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This month


World Book Day Afternoon Tea, The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie, Cheltenham, Thu 1 March, 4pm-6pm

private dining room corner standing lamp art

Art and art-deco style in the private dining room – nice, isn’t it?!

This sounds like the perfect excuse to hang out in our new favourite eatery, The Ivy in Cheltenham! And it’s in the private dining room which is pukka! Local, award-winning children’s author Sally Grindley will be hosting a reading from two of her favourite books and then there’ll be a special Ivy afternoon tea, tigers welcome.


Pre-Cheltenham Festival Ball & Auction, The Hollow Bottom, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham, Sat 3 Mar

The Hollow Bottom is the pub to head to for Cheltenham Race Week if you want to avoid the craziness of the Spa town but still imbibe the fun of the races, and this ball is just the thing to get you out of the gate. A night of champagne and canapés, dinner and wine, cheese and port, magic from Andy Cole and dancing to The Shy-Teds. Only £75 and it’s all in aid of Help Chloe Live. Tel: 01451 850392,


The Broadway and West End Songbook, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Sat 3 March, 7:30pm

Caroline Mander, along with all the members of the EveryVoice Choirs, perform the biggest hits from Broadway and The West End, featuring belters from musicals such as West Side Story, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins and more.


Wicked, Bristol Hippodrome, until Sat 3 March

Photo: Matt Crockett

The untold story of the Witches of Oz – or how two sorcery students became the Wicked Witch of the West (boo, hiss) and Glinda the Good.


Stan and Mable and the Race for Space, Bradford on Avon, Sat 3 March

dog and cat cartoon characters

A whole carnival of animals escape from the School for Wild and Dangerous Animals in search of a safe place to call home. This show features a brand-new illustrated story by Jason Chapman and original music by children’s composer Paul Rissmann.


That’ll Be The Day, Swindon Theatre, Swindon, Sat 3 March

The UK’s premier Rock & Roll production returns with another brand new show. Highly acclaimed for its stunning LIVE entertainment value, That’ll Be The Day is an outstanding celebration for all true fans of the golden era of popular music. This latest production features a fantastic new-line-up of smash hits spanning the 50s, 60s & 70s, plus more side-splitting comic sketches, all performed live on-stage.


21st Century Abstracts, Salisbury, Sat 3 to Sat 31 March

multi colours painting abstract

Artist John Munro describes his pictures, with their zinging colours and powerful paerns, as truly modern works of art which appeal to ‘the bravest of the brave art buyers’, adding that abstract art tends to be purchased by people who are innovative, forward-looking, enterprising and optimistic. See for yourself!


Cowley Manor Wedding Fayre, near Cheltenham, Sun 4 Mar, 1pm-4pm

table dressed for a wedding with pink flowers, candlesticks

Getting married? Then you’ll be wanting to go along to Cowley Manor on Sunday as the luxe hotel gets all dressed up for nuptials with a marquee on the top lawn, a selection of table settings, decorations and centrepieces laid out in its restaurant Malt, champagne and canapés on tap along with Cowley’s favourite wedding suppliers. Go on a tour of the 55-acre, Grade II-listed gardens and then pick everyone’s brains for your own big day.


Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair Sale, Cheltenham Town Hall, Sun 4 Mar, 11am to 4pm

Hurrah, this faberoo vintage fair sale is back in town with its incredible collection of retro goodies from fashion to interiors, not to mention the hair and beauty stall where you can get a vintage makeover – victory rolls and beehives here we come!


Stroud Film Festival, various locations, Stroud, Sun 4 to Sun 18 March

movie camera black and white

A fortnight of celluloid culture kicks off at The Prince Albert on Sunday as the Stroud Film Festival launches its fourth outing. This year expect even more films, including new releases, old classics and kiddie-friendly screenings, as well as a chance to meet well known filmmakers and grill them about their work. Sunday’s launch event will see George Platt present a synchronous sound multi-screen experience. Yes, we need to know what this is! So go along!! It’s free and the action starts at 4pm.


