Mon 5 – 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.
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.
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.
Hitchin Lido, Mon 5 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.