Fri 30 June – Sun 2 July
Fireside Summer Festival, Lannock Farm, Weston, Fri – Sat 1 July
If you think that storytelling is sitting listening to someone reading out loud, you’ve been short changed. The immersive nature of performance storytelling is amazing! I’ve been lucky enough to go to a couple of Crick Crack Club events in London and now Ben Haggarty is coming to Herts this weekend. There will be all kinds of other things going on – performance poetry, Greek myths, fairytales for young and old and all in the stunning setting of Lannock Farm. Some of the best storytellers and performers are all going to be here. Clare Murphy, Xanthe Gresham, Sarah Kendall and Catherine Ireton to name but a few. Go with an open mind and heart. Go on your own, go with mates, or take your whole family. It’ll be uplifting. Different. Stories have the power to change lives! Read my interview with Joanna Bowen, the Fireside founder, here. Lannock Farm, Weston, SG 4 7EE
Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent, Somerset House – until Sun 17 Sept
An exhibition about fragrance, with workshops, talks…you name it, you’ll find all sorts of olfactory delights and challenges at Somerset House. Set design by the fab Muf. Nuff said. I once went to a perfume house in France on a jolly press junket and we were blindfolded (steady) and had to sniff things like elastic bands and lemon peel without knowing what they were. It was all to show us how the top perfume potion people train their noses. It was quite an experience, I can tell you. I think it’s safe to say that this’ll be an experiential journey. Fasten your seat belts and flare your nostrils.
Kasia Burke is such a brilliant photographer, based in Hitchin, and on Friday you’ll be able to appreciate some of her work in the amazing home of Christine Kubrick in Harpenden. Recommended. Oh, and the fair goes on all weekend too. Artists, jewellers, printmakers music, food. Loads of stuff for kids. AL3 6JX
Breathing Colour, Design Museum, Fri 30 June – Sun 17 Sept
My days of wearing black are long gone. Today, I love colour, and I appreciate how it can completely transform my mood. This exhibition, by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius has just opened and I can’t wait to see it. Installations with textiles and sculptures and in spaces which simulate lighting at different times of day.
More Happiness, Sat 1 and Sun 2 July, Welwyn Garden City
Jump in! A gratitude tree, skittles, giant Jenga, Lego and Knex as you bubble up with joy. To celebrate the launch of Felicity Evans’s book More Happiness Less Stress at Natural Health in Welwyn Garden City, the author has organised two whole days of fun for all the family. The jump in ball pool will open for children only on Saturday, but by Saturday, adults will be invited to dive in. Jubilee Green.
Otello, The Vyne Theatre, Berkhamsted, Sun 2 July
New in Berko! Royal Opera House and other live screenings from the Vyne Theatre. This is news to me, perhaps it is to you too? I will be checking it out soon, but if you live in or close to Berkhamsted, this is the only place where you can enjoy live screenings, so if you get there before me, let me know what you think. 2pm.
Hitchin Festival, Fri 30 June
The Hitchin Street Food scene has just grown and grown. This Friday night the Street Food event will kick off Hitchin Festival which is going to be amazing, and it’s hardly surprising, given that Hitchin itself is pretty amazing, I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s got a very special spirit. If you don’t know it, this weekend is the time to visit. Hitchin is blessed with fab creative independent shops. Check out the amazing boutique and lifestyle shop What Sarah Did, gifts and interiors at Hermitage Rd, vinyl in Gatefold Music and the shots and beans at the Coffee Lab. And buy bread from Quotidian, it’s fantastic!