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This week


New Year’s Day meet, Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Mon 1 Jan, 10.30am

race horses and jockeys

What better way to round off the festive season and kick off 2018 with a bang. Delay dry January till the 2nd, have a flutter on the gee-gees and bring the kids! There’s a Family Fun Zone which Paddington Bear will visit, along with balloon artists Twistina and Twistopher, who will give the first 500 children a walking pet balloon. There will also be face-painting, pony plaiting and rosette making among other crafty fun. And ladies, dress up in a splash of colour as #ColourMeMarch Ladies Day tickets worth up to £90 will be up for grabs.


January Brewer of the Month, Corinium Ales, The Strand Pub, Cheltenham, all of Jan

This Cheltenham pub is a great supporter of local brewers and this month it’s showcasing Cirencester’s micro-brewery Corinium Ales, which will be serving up its five core beers, as well as its winter 1 AD Porter. So we’ll be forgetting about dry January this year!


Ros Koch Appellation Art Exhibition, Averys, Bristol, now until Fri 2 Mar

paintings and drawings by Ros Koch

The historical cellars and family wine merchant in Bristol’s Culver Street is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year and is kicking off with a new art show by Ros Koch, a British-born artist based in South Africa who creates beautifully delicate watercolours and drawings. Free entry and the artwork is for sale so prepare to be tempted.


Hidden Water Walk at Dyrham Park, near Bristol, Tuesdays throughout Jan, 1-2.30pm

A winter walk with a difference, this special guided tour takes you from the natural springs to hidden water chambers in the hillside to the cellars of the house to track the 17th-century mansion’s water works. No need to book, just turn up with your wellies on.


Midweek Movie Night: Girls Trip, Barnsley House, near Cirencester, Wed 3 Jan, 6.30pm

pink leather cinema armchairs

I can’t think of a nicer way to soften the blow of the first week of January than hunkering down in a two-seater pink leather armchair in Barnsley House’s deluxe cinema with a box of popcorn in front of Girls Trip, last year’s US comedy about best friends the ‘Flossy Posse’ reconnecting on a trip to New Orleans. You get a two-course supper at The Village Pub first and then it’s film night! Click here for the rest of the month’s Midweek Movie and Sunday Cinema Club nights. I’ve got my eye on quite a few…


Dracula (or A Pain in the Neck), Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Wed 3 to Fri 5 Jan

Give your stomach muscles a workout at this Gothic tale spoof by mad-as-a-hatter company Rain or Shine, hailed last year as “a delicious mirth fest”. Bonkers, Morecambe & Wise-style comedy, this is a play you’ll really be able to sink your teeth into. (Sorry.)


The Hucklebuck + Belle Day, The Marshall Rooms, Stroud, Fri 5 Jan, 8.30pm to Sat 6 Jan, 3am

Five-piece band The Hucklbuck will be serving straight-up blues from early jump blues to later Texas and Chicago material, while Bristol-based band Belle Day will be weaving deep sultry blues and heavy grooves inspired by a eclectic mix from Led Zeppelin to Sam Cooke.


Dark Island live gig, Stroud Brewery, Thrupp, Stroud, Sat 6 Jan, 7.30-10pm

Folk, blues and jazz will fill the bar at Stroud Brewery courtesy of singer guitarist Scotty and singer songwriter and instrumentalist Alex. Expect powerful emotional storytelling music about love, nature and the supernatural. No need to book, just turn up and enjoy!


Nelson St. Good On Paper Party, The Marshall Rooms and Black Book Café, Stroud, Sat 6, 5pm to Sun 7 Jan, 2am

Stroud’s on-the-pulse independent culture magazine Good On Paper’s annual ‘We’re Still Here’ party is bridging two venues this year, with a heady lineup of live music, DJing, impromptu Shakespeare, puppetry and poetry. Muddy award-winning Salt Bakehouse will be providing artisan pizzas, there’l be pop-up record shops courtesy of Junkroom Records and Monobrow’s Vinyltopia and Pop & Shake organic popcorn by Mr Bobbington.


Dick Whittington, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, until Sun 7 Jan 

Join Dick and his cat as he travels from Gloucester to London to make his fortune and runs into a crazy cast of characters on his journey from zero to here. Molly McGuire plays Dick, with Ben Goffe as Tommy the Cat and, of course, expect to see Tweedy the Clown. Regulars to the Everyman panto and Gifford’s Circus will know his genius, but if you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing Tweedy, he’s like a comic book character come to life. Brilliant basically. Always a sell-out, be sure to book soon, as Everyman chief exec Mark Goucher says, “It wouldn’t be Christmas without a great family pantomime.”


Snow Globe, Colston Hall, Bristol, until Sun 7 Jan 

Kid Carpet (that’s him above) used found objects – Casio keyboards, cardboard, broken toys, sellotape – to make ‘kiddy disco punk’. Here he shakes a storyteller’s snow globe to create a musical mix up of tales, rhymes and stories for 3 to 7 year olds. colstonhall,org

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