a Victorian fun fair, den building, zip wires, family crafts, a gaming bus, willow weaving and more. Once you’ve bought a ticket, most of the activities are free, and a day ticket (£25) includes entrance to the Dino Trail at Knebworth House.

Find more ideas here

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