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This weekend


Middle Eastern Supper Club, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Fri 24 Nov

four clear bowls of different middle eastern spices

Warm up with this Middle Eastern-themed supper club at the lovely Harts Barn Cookery School. Falafels, baba ganoush, flatbreads and roasted red pepper houmous for starts, Turkish spiced chicken, grilled aubergines, couscous and freekeh salad for main, and apricot almond cake and rose Turkish delight for pud. I’m salivating!

Romeo and Juliet, Bristol Hippodrome, Fri 24 to Sat 25 Nov


English National Opera Romeo & Juliet ballet ballerina in pink doing a leap

The English National Ballet won Outstanding Company at the 2016 National Dance Award, so we’re expecting great things from their version of their world’s greatest love story.


Dick Whittington And His Cat, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 24 Nov to Sun 7 Jan, 2018

It’s panto time! And Tweedy the Clown returns to the Everyman stage with his comic-book licks and tricks in this year’s show, Dick Whittington And His Cat, who travels from Gloucester to London in search of his fortune. Expect the usual high jinx and laughs.


Salisbury Christmas Market, Salisbury, Wilts, Fri 22 Dec

This magical Christmas market sees the beautiful medieval cathedral city transformed into a winter wonderland that rivals the best of Germany’s famous Christmas markets. From jewellery and crafted handmade furniture to every flavour of liqueur you could dream of, this one could get jolly! The opening night is always special with loads of street entertainers and a real festive spirit, then on Thu 30 Nov, there’s the annual Christmas Lantern Parade which this year is in association with the Salisbury Arts Centre and is another it-feels-good-to-be-alive event.


Winter Parade and Christmas Market, Devizes, Wilts, Fri 24 Nov

This winter parade is one of the region’s largest lantern processions and will get even Scrooge types into a festive mood with its river of hundreds of beautiful creations. Father Christmas gets picked up along the way and then it’s to the town centre for the Christmas lights switch-on, after which it’s time to shop! Local crafts and tradespeople will have goodies on show.


Cheltenham Christmas lights switch on, Sat 25 Nov

Who needs Oxford Street when you’ve got Cheltenham’s Christmas lights switch on? I have to say there’s something chic and discreet about the lit-up trees which makes me proud to hail from the Regency town. There’ll be the annual Christmas market to mooch around, too, so it’s the perfect place to get yourself in the mood a month before the big day.


The Model Folk, Big Happy Forever, The Prince Albert, Stroud, Sat Nov 25

This six-piece band from Somerset will be playing their eclectic cocktail of folk sounds inspired by everyone from Bob Marley to Frank Zappa. More like a family get together than a gig, they’re big on humour – smiling, laughing and tapping your feet guaranteed. And, of course, being in The Prince Albert, there’ll be atmosphere in bucket loads.


Forest Showcase Christmas Food Festival, Beechenhurst Lodge, Coleford, Sun 26 Nov

This new Christmas food festival offers up a feast of festive treats, handmade gifts and local produce. Chefs will be on hand demonstrating seasonal recipes, there’ll be kids’ activities and loads of goodies to sample including roast chestnuts, mince pies, mulled wine and more.


Cotswold Christmas Market, Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham, Glos, Sun 26 Nov

Hosted by inspirational and aspirational Cheltenham gift shop The Willow Tree, expect a beautifully curated selection of gifts by local talented makers and artisans, vintage pieces, and food and drink. And the venue, of course, will be spectacular too. Just need sunshine now for a perfect Sunday outing.

Victorian Christmas Market, Gloucester Quays, Gloucester, until Sun 26 Nov

With its cast of Victorian characters, including street urchins, pickpockets and the men in blue, street food vendors, Ferris Wheel, tons of festive stalls and an open-air ice rink, Gloucester Quays’ Christmas market is pretty hard to beat. I’ll see you dancing on ice!

Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, Cheltenham Town Hall, Sun 26 Nov

Browse stalls of eclectic, affordable vintage fashion and homeware and even pop into a vintage beauty salon for a victory roll, beehive or pin-curl do at this award-winning fair. From 11am to 4pm, £2.50 on the door, under 12s go free,


Judy Pfaff: Roots Up, Messums Wiltshire, Tisbury, until Sun 26 Nov

Judy Pfaff’s Roots Up exhibition, which also features paintings and drawings by her, is the first one American Pfaff has held in the UK.  There has been two years of preparation for the exhibition, it will take three weeks to install and the installation process is being recorded and documented as it happens.


November at Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, all Nov

Don’t miss the latest artists showing at Cheltenham’s serene gallery Chapel Arts (it used to be a Baptist Chapel and still has a spiritual vibe). This month you can feast your eyes on the abstract work of Lar Cann inspired by the Cornish landscape, stunning works of New York by Leslie Gerry, as well as pastel works on the mezzanine by Tony Allain, Jeanette Hayes, Jill Jeffrey and Suzanne Jones.


Christmas is coming to Highgrove, Tetbury, Glos, until Sun 17 December

HRH The Prince of Wales’s gaff is a princely host for a right royal Christmas festive and shopping experience. This year the famous Orchard Room will be once again offering unique gift ideas, decorations and gourmet foods. Bask in the beauty of the place and find those special, one-of-a-kind gifts. No sharp, high street elbows here, instead you can float around, glass of champagne in hand, breaking for lunch and cream tea in the brand new restaurant. Sounds perfecto. 


Softer: Jenny Holzer Exhibition at Blenheim Palace, until Sun 31 Dec

dark art gallery installation blue and purple lights two silhouettes of bodies

The fourth artist to to showcase contemporary art at Blenheim Palace (my kids still talk about Ai Wei Wei back in 2015), Holzer will be creating new work directly addressing our military and political history – eeek! For this show she’s developing large-scale light projections that will transform the Formal Gardens after dark in a series of night time public events. Sounds cool right? Plus visitors can also explore more meditative areas featuring examples of Holzer’s best known work.


Cézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, until Sun 11 Feb 2018

This started just last week, Brings together over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK . Over a working life of some forty-five years, Cézanne made almost 1,000 paintings of which around 160 are portraits and this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into this central aspect of his work.


Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions, Ashmolean, Oxford, until Sun 18 Feb

Could have had a catchier title truth be told! But anyhoo, this major exhibition will be the first to look at the art of the five world religions as they spread across continents in the first millennium AD. Blimey! Brand new research from a major project between The Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum and Oxford Uni, with amazing objects created when the iconography of each of the major religions was still being developed.


Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, until Sat 24 Feb 2018

Photo by Paul Stuart (c) RSC

The RSC’s winter production Twelfth Night sees Ade Edmondson, of The Young Ones and Bottom fame, as Olivia – Kara Tointon’s dour steward Malvolio in Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, who recreated Warwickshire’s Charlecote Park on stage for the RSC’s fabulous Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, it’s set in Victorian Britain. Also starring Birmingham’s Dinita Gohil as Viola and Michael Cochrane as Sir Andrew Aguecheek. rsc

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