Of Mice and Men, Salisbury Playhouse, Mon 5 to Sat 10 March

Man holding man lying on floor

Set in the trying times of the Great Depression, Of Mice And Men is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a heart-breaking testament to the bonds of friendship and what it means to be human. This landmark play by the Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck is the story of George and Lennie, two migrant ranch workers who dream of owning their own ranch.


Ed Byrne – Spoiler Alert, Swindon, Tue 6 March

Man in DJ bow tie

Is life that bad or have we good reason to complain about it? Are we filled with righteous anger at a world gone wrong or are we all just a bunch of whiny little brats? In short, are we spoiled? Come and watch as Ed Byrne takes this question, turns it upside down and shakes it until the funny falls out. Go on, spoil yourself.


Pressure, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Tue 6 to Sat 10 March

Scottish meteorologist, Group Captain James Stagg, advises General Eisenhower on when to give the order to send thousands of waiting troops across the Channel in Operation Overlord in this intense thriller set in June 1944. By the producers of To Kill A MockingbirdBrassed OffA View From the Bridge and Of Mice and Men, you can expect a corker of a show.


Vegan Night, Sheep on Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, Wed 7 March, from 6pm

pub lit up at night exterior

The sheep will be laughing out of the other side of their woolly faces for this special vegan night which will include dishes that show off a side to veganism you may not be familiar with – be prepared to be wowed!


Mother’s Day Flowers Workshop, Tudor Farmhouse, Clearwell, Wed 7 March

bouquets of flowers

OMG, I need to go to this! Josephine’s Fabulous Flowers, the Forest of Dean florist that brings a quirky twist to flower arranging (peacock feathers anyone? yes please!), will be on hand to show you how to create a gorgeous bouquet of flowers for your mum just in time for the big M-Day.


47Soul, The Marshall Rooms, Stroud, Thu 8 March, 7-11.59pm

If you fancy something a bit different on a Thursday night, get yourself down to The Marshall Rooms and check out 47Soul, an Electro Arabic Dabke band from Jordan, who’ve been blasting the underground music scene with their unique blend of analog synthesizers, hypnotic guitar lines and shattering verses from the four singers. Their lyrics, mixing Arabic and English, call for celebration and freedom in the struggle for equality and every show ends in dance and trance, yeah.


Soushi Pop-Up at Miserden Café Nursery, Miserden, Fri 9 March

soushi chef brett at work in Miserden Nursery Cafe

Miserden regulars Soushi are rocking and rolling out delectable sushi in the quirkily bucolic surroundings of the greenhouse café once again. Expect exciting Japanese flavours and convivial surroundings.


Goodnight Mister Tom, Wharf Theatre, Devizes, Fri 9 to Sat 17 March

Now a modern classic, Michelle Magorian’s wonderfully uplifting tale is brought gloriously to life in this magical stage adaptation by David Wood. Set during the dangerous build up to the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows young William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and forges a remarkable and heart warming friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley.  All is perfect until William is suddenly summoned by his mother back to London. wharftheatre


MET Opera: Rossini’s Semiramide, Salisbury Arts Centre, Sat 10 March

Rossini’s opera, which has not been seen at the Met in 25 years, will be conducted by Maurizio Benini and feature Elizabeth DeShong as the Commander of the Assyrian army Arsace, Javier Camarena as an Indian king Idreno, Ildar Abdrazakov as the prince Assur, and Ryan Speedo Green as the high priest Oroe.


Springtime Discovery Trail, Mompesson House, Salisbury, Sat 10 March to Mon 30 April

Spot the signs of spring around the house and garden. mompessonhouse


Bowie Experience: The Golden Years Tour, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, Sat 10 March

Put on your red shoes and Let’s Dance! This breathtaking concert celebrates the music of the world’s greatest pop icon with all his hits from A to Ziggy.


Madi Stimpson Trio, Stroud Brewery, Thrupp, near Stroud, Sat 10 March

A mix of gypsy, jazz, bluegrass and folk roots, this trio inspired by the manouche sounds of Django Reinhardt are the perfect accompaniment to craft beer and pizza!



