Fri 12 – Sun 14 May
Frithsden Vineyard, open day, Sat 13 May
Always a pleasure. Frithsden Vineyard is a fantastic place and a wonderful surprise, particularly if you invite someone there who doesn’t know it. You get all those ‘I can’t believe this is here and I didn’t know about it!’ comments. It’s charming and so friendly and the food is brilliant, and I haven’t even started on the wine. Go to Frithsden, you’ll love it. 11-5pm.
Making Nature Work, Wellcome Collection, Euston Road – until Sun 21 May
If you’re heading to London Town this weekend, and your train arrives at Euston or Kings Cross, why not stroll up the Euston Road to see this exhibition? If you don’t know the Wellcome Collection, it’s a wonderful place. This free exhibition, How we see animals, is only on for another week and it’s part of the Wellcome Collection’s year-long exploration into our relationship with nature. Film, photography, taxidermy, and all in an inspiring building with a fab cafe.
The Life of Birds, Quentin Blake, House of Illustration, Granary Square
I love the House of Illustration. It’s in Granary Square, a couple of hops from Kings Cross, and it’s one of my fave places in London, and you can always find something interesting there. It’s home to the archive of Quentin Blake’s 35,000 drawings, and the plan is that from now until forever there will be a kind of rolling celebration of his work. This is the first exhibition of Blake’s birds and he has curated it himself. As he puts it: “I have always liked drawing birds. It’s a way of commenting on the people we see around us without actually drawing individuals.”
Potter, Painter, Printer, Upstairs Gallery, Berkhamsted – until Sat 13 May
Amanda Curbishley is the painter, Nathalie Pymm the printer and Elaine Wells is the potter (who you may have seen on the Great Pottery Throwdown). All three artists are based in the Chilterns and you can enjoy their work and they are also doing workshops during the run of the exhibition.
Brahms and Mozart, Palladian church, Ayot St Lawrence, Sat 13 May
If you’re looking for quirky in Herts, you can’t get quirkier than this. A classical concert in a Palladian church in a field where George Bernard Shaw used to wander. It’s a stunning setting. Ayot St Lawrence is home to Shaw’s Corner, and if you’ve never been, make this the year that you visit, it’s quite something. This concert is performed by The Alban String Quartet. Proceeds towards the conservation of the Grade I listed church. Tickets £10. 7.30pm.
St Paul’s Walden Bury, Open Garden, Sun 14 May
Have you been to St Paul’s Walden Bury? This is your chance. It’s magnificent! It’s the childhood home of the late Queen Mother. I love it. Cream teas (what a surprise that I start with that), beautiful sweeping lawns, a house owned by the Bowes Lyon family and all in all a place of charm and lots of good hiding places. A fine place for a Sunday afternoon. 2-7pm.
St Paul’s Walden Bury, Whitwell, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 8BP
The Berkhamsted Walk, Sun 14 May
The annual Berkhamsted Walk, which raises money for The Children’s Society, is now in its 49th year. It’s a huge fun event for all levels of fitness, although not everyone would agree that six miles is easy. However, you get to walk in stunningly beautiful countryside and the numbers of people and common purpose will fuel your energy levels. And the three options are: Fun Walk (6 miles starting at Ashridge Management College); Bluebell Walk (12 miles) or Challenge Walk (18 miles), both starting at The Court House, Berkhamsted. Checkpoints every three miles providing refreshments.
Launch of The Screen Stortford, Rhodes theatre, Sun 14 May
This week sees the launch of The Screen at the Rhodes Theatre in Bishop’s Stortford. New seating, digital everything and surround sound. And yes, now you’ll be able to see all the NT live screenings in Stortford. If you want to be the first eyes on the new screen as you sink into the new seats, book for Beauty and the Beast on Sunday afternoon. 2pm.