Fri 2 – Sun 4 June
Hertford Gin Festival, Sat 3 June
This botanical festival is in its second year, founded by Hertford Gin Club in collaboration with Hertford Cricket Club. It’s in the stunning location of Balls Park. 40 gins to work your way through. Other beverages available. You even get your own gin glass to take home with you and there’s also a hog roast. The £12 ticket price includes your first gin and after that you’re on your own. Or rather, you buy tokens for £5 per drink. Take it easy.
Hitchin Lido, Fri 2 June – Sun 10 Sept
I admit that this is a tad misleading. Hitchin Lido doesn’t look like this, but I’m just putting it out there: outdoor swimming is liberating. You may not want to plunge into a river, but Hitchin Lido is a wonderful place, with its own retro tropical style. For inspiration, I suggest reading My Favourite Places by Lisa Montague, Hitchin resident and owner of Blackfish Swimwear.
Fairy and Elf Festival, Audley End, Fri 2 – Sun 4 June
A brand new sparkly festival that sounds mighty fine. Fairies and elves, miniature train rides, hair braiding, storytelling and all in beautiful grounds. I love Audley End and whether you want to unleash your inner elf or not, the plants for sale are always tip top, as is the veg, grown in the renovated walled garden. The Jacobean house is well worth a look, too! Dress code: wings.
The Alban Arena, Sat 3 June
The professional grumpy woman (who is looking rather elfin in this photo), arrives in Herts this week. I think we can probably imagine some of the material – or perhaps not? A good laugh is as good for you as a HIIT workout – you’ll feel lighter afterwards.
Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery, summer party, Halls Green, Sat 3 Jun
Harriet Kelsall believes that if you’re going to set up shop somewhere, why not get to know your neighbours. Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery is based in a beautiful converted barn in Halls Green near Weston and there is also has a shop in Cambridge. Harriet is a great party organiser, and this Saturday is the summer event. It sounds fab and everyone is invited. You’ll be able to have a look around the studio, watch goldsmiths do demonstrations, have your jewellery cleaned for free, and there’s also a cafe on site and Pimms will be served. There are a couple of activities designed for children: a beading workshop and a cryptic treasure hunt. (£4 for both activities). 9.45am – 5pm. SG4 7DP.
Colourscape, Waddesdon Manor, until Sun 4 June
Hugely popular because it’s great fun. Hero at Muddy Bucks/Oxon has just been and you can read her review here. If you are on holiday this week, I would suggest going before the weekend – people have been known to queue. But it’s worth it!
The Walk to the Paradise Garden, Dan Hays, Broadway Gallery, until Sun 11 June
If you haven’t made it to this exhibition yet I urge you to do so before Sunday 11 June! Dan Hays is based in south London but spent a year working on this exhibition. The works are inspired by and named after Letchworth landmarks and are a wonderful fusion of working in oils using digital imagery. Have you been to the Broadway Gallery? No? It’s a fantastic place to hang out. If you’re in Letchworth, do pop in and try the cafe – it’s great. The whole space is uplifting and upbeat. Arty keepy-uppies for the soul.
Hatfield House Food Festival, Fri 2 – Sun 4 June
Oh yes. Eat, drink and be merry, and all with the stunning backdrop of Hatfield House. Foraging walks, master classes, and the man who made the bread lion on GBBO. The ticket price includes entry to the gardens of Hatfield House. Go hungry and be prepared to feast. May the sun shine as the bubbles pop and the hot plates sizzle.
Sunday Supper club at The Fox, Sun 4 June
This is the first ever Sunday supper club at The Fox at Willian, and I bet it’ll be a blast. This destination pub has garnered loads of awards and it’s a wonderfully friendly place with delicious and imaginative food. Be first to try the new menu dishes; meet the chefs before supper in the conservatory, and settle in for a promising evening. You can even forget about your car and stay the night: The Fox has its very own boutique accommodation. £35 per person for 3 courses plus wine pairing available on the evening. B&B from £95.
Family volunteer day, Celtic Harmony Camp, Sat 3 June
This offers a way of rolling up your sleeves while tuning into your harmonious Celtic vibes. The camp is in Brickendon, and is popular for school trips, but why not sample its delights en famille? Kids may well put down their screens when faced with the challenge of building a roundhouse. It’s worth a try. You do need to book in advance. Archery, storytelling and generally a very different day out.
Ashridge House open garden, Berkhamsted, Sun 4 June
‘Tis the season of Open Gardens and from now until October you can probably always find something open close to home. This is the magnificent Ashridge House on the National Trust estate, and with 190 acres to explore, I’d set off right now! Afternoon tea, plants for sale, lollipop lupins and perfect locations for hide and seek for the younger – and older – visitor. A fine spot for a Sunday afternoon. Sun 4 June, 2-6pm.
British Museum presents Hokusai, Broadway Cinema, Sun 4 June
You can enjoy Hokusai from the comfort of your cinema seat in the recently refurbished Broadway. (And they really are very comfortable seats). You can guarantee crowds at the British Museum exhibition Beyond the Great Wave, this way you can appreciate the work and life of Japan’s greatest artist, thanks to close ups and insights from experts. 6.30pm.