Made by Hand, The Contemporary Craft Fair, Cheltenham Town Hall, Sat 10 to Sun 11 March

handmade craft fair vases cushions

A handpicked selection of some of the UK’s best design makers will be showing off their handmade homewares and fashion accessories at this award-winning fair. Timed rather brilliantly for Mother’s Day, direct the offspring here for a one-off gift you won’t find anywhere else.


Mother’s Day Yoga Nidra and Meditation, Stroud Yoga Space, Stroud, Sun 11 March, 5-6.30pm

women lying on yoga mats with eye bags

This sounds like just the thing to soothe the nerves of stressed-out mums, nay stressed-out women as we do carry the world on our shoulders. And yes I know, six o’clock is normally the hour when the gin comes out, but this workshop with Stroud Yoga Space founder Rachel Mellish will ease out the parts alcohol just can’t reach.


Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, until Sun 11 March

Things are going totally tropical this month at London’s gorgeous Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please.


Jason Donovan and His Amazing Midlife Crisis, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, Tue 13 March

If you’re of a particular vintage, the idea of Jason Donovan having a midlife crisis will give you an ‘am I that old?’ moment. But, hey, I’m intrigued! Let’s find out what’s happening to the baby-faced Neighbours star as this autobiographical show takes Jason’s looming 50th birthday as its starting point and zigzags back and forth through his life.


The Sleeping Beauty, The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Tue 13 March


Vienna Festival Ballet present a classic fairy tale, set to Tchaikovsky’s wonderful score, with stunning choreography and beautiful costumes. What’s not to like?


Race Week, The Jockey Club, Cheltenham,  Tue 13 to Fri 16 March

horses racing with jockeys

The fun kicks off with Champion’s Day on Tuesday and so begins the craziness that is Race Week with bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs rammed with racegoers carousing and careering. Jump in people, you’re in for a hell of a ride!


Race Week spa special, Dormy House, Broadway, Tue 13 to Fri 16 March

spa pool

If you need a break from the gee-gees or are a Race Week widow, make your way to Dormy House where a spa day with treatments, lolling around the luxury facilities and chowing down on a two-course champagne lunch will make everything better. There, there.


‘Chef’s Table’ in the Green Room, Whatley Manor, Easton Grey, near Malmesbury, Thurs 15 March

We’ve been lucky enough to have a snoop around the brand new Green Room at Whatley – and it’s pretty special. Take a seat at the ‘Chef’s Table’, and the super-talented chef will chop, fry and cook up some culinary magic right in front of you. Tonight is Taco Night, hosted by Whatley head chef George Dingle, so chow down on their homemade tacos and dips, washed down with a few ‘Whatleyritas’ or ‘Fresca’ mocktails.


Bowood Wine Dinner, Calne, Thurs 15 March

There’s a real foody treat in store for you this month at Bowood. Start with a glass of fizz or cocktail, whilst their Head Chef adds the final touches to your 3-course dinner, paired with beautiful wines from around the world.


The Camp Kitchen Pop-Up at Miserden Garden Café, Miserden, Fri 16 & Sat 17 March

plate of food on blue plate knife menu

The takeaway-cum-catering company The Camp Kitchen knows what it’s doing in the kitchen – I went to one of their pop-ups and was totally blown away by the big flavours. Sublime stuff and the 1920s greenhouse is a joy to eat in. Bring your own booze and enjoy!


The Secret Garden, Barn Theatre, Cirencester, Fri 16 March to Sun 18 April

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel is brought to life in this fab musical in Cirencester’s brand spanking new theatre. And while you’re be sure to must pop into Téatro, the theatre’s eclectic eatery.


Animal Farm, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 16 to Sun 18 March

two pigs in theatre

This stage adaptation of George Orwell’s classic promises to be a clever piece of immersive theatre by the talented drama students at the University of Gloucestershire. The prophetic 1945 tale still chimes with the times today and is one you never tire of.


St Patrick’s Night, Whatley ManorEaston Grey, near Malmesbury, Sat 17 March

Join the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in The Green Room, where conversation and foodie adventures happen. Hosted by their very own chef James Walsh, who hails from the Emerald Isle himself and knows a thing or two about preparing Irish fare. £70 per person includes a five-course menu accompanied by specially selected beers.


Someone Like You: The Adele Songbook, The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Sat 17 March, 7:30pm

With songs hand-picked by Adele herself, the amazing Katie Markham’s show-stopping voice does the songstress’s repertoire justice, recreating the magic of the albums 19, 21 and 25 with songs including Chasing Pavements, Someone Like You and the Bond belter


Jazz Sunday with The Porter Trio, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, near Malmesbury, Sun 18 March, 12.15pm-4pm


This young professional jazz band from Bath will be playing live while you enjoy a three-course meal in Whatley’s revamped Grey’s Brasserie. Nice.


The Enormous Room, Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury, Tue 20 March, 8pm

An epic production from Stopgap Dance Company, this performance about saying goodbye and moving on promises to be a real tearjerker as it follows a father and daughter gradually coming to terms with the loss of their wife and mother.


How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Croft & Jones Trading Co, The Clarence Social, Cheltenham, Tue 20 March, from 5pm

bar dimly lit

I could show you how to do this easy! But Kate Hudson as agony aunt Andie Anderson is far more entertaining in this 2003 rom/com. And the venue, well, this speakeasy bar in the basement of hipster hangout The Clarence Social is right up Muddy’s street with its dark and moody interiors. The film starts at 7pm and for just £15 you get a cocktail and a burger (vegan if you prefer) too. Book ahead, as tickets sell like hot cakes.


The Importance of Being Earnest, Salisbury Playhouse, Tue 20 to Sat 24 March

Two women sitting period costume

Jack wishes to marry Algernon’s cousin the beautiful Gwendolen but first he must convince her mother, the fearsome Lady Bracknell, of the respectability of his parents and his past. For Jack, however, this is not as easy as it sounds, having started life abandoned in a handbag at Victoria station. Prepare to take a welcome turn with Wilde’s much-loved Algernon, Jack, Gwendolen and Cecily, as town and country clash in a brilliant and wildly funny story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags.


Birdsong, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, Tue 20 to Sat 24 March

soldiers on stage Birdsong

A mesmerising story of love and courage, this stage version of Sebastian Faulks’s novel about the Great War is a sell-out sensation. Not. To. Be. Missed. Read the Muddy review


L’Elisir d’Amore, North Cotswold u3a Opera Group, Stanton Village Hall, Stanton, Wed 21 March, 2pm

woman polka dot dress man hat opera

Donizetti’s comedy starring the newly-wed Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna is to opera what rom-com is to film. You don’t have to be a member of the u3a opera group to come along for free.  And then if you do like it, why not join up? Members pay just £20 a year to hear 11 operas, each with a short talk and coffee break. No snobbery here, just enthusiasm and curiosity. Email: 


NT Live: Julius Caesar, Salisbury Arts Centre, Thu 22 March

Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London. Caesar returns in triumph to Rome and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated elite conspire to bring him down. After his assassination, civil war erupts on the streets of the capital. salisburyartscentre


Thai Supper Club, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Fri 23 Mar

spices and seasoning in spoons cinnamon stick

I’m salivating just thinking about this menu: grapefruit salad with Thai fishcakes and lime dipping sauce to start, pork & peanut curry with Pad Thai and jasmine rice and vegetarian squash & peanut curry for mains, and for dessert, khanom kluay, aka steamed banana pudding with lime coconut cream. Only £20 and these tickets are golden so book now!


‘Chef’s Table’ in the Green Room, Whatley Manor, Easton Grey, near Malmesbury, Fri 23 & Thu 29 March

The second and third in the new series of Chef’s tables, it’s Fruits de Mer and Italian Night. Italian chef Marialuisa Massardi will rustle up seven (!) full and flavoursome courses for you, while seafood lovers can snaffle lobster, octopus, sashimi, scallops and dressed crab. Double yum!


Predators, Longleat, Warminster, from 24 March

dinosaur roaring

Are you ready to come face to face with some of the biggest, fastest, stealthiest and strangest predators around? From 24th March, 14 killer animatronic carnivores, will be arriving at Longleat making your day out extra wild.
Stunning scenes, showcasing habitats and predators from across the globe, will transport you to faraway places and have you discovering just what it takes to be a top predator in the wild.


Ric James, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Sat 24 March

Marilyn Monroe red lips stars blue background

Strongly inspired by the New York arts scene, multi-media artist Ric James’ work takes a journey across the Atlantic with a mixture of reality-based and abstract work referencing Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and Mark Rothko. Fantastic work on canvas and in sculpture – bring your credit card fully flexed!


Brighton Rock, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Tue 27 to Sat 31 March

Graham Greene’s classic novel about the dark underworld of 1950s gangland is brilliantly brought to life on the stage by Pilot Theatre and York Theatre Royal written by acclaimed writer and Tony Award-Nominee Bryony Lavery.


Italy Showcase, Averys Cellars, Bristol, Wed 28 March, 7-9pm

Loving the sound of this tutored, seated tasting of eight fine Italian wines. Great for beginners, but also for anyone looking to add to their cellar (who are you? can I come round for dinner?). There’ll be cheese from Arch House Deli to wash the vino down with and the atmospheric historic Averys Cellars to enjoy.


The Russian State Ballet of Siberia: The Snow Maiden and Swan Lake, Swindon, 29 & 31 March

ballerina dancing white tutu pink background

Formed in 1981, the Russian State Ballet of Siberia has quickly established itself as one of Russia’s leading ballet companies and has built an international reputation for delivering performances of outstanding quality and unusual depth. The soloists and corps de ballet are superb, and never fail to delight audiences with their breathtaking physical ability and dazzling costumes.


Easter Eggstravaganza, Bowood House and Gardens, Fri 30 March to Mon 2 April

Name the newly born chicks, find hidden golden eggs, explore the beautiful grounds with the Spring Trail…look amongst the endless daffodils and winding paths and you may just see the Easter bunny. Not sure I’d hold my breath though…


Dead Dog Cider, Stroud Brewery, Thrupp, near Stroud, Sat 31 March

Loving the name of this two-piece made up of Bodhran impressario Pru and Mark, who regularly entertain Stroud Brewery punters with their lively mix of English, Celtic and American song.


Easter Trail, Lydiard Park, Swindon, Sun 1 April

girl in bunny costume

Hop into Easter at Lydiard Park. The trail begins at the Coach House Activity Centre and you’ll travel round the lakes, woodlands and lawns. Search for clues hidden around the park to claim your Easter surprise.


The Mountain Between Us, Whatley Manor Sunday Cinema Club, Sun 1 April

red cinema seating

Lose yourself in a good film in Whatley’s divine cinema, with plenty of popcorn and a three-course meal in the newly-refurbed and pretty cool Grey’s Brasserie.


Lambing, Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham, until Sun 15 April

lambs in a barn

The cutest signs of spring are appearing on Adam Henson’s beautiful farm. Open-dated tickets mean you can book in then choose a day when the sun’s out (if we get one, fingers crossed!), but if we don’t there’s a new Animal Barn to cosy up in.


Living with Nature’s Design, The Guild at 51, Cheltenham, until Sun 15 April

handmade chest of drawers

If you’re on the prowl for one-off, original interiors finds, then this is your mecca. Among the goodies will be furniture designer-makers Kristian Pettifor and David Ian Smith’s table, chest of drawers and lighting, and sheer linen textile panels printed and painted with patterns inspired by ripples and reflections in nature by the very talented Jenny Bicât.



Kids’ Easter Drama Workshop, Cheltenham Playhouse, Cheltenham, Tue 3 to Fri 6 April

If you’ve got a budding actor of primary school age and are wondering how to stimulate their genius (or, er, just entertain them over Easter), can I recommend this fab-sounding workshop! No auditions required (phew), kids will be put through their dramatic paces playing theatre games, telling stories, creating characters and learning songs, which will culminate in a performance on the Friday on the main stage in full costume with song and dance in front of an audience! It’s first come first served, so get yourself a place quick. Here’s the link.


Summer music festival round-up, from June

In less than six months we’ll be basking in warm sunshine hanging out with feathers in our hair at a music festival – that is if you book your tickets now! Check out the Muddy pick’n’mix here.

woman at a music festival sunset

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