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Fri 9 – Sun 11 June

Ayot St Lawrence Art Show, The Palladian Church, Fri 9 – Mon 12 June

The Ayot St Lawrence Art Show is not to be missed! Look at the venue, for one thing. The Palladian Church is a wondrously quirky building, in a delightfully rural location. (It’s basically in the middle of a field). This event, which has been going since 1974, raises record-breaking amounts for charity. The preview evening is Friday 9 June, 7pm – 9pm. £8, includes wine, canapes and a band. £1 for entry on other days and the cakes are legendary. Great fun.

Ayot Art Show

All in One Season, Summer Open House, Letchworth, Sat 10 June

The Summer Dutch Open House by All in One Season is guaranteed to be an inspiring event and an assault on the senses. Alice lives in a beautiful Arts and Crafts house in Letchworth and you’ll be immersed in creativity, floral design and Dutch homewares. There’s a shop, studio and courtyard. Tickets £5 and the cost will be taken off anything you buy. You can also create your own small floral design to take home, £15. Recommended.


The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! Serpentine Gallery, Fri 9 June – 10 Sept

How can contemporary art can best address a diverse cross section of society? This is one of the questions Grayson Perry will attempt to answer through a tapestry and pots. As he says: “I am in the communication business and I want to communicate to as wide an audience as possible. Nothing pleases me more than meeting someone at one of my exhibitions from what museum people call ‘a non-traditional background.’ The new works I am making all have ideas about popularity hovering around them. What kind of art do people like? What subjects? Why do people like going to art galleries these days? What is the relationship of traditional art to social media?” Sounds great. I love him.

Serpentine Gallery

Hertfordshire Festival of Music, various Hertford locations, Fri 9 – Sun 11 June

Wowzers. This festival highlights the story of Haydn’s first visit to Hertford in 1791. Who knew? The performances are in various locations – all wonderful. Haileybury College, the Friends Meeting House (I think the oldest Quaker House in the country?) and All Saint’s Church. Above is the Carducci Quartet who will be closing the festival. One of the events is a walk through Hertford led by eight performers who guide you with stories and music. A fully charged mobile is needed. Is this just in case you get lost? Or perhaps there’ll be some whizzy sensory interactive thing going on.  Other stars include pianist Clare Hammond and there’s a masterclass by soprano Emma Kirkby and pianist Marcia Hadjimarkos at Haileybury.

Festival of Music

John Hegley, Hitchin, Fri 9 June

I love John Hegley. I once interviewed him and made the mistake of asking after John’s (puppet) dog. Disaster! For the rest of the interview I had to address all of my questions to the dog who in turn asked John. But if you enjoy potato poetry and spending time with someone who is funny and brilliantly creative, and whose mind whizzes super fast, this is an evening for you.

Club 85

Open Farm Sunday, Luton Hoo, Sun 11 June

This is the first time Luton Hoo has taken part in Open Farm Sunday and I think it’ll be great. It’s free! You’ll be able to enjoy guided tours of the farm, there’ll be stands showing aspects of farming and countryside management, and you can do a guided tours of the Historic Walled Garden and Edwardian farm buildings. Food and light refreshments will be available to purchase on site. 11am – 3pm. Free.

Open Farm Sunday

Book for: Campfire and Adventure Tales, Elstree, Fri 30 June

Now then. I hope you’re sitting down, because this is HOT! Imagine, if you will, sitting by a campfire, drinking Campfire Gin (you see what they did there?) and listening to travelling tales from Sir Rannulph Fiennes and Ed Stafford. And that’s just for starters. Possibly mains. There’s pizza, music, thought-provoking narrators and all in the stunning location that is Home Farm Glamping. And this is all happening in Elstree! £65. 6pm.


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Herts & Beds