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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 30 Jun-6 Jul

Lots going on this week — wine, beer, comedy, opera, books, cooking, you name it.  So, shelter from the rain (boo!) and have a jolly lovely time.  See you out there…

Wine Tasting Dinner, The Radcliffe, Hitchin 5 Jul, 7.30pm


Join the team at The Radcliffe (have you seen their gorgeous new garden?) in celebrating 31 Days of Riesling.  Enjoy an Alsace dinner — with a range of Riesling wines to match.  You’ll definitely need to book in advance, and all-inclusive tickets are just £45.

Literary Lunch with Richard & Judy, Chenies Manor, 1 Jul, 1pm (doors 12.15pm)

richard and judy

I had no idea (honestly) that Richard — of Richard and Judy fame — was also a novelist.  But there you go.  He and Judy are at Chenies Manor this week for a literary lunch organised by the team at Chorleywood Bookshop — and he’ll be reading from and talking about his new thriller The Night Book.  Pimms in the award-winning gardens to start, lunch in the historic manor, and then your own signed copy — book your tickets now!

And if you can’t catch them there, Richard and Judy will also be at David’s Bookshop — winner of Best Bookshop in the Muddy Herts Awards 2016 — next Friday.

Afternoon Tea with Eric Lanlard, The Junction Christchurch, Chorleywood, 5 Jul, 1pm


Or if your idea of a good book is more cook book, master pâtissier and baker to the stars Eric Lanlard will be talking about his new collection of recipes for the perfect afternoon tea.  He’ll also be demonstrating some of them so you can go home and whip up something lovely yourself!  Sounds delicious whether you like your treats savoury — Gruyère Eclairs? — or sweet — Pistachio and Rosewater Scones.

Summer Beer Festival, Fox at Willian, 1-3 Jul

beer fest

Love a good beer festival in the sunshine — so have fingers firmly crossed for this weekend at The Fox at Willian.  25 beers and craft ales, 15 craft ciders, a barbeque, live music on Friday and Saturday, and — not for the faint of heart — a hot dog eating race.  Free to get in — and I don’t reckon you’ll want to leave all weekend.

Up Your Street, The Art Nest, Hitchin, until 23 July

art nest

Pop into Hitchin’s Art Nest — winner of the Best Art Gallery in the Muddy Herts Awards 2016 — and enjoy a gorgeous selection of works by local artist depicting local scenes.  Love-love-love this one by Hitchin artist Cathy Smale.

Journeys Through Light and Colour, Upstairs Gallery, Berkhamsted, 28 Jun-9 Jul

upstairs gallery

More local art, in Berkhamsted this time.  These 6 Artworks artists are all Hertfordshire-based, and they’ve been working and exhibiting together since they all studied Fine Art at the University of Hertfordshire.

Haresfoot Hot Hootenanny, Haresfoot Brewery, Berkhamsted, 2 Jul, 6-11pm

haresfoot hoot

Ok, so you might be able to say ‘ Haresfoot Hot Hootenanny’ when you arrive at the Brewery, but I’m guessing the chances of saying it when you leave might be somewhat lower…  Three bands and loads of local beer.  What’s not to like?

The Social Kitchen, Segrue Books, Radlett, 6 Jul, 10am


Great chance to check out the county’s newest bookshop — Segrue Books in Radlett — and to hear Dani Tucker, author of The Social Kitchen, a wonderful culinary read packed full of delicious and easy to prepare recipes, sharing her story.  And all proceeds from the book are donated to charity, so that’s a good thing too.  Win, win, win.

Kathy Lette: Bold, Brash and Very Clever, The Rex, Berkhamsted, 3 Jul, 6pm

kathy lette

This looks like a totally brilliant night — and what a venue, too. The hilarious Kathy Lette will be talking about her novel — and soon to be movie — The Boy Who Fell to Earth — and talking to novelist Emma Sweeney, as well as being joined on stage by poets from the Sunnyside Rural Trust, for whom the evening is raising money.  (Pop downstairs for a cheeky cocktail at The Gatsby before or after, too, maybe?)

OperaUpClose: The Barber of Seville, Hertford Theatre, 30 Jun, 7.45pm

barber of seville 9

I am so looking forward to this one!  I’m dragging my lovely friend Kate along with me — and it’ll be her first every opera.  Sounds like a cracking place to start, too: funny, up close, sung-in-English, and set in Jane Austen’s England.  It’s had heaps of critical accolades and sounds brilliant.  Join us..?

Bridget Christie – MORTAL – Work in Progress, Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 2 Jul, 8pm


The stonkingly brilliant Bridget Christie is warming for Edinburgh at the Old Town Hall this weekend, answering those burning questions we’re all wondering about… Why are there stickers on Bridget’s eyelids? Why did Bridget get a taxi during a charity walk? In the light of Lemmy’s death, should Motorhead vibrators be withdrawn (from sale)? What’s Bridget’s legacy?

The Tringe 2016, Tring, this week

shappi tringe

The Tringe — Tring’s very own comedy festival — is still in full swing.  Loads going on this week, and tickets flying off the shelves.  (Does one keep tickets on shelves? I have no idea.)  Multi award-winning comedian, adventurer and world record holder Tim FitzHigham is with Sam Simmons this Friday; and Simon Evans and Jenny Collier are there the following night.  Into next week, catch Shappi Khorsandi and Tom Lucy,  or Nish Kumar and Sarah Kendall.  Two of the four venues on the 7th Annual Roving Comedy Night on Sunday are already sold out, but there are a handful at the Anchor and the Black Horse.  Or there’s always the Tringe Festival Cabaret Night with mistress of ceremonies Lili la Scala and some of her most beloved cabaret reprobates for a rollicking, raucous evening of naughtiness.  And we all need one of those now and again.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire